Explaining Democracy 2.0 to Authoritarians


Authoritarianism is a form of government in which a small group of people makes all the decisions in society. There is no accountability to the people they rule over, and there is no constitution or set of rules these leaders must abide by. It might initially seem like authoritarianism and democracy 2.0 are completely incompatible, but remember: democracy 2.0 is a decision making system, not a form of social organization in and of itself (although it can be). It’s entirely possible for a group to make the decision to relinquish all power to a small group of politicians (or even a single individual). Look at how much power we’ve already let Obama have! Philosopher kings haven’t existed in the past but who’s to say they won’t in the future in the form of artificial intelligence? And let’s not forget that many adults really don’t want to have any responsibility or control over their environment. It’s certainly easier to live that way. I think it’s extremely likely that at least some portion of humanity would actually prefer authoritarian societal organization, although I personally would not.

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how authoritarians would implement their ideal society from the existing system using democracy 2.0. First, individuals running on the D-2.0 platform must be elected to the majority of political offices. These individuals must at least initially abide by the results of D-2.0 voting. They aren’t authoritarian at this point. The particular individuals representing democracy 2.0 don’t even have to even be authoritarians. Once democracy 2.0 is securely in place and influencing most of the state, the authoritarian individuals (who are also citizens in society) can propose legislation that eliminates the constitution, eliminates voting rights, and appoints authoritarian leaders to positions of power. Of course, the constituency would have to pass these bills in the D-2.0 system, but if they did they would no longer be able to vote in new representatives. The democracy 2.0 system would still exist and the authoritarian leaders could even utilize it to make decisions, but those leaders would no longer have accountability to the people they rule over. The only way to change the system peacefully now would be if the leaders relinquish power and set up a new system that allows for society to have control over what happens to itself, although this is unlikely to happen.

Democracy 2.0 can be used to do anything theoretically, even allow citizens to remove the rights they already have. Our government already does this. The supreme court removed the right of states to secede from the union, something actually guaranteed in the US Constitution. Technically there’s nothing stopping elected politicians right now from passing authoritarian bills, and they do. We should have the ability to take away our own rights! Keep in mind that there are plenty of examples where taking away rights doesn’t solely harm the citizenry. Although it’s a divisive issue, many citizens want to take away your right to own guns. Almost everyone agrees that children should not have the right to have sex with older people.

I leave you with a comical criticism of authoritarianism:

By authoritarian, this comic is referring to the existing US federal government

Remind you of anyone you know?