[pp.int.general] 'Liquid Democrazy': Pirate Party Sinks amid Chaos and Bickering

Frédéric JOUVIN frederic.jouvin at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 20:49:57 CET 2013

Hello Eduardo.

Thank you very much for your vision and your analysis.
I fully agree with you.

Would it be possible to get in touch directly through skype or phone ?

I'd like to talk to you about an experimental political project I am trying to launch with other brothers from pirate parties, anons & friends :

- Create an international Think Tank about the matters you started developping : The goal would be to explore, invent, synthesize, as far as possible, new paths and implementations of "Liquid Democracy" concepts for Large scale audiences. Both a technical, philosophical and political discussion.

- Use the think tank's work and conclusions to build the most advanced "request for proposal" and "Specifications" for the development of the most advanced "Liquid Democracy" system, solving all the matters you developed in your post.

- Create a company, or an association, organization, to implement this software, and if needed, some piece of hardware. All that would be done according our Pirate values : Open Software, Open Hardware, Free licences -> The goal would be to create trust, and efficiency for the tool. Universality !

Our world is in a deep trust crisis. At all levels.

We need trust, and many other mandatory things, but trust is one of the, to go ahead in our world.

Let's work on that.

Kind regards,

Fred. aka STMAN (@stmanfr)
PP FR Member.

Le 24 févr. 2013 à 11:07, Eduardo Robles Elvira <edulix at gmail.com> a écrit :
> Hello:
> I'm Eduardo, one of the (founding) members of the spanish pirate
> party, which as you might know is no stranger to organizational chaos
> and bickering. I'm also developer of the tool agoravoting.com and
> member of the local *party* Piratas de Madrid.
> This topic is very interesting to our movement: if we want to create
> something more democratic, how can we achieve that avoiding the arise
> of oligarchy? The wikipedia page about it [1] is a very interesting
> read, thanks Zbigniew. Basically the idea is that when a group gets
> bigger it requires some leadership and bureaucracy for practical
> reasons to keep things efficient, and this promotes oligarchy and
> corruption. "The relative structural fluidity in a small-scale
> democracy succumbs to "social viscosity" in a large-scale
> organization." (quote from wikipedia)
> I imagine that what happened is that people are trying to keep social
> viscosity down in a large-scale organization, and *this* leads to
> internal inefficiencies: people stop working on productive things and
> start fighting against each other. We could call this "social
> temperature". This means that the pirates have done what any of us
> would have expected from them: fight concentration of power, fight
> bureaucracy, fight corruption, fight emergent oligarchy.
> Kudos for them, I'm quite proud. And this has probably kept the matter
> in a liquid state, so they have won that battle. Problem is, when
> temperature rises pressure also rises. The problem of course is that
> power, bureaucracy and all that doesn't rise for no reason: as we said
> earlier, it happens to try to make things efficient and practical at
> bigger scales. I feel the pain misunderstood leaders of the german
> pirate party as I felt it when it happened to some of the leaders in
> the long wars of the spanish pirate party. The pressure they must feel
> right now is quite hig, for you know liquids are incompressible.
> Liquid democrazy is a nice term for this, congrats to the person who
> coined this term.
> Democracy seems to work better at small-scale, I think this is
> something that we can probably accept. This is why hierarchy usually
> arises: we can have "democracy" at different layers, to keep it
> efficient, but of course this makes difficult for people to climb the
> ladder of power to an upper layer and leads to oligarchy and
> corruption, oops.
> Please don't take all this reasoning badly; I'm with all of you that
> like liquid democracy and as a pirate, I'm just struggling to make it
> better, to make it work at larger scales. Solutions to mitigate this?
> Here are some thoughts:
> 1. Transparency. This avoids corruption, because political corruption
> is kind of the opposite of transparency. Transparency  means a lot of
> things: it should be transverse at all representative layers,
> obligatory for those that represent us, but also people should keep an
> eye and organize, because "given enough eyeballs, all bugs/corruptions
> are shallow" [3].
> 2. Self-determination/federalism/individual free will. We don't like
> to be told what we can or can't do: we believe in free will. Even in
> groups, individuals are the ones that ultimately take the decisions.
> With our free will we choose to organize in groups, so it's a matter
> of sense that with the same free will we can choose to leave that
> group and join another one or create one ourselves. This is the
> principle of federalism or self-determination, and it's also the same
> principle behind liquid democracy. This means that we need to give
> back power autonomy to small communities.
> I think point 1 is important as counter-balance mechanism to power,
> and mechanism 2 is a good valve scape to pressure. We didn't know it
> at the time, but when the Spanish pirate party was completely "chaos
> and bickering", we applied "divide and conquer" strategy [4]. Lots of
> unproductive fights were going on for a long time, this meant that
> there were still people that wanted to do productive things. After
> all, if you have pressure it means there's something inside.
> The pressure escaped by the creation of multiple local parties.
> Remember, democracy works better in small-scale. And how it worked!
> Catalans created a new political party in Catalonia and even achieved
> two councilors in some municipalities, for example. They were the
> first to do this bold move, and lots of "pressure" escaped through
> this valve and Catalonia has currently one of the best organized
> pirate parties in Spain, and we have some other new political parties
> in Madrid, Extremadura, Galicia, etc. As a phoenix, we will arise from
> the ashes, one might say.
> Of course I do not have any magical answers to solve this complicated
> problem. It'd be best if we didn't have this pressure that seems to be
> quite related to our kind of organization. We need a way to make the
> recipient (which is our organization) bigger so that temperature
> doesn't need to get higher, and we need small escape valves to keep
> pressure from going to the roof. Perhaps we should find a way to
> remove the recipient and convert this in a cloud, another fancy term
> nowadays in the Internet. But can be a cloud democratic? how does one
> create and maintain such a cloud big and strong without acid rain? =)
> Finally I recommend you all to read the book "Direct Democracy", free
> to download in multiple languages, which talks about matters like
> federalism, direct democracy mechanisms, etc - I found it to be an
> interesting read [5].
> Best regards,
>          Eduardo
> --
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_corruption
> [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus%27s_Law
> [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_conquer_algorithm
> [4] http://www.democracy-international.org/book-direct-democracy.html
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Monsieur Frédéric JOUVIN
Développeur iPhone / iPad / Mac OS indépendant.
18 Place des Martyrs de l'Occupation
92110 CLICHY

frederic.jouvin at gmail.com
Tel: +33 6 09 62 34 22
Skype: stman72

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