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Secrets and Sincerity
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” - anon.
Socialism is essentially a secular version of New Testament Christianity – it's concerned with equality, social justice and the redistribution of wealth. A grand sales pitch that can't fail to appeal to the downtrodden masses. The meek, the mild and the victims of white supremacy shall inherit the earth.
One big difference between Christianity and socialism is that priests of the former believe it's God who knows what the right thing is but those of the latter think it's themselves.
The founders of the Fabian Society included intellectuals, academics, and social reformers such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb and George Bernard Shaw (it was named after the Roman general Fabius Maximus, who was renowned for his gradual and patient tactics during the Second Carthaginian War). Perhaps these worthies thought they might get absolution when the Revolution came.
The idea of these wealthy do-gooders was that the best way to achieve socialism was by infiltration, influence and to undertake this predominantly through education, as opposed to violent revolution. This has been hugely successful in its aim to infuse socialist thinking into western culture and they may take much of the credit for shifting the Overton window to the Left, and national balance sheets into the red.
We all get given fish now; and education has become as much about how to obtain free fish as it is about how to catch one yourself.
Panocracy gives people the freedom - and the responsibility - for those two things come together, to determine their own religious and political views rather than having those thrust upon them. Panocracy welcomes left- and right-wingers, Christians and Moslems, Black Lives Matterers and Ku Klux Klanners and invites them to joust in the lists that are the RFCs. Panocracy itself is unflinchingly, politically and religiously neutral. Virtual battles will be fine and if they prevent real ones then we will have made some steps forward.
I was going to write about cryptography - and how it protects internet users against fraud - as a model for how to protect our panocracy. But I'm no longer sure that we want all the firepower of the digital age to protect us. In fact, its obsessions with secrecy and anonymity may be the opposite of what we really need. You may think differently.
Everyone is Elected
Government, even in a panocracy, is a centralised activity: a group of people, be it a nation, a county, a city or a town, act as one to fix a general problem. For example, we all must agree to drive on the same side of the road. Panocracy is different only in the respect that the government is everyone and not the chosen few.
The RFC system is panocracy's parliament and battleground – a place where everyone contributes, modifies and debates proposals on some point of law, like whether we should withdraw from the World Health Organisation or how straight a retail banana may be … until the smoke of battle has cleared and there's enough clarity for the proposal to be put to the vote.
‘Bots don’t have Birth Certificates
I've noticed that there are a lot more synonyms for the word fraudster in a thesaurus than there are for many other words. And very few single word antonyms. Does this say something about our opinion of each other?
Fraud happens when someone uses another person's identity for gain. In the case of our panocracy, this might be someone creating or commenting on an RFC while pretending to be someone else. This is less of a problem than it might at first seem because no one is barred from making changes to an RFC. You have to register using your real name and details and these are a matter of public record on every proposal or comment you make. Your potential conflicts of interest are open to scrutiny by anyone. Someone's going to notice if you propose or support a law that mandates digital ID and you're the CEO of a software company. If someone pretends to be you, the real you can subsequently edit whatever they did that you didn't approve of.
It also applies to voting. Again, you can review how your votes were cast by your agent and spot any anomalous behaviour – just like you're supposed to do with your credit card account! If enough people discover retrospectively that their vote has been usurped then the result might be declared unsafe so robotic vote rigging won't work.
Before you can propose or change RFCs or vote you need to be registered to do so. This need not be different from what you do at the moment although you might choose to do it online rather than go to a physical office.
But what's to stop someone registering as you in the first place? Prominent and influential public figures would be especially at risk.
At the moment, people are identified by means of 'official' documents: a birth certificate and/or 'trusted' individuals like a doctor, a solicitor or some other respected person who knows you. There isn't an obvious alternative to having a centralised register of births (and deaths) and details of your birth could still be used to confirm it's you. Of course the dead wouldn't be able to edit RFCs or vote.
Panocracy aims to be as decentralised as possible so it would be preferable to dispense with centralised registers. Blockchain technology offers ways to do this but many would consider that a step too far. And anyway, it's hard to see how basic procedures like recording a birth or death could be manipulated by some political ideology. Especially since failure to do so could be easily exposed and prosecuted.
True identity can be (and usually is) concealed in Bitcoin transactions although the transaction itself is public. So we may know that AttilaTheHun transferred 1BTC to GenghisKhan at such and such a time but we haven't a clue who these people are or what goods changed hands. Anonymity is important to people who trade illicit goods (I'm not making any moral judgement here!) but is anathema to our panocracy.
Anonymity in political discourse leads to the kind of behaviour that we routinely see on social media, sometimes with fatal consequences. Political debate – the 'dialectic' as Hegel called it – should be about reaching agreement via mannerly and rational argument. Anonymity has shown itself to be counter to that aim and we are all the worse off for it.
In summary, identifying yourself might well be pretty much like it is at the moment. The security and stability of the panocracy (and our society) lies in openness and not in secrecy.
Of course, I'm too close to the ideology of the panocracy so I will have missed many serious (and probably obvious to you) objections and criticisms. Suggestions and objections to any or all of the above are therefore most welcome.