[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".


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  

Open research question, IMHO.  And an important one.


More information about the FoRK mailing list