The practicalities of demarchy

1. In order to be THE voice of public opinion the council advancing that claim would need to be unique and unchallenged. But if anybody can set up a rival council, that is impossible. If anybody takes it seriously, it will be challenged and rivals set up.

Answer. There are two stages in the proposal: a fully open public discussion and the council attempting to draw a practical policy from that discussion.

The public discussion will be unique if the Foundation sponsoring it has adequate resources to publish and render accessible on line every word that anybody thinks relevant to the problem under discussion. If anybody sets up a rival forum, all of its content will be posted on the original site, where it could have been posted at no cost. So if somebody refuses to allow certain material to be posted, they are refusing to offer it for public scrutiny.

How might they justify that refusal?

Perhaps it is copyright, and they demand to be paid for it. In a genuine case, the foundation might agree to pay whatever any other user would pay for it. In some cases a reference to sites on which it has been published might suffice.

In other cases the appeal might be to confidentiality, for example, in the case of survey documents. That sort of confidence protects the identity of contributors to the survey, not its content. When it comes to privacy about the actions of individuals and organisations, such privacy can never be invoked in a way that favours a competing open forum. It has to remain private.

Some may argue that the way in which the problem is described by the foundation in initiating discussion is subtly biased to exclude certain viewpoints. In that case they need to state their case and argue it publicly.

A completely open forum, including full documentation on the proceedings of the foundation, can be reduplicated, but the only point that could have was to try to exclude certain contributions. And that cannot be done with impunity.
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A review of Landemore’s Democratic Reason

A review of Landemore’s Democratic Reason by Alfred Moore published in Contemporary Political Theory:

Landemore argues that rule by the many is better than rule by the few or the one because it can harness ‘democratic reason’. Democratic Reason refers to the collective political intelligence of the many, which in turn is a function of individual epistemic competence and the cognitive diversity of the group. [S]he claims that a group containing diverse perspectives, interpretations, heuristics and predictive models, will be better at making decisions than a less diverse group of people, even if they are individually smarter. As the key feature of democracy is that it is an inclusive decision procedure, and inclusion tends to increase cognitive diversity, democracies are likely to outperform rival regime types.