Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Paradigm Shift Time Again.

That How to Start Your Own Country programme is a breath of fresh air, isn't it? One of the few smile-inducing things on television these days, I reckon.
...but it's an interesting concept as well. Although the jokey nature of the programme makes it unsuitable for serious analysis, it's still interesting that they eventually settled on a country with a leader and immigration policy and territory and things. What would be really interesting would be to initiate a sort-of-nation using modern viral techniques. You could, for example, implement total democracy via a simple citizen-polling system. Less society-as-static-organism than society-as-viral-meme-grouping. Once you've got the actual voting system going, you can eliminate any leaders and run everything via high-speed debate and direct referenda rather than representation. Furthermore, you could implement an exchange of goods that wouldn't get dragged down by the normal human drives of greed and corruption, because the essential needs of the citizens are taken care of within the larger states they may inhabit. Basically, the best points of artistic communes, /talk, communism, and liberal democratic states. Viral Conceptual Nations. What'dyou think?

7 Comments:

At 10:30 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

To those of you who have never played Civilization: Call to Power (yes, I'm a nerd), Withiel's concept of pure democracy, in the sense truest to its etymological root meaning, is represented in the game by the hypothetical future-government format "Virtual Democracy". Every citizen is wirelessly linked to a central polling station, and whenever an issue arises for debate or vote, they are automatically provided with an egalitarian opportunity to contribute.

I am also reminded of Isaac "See Spot Run" Asimov's future-fiction concept of a galaxy where every human, living creature, and inorganic particle forms a more or less complicated section of a mammoth shared consciousness, with one central will, unconsciously formed by the combination of myriad seperate-yet-connected mentalic entities. This, of course, is not a scientifically or (currently) politically sound concept.

However, Call to Power's "Virtual Democracy" can seem, particularly to socialist libertarians/anarchists, to represent the ideal governance. The two clear dangers are, of course: (1) that in spite of the severe flaws of contemporary democracy, it has the benefit that there is some control over the influence of (a)destructive, (b)counter-productively apathetic (i.e. those who would abstain, or vote without thinking, from a sense of "fun" or lack of caring), and (c) mentally imbalanced persons, which pure "Virtual Democracy" would lose; (2) that the majority is not always right.

Besides, the most fundamental tenet behind elected, representative government is that if the entire populace had to take a decision every time a governmental issue arose, nobody would ever get anything done.

However, there are compromises and moderations that can diminish all of these problems, and the theory and aims of "Virtual Democracy" are sound and beneficial.

I'd be willing to give it a try.

/SXV

 
At 9:47 am, Blogger Withiel said...

Also, in the case of the sort of society I'm discussng here, all the citizens would be there by their own free will, and would only join in the first place if they were attracted by the original manifesto, therefore automatically weeding out the apathetic, the people with metal plates in their heads who like the death penalty, and Evil Fuckface Joe Sportsbar. A society to which you consent would also have a certain amount of good-will towards it - if there's always an opt-out clause, you can hardly complain.

 
At 5:28 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

Yes, but there will still be people who will join out of spite, or a desire to control, or just because citizens could seem to have a better lifestyle.

HOWEVER:

Intriguing. A state defined by mental, rather than physical boundaries. I like this. A lot.

 
At 8:57 pm, Blogger Withiel said...

Yes. Also, if no one else treats you as if you're in the state, you're not in it.

 
At 4:57 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

Quite.

As I say, there are compromises and moderations that will diminish all my concerns into negligibility. No system is perfect, but some can come close. I just have devil's advocacy in my blood, as anybody whom I have ever agreed with on anything will know.

 
At 9:11 pm, Blogger Withiel said...

Yes. We should implement this. Soon. I have read too much of Grant Morrison's
NeW-X-MeN and have Plans.

 
At 11:48 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

Let's secede from the Union.

 

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