Minarchy: Arrangement #2

There is a growing school of libertarians who are outright hostile to democracy. In recent years the face of this philosophy has been the now infamous Hans Hermann Hoppe. Their perspective is an entirely reasonable one. Even the founding fathers were deeply skeptical of the democratic process. They believed that unchecked democracy would lead to nothing other than mob rule. The French revolution was more or less proof positive that they were right. As these unruly mob impulses have grown, more and more of the Hoppean liberty lovers have become convinced that some sort of monarchy or a literal aristocracy is the answer. I’d like to present an alternate vision. A vision of a responsible direct democracy.

This is a vision predicated on technology. Some of it may seem fantastic, but I assure it is all already being tested and worked within our world today. You may have heard of a variety of projects hosted on the Ethereum blockchain related to E-verification, this is the idea that using a key similar to how a crypto-currency wallet works you could also cast a vote and store it on a given blockchain. This could be a game changer, and some European countries, notably Estonia area already experimenting with similar concepts.

So what will this system itself look like? First and foremost this will be a direct democracy. This means one person, one key, one vote per election. Each member of the polity having met a certain age, and having a verified bank account will be issued their own vote verification key.

This second point about having a verified bank account linked to your “account” or identity will be very important because it will be the crux of the tax system. Fear not, however, the government will not just be able to repossess your wealth at whim. Instead, any measure that is voted upon and successfully passed will have its cost of implementation divided up equally among the affirmative votes and will be withdrawn from only those accounts.

This will have any number of very direct benefits. This will significantly reduce if not entirely end the welfare state. People are naturally much more cautious when they must spend their own money as opposed to the wealth of others. However, should a measure prove to be popular enough to have a broad and even overwhelming public support then the costs will clearly drop exponentially. This would also mean that there is no mechanism to strip the money way from another. Finally and perhaps my favorite implication of this system is the very natural sunset clauses that will thus be built into every and any government program. Consider this, as the people who are paying for any given thing grow old and die that is one less person to divide the costs among. As the cost rises among all remaining spenders there becomes a greater incentive to repeal or scale back any given measure.

Now the biggest concerns to arise might be how to organize legislative proposals so that they can all be voted upon in a timely matter. I would imagine that a person with the right technical knowledge could develop an AI or at the very least a search algorithm to set the legislative order based on perceived importance. I should think that within just the next five years or so we will have programs capable of assessing such things.

Of additional concern is how precisely does an outside nation negotiate with a direct democracy. There are multiple solutions to this sort of question. You could elect a leader for each negotiation process, this might be the one I might favor. You could potentially select someone at random. Finally, should we give in to our flawed human nature, it would be of course possible to establish an office to negotiate through. I would, however, caution against too many government institutions outside of the citizen-legislature.

When the need arises for civil defense I envision a system that is handled similarly. As they become necessary you elect officers, or are assigned officers and organized into units through some sort of program designed to distribute the human capital of the polity most efficiently.

The entire idea here is that we can effectively use the technologies that we are already developing to advance a democracy that has been declawed from the threat of majoritarianism. This might be fundamentally more Utopian but we have the technology, and we have already seen Estonia take steps towards a similar method. So I have to ask, does self-determination matter enough to try something new?

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