Governing a decentralized internet without votes

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The ‘voting’ alternative is presented as a single thing. There are several voting strategies. The preset ‘one person, one vote’ model, straight from the Ancient Greeks, gives us an inbuilt two-party bias, and strategic voting as an alternative. A third party is only possible when two parties are equally balanced, and the middle ground is more attractive than either. In anything other than this rather special case, it makes sense to vote for the party at either end, as those have the most leverage. If you could vote for any party that reached your levels of tolerance, then the centre party would gain from the overlap, and tactical voting would not be necessary.

It is odd. No-one seems to want this. Even the Liberal-Democrats in the UK are opposed to this, preferring some complicated proportional representation, and scheme for transferring votes within a party so your vote for your liberal candidate could be transferred to elect someone you don’t like in a marginal seat.


All of these systems exist to some degree already in a democratic republic like the United States. The inability to achieve consensus is one reason we’re in such a mess over things like healthcare. Bad things like climate change are happening because we aren’t taking action to change it. Deadlines have led to two Federal government shutdowns in 2018 alone.


This is one of the main reasons why I loved Walkaway (and why I think it’s such an important work for our time): that cooperative models are not alternatives to Democracy: they are tools for winning Democracy back from the kleptocrats in Default. Self-governing is not synonymous with self-determining—realizing the latter takes precedence over the former will help us take steps toward a better nation.

Yeah, these arguments treat existence as if government is the only actor of consequence in the ecosystem. Individuals and corporations make decisions all the time. It’s actually pretty easy to frame government main or even single role as preventing bad things from happening, as the collective tool of the individually-powerless against the individually (and incorporatedly) powerful to make decisions about the commons. The problem isn’t that we aren’t worried about the consequences of government inaction, it’s that we can’t decide what the problems even are.

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