Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Private Democracy

Consider the US Government structure, three branches of government - executive, legislative, judicial. In the early 21st century the implementation details showing their vulnerability. As the monetary incentive to work in the government grew exponentially the system started to fall victim to the self-interested people who could manipulate these factors, among others:

100 senators, two from each state - geographic bias
Senate Filibuster super-majority 60%
Perpetual campaigning crowding out responsible governing

But our forefathers had the presence of mind to embrace something far more flexible than a government which, by definition, is not held to account by competition. It is the liberty of making new organizations. 

The freedom to organize in the US too has succumbed to self-interested manipulators who took the easy and, frankly, most travelled path of gaming the rules for short-term gain. Favorite examples of this liberty among the political Left - corporations, certain churches. Favorite examples of the political Right - modern unions, our government.

Because of the enormous value we put on liberty in the land of the free, I am pretty sure that a hybrid is possible that could get the support of all three branches of government and a large majority of voting Americans.

What engine?
Lets call it, A Private Democracy. Who owns this democracy? Its constituents. Who govern's this democracy? A board elected by the constituents. Who author's the rules? Commitee's to the board appointed by board members. Who is subject to the rules the system agree's on. The aforementioned constituents. And when a constituent or a group thereof cry's foul? A recourse mechanism composed of appointed experts reviews the case in light of the intent of the organizations charter.

So much of this, perhaps all, should sound very familiar. It is the organizational structure we call government in the USA. The beautiful part of our country is that the best parts of the government can be combined into a brand new private entity that is not subject to short-sighted special interests that have so damaged not only the country that has led the world to a better place but the world itself.

Consider a prototype for this concept, Facebook. Already it has garnered a worldwide user population greater than the USA. Almost daily, it is improved in ways that benefit its constituents. It is a private corporation that is responsive to its end-user customers. What I am proposing here is to close the loop, where individual customers or constituents are owners.

The concept has been brewing in my mind since at least 1976 when I founded EyeDentify and later after reading GED suggesting an organization called Minds' I. I underestimated the time it would take to develop the technology and critical mass in society's awareness to make it all possible. Details of the concept, then and now, are not original to me. I too stand on the shoulders of giants and gratefully acknowledge them.

Now we have world-wide interactive connectivity. Fortunately it is not inordinately controlled by short-sighted interests and remains a flexible enough sandbox to try some extraordinary things. And this is so at very low cost.

Previous BuzzTheHill blog posts have talked about technology and ideas in both non-fiction and fiction forms that could make the vision of A Private Democracy doable in a short period of time.

It is important to note that another nation-state could do this by fiat. We have a head start though because we have an economically productive representative democracy that has been doing the fundamentals (most of it is documented in American English) for a long time.

PS: Sorry for the typos I have not caught yet … and thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. For those of you that have been reading this blog and my blog for awhile, check out the Bo Rocks Health related entries and the ones about biometric identification / identity.