Isocracy

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For the punk group, see Isocracy (band).

An isocracy is a form of government where all citizens have equal political power. The term derives from Greek "ἴσος" meaning "equal" and "κρατεῖν" meaning "to have power", or "to rule".

An Isocracy expands from the legal right of Isonomia to political and economic systems, from equality of law, to equality in governance. To achieve this, an isocracy both combines and expands features of liberal rights and those in democratic rule. According to the nascent political movement of the same name [1] an Isocracy embodies individual autonomy by extension Informed consent and natural resources as the source of public income.

Further, an isocracy claims to avoid the common criticisms of democracy (e.g., Tyranny of the Majority and Demagogy) by limiting public governance to the public sphere and private governance to the private sphere. With protections embodied through constitutions, thus not being subject to the vagaries of popular opinion, an isocracy is secular, republican, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex etc.

In terms of organization, an isocracy argues for a federal network, argues towards mutualist economic organisation.[citation needed] Claiming that the army and police are an arm of class-rule, an isocracy also argues in that public peace, defense and emergency services can be managed through inclusive militia.[citation needed]

The combination of these features has led Isocracy advocates to claim that they represent "the best elements of the modern traditions of liberal, socialist and anarchist thought."

The first recorded use of the term was by the Reverend Sydney Smith in 1845, where opposition was expressed to the idea of equal rule for "all units of society"; Smith noted that the young should not have the same authority as the old and challenged isocrats to support voting and political rights for women, which was considered an extremist position at the time.[2] An early recorded use of the word by a political organisation was by Grant Allen in the formation of the Independent Labour Party, arguing for equal rights for citizens. The history of the ILP incorporates liberalism, market socialism and co-operative societies:

"We believe in the strength and the rule of the people; in government of the People, by the People and for the People. Equality is the literal meaning of the word Isocracy" [3]

As an incorporated association in Australia, the Isocracy Network Inc., has continued this tradition of libertarian and co-operative socialism as a member of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left.[4] For a short period there was also a proposed Isocratic Party of Canada (former domain http://isocraticcanada.com), but that initiative appears to be defunct.

Finally, the Greek Cypriot Chris Neophytou offers a more conservative perspective through isokratia which argues for an extension of liberal democracy with mass electronic voting.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Isocracy Network". The Isocracy Network. November 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  2. ^ Rev. Sydney Smith, Letters from America (1844) in The Prospective Review 1845
  3. ^ Grant Allen, The Isocratic Party (Chapter One) in The New Party Described By Some Of Its Members by Andrew Reid, Independent Labour Party of Great Britain. 1894.
  4. ^ "Alliance of the Libertarian Left". Alliance of the Libertarian Left. July 26, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Isokratia". Chris Neo Direct Publishing. 2006. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 

See also[edit]