If you think hard, the biggest problem in running a country is effective communication between people running it and the people living in it as citizens.

Marie Antoinette asked people to eat a cake when they were starving and was guillotined. In North Korea, Kim Jong doesn’t want to listen to his people and has taken his country backwards by over 100 years. In China, Beijing listens to everything you say (including what you search and email) and then jails you depending on what you said. And of course, among all the gloom and despair there is Switzerland in which even animals are entitled to a dialogue (Last month a Swiss citizen saw a fish being caught by an amateur, whose actions caused it to die painfully; the government hired a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the amateur fisherman on behalf of the dead fish).

Imagine if you received a regular post on your wall from Manmohan Singh about the new resolutions he was contemplating or Rahul Gandhi asking you for an opinion about how to solve a problem to which you could simply reply, comment or just read replies. If you could create a bitching page about the BMC (Bombay municipal corp) & get 1+ million people to send the commissioner a ‘go home’ message. India would be even a more amazing place to live and make a living in.

Facebook as a world is perfect.

It exists only because people communicate with other, and I consider it to as test case on how to run a country:

  • People in real countries increasingly use social media to find people. This is social media turning into real people.
  • Everyone is connected. Leaders, citizens and everyone in between.
  • Actions are transparent and always accountable for.
  • Jobs and employment are frictionless – they are created and filled because people speak to each other and know who wants what.
  • Money supply is linked to its citizens’ cash flows that is always measurable.
  • There is always a jury out there…To reward, punish and to administer.
  • The only place in the world where the citizens of the entire country could be asked a question, given multiple choices of answers and a decision made on the results in a few hours!

Sounds very idealistic and Utopian. But if 400 million unique visitors ( Population of the USA+UK+Canada),  are converging in increasing numbers to ONE destination & half of them almost daily, there is a something here that governments and their politicians could surely learn something from.

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Originally posted on March 16, 2010 on rodinhood.com

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