I have set up a new Australian political party to address some specific Ageing and SciTech issues (obviously because the major parties are not capable of doing it) and I intend to run candidates at the next Federal Election (due 2016). I am interested in talking to people who have similar interests but also to people who have suggestions about how this new party can truly address the big issues of the 21st Century ie reversing the current trend of more and more power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands - by making use of various new technologies and building a political organisation that REALLY works democratically and is responsive to the real needs of the people.
Without exploring your link… I support your initiative as described. I’m wondering though about the problems of acting within the existing structures, which are so corrupt and undemocratic. So there’s a need to differentiate while trying to utilise those structures to change them. Both for the sake of perception (to expose this as different) and to prevent going native (working within the paradigm recreating what you want to destroy - cf. Orwell’s Animal Farm, and the countless new movements to which it alludes).
The first thing I think you might consider is not calling yourself a “political party”. Partyism is I think one of the things that forces do many politicians to abandon their values, where they existed, or which attracts the wrong mindset and attitudes - i.e. ones not aligned to empowering the people and improving as governance systems that remain.
Thanks for the response. You identified immediately the paradox that we must deal with. The choice is always whether to work within the system or not - and of course there are many layers to the system. The Australian Senate voting system is such that to stand ANY chance of getting someone elected, the party needs to be registered and the box for selection needs to be “above the line” on the ballot paper - this peculiarity allows a voter to just indicate a preference for a single party “above the line” or EVERY SINGLE individual “below the line”. Superficially it sounds democratic but the end result is that the big parties can easily manipulate the system. For the parliamentary part of the exercise we have no choice but to call ourselves a “party” but I hope the grass roots groundswell will ensure that the “party” always does what it should do. I am thinking of an “electronic continuous democracy” that is always in session.
Yes, totally understand Phil and I expected as much, though know little about your system. Before you replied though I asked what I might suggest and the thought was the “un party”, which just might tick both boxes as it happens and could help identify with other “un” movements/organisations, though obviously it might not suit your needs.
I don’t think the "un"party option is viable for this particular exercise. The only hope really to improve the general political situation would be for us to get one or more Senators elected, and if that allows a “balance of power” situation, to then force co-operation with other progressive parties (eg the Labor Party and the Greens) to get legislation passed to make politicians more accountable. Of course I would hope that if we used all the electronic tools available - that would allow direct participation by ALL the members (instead of the farce that it nearly always been) - that we would attract lots of people to the cause because it would be clear that people could have a real influence and not be just “cannon fodder” (ie doing all the hack work but having no influence).
This is what really boggles my mind. Doesn’t anyone understand that capitalism fundamentally does this? Even a barter economy does this. Wherever you honor HAVING you create a system that centralizes wealth. Wherever you have quid pro quo economics you will have centralization of wealth. Communism is capitalism’s evil twin and both of them are joined at the hip of quid pro quo. Communism uses quid pro economics and theoretically shares all wealth equally however in order to enforce this model various authoritarian regimes have sprung up and you get two class systems (arguably faux communism seeing as in true communism there would be no classes) but even if you could in some way get all of the members of a community to agree to live in a commune mentality and get that ideology to scale you’d still be using quid pro quo. But why trade? Why use quid pro quo in the first place? Quid pro quo is based on the concept that one is honored for what they have rather than what they give. And if one is honored for what they have rather than what they give one naturally is inclined to what to increase their wealth. And given mankind’s desire to compete, be it for possessions, territory, mates, food, affection, status, whatever, then one obviously wants to attain wealth and the corruption of “communism” starts and you end up with a move back to the other end of the spectrum back to capitalism. Now everyone complains about capitalism being evil because all the wealth is centralized at a very few that compete for it. There are poor that are neglected and class division and people cry out “we need to make things equal again!” But the problem here is this: Quid pro quo by it’s very nature is about creating competition. If you require tit for tat and more importantly you are valuing what people have rather than give you are immediately saying “We want a society where people compete and have an elite few with all the wealth.” The opposite of capitalism is not communism, it’s not socialism, it’s not state intervention, it’s not using tax dollars to give to the people, it’s not government regulations of business. The opposite of capitalism is a gift economy. The opposite of capitalism is GIVING people things and promoting that kind of culture, be it open source, or feeding the homeless, or just giving gifts to those in need.
You want to do something radical with your party? Don’t tax like all the others. Instead set up an initiative for voluntary donations. Track who needs what and who donates to whom and then when someone gives to someone on that list send them a thank you card or a phone call or something. Acknowledge and honor them. Better would be having the recipient do that but hey you can only do so much. If someone donates a large amount maybe put an ad up in the newspaper or on tv or something acknowledging that. Write a program that connects people one to one so that they don’t get that “millions of people need my help” apathy feeling and instead connect personally with an individual like them and can emotonally connect. Don’t buy government software but rather use open source software. Save your govenrment some money for crying out loud! Promote FOSS! Promote a culture of giving rather than having. What does having wealth mean if one hoards it and doesn’t use it to benefit others?
Another key component is consumerism and it’s arch nemesis self reliance and self sufficiency. If you want to promote real change then promote self relience. Renewable power, self sustaining homes, community gardens, urban agriculture, self directed education, decentralized production technologies like those found in the Open Ecology project or even something as basic as promoting 3D printing. In short transfering the means of production back to the end users as much as possible and decentralizing production, innovation and creativity. One of the greatest tragedies of the industrial revolution is that everything became centralized in factories, even farming largely became mechnized in the form of factory farms, and so we need to transfer that production power back to the people so that we’re not just buying things but rather creating them as well.
No I haven’t read your link yet and I’m sorry I kind of just jumped and flew off and seemed to have written an essay here but you did ask for our thoughts here. Frankly I don’t think party politics is going to solve this because it’s still part of a top down authoritarian paradigm which needs to go but if you want to play that game these are my thoughts on the system. And yes there’s more where that came from.
Blindsite2k, while your heart appears to be in the right place, your brain is off with the pixies and faeries! If you had bothered to read the platform of the thing you were commenting on, you might have looked less naive. The quick summary is:
Capitalism in its late (and final?) stage of rampant Corporatist Consumerism and is destroying the planet. We are losing species and species diversity at a rate not seen for millions of years. The Biosphere can live without a World Economy but the World Economy cannot exist without a functional and diverse biosphere. In fact we are in the middle of the World’s Sixth Mass Extinction - the only difference with this one is that is not being cause by a “natural” event but by the actions of a single species - Homo sapiens.
My own view is that “Civilisation” will not survive the next hundred years. If we are going to survive the next hundred years there are some profound, radical and urgent changes that need to happen. One part of this radical new paradigm that will help with Homo sapiens avoiding extinction is the development of the Open Source Software movement. However we are a long way from the Open Source Hardware movement and the handful of people and corporations who control those means of productions are not going to let go of control easily - greed and lust for power still rule the world. We spend the best part of 2 TRILLION DOLLARS annually on weapons to kill people and destroy property - this can’t go on!
If we are going to survive as a species we have to divert this insane expenditure to solving the following problems - even if they are done for the simple reason of enlightened self-interest by the Developed World:
Increasing shortage of clean, fresh water
Decreasing availability of arable land
Inadequate nutrition for a large percentage of the world’s population
Inadequate shelter for a large percentage of the world’s population
Inadequate education for a large percentage of the world’s population
Inadequate health services for a large percentage of the world’s population
More and more wealth in fewer and fewer hands
Too much power in the hands of Organised Superstition
Now, to the point - solving these problems is not going to be done by armchair soothsayers like yourself - people who think they have all the answers but don’t actually put much effort into causing the improvements to come about - so I am unlikely to take seriously your pontifications until I have evidence that you have actually had some success with putting your ideas into practice. Sure everyone can complain about the evils of Capitalism and retire to their yurts to meditate - what have you done exactly to cause all your wise suggestions above to come about? Have you ever been a member of a political party? Did you ever do anything useful while a member? An old friend of mine once said: “The war needs to be waged on many fronts.” - the parliamentary front is just one of them in my opinion. If I can make use of MaidSafe technology to achieve improvements in “Australian Democracy” both in terms of real democracy in the new party, maybe the Federal Parliament and therefore for the Australian People in general, then it will be a good thing.
Come back to me when you have something constructive to add to the raison d’etre of this post.
And why would I tell you anything about my life if you’re going to insult me and resort to ad hominum attacks you dishonorable obnoxious git. You don’t deserve it. You want to play politics but you start off by making assumptions and insulting people. You know zilch about me or what I’ve done or accomplished therefore you have no right to judge me. And if you go in treating others like this your political career will be short and brutal.
Not “ad hominum” but “ad hominem” - and it wasn’t anyway - just calling it like I see it. If you are going to pontificate, then you need some credibility - you don’t seem to have any? You were happy to hand out plenty of advice but you didn’t even read the critical document - sounds like some politicians I know . .
If you really did know anything about politics, you would know that people get away with murder sometimes . . like I said, just an armchair revolutionary . .
Thanks for that - I hadn’t heard of it before - the web site has problems at the moment but I got the gist of it from Wikipedia. It certainly is of interest and I will investigate further but I guess from my point of view it doesn’t seem to address the prime issue of the power of the Military-Corporate-Intelligence Complex that really runs the joint . . and the limited amount of time we have left to deal with H. sapiens existential issues . .
However the main reason that I posted here (which I clearly I did not convey very well) was to talk about the possibility of developing software in the MaidSafe environment that would allow a new, activist political organisation to organise itself MUCH better and to allow for it’s elected members to directly collaborate with the non-elected members during parliamentary proceedings so that the wishes of the members and the goals of the party were more properly reflected in the voting and the decision making. I want to make the slogan “More power to the people” a reality but the party network organisation needs to be protected from the afore-mentioned Complex and that CAN’T be done with the current Internet.
We are having our first Sydney Project SAFE Meetup next Monday (http://www.meetup.com/Sydney-Project-SAFE) but one of the things I want to bring up is the development of this activist political party software.
So I’m understanding that you want to have some kind of Decentralized Organization, with built in accountability, so that ordinary non-elected members can have control or influence through the SAFE system of their agents the elected parliamentarians?
Would this be monetary control? Some quick (and legally enforceable) way of initiating a no-confidence vote?
Not so much financial control - the history of representative “democracy” is that individuals get elected - for the sake of argument with laudable policies - but the perks of being a professional politician and in particular, when you have power in government, is that the original laudable aims go out the window because of political expediency, personal greed, political influence by corporations etc etc. I want to shift real political power back to the people - part of that process is allowing people to have a direct influence on the decisions of government, For example, a hypothetical (and unlikely) scenario:
The next Australian Election results in the balance of power being held in the Senate (Upper House) by the Greens plus one or two of the new LESTp members. The LESTp members, while still being intelligent and diligent, don’t know everything about all possible Committee discussions and legislation that comes before them - BUT there is a wealth of brains and experience in the LESTp itself and through electronic means it should be possible to bring that knowledge and experience to bear when needed. There could even be instant discussion / polling of members to help make urgent decisions. Policy can be developed more efficiently and reliably by making use of software resembling Discourse and Reddit etc. The point is, the way the elected people behave is an accurate reflection of what the party membership wants and what the party promised in their platform before the election and it is what their supporters voted for. The voting public is increasingly cynical (with good reason) about parliamentary politics - I think if they can see that they CAN have a real and significant impact on political decisions by their own activism, then the situation will improve and the voting public will support a party that is, to use an Australianism, “Fair Dinkum”.
This idea doesn’t need to be restricted to Federal politics, the idea of devolution of power to decentralised communities can be embraced at all levels of government and society but it can be finally MADE POSSIBLE by technology - the old days of going to Branch Meetings debating and passing resolutions, forwarding these to Electorate Councils for further debate and then to a National Conferences to maybe become Party Policy - all to be wasted by Members just doing what they like when they get into to power is past history - there IS a possible new way of doing things
Having said all that, I guess I am still a pessimist and I think the likely scenario is that civilisation will not exist in a hundred years time . . but what you can you do? - you have to keep trying . .