Sunday, 22 June 2008


One of the unusual approaches to this blog will be its individualist cosmopolitanism. I will assert that groups of people are not real, separate bounded entities. They instead are simply conglomerations of individuals, for one reason or another. This does not mean that the individuals of which a group is composed are self-instituted discrete bodies. Jurgen Habermas's insights will be useful here, to situate such thinking in the discourses through which peoples comprehension of the world are constituted.

For the purposes of this blog, that will mean accepting that nations and other organisations are fictions - long-running and behaviourally important, undoubtedly - but fictions nonetheless. If readers wish to take issue with this idea please do it somewhere else. There may be valuable aspects to national loyalty, for instance, or to behaviours promoted by citizenship, but these will be approached separately and distinctly. Anyone who holds that there is something genetically intrinsic about one particular nation that is somehow transcendent to all others above and beyond cultural discourses is unwelcome. They need to accept their basic racism and head off for more intolerant climes....


This blog will hopefully fulfil 2 purposes - it is a place to get down some of the ideas for my dissertation on this same topic, but more importantly it will serve as a discussion centre for some of the ideas that will be utilised within it. These ideas are primarily:

Representative democracy does not and cannot ever work. Making our own decisions is something intrinsic to our agency as human beings, so to assign them to a representative is fundamentally disenfranchising - even dehumanising.

The system of representation is not just detrimental to the represented - it places expectations upon representatives that cannot ever be satisfied; leading to disillusionment and alienation, and a cynicism about anyone who tries to undertake activity on behalf of collective groups.

A system of direct democracy is not only now possible, or desirable - at some time in the future it is inevitable. It is a necessity that we have a discussion about how that system might operate before it arrives, to prevent any attendant excesses or pitfalls.

:these basic points will form the backbone of my thinking about government and how it will someday be constituted. This blog will be unashamedly normative in it's approach - it is my fervent belief that a direct democratic system is preferable to (in fact solves many of the problems with) our current political template. However, it will not be uncritical or uncontroversial in its positions.

I hope it will serve as a resource for discussions and ideas around the whole topic.