About the Project
Humanity has achieved its power over the rest of the world through a unique level and variety of cooperation. All other species can evolve from the experience of its individuals only by ‘learning’ through genes. The human species can also learn by sharing with contemporaries and future generations the knowledge gained by the experience of an individual, through a symbolic language, and by ‘external’ memories: paper, plastic, celluloid; “the sky is the limit”. We have the ability to control of our own thinking through our reason and expanded its scope through our imagination.
Yet we still rely largely on nature’s ways to ensure coexistence and cooperation: instinct and the power of a leader or of rank. Instinct and power are inadequate with beings endowed with reason that can overrule its instinct and who have arrows, guns and now an atomic bomb. The search for a better means for ensuring the coexistence and cooperation required for a viable and preferably prosperous human society yielded a new organizational form: through negotiations achieve an enforceable, voluntary and therefore fair agreement, laid down in a contract. To be voluntary and fair, it must respect the subjective equality of all members of that society: one person, one vote, and everybody’s right to pursue his own interests and ideals as long as that is compatible with the same right of others. Together, they form the democratic principle. In a Democracy; that principle must have priority over any other principle we might consider.
The task of political philosophers, scientists and politicians then is to design, update and implement an arrangement that can convince the citizens that it is just and effective and that – even if it does not satisfy all their wishes – it is the best deal they can expect in a world not specifically created for their own gratification. It rests on the assumption that ensuring coexistence and cooperation is the primary objective of our social organisation. Competition should only be a means to improve the allocation of human resources; in politics, its current primacy over cooperation is a major cause of the ineffectveness of our democracies.
DEMOCRACY IS A PROJECT.
It is ridiculous to assume that all it takes to establish a totally new means of social decision-making are a few procedures, and that we can work by building – as done today – on concepts that found their origin two hundred or more years ago. To achieve a viable and efficient democracy, we must agree on its definition (see above) and on the various concepts engaged in social decision-making: truth, justice, rules of argumentation and the recent findings of life-science relevant for these concepts. That is possible, provided there is the will to give that project priority over personal preferences. This site is an attempt to lay the foundations for such an effort. Its conclusion: there is no blueprint for democracy. For every society, its institutions must evolve form the inside, in tune with the level of prosperity, culture and education of its members. But we can deduce some conditions which must be met.
This site is intended as a starting point of a search for agreement on all relevant subjects on which reaching agreement is possible, given the will to do so. Your comments and contribution are welcome provided they respect the rules of democratic argumentation, in which case they will be added to this site.To avoid a tower of Babel, the subjects of general interest are written in English on the section ”International”. Subjects with a national character and transltion of some ‘internationals’ are found on the corresponding sections. Everything on this site may be copied and cited provided its origin is clearly stated.
Teksts in blue letters are titles of documents that can be opened by klicking on it.