A new age of politics is approaching, signaling a paradigm shift in the entire political arena from elections and the voting process to the formation of political and social movements by the creation of decentralized decision making bodies running on a blockchain.
Imagine a political or a social movement that has a mechanism to limit influences of elites and political powers outside of its own organizational structure, something that just a decade ago would have been a scene in a sci-fi novel.
The 20th century saw countless socio-political movements that failed or that modified their initial courses of action predominantly due to external influences in exerting power and manipulating the future political and social directions of these movements. In the last ten years we saw a number of such movements, most notable are the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East and “Occupy Wall Street” in the US and various anti-globalization movements just to name a few. Although it might be arguable that these social movements did achieve some sort of partial success, it is evident that these movements failed in their core demands and future roadmap visions.
The Arab Spring left a power vacuum that is infested by various interest groups and political powers that undeniably pursue their own interest, while most citizens who participated in the movements with high aspirations that were generally fuelled by inequality and poverty are left in a status quo environment. “Occupy Wall Street” movement initial goals where basically a call for the reduction in the influence of large businesses on politics, a more equal distribution of income and a reform of the banking system. All of which did start a limited debate but ended short of everything else.
Even-though there were multiple points of failure in these movements, from poor organization to idealized and unrealistic expectations, but one argument for the failure of such social movements can be attributed to the power influences of elites and political power groups on the decision making bodies of such movements.
Here blockchain technology with the introduction of smart contracts can have a crucial role by bringing decentralization, equality, transparency and accountability to the table and has more then just a theoretical ability to minimize such influences.
Blockchain power bodies would not have one or a few decision making individuals, but a decentralized, consensus-driven decision making process. Unlike for example standard voting processes of the past decades that were expensive, difficult to organize and prone to manipulation, consensus reaching would be cost-effective because it would be fairly cheep to execute, transparent and efficient provided some conditions are fulfilled from a technological and social standpoint. ” it is difficult to influence a movement that has no central power authority or a leading figure.”
No matter how social movements in the future tend to organize themselves, it is evident that blockchain technology is signaling a shift not only in the core organizational structure of social movements but also a shift in future governance models.