Thieves, including thieves of freedom, steal with the expectation that they can hide their deeds. That is why “ordinary” thieves wear balaclavas and dictators keep secret police to contain leaks of truth. There are, of course, “in-betweens” these two.
Democracy operates in the open to ensure that magistrates do not do things they would have to hide and, and instead strive for deeds they can show with pride.
Election to public office does not bestow wisdom on the elected. Nor does it anoints them with creativity, integrity and other desirable attributes. Nor do elections render sterile the minds of the electorate upon casting their ballots. Ideas pop-up unexpectedly and that is why democracy seeks them over the whole map to harvest them when and where they may emerge.
Elections are meant to recruit representatives of the people, that is to say, “public servants”. The “Demos” (the Populace) are the “masters” while the “public servants” be they elected or hired, are just that, “servants” mandated by the populace. The core of their mandate is to carry out the will of the populace vis-a-vis known circumstances as well as new ones when such happen. Democracy fosters creativity throughout the society and rewards innovation wherever and whenever it happens.
Democracy thrives on people exercising their birth-right to be curious and facilitates the spreading of the knowledge curiosity generates. This ensures that fruits of the peoples’ minds become seeds to root into others, in a never-ending process of expanding the garden of civilization. When Magistrates wastebasket ideas, they steal the peoples’ right to benefit from the product of society’s creative minds and the society stagnates.
Democracy has a network of arteries and veins functioning in the social body in ways not so different from that in the human body. Despots feed toxic matter into arteries and block the veins to weaken the societal body, so as to usurp power over the people who, by definition, are born free.
As the Dark Ages waned and normalcy began to take hold, democracy was shyly reborn. But the veins and the arteries of society were deformed by the “Establishment” of the Dark Ages. The newborn Democracy needed a system to connect with the people and the Press came to fill the void. It became the facility through which the people would operate the political system. With it they nursed democracy and accelerated the demise of Dark Ages. But with the passage of time, the Press fell far behind and in our “modern times” there is a need for fresh thinking. The hour has come for a serious update.
There are a host of reasons dictating a restructuring of the interface between people and government, too numerous to fit into a column. Some are new, others have been known for a long time, many are traceable to Pericles and Plato. They converge to make the Ideas Bank if not a vaccine against Czarism, certainly an essential element of contemporary Democracy. Arguably, without the Ideas Bank whatever we need, desire and deserve will remain undone.
Essentially the Ideas Bank is a democratic institution designed to enable people to exercise their Freedom of Expression, the “Freedom to Publish”, or the “Right to Access a Public Forum”. This freedom is not inherently exclusive to the affluent or any other sector of society, it is a birthright to all. That in the past it has been available only to a particular sector, is arguably the cause of many shortfalls in the well-being of the people. It is time now to make the freedom of expression meaningfully available to all citizens who have ideas to present or issues to expose.
This brief analysis leads to the next pragmatic step for the amelioration of the Czarism that is currently on an upswing.
Since freedom is raided because those who steal it can hide what they do, the solution is to eliminate to the extent possible their facility to hide. This and the failure of the Press to shred the secrecy curtain, necessitated the Freedom of Information law. But the magistrates, accustomed to governing from the dungeon, keep on eroding the law so as to accommodate the secrecy they love. This manifests that the interface of government and people, must be managed directly by the people, for we are the “owners” of the government.
The Ideas Bank is a forum for people to share equitably and exercise unfettered and meaningfully our right to free expression.
It is a public forum, open to all who have something to say on the governance of the society. A forum accessed by right, not by licence. An enormous electronic Hyde Park soapbox with muscle to reach the public ear and resonate with the perseverance Churchill prescribes.
The Ideas Bank will actively solicit “ideas” from the people: It will guarantee exposure, to all that breach not existing law. And will keep on for the public eye to ponder for as long as it may take to be fairly and thoroughly assessed. To this end, the Ideas Bank will require an abstract of submissions strictly limited to, let’s say 30 or 50 words. It is this that will be showcased and will serve as a portal to the whole paper.
Those in power to respond to a submission would have the option to remain silent, but whatever their response, it will be seen by the public. It is there that the buck stops.