Direct Democracy vs. Unanimity

Eoin O'Connor

For the exact same reason we shouldn’t want unilateral policy power in the hand of any one person, we ought not want unilateral veto power on policies in the hand of any one person. Both enable a minority of one to stop policies. This is regardless if it is in the hand of one person (extreme centralization of power) or in the hands of everyone. On the political level this leads to incoherence, breakdown of political life, and loss of dynamism, by making it so everyone has to agree every time anyone makes any political decision, preventing decisions from being made and being dissented to without people parting ways. A polity is made resilient having by at least a degree of diverse ideas and challenging minority opinions which helps cultivate better policies as well as virtues through deliberation. The right of an individual to veto any political decision is not one I would want others to have, nor something I would like to have. I want the right for people to be free from rulers. I want people to have an obligation to make sure others are free from rulers, and the means required for rulerlessness (such as a guaranteed means of existence) and the development thereof. Such a formal minimum standard/limit (nomos/law) of non-hierarchy should be transcended into the qualitative realm of political, economic, and social freedom and self management and through fostering virtues that enable us to do more than merely be non-authoritarian. Such a transcendence does not negate the formal minimum standard/limit (nomos/law).

Within those boundaries of rulerlessness, direct democracy based on a simple majority (to ensure decentralization of power within decision making processes for accepting and vetoing decisions) ought to decide on various political scales how to resolve incompatible preferences. People ought to have rights to argue against a decision, disagree, re-appeal, move to another neighborhood/political unit, refuse to participate in implementation, protest, attempt to combine preferences and vote on the combination compared to the other options, form their own factions, and revolt against rulership and be provided with the means to do all of the above.
Development of post scarcity:

  1. Enables people to have a material foundation to participate in direct politics
  2. Enables greater degrees of free association
  3. Makes it so many “incompatible preferences” become compatible through greater degrees of ephemeralization and liberatory technical potential.

However, such a liberatory technical potential does not mean that the end of incompatible political preferences is upon us, for society, preferences, city management, and technology will still descriptively develop and prescriptively should, unless we want a monotone society without movement nor dissent.