We need to expand the very idea of democracy. And that begins with democratising the way the global economy runs. Everyday, deals are made, trade regimes expanded, and rules agreed upon, by governments and corporations, without consent of the people. And even though these decisions affect each and every one of us, few of us are ever made aware of them, let alone allowed to partake in these decisions. Why? Because these decisions happen in secret, behind closed doors. The dream of democracy is built upon openness, but today we find our hard-fought democratic dreams flipped upside down, turned into public privacy and private transparency. While all of us find ourselves being watched more and more, those with the real power are being watched less and less. The way forward begins with a reinvigorated idea of democracy, a democracy with existential teeth, a democracy that opens doors, instead of closing them. And it begins with shining a light.
Flip the Principle of Secrecy
Secrecy is a negative tool. In other words, it is the active removal of something that would otherwise naturally exist, in this case visibility. You can tell this because most secret information requires active and costly guarding. Left to its own device, information, especially information with value, travels. Which is not to say secrecy is never required, only that it should never be a default. Its parameters must always be visible, democratically authenticated, justifiable, and have that justification humbly on hand for those who would know and challenge it.