We are all members of communities. Usually many. Our family; our neighbourhood; our workplace or school; religious or cultural community; sports, social or book club...even a regular potluck dinner between friends.
We participate in communities which we choose to be part of, and feel comfortable in, where we can discuss politics and practice democracy together with people we can trust.
That's where Democracy From Below starts.
It must be designed with certain principles in mind to keep it truly democratic:
Elected representatives must not benefit personally from the position, and they should be immediately recallable by those who elected them. Otherwise, there are opportunities for corruption.
The decision making system must be transparent and accessible to all. Otherwise people won’t trust their elected officials, as is often the case now.
Our political voice counts in any community organization that we are a part of on a regular basis. In our community we can feel free to voice our opinion, participate in debate, and vote on the issues that matter to us. Together with our community, we'll choose representatives to a local Council. Everywhere around the world these truly democratic local governments will elect regional councils representing all the people of the world. This mechanism will allow all of humanity to function as one community. Many union federations function democratically this way already.
We will create a World Council similar to the United Nations but democratically controlled by all of humanity together.
As we grow this democratic community, we will gradually have influence over, and eventually be able to replace the current political systems (democratic or not) all around the world.
As individuals, we can participate democratically in any or several of these types of communities and elect representatives to a Local Council.
Each Local Council will send representatives to a Regional Council:
Each Regional Council will send representatives to a World Council:
So, how do we build it?
We begin by building a democratic web platform cooperative together. A digital community centre for the world.
Facebook has showed us a better way to organize people. Imagine if facebook had been created as a democratic cooperative instead of a profit seeking corporation. It would now be a democratic organization of over 2 billion people, perhaps even in a position to demand the changes we need in the world. The problem with the internet though, is anonymity. No one can trust anyone else, and cooperation requires trust.
A simple requirement of registering a community that we are part of (workplace, school, religious or cultural community, neighbourhood…) will remove the element of anonymity from the platform cooperative. Each individual’s behaviour on the platform will then be self-policing, because their community will find out about any anti-social behaviour they get up to.
If we create an amazing website that provides all the good things people want from the internet without the anti-social crap, lots of people would want to join. The requirement of registering a community when they join, will gradually create a global network of self determining communities. Council Democracy.