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Critical Mass and Critical Power of Citizens

By Demosthenes Kyriazis


The Critical Mass in Physical Systems

 The term "Critical Mass" is used in Nuclear Physics to express the minimum mass of a spontaneously split (radioactive) element required to preserve a chain nuclear reaction. We define the above definition by recalling a few basic elements from Nuclear Physics: The nuclei of some unstable, radioactive elements (eg uranium) spontaneously break down because of their structure, emitting Neutrons, particles a, particles β, rays γ (energy) and others. By breaking their core, the elements are converted into other elements having a smaller mass, elements of a smaller Mass Number. The mass difference between the original and the new element constitutes the released nuclear energy, given by Einstein's relationship E = mc²


Chain fission. Part of the products of spontaneous fission - practically a part of the neutrons - causes secondary nuclear breaking, while the remaining neutrons are absorbed, either from the radioactive material itself or from another deliberately added material (retarder). From these secondary divisions, new neutrons are created that break down new nuclei and so on. This process is called a chain nuclear reaction.


Fission rates - critical mass. The evolution of the rate of secondary breakdowns  depends on the number of neutrons capable of causing secondary decomposition;  it depends on: (1) the mass of the radioactive material (the number of neutrons) and (2) the quantity and quality of the matter, which reduces the power of the generated neutrons (retarders).


   1. If the rate of secondary fissions remains constant, the mass is called Critical    Mass. In this case, managed nuclear energy is produced, as is the case of nuclear reactors.

   2. If the rate of secondary fissions increases geometrically, the mass is called Overcritical Mass. In this case, an extremely large amount of (explosive) energy is released as in atomic bombs.

  3. If the rate is continually decreasing, the mass is called Subcritical. In this case, neither energy production nor a nuclear explosion is created.


The Critical Mass in Political Systems

The term "Critical Mass" is also used in sociology and in politics, in the sense of the minimum number of citizens, whose action leads to the overthrow of a perception and practice. But we think that rather than the term "critical mass of citizens" it is more appropriate to use the term "Critical Power of Citizens". This is justified, both because mass, energy and power are inherently the same entity, and why the term mass refers to beings without will and reason.


As in the physical systems so and in politics, the power of citizens can be: Critical, Overcritical, or Subcritical, generating results similar to those mentioned above for physical / radioactive systems.


Critical Power. When the citizens have the status of the governing and of the governed, the ruled and at the same time the ruled, there is, for every citizen, a balance between power and obligations; between the derivation and the consumption of material and moral goods. The political system that secures critical power for the citizens, produces, as in the nuclear reactors, a very large, spiritual, moral, and material task. Such a political system is the True Democracy; it is the Democracy of the ancient Greek spirit, whose spiritual, moral and material results are considered to be top and to this day unsurpassed.


Overcritical (Excessive) power. When every citizen has the status of the lord and considers that the other citizens have the status of the governed person, the balance between power and obligations is destroyed. The political system releases huge amounts of energy, such as atomic bombs, which generate upsets and disasters. If the disasters are definitive, the political system is ruled from the Oclocracy  (Οχλοκρατία, mob). If the disasters are temporary and are followed by rehabilitation, then we have the phenomenon of Creative Destruction, of Enlightened Revolution. The achievement of a creative disaster is achieved by moving to the critical one, by the overcritical power of the citizens. However the power is usually concentrated on the leader of the revolution, which means that the power of the citizens becomes subcritical. The results of the subcritical power, sooner or later, lead decisively to the next burst of the system.


Subcritical power. When the overwhelming majority of the citizens have the status of the governed, while the lord's status is in a few elected or arbitrary [1] representatives, then the balance between power and obligations are degraded unless it is destroyed. The political system produces negligible energy. Such a political system is the oligarchies, where the citizens have institutionally and practically zero power and their participation in the productive process is done either by the force of violence or by the forces of instincts and motivations; as in animals. In the current political system of the Representative Democracy, the power of citizens in theory is critical, but in practice it is clearly subcritical because, on the one hand, the citizens are manipulated to decide political issues with the power of motivation rather than with reason, and on the other hand because the delegates' powers and the rules of their proclamation are not determined from the citizens but from the representatives (!!). With such institutions, and especially with such practices, the institutional power of the citizens has become formal and ineffective; it has become deterministically subcritical.



1. Politicians, constitutionalists and mere citizens who, within the institutional capacities of the constitution, contribute to the institutionalization of this paradigm, may well be taught from the determinism of the physical systems. This view is based on two undoubtedly reliable facts: (1) The determinism of natural systems, "institutionalized" by nature, is wisely inexplicably greater from the determinism of the political systems instituted by man. (2) Among these determinisms there is a strong correlation, if not a deep match between them.

2. As in of the case of  nuclear reactors,  the critical power of citizens ensures the heinous production of spiritual, moral and material goods in large quantities, It leads to the transformation of matter in ideas and values; of matter in beneficial energy.

3. The constitution that assures the existence of a critical force is that of the governing and of the governed citizen; it is that of the Democracy of the Ancient Greek spirit, whose institutions and practices may be applied in our century,  easily and by low cost,  by means of the digital technology.

4. Nuclear Physicists and Engineers have developed the technology that ensures the creation of critical mass in matter, while the ancient Greeks have developed the Constitution that ensures the creation of critical power at the Citizens. Through the critical power / mass, the today scientists achieved the denaturation of matter into beneficial energy and the Ancient Greeks achieved the denaturation of matter into ideas and values.



[1] Arbitrary in ancient Greek is Αυθαίρετος and means self-elected (αυτό-αιρετός = αυθαίρετος)




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