[FoRK] Democracy not Democrazy, was: Re: When Democracy Failed (Why ESR is an "anarchist")

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Fri Jun 25 03:16:26 PDT 2010





On Jun 25, 2010, at 1:38, "J. Andrew Rogers"  
<andrew at ceruleansystems.com> wrote:

>
> On Jun 24, 2010, at 9:06 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
>>
>> Other examples of democratic fail:  though corruption and election- 
>> rigging are rampant in the region, democracy has also in numerous  
>> cases, through over-empowered populism combined with very weak  
>> constitutional protections, resulted in "popular" dictatorships  
>> coming into power in Central and South America.  (The rigging  
>> usually happens later when the people, but not the establishment,  
>> have had enough.)
>
>
> I think the critical feature that is generally inadequate in  
> constitutions (some more than others) is a set of robust negative  
> feedback mechanisms.  By "robust" I mean structured and  
> institutionalized in such a way that it is very difficult to simply  
> work around or remove the mechanism.  The US constitution is one of  
> the strongest examples of this, and even then the cracks have been  
> exploited without real limit e.g. the "commerce clause".

+1

I've been studying this for a while: mutable rulesets / metagames.   
Peter Suber's book about Nomic is an excellent start, out of print but  
online.  About a year ago I wad assisting him in turning the online  
HTML version of it into something a little more reader-friendly...  
Then the twins arrived. ;-)

There's a PDF version of the whole thing, but it's a but rough. Don't  
know if he ever made it available...

Rather ironically, FAI (which I regard as entirely unworkable in its  
current description, even theoretically) also belongs to this class of  
metagames.

Open research question, IMHO.  And an important one.

jb




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