Is the word government a problem?

This is a change of pace from the previous posts, and an issue not yet discussed on EbyL as far as I know. To express a new dynamic between citizen and political institutions, through selection by lot and possibly other reforms, would we need a word besides “gov’t”?

The full article is here. I suggest we comment on that site (DaftBlogger), especially explaining sortition or Equality by Lot, as a way to develop some cross traffic and build awareness.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
William Shedd

Finally, uncannily, a philosophical-linguistic dimension leaves us astounded and open-mouthed.

The word “govern” means to rule over, originating from the Greek kybernân = to steer and kybernḗt = helmsman, tillerman! The word “cybernetics,” by the way, shares this root.

Mr. Tillerman is no appraisal of contemporary government, or American isolationism, or American imperialism. Mr. Tillerman stands for 2500 years of a conception of government as controlling, disciplining machine. To some, it means controlling the masses or keeping their hands off the property of elites. For others, it means checking the abuse of the weak by the strong. For some, it means limiting the influence of social organizations like the church. Again for others, it means curbing the economic power of moneyed elites.

Continue reading

Putsch: Iceland‘s crowd-sourced constitution killed by parliament

Extracted from Thorvaldur Gylfason’s blog:

Following its spectacular plunge from grace in 2008 when its banking system crashed, Iceland invited the people of Iceland to draft a new post-crash constitution designed inter alia to reduce the likelihood of another crash. A National Assembly was convened comprising 950 individuals selected at random from the national registry. Every Icelander 18 years or older had an equal chance of being selected to a seat in the assembly. Next, from a roaster of 522 candidates from all walks of life, 25 representatives were elected by the nation to a Constitutional Assembly to draft a new constitution reflecting the popular will as expressed by the National Assembly. Believe it or not, the Supreme Court, with eight of its nine justices at the time having been appointed by the Independence Party, now disgraced as the main culprit of the crash and in opposition, annulled the Constitutional Assembly election on flimsy and probably also illegal grounds, a unique event. . .