Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Government by wiki

This is a new theme of governance-by-wiki. Having tested it on the intellectually superior Claire yesterday, I think it may be a bit too advanced to be accepted by society yet. But I’ll give it a go, if only to maintain my current blogging record

Party alignment had a point 200 years ago, when it was most practical for a few people – preferably rich because they had the ships - to rule the world on behalf of all the rest of us, but now that we have wikis, the whole concept of parties, left and right, group membership of any sort is outdated and pointless.

Group machinery is the root of most of the frustration, disappointment and evil in politics. On the other hand, networks of individuals working together to roughly the same aims are not constrained by the same controls, loyalties and bureaucracy that hamper political progress.

It has always been impossible for me to align myself with any party and I used to think that was because of my loyalty to journalistic neutrality. Now accepting that this isn’t true, I think that it’s more likely to be my discomfort with the shortcomings of groups. I find it unbearable when people tie themselves into knots over whether they should be working with this or that person or group because of a perceived set of beliefs and background. It’s no fun to think that I am lumped in with the same ‘British’ who invaded Iraq and throw chips at waiters in Spain and I see no reason why a friendly Conservative might be incapable of good, even if he is a Conservative. Basically, I think, everyone wants peace, security and opportunity, even if their means of getting it are different. If those aims are the basic principals that guide us, we can hammer out the detail to make sure our own interests aren’t detrimental to the interests of others and conflicts are resolved creatively instead of destructively.

Wikis make it possible for mass participation in decision making and consensus building. The common directive is Be Bold! and people are encouraged to make change instead of engage in tedious stonewalling. The results can be messy but also inspiring. They are a lesson in multiple truths and how different cultures and beliefs can come together if people are willing to work on it. Individuals are empowered to take action, instead of being blocked.

I found a website a couple of weeks ago that seemed to be promoting democracy by wiki, and now I’ve lost it. However, I’m sure I’m not the only one to have thought of this.


Jess said...

Your outlook is much more optimistic than mine, but that might be a product of our geographic locations. I think there really are people who are willing to trample over every other living thing to get themselves more power and money. I see it every day.

Harry said...

As Jess says, it's already a Wikid world!

Simple solution - make me dictator!