What could democracy look like if it were reinvented today? Would it even be democracy —what comes after democracy?
Some questions to think about:
Representative democracies were built under the assumption that travel and communications were difficult. Does it still make sense to organize our representative units by geography? Or to send representatives far away to create laws in our name? Is there a better way for people to choose collective representatives?
Indeed, the very idea of representative government is due to technological limitations. If an AI system could find the optimal solution for balancing every voter’s preferences, would it still make sense to have representatives —or should we vote for ideas and goals instead?
With today’s technology, we can vote anywhere and any time. How should we organize the temporal pattern of voting— and of other forms of participation?
Starting from scratch, what is today’s ideal government structure? Does it make sense to have a singular leader “in charge” of everything? How should we constrain power —is there something better than the legislative/judicial/executive set of checks and balances?
The size of contemporary political units ranges from a few people in a room to vast nation-states and alliances. Within one country, what might the smaller units be —and how do they relate to one another?
Who has a voice in the government? What does “citizen” mean? What about children? Animals? Future people (and animals)? Corporations? The land?
And much more: What about the justice system? Is the twelfth-century jury form still relevant? How do we define fairness? Limit financial and military power? Keep our system robust to psychological manipulation?