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[liberationtech] liberationtech Digest, Vol 164, Issue 4

Catherine Fitzpatrick catfitz at verizon.net
Sat Jul 20 09:04:46 PDT 2013


Re:

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 00:36:40 -0700
From: Mitar <mmitar at gmail.com>
To: liberationtech <liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu>
Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Stability in truly "Democratic" decision
    systems
Message-ID:
    <CAKLmikMVPFGXB5GB=iFC6DBJKYUvM+wzao_X1egRCZJo8fKqYQ at mail.gmail.com>
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On Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 8:34 PM, Peter Lindener <lindener.peter at gmail.com> wrote:
> At his point, while we could have discussions about how best to resolve these
> cyclically ranked majority.....

"It seems that you are assuming that the possibility of cyclically ranked majority is the biggest issue with democracy? I could argue that the biggest issue is assumption that we can based on preferences
of individuals determine what would be the best for the group as a whole. Why exactly would this be related? Why exactly if we know what each individual wants for him or herself, we would know what would be best for the group? (For any definition of "best".) Of course you get conflicts and cycles if everyone looks only at his or her own interests.

I found it a bit premature optimization that we are concerned how to optimize voting among given choices when we should be maybe more concerned how the choices are constructed. Because this is the big question. Not how can we find fancy ways to sum up the votes among given options."

The issue is that we are always given options to choose from. But we are hardly ever consulted in preparation of those options. Is this really democracy? To be allowed to vote which among two kings or
queens (or hundred or whatever number) will rule you for next four or five years? Beautiful.

So my question is more: how can we get new ideas and new solutions to issues from participation of everybody? How can we get people to be able to contribute to the solution to the issue, not just to choose among provided solutions?"

This is why we can't allow geeks to hijack the entire issue of electronic voting without adult supervision. This is why "Liquid Democracy" is not democracy.

Mitar illustrates what is actually the geek's common yet shocking disregard for the rights of the individual, and a frighteningly casual willingness to replace the individual's rights with "group interests" as defined by a few radicals coding the system. That's called "collectivism," and it turns out the way collectivism so often does -- a ruse of fake democracy that is created to enable the few to take power over the many. By inciting indignation over the fact that individuals only look to individual interests, as if that is pre-defined as "bad," a few manipulators can pretend they are obtaining "people's democracy" for the group (this was the fallacy of communism and fascism).

The idea that "choices" could be engineered into a free voting system by coders that individuals in the society themselves don't provide is another scary feature of these "reformed" voting systems -- again, unsupervised and unaccountable coders trumping real democracy and civil rights.

Anarchist hackers want to achieve by code what they couldn't achieve by authentic free speech and free association and real democratic consensus.

http://3dblogger.typepad.com/wired_state/2011/02/the-seven-deadly-flaws-of-online-democracy-.html
http://3dblogger.typepad.com/wired_state/2012/05/direct-democracy-is-not-democracy-.html

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
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