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14. Emergent Democracy

Chapter 14. Emergent Democracy

Charles Armstrong

The Internet is already bringing important changes to our political and governmental systems. But while we pursue the immediate benefits, we must take care not to overlook deeper implications that could have greater long-term significance.

In this chapter, I argue that the Internet has changed a fundamental aspect of democratic systems which has persisted for 7,000 years. This change may presage a period of democratic innovation on a scale comparable to classical Greece. It will lead to democratic systems that are more fluid, less centralized, and more responsive than those we know today; systems where people can participate as little or as much as they wish and where representation is based on personal trust networks rather than abstract party affiliations.


  

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