Democracy 2.0

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

Tag: politics

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”)
(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.

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 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.

Why Hacking Democracy has mass appeal

People are clearly frustrated with the existing system. Sure, many are placated with smartphones, a non-stop stream of addictive media, and freely available drugs but the number of people who are starting to question societal structure is increasing exponentially as existing governments consolidate their power. Just look at your facebook feed. Anyone who followed the 2012 election period is well aware that the existing system is pretty much a farce at this point. Republicans were claiming women couldn’t be raped and democrats are defending the Obama administration selling guns to Mexican drug cartels.

The economic crash of 2008, and the subsequent bailout of “too big to fail” banks is what set off many people questioning the status quo. Obama’s first presidential term proved to the world that it was possible to have a president worse than Bush. This shook up the few paying attention even more. The technology motivated, Arab Spring was the first clear expression of this growing tide of dissent. Then Occupy Wall Street. Now there’s riots in Egypt again. It’s gotten to the point where many die-hard liberals have started questioning societal structure. Die-hard conservatives aren’t even really taken seriously anymore. The congressional approval rating is at an all-time low, and for good reason. Congress keeps putting off resolving the budget crisis due to partisan politics, while bills that strip US citizens of our rights get passed unanimously. All news media and many top government officials worldwide seem pretty certain World War III is imminent. No wants a war though other than power-hungry politicians and corporations that are part of the military industrial complex.

People want a solution to the cancerous system taking over the planet but don’t know how to direct their energy, or their votes. Most rational people think that public servants should serve the public, not the other way around. Democracy 2.0 is an elegant solution anyone can wrap their head around. There’s little risk, as nothing about democracy 2.0 is illegal, difficult, or dangerous. It’s just a more efficient version of the system we claim to have that utilizes a ubiquitous technology roughly a third of the entire world (including children and tribal societies) have access to.

Probably the best part about democracy 2.0, is that other than the elected representative, no one has to even leave their house to participate in this plan. Posting links, drafting legislation, and upvoting good ideas can all be done from the safety of your own home. This is even easier than peaceful protest, let alone violent protest. Democracy 2.0 is the first revolution that actually appeals to people’s laziness. For the first time, “liking this post” will actually have a tangible effect on society.

Another revolutionary component of democracy 2.0 is that it integrates completely with the existing system. For instance, a strategy that can be implemented for the acquisition of mainstream support is getting the D-2.0 representative to run as a democrat or republican. Many people don’t vote for a third party out of fear that the “enemy party” will win the election. There’s no reason why a D-2.0 representative shouldn’t run as a member of the two-party system. People who can’t see past the two-party system will vote for the D-2.0 rep so the other “team” doesn’t win the election and because they think it will maintain the status quo. Hopefully they will also see the D-2.0 rep, accurately, as a democrat/republican who has a closer tie to his constituents than any preceding politician. Why would anyone in their right mind not want that? Every politician in history claims to know what his constituents want. For the D-2.0 rep this would be literally true. Unlike the failed direct democracy party of Australia, any citizen can participate in this system, not merely members of an obscure minor party. Democracy 2.0 is the first revolution your complacent parents can get behind.

And don’t forget that anyone can use the D-2.0 system. Once democracy 2..0 gains enough momentum, citizens can begin publicly pressuring politicians to use this system in conjunction with traditional legislation methods. Instead of interns in the Obama administration providing “official” responses to some petitions, Obama himself could propose legislation using this system and connect more directly with the people who elected him. Why shouldn’t our leaders have some accountability? Why should our government be hiding the legislation they want to pass from the people? Why should it refuse input from any citizen? If our existing leaders have any credibility and good ideas, the D-2.0 system would actually give them more power. Keep in mind that the D-2.0 system gives power to popular, useful ideas, not individuals. There’s no reason why our existing representatives couldn’t be full of good ideas. But the truth is, they probably don’t have many more good ideas for improving society than the average citizen. Wearing a suit doesn’t make you smarter, it just makes you look smarter.

Democracy 2.0 will also appeal to the many individuals who think they know the best way to run society. D-2.0 gives everyone the freedom to change the existing system to something better. Don’t like taxation? It can be removed and a crowdfunding system can be used in it’s place to fund specific government projects. Don’t like being part of the United States? Now you can secede if you get enough support. Want to ban all weapons or give every man, woman, and child mandatory firearm training? Either way, it’s quite possible using D-2.0, unlike the current system that has so much red-tape and bureaucracy many politicians have difficulty navigating it.

Everyone gets a little power instead of a few having all of it. Decentralized systems work. Decentralized leadership will happen. And it all starts with posting links from the comfort of your office chair.


As with all good ideas, someone else is already working on a similar system to what I’m proposing called NulPunt. The primary difference with NulPunt is that citizens cannot propose legislation, only comment on it. It implements a mechanism to tie all activity in NulPunt to a social network. Here’s a well made video describing their idea more eloquently than I could.

…and some quotes of interest from the video:

“In the past years, we have witnessed the development of an international democratization movement. The demand for transparent government and political self-organization has become evident.”

Regarding a transparency law from 1980:
“But the law is seriously outdated, a product of the pre-digital era and embodying a traditional authoritarian bureaucratic culture in which access to information is seen as a favor to citizens and not as their right. Responses to requests for information are seriously delayed and habitually negative, forcing the requesting party to enter expensive legal battles. Access is easily denied, as grounds for refusal are broad and lend themselves to abuse.”

“…the time invested daily by politically-aware citizens—using social media, online forums, and newspapers—indicates there’s no lack of willingness for political participation. We just need a tool to enable us to do so directly.”

“It is a dashboard – a digital parliament where we control and shape our politics.”

“This is our contribution to the only concept of democracy we deem right: a democracy without secrets.”

Democracy 2.0 injection and the D-2.0 system takes this one step further: instead of having a transparent government controlled by a few wealthy individuals, it’s a transparent government controlled by the people being governed.


1) As silly as it is to type this out, the biggest problem with digital direct democracy would be that old people don’t trust the internet. We want everyone to have a say in society, but they won’t know how to use this technology and will use their current control over society to suppress this system. Even worse, the people with a lot of power may try more violent tactics to suppress this system if it grows too powerful. This is the point where we must hope the police and military stand down. It’s not like anyone can suppress a truly good idea anyway.

2) The second biggest problem is probably people not quite understanding how the system works. Everyone fears what they don’t understand. Hopefully the FAQ will answer any questions people have. If there are any others, please leave them in the comments. The most important concept to remember is that D-2.0 is a tool to decentralize decision-making power to entire communities, not a new government in and of itself.

3) As for people gaming the system, that’s always going to happen. Fortunately D-2.0 counteracts this by firmly giving control of each piece of legislation to its creator while still allowing others to edit and comment on edits. Then it firmly gives control over whether or not to pass the legislation to everyone who cares enough about the issue at hand to vote. There are no middlemen, no wealthy lobbyists. Just people and their ideas. I think it will be pretty difficult to game a transparent system where emotion can be completely removed from the conversation.

4) It’s sad, but another possibility is that no one steps up to the plate. No one fixes society’s problems and entropy transforms our place into a wasteland. I doubt this will happen, especially if you can do it in the comfort of your own home, but it’s still a possibility. Then I guess we really deserve whatever fate we are given by stronger people, or whatever the puppet leader decides to do. It’s important to remember that D-2.0 is flexible. It can be used by anyone alive who claims to be a citizen of a given place, including current leaders. In fact, it could help them do their job more efficiently. Or it can be used by small, tight-knit communities. When it is demonstrated to work in small communities, D-2.0 can be used with larger and larger states until the world is unified, and divided, in the manner most people so chooses.

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