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Point/counterpoint: democracy and e-democracy

Point: Foundations of E-Democracy


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1858 Liberty Head gold coin

Credit: SellRare

The Internet revolution of democracy, which will transform earthly representative democracies by employing the communication and collaboration capabilities of the Internet, has yet to come. For this Communications Point/Counterpoint discussion, I enlist the wisdom of our forefathers to lead the way. By consulting the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,4 I distill core values of democracy and derive from them requirements for the foundations of e-democracy. Building on these foundations can usher in the urgently needed revolution of democracy.

Representative democracy is in retreat worldwide,1,5,6 as many democracies transform into oligarchies, plutocracies, or even kleptocracies. A key reason is lack of respect of democracy's basic tenet—equality of rights—as the rich, the powerful, and the connected increasingly dominate who gets nominated, who gets elected, and what the elected do. The forefathers of democracy have identified this to be "... the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments."4


 

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