Starting with athenian institutions, we'll analyse how the use of randomness allowed for a political system that could withstand assault from internal as well as exernal foes. Using recent advances in cliometrics, we will also establish the link between political equality of the citizens, stability, and prosperity in ancient societies.
Through an analysis of the venitian political system - remarkably complex for its time - we will see why randomness is generally not enough, and how a small minority could achieve near-perfect domination over the city. We shall also use this opportunity to study another parallel between political equality and prosperity.
Systems based on randomness have an intrinsic egalitarian feature, but rely on the political ability of the average citizen. In the decades following the American and French revolutions, the best way to prevent those citizens from gaining power was to destroy their political legitimacy, a mechanism we will investigate in this chapter.
Social movements progressively better the people's rights, sometimes simply by extending the notion of citizenship (to slaves or women for example). We shall make a small detour here to analyze how the different civil rights movements were pushed to fight against each other, and how efficient this method was to reduce their effectiveness in the USA.
The Marquis de Condorcet is the creator of one of the best known political paradoxes (aptly named after him). We will here rigorously state the foundations of voting theory, using multiple theorems to show that a perfect voting system is impossible, and that they are all vulnerable, from the first past the post system to instant-runoff-voting.
Abstention is on the rise, and the radicals are over-represented in the results. We could instead of voting simply draw 10000 citizens randomly and give them the only ballots. Beyond the political considerations, we will establish mathematically how such a sample could be representative, taking care to explain why this doesn't apply to polls, whose error margins are getting worse.
Hand voting gives a strong, irrefutable result that everyone can check, but suffers from a lack of anonymity. Conversely, secret ballots are anonymous but vulnerable to manipulation of the ballot box. We will see here how recent mathematical developments could allow for secure anonymous voting, without having to rely on voting machines or online voting.
This book seeks to contribute to the debate about randomness in politics, but this contribution would be incomplete if it did not also formulate some concrete proposals. This chapter establishes a few rules about creating institutions before proposing a simple equitable and efficient political system which could inspire others.
From the Five Stars movement in Italy to République Numérique in France, without forgetting the recent advances in participative democracy in Taiwan, we will try to list a representative (although not exhaustive) set of initiatives that could change our political practices in the near future.
Keynes announced in 1930 that future humans would barely work. This could be feasible, but for some features of our economic and political systems. As the fight for economic equality is directly linked to the one for political rights, we'll look at our future to t how we could improve our situation on both fronts.
No luck there alas, as the book is not yet entirely translated from French. Publishing a book is not an easy task for an unknown researcher and writer, and the French version isn't publicly available yet. As the goal was to stimulate a public debate, efforts are underway to find a distributor who would accept to sell it for a low price (with an ebook version available in a pay-what-you-want scheme). There are nearly no good recent ressources in French on the subject, so publishing it there is my main goal before releasing the English translation.
If you want to know more, you have multiple possibilities :