Energy, complexity and…direct democracy?

Wow! Interesting to see some thoughts along the lines of some of my unfinished papers expressed here. This post below speaks of direct democracy, civilizational collapse (referencing Joseph Tainter, whose work has significantly influenced my thoughts on world ecology), and energy use/intensity. This is exactly along lines I’ve been thinking for a while, but have not gotten around to writing. Good to see the idea is shared by others; it would be good to reach out to Ceddia to discuss this, but I’m not sure when I’ll find the time. In the meantime, read below!

ecology, politics & economics

Direct Democracy

One Italian politician, Nichi Vendola, allegedly claimed that “politics is the art of managing complexity“. Today this statement raises at least two questions: what is politics and what is complexity. Without going back to Aristotle, I think that the standard idea of politics to most people is that of representative democracy. Yet over the last few years there seems to be an increasing dissatisfaction with this form of democracy. The dissatisfaction with representative democracy (as the statistics on participation to voting in most countries show), has perhaps accelerated because of the economic crisis, but stems from the fact that ordinary citizens seem to have lost their faith in the ability of the elected representatives (the politicians) to act principally (if not exclusively) in the common interest. The problem of “regulatory capture”, whereby powerful lobbies attempt to influence legislation in their favor, is one example of such a failure. It…

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