Digital Direct Democracy
   
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The foundation of the reforms.

By Demosthenes Kyriazis

 

In the view of the citizens’ majority, the current crisis is systematic and not occasional. The crisis is due to an excessive increase of entropy, the effects of which is the degradation and the reduction of the effectiveness of the systems, which we see in today's political system of many countries. It is the crisis of the representative system of government.

According to the determinism of history, such deep crises are treated in two ways:
1.With a revolution and overthrow of the incumbent attitudes, of the ways of exercising the power and of people.
2. With radical reforms which lead to the aforementioned overthrows with milder ways and rhythms.

From the above two ways, the best is that of the reforms for two important reasons:
1.It has the lowest possible cost, both for the governing and mainly for the governed citizens.
2. It leads to the smallest increase of entropy compared to that of revolutions.

It is important to remember that revolution means overturning of the status quo of power and that this reversal occurs when the concentration of power of the revolutionaries become greater than that of the status quo. Otherwise there is no overturning.

In social systems the increase of entropy comes out from an increase of the concentration of power [i]. This contradictory logic explains why revolutions usually end up, at least initially, to a monarchy or an oligarchy.

In the above logic, (the logic of natural / thermodynamic systems), the institutionalization and, particularly, the implementation of reforms are ensured only when they will be founded on a constitutional reform that reduces the social entropy, that is, when the Constitution, namely the regime [ii], acquires institutions producing  "negative entropy» [iii].

Political thinkers and constitutional law makers, motivated from a different logic and documentation, have created institutions of negative entropy. Such institutions are all limiting the concentration of power, for example with the independence of the legislative, executive and judiciary power, with the leading and independent role of the House,  through the existence of the House and the Senate, with the existence of the Constitutional Court and mainly through the institutionalization of  the decisions solely by people’s referendum.

The regime of many countries has fewer institutions for the reduction of entropy compared to the regimes of other countries. But most serious and worrying is the fact that the existing institutions have de facto been downgraded, resulting to the degradation and reduction of the effectiveness of the political / social system. There is no reason to mention examples. The citizens know well what applies to both the adequacy of institutions, and particularly to their application.

Today, both citizens and politicians - at least those whose logic is not clouded by self-interest and passion for the exercise of power – they realize that today’s political situation has reached such a critical point that the reversals as described above is, with deterministic certainty, inevitable. The only issue, on which there is still a choice, is whether the overturning will be through a revolution or a reform. The responsibility for this option does not belong to ordinary citizens, but to the citizens' representatives and the representatives of employees, that is, the members of parliament and the trade unionists. The view "we ate all together" and that  "the individual responsibility of citizens is the same to that of the representatives" has neither logical nor moral documentation.



The objective of the fundamental reform.

The first constitutions aimed at limiting the power of rulers, of kings, of princes, of elected nobles/representatives. They had as objective the protection of citizens from the unlimited and unrestrained power of the rulers.  The exercise of power by the citizens themselves is not an objective of the present Constitutions, which could be called  "Constitutions of citizens’ Protection"

In these constitutions, the exercise of power by the citizens themselves is unimportant; confined to the right of choosing (once every 4 or 5 years) the rulers, with institutions and practices that the rulers themselves have defined and not the citizens. This controversial power of citizens, compared with that of their representatives, people’s wisdom satirical summarize in the maxim: “John offers a drink and John drinks the drink”.

Within such institutions and practices, the primary goal of the Constitutions, was not expand the citizens’ power, but instead to downgrade and remove it. The present Constitutions, in some countries, protects more the rulers than the citizens.

Therefore, the aim of the Constitutional reform should be the transition from the “Constitutions of Citizens’ protection, to the “Constitutions of citizens’ power” ; a power which will not be a verbal as today, but real a and rational one. 

 

The logic of the fundamental reform.

This logic is not a new one. Aged two and a half thousand years old, was born in Greece and is based on the following facts / axioms:
1.Real power have those who take the major (μέγιστες) decisions; decisions that induce and reduce the plethora of other decisions taken to implement the major ones.
2. Those who take the plethora of minor decisions for the implementation of the major ones are not the power, but the servants of the real power.
3. The major policy decisions have moral, acceptance and ensure the coherence of the society, when these are decisions of all citizens and not by the few ones or by some dynamical subsets of the society, who expresses or claim that are reflecting the interests of all. The interests of the totality are only expressed from the same set. There is not any other way for doing that.
4. When the above apply, then and only then "Bosses are the people themselves," as exuberantly and shamelessly some ones proclaim, hiding the rest phrase of the doctrine that. "Bosses are the citizens, provided they do not dominate and and eliminate the activities of the fewand the organizd subsets'.


Regimes with the above principles developed in the City - State of ancient Greece, which had optimal conditions of communication due to their small population, small size and mild climate. When City - State have died, died also the regime of genuine Democracy. Then, countries that were greater than the City- State, developed regimes like Democracy but with different principles and practices. Such “imitation Democracies” was:  the Republics of Rome, of Venice, of Carthage and of the current Representative Democracies.  They are “Democracies” based on a few “first class citizens” and not on the totality of them.

This historic event leads to the conclusion that the main condition for the development and operation of genuine Democracy is the good communication - which until yesterday were ensured only in city-state - and not the education (Παιδεία). Education is not the cause but the product of Democracy; Democracy is the education of Education, (see also http://www.dd-democracy.gr/article.asp?Id=19).


The deliberate distortion of voting.

In the spirit of ancient Greek Democracy the voting was a tool for making citizens’ decisions, based on the majority principle. The citizens’ decisions constituted in practice a choice of at least two proposals to deal with a serious problem. The proposals submitted either by the leaders (άρχοντες) or by the citizens. Fundamental (mandatory) characteristic of decisions by referendum is the possibility of choosing. If there is no choice, then the referendum is not a decision of the citizens, but sanction of the lords’ decision.

The voting for the election of representatives, in theory, constitutes a citizens’ decision, because it has the element of choice. However the institution of choice, as it is exercised today, is a deep alienation of the citizens’ right to take by themselves the political decision, because it constitutes acceptance and selection of those who have the contractual right to make decisions on behalf of the citizens. For this reason, the appointment of leaders in ancient Athens was usually by lottery. This institution proves that the equality of citizens in the genuine democracy is actual and not a verbal one.

In mathematics, the equality is meaningful when comparing similar magnitudes. This creates confusion and questions about the logic and ethics of equality of citizens in democracies. For this reason it is important to clarify that equality in democracy does not concern the physical, spiritual, economic or social forces of people, but only the right of exercising political power, the power of the individual [iv],  the  Freedom .

At various times, the voting was done with shells, with small stones (votes), with beans, with ballots and now days through the digital technology. This means that the objectives of the voting are determined by the people themselves and not from the means of the voting.


From the foregoing comes out that, critical conditions for the implementation of a constitutional reform, and not of another constitutional change are:

1.The reforms to be adopted from the citizens themselves through a  referendum and not from the  citizens’ representatives, or delegates who will be elected specifically for the constitutional reform because they are considered as wise or as friends of the party. We have seen this play many times.
2. In the Referendum, citizens to have the possibility of choice of one of the alternatives proposed and not to be asked again to approve by a YES or NO the decision of the wise or of the party representatives. Such multiple choice referendums, apply in Switzerland, but also in other countries (eg Sweden in 1957 and in 1980, Australia in 1977).

We are confident that constitutional reform proposals can be elaborated and proposed by experts. The problem is not the existence of experts. The problem is if we really want the people to be the master, or we want the Machiavelli’s doctrine to apply that: "Rulers must take their own decisions, but in a way that seems that they have been taken by the people · The people should not be the power but only a reference to any power.» 


Digital Direct Democracy.


The widely debated constitutional amendment in order to be a reform must be orientated to the principles of genuine democracy, which of course have to be adapted to the existing data, social, economic and mainly technological.

Today, and even more tomorrow, the communication of people is not based, as in the past, on the concentration of people in a common "space and time" point, a way of communication having major operating and financial problems. Today the communication between people can be established with the digital technology and the need for a common "space and time» point, has been overcome. Today the technology can ensure operational and economic feasibility in a democracy, in which power would not "stem" from the citizens, but will be exercised by them, as was done in ancient Athens 2500 years ago.

Today, conditions are much more favorable than then, because people will not need to go to the Pnyka; the Digital Pnyka goes to the people.

May those with the institutional power, our representatives, choose the path of reforms and understand that without fundamental reform, the others (the simple changes) will hardly foothold, regardless of their rationality and necessity and that without fundamental reform, the effort will look like foundation of a tower on the sand.

May someone from the current party leaders be a new Cleisthenes of Digital Direct Democracy; the Democracy absolutely necessary for the modern times.

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[I] Demosthenes Kyriazis, Direct Democracy in Telearea . Patakis Publications  2005, Pages 37, 78, 79. In Greek. 

 English version http://www.solonsynthesis.org/index.php/recommendedbooks/16-recommendedbooks/56-book-direct-democracy-telearea.html   

[Ii] According to the late Professor of Constitutional Law Aristovoulos Manesi, "The concept of the regime coincides with the actual meaning of the Constitution"




[Iii] The term "negative entropy production" is not used in natural systems. Whenever is used simply means the process of reducing the entropy.




[Iv] “The concepts of personal  power and of freedom, coincide”. Direct Democracy in Telearea. Pages 11, 12

 

 

 

 

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