"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people."
    --Oscar Wilde


Democracy, Authority and Power

Democracy as an alternative way of life

"The method of socialism is democracy; the aim of socialism is the common good."   --Revolutionary slogan, 1931. 

"Democracy is not just a constitutional scheme of elected government, and democracy is not just a bill of rights.  To say either thing is like mistaking a hand for an entire human being.  Democracy in its complete form is a culture, a way of life, a pervasive mentality.  It is ingrained habits of respect and sensibility for others. It is the habit of conscious duty.  It is conversion of every grouping of people into a system of conscious regard for itself and the welfare of its entire membership.  It opposes hierarchical fascism in all its subtle manifestations.  So democracy opposes the tiresome boss, the greedy bank chairman, the prideful politician, and even the rude clerk.  --Umac Dherein, 1917. 

Democracy in Revolutionary Bergonia

The constitution requires that all authority, whether political, economic or social, "be democratic." (Art. 3, Sec. 3, 1990 Const.)

All words are subject to abuse, and no one abuses words worse than politicians and tyrants (and ad men).  No words have suffered abuse more than "socialism and democracy" (except perhaps "Christian"), and all too often even the best intended people take for granted the meaning of the words they intone, without understanding what different meanings other people might attach to them.  So it is fair to ask, what is "democracy"-- at least what is meant by democracy in the Bergonian usage.

The "Pervasiveness" of Bergonian Democracy.

"Pervasive" is a term Bergonian socialists often use to describe their type of Democracy.  It refers to the complete infusion of the democratic spirit throughout all aspects of life, the conversion of all decision-making in society to democratic forms, including decision-making in all economic activity, and the elimination of all bosses. 

The term "pervasive" is meant to contrast with the limited democracy in the modern "Western" capitalist republics.  Modern man excels at the compartmentalization of his own life.  Yet compartmentalization is the very process of hypocrisy, the process of cognitive dissonance.  Religion is supposed to be a "personal" matter, which means segregated from work or politics.  "Democracy" is in a compartment too, the one reserved for "government" or "politics" or "the state."  There are separate boxes for economic activity, for fighting war, and for many other roles that people play & are forced to play.  The essence of Pharisee hypocrisy is doing one thing in "public" and another in "private."  Likewise, the modern capitalist perspective applies one elevated rule for the public sphere and allows a debased rule for the private sphere.  A man who demands respect as a voter and a taxpayer in the "public" sphere will turn around and treat his employees like slaves.  In this world-view, democracy exists only in one compartment, while unreasoning abuse of authority is still alright in the other compartments.  

Democracy of the Bergonian sort is meant to be pervasive, to abolish  compartmentalization, to provide a single ethos and method appropriate for all circumstances and spheres of life.  A proper way of living is worth living in all aspects of life.  This is an idea that any truly religious person would endorse.  In Bergonia there are more humanist justifications given for this idea of pervasiveness, or of one way, or one size fits all:  (a)  Concern for the integrity or "harmony" of a personality mandates a consistent, conscious attention to the moral circumstances of life,

The priority of fairness usually dictates a common and consistent approach to all problems.  Fairness considerations grow strongest in communities of relative equals, such as Highland Scotsmen, where honor commanded a man's conscious attention.  Authority and conscious-blinding loyalty.

The idea that one sort of morality or ethical standard is permissible in on set of circumstances, while another, more relaxed standard should prevail in others is exactly the sort of "moral relativism" that conservatives have objected to.  Frankly, in the Bergonian view, the entire liberal-democratic-capitalist scheme is based upon moral relativism of the worst sort.

It is interesting to note that abusive authority looks and feels the same in every context, no matter whether it is the crazy sergeant abusing his troops, the school teacher abusing his pupils, the supervisor abusing his work crew, an office boss abusing his secretary, or a police officer abusing a suspect.  The techniques of belittlement, humiliation, overworking, suppressing expression, and burdening employed by the various abusive superiors are all the same, and so is the anxiety felt by all the victimized subordinates.  

If abusive authority always follows the same pattern, then the cure for abusive authority should be the same in every context.  If democracy works better than any other system of government, then democracy should work well in every non-governmental context as well.

The true conservative won't give an inch to this argument.  The true conservative will say that democracy is not appropriate in any other situation. The conservative will  justify democracy only as a restraint on the "necessary evil" of government, and therefore useless, or even dangerous in any other context.  At the basis of the true conservative's criticism of democracy is that "those people" are too dumb for self-government or not deserving of equality, whether "those people" are the commoners, the hicks, the blacks or the gays.  Conservative at the people who believe in compartments, walls and closed doors, and who benefit from them.  It is impossible to expect them to admit to a leveled, open world.

The Bergonian Attitude toward Power--

The Pervasiveness of Power-Relationships in Human Life

Marx thought everything in human life was about the means of production.  Capitalism makes an obsessive  fetish of money that pervades all human life.  Freud thought human life was all about sexual instinct.  But in Bergonia, as early as the Tan era, the conscious focus of intellectual inquiry was on the power relationships between people.  When the Tan political philosophers explicitly explored the structures, signs and roles of power relationships in social, state, economic and family units, they effectively invented sociology.

The philosopher who first distinctly articulated this attitude was Pamareno Seclusa (1145-1221) of Cationi. She wrote, "that which advances a man in relation to his companions, and engenders their respect, awe and envy, will please him more than anything else."  Thus she began her major thesis about the one thing that motivates humans in their thought and action more than anything else.  The arrangements of power, authority and status among people within a social group are what beguiles people the most, overriding every other so-called drive and instinct.  By this theory Seclusa felt confident to explain and interrelate parenthood and childhood, gossip, courtship rituals, city architecture, manners and etiquette, agricultural economy, war, and history. 

Sexuality:  Respect for social mores and power arrangements in every society easily sublimate sexuality in every society and every culture.  Later Tan political philosophers even claimed that social order was necessary to optimal child-rearing, and necessary to advance the priority of child-rearing, and as part of this process social order also imposed discipline on all human sexuality.  Strictures requiring sexual loyalty are part of the family allocation of human resources (economic effort, the fruit of such effort, such as food and shelter and credit cards) that make 14 to 21 years of child-rearing possible for the human creature, and it is a natural corollary to familial authority and familial loyalty.

Language:  Language in its very categorical structure incorporates the power relation, primarily in the possessive case for nouns and pronouns, and secondarily in the categorical relationship between subject and object.  Grammatical and semantic categories of possession apply in nearly all languages equally to human beings and to things.  "My son, my gun, my boss, my loss, my employee, my liability, my photocopier, my asset."  The possessive provides an automatic mechanism for describing power rights over both people and things.  We learned to treat tools probably from the way our primate ancestors learned to treat each other, in somewhat hierarchical mechanisms.  So people have always seen each other, things, resources and territory as things to be possessed. 

Nurture:  None of this is meant to be specifically critical, although Bergonian political philosophy in Tan Era was primarily concerned with the abuse of power and authority relationships. Much of what underlies power and authority relationships is loyalty and enduring love.  There is nothing more exalted about the human condition than the mother-infant relationship, and yet in its strictest sense it conforms perfectly to the analysis of power relationships.  Power relations potentially become abusive or exploitative, but they are natural to humankind because they deliver sustenance and nurture to everyone in the social unit, agreeably allocate resources, provide cohesion to the social unit, and exercise its collective will.

The ancient concept of authority--  reslare (res-lah-reh)

In the Imperial Era, long before Seclusa, people used the word reslare (Nac.), rison (Min.) which meant control, authority or command, and specifically referred to the authority and respect that people attach to particular roles in particular social encounters. 

The mental process of reslare worked like this: in any social encounter between individuals, and in any group of people, one of the individuals present will hold reslare as a matter of law, custom, agreement, necessity or force.  Sometimes it was of life-and-death importance who hold reslare, most of the time it was a matter of passive formality. 

In ancient times reslare was the process that invested authority in the clan or banda lodge chief, the village chief or elder, or the specialist (like a priest, physician or engineer)-- someone who commanded respect and deference.  In Imperial era times reslare explicitly resided generally with whomever had control or jurisdiction-- a parent, a teacher, a plant foreman, a police officer, an usher, the elders, the oldest most experienced man present.  On a grander scale, the Pacunot (the Emperor), the tieri or dictator, the Iregemi owner of the plantation, the factory manager, the department head, the chairman of the board, all hold reslare. During the Imperial Era the the formal case for pronouns evolved in the Dura dialect of Minidun.  In late medieval times reslare took on its pervasive meaning of "the one in charge" or "the senior one."

Quite often reslare was implicit, and quite often it rotated among members of the social unit according to function and expediency.  Reslare automatically invested in the one member of a group whom everyone would look to in a sudden change of circumstances.  In case of fire the firemen are in charge.  In less acute circumstantial changes, members of the social unit will turn to the big brother, the one friend who happens to be a nurse, the neighborhood guys who know how to work on cars, or the local guy familiar with the surroundings.    In a small village, one man might hold reslare in making planting decisions by virtue of his superior knowledge.  Another might hold reslare whenever tax collectors and other government minions come around, by virtue of his nerve and wits.  In this informal, practiced and automatic way, reslare had a functional capacity in small group interaction, even within couples. It was traditionally understood as a matter of continual consciousness by everyone present which one of them in the current  situation possessed what degree of reslare.  All in all, reslare is entirely circumstantial and contingent in nature, but nevertheless ubiquitous.


Those social moments (e.g. siblings, friends and lovers) when no one has reslare, were special for reslare's very absence-- allowed the communion of equals, invariably motivated by love. 

At the minimum, a man was said to hold reslare "over his blanket, his shoes, his knapsack, his thoughts and his dreams."  Shufrantei-influenced philosophers emphasized that a man had reslare over his time.  In other words one holds a sphere of personal autonomy, which to a degree he possessed in virtually all situations.  This would include the "personal space" of a half-meter or more that the mores of every culture affords an individual.  Moralizers of the Tanic age often wrote about how shall a man responsibly and profitably expend his personal reslare.   How a man should use it to benefit others differed not too much from how he should use it to benefit himself-- at least from an ethical perspective.

Reslare of course carried responsibility and imposed duty upon those who held it to those who recognized it and submitted to it, and who depended upon its proper, wise and effective exercise. 

Pesare (peh-saur-eh) -- the subordinate role

Reslare (power/authority) of course implies an opposite, which is the practice and practicality of duty that falls upon the subordinates.   A person of common pesare (peh-saur-eh) owes obeisance and respect to the person possessing selore.  Pesare implies dependency, such as the dependency of a child, a patient, a prisoner, a student, an employee, a religious novice.  Pesare was properly dictated by function and need, like the banda warrior's necessary obedience to his superior officer, like the army private, like the nurse in the operating room.  Pesare, like reslare, was contingent upon the situational need.

The proper exercise of reslare

A person, in order to properly employ reslare, had to have a sensitivity akin to Buddhist-style compassion toward other sentient beings-- the willingness to consider the pains of others in all decisions.  The best leaders have this.  The worst are utterly surfeit of it, and thus have no compunction about causing suffering.  (See Prakai Eleusi)

It was also understood that reslare could be exaggerated, mutated, and exploited, in which case reslare is disserved and abused.  This occurs in the same way that other human capacities and talents, such as sex and the martial arts, could be either used for the good or obsessively misused, or in the sense that too much of a good thing can be bad.  The ultimate abuse of reslare was a dictator's tyranny at the point of a sword.  Prakai Eleusi was the ultimate example of this.

The inevitability and fungibility of reslare

Tan Era Bergonians concluded that reslare should be diffused as broadly as possible, since history rather convincingly showed the Tan advocates that people in big centralized states suffered more than people who lived in small city-states. The first Bergonian revolutionaries in the late 1700s did not seek liberty, but reslare.  This is like saying that the revolutionaries didn't want liberty from power, but rather they wanted the power itself.  They understood that reslare was going to befall someone in any event.  They wanted power distributed broadly, among as many people as practical, as an anecdote to the abuses of dictatorship.  There was, they said, less opportunity for pride in conference rooms than in throne rooms.  

Under Tan theory, reslare ideally resides in the group, and not with an individual.  Reslare might mean that the banda lodge or the city lays claim to one's allegiance in a particular situation.  In other circumstances reslare might direct an individual's loyalty to the village or neighborhood, the brotherhood of the clan lodge, the the guild hall, or the partners of the trading house.  A  group's reslare can be assigned upward by either its leaders or the group itself, with the members deciding in an assembly.  In the ideal Tan plan, various local groups voluntarily confer reslare on federated bodies, which will plan and coordinate larger tasks like irrigation, defense and water supply.  

The Historical Development of Democracy

One can mythologize about pre-neolithic tribal democracy, but it is clear that the earliest "civilizations" were completely devoid of democracy.  The agricultural paradigm prevailed from the first Egyptian pharaoh to the industrial revolution, with a sun-king, small class of nobles and servitors living off a vast peasantry.  Here and there during the agricultural era, however, individual cities achieved degrees of independence and inevitably developed republican institutions.  Bourgeoisie republicanism liberated the peasantry and destroyed the nobility, which resulted in labor mobility, a precondition to capitalism.  As millions moved from the farm to the factory in the city, urban values exploded, including democracy.  Although democracy is now heartily valued by rural populations in most countries, no one can doubt the urban origins of democracy. 

In the conservative worldview, "democracy" has value because it works well to restrain  government power against private power, which includes private capital.  Conservative orthodoxy holds that modern concepts of liberty grew out of, and depend upon, the concept of property rights.  If there were a better method of restraining government encroachments against the capitalist class, they would favor it.  Radical republicanism, in contrast, arose in France against both abusive state power and private power.  The difference between conservative and radical republicanism are best demonstrated by the two Enlightenment-era revolutions, the American and the French.

The American revolution was not a true revolution because its proponents did not seek fundamental change in the economic or social system, but rather a reallocation of power.  In pursuing this modest goal, the "founding fathers," including bourgeoisie townsmen and feudal slave-holders, were remarkably successful.  No one should doubt their accomplishment, for American republicanism has for two centuries inspired and informed democrats around the world.  

But the French revolutionaries had far grander aspirations, and thus a far smaller chance of success.  While the vileness of their particular failures have become legend (in part because the victors get to write the history of the losers), the French revolutionaries deserve great praise because they were the first people in history to consciously recognize the vileness inherent in human institutions.  They identified the vileness inherent in authority, whether it be the political authority of the royal state, symbolized most elegantly by the shadows cast by the Bastille, the economic power welded by the feudal nobility, or the moral authority exercised by the Mother Church.  

This prepared the mental field for socialism and anarchism; 18th century peasant resentment against the nobility easily transferred to 19th century industrial worker resentment against their new capitalist bosses.  There was no agricultural oppressor in the U.S. and, as Marx observed, the fundamental free farmer population of the U.S. predisposed the U.S. industrial worker to feel like a free agent

In its first historical steps (e.g. the Magna Carta, the Tan era) democracy seeks to restrain state power, which is essential, but democracy ultimately aims for more.  It aims to eliminate hierarchic power (which is concurrent with but different from hierarchical arrangement of institutions).


A lot of modern systems of thought engage in what Krathnami called checulo-- literally "monologic" that ascribes a single underlying cause to all other social and human phenomena, e.g. Marxism ascribes everything to economic causes, Freud ascribes everything to sexuality & repressed instinct, Skinner to stimulus-response, capitalism to money value.  Early Shufrantei orthodoxy had a tendency to look at everything on the accumulation and discharge of spiritual pollution.  


There is always a compartment, a mental box for "undesirables"--  every culture in every age seems to have looked down their noses at someone -- who deserves to be treated about shit, who it is alright to treat like shit.


Democracy as a way of life.  

This means that a democratic practitioner is conscious of and concerned about process.  Conservatives and communists alike accept that the ends justifies the means, but the democratic practitioner accepts as an article of faith that the manner in which a decision or plan is made is essential to the result.  This means, meetings, consultations, public hearings, comment periods, referenda, and the like.  Group processes require, inevitably, discussion, which inevitably take time, and sometimes disputes require lots of time to resolve.  The expenditure of time is one of the necessary costs of democracy, and democrats accept this.  

This means that a practitioner adjusts his behavior to suit democratic processes.  These are the processes of discussion, deliberation, compromise, and consensus.  A person may succeed in these things if he is respectful, expressive, and patient. 

Seiudun was the ancient Bergonian etiquette for respectful conversation (sitting round a small tea table) between adverse and possibly hostile, possibly armed men (and women).  Arising out of ancient panitei warrior ethos, Seiuden anticipated the needs of democracy.  

Seiudun was sometimes ridiculed for reducing communication to an overly formalized ritual, like a Kabuki dance.  But practitioners believed that Seiudun offered an easy way to handle hard truths and difficult issues.  Equal to the concern with process and method is the concern for intellectual and personal honesty, coupled with a willingness to speak up.  A person who reads Dear Abby regularly will see a single cause for a majority of the letters: unwillingness to speak up and confront someone acting inappropriately-- the ever-popular "failure to communicate."   At the bottom of this is a simple fear-- the number one reported phobia is speaking in front of people.  Perhaps this kind of fear motivates the habits of slavery.  If so, it is a fear that hopefully will disappear (or become more sly, more subtle) when democracy becomes a way of life. 

This means that everyone can follow any way of life they want (i.e. expressive, political, religious and life-style freedom), providing that they graft their chosen (or inherited) way of life onto the democratic way of life.  that assures "mutually-assured tolerance."  That mean that race and every other culturally-sensitive group should follow a certain compact whereby everyone forgoes provocative speech and acts.

Like religious faith, like spiritual discipline, like keeping a diet or a physical regimen, democracy requires constant vigilance and reassertion of the will.  One does not relent.  The faith, the spiritual discipline, the diet, becomes a way of life, with both conscious and reflexive aspects.  

The Republican way: 

Conservatives hate all this process, touting instead the idea of direct, uncompromising action.  Before World War II the futurists, fascists and Nazis all touted "direct action," which of course seems to be the most admired quality about George W. Bush, the Great Satan.  Of course it seems that "direct action" usually consists of locking up people or invading another country.  Direct action is a corollary to the conservative-royalist-fascist "leadership principle," which of course requires trust of such a high degree as to forfeit all accountability.   Humans being human, it is at best a naive extension of trust, for virtually every conservative-royalist-fascist regime has nakedly exploited its people.

Direct Action

Of course direct action is the sweet song of the revolutionary, and of course, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, there does come a time even for direct action, but to a democrat, direct action is almost repulsive, and certainly transgressive of first principles of civic society.  But Bergonians tolerate as much "direct action" (e.g. rioting, occupations, violent strikes) as the French and the South Koreans, and far more that the staid, frightened English-speaking peoples.  (Likewise there is no dancing in the streets in Anglo-Saxon republics.)

Direct action is greatly useful to a democratic society because its very potential scares people in authority.  Time after time, elected authorities who suddenly find themselves confronted with popular street action end up backing down and giving in.  Direct action works like a pop-off valve on a water heater.  A low threshold for direct action provides the public with a quick method of vetoing executive action.  A society's tolerance of direct action works like a sensor device with increased sensitivity for registering unfavorable response to the acts of authorities.

The Ethos of Democratic Administration.

As stated above, a general democratic ethos must guide all people, but a special, more demanding ethos must govern those people who holds the inevitable managerial and political positions.  This applies in all spheres, economic as well as governmental.

In American jurisprudence individuals are held to take on a "fiduciary duty" to a beneficiary if they take on a special relationship with the beneficiary, e.g. legal guardian or trustee.  It is a duty of trust based on the delegation of authority, and thus imposes a higher level of responsibility than the common civil duties of care and fair-dealing that anonymous people owe each other.  All people who hold authority over the affairs of others, in the "administrative class," presumably for their benefit, should be held to such an elevated standard.

There is a managerial class in the Bergonian economy-- officers coordinating the work of "federated cooperatives" or running the operations of the syndicals.  This class, both in prescriptive theory and actual fact, includes both (a) workers who rose up through the ranks and (b) people with specialized college degrees in "administration" ("management" is a dirty word in Bergonia). 

Every member of the "administrative class" has to be taught:

a)  to respect his people, because they are his boss, just as he is theirs.  He must show solicitude toward his people, and understand that leadership imposes a fiduciary duty of trust.  It is a warrior's or shepherd's ethos of protection, and a big-brotherly, teacher ethos of wanting improve his people's skills and raise them up.

b) to become conscious of and sensitive to the frictions of close-quarters democracy.  He must sometimes act as group therapy leader or  judge.

c)  how to persuade.  Only in understood, delineated matters (usually time-sensitive matters involving production, "e.g. You and John go get another load now.") may he resolve a problem by giving an order. 


Tan Concepts of Authority and Government

Tan is a response to the problems posed by tyranny

Tan theory was very utilitarian, stating explicitly that it rose up as a particular response to a set of particular social problems, including inefficient, corrupt government, usually dictatorial and always oligarchic and dominated either by who had the most swords or who had the  most land or who had the most gold. 

The criticism o authority of the times explicitly recognized the idea of economic exploitation, that unfair advantage of power resulted in economic expropriation by one class for its own benefit.  this criticism of course started with the Iregemi exploitation of the peasants, but included all  people not of the nobility.  The results were (a) impoverishment of one class unjustly by larceny , (b) unjust enrichment of another class, (c) distortion of economic relationships resulting in inefficiencies (e.g. lower productivity due to impoverished labor), (d) distortion of the reward structure, (e) reinforcement of the current power arrangements. 

criticism of tyranny

There was a greatly detailed criticism of tyranny and all other species of unjust authority.  It distorted the mentality of the tyrant himself,  even legitimate tyrants, allowing him to identify with the office and to believe in his own superiority.  It invites the tyrant to extremes of self-gratification, and to the thrill of exercising the the extremes of their authority, usually with cruelty, with willingness to ruin lives, sometimes violently.  The power itself temps the tyrant to sin and drags his lieutenants and agents into sin. 

Even in mild forms tyranny distorts the nature of the information it get from subordinates, encourages hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, discourages the capacity and expertise of independent thought and self-reliance, and distorts cultural expression.  It thus deprives the organization of its own organicity, the ability to adjust and self-correct.

It oppresses the mentality of the subordinates who deal with subjective resentment, bitterness, self-repression, and surrender of dignity.  It creates many different classes and circumstances of minor, chronic oppression, usually consisting of a son-of-a-bitch boss riding his subordinates unfairly out of some personal pathology. 

On the other end of the spectrum was Prakai Eleusi, the worst tyrant of them all.  In all the portrayals of the tyrant, Prakai Eleusi was repeatedly paraded as the worst, most pure version of the type, and the tan writers repeatedly warned that there is a streak of Prakai in each one of use.

Preventing Tyranny

A way of preventing unjust authority is to disperse authority and to balance authority against other authority.  Make sure that everyone has someone else to answer to, even if it's a big circle, is a method of dispersing authority.  A way of dispersing and balancing authority is sharing it in a council among members or representatives, or requiring the assent of multiple offices. 

A structured dispersal of authority is more likely than a tyranny to achieve "good government" which makes "wise decisions."  A decision is wise that considers only good evidence, gives a complete view of circumstances and interests, and makes conclusions based on principles.  It is not possible to make such a wise decisions unless one takes a deliberate pace, and achieves a diversity of opinion, part and parcel to a structured dispersal of authority.

Wise decisions are not the only component of good government. Wise decisions are worthless if they are not executed efficaciously.  One ingredient of efficacious execution is the increase in enthusiasm, consent and participation that comes with voluntary consent. It is believed that such enthusiasm translates into superior quality work and greater productivity.  It was often stated in Late Tan as a categorical imperative that consent should be necessary to constitute good authority, but that society lacked the mechanisms.


The religious commandment of brotherly love reduced all men and women to equal importance, each deserving of our love without distinction or qualification or contingency. This complete refusal to compromise to moral gradients was expressed by Christ when he told his follows to turn the other cheek to an assailant.

The warrior ethos had produced a profound feeling of mutual respect among equals, with the assumption among warriors that all warriors were of equal worth.  The exercise of respect, which is the outward manifestation of personal honor, militates toward a practice of equality.  It is the practical application of Christ's teaching to do to others as you would want for yourself, and by treating everyone by this honorable standard you are treating them all the same. The presumption of mutual respect implied the value of each man's opinion, and thus implied that any effort to silence a man was dishonorable, and indeed cowardly.

There were no longer (in Bergonian history, said the Tan theorists) any reasons for class inequalities.  The banda warrior class was no longer necessary to protect cities, nations or peoples, and in any rate was no longer a coherent class, while the traders who were dominating everything were crass and salaciously greedy. The Iregemi added next to nothing to the production of food.  The nobility clustered around state institutions usually showed themselves to be corrupt and insipid. Any argument for a superior class of leadership was not born out by facts, except in matters of technical expertise.  In building a dam, everyone does what the engineer says.


Tools of Bergonian Democracy

Most countries around the world now hold regular elections for government leaders.  The results have been various, with electorates choosing religious extremists, buffoons, actors, former dictators and known criminals, proving that elections alone do not make a democratic society.  By themselves elections cannot survive the withering poison of money influence.  Even if the rivers of private money are stanched (as they were in Bergonia), elections alone do not make much of a democracy.  Complete democracy has many other tools and safeguards. 

1 -- cooperative self-rule: 

This is the realm of direct democracy.  The band (preceding the tribe, which had chieftains), the peasant village, the band of brothers, congregationalism, the kibbutzim.  In modern society the band is at the workplace.  For details, see the cooperatives in the Bergonia economy.  This means that security guards at the hospital get to sit down and work out their own schedule.  This means the janitors there decide who among themselves will do what chores on what floors, as do the floor nurses and the technicians in each of the units.  This means the insular functional group is given the assignment and the specifications, but it is up to the group itself how it will meet them.

2 -- election of authority.

Deep democracy requires as much direct democracy as possible, meaning that all authority over the group be exercised by the group, as in a New England town meeting.  Of course the possibilities of such democracy are radically limited by the size of the group, which then requires representatives to exercise part of the authority over the group.  Different principles of organization are appropriate for different sized groups, which of course means the layering of authority to preserve as much "local" control (e.g. con-federal government) and direct control (e.g. referenda) as possible. 

But in any event, as a matter of principle, all non-direct democratic authority should be exercised by election of authority.  This means the people elect the executive and legislative authorities. This means the workers within an industry sector elect the coordinating authorities, and the workers within a particular enterprise elect the enterprise chairman and executive officers.

Elections of officers or representatives by the people or by members of organizations (e.g. syndicate members voting to elect their state officers) are always by secret ballot.

On the other hand, all votes cast by the elected representatives on various matters, including the election of ministers, are always cast in public, and the votes recorded, even though their deliberations sometimes are closed.  Moreover, executive transparency is no less important a means of accountability than a public legislative process.

Legislative Bodies:

By their very nature, large bodies provide more seats at a very enlarged table to provide for a maximization of representation ratio, and yet keep an ability to function.  In many countries, this range is felt to be quite small.  In most American States, the state senate has around 30 members and the larger house has around 100 members.  The U.S. House of Representatives has 365 members.  Only a few countries such as the U.K. and Bergonia have legislative bodies with more than 500 members.  

In Bergonia legislative elections follow either:

(a) proportional representation.

To elect the Bergonian Congress, the individual states are apportioned a number of delegates based on population (with 2 additional delegates for each state, a way to bonus the smallest states); then the people of each state vote for all the delegates at large by casting votes for party slates. 

This system insures that political minorities are represented, as opposed to the winner-take-all rule in single delegate districts that are favored by the world's English-speaking nations, including Britain, the US and Canada.  Recognition of minority rights to representation is important in a country of such great demographic diversity, and in a country that has sought to evolve communitarian approaches to reconciling the frictions natural to diversity.

(b) "senatorial" systems

This term refers to representation of various economic, regional or other interest constituencies, such as states, syndicates, and collectives.  Delegates to legislative bodies chosen this way represent not the people as an aggregation of equal individuals, upon which rests the imperative of basing allocation on population, but rather they represent the communities behind the sub-entities.  This too is a communitarian way of providing seats at the table to every group.  In the political "state" realm, such subdivisions are territorially based, such as Lesre and counties.  In the economic realm, such subdivisions consist of work units, individual member factories.  In the context of legislative councils, the various sydical and other interests.  For example the Passenger Air Flight Council-- the body that approves a national plan for providing passenger air service to all airports and approves all flight scheduling-- includes representatives from the pilots syndicate, the air traffic controllers syndicate, a national organization of airports, a member of the National Tourism Commission.

3 -- referendum, initiative and recall, triggered by verified petitions.  Also a method for legislative bodies to avoid resolving issue themselves.   Nearly all constitutional law allows legislative bodies to subsequently modify any law passed in a referendum, but only with a 60% super-majority.

These methods of popular intervention in government are not merely political, but available to the workers of most enterprises, including federated cooperatives, as a way of giving them the power of the ultimate sanction against management-- dismissal.

It is axiomatic that no constitution or charter-- whether of the government, the city or commune, the cooperative or federated cooperative, the syndicate or professional or economic association, or the county birdwatchers club-- can be amended without a referendum by the membership.

4 -- random selection:  based on the drawing of lots.  The selection of jurors in Bergonia, the US, Britain and other nations select jurors out of the pool by random assignment.  The ancient Athenians used the drawing of lots to select tribunals and deliberative bodies.  In Tan times sometimes lots were used as well.  

In Bergonia courts draw up juries to settle larger disputes an sometimes to give advisory verdicts on liability or investigative questions, as in other countries.  But Bergonians also occasionally empanel juries to settle policy questions.  For example, for devising a just set of lease rates-- one of the chronically irritating issues-- many of the states have convened advisory juries.

One of the most innovative ideas was when the state of Glen convened a jury of 164 people to set punishments for all crimes as part of a rewriting of the criminal code, in order to get a common man's gauge of the relative seriousness of various crimes. The jury was given presentations by legal experts, police, judges, criminal lawyers and prosecutors, and psychologists, and then asked to vote on a continuing set of propositions. 

The Commonwealth is experimenting with a legislative chamber of common men & women selected from the population by lot-- the 2,400 member People's Assembly, and several states have also added legislative houses chosen by lot to their elected legislatures. 

5 -- policy and issue juries

A jury either of randomly chosen citizens or randomly chosen professionals hears evidence & pass judgment on a policy issue.  it is like a formal jury trial, with presentations of evidence to a jury, and with a presiding judge, but the goal is entirely different.  If there is a technical or scientific issue of fact that is central to a policy issue, this is a good way to settle it.  

For example, the agriculture ministry had been asked to devise policies for preventing & reacting to Mad Cow disease.  The question came up about when to notify the public of test positives, particularly when "presumptive positives" in screenings appear.  Notification of the people becomes a policy of applied democracy, so ideally the ministry would consult with the people when making the policy, rather than a post-crisis debate on the issue in the context of finger-pointing and buck-passing.  There are good reasons for not notifying the public too early, but a reasonable group of citizens should, upon hearing facts & sound fair argument by professionals, be able to say how soon. So the ministry sponsored a policy-jury of common citizens.  The jury was presented with the problem, taught by scientists the nature of the disease and the technology of screening & testing, asked questions, listened to debate on pros & cons, asked questions, debated in private, voted, and issued a recommendation on the forms provided.

This process is also used to conduct investigations into the presumably preventable disaster -- for example, a pedestrian archway in a mall in Sonai collapsed in 1975, killing 38 people, and a policy jury was convened.  The jury consisted of a panel of engineers, and the judge issued subpoenas at the request of either the jury or the advocates.  In 1994 a small air cargo jet collided with a passenger airliner, killing 274 people, and a policy-jury was convened.

The most distinctive aspect of jury participation is its non-voluntariness.  Jury service, even on policy-juries, is mandatory.  Juries must be samples of the public population, which has more precise requirements that just saying that juries have to be representative of the public.  As samples, the larger policy juries have to meet certain demographic targets-- age, ethnicity, gender 50-50.  Mandatoriness itself produces a more representative sample of the public, since a system of voluntariness would guarantee an over-representation of biased partisans.  Mandatory duty however should not be punitive, so every county pays all jurors a good hourly wage (e.g. paygrade #6 in a system of ten grades).

mass policy juries

Several counties and states, and many syndicates and professional associations, have experimented with "mass policy juries," composed of thousands of people either in several different locations linked together by closed-circuit TV, or more recently people in their homes linked by cable and internet hook-up, allowing all jurors to viewing the issue presentation and then vote electronically. 

Sometimes juries meet in every city & town across the country on the same day, watching the presentation on cable television, after having studied the textual stuff mailed in advance, and then each one debating the issue.  The result is a scorecard of how many juries across the country voted which way. 

These mass policy juries have been used by professionals as a good way of setting standards.  Lawyers and judges across the country have met in local juries as a way of deciding recommendations for ethics standards and changes in the rules of court procedure.  Teachers have met this way to consider new instructional standards and materials.  Sefairei's state ministry of education sponsored a day-long mass jury trial of elementary school teachers on the ever-controversial question of how best to teach reading.  Teachers met in every town and city, all linked together through cable television and computers, they all heard the same debates and data presentations, culminating in a set of conclusive votes on a series of ballot questions.  the computerization made all voting and tabulations instantaneous, so that the debaters throughout the day could throw challenges at each other and call for immediate votes for affirmation of rejection of what either he or another debater had just said, as in "I bet the majority of teachers have experienced..."  Of course the television and internet presentations were available to the public, although the tabulations were not always. 

The difference between the mass jury and a referendum is not always clear, but one of the most telling characteristic of the jury is its immediate, intense and insular quality of the people sitting down to receive facts and arguments and then decide the question, both in one sitting.  This stands in distinction to the typical referendum campaign, like all other political elections, of informative campaigning lasting over several weeks' time before Election Day.  This one-session limitation insures that the decision-makers (the jurors) all receive the same information together in a refereed setting.  Its legalistic format provides a purified form of evidence, coming from experts or qualified witnesses in an objective question-and-answer format, presumably the best evidence, decontaminated of bias or unreliability, and it is all the same evidence, so that no juror can claim to have superior knowledge based on superior evidence.

6 -- formal, government-sponsored opinion polling: 

Professional opinion polling, whether done by political parties and candidates or by marketing firms ascertaining opinions useful to the corporate marketers and propagandists.  Properly conducted polling entails valid scientific method to produce a reliable, valid and efficient measure of public sentiment.  Thus Bergonians see no good reason for not using polling as a means of guiding the politicians.  Americans routinely condemn candidates who "just follow the polls," but when properly done polls provide an accurate expression of the people's will, then a Bergonian would expect the elected representatives to give heed.  All in all, opinion polls have been welcomed as a valid form of "express democracy," a new, efficient alternative way for the people to express their will. 

But polling cuts like a blunt knife and sees like a blurry lens.  Thus any methodological improvement is important, and it turns out that the most significant improvements are possible only through formalizing the process, as done here. 

The commonwealth has established an agency called the Peoples Opinion Polling Agency, a large organization of licensed, yes, licensed professional pollsters.  They conduct polls on subjects at the express request of either the President, the Speak or the Prime Minister.  Rather than running a single poll in one or two days, POPA conducts what they call a "meta-poll," an aggregation of a series of polls they take over the course of several weeks or months.  POPA has no trade secrets-- their work is entirely transparent, with no lack of visitors and television cameras inside their Ceiolai headquarters.  The wording of the questions and the methodology are released in advance, inviting comment & criticisms.  POPA has at various times inquired of the people about how to adjust the national pension funds, how to revise the fee structure for health care service, opinions on the quality of the national health care system, attitudes about gay marriages and temporary marriages, satisfaction with the various public services, and abortion. 

The League of States, which is the clearing house that all the state governments have formed, also operates a polling organization called the Union Poll that runs polls on subjects requested by the various states.  The Union Pool every year runs a poll on popular lifestyle preferences of all sorts: what are your favorite foods?, how often do you attend a sporting event?, do you hunt or fish?, what are you most afraid of? boxers or briefs?  Every year the public enjoys the release of this playful polls.

7 -- the formal national debate:

The Formal National Debate allows the people to directly inform the bosses of their opinion on a hot issue.  The first such debate was commissioned by the government in 1986 on the controversial space programs.  Since there have been seven such debates, including (a) the Great Abortion Debate in 1986, (b) should the country abolish the National Community Service," (c) what kinds of standards of decency for television & the movies, (d) gay marriage & restructuring the institution of marriage, (e) is gambling an appropriate source of public revenue.  The debates follow a formal process and a schedule, very similar to the electoral calendar

National Debates commence with a two week "informative phase," where the various media turn their attention to the topic, almost to saturation levels.  A multi-partisan commission issues an "information packet" on the issue, explaining the issues, presenting undisputed facts, explaining issues of fact and the arguments of the partisans. The packet is inserted into newspapers and magazines, and made available in public places.  Next come the "advocacy phase," a week long where the partisan debaters make the rounds of the televisions stations and fly around the country making speeches.  But more importantly the partisan arguments are presented in formal half hour television shows and then aired on one o more major television debate, where sparks fly, followed by an officially sanctioned opinion poll, after which all polling is prohibited. 

The debate culminates with "question time," a week in which every newspaper printing letters from citizens, usually in the format of questions, while the television networks run video of quick citizen comments.  During this time the partisans have less media time, and use nearly all of it responding to the concerns most often expressed in this phase.  The week culminates in a single long television show where a panel of common citizens assail the advocates with questions and criticisms.

All the while a "truth commission" of neutral judges is free to denounce any statement made during the campaign if it blatantly lies or distorts fact.  This commission is in session every day and night throughout the process, so it can respond to an unfair ad or argument with a public condemnation within a day.

After the "question time," all propaganda ceases and all media attention ceases.  Any attempts of any media results in fines and an injunction to cease.  During this time in the Abortion Debate of 1986, 64 people were jailed nationwide for violating injunctions. For these two weeks of the "silent or harvesting phase," the pollsters are at work, running their surveys and conducting their interviews.  Compared to American polling, the samples used are huge, with sometimes samples in national polls exceed 20,000, while American pollsters claim to rely on less than 2,000.  Moreover, the number of questions are high, in order to parse and detail the opinion sought.  The result are reported in detail often to much fanfare and media attention.

States of course have such debates.  So do cities; chronically congested Ceiolai has had eight such debates on transportation issues alone, and in two of them there were debates that deteriorated into fist fights.

8 -- transparency:

There should be no secrets in a democratic society.  Information should be public.  Common sense has little trouble delineating the exceptions to this general rule, such as an individual's personal information contained in personnel and medical records, police investigations, prison security arrangements, some branches of scientific research, and military secrets.  Otherwise the very powerful "Open Information Law" allows citizens to request information from public & government agencies, also allowing workers to get information out of their own enterprise's files.  All budgets and expenditures are open.  All decisions have to be rendered in writing, usually with supporting ate referenced or appended, and these too are public.

The functional necessity of pyramidal authority

Marx may have been the first to realize how the means of production determine the nature of social and economic structures, but he could not conceive of the full implications of this truth.

The very nature of industrial machine production and technology necessitates large organizations of multiple functional divisions, often hundreds, which by their nature require coordination that comes hierarchically.  George Orwell in 1945 wrote, "the processes involved in making... an aeroplane are so complex as to be only possible in a planned, centralized society, with all the repressive apparatus that implies."  Obviously in technically complex enterprises, the role of management will remain, if for no other purpose but to insure that everyone is working on the same schedule, following a complete system of internal communication of necessary information and record-keeping, and getting the necessary supplies and parts on time.  

In an ideal world everyone would get their say, but in an ideal world everyone would have something sensible to say.  There are always more people who think they have a qualified opinion than there are people who do have a qualified opinion.  Moreover, direct democracy in economic or social planning is cumbersome and time-consuming.  One must not always consider the ethical or ideological purity of the process, but the quality of the end product-- in other words, are the final plans produced by such a process any good?  Responsible democracy means everyone quickly agreeing to what makes sense.

In fact the average worker doesn't want to be involved in very much decision-making.  Most workers are content to trust to sound leadership and expertise, no different from groups of humans in any other context.  Even in the most egalitarian group, there is still the distinguishing trait of experience so as to require younger members to defer to some degree to the older.  So the leadership principle is always at work.  Just as free markets inevitably devolve into monopolies & cartels, egalitarian group practices inevitably devolve into formality and hierarchy.  It is an inexorable drift, like entropy, the same devolving tendency that with time will rot the middle out of any empire.  

The evils of management

Management, like militaries, are necessary in what we call "civilization," but usually what begins as a necessary calling to service evolves into a swollen thing unto itself that becomes its own raison d'�tre.  

But since 1945-- the end of WWII-- the size and complexity of management in all areas of American society has drastically increased.  It has increased as if with inexorable force.  David Erhenfeld, in Beginning Again  (1993), observed that management is similar to cancer in how it "continues to expand according to its own self-generated imperatives" and becomes detached from the organism and lives off the organism exploitatively.  Whether it is a manufacturing enterprise, a university or a hospital, often the "professional" managers know nothing about the actual work of the workers.

Over-management results in too many levels of authority.  Hierarchies by their very nature distort information, since each person is rewarded by the authority above for good news.  Over-managed hierarchies therefore suffer from these maladies: (a) slow to react to changes; slow to process truthful information; slow to make decisions.  (b) poor quality decision-making. (c) poor, uneven implementation of decisions, (d) producing another cycle of inaccurate information concerning the policies' success flowing back up.

Collaborative Planning instead of Central Planning.

"Management" in both capitalist & communist societies justifies itself as a science, but if management took an objective look at itself and its relationship to the managed enterprise, it would have to confess that management is always a cost to the enterprise, and a very controllable cost at that.

Socialism in nearly all its forms has had a weakness for the expert, the technician, the engineer, the intelligentsia, the men qualified to make rational, scientific plans for the social good.  In applied Communism during the 1900s it turned out that political considerations always trumped sound scientific opinion, so that it was the apparatchik, the "political officer," the party cadre, the party hack, who did the central planning, usually to the detriment of the people and the environment.  This mirrored the capitalist arrangement that subordinates the technocrats and the experts to the will of the billionaires.

Central planning is something that every socialist economy does at least to some considerable degree, but central planning can be anathematic to democracy.  its very nature implies a hierarchy with a commanding center, no matter how benign, while the point of pure democracy is the total elimination of bosses.  The paradox is easily solved by replacing the center with a collaboration of all the parts, more complicated with higher costs to the organization that brute tyranny, in other words a democratic style of planning that entails open cross-communication and organicity.  The fundamental rules are simple enough:

a)  While there may be a central staff of experts, their services and information must be available and accessible to all the subject enterprises. 

b)  There should be a process of soliciting opinion from the membership.  Many enterprises achieve this by sending out a questionnaire to everyone in the membership, which solicits opinion on any variety of issues facing the enterprise, and all enterprises allow members to address and question leadership at meetings.

c)  Representatives of the subject enterprises & worker classes should be considerably involved in the planning deliberations, either with seats at a council table where votes might be taken, or in initial informal consultations between a constituent group (e.g. assembly plant workers, boiler room workers, maintenance people, electricians) and the staff people working on the first drafts of the plan, or required endorsement by different councils or authorities.

d)  Before the final plan is enacted, it should be published to everyone for comment, debate or a formal vote.

Restraints on Management

The most important restraint on management will always remain the democratic principle, so that the workers will always retain the option of recalling and firing the managers.  

Some restraints on the tendency toward hierarchy are "constitutional" or legal in nature, so that economic enterprises operate according to binding charters.  (a) limits on what percentage of budget can go to pay for managers, (b) limits on ratios of managers to workers, (c) internal transparency that gives member workers of an enterprise the right to information. 

Other restraints concern the nature of work overall, and nature of management its: (a) discouragement of "management" as a separate profession, (b) job rotation of people into and out of management,  (c) limits on how long an individual can work as a manager before returning to the real work of the enterprise.

And (d), by far most importantly, the content of "management" itself is by far different.  Textbooks in "management" courses offered in U.S. colleges stress "motivation" of the delimited and emaciated employee work-force, while Bergonian texts stress skills like (a) how to run meetings, (b) how to build consensus at meetings, (c) how to diffuse conflict among workers, (d) methods of explaining finances to workers, and the like.  It is not called "management" but rather the more benign term "administration."

Rules and rule-abiding behavior will not alone prevent the natural drift toward apathy and bossism.  Indeed the emerging leadership clique will use the democratic institutions as their masks and tools.  The democratic perspective cannot suffer complacency or institutional pride; instead the democratic perspective entail conscious vigilance against the drift, just as a careful gardener will consciously search out and exterminate the inevitable weeds.  Democracy, like weeding, is a constant process.

f.n. In American law, a "fiduciary" duty is the highest duty of good, faithful performance that the law imposes.  An executor of an estate owes a fiduciary duty to the heirs of the deceased, and the guardian of a child or disabled person and his or her estate, owes a fiduciary duty as well.  It amounts to someone taking the role of protector, or parent, where the one to whom the duty is owed lacks a healthy adult's capacity to understand  mattes and make decisions.