Revolutionizing Governance: A Leaderless Path to Societal Responsibility

Fish & Chips
6 min readOct 8, 2023

Most generations can arguably claim that they have faced difficult times. We can debate whether they carry comparable weight or not, but that would only deflect from the topic ahead. Our current global community is facing an incredibly varied set of troubles, ranging from hunger, climate issues, and viruses to multiple financial and political crises that have even led to wars. It seems now more evident than ever that people around the world are dreaming of a new world order, new community-driven systems to live by, and, above all, humanity for everyone. It is an absolute certainty that these desires are not new; maybe they are expressed differently nowadays than centuries and millennia ago, but thanks to social media and technological progress, the magnitude of the outcry has become louder than ever before. While some want total freedom, away from archaic centralized state authorities (i.e., elected leaders, kingdoms, dictatorships, etc.), and to self-govern through trustless blockchain-based systems, others believe we need more rigid leadership practices again.

We know fairly well how centralized power systems operate. In this article, we would like to explore the thought experiment of what it would mean to live within a social construct built upon the principles of blockchain technology. What would it look like to live within a society that could seamlessly function on a social, economic, and judicial level without the needed direct intervention of central authorities to ensure that rules and principles are upheld?

Where Society Meets the Responsibility of Decision-Making

First of all, let’s be clear: this blockchain society would not exist within the metaverse. For this mental gymnastics exercise, we’ll stay in our own beautiful world and keep that social awkwardness we love so much alive.

Conceptually, we can agree that on the surface, many participants in our society enjoy various forms of freedom. For example, we can move rather freely, speak our minds, enjoy hobbies, and interact with whomever we like across the planet. Of course, there are exceptions and injustices (which are felt and experienced subjectively) that we do not intend to ignore or diminish in importance by leaving them aside for this particular piece. The important point to note is that every human has the desire to make their own decisions, without restraint and without being hurt (physically or verbally). A democracy intends this but also fails to uphold this virtue of egalitarian justice. Within a solitary-ruled society, this becomes even less achievable. A good leader might get the general direction right but never the full dimension. But how could we possibly abolish the concept of leadership? Society all around the planet would falter at the hands of selfish desires and greed. Humans need to be controlled by a strong hand to ensure structure and obedience to respect the laws and ensure peaceful living.

Maybe on some level, that is true. Some people are born to lead and others to be led. We see it in our friend circle, at the workplace, and within the sports teams we are in. This does not mean we must translate leadership practices into our governance mechanism to ensure the smooth functioning of large populations living and thriving together. There is a difference between leading by thought and leading through power. One aims to inspire and pull people up, the other tries to dominate and push down. Centralizing power should not equal success and wealth. That is a flaw in the system, and it seems people are starting to catch on that there could be a better solution to ensure functionality and personal freedom can coexist. People are capable to take responsible decisions on their own.

Bitcoin is the prime example of decentralized decision-making power leading to development, adoption, and positive improvements (e.g., renewable energy mining, providing people with means of payment, store of value, etc.). We have also seen within the rest of the blockchain technology developments that it can be possible to build businesses on the foundations of community-driven decision-making mechanisms (e.g., Aave, Uniswap, Maker, etc.). The so-called consensus mechanisms of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) can be very powerful if done correctly.

Societal Responsibility of Decision-Making

The stateless society that self-governs itself has obviously been attempted many times in the past. Nowadays, it usually ends with someone or a small group rising to the top and seizing control. The thirst for power and greed runs strong within human DNA. Maybe that has to do with our survival instinct, which basically demands self-care before tending to those around us. Today we call that “airplane mode,” of course.

Nobody has tried to build a society that is based on the blockchain. The consensus mechanism described above becomes a crucial component here. It could give every member of the community the right to cast their vote on all raised matters, providing inclusion, transparency, security, protection against corruption, speed, efficiency, and simultaneously reducing the reliance on a central body of authority. Imagine raising a topic (for example, a roundabout replacing a busy intersection) with your local representative. Before your idea is even discussed at a level of authority where a decision could be made, bureaucratic administrative work will probably have buried the idea shortly after inception. Weeks later, there is no proof of your request anymore, and years later, your file gets discovered by accident and deleted due to current irrelevance. The intersection is not busy anymore because all businesses had to move. A blockchain voting mechanism could change this frustrating way of working and prevent ideas from getting lost in between paperwork. Lobbying the idea to the top of the attention span of your peers is still your own task, but at least you would stand a real chance at being heard.

There, we’ve solved social injustice and just given freedom to all.

There is a Minor Issue

Sadly, it’s not that simple, of course. To start, there is the issue of convincing politicians to give up their falsely believed claim to power over the people. Furthermore, from a technical perspective, typical consensus mechanisms would require a unanimous result, which in a large group is always difficult to attain. The system would become rather tedious to follow up on and maintain.

Therefore, our leaderless state would need to implement a Blockchain-Based Governance in which a transparent tokenized voting mechanism operates as the basic layer for decision-making practices. For a proposal to become legally binding, if voted to pass, requirements such as majority voting and quorum-based consensus must be fulfilled. However, there are many more challenges that need to be considered before implementing such a system. Blockchain itself is in its infancy, and technological challenges such as scalability, security, and energy consumption have to be addressed. But there are also many other risks that could accidentally (or purposefully) be transferred to the new system, such as loss of privacy, a lack of a regulatory framework, legal and ethnic issues, resistance to change, and discrimination.

Despite our dream of being free from oppression, it is not advisable to jump head-first into the water. This ocean might be leading to a better place, but if you jump in the wrong place, you might just crack your skull open on a rock.

Closing Thoughts

The concept of Blockchain-Based Governance should certainly be further discussed and developed. It holds the potential for a better future, taking away unnecessary levers of power from selfish individuals and spreading the responsibility for prosperity across all members of our society. As humans, we are prone to complain about perceived injustices, and we certainly like to believe we know things better than others. The question is whether we should continue to let the loudest lead on our behalf and complain about them, or strive to find a better way that will let everyone participate equally?

Despite the cataclysmic upset such a fundamental change would cause, there are massive upsides, including inclusiveness, transparency, verifiability, and, most importantly, levelling the playing field to ensure all participants have a fair chance to contribute. Now we just have to tempt our rather rigid sense of imagination to envision the possibility that there are more forms of governance out there than we currently know of.

That said, there is no definite answer to the above question right now. It is speculation and maybe even pure utopian dreaming. However, when looking around and seeing people being mistreated by governments, leaders, and economic powerhouses, it is only natural to start pondering whether there couldn’t be a brighter future for all of us.

We would be more than happy to welcome you within our Fish and Chips community on Discord (https://discord.gg/Yrp6CMpsCc) to further discuss this topic. Maybe one day down the road we find tangible answers that could build the concepts of tomorrow’s society. Thank you for reading!

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Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips is the place to learn and discuss about Blockchain, Crypto. Join us on Discord to experience the journey together: https://discord.gg/UZxPcHSJZ7