In an interview with Olafur Grimmson, the President of Iceland, he makes it clear that the world is in the middle of a profound change in the way we are / will be governed / govern ourselves - all brought about by the ubiquity and low cost of modern communications technologies.
He says: "We are seeing a tectonic shift in the nature of our societies, transforming the balance between the market on one hand and democracy on the other. I have even concluded, which is a strange conclusion for me to make because I have spent most of my life within the traditional institutions of a democratic political system, that the democratic power of this movement that technology has enabled and brought about, is now so strong and so fast that the operations of the traditional institutions have almost become a sideshow."
"We are seeing a shift from the predominance of the financial and the market institution, over to the reemergence of democracy, and what we have classically called the “public will”, to use a philosophical term. But we are in the middle of that shift; we don’t know where it will take us, or what will be the implications.
But the third shift, which is implied in all of this, is the shift in time.
These changes are now so fast, helped by the social media, that they are of historic proportions. We have nothing comparable in world history as a guideline."
"The time element is of crucial importance because all of us who are now in positions of power in the world, including myself - we have all been trained through our political training and elective offices in a slow, deliberate, and complicated process of decision-making to deal with fundamental legislation. This is no longer possible. You have a situation, where through social media, the people, or the crowd – will give their answer to the president even before he finishes his speech."
Things are moving faster than any of us imagine - before long will we wake up to a different world, a world where real direct democracy has already been established?
Or will we be left behind, wondering what is going on?