Monday, 27 June 2011

Real Direct Democracy Now

2011 - and it is becoming increasingly clear that the age of representative democracy is over.

Today we have all of the online tools to enable us to remove our representatives from power and exercise direct democracy.

Interestingly, it is in Greece where direct democracy began 2,500 years ago that we are seeing hundreds of thousands of people demanding such direct methods again.

However it is in Spain where the slogan "Real Democracy Now" was coined that detailed plans for the implementation of direct democracy are being laid. The Spanish demonstrators understand that they have the numbers and the upper hand - the Spanish authorities are at a loss as to what they can do - how they can react - as they are dealing with a true leaderless movement against which their actions are temporary and ultimately ineffective.

Why are representative democracies obsolete?

Firstly because we have the technical means to turn our masters into our servants and secondly because once a person becomes a political representative - no matter how well-intentioned or moral he or she is - they are quickly corrupted by a system which turns them into self-serving individuals and distances them from the people they were meant to serve.

A system of representative democracy serves the representatives first - leaving the scraps for the people - the corruption and waste which we see in all such systems is a systemic necessity - the only way to overcome it is to replace it with a system of direct democracy.

So what will a representative-less direct democracy look like?

No-one knows, but models are at this moment being worked out - primarily in Spain where the people really understand that they have the power to implement such systems and to render representative democracy dead in their country.

At a guess, once we have been through a profound change lasting at the least several months - with much chaos and discomfort for many - we will end up with a new system with the following characteristics.

1 Every citizen will be entitled to participate directly in the affairs of government and state via the Internet - using specially designed social networking systems.

2 The machinery of government will have been radically overhauled from the current millions of people on the public payroll to only a few thousand - and those few thousand will be motivated by a sense of duty and service - their salaries will be low and there will be no opportunities for them to take advantage of their positions.

3 All financial transactions in the public realm will be open and transparent to the view of any citizen that wishes to see them.

4. All public pension systems will have been abolished.

5. All welfare / benefit payments and systems will have been abolished.

6. Each citizen will receive a basic, equal, substantial "Citizen's dividend" from the state - whether they work or not.

7. A single flat-tax will have been implemented prior to implementing taxation-free systems - probably linked with a reformed banking and monetary system - one probably based on multiple, competing, non-governmental currencies.


The above represents - systemically - a radical change whereby the constraints on activity and enterprise which are necessarily implied in a system where representatives of the "people" control and restrict such activity - are changed to a system where each person can find his or her own opportunity in a much more flexible and dynamic system.

Although chaotic and confusing at first for many - such a system will eventually settle down to its own dynamic - a dynamic which cannot be foreseen at present.

European countries such as Spain and Greece are becoming the laboratories for such new systems - this is real - this is now - this will NOT go away!


  1. Good ideas to start with. I think a joint search for an understanding about how the world of the future should look like and what systems we need to implement in order to create this world at this time is very important.

    What the present representative model does not allow is crowd-sourcing and the input of people who are much better experts in certain fields than many office holders as some people have been researching on certain things all of their life.

    So I would like to see many people's views and ideas on this.

  2. I agree with what birke said above, what you have written is a great overview.

    How it might work is a lot more complicated. There are a whole range of decisions made every day at all levels of government and there is not enough time for every one to be involved in all or them. Yet there are also national level decisions and issues that everyone could be involved in because they are VERY IMPORTANT to everyone - for example going to war.

    The other big issue I believe is lack of awareness about what direct democracy actually is. People don't get why they should care about it.

    I've built a web application for just that purpose, to give people an easy way to experience direct democracy on a smaller scale. I think starting small is the way to go then over time we can make bigger and bigger systems.

    Feel free to check it out and contact me is you want to discuss further!

  3. Thanks Jai - the unbaa site looks really interesting and a valuable addition to the toolbox required for real direct democracy.

    Love the name too - a site for those who refuse to be sheeple!