[EM] Time of trouble

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Mar 9 12:29:52 PDT 2009

--- On Mon, 9/3/09, Michael Allan <mike at zelea.com> wrote:

>   1.  Premise an IT-based DD
>   2.  Discuss its potential consequences
> Ideals are the theme of (1), particularly in its design and
> purpose.
> The falling-short of those ideals (and worse) is the theme
> of (2).

> > Maybe my approach is simply that
> > the complex world is likely to
> > lead to compromise results and
> > constant need to defend the system
> > against corrupting forces.
> If you still feel that (1) is unlikely, but wish to
> discover a reason
> for your doubt, then another possible approach is:
>   1.  Premise a DD based on voting IT
>   1b. Show how it may fail, after the fact

My thinking has been that there
is a tendency towards 1 (thanks
to the new IT). A full-blown
revolution that meets all the
ideal targets is less probable.

The reason is that I haven't
yet seen revolutions or renewals
that would meet all their ideal
targets. Politics is also a game
with many strong ambitions and
interests, which makes it likely
that there are people with
interest to stay in power, to
resist change, and to change to

> This would also bring us closer to (2), which is where I
> think the
> real failures are likely to occur.

You can count many of my concerns
to belong also in 2.

> I feel the greatest danger is in the extremity of
> success.  RD has no
> defense against DD, because it pretends to be DD. 
> (A trick it learnt
> from Robespierre, of all people.) 

Yes, this is a true risk. But
legacy and fixed patterns in the
minds of people are strong.

> So I worry it will
> either a) leave
> off pretending, or b) collapse, in some mysterious
> way. 

Also "c) renewal to the extent
necessary to stay in power" is

> Also, the
> world has non-RD states.  How will they figure in?

I see the battle of reaching some
kind of democracy/RD in most cases
as a separate (more fundamental)
fight. Mostly the show stoppers
are very basic stuff like guns and
strong position of the current
non-RD leaders. (One could expect
also stronger support from the
current RDs.)

> Quite without exaggeration, they have an overriding
> interest in being
> re-elected.  Most of their efforts are bent toward
> that goal.  In
> this, they are quite unrepresentative.

I think any system with
continuity in representation has
this kind of tendencies among the
representatives. Electing fresh
random representatives would
avoid this problem.

> > The starting point was very simple.
> > Just take the local council members
> > and offer them the ability to
> > express their opinions at national
> > level. The idea is that this could
> > be implementable in practice, and
> > would represent quite well all
> > the citizens. It could also
> > improve in time when local people
> > with interest in national politics
> > would become more interested in
> > the local councils.
> Looking at it from a distance, I expect it can only win
> acceptance if
> it helps the politicians or parties in their goals of
> being
> re-elected. 

It offers the low level
politicians (i.e. people that
can be said to be almost
regular citizens) more power.

> As the system itself does not change the
> mechanism of
> re-election, it can only afford a better level of control
> over it.
> That usually boils down to manipulating the
> electorate.  (That's not
> your intention, but it may follow.)

Yes, manipulation of the
electorate remains. Allocating
more power at the local level may
reduce the level and success rate
of manipulation..

> It will cut
> across the
> boundaries of the traditional parties

Later I also asked if there is
a need to break the existing
structures. Actually I think
that most current democracies
(the most stable ones) would
benefit of a more flexible
an fine-grained ideological

> The only cultural domain I have so far considered is a
> rather narrow
> one: PD(utopian vision).  The premise is that society
> collaborates on
> the composition of a work of art, expressing a utopian
> vision of the
> future.  A tentative consensus is reached on this
> vision.  What then
> follows?

This sounds like the "research
segment" of the "culture". Maybe
this segment resembles strongly
political decision making but
with many possible theories and
with no concrete actions yet
(except research itself).

Btw, I'd like politics to evolve
in a direction where one would
make more statements about the
planned direction in the future.
This would be somewhere between
research and political decisions.
This could make the political
system more flexible/dynamic in
the same way as flexibility in
the party/section structure
would. This would be an attempt
to the master long term
developments better than the
current systems do.

> (The term "revolution" cannot have its political meaning
> here, as
>  there is no seizure of power.  RD is replaced by DD,
> but the outward
>  form of RD remains.  Moreover, the ideals of RD are
> more fully
>  realized.  So it cannot be a revolution.  The
> necessary revolutions
>  occured centuries ago, in England, America and France.)

If democracy is defined as a
system where people can make the
change when they seriously so
want, then democracies do not
need revolutions any more.

(except if one fancies leading and
ruling and revolutionary elite
groups like in fascism, communism
and other ideologies that consider
themselves to be "morally above
the others")



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