UP7. The public debate space is at the heart of democracy

Quote from the book "I, You, and All of Us" (p. 240)

“And this is also, in my view, the most important practical goal that we must achieve and ensure in the renewal of our world community: To create a public debate space in which "one can reconcile the infinite diversity of individual interests through the process of a public debate." Reiner Mausfeld, as a non-physicist, may speak of an "infinite diversity" of interests. But I, as a physicist, have the duty to reduce the humanistic "infinite" to a practically realisable scale. To this end, I am developing a model in which we can reconcile billions of our voices, debated by a natural hierarchy of democratically elected representatives, yet in a practical way.

What is new in our model of "Familiar Democracy" is the structure of the public debating space. In our previous experience with democracy, we would have to learn painfully that it is practically impossible to reconcile all individual interests. Therefore, we need to build our public debate space not on the "infinite" number of individual votes, but on the hierarchy of the demographic spectrum. A parent of a Base Family represents the voices of his or her whole family (including those of the children). A representative of a Great Family represents the democratically determined opinions of all 12 Base Families of his Great Family. And so on up the spectrum, to the national, continental and finally to the world level.

Reiner Mausfeld still warns us (and we should take this warning seriously): "If the public debate space is not intact, there can be no democracy. Democracy provides egalitarian procedures for peacefully reconciling different positions for political action. Democracy is indispensable if we want to contain power and violence. The alternative to democracy is always barbarism."

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