Popper argues that philosophers have misunderstood the purpose of political philosophy. They have asked the question "who should rule?" or "what laws should obtain". Popper, due to his epistemological position (PopperianEpistemology), which holds all knowledge as provisional and open to improvement, thinks that we shouldn't try to have a definitive answer to such questions. Instead, our political philosophy should focus on maintaining the process. The highest goal should be to maintain the dynamics of the political system, to solves practical problems and correct injustices.
Popper's ideal is the open society. A society which maximizes discussion and criticism of existing political decisions and arrangements.
A good description of KarlPopper's political thought: Usually democracy is justified on some such grounds as “the sovereignty of the people” or the like, but Popper rejected that altogether. The problem of politics is not "Who should rule?" but "How can we correct mistakes of policy without violence?"; not "How can we make people good or happy?" but "How can we minimize avoidable suffering?"; not "What is the best state?" but "What can we do now to make things better?" The virtues of DemocraCy is that, of all known systems, it is the one where policy can be reformed most peacefully and most rationally, and the one which is least likely to inflict or condone needless or unequal suffering. As for the virtues of piece-meal social engineering and reform over the construction of Utopias and revolutions, one would think they’d speak for themselves after the twentieth century; but no.
Informationalism is producing interesting examples of Open Societies :
- EmergentDemocracy is an attempt, though with some questionable distortions due to PowerLaws in social networks.
- the FreeSoftware / OpenSource software communities act as open societies for the improvement of software. (OpenSourceAndOpenSociety)
- Wiki (WikiNature) and the BlogoSphere (OnWeblogs, OnWiki, WeblogsAndWiki) are OnlineWriting genres which in total aspire to the conditions of open discusion needed in an open society
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