Democracy From Below

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 Citizens' Assembly. Everywhere around the world these truly democratic local governments will elect regional and then national governments 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 Global Citizens' Assembly. 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 Citizens' Assembly:

Local ​​Citizens' Assembly

 

 

Each Local Citizens' Assembly will send representatives to a Regional Citizens' Assembly:

 

 

Regional Citizens' Assembly

 

 

Each  Regional Citizens' Assembly will send representatives to a  National Citizens' Assembly:

 

 

National Citizens' Assembly

 

 

Each National Citizens' Assembly will send representatives to a  Global Citizens' Assembly:

Global Citizens' Assembly

 

So, how do we build it?

We begin by building a democratic web platform cooperative together.  A digital community centre for the world. We have to use our real names  -  as we're known in our communities. This is how we can avoid any fake accounts and anti-social behaviours that are common on other social media platforms where people can remain anonymous, and don't have to answer to their community for their actions. 

We will have to decide together what the standards of behaviour will be and make those expectations clear to all members. This project will require volunteers for every imaginable task: designing, programming, translating, fundraising...and so much more. 

 

How do we get people to join and use it?

We make it useful and tell others about it. Just as Mark Zuckerberg did with facebook, but this one will belong to the people and we won't sell each other's data to get rich. The internet is full of useful platforms and apps created by individuals and corporations to make money. People use them (sometimes reluctantly) because they are useful and there are no better alternatives available. We need to make those better alternatives here.  

Activists and organizations working for social change will be the easiest to convince, so creating tools for such work on the platform will help with this. There are millions of people all around the world working very hard for positive change. In most cases, that change depends upon convincing those in power to make different choices while leaving the political system intact. The point of this platform is to provide a centralized way to organize everyone together in order to to change the political system itself. Only then can we make decisions together that will change the world.

 

What will the future look like?

Humans have lived in competitive societies governed from above for so long that it will take time for us to learn how to use democracy together. Our democratic network will have influence in parts of the world sooner than others, but useful ideas spread quickly. Gradually the current political systems (democratic or not) will become less and less relevant. Partisan political divisions will be less important as individuals debate ideas in their communities rather than simply cheer for 'their side'. The reason a small minority has controlled the world for so long has been by dividing and conquering the majority. The people united will never be defeated. We can then learn together what humanity's potential really is.