[EM] language/framing quibble

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Sun Jan 11 08:02:27 PST 2009

Good Morning, Kristofer

re: (with regard to whether we have the stomach to require that
      legislators be maintained at a government installation,
      protected from direct access by lobbyists, to prevent the
      subornation of those we select to represent us in our

Like you, I don't know if it will happen, but we should consider it.  We 
don't know how or when our political processes will change.  They may, 
as most rational people would prefer, evolve slowly.  If so, the need or 
lack thereof, for such a course will manifest itself.  On the other 
hand, change could come quickly or violently.  In such a case, given our 
knowledge of the means by which the original modern representative 
democracy has been degraded, it is possible such a remedy could be 
imposed.  In either case, it is an option we should study and openly 

   [Footnote on quick or violent political change.
    We must note that, for such a change to benefit the people,
    it must transcend party lines.  The American Revolution was a
    broad-based revolt, prosecuted by very diverse interests not
    least of which were geographical, maritime, industrial and
    agricultural.  When such a change is partisan-inspired (like
    the Fascist Party in Italy, the Communist Party in China and
    Russia, and the National Socialist Party in Germany), the
    change redounds to the benefit of the party, not the people.]

re: "What I mean by radical transparency is not transparency of
      the candidates' thoughts, but rather an as extensive
      disclosure of the information that is part of the process."

Thank you for the link to the Wikipedia entry on 'radical transparency'. 
  It seems to me what you referred to as 'the continuation phase' of 
Practical Democracy, the phase during which constituents guide or direct 
their representatives, is precisely what is meant by radical 
transparency.  Viewed from the perspective that political actions "are 
considered to lack legitimacy until a clear, radically transparent 
decision has been made concerning them", gives the idea of imposing 
'rule by constituents' (where those who select a public official 
participate in the decisions made by the official) rational appeal.  The 
method certainly embodies the means by which it can be done.  And, of 
course, the internet provides the means for cheap, convenient and 
pervasive implementation.


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