Do we really need rulers controlling us?

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Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#1  Postby Veenet » Sep 19, 2013 2:41 am

Can we use this amazing new technology called the internet in order to look after ourselves as a collective opposed to having rulers govern decisions on our behalf that effect the whole planet?
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#2  Postby NoFreeWill » Sep 19, 2013 4:10 am

Veenet wrote:Can we use this amazing new technology called the internet in order to look after ourselves as a collective opposed to having rulers govern decisions on our behalf that effect the whole planet?



But we do rule ourselves using democracy.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#3  Postby Nicko » Sep 19, 2013 4:34 am

Veenet wrote:Can we use this amazing new technology called the internet in order to look after ourselves as a collective opposed to having rulers govern decisions on our behalf that effect the whole planet?


First, I'd want to know a bit more detail than, "Use the Internet to look after ourselves." Seems a bit ... sketchy as plans go.

Second, are the only choices available really "Use the Internet to look after ourselves." or "Have rulers make decisions on our behalf that effect the whole planet."? That's it? Either one or the other?

If what you are advocating here is a more direct form of democracy, then it's an interesting idea. I would certainly agree that the innovations and advances in communications and information technology made over the last few decades make such a project more possible than it was previously. I'd need much more specific information before I could decide if what you are proposing is desirable.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#4  Postby Nicko » Sep 19, 2013 4:37 am

NoFreeWill wrote:
Veenet wrote:Can we use this amazing new technology called the internet in order to look after ourselves as a collective opposed to having rulers govern decisions on our behalf that effect the whole planet?



But we do rule ourselves using democracy.


What I think he's getting at is that we don't rule ourselves under current forms of democracy. Rather, we select our rulers.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#5  Postby Paul Almond » Sep 19, 2013 10:56 am

But would that help much?

John Stuart Mill, would have issues both with the kind of democracy that results in choosing our rules and the traditional kind of democracy that is direct rule by the people. He would argue that when the people are ruling themselves, it is not each ruling himself but each being ruled by all the rest, and he would still see severe problems with this. John Stuart Mill would want to know how this internet self-rule is going to protect us from the "tyranny of the majority". He would say that people have a tendency to dictate their own moral preferences to others in matters that should not concern them - that people are obsessed with telling other people what to do in every aspect of their lives.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#6  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Sep 19, 2013 11:00 am

This idea is great. Personally I've always believed the High Court could be replaced by Twitter.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#7  Postby Doubtdispelled » Sep 19, 2013 11:01 am

Ihavenofingerprints wrote:This idea is great. Personally I've always believed the High Court could be replaced by Twitter.

:rofl:
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#8  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 19, 2013 11:07 am

Are you guys serious? A lot of government is about practical solving day to day problems that affect more than just one individual or on individual family. How on earth would those 'problems' be solved via internet? I could only foresee endless wrangling with absolutely nothing getting done.

I live in a block of 24 flats. We bought the freehold years ago, and we run the residents' association, whose sole purpose is the maintenance of the block. Whereas when I first moved in about 20 years ago, all of the flats were owner-occupied, now it's less than a third. And apart from one or two exceptions the owners who rent are perfectly happy for all of us who live in the flats to do all the work. We're definitely not happy about that. And we spend hours arguing about how something is to be done, the thought of this writ large across the face of the earth is just appalling.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#9  Postby Paul » Sep 19, 2013 11:22 am

We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#10  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 19, 2013 12:00 pm

There would need to be a big server collecting all the peoples votes, if you want some form of direct internet driven democracy that is, and I all I can say about that is who ever controls the server controls the vote. That is without getting into how not everyone has the internet and how working out who is who on the internet is next to impossible.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#11  Postby Clive Durdle » Sep 19, 2013 12:52 pm

Nora, management charges that are rescinded when someone is involved?
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#12  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 19, 2013 1:03 pm

Clive Durdle wrote:Nora, management charges that are rescinded when someone is involved?


We did discuss that (vetoed) and we are actually allowed to charge the princely sum of £10/hour for the work we do (e.g. the work I do keeping the books). However it's not that, it is the general dumping of responsibility into our laps and just ignoring email requests etc. They do pay their fees but after that...nothing. And yet they expect us to drop everything when they need something (e.g. documents for a flat sale), although now they do have to pay for that.

But really, what I was saying is that even on a small scale situation like ours, the 'work of government' is---or rather could be---totally democratic.

My experience is that lots of people like to speak endlessly about how they would do things, or what they would change, but when it actually comes down to *doing things* they're gone.

So this idea of governments 'controlling people' is just laughable. That that's all politicians do. That there isn't any day-to-day hard grind and actual work involved.

Sorry. It's something that really pisses me off. ;)
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#13  Postby GrahamH » Sep 19, 2013 1:46 pm

Could 'wisdom of crowds' be harnessed via the Internet to make better decisions?

There must be a danger of 'mob rule' where minority interests are trampled.
There could be a lack of accountability.
The system could be highly susceptible to manipulation by clever lobying/PR
As with referenda, the phrasing of the question can influence the voting.

A positive could be that there is no ruling elite, no politburo. Questions could be asked of randomly selected citizens, never the same group twice.
Still, it could be an interesting concept.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#14  Postby Doubtdispelled » Sep 19, 2013 1:51 pm

We could try out a fledgling trial right here on ratskep, right now......

Paul wrote:
We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--


;)
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#15  Postby GrahamH » Sep 19, 2013 1:57 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:We could try out a fledgling trial right here on ratskep, right now......

Paul wrote:
We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--


;)


I see many problems. It would place all decisions in the hands of a novice (a new guy each week) with a severe lack of knowledge and experience. The committee either blocks most decisions, or effectively makes the decisions itself.

A variant could have a member of the committee acting as leader for a week at a time but that doesn't look like an advance on democratic cabinet / coalition government (assuming that the cabinet members are elected).
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#16  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 19, 2013 1:59 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Doubtdispelled wrote:We could try out a fledgling trial right here on ratskep, right now......

Paul wrote:
We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--


;)


I see many problems. It would place all decisions in the hands of a novice (a new guy each week) with a severe lack of knowledge and experience. The committee either blocks most decisions, or effectively makes the decisions itself.

A variant could have a member of the committee acting as leader for a week at a time but that doesn't look like an advance on democratic cabinet / coalition government (assuming that the cabinet members are elected).


Nah the better way is to have some watery tart lob a scimitar at someone and they become King and get to make all the rules.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#17  Postby GrahamH » Sep 19, 2013 2:01 pm

Nora_Leonard wrote:Are you guys serious? A lot of government is about practical solving day to day problems that affect more than just one individual or on individual family. How on earth would those 'problems' be solved via internet? I could only foresee endless wrangling with absolutely nothing getting done.

I live in a block of 24 flats. We bought the freehold years ago, and we run the residents' association, whose sole purpose is the maintenance of the block. Whereas when I first moved in about 20 years ago, all of the flats were owner-occupied, now it's less than a third. And apart from one or two exceptions the owners who rent are perfectly happy for all of us who live in the flats to do all the work. We're definitely not happy about that. And we spend hours arguing about how something is to be done, the thought of this writ large across the face of the earth is just appalling.


What would a body of people with no personal stake in the decision think was the right thing for managing the building?
It could operate as independent arbitration, which might work. On the other hand...
Why do you think that?
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#18  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 19, 2013 2:03 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:Are you guys serious? A lot of government is about practical solving day to day problems that affect more than just one individual or on individual family. How on earth would those 'problems' be solved via internet? I could only foresee endless wrangling with absolutely nothing getting done.

I live in a block of 24 flats. We bought the freehold years ago, and we run the residents' association, whose sole purpose is the maintenance of the block. Whereas when I first moved in about 20 years ago, all of the flats were owner-occupied, now it's less than a third. And apart from one or two exceptions the owners who rent are perfectly happy for all of us who live in the flats to do all the work. We're definitely not happy about that. And we spend hours arguing about how something is to be done, the thought of this writ large across the face of the earth is just appalling.


What would a body of people with no personal stake in the decision think was the right thing for managing the building?
It could operate as independent arbitration, which might work. On the other hand...


Part of the reason we do the work ourselves is that we don't get charged exorbitant fees by some outside management company. Independent arbitration would cost.
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#19  Postby GrahamH » Sep 19, 2013 2:04 pm

DarthHelmet86 wrote:Nah the better way is to have some watery tart lob a scimitar at someone and they become King and get to make all the rules.


It's good, but it needs a modern on-line angle.

How about the winner of a FaceBook MMRPG gets to play the Rule The World App for a week or so?
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Re: Do we really need rulers controlling us?

#20  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 19, 2013 2:07 pm

Let's not get sidetracked by my moaning about the situation in my block of flats. The point is that no-one here has yet suggested a feasible means by which government by internet might actually work. for instance, would Paypal be in charge of collecting the taxes needed to implement anything (maintaining transport, health systems)? And who would have their fingers on that account?
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