Democracy 2.0

A simple, legal way to put power in the hands of the people.

Category: Uncategorized

Using adhocracy.de

There is finally some useful decentralized decision making software! Naturally, it was made in Germany. While it has been around for a while, but only recently has it been translated enough for the average American to make use of it. It doesn’t have many of the proposed integrated features of the democracy 2.0 system but it’s the best we got right now. Identity verification could potentially be accomplished by providing a social network page and a voter registry page with corresponding data. There’s still not a whole lot of people (almost zero Americans) using adhocracy and I think that’s partially because the tutorial they provide is not super helpful. So I made one. Here we go:

Click the green button!

This is the first screen you should see on adhocracy.de

Fill out your information and create an account

Fill out your information and create an account

Log in

Log in

Some things are still in German however

Change your settings to English

You need to create an instance for your community if it doesn't already exist

You need to create an instance for your community if it doesn’t already exist

I chose the city of Carrboro, but this can be any organization of individuals

Continue setting up your community

Access the instance of your community

Access the instance of your community

Create a new proposal for your community. You don't have to follow the format outlined in the D-2.0 patent, but it might be easier to deal with larger community if proposals are more standardized.

Create a new proposal for your community. You don’t have to follow the format outlined in the D-2.0 patent, but it might be easier to deal with larger community if proposals are more standardized.

Fill out all necessary fields for your proposal.

Fill out all necessary fields for your proposal.

View, edit, and vote for proposals made by you and other community members.

View, edit, and vote for proposals made by you and other community members.

Get others to join your community or become a member of a community started by someone else.

Get others to join your community or become a member of a community started by someone else.

Finalize becoming a member of an existing community.

Finalize becoming a member of an existing community.

That’s all for today! There will be more posts later detailing the advanced intricacies of adhocracy. But that should be enough help to get you started. And please, if you still need help with this, don’t be shy about contacting me!

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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?

What does a politician do?

A criticism I have heard a lot about this democracy 2.0 idea is in defense of politicians. The criticizers claim that politicians are good at one thing, decision making, therefore they should be allowed to make decisions for the community. They cite Giuliani’s successful reduction of crime in NYC, Lincoln and more than half of Congress at his time outlawing slavery against the common people’s wishes, and FDR saving America in the thirties. They claim that not all politician’s are going to be good, but that’s no reason to give decision making power to the retarded common folk who gorge themselves on fast-food, reality TV, and are barely literate. They claim that important stuff happens in Congress or even in their mayor’s office. There are meetings and the kind-hearted politicians persevere in order to protect their constituents from their power-hungry, villainous colleagues.

People seem to have a pretty vague idea of what politicians do after they win the campaign battle/race. Most of politics these days consists of running and getting re-elected. The people who donate campaign money will influence you the most. When was the last time you actually sat down and read through the public records you are provided with? It looks intimidating with all of the unnecessary legal jargon, but it’s really not that difficult to get through. I’m going to save you the trouble, but please, go ahead and look through these minutes yourselves.

I’m not going to post the highlights and try to cover up the good things politicians do. I’m just going to give a general sampling of the minutes from 2-26-2013 for Carrboro, NC:

-MODIFICATION OF AGREEMENT WITH EL CENTRO HISPANO FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH SERVICES (increasing the amount of money given to a community outreach program)
-CONDITIONAL USE DISTRICT REZONING/CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR 201 NORTH GREENSBORO STREET (permitting a construction company to build a two story building at a particular address)
-PUBLIC HEARING TO AMEND STORMWATER VOLUME CONTROL PROVISIONS OF THE LAND USE ORDINANCE (changing the legally allowed amount of stormwater runoff allowed on a property in order to prevent erosion)

Here’s a sampling of the executive orders and proclamations executed by the current governor of North Carolina:

SAFE DIGGING MONTH (the month of April 2013 is officially recognized as “safe digging month”)
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
(state departments and agencies must begin using the state-run temp agency instead of third party temp agencies to employ temporary workers)
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY (state and local government agencies must obey the plan outlined in the NC Emergency Operations plan, stores cannot jack up their prices in a declared emergency area, and a secretary must obtain from the US government reimbursement for executing the NC Emergency Operations plan)

Here’s a sampling of the bills being proposed in the senate:

STOP ONLINE AMMUNITION SALES ACT OF 2013 (make it a criminal offense to sell ammo online; no punishment is specified)
PANDEMIC AND ALL-HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS RE-AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2013 (outlining the duties of the assistant secretary for emergency preparedness and response, outlining measures to improve bio-security, outlining the distribution of medical supplies in the case of a bio-emergency, and outlining plans to accelerate advanced medical research and development for countermeasures; it’s important to note that while there is some detailed information as to what to do in this bill, for the most part the specific products and procedures that are to be used will be explained by medical professionals at a later date)
HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF BILL (increase the amount of tax-payer money in the National Flood Insurance fund by 10 billion USD)
RESPONSIBLE HELIUM ADMINISTRATION AND STEWARDSHIP ACT (amend the Helium Act to complete the privatization of the Federal helium reserve in a competitive market fashion that ensures stability in the helium markets while protecting the interests of American taxpayers)

As you can see, some of this stuff is complicated, some of this stuff is not. In the democracy 2.0 system the complicated stuff would be explained by knowledgeable individuals and presumably the citizens proposing the legislation. Few will vote for what they don’t understand. For the really boring stuff, people will have to explain why voting on their boring legislation is necessary. Politician’s are just people, and most of them don’t really know what they’re doing. They’re just rich and charismatic. Why do they deserve power? Again, please consider going through your government’s legislation. Endure through the ridiculous legal jargon. It’s mostly reasonable stuff that anyone would agree with. You deserve to have a say in what happens with your money in the place where you live.

Metagovernment

There are already tools out there to decentralize decision making: http://www.metagovernment.org/wiki/Main_Page

I think Direct Congress is probably the closest to what I’m proposing. There are many ways to decentralize decision making. But guys, why not make your projects open-source? Are you really trying to profit from this? If you want to be a wealthy programmer, you need to be constantly producing new software anyway. Making your source code freely available will make people trust it more.

There are already ways for communities to make decisions. It doesn’t matter which system is used, lets just start using these systems. Decentralization will gradually happen regardless of who takes control in this WWIII.

We’ve been right on the cusp for a while now.

Name change

I changed “hacking democracy” to “democracy 2.0 injection” if you’re confused. Democracy 2.0 refers to what used to be called the digital direct democracy system. I realized that hacking democracy was literally the worst possible thing to call an idea promoting internet voting to make decisions. Democracy 2.0 is a phrase that’s been kicked around a lot these past couple of years,so it’s already kind of in society’s psyche. Furthermore, the phrase democracy 2.0 easily conveys the idea that it’s a malleable system subject to change, it involves technology/computers, and that it’s a superior version of democracy. It also makes for a cooler looking acronym (DDD vs. D-2.0).

The url is now thedemocracytwoexperiment.wordpress.com and this probably won’t change until I buy a real domain name.

Patent rough draft!

Twelve page patent document.

So this is what I came up when formalizing my idea. It’s not pretty, but it might help some people understand what democracy 2.0 is about. The example pages are nowhere near done, and fundamental changes to the system and even the name may occur (working title is democracy 2.0 injection now; brace for a url change btw).

Anything I didn’t account for? Let me know. Here’s some flow charts for you to look at:

so many details

Still need to work out the details of course

i'll do more flowcharts later

A flow chart describing how a user uses the legislation page for everything except voting

It's this easy

A flow chart describing how the decisions made using D-2.0 influence reality

I made this for 4 reasons:

1) So some programmer out there could understand my idea and make a system like what I’m proposing himself.

2) Add credibility to the movement despite not having a voting system already.

3) To prevent a corporation from patenting this idea and preventing us from using it.

4) Have an even more concrete plan for people to read about.

I really think this could be implemented within the next 6 months. I know it’s a bitch to look through but seriously, any feedback would be the best.

Explaining Hacking Democracy to True Anarchists

Democracy 2.0 is all about giving people the tools they need to shape society how they see fit. It doesn’t matter what your vision for society is, it’s compatible with democracy 2.0. The route to true anarchism utilizing D-2.0 is a little less direct as it requires not the reform, but the entire deconstruction of the previous system. I personally do not believe this system could work on a very large scale, but there are many examples of cities or even county-size political entities that are anarchic. I think no laws should apply on anyone’s personal property. This is for all intents and purposes how it is anyway. No one (even the politicians in our existing system, even North Korea) will ever vote or be able to put cameras and guards within every single citizen’s home. This means that serial killers and child molesters can, and do, get away with horrific things on their own private property. Once the public finds out, they will then be punished of course, they just need to be forcibly removed from their homes and brought to trial on public laws. Any judge or jury would likely find this person guilty if there is enough evidence. But I digress. I’m just one dude with my own opinions. If anarchism is the way you want to live, if it turns out to be the entire world’s favorite way to organize society, you deserve the ability to live like that.

If you wanted to implement universal anarchism, you would first need to elect democracy 2.0 representatives to the highest levels of government. Once there, some citizen would need to draft legislation effective for the entire community which removes the legal right of police to prevent you from doing anything, as well as remove the legal weight of every law that could potentially be used in a case in the judicial system. This could be done with a legislation stating a single sentence “All prior laws and legislation are no longer valid.” Laws are nothing but words on paper that a judge and cops can use to justify punishing you for the actions you take. Ideally these words on paper would be things all citizens agree on, but of course that will never happen. If someone tried to sue you for theft after getting the anarchist legislation passed, your lawyer could point to the “All prior laws are no longer valid” legislation and claim that theft is no longer a criminal offense. Any judge worth his salary would have to agree. Legislation could also be drafted dissolving the military, the FBI, the EPA, NASA, public education, taxation, public health organizations, and anything else you can think of. You really only need those first two pieces of legislation to get enough votes to pass though.

True anarchy is a society where people are completely free to do what they want. Police won’t stop you, courts won’t stop you, no one would have any authority to stop you from doing anything, be it benign or malicious. Let me preface this next bit by stating again, this is just my personal opinion. Democracy 2.0 is not about anarchism, communism, capitalism, or anything else. It’s a group decision making process. Regardless of what you or I think is right, we agree that we need to begin taking realistic steps to fixing our current problem. Anyway: something to remember is that when given complete freedom many people will form coalitions for their own benefit and naturally hierarchies will emerge. True anarchy dissolves immediately. You may not like the video I’m posting, but you need to be prepared to deal with hilarious criticisms of your ideas.

Why art alone is not enough to fix the broken system

As always here’s three examples:
Occupy Poetry
A particularly poorly written piece on why society is bad, man.
OWS Graffiti

This is the kind of bullshit that makes your movement lose credibility. Art (or whatever this is) does not appeal to many people. Check out this quote from this Army of Artist’s facebook page:

“Occupy Wallstreet” didn’t work, but AOA can!!! AOA is an “Army of Artists” working to bring the next Renaissance, which our world is in desperate need for. What past revolutions/calls for movement in the past have lacked is the true empowerment of each individual. Everyone who has lived and can express those experiences is an artist. Our very nature is creative. This is the true liberation, and we live in a society that is currently dominated by consumption, materialism and superficiality. We must begin to create again and to love.

Not only are there no real ideas here, the Army of Artists is claiming that everyone who isn’t an artist doesn’t count. The leader assumes that everyone thinks like her, and that anyone who enjoys consumption, materialism, and superficiality is incorrect about what makes them happy. This movement uses phrases such as “true empowerment” and “true liberation” without once explaining what the “truth” is. I actually went to this meeting last week and it had the same problems that OWS had: as soon as people start listening, leaders grow power-hungry. It’s not their fault, we’re all human and this is a natural response. At the meeting the person who created it referred to AOA as her baby. Any criticism of her idea, was considered an insult to her baby. While claiming that the purpose of this movement was to eliminate hierarchy, she chose to stand up, unlike everyone else attending the meeting who were sitting down. She wanted to be in control. She wanted the glory of being a revolutionary. Most of the discussion (just like at OWS) was people taking turns saying vaguely inspirational things.

A successful movement energizes the disenfranchised, while simultaneously not spooking the middle and convincing the rich. Democracy 2.0 does all three of these.

Energize the disenfranchised: Anyone would have the ability to change society however they want. Obviously the people suffering the most in society are the disenfranchised. D-2.0 should give them hope, and a practical plan to be the change they want to see in the world. None of them can enter politics, but all of them can obtain internet access. They have the most to gain from D-2.0. This is typically the group people try to cater to when developing their movement. Unfortunately, most other movements try to encourage these suffering people to empower themselves with their ability to inflict chaos, not come up with ideas.

Not spook the middle: Democracy 2.0 can also be used to maintain the status quo indefinitely. Initially nothing changes until the people begin to realize the power they have over society. It’s all about gradual change, instead of a violent shift. The middle class is comfortable, but they can see the problems in society clearly. It’s not that they are too lazy or evil to fix the world, but that they are frightened of losing their comfortable position. If they have some say in where society heads next, that fear is at least diminished.

Convince the rich: Rich people aren’t afraid of what’s going to happen next, and they have tons of energy because they have wealth. Like everyone else, they think they know good ideas when they see them but they also have the ability to act on them. They certainly won’t follow a movement that wants them to give all their money to the less wealthy. They won’t follow a movement that brings them down. Why would anyone? Democracy 2.0 is all about giving everyone the ability to control society. Rich people think they have good ideas. With democracy 2.0 they don’t have to play politics in order to see them executed. They don’t even have to give up any of their money.

Explaining Hacking Democracy to Libertarians

If you believe the power of the federal government should be severely limited, you should be a proponent of democracy 2.0. For some reason this is difficult to explain to people: democracy 2.0 is not a new form of government, and it’s not merely direct democracy. It can be eventually but as of right now, it’s a technique, a strategy, to decentralize decision making power.

Let’s look at an example: when legislation was passed in the 1800s strengthening the power of the federal government, those decisions, or legislation, were drafted and voted into law by the elected leaders at the time. These changes in how the government worked were proposed and voted for by citizens, albeit elected citizens. Democracy 2.0 would just give even more citizens a say.

I personally agree that federal government should be toned down, if not entirely eliminated. I think enough other people would agree that legislation could be proposed and voted on using democracy 2.0 & executed by injecting democracy 2.0 that reduced the power of national government. But then again, real democracy has never really been tried at the national level. It would certainly work for some legislation, such as funding a national army or making murder illegal. But more nuanced topics such gun rights or abortion probably are best left to different states.

Democracy 2.0 would even allow states to secede peacefully. As uncomfortable as it might make me to admit, the only thing preventing any state from seceding is the threat of violence brought on by the armed forces of the federal government. Any law that was written against secession can be repealed or amended. There’s nothing inherently special about those particular pieces of legislation. Hypothetically, let’s say a D-2.0 representative was elected to the office of President. If some citizen proposed and received enough support for secession legislation, the hacking democracy representative/commander in chief would have the authority to tell the US armed forces to stand down. Nothing would be preventing states from seceding other than the will of the people.

What do politicians physically do that influences the course of society? They write and vote for laws that dictate the flow of societal funds and energy. They could write legislation banning plants that grow naturally (and they did). They could write legislation that puts taxpayers money in the hands of bankers to gamble with (and they did). They could write legislation strengthening the power of the federal government (and they did). They could write legislation criminalizing alcohol (and they did). They could write legislation undoing the criminalization of alcohol (and they did).

There’s no reason why they couldn’t also write and pass legislation that does the opposite of any of these things. Or why they couldn’t write and pass legislation that does anything else. The point of democracy 2.0 is to give this ability to everyone in society, instead of just the upper echelons with enough money and connections to run for office. Most other movements want you to sign petitions to influence politicians. Signing your name and providing evidence for your claims unfortunately cannot compete with cold hard cash or the allure of acquiring even more power. Instead of trying to alter the minds of existing politicians, we need to start electing a confederate of D-2.0 to office.

It doesn’t matter how much or how little government we have. The people being governed and funding government just need to have the ability to control their lives and where their money is going. This is something every libertarian can agree on. And this is what democracy 2.0 is all about.

Impending Collapse

A lot of people online seem to believe that society will collapse from either:

a) There is a terrorist like Chris Dorner who gets a little too powerful, martial law is declared, and the United States becomes completely occupied by it’s own military. Food is rationed and life is harsh in a vicious Civil War 2.0 of attrition.

b) North Korea or Japan or China or America or Russia or Israel or Iran or Pakistan or India or South Africa or Brazil or South Korea or Saudi Arabia or Germany officially declares war on another member of that list and WWIII ignites. This is even worse than a because now the entire planet is embroiled in a nuclear, mostly terrorizing civilians, World War 3 of attrition. Also A occurs.

c) The economy collapses from either a natural energy crisis, an engineered economic crisis, or no reason at all, and no one can buy bread anymore. A and B also occur.

d) An engineered virus with a corporately manufactured vaccine is unleashed upon the world, simultaneously causing A, B, C and the end of the human race.

Shouldn’t we at least try to implement a novel system before any of the above happen? The people making these decisions now are not gods, they are power-hungry men. Throughout most of human history the decision making ability of individual leaders has been proven time and time again to be mediocre at best.

The direction society takes depends on those who make the decisions. D-2.0 aims to take that decision-making power and divide it up evenly among accountable members of the community. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. No one has absolute power in this system. With society instead of politicians manipulated by corporate interests making decisions, it is likely that society will choose common sense decisions. For instance: don’t attack other countries. Remember, the US military has to obey the commander-in-chief. If the majority of the country can vote in a D-2.0 representative, any war can be ended as soon as a majority of the population wants it to end.

D-2.0 allows society the agreed upon legal flexibility necessary to adapt to problems such as these. Even if society does completely collapse, we can implement an on-paper emulation of the D-2.0 system. We can even integrate the paper emulation into the online system help old people. Disaster will always eventually happen, but a flexible infrastructure, not an “unbreakable” one, will allow the community to bounce back.

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