User:Woozle/My Left Wing/Revolution 2.0 Outline RFC

From Issuepedia

The official posting of this page is here.

(This post is the follow-up to my comments starting here. "RFC" stands for Request for Comments, a type of document used in the design of Internet technologies.)

MSOC has argued -- accurately and eloquently -- that the idea of a third party as a remedy is a red herring.

She also says something I've been saying for several years: that it is the voting system itself -- the binary (yes-or-no) one-vote-per-person (you can't vote for all the people you like, much less rank them) method -- that is the primary mechanism perpetuating this duopoly.

Finally, she observes the fact (which seems inescapably obvious) that this system is never going to be fixed by those it has put into power, and that therefore we cannot expect to effect real change (you know -- that stuff we thought Obama was going to deliver, maybe) without changing the game somehow.

At that point, it's easy to throw up one's hands in despair, because what options does that leave us?

Below is my answer to that question -- a series of concrete steps to get us from where we are (powerless and disorganized) to where we want to be.

The Pieces

These aren't necessarily in order, nor are they self-explanatory; think of this as an index, which I will turn into links as I post details on each item.

I'll try to fit them into a narrative summary right after the list.

I was originally going to post each of these pieces as a separate MLW blog entry, but I found myself feeling daunted by the logistics and decided just to link offsite instead. If anyone thinks I should still blog them -- whether that's all of them or just particular pieces -- please let me know. Discussion on Issuepedia is also welcome, of course (go to the "discussion" tab).

First, we need a space set aside for collaborative work on this project, because it's going to be complicated and it's going to take awhile and we need an effective way to share knowledge. Among our few advantages over the existing establishment is our lack of entrenched conventions and procedures; to make the most of that advantage, we must embrace new tools and develop new ways of self-governing. (The Revolutionary Café, Grill, and Library; How do we decide things?)

We need to know who we are -- who is interested in working on this, and what they're willing or able to put into it. The first part of any planned battle is figuring out what your resources are; your choice of strategy will probably depend heavily on the results. Hopefully our resources will increase over time -- and we will need a way of keeping track of that, too, so that we can adjust quickly and accurately when resources make new strategies feasible. (Who are we and what do we have to work with?)

We probably have a lot of things we agree on now, but in order to have a sustainable movement we will need to figure out where we agree on priorities, larger principles, and longer-term goals. If we don't, we may find our revolutionary fervor sputtering out suddenly the first time the situation changes. (Where are we trying to get to? What can we do now, and what should we be prepared to do next? How do we decide things?)

There are good and bad ways to make decisions. The methods currently being used to make our laws improve only slightly over a mud-wrestling death-match. Or maybe they don't. In any case, we can do much, much better. We can make sensible and wise decisions that 95% of us will agree on. We can prevent people who make bad decisions from being in charge. We have the ability to design and build information-age industrial-strength decision-making processes to replace the pre-industrial ones we currently depend on. (How do we decide things? How do we stop The Revolution from being co-opted?)

Finally: It may not seem like it sometimes, but government's authority and power comes entirely from the governed. We are the governed. If we work together, we are more powerful than those who would use power for their own oppressive and short-sighted ends. If we engage in processes which give every argument a fair hearing and honestly attempt to meet the needs of each participant, we can work together without coercion. (How do we decide things? Where are we trying to get to?)

The Questions

(added 2011-04-26) These are the questions we need to decide in order to move forward (so you don't have to read all the individual pages to find them):

  • The Revolutionary Bar, Grill, and Library:
    • Does anyone think this is the wrong approach?
    • Does anyone have any particular requirements for (strong feelings about) what characteristics this site should have or not have?
    • Are there any naming suggestions or preferences?
  • Who are we?
    • Who else can I talk to when I want to brainstorm or suggest a plan or philosophize?
    • Who is willing to be involved, under various conditions, if there's action to take?
    • If something is (or could be) happening in a certain geographical area, who might be nearby?
    • What particular strengths and talents do individuals among us possess that might be helpful towards our common goals?
  • How do we decide things?: representative democracy isn't working so well these days
  • Where are we going?:
    • What future do you think would be worth a fight, and are you ready to do something about it? (essay question)
  • How do we not get co-opted?
    • Which parts of this are we in agreement on, and which parts need to be discussed further?
    • Are there any other suggestions for (government or social) institutions which should be at least reconsidered?
  • What can we do now, and what should we do next?
    • Any other ideas?

Follow-Up

Comments can be posted here.