The following is a post I made to the Linked in group Innovation Democracy. In a previous post, I stated the the basic form of democracy hasn’t changed much since ancient Greece. A number of people replied that they thought the internet was a big change. Here is my response.
I appreciate the comments on my topic. I agree that modern information technology has the POTENTIAL to change things. But there are major obstacles I don’t think the world has any good solutions for.
The first is the human drive for greed and power. Even though the new technologies are putting pressure on government leaders, individuals still hold “positions of power” in the government. They want things to stay that way. They want to keep government a REPRESENTATIVE structure so they can hold and wield power.
The second is the inability of large groups of people to efficiently explore issues, and then to bond and come to agreement. David Crosson mentioned a number of problems in this regard. I agree with Sari that bringing in opinions from many cultures is more inclusive. I think, ultimately, this is a very positive step. But if society doesn’t find a way to peacefully bring different cultures together, rather than leading to conflict, then that kind of democracy will fail. David addressed this point. He said, “democracy eventually requires personal commitment and SKILL SETS… the latter of which is being totally ignored, especially in the United States.”
What I hope to contribute to the Innovation Democracy group are some new ideas related to SKILLS that humans can use to make participative democracy work. I discuss a lot of them in chapters 34-36 in Vol. 2 of my books. Let me just summarize one here related to the wikileaks issue.
First, let me say that, implementing participative democracy is not a simple thing. It requires changing a lot of things. So, it’s hard to do in societies that are already formed. Our best hope may come from newly forming groups.
I believe the wikileaks issue arises because western society has decided to implement capitalism on the foundation of PREDATORY competition. Predatory competition is a direct carryover from the “survival of the fittest” principle that drives biological evolution. What the world remains blind to, is that biological evolution has been superseded by cultural evolution. In a culturally evolving world, survival of the fittest, in the form of physical aggression, as it was in biological evolution, is actually harmful. As long as society doesn’t understand these things, they will keep stumbling in the dark. Society should be replacing predatory competition with COOPERATIVE competition.
My example for that is a time race in the Olympics. Rather than run to beat another contestant ( a predatory approach ), the gold medal should only be given to a racer who breaks the existing world record. In fact, every racer who breaks the old record gets a gold medal. Look what happens. In such a race, competition become supportive – cooperative – because it drives each person to do better. It’s all win-win, not win-lose.
And where does wikileaks come in? Because the whole structure of national interaction is based on Predatory competition, the the structure is in the control of brains groomed for “survival of the fittest”, the words we hear from government leadership sacrifice truth for power. Until a new form of democracy develops, if we live long enough for that, we live in a culture of lies. This is what wikileaks is trying to tell us. Sure, the words of the U.S. founding fathers talk about the need for the public to control government. But as soon as someone steps on any toes trying to do it, the cloak of secrecy is used to smash them. The system is broken.