Where does the PBA stand at present?

9 11 2009

The Guardian has a special report which helpfully collects many of the current features of a post-bureaucratic government (such as they are). The problem is not with what is there, but with what is missing.

Virtually all the links involve making a complaint, which you can do just as you would in the days before the internet. E-mail (where accepted) is just a bit more convenient.The details concern your rights and qualifications for various benefits and privileges. All good stuff, as far as it goes.

However, the mindset behind the relationship between the people and the state does not reflect the state of the world today. It stands upon a centralised, industrial-era model, which assumes the mass-production of public services, and the individual consumer’s right to complain. This is accountability of sorts, but represents an outdated era when it was impossible (in practical terms) for everyone to have a say in government, to feed their ideas for how money should be spent. There is potential for a dynamic consultation process, for constant feedback in both directions. Using the internet, and leveraging the power of the networks it sustains, the relationship between the individual and the state can be transformed.



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