- ∙d.1 – Issue: the 2020 US elections – it is not a question of “drain the swamp” (written in July 2020)
- ∙I.d.2 – Why the development of authoritarianism represents an opportunity it is not just a drama
- d.3 – The need to develop a dimension of effective participation in the government of citizens (bottom-up governance modality)
- d.4 – The need to initiate an effective phase of contrasting leftist strategies
- ∙I.d.5 – Beyond top-down “Democracy”: crowdization of GOVERNANCE
- d.6 – What to do now for the Covid “health dictatorship”?
In the previous article it was said that the basic problem of Western Democracy is to pretend to solve problems with the same methods and tools that created them. And that if democracy is to be healed, it is necessary to restore the fundamental principle of democracy: the active participation of citizens in government, the only way in which it is possible to create structures and services that can satisfy the real needs of society.
In this document:
● the two formulas for the satisfaction of socialism’s needs
● The opportunities for improving Democracy “by the People” offered by new technologies.
● The characteristics of Government “by the Citizen”
● the bottom-up dimension cannot be granted from above, but can only be built directly by the Citizens
● Direct Government and Representation (towards new forms of Representation)
● How is it possible to bring the essence of Democracy back to a local dimension? (local level and supra-local level)
● The false representation of modern Democracy
● Towards a crowd-ization of government
So to solve the current problems of Western society it is necessary to restore the Government “by the People” of the real Democracy that is it is lost with the advent of Social Democracy.
Today we enjoy a significant advantage over the time of the founding of modern Western Democracies: technologies are available that allow for a much simpler and more effective democratic (bottom-up) management of government than was possible at that time.
The advantage lies in the fact that today not only can new and more effective methods of government “by the People” be developed. But
it is also possible to develop new tools that make it possible to define, now on a larger territorial scale, that dimension of direct Democracy that originally could only exist at the local level.
From the citizen’s point of view, there are basically two possible government formulas:
● the others satisfy my needs (this is the formula used in the current Western Democracy).
● I take care – with the help of others – of satisfying my needs (I choose the best service, and I pay the right price). This is the formula of real Democracy.
In this case, among other things
– it is me who choose who meets my needs (and how my needs are met)
– I only pay for the services I use.
Keep in mind that both formulas are legitimate in Democracy, provided that when I resort to the formula in which I delegate the management of my social life to others, I must be able to “terminate the contract” that binds me to this condition. Otherwise, it is obvious, the “lifetime” bond (moreover transmitted from one generation to another) defines a condition incompatible with Democracy.
The peculiarity of Democracy
– which allows for a management of the Society capable of satisfying social needs –
is THE “POWER OF CHOICE”
(FREEDOM OF CHOICE)
OF THE CITIZENS.
This possibility for citizens to participate in the definition of structures and services to be activated within the community in which they live allows them to have a government capable of performing its task in the best possible way to ensure a good quality of life for people.
∙The opportunities for improving Democracy “by the People” offered by new technologies
It is important to consider a factor that has emerged in recent years:
new technologies today make it possible to develop forms of government that were unthinkable a few years ago.
Today, thanks to new technologies, it is not only possible to improve the methods of expressing the citizens’ will, with extremely economical forms of votin: now it is possible to establish a sort of “permanent referendum” dimension, in which citizens are able to quickly express their will on virtually any government issue.
But today it is not only possible to improve the vote: today it is possible to introduce a new aspect of fundamental importance to the Government “by the People” for the quality of the actions developed by the Institutions. Indeed
Citizens today can easily participate
in territorial management by presenting ideas,
developing forms of co-planning of solutions
(with professionals chosen by the citizens themselves),
co-administering Services and Institutions, etc.
In particular, new technologies make it possible to create platforms with which it is possible to optimally develop, among other things,
● the management of community services such as the maintenance of roads and green areas, the administration of public services, etc.
● the definition of local public infrastructures (as happens today in small towns in the USA).
Note how the direct management of citizens to the definition and management of services and infrastructures has many advantages.
Among other things, citizens, participating in the administration of services and works of the territory in which they live, can verify the result of the interventions of “suppliers”, thus making correct cost/benefit assessments of the interventions: which in the current form of government it is not possible to do.
Towards a new form of supra-local government (National and Federal)
ç_federalism 2.0 (brief) ç_over-local
A further significant advantage provided by new technologies is that today it is also possible to solve the problem that has limited the application of the democratic system – the one that allows citizens to participate directly in government – in the supra-local sphere.
Today it is in fact possible to create a new form of National and Federal Government that goes beyond the centralized government model used today, which ends up imposing itself on real Democracy (government by the People), increasingly limiting the Sovereignty of Citizens.
In fact, progress today
allows what was not possible even a few decades ago: it offers the possibility of interacting remotely with representative institutions
(today it is possible to hold meetings, develop projects, vote, etc…). And it is possible:
● support and integrate Parliamentary institutions (at every level, from the City to the Federal one) by forms of direct participation of citizens in the work of the Representatives, which operate in real time <see my document “Representation Initiative 2.0 (Direct Representation): a new real democratic Representation model“>
● replace the Representation model with other models such as that of delegations used in the G8 Political Forum.
<see my document “FEDERALISM 2.0: the new model of Participatory Democracy”>
The need to reflect on the qualities of Government “by the Citizen”
To understand the effectiveness of a truly democratic government (of a government “by the Citizen”) it is necessary to evaluate how
the government innovation described here does not only lead to an improvement in the functioning of current tools and methods, but allows for RADICALLY NEW METHODS OF SATISFACTION OF CITIZENS ‘NEEDS
Remember that here there is no mention of a “re-invention” of Democracy on the basis of some new idea (Ideology); but it is a reboot: restoration of real Democracy, or in large part it is a recovery of traditional ways lost with the advent of Social Democracy.
Think of cases such as that of the School, or Health in which citizens organizing themselves bottom-up can create new forms of education and care for their health.
In the case of the school, for example, with only a part of what the state spends on a pupil, parents could pay for an excellent private school; and the state would save on costs.
As for Health, it must be remembered that at the beginning of the 20th century there were mutual aid companies that were able to guarantee constant medical assistance to workers at the price of a day’s work (today this is no longer possible due to the regulation imposed by the State which aims to have a monopoly on health services). It is possible to recover forms of service of that type: with the new practices that are being developed thanks to the Internet, it is possible to create new forms of treatment and prevention, and to create effective alternatives to current services, which are extremely expensive and inefficient.
It must also be considered that, as regards the health of citizens, it is not only a question of improving health care, but also, for example, of directly monitoring the qualities of the environment that affect health, such as the various forms of pollution. .
The major obstacle to the realization of this modality of citizen participation is the ideological mentality that has been widespread for years of “state education”.
In fact, social-democratic ideologies lead us to think that citizens are unable to look after themselves, and that therefore they need to be assisted by a state (unfortunately, the education given today has led us to forget how in the past there were forms of assistance managed bottom-up much more effective than current ones).
This is one of the reasons why, if you want to get out of the ideological dimension that leads citizens to think they have to trust what is imposed by the “Experts” (as happened in the case of lockdowns) it is necessary, above all, to be in able to develop bottom-up forms of school education.
∙TOWARDS THE DEFINITION OF A NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT THAT RECOVER THE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY
ç_freedom not granted (MAIN)
What is needed to solve the current problems of “modern society” is an important change in modern democracy: a reboot of the system-democracy that brings it back to its founding principles.
However, it is necessary to take into account that this change,
the restoration of the bottom-up dimension of Democracy cannot be “granted” from above, but must indeed be built bottom-up.
That is, a dimension of freedom can only be built by a direct work of the Citizens.
This is why
one person’s freedom cannot be granted by others
Freedom is, by definition, Freedom of choice.
And therefore it must derive, already originally,
FROM A CHOICE OF PEOPLE.
We remember that in any case the freedom we are talking about is not “freedom of” but “freedom from”. That is, it is not the “freedom to do what you want”, but it is
1) freedom from top-down taxation on the social community (“the People”). That is, we are talking about the Freedom that is the basis of Democracy: the possibility for citizens to choose what to do.
2) a “freedom of initiative” whose results are in any case punished when the actions create damage to other citizens (this judgment, in a real democracy – as happens in the Anglo-Saxon system – is expressed by the citizens themselves, that is by the popular juries “).
That is, the freedom enjoyed by citizens in democracy is not absolute freedom, in the sense that it ends where the freedom of the other begins.
the recovery of freedom by a people has always been a difficult process, demanding for the people.
See the cases of countries where the “liberation” of the population was not carried out by the people themselves.
In the case of Russia, freedom from the Communist regime was granted from above, and now citizens in that state do not enjoy real freedom at all.
A similar case is that of Italy, which was liberated from the National Socialist regime by the allies (during WW II).
In other words,
if you want to get a functioning Democracy,
in which the Citizens are able
to choose the best for themselves,
this condition can only be achieved if the Citizens
commit themselves first to create it.
Towards a restoration of truly Democratic methods and tools of participation (and towards new forms of Representation)
Summarizing what has already been said in the documents of this series, the current crisis of Western society is due to the loss of democracy of the system of modern democracy.
the current problems are due to the loss of the possibility for citizens to deal personally with the management of the issues that affect their community
This is because with the current top-down management of Democracy (of social democratic matrix) it is impossible to find effective solutions to satisfy the needs of the Society (of the Citizens). This system is inherently unable to carry out the fundamental functions of Democracy: interpreting people’s real needs, checking the effectiveness of expenses and the behavior of state administrators and officials, etc …
So, in essence, today it is necessary to carry out a reboot of Democracy with which we can
restore those methods and tools that allow citizens to operate directly in the various forms of governance.
The two forms of government of modern democracy: direct government and representation
The primary qualities of Democracy that must be recovered are:
● of REAL DEMOCRACY [DIRECT GOVERNMENT OF CITIZENS], that is, recovering the democratic dimension in the strict sense of the term: that government “by the Citizen” that worked, for example, in small US towns until, for some years, the State has ended up superimposing (imposing) top-down government on the government of the “demos”.
With the loss of citizens’ involvement in the administration of public affairs, the possibility of citizens to have a say in defining solutions for the satisfaction of their needs (infrastructures and services) has been lost. And we have therefore arrived at the current condition of very bad quality of life.
● REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: if the essence of Democracy must be recovered at the basis of everything, of the effective direct government “by the Citizen” of their territory, in modern Democracy the question of the extension of the territory of the Nations remains, the government of the supra-local territory.
That is, it remains
the problem of representative democracy, which is in fact not representative at all and therefore is not a real democracy
[see next chapter].
ç_federalism 2.0 ()
For this reason, if it is true that in order to restore real democracy, it is necessary to bring the essence of Government back to the local level. It is also true that in the context of modern Nations (characterized by a very wide territorial extension) there will always remain the need to use a certain level of Representation (a need of “indirect”, representative democracy).
It is therefore a question of rebooting also the Representation.
But, precisely, in the first place, in order to obtain a real representation, it is necessary to bring most of the decisions taken today by the central power back to the local area (where representation is not necessary).
∙How is it possible to bring the essence of Democracy back to a local dimension?
To re-establish a real Democracy In the first place it is necessary to start from the Fundamental Principles, remembering that, as illustrated in more detail in other articles in this series, the essence of Democracy is the satisfaction of citizens’ needs.
<see my document “Democracy was born as a system for satisfaction of Citizens ‘needs“>
In other words, Democracy is born on the basis of the following considerations on the human Society:
the issues concerning the human communities
(the Government )
are purely local
<see my Document “Localism as a natural quality of Democracy“>
Democracy was born precisely in a strictly local human community dimension (Athens), in which everyone could directly participate in governance, and in which everyone had a direct knowledge of the issues dealt with.
infrastructures of supra-local interest
can very well be treated
with agreements between local “sovereignties”,
as is the case for international treaties between nations (see intra-local government) see my document “The super-local level of Government“>
Today, accustomed for decades to witnessing the current form of centralized government that imposes decisions on citizens contrary to their will, and to live in the structure of the welfare state that holds the monopoly of essential services (on which we all depend), it is difficult for us understand there may be a different type of governance.
But history teaches us that, on the contrary, for millennia man governed himself with better results than the current ones.
Note that before the advent of modern democracy, even when local communities were subjected to “Empires” (dictatorships), they were left free to govern themselves (as in the case of the Roman Empire): they were asked substantially heavy taxes but not to change culture and customs.
The thriving of the current version of Western Democracy is essentially possible due to the fact that memory has been lost of how there have been better alternatives to the current Social Democracy regime (or, if we turn, because the memory of how and why this happened).
So in order to understand how the current form of Democracy (pseudo-Democracy) can be changed, it is necessary first of all to recover the memory of the past, and then “restructure” our way of thinking (it is necessary to resume using our intelligence to understand things, and stop waiting for others to tell us what is right to do).
A first point to be addressed is the analysis of the forms of governance that have followed one another up to now, in order to understand what their fundamental aims and methods are.
In this case we can see that
1) the issues that government has to address (infrastructures and services) are in the vast majority of local relevance
(i.e. most of the government issues can be administered directly at local level).
While the issues that remain at the supra-local level (such as interregional roads, large hospitals, aqueducts, etc …) can very well be governed by pacts between the local entities that use these services (in reality today this is already used modalities for example with the Consortiums model).
Note that these agreements can also be made between local areas that are distant from each other: for example, a mountain region can agree with another coastal region for the construction of a port. And therefore also with the territories that separate the two regions for the construction of roads.
With this structuring of government there are, among others, the following advantages:
– real satisfaction of citizens’ needs not only due to the fact that in this case the solutions are aimed at the specific needs of the place, but also for the fact that the best designers of needs satisfaction solutions are the same holders of needs.
– citizens also participating in the management phase of the infrastructures: in this way the quality of operation of the solution can be checked, and excess costs are avoided – which is one of the major problems of current Democracy.
2) supra-local issues still remain a set of local interests, and can be addressed in a way that does not require the current form of government representative
It is necessary, above all, to remember the basis of what we are talking about, that is Democracy, and therefore of the fact that the purpose of Democracy is to satisfy the needs of citizens. <see my document “Democracy was born as a system for satisfaction of Citizens ‘needs“>
From this point of view,
the supra-local needs
(to be met through infrastructures
such as large hospitals, interregional roads, etc …)
still remain an integration of interests locals.
supra-local issues can (should)
be governed by agreements between local governments.
There are several methods already used for this type of governance.
Among others are:
● consortiums between local areas (for example for water management).
● the inter-governmental political forum of the G8, in which Nations periodically meet to stipulate agreements.
The G8 is completely different from a form of parliamentary government (as is the European Union): “By design, the G8 deliberately lacked an administrative structure like those for international organizations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank. The group does not have a permanent secretariat, or offices for its members.” (Wikipedia)
These modes of governance work better than the current representative government (the European Union is a clear example of how the central government inevitably ends up serving the interests of some groups, and as a consequence conflicts and poverty are produced).
© Note how the European Union is literally, from the point of view of democracy, a bluff, since in this case the Parliament of the representatives elected by the citizens of the various nations does not actually have a real decision-making power.
On the basis of the previous considerations, it is considered appropriate to arrive at a redefinition of Federalism: a new way of integrating local governments closer to that originally conceived by the founding fathers of US Democracy, in which the central government has a minimal, secondary role (subordinated to forms of local governance). In other words, we think
we need to arrive at a new form of intra-local governance.
[see next Chapter “The intrinsic problem of Federalism”]
∙The question of (false) representation in modern democracy
ç_representation (false representation)
The differentiation between the model of real Democracy (the one used originally in Athens, where it was created, and therefore for the first modern Democracy, that of the USA), and that of the current representative Democracy (Social-Democracy) has developed in the last two centuries when it was decided that the central level of government (today defined as the State) should prevail over local government.
It should be noted that the concept of State has always been linked to the concept of dictatorship, and that in the founding phase of US democracy, the government wanted to overcome the model of government exercised by a State.
The case of the evolution of the role of the state in the US is significant.
With the American Revolution, American citizens fought and overthrew the very State (that of the English Monarchy) which represented a form of abuse for them, since it forced them to pay – taxes – money that was not “invested” in the satisfaction of needs. of Citizens.
That process of eliminating the state was developed bottom-up (by the People) through a bloody war.
Subsequently, an inverse process of reconstitution of the State developed, this time carried out by the US rulers who had become infatuated with the Socialist model established with the French Revolution.
This inverse process of recovering the role of the State
– still in vogue –
has nullified the effects
obtained with the American Revolution,
RETURNING THE STATE TO A FUNCTION
THAT IT HAD BEFORE THE REVOLUTION
(that of the English Monarchy).
And now in the place of the Monarchs there are Rulers who create the same problems for the Citizens as the Monarchs: they impoverish the Citizens (with the various forms of taxes that rob them of a large part of their legitimate earnings), and with the money taken from them the Rulers they are unable to meet their needs (but with such money the Rulers fully satisfy their own interests).
It should be noted that the decision to move back to a form of government exercised by a State (top-down government) was taken by the Rulers themselves: the Rulers invested themselves with a new power not envisaged by the democratic Constitutions (they did just as once did Monarchs).
the creation of real Democracy
(as it was originally in the US)
is therefore a “by the People” process,
while the development of a central state within Democracy
is a “by the Government” process
In summary, the Western Society (modern Democracy) from the original dimension of Democracy, has turned into a “Central Power” that imposes top-down solutions with respect to which Citizens have no say.
Modern Democracy has thus transformed from what it was in the US before the development of the central state – a dimension of direct “administration” by the People of local issues, an area in which the people are aware of the issues dealt with, and where it can express its opinion directly – at the current level of “Central Government”.
In this way that of the central (federal) government,
which initially was only a “plus”
compared to the real democratic government
developed at the local level,
has subsequently become the primary form of government.
It should be remembered that the Federal Government according to the initial proposals should have dealt only with problems such as wars, the management of relations with other nations.
[see next Chapter “The intrinsic problem of Federalism”]
Why doesn’t Federalism work?
Federalism does not work substantially due to the fact that democratic government today is based on a false representation.
Why is this a false representation?
The representation implemented today has at least two manufacturing defects:
1) false representativeness: parliamentary representatives do not represent the voters at all.
– the Citizen does not have a precise program of action on the part of the Candidate, but only a generic promise of intent (and, indeed, our Constitution specifies that the representative is not at all obliged to follow any agreements stipulated with the voters) .
– the Citizen cannot communicate with his Representative during the mandate; that is, the Citizen has no way of giving suggestions to his Representative (who is therefore unable to know the opinion of the Citizens with respect to the laws that he votes). Furthermore, the Citizen has no possibility to verify the Representative’s action.
– the Citizen cannot revoke the mandate of the Representative (not even when the latter completely reverses the course, passing from one political party to another).
2) that of Representatives is a false choice for Citizens: another of the problems due to which Representative Democracy is based on false representativeness is that citizens do not choose, as they should, their Representatives. In fact, the choice is among an extremely small number of people chosen upstream by the political parties.
A significant case of the lack of true representativeness in representative democracy is the Italian one: in Italy the Constitution excludes it, denying the “mandate bond” of the elected person (according to the Constitution – Art.! 7 – the elected Representative must not at all stick to any “election promises”, but is free to make the choices he wishes!)
The lack of real representativeness is one of the fundamental problems of modern democracy.
This lack has in fact led to a disconnect between the Rulers and the real needs of the Society that Democracy originally set out to satisfy. And it has therefore created a couple of significant problems that characterize today’s modern democracy:
● Apart from the problem of the “illegality” of the representation system, there is the problem that the “Representatives”, who should carry out the actions aimed at satisfying the needs of citizens, are not aware of what is happening (and what is ) on the territory they claim to deal with (the Representatives today have become professional “Politicians” who live a life different from that of the Citizens).
● the possibility for political parties to direct government decisions towards strengthening their Party (which, even if done in good faith, ultimately does not allow to center the real needs of the Society).
● the fact of having to accept rules that citizens do not tolerate inevitably leads the social-democratic system to have to increase the level of authoritarianism in order to function (the fact is that the social-democratic system in this way enters a vicious circle in which it is necessary to continuously increase the level of repression).
Towards a new model of representation
The different types of representation used today
As has been said, modern democracy is based on a double level of government: the local one (where it is possible for citizens, as happens in the US Town, to participate directly in government); and the national one (which can hardly be brought to a direct government level).
A government reboot that allows to return to a real democracy, must therefore take into account both modes of government (see in the following chapters).
That is, it is necessary:
● bring attention back to local government in the first place. And therefore
● to reform at its roots the mode of Representation.
It must be taken into account that in order to restore a real Democracy, which has radically moved away from its original model, it is necessary to develop a “disruptive innovation” of the government system. That is the innovation necessary in moments of discontinuity in history [see next chapter “The need for a radically new approach to solving problems (Disruptive Innovation)”]
It should be remembered that here we speak only of innovation of tools and methods, and not of an “innovation” of the Principles of Democracy (which is instead advocated by the Left).
The problem with representation is that, as illustrated above, the model currently used is based on an erroneous conception of representation, which does not allow for real representation. Therefore
it is necessary to bring representation
to a dimension closer to that of real Democracy.
There are many models of real representation available today – as an alternative to the false one used now for parliamentary democracy. Some of them can be used, in different contexts, to define a Democracy that recovers its original principles.
More specifically, it is necessary to operate on at least two levels:
● representation understood as a person who works – on mandate – on behalf of the Citizen in an assembly (this model is currently adopted, in Europe, also at the local level)
● the forms of “representation” to be used at an inter-local level, based on a completely different model from the current previous one.
These latter forms of representation work very well in some contexts of modern politics (see above the models of consortium between local areas, and of the inter-governmental political forum – G8).
The need to always adhere to the Principles of Democracy
We remember that
to restore real Democracy
IT IS NECESSARY TO APPLY THE PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY
FROM THE FIRST STEP
(otherwise it would fall back into the error of Social Democratic Ideology: thinking that one can reach a condition of peace by going through a process of the opposite sign, of the use of force).
This means, right from the start,
PLACING THE PROCESS OF RESTORING THE GOVERNANCE OF DEMOCRACY
IN THE HANDS OF CITIZENS.
It must be taken into account that the restoration of a complex system such as that of Democracy is a process in progress, ie a very complex process that cannot be defined upstream, but which must be developed step by step on the field.
It is basically a kind of experiment in which
● tools are developed for the management of a Democracy “by the People” (partly developed thanks to new technologies, which make forms of Participation much easier than in the past).
But, perhaps even more important
● Citizens rediscover the awareness of the possibility of being able to directly manage the issues that affect their social life. And regain confidence with the processes of real democracy.
∙Towards a crowd-ization of government
Ç_crowdization government ç bottom-up government
In the following article, the Bottom-up reform Initiative is introduced which, based on the use of new technologies, allows citizens to organize themselves bottom-up to develop actions on the territory (works and services) as alternatives to those implemented by government institutions.
This is possible by exploiting the current spontaneous trends of the bottom-up organization of collective private initiatives.
In defining the process of change of the current Democracy based on a centralized government it is important not to fall back into the ideological dimension, based on ideas produced by the mind of some people – ideas that do not correspond to the reality of the facts. But it is necessary to stick to reality. That is, it is necessary
1) stick to the positive experiences of the past: taking into consideration what has actually worked in history (the methods of “management” of the Society are an intrinsic reality of the human being, and must be discovered and not invented) <see my Article “The Society of Man is a discovery and not an invention”>
2) take into consideration the trends that the People is currently developing to survive in the World in which the Market and Government, contrary to when it originally happened, impose choices that are no longer able to satisfy “users”.
The problem to be solved as regards both the Market and the Government is that they have detached themselves from the actual reality (from the real needs of the people).
the crisis of life in modern civilization
is exacerbated by the fact that,
in addition to the Market,
EVEN THE GOVERNMENT SEEMS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN
THAT THE ORIGINAL GOAL WAS TO SATISFY PEOPLE’S NEEDS.
This condition has created a strong lowering of the quality of the products of the market, and of services and public works; and therefore
it has created a deep frustration in people
that has led them to start organizing,
independently, from below
(thanks also to the new technologies available),
alternative forms of satisfaction of their needs
(products and services).
It is a sort of crowdization of the processes previously developed top-down by companies and government institutions.
The current crowdization offers very effective results, since it is based on very powerful tools such as:
● Social platforms that allow citizens/users to develop actions such as purchasing groups, class actions, parental schooling, etc …
● self-construction: the new dimension of “Markers” which have powerful and easy-to-use tools such as 3D printers, design software within the reach of most, etc …
To develop a restoration of real Democracy it is therefore necessary to support the reality of the “by the People” practices that are already developing spontaneously bottom-up. Or
the solution is a crowdization of the modern Democracy system.
Note that this development of the “crowd” dimension in the Society is nothing more than a recovery of the real democracy of Government, which was initially characterized by the development of initiatives directly by citizens (which still happens in many towns in the USA and Switzerland) .