virus: Democracy

Reed Konsler (
Mon, 16 Sep 1996 14:34:35 -0400

>From: ken sartor <>
>Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 10:00:33 -0500

>...I think we have to use the worst way (except all
>the other ways) to do this - democracy. Therein lies the importance
>of spreading memes that are important to the instigator.

I would agree that societal rules should be set by consensus. However, I
think we are all aware that "democracy" as it is currently incarnated is
not egalitarian. Personal freedom is an important paradigm upon which to
establish a government. Responsibility to fellow citizens is another. I
agree with the essence of the idea that freedom should be limited as little
as possible, but I would hate to see this idea coopeted as a
rationalization for irresponsible and/or irrational utilitization of
resources, as KMO has already described.

I am particularly wary of the anti-government sentiments that are pervasive
these days. Make no mistake: anarchy is not a stable situation as power
tends to concentrate. The question is not: Do I want a government or not?
but: What kind? Given that there are diverse viewpoints, and consesus
government will end up tending to limit our personal freedom.

Maybe I'm just not being imaginative seems to me as time goes
on personal freedoms will become MORE limited not less. We will live much
closer together as population and communication tech increases. The more
interconnected we become the more each one of our actions effects the
entire community, and there moe the community can make our responsibilities
known to us.

I think the idea of the independent individual is a relic of the frontier
myth that underlies the cuture the U.S. exports into the world. But where
is the frontier? Why do we insist on being so independent when each of us
will spend our lives continiuolsy negotiating (cooperatively or
antagonisticaly...your choice) everything in our lives. If we were
aggressively engaged in space exploration...but we aren't. Advances in
technology will give us more "stuff" but cannot give us more space on a
finite planet unless we retreat into "virtual" realities.


Reed Konsler