Re: Electronic networks and democracy [cr-95/11/08]


Sender: Jonathan Prince <•••@••.•••>

I've checked this out and decided to participate.

However I have have some misgivings about it.

I wouldn't exactly call it 'democracy',  there is no way for electronic
citizens to bring up the issues.  Instead we are fed issues that
Time/Warner (excuse me, Time/Warner/Turner!) decides are issues for us to
vote on.

Not unlike American 'democracy' in that respect!

Also I have concerns about why they are doing this.  Is this just a
marketing study or a study of online citizens' political perspectives?  Is
this a cyber-focus group or something quite different.

One has to give them your email address to participate and Im just waiting
for the first Ad SPAM from Time/Warner/Turner to arrive.


> Introduction from moderator:
> Given the debate we've had on this list about hyperdemocracy
> (sometimes fairly emotional) I thought you'd be interested in seeing
> another experiment along these lines.  Supposedly just a game!


Sender: •••@••.•••

In a message dated 95-11-09 00:25:24 EST, you write:

>You folks should know about a new participatory politcal game on the Web.
>called "Reinventing America" and it gives citizens a chance to deliberate
>then decide on difficult issues -- namely the ones involved in how to
>the federal budget!

What a perfect illustration of the dangers Mark Stahlman warned of!  It
APPEARS so democratic.  AND it IS so participatory.

But where is the place to critique the basic assumption that a balanced
budget is the ultimate good?

And where is the place to critique just WHY it is ALL OF THE SUDDEN the
ultimate good?

As Nixon said when he was President "We're all Keynsians now."

And who's budgets were more Keynsian than Ronald Reagan?

And now, suddenly, it's unthinkable to mention Keynes?


Ritual mass participation -- the NAZIs had that one down.

How is this exercise any different?

Answer: It pretends to be a rational, critical enterprise.

At least the Nazis were honest enough to openly proclaim their hostility to

Paul Rosenberg
Reason & Democracy

 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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