Archive for February, 2011

Gadaffi and the Libyan autonomy

February 24, 2011


The world news reports of killing and violence against protesters in Libya, but Muammar Gadaffi says he will not give up. When Gadaffi threatens the people he takes the role of Father of the Nation who raises his disobedient children.

The idea that the state should reflect the family hierarchy comes from Aristotle and is called paternalism. Paternalism is a bad idea which means that the parent’s relationship with their children is a model for the state’s relationship with citizens. Parents restrict children’s autonomy. According to paternalism, a rebellious citizen is like a disobedient child.

Autonomy is the foundation of a free society. Both the people and the nations should be free to decide over themselves if they do not infringe on someone else’s autonomy, but that is exactly what is happening in Libya. Muammar Gadaffi seems to think he himself is the nation, but he is only a human being. When a dictator orders violence against his own citizens, the international community should intervene and abolish the country’s sovereignty until the dictator is overthrown.

Internet is all one needs for Democracy

February 13, 2011


It has never been so easy to reform democracy as today. Demoex and other Electronic Direct Democracy initiatives in a dozen countries recently agreed on a common policy in which political neutrality and interactive media for debates and referendums are the cornerstones. Several forums are under construction and they are intended to be used worldwide.

As long as the Internet is open in Arab countries, they cannot fail to establish democracy. The democratic process can be completely done over the Internet, where all necessary conditions and equipment are available. Widespread Internet usage and a literate population are all one needs to reform democracy.

Democracy requires freedom of opinion, expression, and assembly. The Internet offers all of this. Twitter and Facebook are examples of virtual communities. Participants do not need to meet physically, the important thing is that they can exchange information and make decisions together. The Internet both provides this and has the necessary transparency to prevent abuse of power and corruption.

If the young internet democrats may be represented in the House, they’ll probably use some kind of e-gov. The easiest way will be if they vote for an internet party. Democratic impacts can occur in two ways: by deciding directly or by influencing the decision-makers. Digital direct democracy provides the opportunity to influence both directly through referendums and indirectly, by arguing in the open debate.

The Camera combats the Gun

February 13, 2011


Violence has been the ultimate power factor in human conflicts until now. Our national constitutions can be seen as an attempt to make peace by giving police and military exclusive rights to use weapons against people.

Now there is an equally strong power factorInformation. In order to save his dictatorship, the former Egyptian president Mubarak did shut down the Internet and coaches his supporters on journalists and demonstrators with violence. If they had stopped the surveillance, Mubarak’s regime had been able to hide the power abuse. Then the violence won once again – but it didn’t.

Violence is a Shady phenomenon and information is Enlightenment. In the Tahir Square conflict, the camera defeated the gun. We will probably get used to seeing it happen. Extensive monitoring, free press, and transparency are the best protection against violence. With billions of potential spectators, no one wants to commit assault.

Nations are welcome to keep the monopoly of armed force, but it is essential that they do not also have a monopoly on information and monitoring. Then we risk state terrorism of the kind that Mubarak tried on. Information wants to be free.

We’re going through changes. Internet, satellites, mobile phones, and CCTV cameras are more important to peace today than the UN.