virus: A new government, for the people, by the people.

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 19 Jun 1996 01:51:45 -0500

David de Void wrote:

> The other places where negotiations could occur are on deciding "What is
> a crime?" and "What is the punishment?" Right now thats done by a few
> officials. Representative government. This leaves most people, even
> those who vote, with very little say about what types of laws should
> affect their life. I think that technology has reached a point where
> the represenative government could be supplimented or even replaced
> with a government who's legislative branch was /the people/, not just
> representatives of the people. This is one step. Give people a true
> voice in how their lives are governed.


I've been thinking about this issue for a while too. I think that you
are right: we no longer need Representative government. We have the
technology to govern ourselves. Allow me spell out what I see.

Right now, the political system is based on Representative Governement,
with the people electing representitives by voting ever four or five
years. The people vote on a roster of "potential" representatives, based
(one hopes) on their stand on important issues. The trouble is that not
only is one person (and their vote) rather insignificant, even if that
vote helps to get a politician elected, there are /still/ a number of
problems. The first, of course, is with the politician him/herself.
What garantee do we have they will do what they said? Worse yet, one
politician is even more powerless in Government than that one voter was
on the election day. Becuase of the party system, s/he is just a cog in
a machine, regardless of of whether or not they are part of the
"government". What a lously system!

Of course, the first objection that people always raise to such
complaints are "we, what can we do about it? This is the best system
anybody has ever devised" My answer: we can change it; take advantage
of new technologies, and really become a country of the third millenium!

It's simple, really. Give every person in the country a vote on every
issue. I think the simplest way to implement this would be through the
public library system. Everybody can go to their nearest library,
research the issues and vote. Voila

Complaint: we don't have time for that shit! And besides, without
politicians, who would actually /make/ the law we have to vote for?

Solution: (and here's where things get complicated) Insert
"professional" politicians. Every man woman and child can become a
politician at any time. Simply add your name to the computers listing
in your local library and voila. But that's the easy part of becomming
one. Now it is necessary to actually become a politician with some
/clout/! As a citizen, you already have one vote. But one vote ain't
too many when there are /millions/ of people in the country! You have
to go out and convince people that your ideas for the country are
similar to their's. They will then go to their nearest library and
transfer their vote to your name. You will vote "for" them on political
issues. They, of course, are free, at any time, to cancle your
authority over their vote and vote themselves, or give it to a different

At certain levels of votes, the government will recgonize that you have
become a major player. Draw the line where you will, but at, say,
50,000 votes, you begin to get payed for your services. And, of course,
you will also begin to have a right to sit in /and contribute to/ the
actual debates in paralement. Everyone can submit ideas over the
library network, of course, but you will be right in the bowels of the
machine. And then you can start doing what you said you would, and
start "earning" those votes. If you don't, don't expect to keep them.
People arn't bound to "vote" for you for four years anymore, you know.

I also see a sort of thing arrizing that one can not imagine in the
current system. It is possible that one woman or man will become so
powerful that they control over half of the votes /in the entire
country/. At that point, s/he becomes a dictator of sorts, able to do
whatever. Of course, since those votes can be taken away anytime the
people choose, the dictator is distinctly limited to what the populas
wants. I also see that a bunch of really big players could form into a
network; a "party" just like they do now, if they so choose. But the
government would, in any case, be far more /dynamic/, in that it would
always be changing.

And everyone still has their vote. And there are still politicians to
make laws. And I'm sure there are problems with this idea, but damned
if I can see them...


> Another is to make the scope of laws geographically smaller. Let local
> governments decide how to run their areas, rather than the federal or
> even the state government dictating how to do it. Should an 18 yr old
> be allowed to drink? Should a 20 yr old be allowed to have sex with a
> 16 yr old? Let each community decide its values for itself. Let them
> develope their own culture, rather than having that culture given to
> them by people in the nation's capitol. This needs to be balanced with
> the genuine needs of state and federal governments. We need an Army,
> we need the IRS, we need to be able to deal professionally with other
> nations. These tend to be national issues and we need a national
> government strong enough to deal with them. This is another step.
> Encourage diversity.

Cool ideas, and I think that at a certain level, government already
understands this. This is why Canada has three levels of Government:
federal, provincial, municiple. All you are saying is move more of the
control to lower levels, right?

> Also, I think we simply need to get rid of a lot of laws. I don't
> mean improve them, I mean just get rid of them. In this international

I'm all for this. Simplify the system. I think we really need only one
/real/ "justice" law: the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you. So simple, potentially so effective.

> age the day where we can look to a law or even a group of laws to solve
> all our problems is over. Laws are too much like algorithms. It's
> very difficult to get large groups of people to all follow the same
> algorithm. As an example, take America's Telecommunications Decency
> Act. This law says I
> can go to jail for posting anything "Indecent" on the internet.

>What the fuck does "indecent" mean?

<VBG> Almost killed myself laughing at this one!

> This is a law that should be thrown
> out and no law should replace it. The alternative is to provide a
> description of site content for web pages and guidelines for e-mail
> postings. Each person can then make up their own minds on if they
> should visit that site or subscribe to that mailing list. The "laws"
> are tailor-made by each individual to fit their culture and lifestyle.
> This is another step. Man is God.

Yes. Freedom is the ultimate law. Freedom is the concept that almost
all laws are designed to uphold. Just remove the laws already, becuase
they are putting bars on our freedom!

> The nice thing about each of these ideas is that they're mutually
> supportive. Each one helps the others. Each one is also do-able
> now, we don't have to wait for some future technology. Each one
> is also in keeping with the principles of living beings. They
> encourage people to take an active part in their life, to grow and
> be different from other people, not to try to live as an algorithm.

Live not like a machine; rather live like a God. Do not wallow in pity;
rejoyce in freedom!


[6djh1 is a political science friend of mine who should be interested in
this. Hi Dave!]