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Forum Post: On Direct Democracy - for anyone who is interested.

Posted 8 years ago on Sept. 18, 2012, 2:26 p.m. EST by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Direct Democracy a primer. This video explains in a general sort of way direct democracy - it does not get into the structure or process of a national direct participatory democracy or in extension a world wide direct democracy - it introduces the basics.

This goes on to explain an outside perspective of Occupy and Direct Democracy:

Occupy Wall Street: Leaderless, consensus-based ... economist.com

Occupy on direct democracy GA ( again speaks to group meetings held by occupy - not a national assembly organizational structure )

Consensus (Direct Democracy @ Occupy Wall Street)

direct-participatory-democracy-links - democracybythepeople direct democracy -participatory democracy. worldwide links resource page. participatory democracy - direct democracy by country

participatory democracy Facts, information, pictures ... participatory democracy The twentieth-century reincarnation of the ancient Greek ideal of government by the people (demos). Participatory democracy is direct ... Excellent www.encyclopedia.com



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[-] 2 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

Direct democracy is the opposite of representative democracy. These two types of democracies are antithetical. The only times direct democracy co-exists with representative democracy is when a nation using representative democracy at its base calls a referendum; a vote of the people on a particular question, or when small out-of-system local decisions are made using direct democracy.

To implement direct democracy nation wide, we must first dismantle representative democracy. The current system and its political parties must be dismissed, so that we can represent ourselves with direct democracy.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

"Direct democracy is the opposite of representative democracy"? That's kind of like saying yellow is the opposite of blue. They are different, but if it's opposite, where does that leave monarchy or oligarchy? Technically, we have a republic.

[-] 0 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

Direct democracy means that there are no representatives between the people and decisions being made, it it direct. As such, direct democracy is the opposite of representative democracy; these two forms of democracy are antithetical.

Monarchies and oligarchies are not forms of democracy. A democracy is when people make decisions. In a monarchy, the king makes all the decisions, not the people. In an oligarchy, the power rests with a small number of people, this could be the king and is aides for example. Again, the people have no say, if they did, by definition it would not be an oligarchy.

Technically, we have a representative republic, that is, a republic which uses a form of representative government. A direct republic could exist if direct democracy would be used instead of a representative democracy. Republic only means that there are laws which must be followed when making decisions. The word alone says nothing about the kind of democracy being used.

[-] 0 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

according to dictionary.com the #1 definition of republic is as follows; 1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

[-] 0 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

This definition is a ripe off of the Oxford definition. I don't like it as I find it inaccurate on many levels.

First off, people do not have "supreme power" in a representative republic because they only vote, they do not make all the decisions. How can you say a people has "supreme power" when they only vote every 4 years! This is beyond me.

Do you believe the people of America have "supreme power" because you vote every four years?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Well, of course, it was not I, who wrote that definition. Yeah, "supreme" may be a poor choice of words.

[-] 1 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

I meant dictionary.com ripped it off Oxford, not you.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

I understood. The Oxford folks didn't ask my opinion either.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

I'm not disputing your definition of direct democracy. I am agreeing with you on that. That's why I said ;"They are different". Just not sure "opposite" is a correct characterization.

[-] 1 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

Sorry, I changed my above reply since I was confused. I thought you were talking about direct democracy when you were talking about a republic.

Perhaps they are not opposite, but they are antithetical. You cannot have a representative if you are using all your power to represent yourself. It's one or the other.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago

Ok, antithetical,I can agree with.

[-] 1 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

I like your precision. Good call.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 8 years ago


[-] 1 points by jacopo (5) 7 years ago

An Italian group of developer, all volunteer have produced an online decisional platform for e-democracy I am the internationalization manager and would like to invite to test the platform. We have the platform in english and we need tester to check if is working fine please visit www.airesis.eu and www.airesis.it I invite the coordinator of Occupy Wall St (if there is one) to create a Occupy group in www.airesis.eu to test the platform

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

I forwarded your comment to the site admin. You can also contact. At the top of the page there is a button you can click About the link will take you to a site informational page where it has contact information - such as:

General Inquiries general@occupywallst.org

[-] 1 points by jacopo (5) 7 years ago

Thank you DKAtoday I did try to contact general and I did try to call the number published (516) 708-4777 but with no answer. It seem that is very hard to connect to the organizers coordinators. Without a pro tempore leader (organizer, coordinator) elected regularly in a group defined and consensual policies the protest will be useless from the beginning. We are developing the tool to direct decisional energies and vote proposals and candidates. Please take action

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago
[-] 1 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

For those interested in looking deeper into direct democracy, I suggest reading the works of Cornelius Castoriadis. Early in his career he had a deep fascination with the subject, although he did distance himself from Marxist thought later in life. He's a fun read.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

We need more direct democracy. I've been linking a lot to that first video here, which I think explains very well the core ideas of Left Libertarianism / Libertarian Socialism.

It is these ideas that we must base our future on. For more on Libertarian Socialism and participatory democracy check out these two:



[-] 1 points by MatthewRKains (57) 8 years ago

We need fast direct democracy, much faster than in OWS general assemblies which were much too slow and time consuming. How?

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

No. There needs to be a slow deliberative system of Direct Government that respects unlimited free speech for anyone and everyone.