Social Forums: A Digitalization of Council Democracy (Pt. I of II)

Basic Diagram of Information Transmission on the WWW.

A National Intranet is arguably the ideal structure to implementing a digitized version of Council Democracy in the digital realm. Compared to the World Wide Web (WWW), the National Intranet is isolated enough from the International Internet to convene aspects of the political process. The limited Access to the National Intranet from another country or the International Internet is designed to minimize the risk of cyberattacks and attempts to disrupt the political process. This is because visiting the National Intranet from outside the Socialist Nation is meant to be digital equivalent of crossing international borders. Given the boundaries that set the National Intranet apart from the International Internet, the National Intranet itself becomes suitable enough for practical conceptions of Digital Governance without having to rely on the Blockchain Technologies of conventional Cryptocurrencies. The significance of Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in relation to Digital Governance will be revealed over the course of this Blog post.

As one should know by now, the basic idea behind Council Democracy is to bring the political process to the workspace, allowing the Totality to participate in the affairs of their State from there. The Totality chooses their Delegates for the local government. The local Council chooses its Delegate for the regional Council. And the regional Council in turn chooses its own Delegate to the State Council. The State Council functions as the national legislature of the central government.

The concept of E-Democracy must strive to become something more than just a way to streamline and hasten the procedures of Council Democracy. In essence, it should help lay the foundational groundwork required to govern the Socialist Nation’s National Intranet. The National Intranet contributes Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld to the Life-Energy Reserve vis-à-vis the LERE Process. It is possible to envisage Enterprises operating on the National Intranet and conducting most of its activities there. It is also possible for other Enterprises to use the National Intranet as an extension of their offline activities in the Real World. Whichever the case may be, I am certain that the LERE Process itself bears the seeds of Council Democracy in the digital realm.

The LERE Process is realized by the Blockcycle Technology. A personal computer, connected to a server or network attached to an Intranet Service Provider, acts as the means of production by which somebody creates Digital Arbeit. When the Self creates Digital Arbeit from their activities on a website or online service, the data gets transferred across the National Intranet to the LERE Refinery, where it gets turned into Digital Geld. The Digital Geld is wired to a State Bank, the State Bank processes to the Central Bank, and the Central Bank registers it as Actual Geld. What began in the National Intranet manifested itself in the Real World. What was manifested in the Real World can be brought back to the National Intranet, creating a reciprocal relationship.

The Self, the one who creates Digital Arbeit, will never be alone on the National Intranet. Their economic activities may be organized as part of a larger “Digital Enterprise.” A Workshop operates 3D Printing technologies to manufacture items on order. A Small Business that runs an online shop on the side. A Cooperative where members work together as both employer and employee. We can extend those examples further to include bloggers, media publications, content creators and others. Even a multiplayer gaming server can also become its own source of Digital Arbeit. The Self interacts with these people for Intents that range from their educational and professional life to sharing their passions and personal interests with others.    

One would not call this form of Digital Governance as “Social Media.” In the National Intranet, the concept of Social Media refers to an online media publication where the Totality can post stories and notices for others to read. Yet at the same time, we cannot also describe it as “Social Networking.” A Social Forum is more accurate.

Before Social Media, there was Social Networking. And prior to Social Networking, the “Internet Forum” was the primary method by which someone found others who shared similar values and norms, passions and interests. In the National Intranet, it is inevitable to speak of Social Forums that connect entire communities of people with actual lives offline. The Social Forum would serve as an online space to convene issues pertaining to the LERE Process in the digital realm. It can also serve as a valuable website to oversee the governance of any Artificial Intelligence programs that the Totality are relying on in the actual VCS Economy.  

From the outset, what makes the Social Forum different from a traditional “Internet Forum” on the WWW is that the latter is essentially a message board. People post messages called Threads on the board for others to respond. A long conversation of Posts can keep a Thread going for an untold amount of Zeit (Time). By contrast, the Social Forum would serve as the digital equivalent to the Council Democratic process. Members of a Social Forum would hold periodic elections to choose their Moderators, who in turn will choose their Administrators. The Administrators of entire websites on the National Intranet should try to get to know each other offline, building enough rapport and trust to get an idea as to who should be their Delegates to the local, regional and national-level Forums of the National Intranet.

Each Forum is connected to a computer network of servers attached to a Service Provider responsible for providing Intranet coverage throughout a given jurisdiction. The final authority of the Service Providers is the Ministry of Science and Technology, which is affiliated with the Council State due to its aforementioned role as the final authority in all conducting matters of international trade. Each Service Provider has its own Forum as the online equivalent of a Council.

The Social Forums convene around the same timeframe as those of the Councils. Website Patrons and Administrators address their concerns and discuss matters with Forum Delegates as part of an official State function. Forum Delegates relay information to their Service Provider, which in turn transmits their discussions to the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Ministry of Science and Technology compiles everything into a detailed report for the State Council.

Similar to how the Councils of local and regional governments are capable of governing themselves, the Social Forums are also autonomous enough to oversee their own activities in the digital realm. The Digital Tournament, a concept discussed in connection to the Socialist Student Economy (SSE) of the Ministry of Education, has aspects of itself governed by these Forums. These arrangements are suitable enough for the conduct of MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning) insofar as the Central Planners under MTEP are not required to micromanage anyone like in STEP (Soviet-Type Economic Planning). It will also provide ample opportunities for prospective Economic Planners and Inspectors to coordinate activities of Enterprises using the information technologies provided by the National Intranet’s Social Forums.

Everything discussed here can be achieved in the National Intranet based on the conceptual framework of Blockcycle Technology. The Blockcycle Technology is derived from the LERE Process as a subvariant of the LER Process. It will also negate the need for Blockchain Technology, whose political conceptualization is more suitable for Parliamentary Democracy as opposed to Council Democracy.   

This brings me to the other aspect of this discussion, the significance of Blockchain Technology in Digital Governance and E-Democracy. There have been a number of proposals in recent years involving the reapplication of Blockchain Technology to a political process. If the Blockchain Technology employed in conventional Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum reflect the distrust toward the Fractional-Reserve Banking System, then their political equivalent was intended to restore trust in nations relying on aspects of Parliamentary Democracy. At least, that was the rationale behind the Estonian decision to employ some version of Blockchain Technology into its political system.

Diagram of Estonian eID System.

Estonia is the only country in the world that has so far succeeded in implementing a model of Digital Governance conducive to a Liberal Capitalist Parliamentary Democracy. Its small size and centralized digital infrastructure allowed its government to implement an e-identity system (eID) based on principles comparable to the Blockchain. An Estonian could use the eID system to vote, pay taxes, access government and financial services, and perform digital signatures on documents. Supported by the inherent encryption features found in conventional Blockchains, the eID system is also designed to leave traces if somebody tries to tamper or hack into its Blockchain. The Estonian government will know if attacks were initiated within Estonia or beyond its borders.

I am convinced that the Socialist Nation of The Work-Standard and The Third Place is capable of pioneering its own equivalent with Blockcycle Technology. The key difference is that the National Intranet promises an entirely different set of dynamics and relations. The Social Forum will no doubt be play a decisive role across the various servers and computer networks.



Categories: Philosophy

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