Saturday, March 24, 2007

How Web 2.0 can change politics

People have formed a new open source political party in Boston, based on the principles behind Social Media – such as Digg type voting.

I found the story about the open source political party at the spanking new Assignment Zero web site.

The manifesto of the open source political party declares:

1. We support the democratization of local governments through the use of digg-style lawmaking.
2. We believe social media websites represent the future of participatory governing.
3. We believe traditional voting processes should be augmented with secure web-based voting systems.
4. We want to see open source software, formats and philosophies replace proprietary products such as the ruling Microsoft monopoly in public agencies.
5. We demand that all politicians keep regularly updated blogs, with open comment systems, to maintain contact with their constituents.
6. We want to see wiki-style collaborative writing of proposed laws and bills.
7. We demand that all governing bodies publish Youtube-style video of all public meetings and votes.
8. We support a total reform of patent, copyright and intellectual property law to reflect free and open Creative Commons-style licensing.
9. We are against the implementation of draconian DRM systems.
10. We want open VOIP, email and IM lines of communication with our elected officials.

The party aims to elect a representative to the Boston City Council this year.

Looking at the manifesto a second time, it becomes clear that the proponents of the open source political parties want to usher in ‘Equality of information distribution’, a big and pompous phrase I concocted to mean ‘openness’.

The manifesto of the open source political party is also about the Web 2.0 version of the much hyped electronic governance idea (e- Gov in consultants' speak). It might help people think beyond the ‘kiosk nature’ of electronic governance in most countries.

The idea of open source political party gives me an opportunity to talk in brief about anarchism, a much abused term people often confuse with lawlessness.

The Wikipedia definition of anarchy says:
(anarchism) refers to the situation in which a human society exists without government.

It is befitting that this revolution is taking place in Massachusetts, the place of Thoreau.

There are many things wrong with the present state of government systems around the world and people like Gandhi, Tolstoy and many others have long advocated for a less demanding and imposing government.
Interested readers can learn in detail about this in Peter Marchall’s great survey, ‘Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism’.

Alvin Toffler discussed about the future of democracies in his books, Powershift and Third Wave.

Can we take this open source political party idea and build upon it?
Like, changing political systems?

Some questions for readers to ignite creative thinking on web 2.0 + anarchism:
1. Why can’t we have 1 year governments to start with? Switzerland has this.
2. Why do elected governments stray away from their manifesto and enact stifling new laws?
3. What progress on instant, nation-wide referendums and elections?
4. What do we think about the absurd Great Personality theory of history?
Why must history be the preserve of kings, tyrants, warriors, Presidents and Prime Ministers?

I would like to see how the open source political party fares and whether Web 2.0 tools will really help anarchist thought thrive.

Related links:
Open source political party on Assignment Zero
Assignment Zero uses crowdsourcing to build feature stories.

The questions participating citizen writers have to answer about the open source political party are:
1. Do you know of any other open source political groups?
2. Identify and Interview the founder(s),
3. Write the story,
4. How else should we be covering this topic?

The open source Political party page. [ They are moving a new site at Diggocracy]

History of Anarchism


At 7:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Anarchism was something bad. Will find out more in Wikipedia.

Are you an anarchist, BTW?

At 8:04 PM , Blogger Lon said...

^^^don't be tricked into researching anarchism!!! it is really the product of an insidious government conspiracy to increase the System of a Down fan base!!

At 4:40 PM , Blogger ref3at said...

web 2.0 is an anarchist revolution in the works, it can only lead to anarchy in the social and political arenas. Behold the techno-anarchist revolution.

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