Governance

One of the unique advantages of a virtual environment like SecondLife is that a community like ours can not only talk about current events, governance, and innovative democratic institutions and structures, but can actually put them into practice. As the Antiochia Agora Polis grows, we intend to implement a democratic vision of self-governance based on principles of absolute inclusion, deep diversity, the power of the best argument, and multi-level citizenship

In doing so we hope not only to develop viable and creative means to make decisions in Antiochia, but also to conceive innovative, new principles of governance that would have some applicability in the real world as well. Of course, one cannot simply transfer real-world institutions applicable to nation-states to small virtual communities whose members hail from around the world, or vice-versa. But SecondLife allows, more than any other environment, to play out creative solutions and possibilities that would be difficult, if not impossible, to test in real life, at little or no actual cost or risk to its members. 

We hope to eventually develop a juridico-political framework of action that will structure our interactions and activities in both the real and virtual worlds. We are persuaded that we must give such a framework the chance to grow organically, from our grassroots members up, rather than have it imposed from above, as a master-plan, subject to a form of yes/ no plebiscite limiting inclusive and creative discussions, ideas, deliberations, and decision-making processes. We look forward to having this debate as our community grows, both in-world and on our Bulletin Board Forums.

For now, the central institution of our community is the AGORA - the meeting place of all polités (citizens), inspired from the world's first (however imperfect) democracy, in Athens, Greece, some two and a half millennia ago. We hope that, in time, our Agora will transform itself into a set of institutions - respectful of the rule of law, democracy, efficiency, effectiveness, openness and accountability - inspired from Ancient Greece and its directly deliberative tradition, but adapted to the modern virtual ecosystem in which it evolves today, as well as to the size of its membership. A preliminary outline of these institutions might look like this: