For those of you who’ve read enough of my articles, you’ll know that Open Empire is not based on any democratic principles, as it’s simply up to the individual to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
However, in the case of communal issues that affect many people, and where the data is not clear about which actions have the quantifiably best outcomes, there may be circumstances where auxiliary systems of direct democracy may be of value as a kind of “tie breaker” so to speak.
So I wanted to propose a brief hypothetical for your consideration, something to add to all the other articles you’ve read:
Imagine if you had to take proportional responsibility for the ecological and social consequences of your vote.
Think about that.
Normally you’d just be going about your own business, doing what you to to survive, enjoy life, and to contribute back whatever is required to justify whatever access you desire for any specific scarce resources you need … but now, some event has occurred in your community, it affects you all, no one can escape it, no one person can handle it alone, and acting in disharmony will cause failure and consequences for all.
Since no one wants to be responsible for failure, we look to this system to compare the probable outcomes of a range of suggestions, but nothing sticks out as the clear winner … as the deadline for action approaches, we’ve exhausted all existing data available, and even called on experts to analyse the situation, but still no clear winner emerges, and a decision must be made.
So with no other alternative, we decide to vote on it, and this vote is preceded with a debate where people argue the case for what they believe will be the best course of action … and since again, no one wants to be responsible for failure, no one presents any disingenuous arguments.
Very different from the world of politics we exist in today, is it not?
A great many deluded people in society (who normally believe they know everything), have learned to shut their mouths a little more often, after the frequent successive shocks experienced by being proven wrong … and which has been costly for them in terms of resource access. But conversely, people who were otherwise previously quiet now speak up, partly because they’re not being shouted down anymore under this new paradigm, and partly because they know that if they present an idea (only without fervent claim to any certainty), there are others in the room who have skills and knowledge they do not, who may be able to use such ideas to find a solution. They’ve also learned from experience that their creative minds & talents (if not their scientific know how, as for others in the room) is a lot more valuable than they’d ever realised.
Eventually it’s time to vote … some vote directly, others choose to pass to someone else to vote on their behalf (though still at least partially responsible for the outcome of that vote), while others abstain entirely.
The people with technical skills and knowledge in specialist fields have done their best (perhaps working alongside communications specialists) to argue their case in terms everyone can understand … and since education like everything else is free, and the spreading of misinformation is disincentivised because no one wants to take responsibility for having done it, the room is full of better educated people.
A decision is made based on the best information and arguments available, with everyone fully aware of the consequences of both action and inaction, knowing that either way, they’re responsible for their share of doing or not doing … there’s no need to force anyone, everyone just votes (or not) and then makes their decision about whether to contribute further to the execution of the plan.
Imagine how such a people would evolve psychosocially over time.
… end hypothetical.