Mitch Kapor: Politics is Architecture, and Architecture is Politics.

"I’ve become completely convinced that we need to begin a process of fundamental political change in the U.S.," says Mitch Kapor.

"Not in the form of a new party per se, but a new multi-faceted movement of ideas, organizations, and cultures, based around a vision of democracy which is fundamentally open, participatory, and decentralized."

Kapor is developing those ideas on his blog (posts so far: 1, 2, 3). Here's a preliminary peek at what he's thinking (article continues after the jump):

When it comes to building a new movement, the converse proposition, “politics is architecture” holds true as well. The architecture (structure and design) of political processes, not their content, is determinative of what can be accomplished.

Just as you can’t build a skyscraper out of bamboo, you can’t have a participatory democracy if power is centralized, processes are opaque, and accountability is limited. Politics needs a new architecture, not just a new coat of paint. We need to renovate the house (and Senate).

The architecture team, that is, those who collectively will determine the structure of political processes cannot be composed of an elite, whether technical or political. Who is sitting at the table as the new politics is designed and implemented and the experiences and perspectives they represent matter enormously.

The internet, if kept open and accessible to all, is a tool we can use to reform our politics and create new democratic processes and institutions. By using the internet and building upon its open decentralized architecture, we can help give every person a voice and offer them a forum to participate in creating a healthy politics. The internet provides the tools to build bottom-up systems that are both globally interconnected and locally controlled. As the printing press was the technology that helped birth modern self-government, so the internet can be the tool to build a new democratically controlled participatory politics.

Related posts on Mitch Kapor's blog, in chronological order: A Movement for Fundamental Political Change, Politics is Architecture, and Architecture is Politics.

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