The World’s situation is far from being perfect and it doesn’t seem to have perspective to repair itself(?). So there are growing in strength on one side e.g.
- idealistic utopian visions, like Zeitgeist movement/Venus project expecting that the system will itself transform into resource-based, or
- rage movements on the other side, like occupy movements or Anonymous which doesn’t seem to have realistic alternatives to what they oppose to.
Let us think here about reasonable constructive possibilities which are both achievable in this moment and giving hope for the real improvement for our future.
The general feeling is that the main problem is that the power corrupts – not only the rich/politicians/lobbyists should decide about the future of our world, but the power should be somehow shifted toward the ones it directly applies to. On national level it is generally called direct democracy and is already included in constitution of many countries. However, in only a few of them it has some real influence, like in Switzerland or e.g. recent writing constitution of Iceland by its citizens .
Fortunately we have Internet now, which could make direct democracy quite realistic.
There remain conjugated questions: how should it look like and how to make it accepted on national/world level?
Many countries accept electronic signatures as the real ones, making such signature perfect tool of direct democracy - to sign below initiatives and then use constitutional direct democracy. The problem is to organize these hundreds of thousands of willing people – create the place to gather them and find initiatives people would indeed agree to. The best would be if they could identify with it … believe in it – if they could take a part in its carving …
Very promising example is recent initiative of creating Free Internet Act as counterattack on SOPA/PIPA/ACTA, which could wake people up from political apathy and make them believe that their action may indeed improve situation ... which literally translates into real organizing.
But there is extremely important danger of direct democracy - it looks similar to ochlocracy ... it cannot be just mob shouting to e.g. lower taxes, but there is essential discussion phase before: on which there are considered realistic alternatives, basing on reasonable arguments. It should formulate a few possible compromises and then the people could choose one in pure democratic act.
The main question is who should be involved in these discussions.
I believe the priority is to shift this "discussion phase" of e.g. legislation toward the people.
For this purpose, there would be extremely useful some specialized place designed for this purpose, e.g. National Discussion Forums – an open source project of forums for serious discussions of potentially millions of citizens, which could be then applied as the single additional discussion place on given level: state/country/union/world. For example to collectively work on legislations, then collect signatures there after finding the compromise.
It should be discussion place without anonymity - in which all statements would be electronically signed and the whole history would be stored forever – everybody could express his opinion, but one should think a few times if he can indeed identify with what he is saying and want this information to be accessible. Alternatively he could ask someone braver to represent his point, for example by linking to the statement in an anonymous forum and commenting it.
It would be a place where the politicians/government would be expected to express their transparency and discuss with citizens. In such a place new politicians would be born, by consequently building trust and support thanks of social work they have made and presented in this place. With time it could be officially accepted by government and among others became a place for referendums or even take some part of government’s role.
It is extremely difficult to imagine discussions of millions of people on important for them matters, so it would require really well thought-out system of sorting/searching/(signed!)marks … also with required marks of marks and so on.
It should be completely transparent, open source but still extremely safe. It shouldn't have some native moderators (to take care of e.g. legislation wiki-like pages), but some could acquire such status thanks of high marks from other citizens - but still all their actions would be traceable by everyone.
Can a place for serious discussions of millions of interested people be realistic?
How to design such a place to improve the level of discussion by the construction itself?
If the system is not going to repair itself, is directed democracy a good direction for repairing it?
If so, how should it look like and how to make the world to go in this direction?