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Re: Free administration (was: Re: [ox-en] Collective Consciousness)

On Fri, 14 Dec 2001, Stefan Merten wrote:


Do you mean that the government beaurocracy, not only the ministers themselves
get voted? The question then would be how such a government will be able to
carry out long-term plans, with the people executing these plans changing
and trying to please the public all the time (so they get voted again).

Good point! Representative democracy is indeed pretty interruptive for
administration processes and when looking at the use of these
processes that's not always a good idea.

Well in democracies of our brand you need to interrupt the latest
dictator you elected since you have no other chance to get things
changed. But I think it would be far better if more people have a say
in political processes so they don't need to be interrupted just to
change their direction.

Do you think it's possible to make any extrapolations from the way free 
software projects are run? They also have the problem of continuity.

There are several models: at one extreme there's Linux, with one person in 
overall charge but people rising and filling the 'administrative' posts
as they fall vacant; at the other, more organised elective systems (eg.
Debian), and in between ones with semi-formal rotation (perl, Apache).
What they have in common is that the people in charge are only in charge
as long as they're doing what people want; on the other hand, they also
set a direction. And they only get to be there by showing they're good at
it. It seems like the best kind of democracy to me. But it is still
representative, not like Athens, or a kind of government where 
everything is decided by referendum. 

The issue of doing things that are wrong but done to please the public in
order to get re-elected simply doesn't arise - people mostly don't want to
be in the situation of running something on a large scale. Everybody knows
how hard Linus works (and that he's good at it, too). He gets fame and I
guess some money from it, but not enough to motivate any kind of electoral
corruption. The worries in this system are FOR him, not about him - can he
cope with the load? Should he have more help? etc.
On the other hand, is this kind of management something that only works
for 'technical' issues (like software), not for things that affect
everybody's daily life?



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