What led to this Idea:
I have been engaged in discussions in a Social Improvement website called “Emergent Commons”. Included in its many Topics and Crew Categories is one called: “Direct Democracy Crew”.
The Idea of the “Direct Democracy Crew”, is to explore the possibilities of bringing forth its precepts, first as a blueprint, or pattern and then find the way to eventually implement this “Governance Plan” into the Reality of, what is now called “The United States Of America”. This project involves many complexities, that would make it slow to materialize into Our Everyday Lives, but, as they develop into the “Plan”, they can be tested and practiced, until this eventuation happens.
This “testing” and “practice” would not only strengthen the Theory of Direct Democracy (“Collective Governance”), but would provide important experience and governance skills, to its adherents…who have achieved. through self-application and study, an established New Standard In Civic Education, as preparation to being better Participating Citizens in the “Direct Democracy Processes”.
In the “Direct Democracy Crew” of “Emergent Commons” important articles of pertinent information are being brought in for perusal and approval…as elements of a design infrastructure of “The Plan”. The articles, derived from many social and economic disciplines and philosophies, are being looked at, keeping how to integrate these into a somewhat harmonious whole, for the further Evolution of this project. Good Ideas have been and are being, found and brought in to this humble “Crew” effort in “Emergent Commons”.
Please keep in Mind. that this little project is only a tiny part of many other efforts of the “Direct Democracy Cause” and “Bridges Of Connectivity” are being considered and built to these other elements of the “Direct Democracy Movement”.
Recently, the Idea has cropped up, in Our little “Direct Democracy Crew” , (https://emergent-commons.mn.co/groups/5632097/feed) that it would be a good Idea and helpful to the testing and preliminary “practice” of the “Direct Democracy Quest” if the “Qualified Students” in Civics Education could have a virtual realm in which to practice Citizen Participation in Collective Governance. A video game that could be entered and interacted with, in stimulating ways.
Yesterday, (August 29th, 2021) I found a video game production company, that had developed and marketed a virtual game called “Democracy 4”. They (“Positech” at http://www.positech.co.uk/) have done a lot of hard work on this production and it seems to me that it could be the core of a “Direct Democracy Game”, that would be a very good candidate for what We need as Student Practicing Participants.
I am in touch with “Positech” and will report any progress regarding interest, on their part and costs of development. There are examples of their “Democracy 4” Game in “You Tube”. Just type in the words “Democracy 4” and it should appear on your screen. “Democracy 4” (Beta) is priced at $26.99 with a “Tip Jar”. It is very sophisticated (lots of bytes and data) and I don’t know if it has any provision in it for a “Direct Democracy Governance System”.
I am hoping that “Positech Games” will work with Us on a “Direct Democracy” version and that brings me to the essentials of design, for such a version. (If We can afford it)
Proposed Fictional Historical and Background Scenario:
It is 2049. The Radical Republican, Oligarch funded, Uprising against the Federal Government of the “United States Of America” has been defeated, at tragic social and economic cost to the Nation. It came close to success in it’s disloyal endeavor, but was weakened just enough by the defection of “Loyalist Republicans” and the resistance of the “Democratic and Socialist Coalition” that it “lost steam” right after its destruction of Washington D.C..
The population was less, reduced by multiple pandemics. A political void filled with fragments, some allied and some independent and contentious rendered Our Nation all but inoperable…ungovernable. Representative Democracy Government was a shambles and The American People finally began to listen to the possibilities, for The Nation, of Collective Governance.
Two proposals for a Great Re-design and Re-building of The Nation was put forth by a strong Direct Democracy Alliance:
(1) A New Direct Democracy Constitution would be developed and adopted (included in the game)
(2) A new center of government would be built in the geographic center of the Continental United States near Belle Fourche, South Dakota.
Both of these Ideas stimulated a refreshed New American Patriotic Spirit and The People were ready for Unity and Progress for Their Nation.
The New Constitution was Reasoned out and slowly pieced together by the New America Center construction Workers, elements of the “old leadership cadre”, Citizens of every ethnic group and profession and even the “Homeless”.
First order of business was the establishment of New Standards Of Decency, upon which to build the constitution. A Higher and Stronger Moral level was developed and established in these New Standards of Social and Political Conduct. Old “norms” were improved upon, or discarded, as unworthy of the New Nation.
“The Center”, three miles in diameter and thirty-three stories tall, was designed to contain the Three Houses Of Congress, the biggest “House” being the New “House Of The People”, established in the New Constitution. Around its base were twenty-one huge doors…all guarded by a “Capitol Guard Unit” of superbly trained and qualified, Citizen Soldiers. Through these doors, Qualified Citizens from across the Land dutifully entered and took their assigned “Ten Thousand Seats Of Responsibility” and studied the issues and problems of the nation. Their efforts became a matter of National Record.
At the end of their Participation of ten hours, they submitted their perspectives, recommendations, and votes on the issues that they were presented with and then returned to Their Homes.
Most of this New Nation’s Homes were digitally consecrated and connected, as the “Outer People’s Houses Of The People’s House”. The Citizen Responsibilities continued in these Homes.
Today, if We were to become Qualified with the required Educational and “Formational”* efforts, We would then proceed to the testing and practice of Our New Citizen Skills in this “Direct Democracy Game”. We do this to sharpen what We have learned.
“Formational” * The Experiential Learning through self application and play. A term shared with Us by Freigeist von Lebenskunst, a member of the “Direct Democracy Crew” of “Emergent Commons”.
Game Entry Scenario:
One digitally/virtually enters the Home of a “Qualified Citizen”, who is assigned to assist New Arrivals. He, or She, smiles in Friendly Greetings and beckons you to come take a seat next to them. Once seated, you find yourself in front of a monitor screen and keyboard, like the one they are using.
The Citizen Virtual Guide instructs you regarding registry and takes you on a tour of the many contents of the game. Lists are shown and brief visits to very important “departments” are undertaken. Places in the game like “The New Direct Democracy Constitution Of The United Republic Of The American People.” And the Activity Record Archives and the “Chambers Of Government Essentials and Nuances”. (These have already been extensively developed by “Positech”.
Then you click your way to ‘The House Of The People” and enter your registry on one of the huge twenty-one doors. With this you attach your image to your virtual persona and become a personal part of the game. You can have the option of seeing yourself this way.
It opens and you are approached by an Usher, who guides you to your assigned seat of participation. A state of the art console lights up before you and your guide helps you to “get a feel” for it’s use in your Work.
You look up and behold the vast circular and dished chamber you are in and the multitudes that are there with you. It’s a magnificent and inspiring sight.
Your guide gently clears His, or Her, throat and eases your awed senses back to your console.
“Are you ready to start your participation, Citizen?” The guide asks.
You indicate that you are as ready as you can be and the guide opens the screen to a list of the “Issues and Proposals Of The Day”. You are not expected to come to a conclusion, in the ten hours you have, on all of them, but it looks good on your “Participatory Record” if you do.
Besides the Work List, there are other sections available that show the perspectives and discourses of Other Good Citizens who are also working on the list that you’re on.
You do your best, hopefully submit your Vote and then return to your Home. Where, by the way, you can continue your assigned Work, that you started in the virtual Direct Democracy Game.
When you “go back in” to the game, you can have the options of working on the first list (until it is completed), or accessing other lists.
The main environment of this game is the interior of the “Direct Democracy Center”…where the practice work is done.
There could be (should be?) two other dimensions to this game. These are the two old houses of “The Senate” and the “House Of Representatives” who are the “Honored Advisors” of the “New United Direct Democracy Republic Of The American People”.
Then there are the “Lower” governmental structures of the States, Counties and Municipal Governments.
End of this report and proposals. Part 2 coming