Preface

This article is part of a series: ‘Stigmergy: Systems of Mass Collaboration’.

The world is long overdue for a completely new system of governance. If there was ever a need for political representation or a paternalistic and opaque authority it has been removed by technology. Governance by nation states is now as arbitrary and illogical as city states were earlier found to be. Corporations have the freedom to live in a world without borders or social responsibility, to own property no individual can claim and to control a one world government and legal system, with insupportable consequences for the world’s resources and individual rights. Every political system we have tried has proved incapable of protecting human rights and dignity. To effect the change we require immediately, to give individuals control and responsibility, to bring regional systems under regional governance, allow global collaboration and protect the heritage of future generations, we need a new political model.

This text is in no way meant to be a definitive answer to any of the questions before us. This is just a documentation of what seems apparent at this moment, what ideas have not worked and why, and what ideas seem to be working in isolated instances and may be able to scale to help us on a much wider basis in the future.

Many ideas in this text are far more easily understood by the free software and hacker community than the world offline. The internet created an environment where it was possible to collaborate in ways that had never been tried before, to experiment with global participation, anonymity, a money free society, idea driven projects and many other ideas that are impossible or difficult in physical life. While the internet has many current structural problems that are hindering collaboration, the internet community is yet a generation ahead in experimenting with many of these concepts.

There has been a deliberate attempt in most of this writing to not refer to ideological concepts or political models by name as there is such widespread disagreement as to what the names mean. For readability, each topic is presented in simplest terms in one section. An in depth discussion of the history of each topic, reference to all that has been written before, rebuttals and supporting quotes, would turn each section into a book, so further research and discussion is left to the comments.

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