Politics Without Politicians
All over the world today most
people mistrust most politicians.
Political scandals, conspiracies
and corruption occur daily in every
country and in every political party, hence most politicians are
even by their supporters. Many believe that politics necessarily breeds
corruption (there’s a well-known saying, “All power
corrupts”). No wonder many
people mistrust not only politicians but politics itself.
Many refuse to vote. They
longer believe elections can make a significant change.
Non-voting for representatives is a
vote of “no confidence” on rule by
Often people disgusted by most
Politicians’ duplicity seek trustworthy
politicians. If they find some, those too eventually disappoint them.
some believe a dictator should replace parliament. Others, rejecting
but seeing no alternative, give up and leave politics to politicians.
makes matters worse as politicians concerned more with their power than
the interests of society are left to run society.
This booklet explains how to run
society by all citizens – not
representatives - voting directly on POLICIES rather than on
politicians. When all citizens
decide all policies politicians are
as their job is to decide for others. Politicians represent others.
to decide for others is “Power”, and it is this
Power - not politics – that breeds corruption. Abolishing authority to
rperesent others wil abolish
corruption. When no
one has the right to decide for
others, politics will be purged of hipocricy, duplicity, and
all citizens decide all policies themselves
we have a new political system called Direct
Democracy (DD). In
such a system no
one decides for others, no one is paid for deciding policy, so costs of
society are greatly reduced, yet citizens’ concern for their
No political system can cure all
political problems. Belief in such a cure is a dangerous delusion. There is no such cure. Abolishing power
will solve many political problems but not all of them. When every
propose, debate and vote on every policy no one has authority to decide
others so politicians’ power is abolished. Political
power works like a drug. Those who get it
any State, Church,
municipality, school, or family - become addicted to it. They should be
like addicts who do anything to get their drug.
Many politicians crave power for
its own sake, but even the few who use
it to improve society will do anything to hold on to it.
DD abolishes political power by
forbidding anyone to decide for others.
In DIRECT Democracy
no one decides for others. Every
citizen can decides directly every policy. Every
citizen has only one vote on every policy and
represents him/herself only.
If a policy produces undesirable
results, those who voted for it are
recurrence of bad results voters must discover what made them vote for
decision and reconsider their motives. This enables people to search
problems within themselves
- not outside them - to find and overcome them.
Direct Democracy can be summed up
citizen has, every moment, authority
propose, debate, and vote for, every policy. This
the political power of representatives, their authority to decide
others. In DIRECT democracy no one decides
policy for others Every
has the right to propose, debate, and vote on every policy. Whether
citizens use this right - or not - is up to them.
Principle of Political
DD at the
place of Work
DD in Education
DD in the Family
Basic Rules of DD
How does DD Work?
Replies to critics
‘Policy’, ‘Police’ all
from POLIS, the title of city-states in ancient Greece. Each such city
its own laws, courts, money, army and foreign policy. There were
Poleis, each with its own special system for running the city, for
laws, its policy, and its army. Some
cities were named after their founders:
the Emperor Constantine founded Constantino-polis.
Adriano-polis was named after Adrian.
Akropolis is the ‘high city’, the
of ancient Athens.
What a Polis inten ds to do is
called ‘Polis-y’. “Politics”
activity of deciding what the Polis should
who decide policy are called “Politicians”.
People appointed to enforce the
laws of the Polis are called ‘Police’.
Nowadays we can replace the term
‘Polis’ by the
term ‘Society’, and "Politics" is the activity of
deciding what an
entire society should do.
In some Poleis dictators decided
what the Polis shold do, in others - the
elders or land owners.
In Athens all free men (but not
women and slaves) decided all policies.
This was known as ‘Demos-kratia’ because the
“Demos” (the entire community) had
"Kratos", namely – authority to decide what the Polis should
What people call
“Democracy” today is a system where representatives
citizens - not all citizens themselves - decide all policies. This is
Representatives (RR) not democracy. Calling
such a system “Democracy” is
false and misleading.
In Democracy all citizens decide
all policies, and no one decides for
Politics means deciding what an
entire society should do. This is done
today by a few politicians. Everywhere today only a few Representatives
citizens - not the citizens themselves - decide all policies.
People accept policy-making by
representatives because they do not yet
see how all citizens can do so themselves. This
seems impossible. Finding out what millions of
citizens want looked
too complicated until recently. Today
it can be done by electronic means.
In Direct Democracy every citizen
can propose, discuss and vote on every
Is this technically possible today? Yes.
Is this desirable?
To some -
others - Yes;
To do politics is to decide policy. What does “to decide” mean?
In politics there are two types of
1. What should
society do? (decisions of
should society do it? (decisions
carry out a policy).
The next chapter discusses the
first type. A later
chapter discusses the second
2. Decisions are
Many people confuse decisions with
To decide is to PREFER. To draw
a conclusion is to
A decision is a preferance,
a conclusion is a
There are four differences between
and a ‘conclusion’.
1. To ‘decide’
is to choose
one option from a number of options. If only one option exists we
and there is nothing to decide. To
choose is to prefer.
Preference is determined by a
priority. So every decision is determined
by a priority.
To "reach a onclusion" is utterly
different. Only one
right conclusion exists and we
cannot choose it according to our priorities. We must deduce it from
by using logical reasoning and technical knowledge.
Data, reasoning and knowledge - not
priorities - determine a single right conclusion.
We must accept it even if we prefer a
2. A conclusion can be
‘right’ or ‘wrong’, (2+2=5),
but not ‘Good’ or
are no bad conclusions,
only wrong ones. A
decision can be
‘Good’ or ‘Bad’, but not
‘right’ or ‘wrong’. There
are no wrong decisions,
only bad ones..
3. Those making
a decision are
responsible for its outcome as they could decide differently - by a
priority - and get a different outcome. Those who draw a conclusion are
responsible for its results. They
not draw a different conclusion that is right.
responsible only for the
conclusion being right, not
4. Data determines conclusions, it
does not determine decisions. The same
data forces different people to draw the same conclusion, but they can
different decisions on it because of their
To clarify further the difference
between a decision and a conclusion,
let us compare Hamlet wondering “To
not to be?” with a doctor pondering “To
amputate or not to amputate? ” Hamlet has two
options and must decide which
to choose. Knowledge
and logic cannot
help him, as they do not determine what is ‘Good’
for him. On the other hand, a
doctor must solve his dilemma by medical knowledge and logical
leading to the right medical conclusion. If
this has ‘Bad’ consequences the
doctor is not to blame.
A doctor is responsible only for
his conclusion being right.
Imagine a patient
suffering from a tumour in the leg. Analyzing test-results the doctor
that the patient has cancer and says: “Amputation
can enable you to live
longer; without it, you’ll die soon.”
By applying logical reasoning to medical data a
draws a single
medical conclusion (‘diagnosis’). If the conclusion
is wrong it is due to
faulty data or reasoning but not due to the doctor’s priority. Medical data determines a
conclusion, but not the patient’s response to this
conclusion. The patient -
not the doctor - decides how to
respond to the doctor’s conclusion. The same conclusion
can lead different patients to make different decisions
due to different priorities. Some decide to die rather
than live as disabled, others decide to live as disabled rather than
decision is “Good”?
Can the same
conclusion lead to contradictory decisions, both
two decisions that contradict each other both be
Surprising as it may seem the
answer is - Yes.
The reason is simple:
different patients have different priorities, some prefer disability to
while others prefer death to disability. Both
decisions are ‘good’ in the eyes
of those who made them, as they
are determined by different priorities, not by facts, knowledge or
people have different priorities,
and there is no absolute priority enabling us to grade all priorities.
How does all this relate to
Are politics decisions or
‘decide’ or ‘conclude’ policy?
In politics people vote. Voting is
choosing. To choose is to prefer. We decide what
Anyone deciding policy - King,
Dictator, President, Prime Minister, Leader,
or ordinary citizen - chooses one option from a number of
options. We cannot choose a
conclusion. Answering “What to do”? is always a
decision, never a
Decisions are determined by
priorities, not by data, knowledge or
reasoning. The same facts, knowledge, and logic, can lead to different
decisions due to different priorities.
Politics is decisions, not
conclusions. We decide
political issues. We
Those who make a decision are
responsible for its results as they could
make a different decision (motivated by a different priority) and get
Politicians whose decisions produce
undesirable results ussualy try to
evade their responsibility for such results by saying “I
had no choice” pretending their decisions were
they voted. Voting
is choosing. One
cannot choose a conclusion.
A priority is a
principle that determines preference. Without a priority we cannot
‘decide’ is to
choose one option from a number of options. To choose is to prefer. We
according to our priority. Priorities determine what we consider as
for whom it is ‘good’. Many
priorities are ‘natural’ or
‘self-evident’. Not so. They
assertions we make as without them we cannot make a decision.
Before World War I in Europe many
believed that ‘good’
means ‘Whatever is good
for King and country.’ In the
States some believed that ‘What’s
good for General
Motors is good for
the United States.’ But is the
for General Motors’ also good for the Ford Motor Company? Ford employees may think
Human priorities are created by
people, not by ‘Nature’, not by
not by ‘History’, not by
‘Reality.’ Priorities are not
imposed on us from outside,
below. If they
were, there wouldn’t be political problems. Many people
believe ‘Survival’ is
the ultimate priority imposed on us by Nature. Hamlet refutes this. If
were his priority ‘not to be’ cannot be an option,
as he must conclude ‘to be’
and has nothing to decide. But
Hamlet ‘not to be’ is an option, so he must decide,
not conclude. For Hamlet -
and many others - survival is not the ultimate priority. There is no
A BBC survey conducted in 2004
showed that 71% of US citizens were ready
‘to die for God.’ They value God more than their
survival. Many value their WAY
of life more than life itself. Many prefer to risk their lives for
Honour rather than to live under oppression, or in shame.
dishonour!’ and ‘Freedom or death!’
motivated millions to fight against
oppression rather than submit to it.
Is submission to Nazi rule
preferable to fighting against Nazism? Many
replied - No.
Human society was not created by
Nature. It is an arbitrary creation of human
beings. By creating society people liberated themselves from total
to Nature. In Nature behaviour is dominated by biological needs. There
nothing ‘good’ in being completly dominated by
biological needs: it abolishes
freedom and reduces priorities to one - survival. Living in society
us from this enslavement by making the fulfilment of biological needs
frees us to choose
priorities set by us, not by Nature.
Life in society enables us to
choose our own priorities.
All political priorities can be
sorted into just five types by posing the
“I want to do what is
“Good”, but for whom should this be good
five possible answers
1. Good for me/my family
2. Good for my
3. Good for Humanity
4. Good for God
5. Good for all Nature
At any moment we have a single
priority. We need it as without it we
We cannot have two priorities at
the same time, as we cannot prefer two
things. We may want two things but if we must choose one of them we
by using our priority.
Each priority excludes all other
for King and Country’ excludes ‘Good
for me’; ‘Deutschland uber Alles’
excludes ‘Rule Britannia’; both exclude
for Humanity.’ Many
people use one
priority for one purpose and another priority for other purposes but at
given moment everyone has only a single priority.
Economic and political conflicts
originate from conflicts of priorities.
Ethno-centrism of one group comes into conflict with ethno-centrism of
groups and often leads to war.
Egocentrism of one person comes
into conflict with the egocentrism of all
Ego-centrism, the priority
principle of Capitalism, contradicts
Anthropo-centrism, which is the priority principle of Socialism and of
Each priority has sub-priorities,
to decide what does ‘good’ mean. ‘Good
for me’ can mean maximum health, or maximum wealth, or
maximum power, or
maximum happiness, or longevity. Here
too we can have only one sub-priority at any moment.
How do priorities affect Hamlet and
the doctor? They
affect Hamlet but not the doctor.
Hamlet decides according to his
priorities but the doctor concludes by
applying logical reasoning to medical data, not by personal priorities. If Hamlet is religious
then his priority
makes him choose ‘to be’ as all religions forbid
suicide. But if his
priority is ‘good for me’, and if
he prefers death to dishonour, then he’ll decide
‘not to be’. A
doctor cannot choose a medical
are not chosen
but imposed by the data and by logic.
What about politics?
“Politics” conclusions or is it decisions ?
Politicians vote . One cannot
vote for a conclusion, so politics
consists of decisions.
for King and country’ was the priority
of most Europeans up to World War I, and millions of Europeans
die for that priority.
Two world wars changed
people’s priorities. Today most people in Europe
and the United States have another priority: Ego-centrism. ‘I
do what is good for me’.
In his inaugural speech in 1961
President Kennedy appealed to the
citizens of the USA to change their priority. He said
not what your country can
do for YOU. Ask
what YOU can do for your
He asked them to change their
priority from ego-centrism to
few did so.
Priorities are programmed into
children by parents, teachers, leaders.
Once implanted, it is very difficult to change them - especially if
done using authoritarian means.
People believe that their own
priority is ‘natural’,
only sensible choice’. But all priorities are arbitrary. No
priority can be
justified ‘objectively’ as every justification is
itself based on a priority
which requires justification.
request, very few Americans changed their ego-centric
Some Americans decided that
Kennedy’s priorities contradicted their
priorities and assassinated him on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
event - like all wars - demonstrates that conflicts of priorities often
motivate people to kill.
In ancient Athens citizens
concerned with the Polis were known as
‘Polites’. The “Polites” proposed
policies. Today ‘politicians’ do not "propose"
a policy but decide policy for all
citizens while the vast majority of citizens cannot do os.
contradicst "Demos – Kratia".
To vote is to choose. To choose is
to prefer. In elections we decide who
will decide for us what our society should do. We
choose others to express our preference and
according to our priorities. They are supposed to serve as a mere
In reality they impose their own
priorities on us.
Why choose others to prefer on our
can’t we choose ourselves what we prefer
our society to do ? We
representatives because to find out what millions of citizens prefer
slow and difficult, while policies must often be decided quickly.
The easiest way to decide policies
for a whole society was to authorize
one person to decide for all. Therefore for many years, in most
person (Chieftain, King, Emperor) decided what an entire society should
Often, that person’s priority was to make authority to decide
for all into
property of his family. Eventually
people rejected such authority and elected representatives to decide
for them. If one
100,000 citizens, 500 politicians represent 50 million citizens. These
sit in a medium-sized hall to debate (‘parler’ in
Parliament or ‘congregate’ in
Congress) and vote by raising hands. Representatives make many
for those who elected them. This system is still in use as finding out
millions of people prefer, explaining to them the options and their
results, setting up voting facilities, counting millions of votes, was
recently - a very long and complicated procedure.
Nowadays all this can be done by
TV, mobile phones, or magnetic cards.
Many believe that politicians apply
the preferences of those who elected
them. Usually they don’t. Nor do
possess a special skill for deciding. Every decision is determined by a
priority, not by a skill. Decision-making
is a role, not a skill; everyone
The Athenian philosopher Plato - who opposed Democracy - argued that
decision-making is a skill like that of a ship’s captain who
steers a ship in a
particular direction by using knowledge of ships and navigation. But society is not a ship.
All passengers on
a ship want to reach the same destination, but not all citizens in
the same policy since they have different priorities. Politicians need
skills to get Power, like conspiracy (to defeat rivals); flattery (to
support of superiors); and hypocrisy (to win voters) but they need no
skill for deciding policy.
Politicians decide policy according
to their personal priority like
The citizens of ancient Athens, who
invented Democracy, declared: “Every
cook can govern.” We see this
when Arnold Schwarzenegger, a muscle man who became an actor, serves as
Governor of California. He can decide for all citizens without any
skill or training because all decisions are determined by priorities
not by a
Arnold has priorities just like
anyone else. In
1980 Ronald Reagan, another Hollywood
actor, became President of the USA. Did he possess a special skill
Not at all. No President has a
special skill required for being
President, Acting as President is a role, not a profession. It can
Anyone can act as President.
Whether he’ll be good (for whom?) or bad (for
whom?) depends on the
priorities of those who comment on his decisions.
Forecasting the outcome of a policy
does require knowledge and skill,
which are provided by experts who study the various options and their
outcomes. Such experts explain to the President the various options and
possible results, but they do not decide which option to choose. The
decides. Experts rarely decide policy, but when they do, it is their
priorities, not their expertise, that determines their decision.
A President acts like the jury in a
court of law. Jury members are not
legal experts. They listen to lawyers, to witnesses, and the judge, and
decide whether the defendant is guilty or not. When witnesses
other, jurors must decide whom to believe. They do so according to
preferences, not according to their legal knowledge.
decide what society
carries out these decisions.
This raises two questions:
1. What is
2. What is
Britain’s Prime Minister during the 1980s, once said: “There
is no such thing as society, there
are only individuals and families.”
She said this to justify her policy of
arguing that coal
mines, railways, electricity plants, must be run exclusively for
profit, not as
a service to ‘Society’, which is - according to her
- a fiction, not a reality.
At first it seems she is right.
see no entity called ‘Society’. We see only people.
But if she is right, then one can
also say: “There is no such thing as an
Army, there are only people wearing uniforms.” We know this
is nonsense. An
Army is more than people wearing uniforms. The difference between an
people wearing military uniforms is not in the way they look but in the
they behave. People wearing military uniforms as a fashion do not obey
and do not act together according to a plan. They do not risk their
kill others, even if ordered to do so. Only
soldiers in an Army do so.
The difference between
“people” and “society” is not
in how they look but
in how they behave. A ‘society’
not merely people living next to each other but people behaving
rules accepted by all of them. These
rules - known as ‘laws’ - are made to resolve
conflicts between people, and are
accepted by most people in a society.
Obedience to laws makes
“people” into a ‘society’.
Different societies make
different laws, but
only when a group of people accepts the same laws do they become a
everyone obeys every law,
but most of the time most people obey most laws. Some
do so out of fear of punishment, but
most people in most societies obey most laws because they know that
laws there will be constant strife and living together will be
impossible. A crowd
of people, each obeying their private
laws, as in frontier towns in the ‘Wild West’ of
the United States in the 19th
century, is not a society. It
a crowd without cohesion. Such
lack stability and viability. They live in constant strife, lack
and eventually fall apart. American Indians used to say the
“Wild West” became
‘Wild’ only after the whites arrived. It
became wild because each white immigrant obeyed only his own laws. When people obey
only their private rules
they constantly fight each other and ‘society’ does
Before creating societies,
hominoids were just another species of apes
lacking speech and thought. Life in society produced speech and thought
‘humanizing’ primates. Speech
thought are not produced by Nature but by Society.
If, as Margaret Thatcher said, Society does
not exist, then speech, language, and thinking, could not exist either.
6. The State
we have seen, people living together and obeying accepted rules are a
To make the rules
(“Laws”), to enforce them and defend them, people
created special systems. All of them together are - ‘the
components of the State are:
1 Parliament - a
group to discuss
and decide laws and policies for an entire society.
2. Government - a commitee deciding
how to carry out each policy.
Police, and Prisons – people
trained and organized to enforce the
4. An Army - people organized, and
armed, to attack other societies or
these together are “The State”.
The content of the laws depends on
their makers. If one person makes the
Laws they will depend on that person’s priorities. If a group
makes them they
will depend on the group’s priorities.Peoples’
survival depended on society and
society depended on laws accepted by all. In
the past people attributed the creation of
laws to God. The laws were deemed to come from God.
Laws were engraved in stone to be permanent
and visible (n Hebrew ‘to make a
means ‘to engrave in
Bible story about God giving the Ten
Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai is an example of the belief that
by which a society lives are made by God.. According
to the Bible Moses engraved them on two
tablets, but he
recieved them from God.
Mohammed too was convinced that God
dictated the Koran to him.
Actually it is people who make all
laws. Moses - not God - created the
Ten Commandments, and Muhamad - not God - created the Koran. Human beings, not Gods,
make laws and States,
and they can - and do - change
them. Every State
is designed, created,
maintained and paid for by all the citizens and they have a right to
whenever they so wish.
The basic issue of politics is: Who makes the laws and policies of
a society ?
centuries ago the answer was - the King.
opposed laws and
policies made by kings and decided to make the laws themselves. No King liked this. A
violent conflict between
kings and citizens
started. The King
called for ‘Law and Order’
denouncing the citizens
and ‘lawless’. By
Order’ he meant his Law
and his Order. The citizens wanted
and Order” they made themselves. The conflict between the
citizens and the king
was not conflict of ‘law vs. lawlessness’ or
‘order vs. disorder’. It was a
conflict of “King’s law” vs.
“Citizens’ law” and
‘King’s order’ vs.
the citizens won,
but the issue, ‘Who makes the laws and who decides what the
still with us today.
Nowadays ‘law and
order’ is decided by politicians, yet many citizens
disagree with many laws and much of this ‘order’. Today we can
have a system where all
citizens - not their representatives - decide what the laws and the
Such a system is a
Direct Democracy (DD). It
is a society
run directly by all its citizens. This will be denounced as
‘Lawless’ by those who prefer Rule by
Representatives (RR). A
citizens are represented by others but can represent themselves
directly and determine the laws and the order themselves,
is not a democracy.
This raises the
Democracy was invented in the
ancient city of Athens by Cleisthenes about
2,500 years ago. In Greek, ‘Demos’ means ‘the people of the
community’; ‘Kratos’ means
‘authority to decide’.
‘Demos-kratia’ (Demokratia) means ‘a
system to decide what a group should do where all members have the
participate in all decisions’. Nowadays we would
call this a
‘Direct Democracy’ as citizens themselves
- not their representatives -
decide all policies. In
Demos-kratia all free adult men (but not women or slaves) decided all
and policies of their society. This was not ‘rule by
citizens to vote on questions set by others. Every
citizen could propose every
law and policy, amend or debate it, and vote on it.
Denying women and slaves to propose
and vote on policy is a major fault,
but in most ancient societies also free men could not decide policy or
Only kings or elders made all laws and policies. Athenian
demos-kratia was unique by
enabling all free men to vote.
Today we still admire
Egypt’s pyramids, but they are not something we can
use. Yet Athenian democracy is something we can use today.
‘Democracy’ is still
very much in demand, though its content and form have been perverted
Athenian democracy produced the
philosophies of Socrates, Plato and
Aristotle. It invented Theatre, Drama, Persona, Tragedy, Comedy, the
Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, and the method of proof by logical
argument. We still use them today. They were created in Athens, not in
which was nearby but was run by two kings and a council of elders. Philosophy,
Theatre, Tragedy, Persona, grew
from the public debates on policy which took place before voting, in a
known as the ‘Agora’. Every citizen could express
his views in the Agora. On
controversial issues there was even a duty (called
‘Parhesia’) to express views
publicly - silence was punished by law.
All citizens debated and voted
directly on all laws and policies of
democracy there were
no elections. Citizens appointed people to carry out policies. Such
appointments were made by lottery, not by election. Posts were granted
year only. No one could serve two consecutive years. Each year new
appointed new people and the outgoing ones had to account for their
were punished for failures. Appointing officials by lottery prevented
formation of an elite and eliminated competition and corruption.
This is utterly different from what
we call ‘Democracy’ today.
‘Democracy’ means electing a few politicians to
decide for all
This contradicts the meaning and
spirit of original democracy where all
citizens decided all policies, without representatives.
decide all policies.
Politics without Politicians is the
meaning of Athenian
To be "Free" is to live by one's
own decisions. ‘Freedom’ means
living by self-made decisions. Those living by their own decisions are
Those who live - knowingly or
unknowingly - by other people’s decisions,
are not free.
Total freedom is impossible in any
is possible only when one lives - voluntarily
- isolated from all people. Living with others requires accepting,
their decisions, and limiting one’s own decisions so they do
not harm others.
Even two people living together voluntarily have disagreements, and
occasionally, accept decisions of the other. If the same person always
others’ decisions, that person is oppressed. But if people
take turns in
accepting others’ decisions they limit their freedom -
voluntarily - for the
sake of living together. This occurs in most families, communities,
In society people agree to obey
decisions of others if others in turn
obey decisions of theirs.
If the same person or group always
has to bow to decisions of others,
they are oppressed.
Total freedom for every member of a
group is impossible in any group,
even in the smallest anarchist commune.
Most people prefer to live in
groups such as family, tribe, society, with
partial, rather than total, freedom. However, there are different
partial freedom. Living under elected rulers gives people more freedom
living under unelected rulers, as the ruled can at least decide who
for them. But those living under elected rulers have less freedom than
living without rulers. A society where every citizen can propose,
vote on every law and policy is self-ruled, and its majority lives by
decisions. The minority must obey majority decisions but if the
minority has a
fair chance to become a majority it is not oppressed. These citizens
more freedom than those who live in a society where representatives
every law and policy.
Politics without politicians
(Direct Democracy) allows the highest level
of freedom possible in any society. It is not total freedom, as
decisions are binding and the minority must accept them. So the
minority is not
totally free. However, those in a minority on one issue can be in the
on another decision. A minority that can promote its views and become a
majority is not oppressed. A minority prevented from becoming a
rules (laws) forbidding it - or restricting its ability - to publicize
views, is oppressed - but if it can publicize its views, gain votes and
a majority, it is not.
Direct Democracy enables every
minority to promote its views, however
disagreeable they may be .This stimulates public debates on policy,
people’s concern for their society, and raises the quality of
life in society
as a whole and of each individual within it.
Indifference to society breeds
boredom and depression. By encouraging people
to participate in deciding what their society should do Direct
dispel their indifference to society and thus the boredom and
people suffer today.
The American Declaration of Independence
hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
And women ? Are they
‘created equal’ with men?
The formulators of this declaration
did not consider women – or slaves –
They opposed the idea that women
must have the same rights as men
As no two creatures are
‘created equal’ the declaration also contradicts
did its authors have in mind ? did they mean biologically
equal? Legaly equal? Economic equality? Political equality? These are different
matters. It seems they
meant legal equality - namely, that all laws apply equally to all
whatever their origin, race, sex, creed, wealth or power, so no one is
the law. The dismissing of President Nixon in 1974 for his part in the
Watergate scandal demonstrated this equality, it showed that even a
of the United States is not above the law.
So much for applying
equally, but what about equal authority to make laws?
Do all citizens
equal authority to propose, debate, and vote , on
Certainly not. Very
few citizens are authorized to vote on laws or policies. Those who do
not legal experts but politicians. Applying all laws equally to all
important, but equal authority to vote on laws is more important.
vote on laws and policies is authority to make the rules which all
Every citizen must have the right
to decide what laws society should
accept. After all, the purpose of law is to improve the life of all
Shouldn’t those whose life is to be improved decide
themselves how to do it?
Apparently not, as in no society today are all citizens authorized to
debate and vote for the laws and policies of their society.
Equality (PPE) asserts that even though no two citizens are
equal all must have equal authority to vote on every law and policy of
those who have this
equality live by their own decisions - and are free.
have equal authority to make laws, they can legislate other equalities.
They can decide
laws of society, including other equalities.
PPE must be applied to any group,
couple, family, tribe, nation, army,
place of work, school, and to society itself. PPE
asserts the right of every member of a group to
propose, debate and
vote on every decision of the group. Some will accept PPE as
Others will prefer to die rather than accept it. They will oppose its
application to society - but even more so to family, school, and work.
abolishes power and domination in every domain of society, in families,
schools, places of work, trade unions, and political parties. It
‘leaders’ and ‘led’, dominators
and dominated. No political party leader, Right
or Left, will accept that all members of his or her party have equal
to propose, debate and vote on every policy of their party.
‘democrats’ denounce PPE for taking Democracy too
far, and label it
‘Populism’. They distort the meaning of original
Democracy and write it off as
‘dated’ or ‘unrealistic’. It is
a safe bet that hysterical campaigns against
PPE will erupt whenever demands for PPE will appear. The scope and
hostility to PPE will exceed the hostility to Socialism, Anarchism or
will oppose PPE no less
than Capitalists, arguing that what really matters is the Principle of
Equality, not of Political Equality (PPE). Socialists ignore the fact
all the states based on economic equality (the USSR and the former
Bloc’) only a handful of officials decided everything for
everybody, and 99.99%
of all citizens had no authority to decide anything, not even who
for them. No wonder such systems collapsed without bloodshed. Very few
citizens supported them. Such systems were supposed to overcome
exploitation caused by economic inequality but being based on political
inequality they produced greater oppression and exploitation by denying
citizens political freedom. Most people who grew up in former socialist
prefer economic inequality of capitalism to political inequality of
The collapse of the USSR was the
historical proof that economic equality
is inferior to political equality - and cannot create it.
Only political equality
can create any other
equality and is therefore far more important than any other equality.
Opponents of political equality
argue that most citizens lack the
knowledge to understand the laws they vote for, either their benefits
drawbacks. But this applies to most politicians who vote on laws
of them are not legal experts, yet they debate and vote on new laws and
policies. They call experts to explain the consequences of proposed
then they choose the option that suits their own priorities. Every
do the same. Citizens can listen on radio or TV to panels of experts
a new law or policy, and later vote on it. If a law or policy has
negative results, the citizens can always repeal them. All panels of experts must be drawn by lottery
and changed regularly.
A political party is a group of
people acting voluntarily to promote a
A poklitical Party is not part of
the State. The
State can function without political
If some citizens want to promote a
particular policy they can form a political
Party to do so, but the state can function without them.
A large Party needs people to run
its offices, to publicize its views, to
organize meetings and talks, to raise funds, to create new Party
communicate regularly with Party members. To do all this Parties hire
employees, known by various names – officials, secretaries,
nomenklatura. The names don’t matter; what matters is that
these people earn
their living by running political parties and controlling their work.
decide what to do and how to do it, they influence nominations to Party
Many of these officials care more
about their Party job than about the
Each Party has its own policies,
but there can be different versions of
these. In most parties, different sub-groups advocate different
versions of the
Party’s policies. When a particular Party wins a majority in
an election - in
which many voters may not have bothered to vote – it starts
to run the State.
Its Head becomes President or Prime Minister and Party leaders become
government departments. This Party then runs the government and its
their government posts to implement the Party’s policies. This is how all
‘democratic’ states work
today. Actually this contradicts the basic principle of democracy
all citizens to participate in deciding all laws and policies.
It also contradicts the democratic
principle of nomination by lottery
Party Rule is not democracy. In
‘Demos-kratia’ the citizens vote directly
for policies, not for political Parties. What is called "Democracy"
today is Rule by Representatives (RR). In Democracy Party leaders can
only the policies of their Party, not of society as a whole. Parties
a policy to the citizens; but not decide it for
A political party advocating a
particular policy contributes to
democracy, but a Party deciding all policies for all citizens is
After World War
II, Political Parties
everywhere deteriorated in three ways:
took over the Party from the policy-makers.
2. Parties began
to seek power
for their own benefits, not for the benefit of society.
Today, in most countries, Party
officials run States (and Parties) for
their own benefit, not for the benefit of all citizens.
believe this is ‘normal’.
means two things:
1. To decide what an entire society
2. To carry out
In a Direct Democracy every citizen
has the right to participate in the
first task, to propose a policy, to debate and vote on it. Public
policies are the core of Direct Democracy. In Athens these debates
people to produce Philosophy, to invent the Theatre, Tragedy, Comedy,
convince people by logical reasoning rather than by imposing
one’s authority. Public
debates on policies are genuine only
if facilities exist enabling every citizen to participate.
How can millions
do so? Today
they can do it - by using TV for the
debate, and mobile phones, magnetic cards and touch screens for voting.
ancient Athens citizens debated policy in an open-air space called
modern Agora is TV where
every citizen can speak to millions of other citizens. In DD every
Department (Health, Education, Industry, Finance etc.) operates its own
channel around the clock all year round. Tuning in to a channel will
panel debating policies for this department. Panel
members must have knowledge and experience
issues of the
particular department. They will answer questions phoned in by the
will explain the good and bad points of every proposal. Panel members
drawn by lottery (not by elections) from a list of those with the
expertise. Panel members will be changed regularly; no member will
consecutive periods. Any
reward to panel
members will be a punishable crime.
The TV channel will display lists
of all proposed policies and the panel
will debate the pros and cons of each one. Viewers will be able to
phone in at
any time to question, criticize or suggest ideas. Every proposal will
allocated a discussion time (set by Constitution). When this time is up
proposal will be put to the vote. The public will have 48 hours to vote
one. Any proposal receiving the required number of votes will be
submitted to a
second round of debates and voting. A policy gaining the required
votes in the second round of voting will become state policy. If
demand a third vote, the proposal will be submitted to a third round of
debating and voting.
Public debates on policies, by
millions of people, are possible today.
Clearly, when ‘politics without
politicians’ is established, all citizens will have
to devise and adopt a
Constitution to decide all the procedures. Unforeseen problems will
emerge, but ‘where there’s a will,
there’s a way’,
especially with the help of TV, mobile phones, magnetic cards,
input and the Internet. What technology to use, and how, will be
decided by all
citizens when Direct Democracy is set up. For now it is sufficient to
that by using electronic communication we can establish a political
where every citizen can propose, debate and vote on every law and
When a policy has been decided a
panel will be set up to carry it out.
Panel members will be drawn by lottery from a pool of all those with
and knowledge of the specific task. They will be changed at regular
members’ inefficiency or corruption will be invistigated
immediately - and
punished if it was the case..
12. DD at the
place of Work
Using TV for public debates on
policy raises the question:
decides what to show on
Those who do so , can manipulate
the debate and the vote.
This raises a further question :
decides policy at any place of work, not just in TV ?”
DD gives a clear answer:
unless a majority of citizens decide otherwise, all issues in every
work must be decided by all employees who work there. This raises the
Privatization Vs. Nationalization of the economy. We see that the
or Nationalization of
units of the economy, but
Every employee must have the right
to propose, debate, and vote on every
policy at work. This will make work far more rewarding and efficient.
employees wish to nominate experts to decide technical issues, this
done by lottery and maintain the employees’ right to revoke
any nomination at
Some say Direct Democracy at work
is impossible. But is it desirable? If
it is then where there’s a will there’s a way. When
all employees decide all
policies, management and unions become redundant. This will greatly
costs of production and will eliminate most conflicts at work since
not act against their own decisions. Employees’ Direct
Democracy at the place
of work will end the misery most employees feel today as they cannot
concerning their work and just oppose certain decisions made by
Attempts to introduce DD at work
will be met by fierce resistance from
management, Unions and Political Parties. Those facing this resistance
have to decide how to respond to it. At the moment it suffices to offer
work as an alternative to present methods of production with their
conflicts and frustration.
In small work-places, employee
meetings to debate and decide policy can
be held in a hall by raising hands. When hundreds or thousands of
wish to debate and vote, they can do so by using closed circuit TV or
networks and other methods of electronic communication. All employees
debate these procedures without outside interference, and the majority
Introducing DD at work will meet
many problems, but technical problems
can be overcome by using modern technology. If rancour is harnessed by
tolerance and anger by humour, DD can be implemented without violence
bloodshed. When those who desire DD become the majority - and implement
they will transform not only their work but their entire lives and the
introduced only when most employees want it.
Without majority support there can
be no DD anywhere.
DD in Education
In education today most students
cannot influence how and what they are
This produces boredom, frustration
and learning by rote. Teaching ought
to inspire curiosity and creativity. Cramming data into memory is
when one can consult the Internet any moment. Education today
students to accept what they are taught instead of stimulating their
Direct Democracy in education is
based on joint meetings of teachers and
students to decide what and how to teach. When such meetings decide
subjects and methods, education will change dramatically for the
Students will be able to raise their problems and discuss how to
Teachers will hear criticism and proposals as to how their teaching may
relationship will be transformed.
What is known today as "Education"
is a one-way flow of
information from teacher to student. This must be replaced by a
both sides learn from each other. Today teachers teach accumulated
but in a society based on constant innovation they can learn a lot that
from their students. Today, much accumulated knowledge and experience
becomes obsolete. Using containers in shipping, computers in
prinrting, sattelites in navigation, put an end to many traditional
children today teach their parents how to
use the Internet or a mobile phone. This situation has never existed in
past. The Internet enables anyone to consult libraries, museum, or data
anywhere at any time. Using
a teaching aid can save teachers much drudgery.
The face to face teacher-student
relationship acquires a new importance
today. A teacher need not do what a computer can do - transmit
knowledge. Instead, teachers can assist students to think critically
creatively. There must be a profound democratization of teacher-student
Teachers monologues must be replaced by teacher-student dialogues.
Education of the very young does
require guidance by educators. In DD
such guidance aims to cultivate the child’s autonomy,
and respect for the autonomy of others, rather than its obedience and
It is up to teachers and students
everywhere to introduce DD in
education. As with Direct Democracy in the work-place, procedures for
Education must not be decided from outside but by joint meetings of
and staff. If
DD in education produces
undesirable results they can changed (faster than in any other system). This is part of the
in the Family
Males dominate most families in the
world today. Males decide all the
main issues, especially family’s relationships with society
outside the family. Women
are allowed to decide smaller issues
within the family, especially those regarding children’s
nurturing, but they
must obey the males' decisions even when they disagree with them. In
turn, children must obey both. So
women and children do not live by their own decisions and are not free.
Religion – and Tradition
- support this setup. Many women, conditioned by
Tradition and Religion, accept - and justify - this arrangement. Yet as
women are not free, men cannot be free either. They
are dominated by their obsession with
The Domination Setup conditions its
adherents to dominate or be
dominated. Many try to change from dominated to dominator. This leaves
Domination Setup intact. The struggle against the Domination Setup is
against men but against domination. If women become dominators they
exchange roles but retain the Domination Setup.
Some become addicted to the
Domination Setup, either as dominator or as
dominated. Domination of children by adults (at home, nursery, school
college) is part of the Domination Setup. It creates a servile
character in children,
who as adults will repeat the same family model that tries to
being dominated by dominating others.
This perpetuates the Domination
Setup in the family and in society.
Families living in a Domination
Setup condition their children to become
citizens accepting domination by Bosses,
Experts, Union officials, Priests, Politicians and the State.
They accept domination as
inevitable, "Natural" , and
necessary, and seek
to dominate others.
Only by rejecting the Domination
Setup can one break this vicious
circle. Today we
can replace the
Domination Setup by the Autonomy setup and cultivate the autnonomy, not
servility of ALL members
of the family.
Direct Democracy abolishes the
Domination Setup by establishing an
Autonomy Setup in Politics, at Work, in Education and in the Family.
living by self-made
laws. In the
Autonomy Setup one rules
only oneself, doing so by respecting autonomy of others.
Within the family this
means that parents
respect - and cultivate - each other’s autonomy and that of
children. This does
not mean children
are left to do whatever they like. They are guided to respect the
others. Respect for others is not inherited but acquired via family
with more experience have to guide
children (the level of guidance depending on the child’s
experience) to become
autonomous. Guidance must avoid domination; it should set limits to the
wishes and cultivate the child’s ability to decide within
these limits. By cultivating
the child’s autonomy and its respect for autonomy of others,
create responsible individuals with anthropocentric priorities, capable
creating a society run by all its citizens for the benefeit of the
of society and of humanity.
Rules of DD
To ensure that a DD remains viable
it is necessary to lay down basic
rules for its conduct. Such rules are ‘The
Constitution’ of DD. They too can be
changed at any time but changes should require a large majority (say
80% of all
the citizens) to guard against accidental or frivolous changes, so that
Constitution remains viable longer.
Only those living in a DD must
decide the details of such a Constitution,
but those promoting DD today can suggest some general principles to be
DD must educate its young to accept
anthropocentrism as their priority
since ego/ethno/theo-centric priorities will create constant strife in
will - eventually - tear it apart.
As DD rules by majority decisions
it could become a dictatorship of the
The DD Constitution must prevent
this by adhering to five principles:
right of any minority
(political/ethnic/sexual/religious, or other) to express and promote
– including anti-DD views, however repugnant they may be to
the majority - must
be guaranteed, and protected, against any violation by any majority.
minority must have the
right to veto specified decisions provided it proposes alternative
the one it vetoed. The
right of Veto
does not apply to every decision. All citizens
must decide which decisions can be vetoed.
minority may be exempted
from obeying specified decisions that will apply only to those that
citizens will decide to
Constitution must clarify
which decisions require a simple majority vote, and which require a
all citizens (including those who did not vote).
Some decisions may require a
preferential majority of 60% or more of all
1% of all citizens
propose to debate and vote on a particular decision, that
decision will be
debated and submitted to a
vote of all citizens.
A DD Constitution must protect any
minority from being crushed by the
majority. Minorities must obey majority decisions but must be protected
abuse of this rule. Those in the majority must consider how they would
if they were in the minority, and do their best to minimize the
the minority. The spirit of DD is respect for the autonomy of others,
those in a minority. Majorities are fallible and must take care not to
situations where erroneous decisions cause irreparable damage.
A critical attitude to
one’s own decisions is preferable to
16. How does DD Work?
The basic functioning of DD
political system, for any group of any size,
incorporates the points made in previous chapters and follows the
described earlier in Chapter 11.
All citizens vote directly on all
policies. There are no elections, no
Parliament and no Government. Each
domain of the society, such as health, education, finance, agriculture,
transport etc is allocated a TV channel open 24 hours every day all the
round. Panels drawn by lottery from pools of people with expertise in
particular domain debate the pros and cons of various proposals phoned
citizens. A proposal becomes subject to panel discussion if 1% of all
support it. Proposals are listed on TV and citizens can phone in to
the 1% support required for further discussion. Each proposal is
a fixed length of time, after which all citizens vote on it. Proposals
numbered and citizens can vote on each by mobile phone, touch-screen,
cards, or the Internet. A proposal gaining a majority is submitted to a
round of discussion and voting, and – if required - to a third one.
If it wins a simple majority in the
second – or third - round it becomes
policy, unless it is one which requires a larger, preferential, majority.
Every citizen has one vote. Voting
on behalf of another person is a
criminal offence; so too is offering or receiving favours for a vote.
Voting is not a duty, but a right.
However, a policy is binding for all,
including those who did not participate in the voting on it –
particular issues fixed by DD Constitution.
Citizens can phone any channel at
any time to propose, comment, or
question panel members. Panel members respond, and can suggest
problems, but they do not vote on proposals they discuss.
All citizens will decide which
proposals require a simple majority of
those who voted and which require a majority of the entire electorate,
preferential majority of more than 50% of the entire electorate.
Every citizen has the right to
propose any policy, to vote on any policy,
and to criticize any policy.
Once a policy has been approved, a
Committee will be drawn by lottery
from a pool of people with the relevant experience and knowledge
carry it out.
Committee members serve one year,
after which new members are chosen by
All citizens will decide which
decisions can be vetoed by a minority, in
which case the minority has to propose an alternative to the policy it
All citizens will decide which
decision is binding on those who voted for
it but not on those who voted against it.
Direct Democracy will be applied at
work, in education, and in the
family. However, employees at work and students and staff at a site of
education can overrule their right to decide all policies and appoint
decision-makers as they see fit, provided they retain their right to
Direct Democracy at any time.
All citizens will work out a
Constitution stating the rules of DD for
that society or group. Changing a rule will require a majority of 80%
Every decision can be submitted to
a renewed discussion and vote after
Direct Democracy - as any other
system for deciding policy - faces two
kinds of problems :
Technical problems, and
Technical problems can be
eliminated, but inherent problems are like
volcanoes - they can be treated but not eliminated. They
may reappear, perhaps in a new form, and
must be tackled in new ways.
Technical problems of DD stem from
all citizens’ right to propose, debate
and decide every law and policy. Electronic communications provide the
do this but procedures must be devised to protect the public from abuse
right. Committees to decide such matters can do it, but they must be
lottery and serve one term only. This will prevent the formation of
controling everything. This applies also to the Executive Committees
decide how to carry out policies. Carrying out a policy often requires
expertise which most citizens lack, but Committee members must be
regularly to prevent the formation of ‘expert
elites’ influencing all decisions
in that field.
problems of DD stem
from two issues:
1. There can be
no guarantee that
the results of a decision will be ‘good’.
2. Conflicts between overall
majorities and local majorities are
A decision can produce undesirable
- even disastrous - results,
completely unexpected by its supporters. This happened to popes,
presidents, representatives, fathers, mothers, ourselves - and
everywhere. The chance that a Pope, a Dictator, a President, a General
Secretary or a body of Representatives will revoke their decision if it
produced a disaster is small. They all refuse to admit they were wrong,
challenges their authority and their role as decision-makers. They
undesirable outcome of their decision is not their fault. By contrast,
in DD a
1% minority can initiate a new debate on a decision that produced
results and this may convince a majority to revoke that decision. This
ensure that every bad decision will be revoked, but the chance of doing
DD is greater than in any system ruled by those who insist on their
in a DD need not
suffer indefinitely the undesirable results of a bad decision (like
a lost war). They
need not wait for new
elections, or start a campaign to change a leader. They can renew the
debate on a bad decision and revoke it immediately.
Conflicts between local majorities
and overall majorities are inevitable.
The best way to resolve them is by all agreeing in advance which types
issues will be decided by an overall majority of all citizens - and
which by a
local majority of those involved directly.
majority can impose its decisions by using force this is undesirable as
motivates local majorities to use force too. This leads to an extended
conflict which is eventually terminated by a compromise. To prevent
conflicts it is better to reach a compromise that neither side will
both will accept it as the “lesser evil”.
Whereas a compromise is accepted by
both sides, a clear victory of one
side will motivate the other side to prolong its resistance.
DD reduces the damage caused by
demagogues. In any political system,
demagogues can influence people to make decisions that produce
only in DD this can be remedied immediately. In DD a demagogue can only
advocate a policy, not decide it. Demagogues
can influence citizens’ voting but if this produces
citizens can revoke their decision immediately, thus terminating the
of the demagogue.
In dictatorship the dictator is
ussually a demagogue and must be stripped
of his power before his decisions can be changed. This
is not easy, and takes time. In Rule by
Representatives citizens must wait till next elections before they can
representatives, hoping these will make new decisions. This prolongs
suffering from disastrous decisions.
Only in DD can disastrous decisions
be revoked immediately.
Direct Democracy is not a magic
cure for all the problems of society.
THERE CAN BE NO SUCH CURE. Whoever preaches such a cure sells
abolishes politicians’ power and solves many political
problems faster than all
other political systems because evasion of responsibility for bad
decision-makers is impossible in DD. In
all other political systems decision-makers can evade their
decisions that produced undesirable results by shifting responsibility
others. Evasion of responsibility works like a veil hiding
both causes and makers of
a bad decision from
In DD citizens who made a decision
that had undesirable results cannot
blame others. This forces them to confront their motives for their
tackle them, and thus break the vicious circle where the same
produce the same undesirable results repeatedly.
Replacing RR by DD is the logical -
and historical - continuation of
replacing Monarchy by Parliament. Both increase
citizens’ freedom by enabling them to
live by their own decisions.
DD deepens citizens’
understanding of the problems of their society. It
is not Nature, God or History that cause problems to societies but
living as a group. Until people discover the source of political
within themselves they will face the same problems repeatedly, being
When all citizens decide all
policies, no undesirable result of their
decisions can be blamed on others. Those who made a decision are
for its results and if it produced a disaster they must find out where
went wrong, and why. This is not how representatives, dictators, popes,
presidents, or general-secretaries behave, as it would destroy their
credibility and terminate their role as decision-makers. Only in DD,
deciding policy is not a temporary role but a permanent right of every
can people admit their political errors without fearing that they will
their right to make political decisions. Citizens who ‘made a
mistake’ do not
lose their right to vote, and can admit - and reconsider - what made
for a decision that produced bad results. In doing so they may discover
- and overcome - their
former motivations and develop new abilities
Often a minority whose proposals
were rejected by the majority turns out
to be right, while the majority turns out to be wrong.
Majorities often err and produce
happened in Nazi Germany
in March 1933 elections when 44% of the German electorate voted for the
and Nazi members of the Reichstag (parliament), bullied representatives
other parties to join them in passing a law to abolish all political
except the Nazi Party.
This gave the Nazis a free hand to
carry out their murderous policies.
DD motivates people - more than any
other system - to learn from their
own mistakes. Whether
people learn from
their mistakes - or not - is another matter
Kings, Presidents, Party Leaders, Dictators, or
Representatives cover up
the causes of their disasterous decisions as this could bring about
replacement by others, but in DD decision-makers cannot be replaced yet
motives for disasterous decisions can be replaced to avoid more
Today, under RR political systems,
most citizens have no authority to
decide any policy and will - at best - change representatives whose
produced disasters, but not the motives that led to those decisions.
who supported Hitler considered his decisions bad only because he lost
not because he started it. If they could decide policy also
electing him as leader, they could replace him when they realized the
lost the war. and could have discovered their own mistaken motives,
be judged later by those who defeated them.
When dictators achieve power they
destroy the means to displace them so
only they decide all policies. After 1933 Hitler alone decided all
policies. He carried on the war long after his Army - and most Germans
it was lost. If Germany had been a Direct Democracy it could have
or stop fighting it and might never have killed millions of Jews and
decisions - and acts - must (and can) be hidden from most people, who
object to them. This is impossible in DD.
Whatever must be hidden from most
citizens can rarely become a policy in
Direct Democracy because a majority will rarely vote for a decision to
something from itself.
Some critics argue that DD can
produce a ‘crowd effect’,
or ‘Bandwagon effect’, causing
people to vote like those around them
even when they would not do so in private. Today electronic
enables people to make political decisions privately, separate from any
Today (for the first time in history) anyone can address millions (on
their own home without joining any crowd. Mobile phones and interactive
television enable people to see and hear privately anyone who wants to
them, and to vote on policies in the same way as people already choose
cable TV networks, by pressing a key on a remote control. This eliminates the
‘crowd effect’ or ‘mob
rule’ in politics.
People no longer need to be in a
crowd to propose policy – debate it - or vote
Replies to critics
Many people value their authority
more than their property, and their Status
more than their income. They will vehemently oppose DD as it challenges
dominant authority - in the Family, in Education, at Work and in the
Therefore any attempt to implement DD anywhere will encounter fierce
from all present-day authorities, and decision-makers. Republicans and
Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals, Socialists and Communists,
and Anarchists will all oppose DD.
RR supporters will denounce DD as
‘populist’ while anarchists will reject
it as ‘centralist’. Actually DD has no
“centre” but it accepts majority
Many believe that ordinary people
cannot themselves make responsible
decisions as they lack the required knowledge. If policy decisions
special knowledge, why isn’t such knowledge taught anywhere?
Every doctor has a certificate
confirming her/his qualification to
Why has no politician a certificate
confirming his/her qualification to
practise politics ?
This is so because deciding policy
is not - was not - and never can never
be, a special skill.
To decide is to choose,
and no special knowledge is required for
choosing. To choose is to prefer. People prefer
what they consider
‘best’ according to their priorities,
not because they have some special
knowledge for deciding.
No amount of skill, information or
reasoning determines a decision.
Priorities do, and they are arbitrary and cannot be justified. They are what justifies
In DD, panels of experts - drawn by
lottery - will discuss every policy
on TV, explain its advantages, its drawbacks, its cost, and the
accepting or rejecting it.
Members of such panels will answer
questions phoned-in by citzens, and
providing all with the necessary information to make a decision. The experts will advise.
The citizens will decide.
Many fear that if all citizens will
have the right to propose and decide
all policies there will be too many decisions to vote on. This is
daily in every parliament as the number of proposals is much less than
number of its members. The subject of a proposal, not the number of
entitled to propose it, determines the number of proposals.
Parliaments require three rounds of
voting on every policy proposal.
Proposals failing to get a required
minimum of votes at every stage are
This method can be used in DD and
will reduce the number of decisions to
Contrary to popular belief
corruption is not a necessary part of politics.
It occurs when a few decide for many. Seekers of favours from the few
try to bribe them, while they bribe others to retain their role of
decision-makers. When all citizens decide all policies there are too
bribe. In committees to implement policies drawing committee members by
makes bribes useless. Lottery fraud can be prevented, so politics by DD
Some believe that DD is far more
complicated than a Rule by
Represenatives. This is not necessarily the case. Representatives
problems so they will be called to solve them. Politics by DD is
Politics by RR, but even if this were not so most people prefer more
a complex system, to less freedom in a simple system. Dictatorship is
than RR. One ruler,
or coalition, decides all policies. Yet most people prefer RR - despite
complexity - to dictatorship, as in RR they have at least freedom to
will decide gor them.
A society can be run by Direct
Democracy only if most of its citizens
want to decide policies themselves. Until
the majority wants DD it cannot be implemented
force a majority to make policy decisions. No minority, however
intentions, can impose DD on society. Only
when most citizens want to decide policies
can they dismiss
their representatives and take over
the role of policy makers. Political representatives have no authority
represent those who refuse to be represented by them. In the past kings
impose their authority by force. In a modern industrial society
deciding for others cannot be imposed by force, only by deception or
In a modern industrial society if people refuse to let others decide
for them then
those who do so loose their authority to do so. They may try to impose
authority by deception and bribes but this cannot last for long. Direct
Democracy - unlike all other political systems - cannot be imposed by
by undemocratic means. Any
system that can be imposed against the will of the majority cannot be
democratic. Either the Demos decides all policies or someone else
the Demos. In the
representatives decide policies on behalf of all citizens (the
such a system is not
The rule of the few over the many
system was - or
can be - a Democracy.
When the majority - in a school,
municipality, borough, village, church,
place of work, or in the entire country, decides to make all policies
it will face fierce resistance from all those who currently decide
is a dangerous illusion to believe that those who have authority to
others will give it up just because the majority demands it.
They will oppose the decisions of
the majority by all means possible.
DD deprives such people of their
authority and income so they will use
every trick to defest it. Every DD activist must reaslize that while DD
implemented locally, in a school, borough, village, or town, any
implement it in the entire country will require a long and fierce
activists must prepare themselves in advance - psychologically and
- for this struggle. If they are unprepared for it they will be
of DD will use all known terick,
and invent new ones, to defeat DD. Many tricks are deceptions and
manipulations designed to confuse and scare the majority. Many will be
or confused but if the majority persists in demanding DD no minority
The struggle for DD is the school
preparimg people for DD teaching them
how - and why - to
run society as
DD. This answers
the criticsm of DD
opponents who argue that most people do not want to make policy
is true in RR which thrives on citizens indifference and induces it in
individual. Such critics assume that peoples’ responses and
always be the same as they are in RR where rulers have a vested
staying in Power and cultivate the political apathy of most citizens.
societies as examples to prove citizens’ political apathy is
misleading as all
RR societies oppose rule by all citizens and cultivate citizens'
Such arguments use what needs to be
proved as a proof and are logically
Critics of DD argue that most
people do not want to be in a position
where they must decide all policies of society. This
is true about many people today but not
in DD. Clearly,
most citizens do want to decide every policy. In
DD all citizens have the right to decide policy but
not a duty to do it. Most citizens will
participate in debates and decisions that concern them but when they
will have to
obey decisions they do not like on issues that did not concern them
response may change.
Some oppose DD even though they
accept that all it is technically
These are principled elitists. They
abhore rule by all citizens. Elitists
denounce DD as ‘populist’.
They believe majorities
will make decisions
causing disasters to themselves and to others. One such example is the
that voted the Nazis into power in 1933. That event happened in RR and
an argument against DD, but against every system of decision-making.
came into power in a parliament, through elections.
Voters in RR made decisions that
produce disasters.. This can happen in
DD too.and also to Kings, Dictators, Experts, Statesmen.
is not worse than RR in this respect
In fact, the more decision-makers
the less do psychological whims, phobias
and craving for power, shape political decisions. Decisions of a single
depend on that person’s psychology. Different people have
psychologies and their influences often cancel each other. The more
decision-makers the more cancelling out of psychological influence on
decisiions, thus reducing the influence of psychology on the final
No political system can protect
society from decisions that have
disasterous results. However in DD decisions that produced disasters
revoked immediately, and those who made them are forced to reconsider
motives. In RR,
citizens can replace
representatives whose decisions produced disasters only after four or
years, and even this still leaves intact the motives that lead to such
leads to repetition of
Many assume that the selfishness,
greed and political apathy pervasive in
society today implies that DD will be a ‘jungle’
ruled by the unbridled selfish
instincts of most citizens. They believe selfishness is part of human
Selfishness, greed and indifference to society are a by-product of
systems that prevent people from deciding what their society should do.
depend on the apathy of most of their citizens, and induce it. Every
system shapes peoples’ motivations by creating conditions
enabling people to
‘succeed’ only if they accept the norms of the
system. Drawing conclusions from
citizens attitudes to politics in RR is misleading as it ignores the
of RR on individual behaviour. When
influence is taken into account, this argument against DD collapses
unlike RR - DD depends
citizens’ concern for society and enhabces it, so its
diametrically opposed to that of RR.
This means that DD is not just a
new system to make political decisions -
it creates new attitudes in individuals, motivating them to improve
through direct partici[ation in politics.. DD changes
norms, attitudes, aspirations,
personality, and individuality.
Making a decision implies
responsibility for its results. Some fear this
responsibility, and hence fear freedom. This is the attitude of
fearing loss of parental love. Adults suffering from fear of freedom
support and help to overcome it. This is a
predictable outcome of
parental atitudes forbidding children to take up responsibilities since
Fear of freedom stems from
immaturity and can be overcome.
Some people support DD but do not
define it as Politics Without Politicians.
They support reformed Rule by Representatives. They want
and referendums (I&R) to control representatives. Basically,
Rule by Representatives.. I&R
merely tries to reform or ameliorate the faults of RR, while upholding
supporters refuse to define DD
as ‘politics without
this exposes I&R as reformed RR.
Cooperation between supporters of
DD and reformers of RR is possible if
both sides recognize the differences between them and each respects the
the other. Although they must eventually part company, each can benefit
temporary cooperation with the other.
As long as cooperation is
beneficial it should be maintained. However,
cooperation is not an end in itself but a means to an end. When means
serve their aims, they must be discarded. Otherwiae they become ends
themselves. The Church was a means to spread Christianity and the
Party was a means to spread Communism. Both became ends in themselves
expense of the ends they were supposed to serve. They turned their
into means to serve themselves, thus destroying them.
The tendency to turn means into
ends must be constantly resisted.
Elitists must be reminded that
contrary to Plato’s critique of Athenian
Democracy 2,500 years ago, his teacher Socrates supported it. The Athenians tried Socrates
and sentenced him
to death, as some of his students (who misunderstood his teaching) had
twice to overthrow Democracy by force causing many deaths. Socrates could have escaped,
but decided not
to. He prefered to die by the verdict of DD even when it condemned him
unjustly. By deciding to attend the trial, accept its verdict, and not
escape he demonstrated his support for DD. Plato
twisted Socrates's views and decisions
by prsenting them as opposed to Democracy. This
is Plato's view. Not
Today we still benefit from the
contribution of Athenian DD to politics,
philosophy, art and theatre. All these benefits grew from the public
policies in which every citizen could participate. The public debate on
in DD stimulates citizens’ creativity, intellect, and concern
for society. It
develops people’s humanity. It inspires political creativity
and goodwill, which
are stifled by all other political systems. It raises humanity to a
level by upgrading society and individuality. It upgrades the
‘person’ from a
selfish, bored, indifferent, member of a static, corrupting and
political system, into an active participant in a consciously evolving
concerned with the wellbeing of the individual, of the community, of
and of humanity as a whole.
are a few suggestions for
promoting Direct Democracy:
others interested in DD
and discuss it with them.
globally, act locally.
Set up a local Committee for Direct Democracy
(CDD). in your family, neighbourhood,
school, work or Internet, whichever you find suitable. Members
of a CDD must be DD activists,
not just sympathizers.
A CDD must meet regularly to
discuss local and general issues relevant to DD, to decide - and carry
CDD must finance
itself and act as an independent unit.
Promote DD in any way
possible, by word of mouth, print, radio and TV, on the Internet, in
with friends at work or in school.
Every CDD must be
self-reliant, but should help other CDDs and create new ones.When a
CDDs exist, they should organize a local, regional, national or
conference to coordinate activities, to learn from each
others’ experience and
to assist CDDs that need help. In time all CDDs should help create a
Movement to coordinate activities of all DD movements. This does not
world becomes one huge DD. DDs
merge if most their citizens – not just DD activists - want
A DD movement must not be organised
traditional political Parties. It must not have an Executive Committee
on behalf of others. It must have a Coordinating Committee (CC) to
coordination between CDDs and to aid the exchange of ideas, but every
free to reject proposals of a CC. Proposals from a CC are not decisions
on others others, they
organization has no
person or committee deciding for others. The
DD movement is an embryo of the political
wants to create. Every
creation is a re-presentation of its
between members of a
DD movement must be like those they want see
in a DD society.
cultivate their own autonomy and respect the autonomy of others. DD
not behave as dictators
at home or in
If a CDD can implement DD at
work, in a school, village or borough, it should do so, and be prepared
fierce opposition. Don’t
wait till DD is
implemented everywhere. In small domains DD can work without electronic
Experience gained from such cases will help other CDDs. However, as
long as the
entire society is not a DD every local DD will be subjected to strong
from those who dominate the larger society. Local
DDs may be perverted or crushed by RR and
supporters.. It is therefore essential -
eventually - to make the entire society a DD.
humour. Politics need not
be grim or boring. Jokes are a powerful political weapon.
DD can be fun. Exposing
RR can be fun.
– PRPOPOSE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS to
Be creative, invent new
keep your feet on the ground.
Don’t be deterred by
say DD is impossible.
Millions believed human flight, lunar landings,
use of nuclear
energy, curing infertility, changing
hereditary traits’, were
all impossible. Lord
Rutherford, ‘Father of nuclear physics’
declared in 1938 that
any practical use of
nuclear energy would be impossible. In
1945 Hiroshima proved him wrong. In
usually mean ‘undesirable’. Check
up on the motives of
those who say DD is ‘impossible’.