With the advent of the media, we have an entirely different world. First newspapers, which allowed for the rapid dissemination of ideas and opinions, then the electronic media which allowed the demagogue to access large populations. Today, the media controls the reality of the populace. Today, we have enormous populations. These populations largely receive their information from the media. They vote on issues and people of which they have no personal knowledge, if they are allowed to vote at all. Those who control the media wield enormous power
Even in so called democracies, many issues are not put to a popular vote, they are handled by so called representatives of the people. In the case where people are allowed to vote on issues, there is a hand picked judiciary waiting to strike down their decisions if they go against the desires of the oligarchy.
So we have political structures where information is controlled and voting is controlled, yet they are called democracies. As in all civilized social orders, these political structures serve the Elites. Voting is largely to create the myth of legitimacy and to evade responsibility.
Most political structures are subject to manipulation by factions and by the media. However, there is one political structure which I believe will isolate from faction and the media. It won’t do this totally, and I don’t think it is even advisable to do so. However, it will allow leaders to emerge largely independent of the media and faction.
I call this political structure Cellular Representative Democracy.
Democracy, sometimes called mob rule, has a bad name from ancient times because of its performance in classical times. The Athenian and Roman experience left a bit of a sour taste, and philosophers such as Plato added to the puckering.
Classical Democracy means what is called direct democracy today. This is democracy in which people gather and vote, and fifty percent plus one of the electorate decides the issue.
Democracy today is largely a propaganda term, it means liberal democracy, whatever that is. I won’t bother going into it, because it is a bit vague for my tastes.
A quick note, the United States of America and Great Briton are considered liberal democracies. Neither country is a democracy, because in neither county does the government represent the majority. However, as I said, it is a propaganda term.
Representative democracy is a subset of democracy. As I use the term, it is a subset of classical democracy. There are no rules which limit the will of the voters. Fifty percent plus one decide the election. However, the voters vote for representatives, which will hopefully govern them better than they would govern themselves.
Cellular Representative Democracy or CRD is a subset of representative democracy. It derives its name from political cells. CRD is made up of cells. All voting takes place in a cell. The voting is only for people within that cell. The cell’s vote doesn’t carry beyond the cell except in the person of the representative of the cell.
The size of the cells are limited to the number of people who can sit at a table and carry on a normal conversation without artificial means. I would suggest a maximum of sixteen and ten as preferable. All members of a cell sit in an equal manner without hierarchy. The elected representative shall not be differentiated in any way from the regular members. Their position will come from the understanding of their identities by the members. To an outsider, they would be indistinguishable from the other members.
Active members will be even numbered for voting purposes. If, for some reason, there are an odd number of members, then one will either excuse himself from voting or be excluded by chance, such as the drawing of lots.
This is because the representative which, for brevity’s sake, I will call a Dek, assuming a decimal cell, will have two votes. This will allow him the tie breaking vote. He (I am using the English convention of the default masculine) will also have the ability to sit the agenda.
However, the privilege of controlling the agenda will be subject to vote. At any time during the meeting, a member may ask for a vote to go free form, if that request is seconded, then a vote will be taken in which the Dek will have two votes. If the vote to go free form wins, then the meeting will go to open discussion until either a vote to return to normal or the end of the meeting. The next meeting will resume in normal format.
In free form format, any member can ask for a vote on any issue, and if seconded, the vote will be made. This time, the Dek will have only one vote unless the vote is to remove him from his position as Dek, then he will have two votes.
The Dek will be elected at regularly scheduled intervals with all members voting with an equally valued vote. To be clear, the Dek will be limited to one vote when voting for a Dek. An alternate (Alt) will also be elected. The Alt will become Dek on the absence of the Dek. He will have the same powers as a Dek until the Dek returns or a new Dek is selected.
In order to maintain the personal knowledge and familiarity which the political structure of CRD requires, meetings must be frequent, a minimum of once a month is required. This means that a meeting of each level is required. The highest level of Deks will attend meetings of a minimum of the number of the level on a monthly basis. For example, at the fourth level, they would have to attend four meetings a month, or approximately once a week. CRD requires commitment. Without it, it will fail. Attendance must be mandatory at a reasonable level. If you want to play, you have to play consistently.
At the higher levels, some form of compensation would have to be worked out. Considering that at the sixth level, you would have a million member structure, that shouldn’t be difficult. With that level of membership, meetings would probably have to be frequent, perhaps on a daily basis.
Also consideration would have to be made for the fact that someone from the sixth level could be recalled to the bottom level without warning. This could cause financial problems of an unreasonable nature. No, we aren’t advocating permanent pensions, merely assistance for a reasonable period to regain employment at the previous level.
Compensation should be such that it would give an incentive for members to climb, but not beyond reasonable levels. In other words, perhaps twice the median income, but not higher than thrice the median income of the relevant social structure.
In CRD, the political power is in the form of a pyramid. The base in a decimal CRD is composed of cell of approximately ten members each. The next level is made up of the Deks of the base level. It is one tenth of the size of the base level. The third level is made up of the Deks of the second level. It is one tenth the size of the second level and one hundred the size of the base level. The size of the top level is determined by the number of levels, but the top level actually determines the structure below. Each Dek at the top level, must represent a cell of ten members below the top level. This continues downward.
Power flows upward, in that the members are elected from below, and can be recalled from below. Authority flows downward because the decisions of the top are the decisions of the ultimate representatives of the pyramid of power. This is the nature of representative democracy. However, the downward flow of power uses the same cellular structure. Each level can be given authority over the cells below, and the Deks will carry the authority downward.
This is similar to the military command structure or the structure of the Inca Empire. All large organizations need such a structure to efficiently function. One of the problems of the present liberal Democracies is that downward authority is fragmented and discontinuous. Local neighborhoods have no administration from above, nor input going upwards. They are largely ungoverned.
To summarize, one objective of CRD is to isolate political power from external agencies. The media being one of these, bribery, direct or indirect, is another one. Faction is, of course, a primary external agency. CRD minimizes demagoguery by isolating it to a group of ten, thus preventing the feedback which large crowds give.
Another objective of CRD is to refine political competence. This is the goal of representative democracy, but in CRD, it works to a greater degree. Each level should result in greater competence. Mistakes can be made, but by the time you reach a level of six or seven, they should have been weeded out. Each level selects only on the basis of competence within the field of cellular representative democracy. That is the only skill in play and the only one the peer group is consistently exposed to.
And finally, the objective of administering this power in a downward flow using the same cellular process that raised it. This is in concurrence with administrative practice in all efficient organizations. This raises the political structure involved to a fully organized entity at all levels.
It is my feeling, unsupported by experience, that this should result in the most efficient political structure in the history of Mankind. Without practice, theory remains theory. I really, really would like to see some practice.
This is the minimum structure that I feel qualifies as CRD. I have a subset in mind, but this is CRD.
I welcome comments, negative as well as positive, but I prefer thoughtful ones.
Suggestions, preferably thoughtful, are more than welcome.
I’m sure there are a lot of things I haven’t thought of, and also, there are probably issues which I have failed to address.
“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” A. Einstein.