Devise a mechanical means for nation-wide voting -- rbf

Dear Editor,

R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an American icon, an affable and lovable genius who was the inventor of the Geodesic Dome, the Dymaxion Projection Map, various cars, houses, and other wondrous things.

In 1963 he published a book called "No More Secondhand God" in which, among other things, he describes a solution to our current political dilemma -- you know, the one about the presidency not yet having been decided, after more than two weeks.

He wrote:

"Devise a mechanical means
for nation-wide voting
daily and secretly
by each adult citizen
of Uncle Sam's family:
Then -- I assure you
will Democracy "be saved"
indeed, exist,
for the first time in history.

"This is a simple mechanical problem
involving but fractional effort
of that involved in distributing
the daily mails to the nation.
Telephone talks in the U.S. each day
are three times the number
of votes which were cast
for President
in the record election year.

"Electrified voting as bride
to our most prodigal
wildcat broadcasting
and beloved son -- journalism
promises a household efficiency
superior to any government of record
because it incorporates
not only the speed of decision
which is the greatest strength of the dictator,
(a boon if he's godly,
a death-ray if he is not)
but additional advantages which can never be his."

(No More Secondhand God, by R. Buckminster Fuller, Copyright 1963, pages 10-11)

Dr. Fuller continued by listing nine advantages, including stating (and I agree, having spent over 20 years in the computer business) that "The possibility mathematically of effective abuse through cheating is nil."

Nevertheless, "Bucky" as he was known, was not one to have anyone rest on their laurels. He stated:

"If having tried it,
a modernized, electrified, direct Democracy
proves inferior as a survival means
against all-comers,
then may the people turn with contentment
to the superior means.
But if direct Democracy is not tried now,
future generations will again champion it,
and there will be world civil wars
until it receives adequate trial."

(No More Secondhand God, by R. Buckminster Fuller, Copyright 1963, page 13)

Since it was nearly 40 years ago that Bucky made those statements, I guess nearly two generations have failed now to take his advice.

I hope that this crazy election will act as a catalyst to get people to consider the alternatives that are now readily available to everyone, or could be.


Russell Hoffman
Technologist, Futurist
California, USA



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First posted April, 2001.

Last modified April, 2001.

Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman