delegate.network or liquid democracy permits people to simultaneously reform the political system and prepare for bloodshed if they elect Congressmen committed to refer all negotiations to their home district delegates and vote only the way their delegates vote. However, it is quite daunting to customize educational material for voters in the upcoming election to vote for such candidates.
Therefore I’m considering tapping into an idea for computer based education I’ve been kicking around since at least the Ron Paul 2007 campaign, involving a Socratic dialogue to figure out where they’re coming from individually, and gently guide them through the various fallacies from which they may suffer. For just one example, imagine trying to get some guy to go vote for a delegate.network candidate when he just wants to continue to stock up on ammo for The Collapse, without even bothering to identify a command structure that would emerge with a hierarchy of proxies.
The problem is people are pretty hysterical and all over the map in their misconceptions and preconceptions about how they’re going to deal with a broken political system, other than just numbing the pain, dying deaths of despair and/or getting ready to Boogaloo.
But since liquid democracy isn’t a completely verboten politically incorrect idea to the #SystemicMommy just yet, I figured I’d see if I could try to turn Her into a Socratese and guide me through the typical misconceptions if not neuroses about liquid democracy.
Here’s the dialogue:
Please play the roll of Socrates with me as you ask me questions to guide me through my misconceptions about the delegative form of liquid democracy.
Certainly, let’s begin our Socratic dialogue. Please remember, the goal here is not to debate but to clarify and deepen understanding.
To start with, how would you define a delegative form of liquid democracy?
Could you elaborate on how you believe it differs from other forms of governance such as direct democracy or representative democracy?
In your opinion, what are the main advantages of this form of liquid democracy?
You mentioned misconceptions. Can you clarify what these misconceptions are according to you?
Do you think the delegative form of liquid democracy can work effectively on a large scale, such as in a country with a large population? Why or why not?
How does liquid democracy handle the question of expertise? That is, in a complex society, there are many issues that require specific knowledge (e.g., economic policy, healthcare, environment). How does liquid democracy ensure that those making decisions have the necessary expertise?
Finally, while the internet has made the idea of liquid democracy more feasible, it might also represent a risk in terms of manipulation or misinformation. How might a liquid democracy protect itself against such risks?
Let’s continue the conversation based on your responses to these questions. Remember, this discourse is intended to
Didn’t Socrates ask one question at a time and then, based on the student’s response, choose the next question to minimize the number of questions in a manner analogous to the way each question in 20 questions picks the most informative question?
Yes, you’re absolutely correct. The Socratic method is indeed a form of inquiry used to stimulate critical thinking and to expose the contradictions in one’s beliefs by asking a sequence of questions, with each question building on the previous answer. This way, the person is guided to arrive at their own understanding or knowledge, much like Socrates would have done.
So, to properly implement this method as per your request, let’s start with the first question:
How would you define a delegative form of liquid democracy?
All citizens vote on all laws.
Thank you for your response. It seems there might be a bit of confusion, so I hope I can help clarify things.
The definition you’ve provided aligns more with direct democracy, where all citizens vote directly on laws.
On the other hand, liquid or delegative democracy typically refers to a system that blends elements of direct democracy with representative democracy. In this system, citizens can choose to vote directly on issues or delegate their votes to representatives who can vote on their behalf.
May I ask, what are your thoughts on how this system empowers voters or could potentially disempower them?
It empowers voters to pick their friends to have power which but that would make factions fight with each other and end up being defeated on major issues.
From your view, it sounds like the delegation of votes in a liquid democracy could lead to factionalism and strife, potentially impeding the resolution of key issues. Indeed, this concern has historical precedent in various political systems.
However, a counter-argument to this is that liquid democracy allows for more dynamic and nuanced representation. Instead of being tied to a single representative for all issues, people can delegate their votes based on expertise and trust on a case-by-case basis.
That said, managing factionalism and disagreement is definitely a challenge. Can you think of any mechanisms that might be implemented within a liquid democracy system to prevent or manage the division and infighting you’re concerned about?
Make it so that people can only pick their representative delegate every few years so that if the delegate does something they don’t like they just have to go along with whatever their delegate does for the rest of their term.
It sounds like you’re suggesting a system that is more akin to a representative democracy, where citizens elect representatives for a set term. This indeed can offer stability and avoid the chaos of constant changes, but it seems to lose some of the flexibility that liquid democracy is known for, where citizens can choose to delegate their votes for each individual decision.
While your suggestion offers a certain level of commitment and stability, it also raises further questions about how to handle situations in which delegates act contrary to their constituents’ wishes in the interim.
In the context of this, what do you think about the idea of having an immediate recall mechanism? That is, if a significant number of constituents disagree with a delegate’s action, they could potentially call for a re-election or redistribute their vote immediately?
Most people are too ill educated to make those kinds of decisions. They’d end up forming gangs and committing violence.
Your assertion raises the age-old question about the relationship between education and democracy. It seems you’re concerned that without a certain level of education or political understanding, liquid democracy could devolve into factions and violence.
However, isn’t the same risk inherent in any democratic system, including representative democracy? It is worth discussing how education and public awareness campaigns can play a role in mitigating these risks.
One may argue that the education system itself should be geared towards preparing citizens for their role in a democratic society, which would involve understanding different forms of governments including liquid democracy.
Could you share your thoughts on how education might play a role in creating an informed citizenry capable of participating effectively in a liquid democratic system?
Well, since Gallup polling shows that more than a supermajority of the US has opposed increasing immigration rates for 60 years, while media, academia and government has been pretty consistent in educating them about the benefits of diversity and immigration and the evils of racism, I’m really not sure what more can be done to educate them. More than 1i n 3 of thinks civil war is a serious danger and people are arming themselves at an alarming rate.
It’s clear from your response that you’re concerned about deep divisions within society, differences in opinion among the population and governing bodies, and the potential for conflict. These are indeed serious considerations in any democratic context.
Given this context, if we consider the delegate aspect of liquid democracy, could there be a benefit in allowing people to delegate their vote to someone who they feel represents their nuanced viewpoints more accurately? In other words, can this system serve as a bridge, allowing for more diverse views to be expressed within a democratic system?
Furthermore, do you feel there are other, non-traditional ways to promote understanding and reduce division (outside of the media, academia, or government)? The goal would be to foster a culture that values differing perspectives, while reducing the potential for conflict.
Well I suppose if people could move to places where they could exclude immigrants, and discover for themselves that immigrants aren’t the problem, their own racism is the problem, it might educate them. On the other hand, ignorance must be confronted wherever it may try to hide lest it fester and erupt in militias attacking innocent people outside their communities.
From your response, it seems that you’re grappling with the delicate balance between freedom of movement/choice and the potential unintended consequences of fostering exclusion or division.
You raise an important point here: the role of experiential learning in challenging existing prejudices or misconceptions. However, as you wisely noted, unchecked ignorance can indeed fester and cause harm.
Can we then consider a system where diverse views are allowed to be expressed, but also where there are robust mechanisms to confront harmful prejudices and promote empathy and understanding? Could education, perhaps not in the traditional sense, but through fostering diverse interactions and debunking harmful stereotypes, be one key solution?
And, circling back to our main discussion, how might a liquid democratic system facilitate or hinder such a process?
How did I do aping someone who’s either a die hard acolyte of #SystemicMommyism or just generally obtuse/militantly ignorant?
PS: I just had to share this, quite remarkable find – note the second author – and that it must have been originally authored at around the time of the Memex proposal: