ME and Ophelia

Monday, December 22, 2003

By American blogger and PhD student Michael Williams

Michael Williams blogs about the myth of protecting democracy:

"Democratic power is primarily established by the right to keep and bear arms, and secondarily by the rights to private property, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of association, &c.

These rights are the foundation of a liberal democratic society, and they don't need any external management to protect them.

Naturally, the self-styled "elite" would like to administrate these rights -- for the benefit of all! -- but top-down interference actually ends up making democracy and freedom less secure, rather than more.

The "elite" are well-aware of this fact, and they seek to make us all less free so as to accumulate power for themselves.

It's fine that they try (that's the essence of competition), but it doesn't mean they're right or that we should let them succeed."

Source: courtesy of makeoutcity

Further reading on Michael Williams in my previous post dated December 12, 2003.

Invite bloggers to participate in an online experiment

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School do not support any US presidential candidate. But they do support citizen engagement in the political process using Internet technologies.

John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Berkman Center and a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, teaches Cyberlaw and the Global Economy, where they are experimenting with weblogs. Last Thursday, he announced a first experiment of online policy discussion. Anyone is invited to participate in the online discussion. It is free and experimental. But it's only going to work if lots of people make an effort to join in. Here's how it works:

Jim Moore and Kelly Nuxoll of the Dean Campaign have posted a question. You are invited to reply to the question at some length. The actual question puts you in the hypothetical position of a newly elected president.

Your reply is then circulated to another participant for her or his comment. You are assured at least one thoughtful reader before your reply is posted. Reciprocally, you will be sent, by email, a different reader's reply, and asked to comment on it.

The result is a building dialogue that emphasizes peer-to-peer connections and community-building, as well as public posting of ideas.

All you need to do is complete this form to join their project called "Internet and Society".

It is a great opportunity for YOU personally, right now this day, to participate in a very significant experiment in online presidential policy making.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 12/22/2003
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