Re: kinder, gentler, more participative and less paranoid:

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 04 Jan 1998 15:44:46 -0500

Abraham Moses Genen wrote:
> >AMG asked:
> >: Can we focus on greater involvement by increasing direct participation in
> government and eliminating the "them vs. us" syndrome that our so-called
> representative government is degenerating into?
> Anton Sherwood responded:
> Got news for ya: government is inherently adversarial - if it weren't, it
> wouldn't need force. If you're serious about "eliminating the `them vs. us'
> syndrome", concentrate on voluntary action *outside* the domain where every
> action is a defeat for somebody.
> AMG questions:
> Is it possible that the force that government occasionally uses is due to
> the lack of participation by those effected by lack of fair and equitable
> representation? Is it possible that the system is so non-representative --
> and becoming increasingly so -- because of the constraints imposed on those
> selected to be our representatives by monied special interests?
> Is it possible that increased, and improved education with a stronger focus
> on scientific method, critical reasoning,emphasizing independent and
> skeptical thinking might result in a small first step towards eliminating
> the "them vs. us" syndrome? Is it possible that increased involvement by
> those many people who feel disenfranchised, frustrated and disgusted by the
> the present system might, through their activism, help the present system
> evolve?
> Are there other more realistic, practical and viable alternatives that can
> be effectively implimented over the short, intermediate and long term?

Yes, a very easy one - decentralization. No matter how equitable and
fair a representational system may be, once it grows in terms of total
participating population, it will reach a point where more and more of
the populace will feel like their voice counts for less and less, and
they are right. One man's vote in China, with a population of 1.2
billion, counts for far less than one man's vote in Lichtenstein, or
England. And having constituent's representatives representing larger
and larger precincts also leads to this. THus, the interim solution
would be to move as much power OUT of the federal government, to the
states, and from there to the counties and municipalities, as well as to
increase the number of popular representatives. Time was when a US
Congressional Representative actually represented less than 50,000
people, no longer. I "know" my vote counts for far more, and my voice is
heard far easier at my city government level.

Another solution is to put more laws to vote by the people directly. I
expect that within 10 years, we will have public voting over the
internet on a wide variety of laws, and elections.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?