On the inadequacy of representative democracy
The world is entering a new era. Progress is accelerating, complexity is rising. The citizens of the world are increasingly more knowledgeable, smarter, and specialised. The model of representative democracy where an elite of professional politicians have the power to impose their policy preferences on citizens has become inadequate. Incompetence and policy failure abound, not to mention populism, corruption, and public apathy.
The alternative of participative democracy
Improving on the age-old model of sortition democracy, by which the citizens of Ancient Athens and Serenissima Venice flourished and prospered, the internet now facilitates an improved form of self-governance by adding collective intelligence to the mix. Citizens are no more impotent subjects to those in power but make all decisions themselves, by a highly inclusive process: true democracy.
The principles of New Demarchy
- New Demarchy is a non-hierarchical democratic organisation guided by the collective intelligence of its body of members.
- Collective intelligence is organised through an open prediction market which collects and aggregates all participating members’ knowledge and forecasts.
- Members are free to ask prediction questions in all pertinent matters. They compete for expert rank with their best predictions in self-selected areas of expertise.
- Members are free to submit proposals for the adoption, change or abandoning of policies and matters of the state.
- Decision makers are appointed ad-hoc from amongst the members for no longer than to arrive at a decision on a proposal or a group of interconnected proposals.
- Appointment is by expertise-weighted sortition, with a probability pro rata to each member’s empirical success with prediction market questions in the decision’s subject area.
- Depending on the magnitude or importance of the decision at hand, the decision maker is a single member or a group of three, five or seven members.
- Each decision maker may draw on experts from the prediction market or elsewhere and decides in the best interest of all citizens according to his or her free conscience.
- Each decision is documented by one or more prediction questions tracking its future impact.
- New demarchy is transnational and competes freely with traditional hierarchic parties for voters in national and local democratic constituencies.
- Members holding public offices in a hosting democracy must strictly vote and act according to New Demarchy decisions.
Advantages of New Demarchy
- Transnational -- New Demarchy can address big world problems which do not stop at national borders.
- Non-violence -- Conflicting interests compete in decision making without resorting to violence.
- Legitimacy -- All citizens can contribute knowledge and opinions for the broadest perspective.
- Competence -- Appointments proportionate to expertise increase the quality of decision making.
- Honesty -- The frequent change of qualified decision makers works against corruption.
- Rationality -- Special interests are decided on merit instead of elite power or populist majority.
Vienna, November 2015
The next New Demarchy meetup at the Hayek Institute in Vienna on 30th March will start at 6pm, one hour before the Austrian School of Economics meetup. We will discuss the ins and outs of John Burnheim's early proposals for demarchic democracy. Burnheim borrowed the archaic term "Demarchy" from F.A. Hayek's works.
- 2 months ago
Hubertus Hofkirchner-0Edited help page.
I added the non-violence aspect to the manifesto. While the modern world is increasingly opposed to violence on an individual level, it is still accepted as a solution to conflicts involving large collective interests, even in supposedly civilised countries committed to the values of peace, humanity, and freedom. Think of the popular appeal of any "War On ... (Whatever)".
The aspect of global applicability warrants special interest. Currently progress on the world's biggest problems is painfully slow or absent due the difficulty to achieve consensus of fiercely independent national states with very diverse individual interests.
- 3 months ago