Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Implementation of Direct Democracy

The link above is to an interesting article by Takis Fotopoulos.

It underlines the fact that you cannot have representative democracy and direct real democracy together – they are mutually exclusive.

However the will of the demonstrators in Greece is strong – although they have no coherent plan or vision as to how to move from representative to direct democracy.

Although the goal is to get beyond a corrupt political system – it seems the only way to do this is to make use of that system – form a Real Direct Democracy Now (RDDN) party with a specific agenda.

This agenda is to get into power by the normal voting process, then once power is there to legally change the system from representative to direct democracy.

This would mean implementing the systems over the net to enable mass involvement in the affairs of state – with binding legality of all decisions.

The RDDN would need to be constituted as a leaderless, equal-gender group, in accordance with the practice of the assemblies of Syntagma Square.

An understanding of the dynamic of such a group can be obtained from books such as John Michell's The Leadership Delusion (

Because the Greek constitution requires a president - an agreement will need to be made from amongst the leaderless group as to who will fulfil the symbolic role of preseident in a token manner after the election.

This would also mean that the group would agree to then stand down and cede power to the direct system.

This last bit is the hardest as human beings are corrupted by power and will not give it away voluntarily.

However once such a transfer of power has been agreed beforehand as a condition of support for such a party, legally enshrined – then that common agreement should have enough force for the new "government" to stand down.

Once the direct system is in place then a completely different type of society will emerge - a society truly governed, for better or worse, by the wisdom of crowds.

Certainly, only those with an abiding interest in state affairs, those with a sense of social responsibility and justice will make it their business to participate in direct democracy of this kind. These will represent a minority, but an educated minority who are not corrupted, as politicians generally are, by being recipients of state funds.

Those many people who merely read the papers, go to work and watch television will continue to do as they always did, and rarely participate in the daily democratic process - rather like the idiotes of ancient Athens.

This type of democracy, once established in real-time, will eliminate the anachronistic concept of voting at elections every few years, and will show up all other states with representative democracies as being unresponsive and behind the times.

But such a direct democratic process will have much deeper and wider consequences, for it will challenge our idea of the state itself.

As the philosopher Stefan Molyneux repeatedly points out, there is a great primitivism in the concept of a state - it has barely reformed itself in 10,000 years, and the root cause of political power in general is our belief in the state and the validity of taxation.

The demonstrators in Athens being brutally attacked by the police forces of their representative state are under no illusion that a state which professes to carry out their will has now become their enemy.

These very basic ideas will be challenged by a direct democracy - and whatever country it is which has the courage to be the first to attempt such an implementation, whether it is Greece or Spain or even some other nation fired with this direct real democracy now as an idea whose time has come - will become a laboratory very closely watched by the world's media, in hope by the majority and in fear and trepidation by the powers-that-be.

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