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What is your ideal form of Government?

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posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 12:02 PM
If you had your choice of one government, for the entire planet, what would you choose?

It seems that in the world today, only three types of government primarily rule. Democratic Republics,

Communist States
, and Parliaments. In the past, Monarchies were a major player, but have largely gone the way of representative figureheads or revolution. To be sure, there are other governmental forms around the world, but those three currently seem to be the most successful at empowering nations and bringing about anything other than a third-world state.

But what about all the other forms of government that have been considered? If you suddenly found yourself the leader of a worldwide revolution that would determine the governmental type for the entire planet, what system would you choose, and why?

I realize that there are also some various factors to consider, so your choices may be different for the situation. Let's take the three most commonly considered futures to start off with. Feel free to add others, but I'd like to consider these three at least. Please choose your ideal planetary government for each type of future.

  1. Utopian Future - There are virtually unlimited sources of clean energy, construction materials, and food available. Medical science has advanced to the point where mankind can either choose to be immortal, or live so long as to make our current lifespan seem brief in comparison. Living space is not a problem; moons, planets, starships, and orbital stations are practically unlimited.[/*]

  2. Status Quo - Limited sources of energy (some of which pollute), construction materials (some of which have environmental impact), and food. Medical science keeps us alive for roughly the same amount of time, and living space is currently limited to our own planet, and possibly in the near future, the moon and orbital stations.[/*]

  3. Dark Future - The entire planet is at war with another starfaring people (alien or human), and peace is not currently possible. Resources, while abundant, must primarily go to the military, leaving less than half to go to the civilian populace. Living space is limited, due to the fact that each habitation must be defended against the enemy.[/*]

I'm hoping to see some deep thoughts, and a bit of debate as well. Feel free to argue against each other's answers. Let's get them brains a-thinkin'...


Utopian Future - For this situation, I think a Meritocracy would be best. The reason being that, if resources, living space, and lifespan are no longer in issue, the point of money and government becomes largely moot. Cory Doctorow's novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom does an excellent job of describing the Meritocracy I have in mind. Obviously some sort of crime-fighting and infrastructure management would be neccesary, but those in charge of it all would be the best qualified to do so (at least in the public eye). The resources available to each person would, at bare minimum, be enough to live, and the ceiling to what one could attain would be limited only by their abilities, talents, or hard work. There would be no idle rich, no inherited power, but instead there would be a nich for everyone to attain greatness, if they focused on what they were good at, or wanted to be good at.

Status Quo - In this scenario, I would start off with a Benign Dictatorship, for several reasons; chief among them, the fact that I would be in charge. It would seem to be neccesary for the beginning of a greater plan, because most people in this sort of society need to be led. Those who do not need to be led can apply for leadership positions. War between all nations would be illegal, and enforceable. Resources could be managed as neccesary between all countries, and I could focus the world's efforts on my ultimate goal, which would be space exploration and colonization. All the funding that went into war machines, international disputes, and the heavy foot of government neccesary in more democratic beaurocracies could be put into research and development of cleaner, less-limited energy sources and spacefaring technology. Land would be put to it's best use for resources, or left pristine if it was some sort of sacred site (so as not to anger the populace), and pollution control would be mandatory. We would fix the planet's problems as well as aim towards the stars. In order to maintain a happy populace, people would be allowed great freedom with a fair tax system applied universally. The freedoms would only cease where criminal law begins, and those things criminalized would only apply in the case where harm was done towards someone else, or (of course) when someone attempted to overthrow my government.

However, to account for the fact that I am not immortal, nor am I an expert on everything, eventually a constitution based upon a Technocracy would ensure my plans continued on to future generations. I feel that the best scientists placed in charge of their relative fields would not only be the most qualified to make decisions, but also because they are the most likely to learn from their mistakes, correct them, and make the neccesary changes to ensure better processes in the future. Each are of government would be ruled by an odd number of scientists, perhaps three, five, or nine, depending on the amount deemed neccesary to have a fair number of opinions. The constitution would still allow for freedom of religion to be practiced, but it's influence in government would be severely limited, so that policy is determined by fact, and not opinion. With this sort of established government, it would seem a Utopian Future would follow in a matter of a few generations or less.

Dark Future - In this case, I am reminded of Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers (the book, not the movie), a political allegory. This is not the sort of future where a touchy-feely culture can survive. The fate of my people would rest upon survival, first and foremost, and our ability to adapt and change for the times. Thus, I would choose a Military Democracy, where everyone enjoyed the benefits of government, but the only ones who could influence laws and policy would be those who were willing to devote part of their lives towards the running of the country. A common misconception about Heinlein's Military Democracy is that only the military had the vote, and thus we would become a Despotism or Facist state. Nothing could be further from the truth. In point of fact, the military has no vote until they leave service. Civilian offices, however, provide an immediate vote. Thus, even a lowly janitor, cleaning floors at the local school, has a vote, because they are a government employee. This would still allow for the broad combination of beliefs that make a democracy adaptable to the times, but limit the ability to change it to those who took a part in the running of, or defense of, the people. Those who did not have a vote would not be downtrodden, they would still have the rights neccesary to become rich and powerful, and even lobby. However, the power would be in the hands of those who had, at least on some level, an amount of education, interest, or care, to devote some small part of their life to the survival and maintenance of the government.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 12:05 PM
My ideal goverment would be a honest one.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 12:09 PM
The ultimate government would be a totalitarian government as described by Douglass Adams. The ruler wouldn't want to be ruler, wouldn't know they're ruler, and be 100% just in answering questions put before them.

However, with the human factor involved, a virtual democracy would rock. Get rid of the house and senate and have voting termnals EVERYWHERE so everyone participated with little deterance.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 12:14 PM
The ideal of government is no government and everybody living in ONE with earth, respect every in unconditional love without fear, religions, and money...if everybody would be one with the rest....

That would eliminate diseases (cause by all the crap we eat, medications, gas....) eliminate crime (no money, no crime, no corruption) and eliminate everything that has no real purpose to our trip on earth


posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 01:14 PM

Originally posted by SpittinCobra
My ideal goverment would be a honest one.

Heinlein had an interesting perspective on this view. He refused to accept the idea that "all politicians are crooks" because the ruling body comes, ultimately, from the people. These are not aliens, clones, or robots that we are putting into office. They are your neighbors, your fellow countrymen, and human beings with the same basic wants and desires as everyone else. Thusly, government is no more honest or dishonest, than the average person.

If this seems like an absurd idea, consider the average person. At one point in time, each of us has almost certainly broken a law (traffic violations, driving under the influence, illegal drugs, underage drinking or smoking, fudging our taxes, theft, etc). And each of us has a different set of paradoxial morals regarding these. For instance, I might believe that smoking weed in the privacy and safety of one's own home harms none, and should be legal, whereas smoking crack, under any circumstances, should be illegal, because it's horribly addictive properties lead to greater crimes. As such, I may be inclined to toke at a friend's party, but refuse to associate with crank-heads. My neighbor may feel that they are inclined to take an extra deduction on their taxes that they are not entitled to, but would never consider shoplifting. Whereas a shoplifter might consider stealing from a corporation to be fine, but that drinking and driving is a shootable offense.

The problem is that there are millions of voices, all with differing moral standpoints on what constitutes "honesty", and different views on where honesty must be tempered with discretion (such as in the case of national security). In order to have a perfectly "honest" government, one must first change society.

Originally posted by junglejake
The ultimate government would be a totalitarian government as described by Douglass Adams. The ruler wouldn't want to be ruler, wouldn't know they're ruler, and be 100% just in answering questions put before them.

However, with the human factor involved, a virtual democracy would rock. Get rid of the house and senate and have voting termnals EVERYWHERE so everyone participated with little deterance.

The first part is an amusing answer, but consider the realistic implications of it. How well-led can a society be, if the ruler has not interest in ruling. Perhaps, due to their lack of interest, your own livelihood and loved ones are destroyed, and you cannot petition because they've hopped aboard some spaceship and gone to a party somewhere.

A virtual democracy would be an interesting vantage point, but what of those who learn to hack the system, and make their vote count an enormous number of times? Or terminals in areas prone to vote against the hacker's views are repeatedly disabled?

There comes the additional problem of having the unqualified dictate policy. Consider this: You have a life. You go to work each day, have a family to run, and social obligations to attend to. Do you really want to be bothered with every single bill and law that comes across the board? Would you honestly be willing to read every single clause, and research it, and watch debates for and against every act? There are people whose sole job it is, is to read bills and decide on whether they will vote for or against it, and already have the benefit of a political party to decide their views for them, and they still cannot manage to be informed of even the titles or summaries of the bills they must vote on.

The amount of votes required per day would be enormous, and would largely be due to public attitude, at that moment in time, and how flashy the title sounded. Either the votes would have to be limited only to issues of extreme imporance, while minor issues were decided by some other system, or you would have to deal with the fact that the vast majority of the issues would be decided randomly, or with almost no information or qualifications to judge about the bills themselves.
Even if you had the desire, interest, and ability to read every single clause of every bill, could you honestly say that you would have the skills neccesary to decide if a bill claiming to be "An economic growth initiative" would cause greater harm than good in the long run?

Originally posted by Amelia
The ideal of government is no government and everybody living in ONE with earth, respect every in unconditional love without fear, religions, and money...if everybody would be one with the rest....

That would eliminate diseases (cause by all the crap we eat, medications, gas....) eliminate crime (no money, no crime, no corruption) and eliminate everything that has no real purpose to our trip on earth

So you are proposing Anarchy? I often hear people proclaiming the greatness of anarchy, while having no real concept of the consequences.

Let's assume, for the sake of arguement, that everyone on Earth could be convinced to simply love, live off the land, and give up money. There would be no government, no corporations, and no unified system of currency. In effect, they have Smashed the Corporation, and stuck it to the man.

Let's now look at the reality of this situation:

To start your bold journey properly, you must be in very good shape, because there's a lot of work ahead of you. If you have any physical or mental handicaps, it would be a very good idea to find a way to get by without your corporate-produced medicine or machines (like wheelchairs). From here on out, it's only what you can make or barter for!

If you are serious about sticking it to The Man, you'll most likely need to find a new place to live. After all, how serious can you be about this if you're going to live in some corporate, cookie-cutter home, in yuppy-infested suburbia? In fact, you really shouldn't live in any shelter that was made by a construction company, because even if they are a Mom & Pop construction company, you can bet that they didn't hand-build their construction equipment. You definitly wouldn't want to sleep in your car, since nearly all cars are built by a corporation. Did I say car? That will have to go, I'm afraid. Gasoline comes from corporations, as well as car parts. And I'm afraid your old camping equipment won't do; after all, it was manufactured and distributed by corporations.

So, unless you have a nice dry uninhabited cavern nearby, I suggest you cut down some trees and build your own shelter. You might need some help though, because that's an awful lot of work, but how do you convince anyone to help you?

And while you're at it, you may want to consider figuring out a way to feed and clothe yourself as well.

Let's start with food. You'll need a garden of some sort. Where do you get the seeds? Certainly not from the corporation! You will need to learn exactly what foods grow well in your area, how to plant them, when to harvest them, and how to cook and prepare them. You still don't have seeds, so you'll not only need to learn how to find these seeds in the wild, but also need to learn how many seeds are required to get a healthy crop. There's also the small matter of time. You are quite likely to get hungry before your crop matures enough to eat. That means either hunting or gathering food from the wild. While you're investigating your food-gathering options, it would be a good idea to find out what animals in your area are edible, how they are prepared, and how to spot signs of disease in the animal as well. All of this knowledge can be easily obtained from books, but they take time to read, as well as the fact that obtaining said books without money, without using a corporate bookstore, and finding a book that was published without using corporate machinery. And you have to find all of these by walking (or riding an animal, which will take yet more time and training).

It would be a good idea to get dressed before going out to find your survival guide, but what to wear? Obviously you cannot use any clothes bought from a store, as you not only have no money, but those clothes are made and distributed by the corporation. Unless you intend to wear nothing but a grass skirt, this means you'll probably need to either kill an animal and stitch together its skin, or figure out how to make wool from cotton or sheep. If you decide to go the non-lethal route of wool, you'll need some sheep or some cotton seeds. Again, there are the problems of learning how to do all this, as well as affording the materials to do so. Did I mention this also takes time that could be spent on the other 100+ chores you will need to do on a daily basis? Ah! And unless you intend to shear your sheep with a sharp rock, you'll need a pair of handmade scissors. This will require not only knowledge of metallurgy, but raw ore with which to work. I suppose in warmer climates, one could go around in the nude, though this would not be an option in colder climates, and would aso provide little protection against the elements and sun.

So you've figured out some way to provide yourself shelter, food, and clothes. So far, it's a pretty grim existence. Wouldn't some amenities be nice, like fresh water? Chances are good that any source of water you find will need purification before drinking, because even unpolluted water usually has some form of parasite living in it. The easiest way to do this would, of course, be with a kit from the store, but as those are corporate products you will either need to figure out how to boil your water (learn to make fire without matches or lighters), or find a way to extract iodine and use it. Either way, your water is going to taste bloody awful, but at least you won't end up with the runs or worse.

Now that you've got water, food, shelter, and clothing, you've probably got a pretty full day ahead. After all, we haven't addressed a source of light yet, and the sun only averages about 14 hours of good solid daylight to see by, which isn't -nearly- enough time to get all those things done. You could always keep a fire going at night, but that would quickly deplete your supply of wood, and in some areas, in the summer, the last thing you want is yet another source of heat. So you'll be needing either candles, lanterns, torches, or braziers. As lanterns and braziers require yet more metal and knowledge of metallurgy, and torches are a major fire hazard in rural areas, we'll focus on candles. Do you fancy being stung by bees? Because you will without a corporate beekeeper outfit! Finding a local wild bee colony can also be very difficult, and is likely to have a very low yield before being used up. So beeswax is out. You could use animal fat to make candle wax, and they even make a dandy emergency food supply. Unfortunately they also attract predators, because it is animal fat, after all. There are other sources of wax and oil, such as certain plants, but if they don't grow in your local area, you'll either need to add them to your garden, or find another source of light.

Since you have no method of storing food yet, you'll need to either build a smokehouse or some sort of granary. Both are going to attract pests, and take yet more complex tools than just your simple shelter took. If you intend on lasting through the winter, you're either going to need to take up blacksmithing, or learn to hibernate. Of course forges don't come cheap (especially hand-made ones), and you don't have a job, so you'll need to sell what food you produced in order to buy one. This does not include the raw ore (which you'll either have to mine, or find a non-corporately mined source), nor does it include the fuel (unless you intend on denuding your local forests). Now a forge is nothing without a good foundering oven, so you're going to need a good supply of stone, some sort of miter, stone-cutting tools, as well as a solid knowledge of masonry. You've not only added more expense, but also even more time required to complete these tasks. You will, however, have the joy of knowing that you managed to attain a technology level of "Iron Age", assuming you accomplish this before you die from poor health, due to exposure and malnourishment.

Which brings us to the next happy topic: Medical Care. Obviously you could never use a modern-day hospital, as everything in it is related to at least one if not many corporations. So where do you go when you sustain an injury? I say "when" because, with all these hard labor tasks you're doing each day, an injury is almost certain to happen, multiple times. Hollistic medicine may be fine, if you happen to have an education in it, or someone nearby who does, but perhaps you end up needing emergency surgery? What then? With no blood bank, no sterile environments, and no qualified professionals, the risks brought about by medical attention would be so great that amputation and cauderization would be the only realistic alternative.

What I hope to have illustrated with this introduction to a corporate-free life, is that The Corporation is neither good nor evil. It is merely another technological age in order to make the distribution of goods and services efficient enough to allow people to specialize their skills, rather than a focus on survival. The Corporation allows for the mentally and physically handicapped to live a more normal life, as well as a longer lifespan. A corporation built the parts to the computer you are using right now, and the upteen-billion electronic parts that have allowed you, the reader, to read this very sentance over the corporate-produced and maintained network of machines that comprise the internet. Were all corporations around the world to instantly disappear, along with their evil products and services, it would cause such a spread of famine, disease, and violence that the death toll would be in the billions.

In conclusion, the idealogy of "Smash the Corporation" is even more flawed than the Luddites of an earlier time. Though it is a popular slogan and rebellious cause, I am afraid it is an idealogy born of ignorance. Society in general no longer posesses the survival skills that even our grandparents had, and most people do not want to spend their entire day doing backbreaking labor just to be able to live another day.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 01:36 PM
Amelia, bless her, has already said it for me: pretechnological anarchy. Tribalism. Short life and a merry one, thank you. And yes, Libra, I know the downside and consequences of freedom and accept them without hesitation. I have been numbered, analyzed, controlled, brainwashed, and tortured by American society for so long that anything less than True Freedom is unacceptable to me. I remember freedom (yes I am that old). I already grow my own food and am my own doctor (I hold a degree in Naturopathy). If you want freedom, you have to back it up with personal courage. The courage to work and to say no to control freaks.

And we do not need to choose anarchy. The Americans are bringing it to the world, step by step. It is the inevitable consequence of dictatorship, and the child of natural disaster.

Think Native.

(For perspective, see Tyree's Woman. Libra, have you read Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Darkover' series? It postulates a primitive colony with a starfaring 'shadow government').

[edit on 5-2-2005 by Chakotay]

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 02:17 PM
A direct democracy where the people vote on everything instead of electing people to make decisions. No more crappy electoral college.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 02:36 PM
Direct democracy and collective self-management.

There has never been any need for government anyways. All what governments have done in history is justifying their own existence through Law and enforcement and defending corporate or private interests. People are able to govern themselves... it's just that the elite that is in power believes the contrary, and are imposing their believes through economical control and vertical policies.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 03:44 PM

"A Government that governs least governs best." Adam Smith

Put the responsibility back into the peoples hands, that should get them thinking about Politics again.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 03:54 PM
One free of "career" politicians who place themselves over everyone else.
Those who seek power are precisely the ones who should never have it.

Perhaps an appointee system with a fixed term, something like 24 months, at which time they would be replaced, and excluded from office again.
That way the people have more say in matters and we don't end up with a political elite.

Also need to do away with "lobbyists". How can we possibly have a "government for the people" when they are paid large sums by special interest groups to apply their governmental voting priveledges in their favour. Surely by doing this, out politicians are simply pimping themselves out to the highest bidder for cash and maybe a corporate appointment after leaving office and are no longer worthy of office.
Hell, without the political elite tied to huge corporations, who ultimately formulate foreign policy in their own favour, we might not have so much conflict either

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 04:42 PM
I've got it!

We need the following law:

"If, after 4 years, the president of the US fails to meet the peoples expectations, he shall be publicly executed."

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 05:01 PM
A utopian Government would be some thing right out of Star Trek. A utopian Government is kind of UnHuman like since were always trying to be better then the other guy which always leads to trouble.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 05:54 PM
Status quo, no government, anarchy with limited tech administered by a fortified Noble society governed by monarch to watch over and protect the sciences and philosophers until they reach a utopian future.

I don’t see the need for controlled suffering and humiliation by dictatorial governments posing as democracies.

Where would the scientists and philosophers come from? I think even in a world of anarchy those that have the will, will come about and be bought forward by the good people in the anarchic world [survival of the fittest/the best]. The monarch will be trusted to differentiate between those with good and bad intentions and set the balance.

Utopian future, i would like a Democratic socialism. Where society was steered in general to caring and understanding one and other. Protected in the universe by the monarch and nobles.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 06:23 PM
Roddenberry's Federation is ideal.

From your list though it's both a meritocracy AND a military democracy. So I wouldn't peg each into necessarily Utopian versus Dark Futures.

The Federation hybrid is ideal governance (utopia) with recourse for conflict (strong military autonomy).

The prevailing difference of course is the strict but just moral code of the Federation's military might. That and an inherant advantage in most conflicts means they don't have to press force oppressively.

Diplomacy tends to work better if you can wipe less advanced societies out of existence but tend to not go around doing so.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 07:25 PM
A pure democracy would be a bad idea, because if every decision was a public referendum people would vote themselves whatever they wanted, not necessarily looking at the big picture.

A Democracy: Three wolves and a sheep voting on dinner.
A Republic: The flock gets to vote for which wolves vote on dinner.
A Constitutional Republic: Voting on dinner is expressly forbidden, and the sheep are armed.
Federal Government: The means by which the sheep will be fooled into voting for a Democracy.
Freedom: Two very hungry wolves looking for dinner and finding a very well-informed and well-armed sheep

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 07:34 PM
Anarchism is the only way to a true form of freedom. However the human race as a whole is neither intelligent enough nor responsible enough to govern themselves as individuals for the whole.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 07:54 PM
Anarchy baby, all the way!

Technicalogical anarchy. Bodies of scientists and artists can govorn themselves. The rest of us, well, we do what we like.

I have no use, no desire, no need for someone else's order and morals imposed on me. I have no desire to lead, no desire to follow.

There is no form of govornment satisfactory to me, govornment itself is a cancer on the evolution of mankind.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 08:00 PM

Originally posted by Jonna
Anarchism is the only way to a true form of freedom. However the human race as a whole is neither intelligent enough nor responsible enough to govern themselves as individuals for the whole.

I just happened to see a special on that today. Well it was on the rise of civilization, but applies.

Man lived in anarchy (just fine mind you) for 10,000 years. Civilization sprang up in the past few thousand since with the advent of war.

Then came the monuments of man (both physical as in cities/great works and intellectual as in government/religion) to aid in those war efforts. So it's more like man got too intelligent for his own good, rather than we aren't smart enough.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 08:08 PM
Anarcho Transhumanism

Check out the site, alot like the Anarchy Skadi mentioned, yet different.

Anarcho-Transhumanism stands for:
Political Freedom: Against the tyranny of government.
Economic Freedom: Against the tyranny of capitalism.
Biological Freedom: Against the tyranny of genes.

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 08:13 PM

Originally posted by sardion2000
Anarcho-Transhumanism stands for:
Political Freedom: Against the tyranny of government.
Economic Freedom: Against the tyranny of capitalism.
Biological Freedom: Against the tyranny of genes.

I like these clarifications even better:

Anarcho-Transhumanism is not:
Libertarian: It does not believe in free-market fantasies.
Extropian: It does not believe in optimistic futurism.

All there is on that site though.

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