Emergent Democracy by Joichi Ito is the first good essay I have read about blogging and democracy:
The world needs emergent democracy more than ever. The issues are too complex for representative governments to understand. … Emergent democracy has the potential to solve many of the problems we face in the exceedingly complex world at both the national and global scale. The community of toolmakers will build the tools necessary for an emergent democracy if the people support the effort and resist those who try to stifle this effort and destroy the commons.
We must make spectrum open and available to the people, resist increasing control of intellectual property, and resist the implementation of architectures that are not inclusive and open. We must encourage everyone to think for themselves, question authority and participate actively in the emerging weblog culture as a builder, a writer, a voter and a human being with a point of view, active in their local community and concerned about the world.
Ito refers to Steve Mann’s concept sousveillance, i.e., watchful vigilance from underneath, and goes on to discuss what blogs does for democracy, and what that has to do with emergence. Very interesting. I’m not sure I agree with Ito’s conclusions, however, but that’s another story.
For now, I’ll follow the debates on Ito’s blog.
Joi’s Emergent Democracy article is great I think it lost a lot of steam, though and never really got past a “study”. I’ve proposed a method for clearly proposing new issues, new solutions and testing the possibilities.