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256 pages, Hardcover
First published February 7, 2013
The revolution is happening now, and the world is changing too quickly for government to respond with tiny, incremental changes. It is time to radically rethink the relationship between citizens and government.
Because the future is about information— being able to access it, manipulate it, learn from it, improve our lives with it. And the cloud’s sole purpose is to give us information whenever, wherever we need it. The cloud is ubiquity, access, sharing, collaboration, connection. It works for you.
With the explosion of social networking, smartphones, and apps, we have the tools available right now, in our hands, to transform government. We just have to have the courage to use them.
They are the wave of the future—a future that’s about participation, empowerment, feedback loops, and organically created communities.
Technology has rendered our current system of government irrelevant, so now government must turn to technology to fix itself.
Our problems are so big and so expensive that we can’t afford to buy solutions. But replicating Apple’s model for the App Store is the antidote.
People don’t like the idea of their elected officials spending time soliciting funds, and the whole process, fairly or unfairly, feels unseemly. How would it look if, in a particularly busy fund-raising period, I had multiple private meetings with potential donors? Fund-raising may be a necessary part of politics in this country, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable.
What one thing did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Vaclav Havel, and Nelson Mandela have in common? The answer: jail time. These men were great leaders of their times, and yet none of them started out with even a shred of formal authority. None had been elected or appointed to a position of power or otherwise anointed, but what they lacked in formal authority, they more than made up for in moral authority.
I’ve always been fascinated by this distinction between moral and formal authority. Formal authority is a twentieth-century model, a relic of the age when power was vested in institutions rather than people. It is power as bestowed through titles rather than power earned through genuine leadership. Moral authority, on the other hand, is granted by the people. It is indifferent to titles, and yet it’s invariably more powerful in the end than formal authority.
As technology transforms every facet of our lives, it lays bare this division between moral and formal authority.