Platform Democracy and Governance
December 13, 2017 11:43 PM   Subscribe

Estonia, the Digital Republic - "Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?"
The openness is startling. Finding the business interests of the rich and powerful—a hefty field of journalism in the United States—takes a moment’s research, because every business connection or investment captured in any record in Estonia becomes searchable public information. (An online tool even lets citizens map webs of connection, follow-the-money style.) Traffic stops are illegal in the absence of a moving violation, because officers acquire records from a license-plate scan. Polling-place intimidation is a non-issue if people can vote—and then change their votes, up to the deadline—at home, online. And heat is taken off immigration because, in a borderless society, a resident need not even have visited Estonia in order to work and pay taxes under its dominion...

He lit several cigarettes, and talked excitedly of “building a digital society.” It struck me then how long it had been since anyone in America had spoken of society-building of any kind. It was as if, in the nineties, Estonia and the U.S. had approached a fork in the road to a digital future, and the U.S. had taken one path—personalization, anonymity, information privatization, and competitive efficiency—while Estonia had taken the other. Two decades on, these roads have led to distinct places, not just in digital culture but in public life as well.
A systemic approach to deliberative democracy - "The ideal of a deliberative system, then, is a loosely coupled group of institutions and practices that together perform the three functions we have identified – seeking truth, establishing mutual respect, and generating inclusive, egalitarian decision-making. In this section, we describe five pathologies that keep political institutional arrangements from approaching more closely the deliberative ideal in the system as whole: tight-coupling; decoupling; institutional domination; social domination; and entrenched partisanship."
posted by kliuless (10 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm a digital resident of Estonia! I have been for a few years.

They recently opened up banking to digital residents. As an estadounidenser, it's unfortunately not yet available to me, but it is to my Canadian partner. Hopefully they open it up soon to me, because I would love nothing more than an EU bank account, and then I'll apply for a business license. I would LOVE to move my business to Estonia.

It's pretty easy to become an e-resident. So far I haven't been able to do much with it, but I'm hoping this concept continues to take off, and that at some point the fact that I'm an e-Estonian will afford me some unique opportunities.
posted by weed donkey at 12:25 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


There are at least three or four of us Estonians here on MeFi too!

Also, a pet peeve, so I can't resist: "please stop calling us «former Soviet» countries"

News outlets in the former Roman and Norman colony of Great Britain, the former Carolingian territories of the Holy Roman Empire and former Grand Monarchy of France, and the former British and French colonies in North America have also been known to do the same thing.

Curiously the tendency is less prevalent in the former Warsaw Pact countries and even in the former Tsarist Empire and former dominions of the Golden Horde to the east of Latvia.

posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:55 AM on December 14, 2017 [19 favorites]


Ooh, " former dominions of the Golden Horde to the east of Latvia" is my new go-to phrase.
posted by Harald74 at 2:27 AM on December 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


News outlets in the former Roman and Norman colony of Great Britain

Point taken, but it's not entirely accurate to describe the UK as a former Norman colony. Our upper classes are dominated by people whose names are anglicised French and whose titles were awarded after 1066...
posted by mushhushshu at 3:26 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


We have an Estonian employee who works remotely from Estonia largely over Skype and her excitement about how well the technology works is really endearing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:54 AM on December 14, 2017 [2 favorites]


Check it!
posted by CheapB at 8:47 AM on December 14, 2017


I'm in as soon as they offer a Rat Thing to all digital residents.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:59 PM on December 14, 2017


Wow, this is amazing to me. Thanks for posting.
posted by mosst at 10:29 AM on December 18, 2017



mushhushshu: "Point taken, but it's not entirely accurate to describe the UK as a former Norman colony. Our upper classes are dominated by people whose names are anglicised French and whose titles were awarded after 1066..."

"Former home of the Angevin Empire"?
posted by Chrysostom at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2017


Estonia's IT integration is really shocking to anyone who has worked IT in the US public sector.
posted by nothing.especially.clever at 9:07 AM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


« Older Yacob and Amo: Africa's Precursors to Locke, Hume...   |   Papercraft Refugees Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments