I am going to boldly predict that the Republican party will end by 2015. I mean, not entirely, of course, but effectively. A new party will form in its ashes.
Why do I think this? Am I a democrat? Is it wish fulfillment?
Actually, it’s just a flash of thought that I thought I ought to record in case I’m right. I could easily be wrong, but I had a reason for thinking it. The Tea Party has shown the fracture line. There are plenty of people who would vote republican, minus the extremism. I’m probably one of them. I just see things angled that way. A fissuring energy.
Now, you might be inclined to say that the Tea Party will fracture off, I mean, it is called “the Tea Party”. Of course, that’s possible. Still, my insight is that moderate conservatives need reinvention. In truth, so do democrats, although nothing stands out to me at this time about them (and isn’t that the problem?). In fact, if the above were to happen, the realignment would include defections from the democrats as well. Perhaps the democratic party would deflate from within.
What would happen to the voters? Would we form 3 voting coalitions? 4? 200? 1?
Why does America have 2 parties? Are we going to have 2 (effective) parties for the next 250 years?
What is the future of America? It’s interesting to think about. What is the future of humanity? We, in a way, base our lives on a certain kind of continuity of the macro environment, but that macro environment, in the wake of technological evolution, is being stressed and strained all over the place. All over the place it is facing the dilemma of growth or ossification (in response to the pressures). Because of the complexity of human society and global economy, we don’t seem to have a holistic grasp, let alone a holistic plan.
Whether we like it or not, I think things are coming to a head for things as they are. By 2020, I don’t think the current model of a globe fractured into largely uncoordinated nation-states is going to be tenable in relation to the pace of development of upsetting and global-in-scale technologies.
I think a greater availability of information concerning, for instance, human rights abuses, is going to create a situation where people cannot simply sit idly by, watching villagers being slain by rebels and military–watching people die in India of hunger. We’ll be able to track them individually (of course, there are privacy issues), a billion starving humans. At what point does the interconnected social web stop accepting certain classes of global events? You could say it is an academic question, as we’ve accepted it for the past century, and have created the Red Cross and whatnot.
But that ignores the obvious (to me) extensions of social technology into general awareness. Tools of conversation are going to be BIG.
With the greater cohesion of global technology, there becomes possible a greater political-decision-making cohesion. In fact, there becomes a positive pressure for it as problems arise that are best solved by it.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with a 2 party system. You could say that is the way our personalities (brains) are. Yet, it is only tenable when the two parties are committed to excelling. Our nation has become gridlocked by the politics of power. Excellence is, when found, being found (by me) to be misapplied or diffused by bureaucracy and political warring.
So, what was my big prediction? Well, it started out as the whole Republican Party prediction, but actually, it has become:
A new government will form out of social conversation software. Iow, people will develop their real identity (like Facebook) in the context of persistent conversations (like forums, blogs, comments) that are managed (shepherding a global conversation) by the people themselves as a level (meta) of the dialog.
I don’t have a date for you. It’s on the horizon. I think it’s inevitable. Do you think the ossified forms of government embodied in all the 19th century nations are going to stand up to the efficacy of technologically enabled decision making? I don’t. I don’t see how it could. It would be like arguing that cuneiform would survive (and more importantly, arguing that it should) in a post-alphabet world. It would be like arguing that mathematicians should use roman numerals instead of numbers, because blah blah.
As we get familiar with social software and seamless technological augmentation of information (think of automatic [true to meaning] translation of any spoken or written language and autogenerated news reports) we are going to confront the archaism of the old forms.
Imagine software that was able to intelligently manage a conversation between millions of people. To get there, imagine first person shooter games like Halo or Call of Duty. When you play these games in multiplayer mode over the internet there are algorithms at work to match up players based on skill level so that games aren’t wildly skewed by putting masters and newbies in the same game. Now, augment that idea with purpose. Imagine programming a multiplayer game with the purpose of making each player a better player in terms of the level of play. Translated, I mean, imagine software that managed millions of conversations with the purpose of raising the level of conversation and moving it constantly “upwards” in terms of complexity, refinement and sophistication.
Iow, I’m talking about math class, or any other class. When you started school as a kindergartner you understood essentially nothing about math. And, over the years, you learned. School raised the level of your mathematical discourse. Same too with “English” classes. A 5 year old speaks decidedly more simply than an 18 year old (ideally). This software could work by keeping track of conflicts and resolutions. It could analyze typical conflicts and their typical resolutions and also the “psychology” (as revealed through communication content and patterns) of participants in an effort to intelligently match disputants towards compromise. This could be a good approach because typically what two people are arguing about, two other people have already resolved. And while problem “Capital A” might not be resolved at all, no doubt it is understood in terms of “small a, b, c, d…” some or many of which have been resolved by those at the forefront of the evolution of the efforts related to “Capital A”.
Many times I feel national politics is several steps behind the most advanced thinkers. And the discounted ideas of yesteryear are paraded around like new discoveries by those on other forefronts.
Just imagine the power of a user interface into advanced conversation. We haven’t even invented “advanced conversation” yet. But if we started thinking about what a user interface into it might look like…