Liberal Radicalism: Formal Rules for a Society Neutral Among Communities

41 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2018  

Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum Foundation

Zoë Hitzig

Harvard University - Department of Economics

E. Glen Weyl

Microsoft Research New York City; Princeton University - Julis Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance

Date Written: September 4, 2018

Abstract

We propose a design for philanthropic or publicly-funded seeding to allow (near) optimal provision of a decentralized, self-organizing ecosystem of public goods. The concept extends ideas from Quadratic Voting to a funding mechanism for endogenous community formation. Individuals make public goods contributions to projects of value to them. The amount received by the project is (proportional to) the square of the sum of the square roots of contributions received. Under the “standard model” this yields first-best public goods provision. Variations can limit the cost, help protect against collusion and aid coordination. We discuss applications to campaign finance, open source software ecosystems, news media finance and urban public projects. More broadly, we offer a resolution to the classic liberal-communitarian debate in political philosophy by providing neutral and non-authoritarian rules that nonetheless support collective organization.

Keywords: public goods, free rider problem, mechanism design, Quadratic Voting

JEL Classification: D47, D63, D61, D71, D26, D82, H41, K16

Suggested Citation

Buterin, Vitalik and Hitzig, Zoë and Weyl, E. Glen, Liberal Radicalism: Formal Rules for a Society Neutral Among Communities (September 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3243656

Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum Foundation ( email )

Zoë Hitzig

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Eric Glen Weyl (Contact Author)

Microsoft Research New York City ( email )

641 Avenue of the Americas
7th Floor
New York, NY 10011
United States
8579984513 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.glenweyl.com

Princeton University - Julis Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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