WARNING: The following video may be unsuitable for many viewers. Those over the age of thirty should be accompanied by a child as a reminder of how mundane its contents can truly be.
Growing up during the Chinese Revolution, Venture Capitalist Eric X Li learned the promise and ultimate failure of the Communist state before leaving his home country to become a Berkley Hippie. In the years that followed, he discovered the same level of hubris at work in this country, and moved back to China to study the success of the One Party System.
Knowing full well this to be a sensitive subject to an audience which prides itself on the success of the Two Party System, Li made two points clear, that the success of China doesn’t prove it’s superiority but that successful alternatives exist, and that its success is uniquely Chinese and cannot be exported in its current state.
It was the part about being uniquely Chinese that got me thinking about what kind of government would be unique to Springboro? As a relatively new resident I don’t have anywhere near the experience necessary to answer that question. So instead I offer local residents the three elements of a successful government to consider in relation to our community.
Adaptability: In the case of the Chinese, the Government has undergone many large scale structural changes in the past few decades while the West continues to suffer from political gridlock. This however is not the case online, where American innovation is flourishing thanks in part to the open exchange of new ideas and the software which empowers them.
Meritocracy: Rising up the ranks of Chinese Government can take decades as compared to the relatively short rise to fame of our two recent Presidents. Thankfully we have another form of Meritocracy on the rise here in America through websites like Amazon and Yelp which enable the community to rate products and services.
Legitimacy: This may be one of the most difficult parts of the talk for Westerners to imagine, but consider the feedback loops in many private companies, working directly with their customers in order to create a better product. Once again, the web has excelled at this in many ways through services like Get Satisfaction and User Voice.
With these examples in mind I think we can all agree that Democracy isn’t failing us, it’s simply taken on a more slightly technical form, one that our Government has fully yet to grasp. And yet we all have access to it currently, it’s simply a matter of making the connection to the elements of a successful government, and ‘forking’ it for the City of Springboro.