How it Works

In the beginning, everyone of voting age has one vote. They vote on referenda–diverse matters of public policy. On each referendum, 90% of the population is randomly chosen by a computer program. They form an S-Committee in which each either votes or abstains. Then, the way each person voted is logged, recorded in secure computers that no-one can access. If they pass the referendum, it becomes policy; if they dont, it does not.

Two years later, each referendum is reviewed by an M-Committee: the 10% who didnt vote on it. They are given a question: was the decision that was made wise? In hindsight, would they have voted yes or no? If the majority of the 10% answers yes, everyone who voted yes two years ago gets one additional vote. If the majority of the 10% answers no, everyone who voted no two years ago gets one additional vote.

The next time someone with two votes votes on a referendum, she has a choice beyond yes or no. She must also choose whether to use her additional vote. If she does, her vote counts double. There are additional consequences. Two years later, if the 10% reviewing the referendum approve of her vote, she gains two additional votes for a total of four. If they disapprove, she loses her additional vote.

Those with four votes can choose more finely. They can vote once on any issue at no risk. They can also commit from one to three of their extra votes. Someone who votes four times stands to gain four votes or lose three votes. They should only commit all their votes if either theyre confident theyre right, and that voters will recognize that in two years, or they feel so passionately about the issue that they want to use all their power to influence it. When they are polled as part of the 10%, they still can only vote once.

After many years of voting, then, some people will have large amounts of votes, some middling, and some small. The people with the most votes are the ones whose actions were approved of by the general public two years later. They now have power–they are the equivalent of senators or lords. But if they use that power selfishly or unwisely, they will lose it in two years as the public votes their disapproval. The powerful ones cannot form a cabal, voting each other in power, because those 10% review votes are one person, one vote.

Heres a small scale example of histocracy in action. Alice, Bob, Charlie, and Dave form a mutual fund. Each contributes an equal amount of money and each is entitled to an equal amount of profit–that never changes. But their power over the funds investments does. Suppose Alice comes forward with a stock she wants to invest in. Bob, Charlie, and Dave draw straws, and Dave gets the short straw. Alice, Bob, and Charlie vote on whether to buy the stock. Alice and Bob vote yes, and Charlie votes no. They invest in the stock. However, a week later it begins plummeting. Dave suggests they sell the stock. Alice, Bob, and Charlie draw straws, and Alice gets the short straw. Bob, Charlie, and Dave vote on whether to sell it. All three vote sell. They sell the stock for a small loss. At the end of the year, Dave reviews all decisions he did not vote on. He notes that investing in the stock was a poor move. Charlie voted against it, so he gains one vote. Alice and Bob have only one vote, so they do not lose votes. Alice also reviews the decisions she did not take part in. She decides, based on the stocks subsequent performance, that the vote to sell was correct. Bob, Charlie, and Dave each gain one vote. As a result of this and other decisions, Alice, Bob, Charlie, and Dave go into the next year with, respectively, 3, 5, 8, and 5 votes. Charlie proposes that the group reinvest in the stock. Bob draws the short straw. Charlie casts four votes for yes. Alice casts one vote for yes Dave casts three votes for no. They invest in the stock. If the stock rises, Charlie will gain four votes, Alice will gain one vote, and Dave will lose two votes. If the stock falls, Charlie will lose three votes, Alice will neither gain nor lose votes, and Dave will gain three votes. Over the years, if one partner consistently mismanages the fund, they will automatically be assigned less power by the algorithim. They will still be entitled to their share of the money, and it will be all the greater for the lack of their input. Likewise, one partner might gain a controlling amount of votes, but only through proving they will use the power wisely.

Why It Works

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