Tuesday 5 March 2024

The Sea-People’s Citizen Assembly Scenario: Democracy 0 – Biocracy 1


A thought experiment to test democracy in a non-human scenario.


Popular fiction often depicts sea-people as ruled by monarchs (Disney, Marvel, DC Comics) but suppose that our fictional sea-people have the very best form of democracy you can imagine. This could involve citizen assemblies, mandatable recallable delegates, anything you consider to be best practice.

Five various sea-people sitting around a conference table among distant other tables in an undersea chamber
The Sea-People's Citizen Assembly, diversity champions, hard at work

Now imagine a scenario whereby, perhaps in retaliation to land-people dumping waste in the sea, the global sea-people community democratically decide to dump some of their waste on land. This leads to friction, leads to war, all with ideal democratic processes followed perfectly by our sea-people, leads to annihilation of land-people civilization and many living species by weapons of mass destruction.

If you consider this a bad outcome, from an ideal form of democracy, what is wrong in this scenario? Is the problem the extension of democracy to non-humans, even if they are in many ways very similar to us? Or are there any flaws in democracy you can identify?

The Sea-People’s Citizen Assembly Scenario: Democracy 0 – Biocracy 1 by Sleeping Dog is licensed under CC BY 4.0

No comments:

Post a Comment