Three cheers for democracy (18/52 – Terraism)

Illustration by Susanne Gold/ text by Ted Ganten
In this clip you will get more information on “Terraism”.

Here are some last areas for improvement in our German democracy, before we finally turn to the lessons learned.

What is the right pay check for a politician?

Our German chancellor earns about 290k€ per year – quite a bit les less for ministers. That is a lot and there are other monetory advantages. However, do we really think we are getting the best of the best for this? Certainly, the best managers are not always the ones who are paid the best. We do not want purely money-driven personalities in politics. It is also true that some manager salaries are completely excessive and a limit – at least to me – seems reasonable. At least in an unchanged environment, we should ask ourselfes whether the competition for talent really takes place at the highest reasonable level. After all, we are talking about an annual budget of €500 billion! The right decision makers in the rigth positions can save us all millions every year. Every medium-sized entrepreneur, many car dealers and pub owners, many employees in the higher management of large companies earn at a similar level – often with higher social security and certainly with less responsibility and public pressure. If we can assume that the market value of a worker is at least partly expressed in his or her salary, comparisons with listed companies and banks show an extremely worrying assessment of the workforce of our chancellor and her ministers. If political officers were significantly higher paid, this would conceptually strengthen my confidence. Subject matter expertise would also be helpful – contrary to current practice.

Do we copy and paste?

I could fill many more pages with structural problems of our German democracy. Topics that recur in many other democracies in variations. All in all, neither democracy nor meaningful decision-making seems to me to function optimally in this form. At least I would not want to build a planet-wide organization on this principle. Parliamentary democracy itself needs considerable changes to appear meaningful. Internationally, it would be a nightmare, because the demarcations and duplications that we already have here in federal Germany and Europe alone would be multiplied.

Good to go, finally?

From the aforementioned, there are some conclusions that we can draw from the democratic reality. In my opinion, we want to make such an association agile, lean and appropriately co-determined. The structures of an association can be adopted according to the growing and changing requirements and should be re-assessed in each annual general meeting. Therefore, only an initial concept is proposed, which must prove itself and will change over time.

In the following weeks, I will roughly sketch a first proposal for a structure that at least preserves the capacity of the terraist association to act and addresses some essential points of criticism of political organizations. I am aware that none of the conclusions is necessarily compelling. I start from the basic assumption that “informed” and balanced decisions in a complex world require so much knowledge and time that the majority cannot make the decision itself properly. Yes, good to go!

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