If we want to improve democracy, we need to start with redefining our core values. But what are values? Wikipedia defines value in ethical sense as the degree of importance of some object or action, to determine which actions are best to do or which way is best to live. Values can also be defined as broad preferences concerning actions or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be. Values are the corner stone of any democratic system and so it is with the new Consensual Presidential Democracy proposed further on in this website.
But the new democracy should not be based only on the revised Universal Values of Humanity but also include Human responsibilities. When human values become enshrined in law they become rights. But rights are not given on a plate. Implementing rights and maintaining them over time has a price tag both in monetary terms as well as in keeping the ethical balance. For example, people have the right for an emergency hospital care in case of an accident, and this is my responsibility by paying due taxes, to ensure that such a right can be materialized.
The core values of the EU are included in the Lisbon Treaty in Article 2: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.” These values are:
- Justice & the rule of law
- Human dignity
- Social Solidarity
- National Security
- Family Safety
- Nature & Beauty
Deep reforms in the EU should really start with the re-examination and strengthening of the core purpose of the EU. This includes most importantly, the Universal Values of Humanity. Such a review of these values that make EU what it is, is needed for three reasons:
- To make the EU integration firmly founded on those values
- Leading by example showing the world how adherence to values can mitigate global existential risks more effectively.
- Adapting them to the time when Humanity will have to coexist with Superintelligence, which in case of Immature Superintelligence may be just a decade away
They have been proposed on the basis of the existing value systems, embedded in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights or in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. If you want a dose of optimism about Humanity then this section deserves your special attention. This is the area, where Humanity from the point of its survival as a species, has perhaps made even a greater relative progress in the last 200 years than in technology, including the industrial revolution.
These values are discussed in detail in Tony Czarnecki’s book: “Who could save Humanity from Superintelligence”.