Sunday, 22 November 2009

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle's comment that Democracy is "monstrous, loud, blatant, inarticulate as the voice of chaos" may strike a chord with some. (His description of economics as "the dismal science" may be applauded by many more.)
I hope that a clear system for representing ideas, debating them and measuring their support, even in the face of loud, diverse, inarticulate and chaotic points of view, would make democracy somewhat less dismal than the Yaa/Boo politics of the 1800s, or today.
The modern media, in all its guises, can help. But designing Interactive Democracy to utilise the Internet is a critical step forward. Done well it could present the pros and cons of an issue, as discussed in Parliament, engender debate and provide a secure ballot. However, we would still need systems to prevent lying by politicians and journalists, and a scientific service beyond the influence of the government.

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