The fourth industrial revolution will spark the first real democratic revolution.
There was once a time when politicians were a necessary evil. Our communications systems and technology were limited, so we needed someone to represent the masses in the decision making processes of the state. But politicians have always been corruptible, which has led to “state capture” by powerful elites and corporations. Since the dawn of democracy in ancient Greece, democracy has been fallible.
The systems of democracy as they exist around the world now are by and large farcical. The constitution of South Africa, for example, has been hailed as one of the most advanced in the world, but its democratic system is a joke. South Africans do not vote directly for politicians but instead vote for political parties. The central committees of those parties then decide who the members of parliament and the president will be. Political parties are dependent on funding, and SA law protects the secrecy of party funders so that no one knows who funds them except the party leadership. MPs must vote as they are told to by the party leadership, or they are replaced, so all MPs from each party toe the party line and vote, not according to their conscience, but out of a desire to keep their position. Control the party leadership and you control parliament, and that is exactly what the Gupta family has allegedly done. In fact as Professor Sampie Terreblanch explains in his book ‘Lost in Transition’, the SA government has been controlled by corporations since 1652. We have never had true democracy and it is not possible to have it until the system changes.
Democracy in the USA is no less corrupted. Bernie Sanders has built a remarkable support base simply by unifying the masses who are disgusted with the powerful influence of Wall Street in Washington DC.
Economic inequality distorts democracy. Governments around the world are often persuaded through corruption and party election funding to pursue policies which benefit the rich elite and large corporations at the expense of the poor majority. The poorer the masses become compared to the elite, the less influence they have on their government compared to the rich and powerful.
Revolutions come and go, but history has shown us that, because of the systemic weakness of traditional democracy, it doesn’t take long for the new leadership to be corrupted and to revolve back to square one. Political evolution is now possible.
For the first time in history, we have the technology to do away with politicians as we know them. Instead of spending money on parliament and its politicians, we can save billions and instead use a fraction of that money to provide each person with a smart phone, and an App that allows us all to vote on any issue or legislation and to propose new legislation to be voted on. It is highly likely that new technologies like blockchain can be used to make cyber democracy far less corruptible than traditional democracy.
We would still need administrators to carry out the will of the people, so government would still need to exist. And political parties or interest groups would still be useful to propose new legislation and to campaign for voters for their cause. Once a proposed law has reached the required amount of supporters it could then go to the judiciary who can decide whether the proposed law is constitutional and if so a date for the vote can be set. Interested parties can then campaign on social media to sway the voting public. To qualify to vote, each voter would have to study the arguments for and against the proposed bill, and pass an online test to demonstrate they understand both sides of the argument.
Politicians as we know them have become obsolete. The fourth industrial revolution has already led to many good people losing their jobs, lets ensure some rotten people lose their jobs in the process. Its time for the real democratic revolution to begin.