There seems to be only one viable antidote to the growing power of large non-human institutions, possessing no formal public mandate, to deprive human individuals of agency, freedom of community association, and means of survival. Namely, to strengthen those large non-human institutions which do possess such a mandate: Governments.
This project would be about strengthening the public mandate of government.
Federal governments, state governments, municipal governments. The power of these institutions is primarily the power to allocate public funds. Most legislators would probably corroborate that. This power is worth strengthening insofar as it submits to a public mandate.
The idea is to create an online platform with which citizens of a given jurisdiction can register their political will concerning the budget of the (local/state/federal) government. It would simultaneously serve two purposes:
1. To disseminate a detailed description of the current state of budgetary affairs in a manner readily available to the average citizen (and not just, say, to people already familiar with legislative databases).
2. To collect detailed statistics centered around the deliberate choices of individual citizens, for presentation to legislators and their staff.
That is, rather than relying on polling organizations to inform prospective and incumbent representatives so that they may learn how to win election to office (the work of polling organizations tends to have more in common with the work of the marketing and advertising industries than it does with the work of government), we would be telling the represenatives more directly what to do once in office, with the data to back it up. It would be the duty of an independent maintenance organization to compile periodic reports from statistical analyses and to furnish these reports in the form of recommendations to the elected and unelected representatives.
I hypothesize that good legislators would love to have such direct evidence of their constituents' political will. It seems to me that there is a great need for such direct democracy. Because the proposal is very concrete, I feel confident it could be successful. I predict that people would get a sense of civic participation much greater than that of the voting act. It could go a long way toward restoring much-needed public trust in government.