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Chapter 26
How to Bring True Democracy to America

It is well and good to envision and write about an improved American government and society, but if one has no idea how to bring such a vision about, how to make it a reality, then it can only remain a vision. How can we successfully overcome plutocracy and establish true democracy in America? What is the best way to add a new fourth branch (a demos) and consensus democracy to our government? Ultimately, it must involve some kind of movement that results in our amending the Constitution. But what is the best way to do this, our best course of action? The current plutocracy, the current “establishment” is very strong. The political and economic mighty would use every legal, illegal, immoral, and even violent means to put up their best fight and put down any true democracy movement.

We must rule out violent, bloody revolution. History has shown ad nauseam that it only brings new tyrants, new plutocrats. We can also safely rule out change from above. The privileged elites that originally created our government and the elites that have populated it throughout its history have had more than 200 years to introduce at least some measure of true democracy into our society, and they have not done so. The change must come from the people at-large, from “we the people.”

We are already caught up in a great revolution, a huge, rapidly accelerating electronic transformation that has happened seemingly overnight. Computers, phones, and many other devices have become ubiquitous, mobile, and interconnected into giant networked systems. Worldwide communication has become nearly instantaneous. And group interactive processes involving thousands and even millions of people that are widely dispersed over large areas, even the whole world, have become not only possible and instantaneous but convenient.

So magnificent and eye-dazzling has been this transformation that it has masked how little our relationship with each other has actually changed. In ancient times the organized, powerful few enslaved and exploited the many, and the few still do so today. Direct, in-your-face, physically enforced enslavement has mostly but far from completely shifted toward a kinder, gentler, somewhat more distant economic exploitation. But it is still enslavement … economic enslavement. Do understand that our economic relationship that overwhelmingly favors the few is ultimately physically enforced by police, courts, prisons, and the military.

The economic bottom half has always been and remains today a beast of burden for the upper half, really for the upper twenty percent. Given this circumstance, this unjust political-economic relationship, whatever other uses we have made of our rapidly expanding electronic capability, one principal use has been to create better control over and exploitation of the many by the few, improved enslavement.

Nationwide electronic voting is coming to America (and to the world). If the plutocrats design, build, and operate the electronic voting system, they will create a system that continues to overwhelmingly favor them in elections just as today and contains only trivial issues that are quite incapable of overcoming the plutocracy and establishing true democracy within our government. They will use the system to continue to keep real power solely in their own hands, to improve their economic enslavement of the rest of the populace, and to make their undue advantage even more secure and certain.

But it need not be so. A rightly designed nationwide electronic voting system like the demos and the consensus democracy described in this book can be used to liberate rather than enslave us. The trick is how to use the new technology to outflank the plutocrats and ultimately bring about the addition of a demos to our government as a new fourth branch.


The American people have never participated in a true democratic process in which they held real power. In their believing what we have today to be democracy, people show that they do not understand what democracy really is.

“We the people” should use the Internet to demonstrate what true democracy is. By creating a demonstration demos on the Internet within which the members of the electorate may participate, people would come to understand what a true democratic process is and glean its implications for their lives in the real world: “Oh! This is what a real democracy is! I want this in our real government!”

As almost anybody who has had much to do with today’s Internet knows, it is very fragile and unstable. Data transmission is slow and intermittent, connections become disconnected, web sites crash, dead and broken links clutter the landscape, and a small army of bright, misguided computer hackers take unending glee at breaking into web sites, raising havoc, and cranking out a steady stream of ever-improved computer viruses.

Given these circumstances, getting an Internet demos up and running reliably and securely would be a daunting task. Most likely any group of people who attempted to create and run such a site on the Internet would be flying by the seat of their pants and operating on a shoestring. Add to these difficulties the likelihood that even a fairly large group of Internet users who joined and participated in the demos would not accurately reflect our whole society but youth over age, the more educated over the less educated, and the upper economic half of the population more than the lower half, thus skewing the demos consensus.

None of these difficulties and challenges is insurmountable. Despite all, a demos could be designed, constructed, and run well enough to achieve its central purpose: to demonstrate to the American people and to the people of the world what it is like to participate in a true democratic process, the idea being that they may compare their current political systems with it and come to want and demand that a demos be added to their real governments. The other proposals presented in this work could also be incorporated into the demos site creating an understanding and demand for these reforms to our society as well.

A working demos would also serve as the tool and test bed for the improvement of the demos’ physical infrastructure, software and user interface, security, mathematical system, and rules and procedures. The site’s creators and managers could enter into a synergetic interaction with its users to discover new ideas and better ways of achieving ends, always keeping in mind that the demos must be designed to serve not computer and Internet virtuosos but all members of an electorate with widely varying capability. Demos participants would gain experience and confidence in the art and practice of deliberative democracy.

Of course America’s currently established elite would point to the unreliability and insecurity of the Internet and to the very possibly embarrassing instability of the demos site and try to make good reason of it, along with other reasons they would no doubt dream up, as to why a demos could not work and cannot be tried. The people creating, running, and participating in the demos should be prepared for this. There is a world of difference between running a demos on the current Internet on a shoestring and the creation and running of a real demos with the full weight and resources of the federal government and the American people behind it.


The process would start with a dedicated group of programmers, mathematicians, economists, and students of political science working together to create the demos site. Once the demos is operational and on the Internet, its existence would be made known, and people would be invited to participate. At first there would only be a few people participating at the site, but, if all goes well, there would soon enough be a few hundred people and then a few thousand. The presence of the demos site could be made known by the people who created and maintained it and by the growing number of participants using every known method of Internet and other advertising. If the idea of a demos is attractive, demos deliberations are interesting, and voting results are promising, participants would tell their families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others about it. Soon Internet-savvy news and interest groups would start asking, “What is this hubbub about?” In time, the always-hungry news and interest groups around the country and world would hear about it, enquire, and report the news. If this scenario proves successful, then hundreds of thousands and even millions of people could end up participating in the demos.

All the while there would be an increasing individual and collective recognition of what a true democratic process is like. Standing in comparison in people’s minds would be the so-called democratic process that exists in our current American government. It would be clearly recognized as the scam and farce that it really is. More and more people would come to exclaim about the demos, “I want this in our real government!” In fact, since the Internet is a worldwide phenomenon, people around the world could and would explore the demos as “read-only” visitors, come to the same realization and understanding about the lack of any true democratic process within their own governments, and desire changes to their own governments as well.


As people participated in the demos, debated, and read and viewed more and more mass media discussions about the virtues of a demos and the shortcomings of our current government, our collective consciousness and will would move from desire to demand to action. A mass movement would be afoot with the Internet demos site serving as its nerve center. The current people of privilege, the establishment, would, of course, be dead set against it and make every kind of maneuver, manipulation, and sabotage against the success of the movement. But like an avalanche “we the people” would roll right over them and eventually win them over. In time, in a generation or two, history would prove and the leaders of those times whose predecessors resisted the fundamental changes to our government would come to see and agree that the changes affected our lives, our nation, and our world profoundly for the better.

Once the demos web site became sufficiently developed and functional and many people were frequenting the site, then we could treat the demos as if it would become the fourth branch of government. We could treat it as if it already were the fourth branch of government.

If this Internet demos came to be frequented by a large number of people with serious intent and result, it is entirely possible that it could become something of a power center in its own right even before a real demos became an official part of government. Our elected ‘representatives’ repeatedly toss us biased polling results and tell us ad nauseam how “in touch” they are with our minds and hearts. The demos could become the place where the electorate’s real views concerning the issues were made known. It could also serve as a place for would-be political candidates to test the waters. Successful candidates could watch their names climb up the Candidates lists. The Internet demos could possibly come to be seen and felt as an alternate or “people’s” government. It could become a true political power to be reckoned with. In this way something of a demos could unofficially serve America (and prove itself) before a real demos were made an official part of government.

Another idea that could attract participation in an Internet demos even though it was not, as yet, an official part of the government is to include the currently sitting president, senators, and representatives in its Candidates lists. Also, during real elections, the names of those running for office could be added to the Candidates lists. Until the demos officially became the fourth branch of government, some temporary procedural rules would have to be added to accommodate the fact that it is not really the demos voting system by which the candidates are elected to office and officeholders maintain their seats in office. For example, both for seated officeholders and for candidates running in real elections, the names of candidates would occupy their correct positions in the Candidates lists but they would be highlighted. A high ranking in a demos Candidates list by virtue of the number of demos votes a candidate received compared to other demos candidates would be a feather in a candidate’s or officeholder’s hat or a real embarrassment if he or she held poor ranking. And it would be enlightening to see who would currently be occupying the seats of office if the demos vote were the final say in the matter.

If the Internet demos managed to develop a large number of active participants, then current officeholders may become curious or even seriously concerned about their rankings in the demos Candidates lists. Sitting officials and their followers may begin to actively participate in the demos to improve their showings. Everyone participating in the Internet demos may come to see it as an important place to evaluate candidates running for office in real elections. The demos could come to have real clout even before officially becoming the fourth branch of government.


From the moment of its first creation and function on the Internet until the demos finally became the new fourth branch of government, the demos should serve the dual roles of being a working demonstration of a demos and being the center of nationwide organization and action designed to win its inclusion in government, a True Democracy Movement. Along with much other information, the demos should prominently display for each candidate his or her support or lack of support as demonstrated by words and deeds both within and outside of government for the constitutional and other changes that would be required to make it happen. The millions of voters in the current electoral system should make such support a litmus test of greater importance than any other considerations when voting for candidates. This litmus test should continue for however many years it takes to win the goal, the demos actually becoming the official fourth branch of government.

The Internet demos itself could possibly be that official demos if the demos site and the Internet could be made sufficiently secure and broadband Internet connection were made available to the homes of all members of the electorate and, indeed, ubiquitous throughout the nation. In this case the Movement portion of the demos site would be discontinued as no longer relevant. If, for whatever reasons, that were not possible or practicable, then a demos dedicated ground or satellite based nationwide network would have to be developed and constructed. Once the dedicated government demos became operational, moving day will have arrived. All people then currently participating in voting and deliberations at the Internet demos would have to pack up their votes and opinions and move them over to the government demos. With its mission accomplished, the Internet demos would be turned off.


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