Making Direct Democracy Work

The following discussion clip is from the Occupy Wall Street demand discussion list.

Here is the lead in post from DAN1:

Hi “EvanFromHeaven”. Ol Dan here. Looks like the suggestion to put Direct Democracy on the Occupy Wall Street list got bumped off it. But that is ok. We still know a good thing when We see it. Thanks for suggesting it. Looks like it has stimulated some discussion. Great. I’ll see what i can do to help.


Dan and Evan: In my previous comments listing the serious problems with Direct Democracy (DD), remember, I also said it was a KEY element to a new government. So, let me briefly describe some key additions that I think are needed to make it work.

First, people have to face up to the complexity of the modern world and their human limitations. There are many complex subjects that government has to regulate that most people aren’t qualified to pass judgment on. An example I gave was the laws regulating the operation of nuclear power plants. Sure, people SHOULD have a say whether the world has nuclear power or not, but they don’t have the background to get into the details. This point is important because none of the discussions about DD address how the “system” would be set up to decide who gets a say on what.

Second, where will individuals get their information about issues? From the press? Fox News maybe? My issue here is that there is currently NO reliable source of information for people to use to make decisions. Even PBS and NPR are failing at this. And now that they have to scramble for funding, they will succumb to financial models driven by survival. What about the internet? I’m sure you realize what a disaster it has become. It’s a garbage heap, with key diamonds in it somewhere. Good luck!

Solving this problem was the basis, in my proposed new government system, for an agency, watched over carefully by the public, to MANAGE available information in a tightly structured way to guarantee both OPEN ACCESS to ideas, and COMPREHENSIVE coverage of ideas. I still believe that humans can get it right. But they need a lot of help to overcome some serious psychological limitations.

Again, these issues are discussed in more detail on my website under the democracy tab.

About Nanook

I am the "REAL" Nanook. I wrote the book LIARS! It presents the philosophy behind most of the posts on this blog. Look for information about it at
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