Scenario 1999: Political Functions of Social Forums  

The Social Forums, together withthe Social Courts, govern the rest of the National Intranet on behalf of the Council State. Politically, they are designed to function as the Digital Realm’s extension of the Real World’s Council Democracy for the nation that adopts it. The Social Forums in particular are intended to provide an additional avenue for the Totality to express their political will to the Council State. The National Intranet is capable of facilitating the Freedom of Conscience to allow the Totality to bring whatever issues that may be affecting the nation to the attention of the Council State. One of the major challenges of running Council Democracy online, apart from the fact that the Social Forums shall not supersede or override the legislative authority of the Councils under the Constitution, pertains to integrating Self-Government into the Intents of Command and Obedience, MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning), and the Social Ranking System.

Another Conception of Self-Governance?

One of the goals for the Work-Standard, it should be stressed, seeks to transcend and challenge the paradigms and principles of Neoliberalism as the logical extension of Liberal Capitalist Parliamentary Democracy, whose origins can be traced back to the Enlightenment’s State of Natural Rights, in the State of Total Mobilization. Whosoever questions its Economic Liberalism must eventually question its Political Liberalism and its Social Liberalism, the Intent of which is to advocate for their replacement by another Ideology, another Weltanschauung.

Neoliberal conceptions of Political-Economic Freedom consistently espouse that the Private Citizens of Civil Society should possess certain outward Political-Economic Freedoms and other outward Political-Economic Securities that ought to be recognized and upheld by Parliament. On paper, the Market exists as a part of Civil Society; in practice, Civil Society is the Market. Such Freedoms are said to be at risk of being lost by a Parliament wielding administrative power and authority over the Private Citizen and Civil Society. Other Securities are also at risk of being lost by a Parliament unwilling to exercise the necessary administrative power and authority to implement the foundational aims of Neoliberalism. Parliament cannot wield administrative powers and authority over the Private Citizens of Civil Society unless it has an Incentive to protect the Private Citizens of Civil Society against Political-Economic Insecurities or Political-Economic Unfreedoms. Yes, certain Political-Economic Freedoms or Political-Economic Securities will be lost in Neoliberalism’s conception of Political-Economic Freedom, but Neoliberalism is constantly trying to find the right balance (much to chagrin of anyone who is not a Liberal Capitalist or is disillusioned with Parliamentary Democracy).  

One must always be discerning exactly who the Liberal Capitalists fear the most, what motivates them to act, how their thought processes are conducted, and why all of this matters to anyone against Neoliberalism. Most Liberal Capitalists, when they are not confronted by the Figure of the Arbeiter, resent either wealth or power being concentrated in the hands of anyone other than the Private Citizen. Usually, the concentration of wealth or power is centered on Parliament and Civil Society, even when the latter gets conflated with the Market at times. Those who believe the Market wields too much wealth defer to Parliament to rebalance things, the same logic repeating itself when it comes to the belief that Parliament wields too much power. The personality that Liberal Capitalists resent has consistently been any Private Citizen whom they are convinced is too accustomed to the State of Total Mobilization and a potential threat to their State of Natural Rights. This accounts for why the various Liberal Capitalist Factions have been engaging in a tug of war over the roles of Parliament and Civil Society in the hopes of ensuring that the Figure of the Arbeiter does not fully supplant the State of Natural Rights with its State of Total Mobilization.  

The constant tug of war over Parliament and Civil Society contributes to the formulations of the shared paradigm between Production for Profit and Production for Utility within the economic life of a Liberal Capitalist nation. It is also what enables the discussion to take on moral principles that borderline on Nihilism because, with so much attention being placed on the Private Citizen, it becomes inevitable to lose sight of where and how the Private Citizen fits into the grand scheme of things. It even becomes difficult to envisage how Neoliberalism’s conception of Technology creates brand new Kapital without resulting in a systematic extraction of already existing Kapital. From an outsider’s perspective, these are a number of fundamental observations that have been said about Neoliberalism that will continue to remain legitimate for as long as Neoliberalism and its Factions remain relevant within Western political-economic discourse.  

But what deserves to be mentioned here, in connection to what has already been said elsewhere, is that there is more than one conception of Self-Governance. If there can be another conception of Political-Economic Freedoms and Securities, which the Work-Standard implements through Legal Rights and Legal Duties, it becomes tenable to envisage the Work-Standard’s conception of Self-Governance. Council Democracy can serve as the vehicle to spearhead that concept under the Work-Standard because of how it begins locally at the workspace instead of the ballot box. When combined with the National Intranet’s Social Forums and Social Courts, a unique version of Self-Governance may be allowed to emerge.    

Self-Government and the National Intranet

For Council Democracy, the Council State may own and operate the digital infrastructure of the National Intranet, but the real political-economic power happens to be vested in the Totality, the true benefactors of the National Intranet. In the National Intranet as in any other facet of Life under the Work-Standard, the Social Forums are designed to allow the Totality to self-govern the National Intranet. This is because they, as stated earlier, function as the online equivalents of the Councils that exist offline.      

It is inevitable to expect the National Intranet to be capable of self-governing itself, deferring to the Councils and the Council States when it becomes appropriate to do so. The Digital Realm, of which the National Intranet is considered a part of, is going to exist separately from the Real World. The purpose of the Social Forums is to address that barrier between the Totality and the Council State within the Digital Realm. The Council State will become able to reapply the Constitution and the Legal Code to the National Intranet. The Totality, on the other hand, will be able to express their concerns and priorities on the National Intranet as part of the exercise of the Freedom of Conscience.

Self-Government under the Work-Standard has been explored in many guises. The most notable one is the fact that one of the justifications for the National Intranet, in opposition to the World Wide Web (WWW), has been the promotion of National Sovereignty in the Digital Realm. In the Digital Realm, the Council State already practices Self-Government by establishing and maintaining the National Intranet for the Totality, a decision that does not require any deference to the World State Organization (WSO). The WSO is not the one expected to govern the Social Forums, let alone the Social Courts that connect different National Intranets on the International Internet.

Another variation is the Student Government of the SSE. The Student Body are also a part of the Totality and they too are allowed to exercise the Freedom of Conscience. To ensure that the Student Body will be able to express themselves in political-economic life, it became necessary for the Council State’s Ministry of Education to provide parallel governance structures that feed directly into the actual governance structures of the Council State. The Student Councils of the Student Government have their own seats inside the Chambers of the actual Chambers among the Municipal, Regional, and Central Governments.   

A less notable, albeit similar variation, is the feasibility of establishing another parallel structure within the Military-Industrial Complex. The Explicit Intent of allowing a mirrored version of Council Democracy to exist inside the Military-Industrial Complex is to promote civil-military relations between the armed forces and the Totality and the Student Body. The armed forces are still members of the nation which they have been sworn to serve and defend. They too should have their say in the Council Democratic process, more so than the SSE because they will be ones who will be deployed on the battlefield in the event of a declaration of war by the Council State.

At the same time, the Totality practices Self-Governance on the National Intranet through the Councils of their Municipal Governments and through the Social Forums and Social Courts. For the former, much of the digital infrastructure of the National Intranet falls under the local jurisdictions of the Municipal and Regional Governments, both of which oversee the digital infrastructure at the behest of the Council State. For the latter, the Totality is able to choose and decide who governs the Social Forums and Social Courts by means of the Council Democratic process. And just like in the Councils, the Totality is allowed to recall any Delegates and Councilors assigned to the National Intranet.

A similar variation of Self-Governance concerns the ownership of land and buildings, regardless of how the Totality and Student Body obtains them from the Council State. The ability to acquire Personal Properties-as-Power, not to mention their subsequent conversions to Productive Properties-as-Power, implies a Self-Governance that is both economic and political. It demonstrates that the Totality and Student Body can make decisions without having the Economic Planners arbitrarily micromanage all of their decisions or dictate what needs to be done for them. After all, the role of being an Economic Planner, apart from overseeing MTEP, is to act as the conductor of Arbeit and Geld between the Totality and the State for the Life-Energy Reserve. Somebody is still needed to lead the retinues of Accountants tasked with keeping track of how much Arbeit and Geld the entire nation is capable of contributing to the Life-Energy Reserve on any given workweek.  

These arrangements will no doubt be reflected in the organizational structure of the Councils themselves, from the Municipal and Regional Governments to the Council State’s State Council at the Central Government. To be more precise, the Chambers of the Councils will also include Delegates whose constituents are personnel of Digital Enterprises operating throughout the National Intranet. All of the conventional rules of Council Democracy apply in the National Intranet as they normally would in the Real World. Self-Governance in this context means that the Totality will have the ability to actually govern the affairs of the National Intranet’s Websites, Servers, Computer Networks and Systems, and Social Forums and Social Courts.

The implication is that the Totality, of which the Self is a member of, also has a vested interest in the affairs of the National Intranet. The Self, like the Totality, are not passive observers of a hyperactive, all-power Council State in Council Democracy. There are always going to be those contexts where it would be more prudent to let the Totality govern areas of the national life instead of the Council State. It is likewise prudent for the Council State to oversee other aspects of political-economic life that cannot otherwise be done by the Totality. Everyone works together as parts of a whole far greater than the sum of its own parts.   

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  1. Scenario 1999: Economic Functions of Social Forums   – The Fourth Estate

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