good letters

Hope that the future can be better.
Work for justice.
Work for fairness.
Write good letters.


Democracy 2.0

The house is in need of repairs. Everyone agrees on that. But no one is really in charge of the overall repair project. So everyone has called their favorite handyman to fix the place.

Plumbers are moving plumbing. Carpenters are replacing woodwork and moving walls. Painters are changing the wall colors. Electricians are working on the wiring. And masons are changing out some stonework. But nobody happened to notice the problems with the foundation.

Does this project have any chance of success? No. This project is clearly just a money pit. Which is not such a bad thing if you are a contractor getting paid by the hour. But I'm one of the home-owners, and I want all of these contractors to get out of my house and my pocket.

Imagine a perfect human society. What does it look like?

(really think about it for a minute)

How many people do you think would agree with you on this? If you think that every single living person would agree with you then you are deluded. Maybe most of them would agree with you IF they knew everything you know about economics, politics, government, etc. But they don't know what you know. And you don't know what they know.

So how could we all possibly agree on the form and structure of a perfect human society? And, more importantly, if that unknown perfect human society is the undescribed goal of all of our current work, how can you expect to agree with anyone on the changes that should be made today to reach that goal?

If a doctor did not know what a healthy person should look like, how could she prescribe a cure for what ails them? If contractors are not all working from a single set of blueprints and plans, how can they finish repairing a house?

We do not really know what goal we are striving after. We may think we know that we want more or less of justice, mercy, freedom, safety, etc. But we cannot even articulate what the right amount is. We have no plans for what the finished house looks like.

Democracy 2.0 is an attempt to define the goal that we are all striving for. I want to lay it all out, expose every assumption, and define every trade-off. Then we can all debate it, separate from today's arguments and scandals. With enough time and discussion we should be able to design a system that we can all endorse. We should be able to clearly define the places where the system will accept tweaks and changes that experience will require. I suspect that the new system will need to be able to be greatly modified from within, if it is to stand the test of time.

Then, and only then, can we have an intelligent discussion about changes to the current system.

We need to decide what this house should look like before we rip out any more walls or install any more plumbing. We need to decide where we are going before we make any more course changes. I call that goal "Democracy 2.0" because I believe that it will end up looking more like modern free-market democracy than any other known system.

And I'm not very good at naming things. So I expect someone to give it a better name. This is not something that I am going to patent and claim ownership of. I need your input. And you need mine. And we are going to have to work on it until we agree.