AnCom & the God of Democracy

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    Spooner Bookman
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    AnCom & the God of DMCRCY

    Below are five questions regarding AnCom and Democracy for @empifur, and/or @jacob, and/or anyone that would like to take a stab at playing the ‘AnCom’ in the conversation. Below the questions is the dialogue and/or AnCom claims that produced the questions. (PS: Don’t feel like you have to answer the questions. While that that would be nice, you can just speak to the topics using the Q’s as a guide.)

    1. What if an AnCom community votes for AnCap norms?

    2. Wouldn’t there be a nearly infinite (if not infinite) number of decisions to vote on at each meeting? Every new idea, every responsibility, every dispute, every conflict… It just seems (at first glance) to be hopelessly unmanageable?

    3. What’s the difference between AnCom and just a plain old democratic State?

    4. You say ‘community consensus determines truth’ — how do you know that’s true?

    5. AnCom seems to believe Dmcrcy will be benevolent to them — what makes AnCom so sure? (Or are they not concerned with the outcome being beneficial so long as it’s democratic?)

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    AnCom Claim: One ‘must’ use a thing with an eye towards its longevity, with an eye towards maintaining its ability to be used by other people later on. One would not have the right to destroy a thing simply because one is using it (whereas with private property you could ‘rightfully’ destroy it).

    AnCap: When one gets accused of having transformed a thing to the point where no one else can use it, but they deny the charges, who determines guilt or innocence in AnCom?

    AnCom: In an AnCom system, the community decides by voting on it.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    AnCom Claim: ‘Extracting Usury’ is when someone is charging prices for goods and services higher than they otherwise could.

    AnCap: Who or what should rightfully determine how ‘high’ a price ‘could’ be?

    AnCom: A lot of AnComs would advocate for donating ‘surpluses’ to each according to need, which would obviate the idea of pricing. For some AnComs, a competitive market would drive prices towards cost (allowing for the fact that producers will want compensation for their labor, and so will charge a little higher than what it “cost” them when not including their own labor).

    AnCap: Some people will get to be the ones who rightfully judge how much of the fruits of people’s labor is a ‘surplus’, and some people will get to rightfully judge whether the ‘compensation for the labor’ of another group of people is ‘a little higher than’ the ‘cost’, or not. Who are the people that will get to make these judgement calls in AnCom?

    AnCom: The community gets to make these decisions, by voting on them.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    AnCom Claim: Bringing a bread machine into existence in AnCom is worthy of whatever compensation the community votes is appropriate.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    AnCom Claim: In AnCom, the workers who produce a bread machine (or the community in which the bread machine was produced, TBD) decide what to do with the bread machine by voting on it.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    AnCom Claim: AnCom advocates… eliminating the ability of some to… keep more value for themselves than what they actually create.

    AnCap: How do you determine how much value someone has created?

    AnCom: Usurious incomes are incomes beyond the “inherent value” of the thing.

    AnCap: Who or what determines the ‘inherent value of a thing’?

    AnCom: Inherent value is determined the same way that truth is determined: by community consensus.

    AnCap: How does the community come to a consensus regarding the ‘inherent value’ of a thing?

    AnCom: They vote on it.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    AnCap: How does the community vote on all of the above?

    AnCom: Initial AnCom communities and institutions alike will likely be directly democratic with committees delegated as needed for more specific issues.

    As AnCom spreads from initial AnCom communities and institutions, AnCom communities of various sizes will begin to take shape. These communities will have meetings attended by all community members on a regular basis. The initial meetings will naturally involve putting measures in place to ensure that everyone’s voice can be heard equally. The community members will continue the meeting(s), making all the decisions the community needs to make, as a community, together, equally.

    As for coordinating between these communities (let’s call them ‘Houses’), there will invariably be a ‘regional assembly’ — let’s call it a ‘Senate’. The Houses each decide on what positions they want ‘represented’ in the Senate. Then, a volunteer from each House will be the ‘Senator’ that ‘represents’ that House at the Senate.

    Note that the Senator has no platform of her own: the House chooses a platform together — the Senator simply takes that platform to the Senate. (If the Senator is judged by the House to be failing, the House will simply recall the Senator and elect/appoint a new one.)

    Also note this system of delegation isn’t limited to regions: it can go all the way from the Houses through the Regional Senates, and then subsequent ‘Super’ Regional Senates, ultimately all the way to a One-World Global Senate. [And presumably an interstellar Galactic Republic, as this is totally the setup for Star Wars…]

    Common questions at this stage are: does everyone have to vote on everything? Are there time limits on speaking? Is it majority rule, 2/3rds majority, etc.? How do people decide what communities they get to influence?

    It would take pages and pages to tackle every little question, but even if we answer every question you have, keep in mind: this cannot be mapped out entirely beforehand. So in the interest of brevity:

    AnCom is about empowering people and communities to self govern. Variations on what I’ve described above are to be expected among AnCom communities and institutions. The point is that the Community-Senator-Senate mechanism places the locus of power with the people (where it belongs!) while still allowing coordination and organization between communities (across the street and across the world).

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