I know what you mean.
I agree that the limits of democracy are defined by how we
treat minority groups.
If democracy just means the right of the majority to exploit
the minority, then democracy is no better than dictatorship.
Virtue cannot be defined
in terms of majority opinion.
But what I am proposing is a parliament with strictly-limited
powers : powers to direct the accountable administration of the internet by professionals
it believes can do that job in a responsible manner.
That HAS to be better than
the status quo. Besides, republics can abuse political and economic minorities too
you know : just ask the Tibetans about the Chinese republic.
My belief is that
a broad-based Internet Parliament would actually be keen to protect and nurture minorities
and the free ethos of the Internet. I personally believe that most Internet users
feel fondness and loyalty to the Internet which opens up so many opportunities to
communicate and encounter and share in dialogue.
I think most Internet users would
prefer a system where even those who they opposed, still had the right to an internet
But I think greater accountability should be brought to bear on those
who administer and maintain "OUR" system. I do not like the idea of ICANN being answerable
solely to American interests. Why should that be so? We have Swiss, Australian, Scottish,
German, French, Indian contributors to this very forum.
It seems strange to me
that ICANN is subject to so few constraints and seems accountable to so few. It often
seems to do whatever it pleases.
As a free spirit myself, I could quite like that
lack of control, which has probably evolved out of the Internet's free-spirited origins.
institutions can get corrupted. I am HUGELY suspicious of the "insider" influences
at ICANN, and the CLOSE relationship it has with the very people (for example, registrars)
who it arguably is supposed to police.
ICANN has shown that it is unable or unwilling
to protect "economic minorities" eg in the Afilias/Landrush case.
I have e-mailed
Richy Henderson and proposed he takes the initiative on this idea. Why shouldn't
it evolve? If the Internet community WANTED to take part in it, I could see it just
GROWING and GROWING.
Call it "people power" if you like.
We may be talking a
few years downstream before it fully takes shape, or it could become irresistible
sooner than that.
Why shouldn't ICANN's virtual autonomy be challenged?
let's see if we can put power in the hands of the ordinary internet users....