There was a time when the United States model of democracy was the gold standard in government. When the people of the Thirteen Colonies broke free of British rule in 1783, it sent a wave of revolution across the globe. The French people overthrew their own monarchy six years later (though things didn’t work out quite as well for them, at least for the first eighty years or so), and the peoples of Latin America kicked the Spanish and Portuguese back across the Atlantic. The newly independent nations more or less modeled their governments after the United States, though several governments seemed quite susceptible to coups and the occasional military dictatorship (of course, in many cases, this was the result of interference from the United States itself). The United States, for all its flaws, was still considered a great example of a government that worked for its people rather than against them.
That era has ended, as the world and even the people of the United States begin to see the cancer of greed and corruption that is rotting away the country will only get worse the longer we do nothing about it. So the question is, why aren’t we doing anything about this? Why aren’t we actively fighting to put an end to the warrantless surveillance, the increasing police militarization, the abuses by those in power? One huge reason is that people are simply too busy with their own lives to do anything. They are so preoccupied with scrambling to get the most scraps from the elite’s table that they are in no position to fight. It will only be when those scraps disappear completely that the general population will be in the mindset for revolution.
Another glaring issue is that there doesn’t seem to be any better model of government. For all its failings, representative democracy seems to be the best form of government. This is, of course, absurd. Representative democracy is inherently a system of societal laziness. It’s the perfect system for people who want the freedom to “choose” people in power, but don’t want the responsibility of actually helping run the country. They feel politicians can do all the work, while they live their day-to-day lives trusting that politicians will do the right thing and run the country right. Clearly, we know this isn’t happening. Congress is selling off public lands, having pointless fights about abortion and universal healthcare, and doing nothing to preserve our freedoms. In fact, they actively fight to have those freedoms taken away.
So, if this system doesn’t work, what’s the alternative? One option is direct democracy, in which the people directly vote on all government initiatives. Instead of having a Congress voting on laws, the people themselves decide. This form of government was rejected by those who created the United States government because they supposedly feared a “tyranny of the majority,” in which the majority would place its interest above the minority. For example, Caucasians consistently putting their interests before minorities. Obviously the Framers neglected to realize that a small group of racist leaders can do as much damage as a large group of racist voters. More, in fact, because these leaders also have the greed and corruption of the elite mindset guiding their actions. I firmly believe that direct democracy could work, with the right tweaks. And one of those tweaks is to combine it with demarchy.
Demarchy, to those unaware, is the random selection of people into office. In a demarchy, a person working at McDonald’s in some tiny town has an equal chance of becoming President as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company does. This form of government has huge advantages. It will put an end to costly, wasteful, and increasingly pointless elections. It will make political parties obsolete, which will put an end to partisan war. Combined with direct democracy, it will make the government a failsafe against systemic oppression. For example, let’s say a majority in the United States vote to deport all Muslims. The government, which more than likely would contain Muslims as well as sympathizers randomly selected into it, could veto the proposal and prevent a tragedy from occurring. In effect, Congress would take more of a Presidential role, becoming a bulwark against oppression. The Presidential role itself would become more of an ambassadorial position, traveling the globe to represent the United States.
Demarchy does have some disadvantages. One is that pure sortition would be completely random, which means a five-year-old or murderer, or someone completely unqualified for the job could easily be chosen to serve. However, this can easily be rectified by making the sortition pool consist only of those over a certain age, such as 16. As for ensuring that mentally unstable people or murderers do not end up in government, extensive background checks and psychological evaluations would be performed. To ensure that everyone who serves is qualified while still preserving the spirit of demarchy, sortition would take place a number of years before the person serves; say, eight. Once selected, the person would attend a university where they would learn everything they need to know to serve the office effectively. The schooling would obviously be free, paid for by taxes. The person would also be given a salary, since the schooling would be on-the-job training. This ensures that the people who serve are qualified to be there. However, in the event of someone unsuitable being selected, a backup will be selected at the same time, ready to step in at a moment’s notice. Both will go through the education process simultaneously.
Another potential disadvantage is the possibility that a government could be selected that consists mainly of people who do not represent the views of their population, simply by chance. For example, a government of rich white people being randomly selected. While this is very unlikely, given probability, in the event this did happen, an immediate resortition would obviously happen.
The biggest roadblock to this form of government is the fact that it takes the choice of electing leaders out of the hands of the people. This is obviously a very potentially dangerous thing, which is why it is so important that demarchy be combined with direct democracy. The people wouldn’t be able to choice their leaders, but it wouldn’t matter because the leaders couldn’t do anything without the people directly voting on it. To ensure that everyone gets to vote on the issues, every month would have Voting Day, a paid holiday in which everyone votes on the issues brought up that month. This ensures that no one will have to miss out on voting because they had to work. Voting would also be an online process, to make sure everyone has a chance to vote without the hassle of getting to a voting booth.
I truly believe demarchy is the future of government for this planet. Its advantages far outweigh any potential disadvantages. Change is never an easy process; many people believe too much in the status quo, and are afraid of anything that disrupts that. We are creatures of habit, but in the case of our system of government, that habit has to be broken. The future of our species may just depend on it.