How to Build or Rebuild A Civiliation

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posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 12:50 PM
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How to Build or Rebuild A Civilization



Introduction:

This thread originally began as a plan to fix Iraq. Then I realized it had broader implications for effectively rebuilding a country from the ground up. So, in essence, I've decided to post the plan in the Survival Forum instead, as such a plan would be crucial after Situation X. While it would be nice to claim total credit for the plan, the skeleton of the plan is based upon the ideas of the Roman Empire's early expansion, Robert Heinlein's speech on government civics, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Purpose:

To effectively build, or rebuild, an entire country, starting from the ground up, using nothing more than a standing army, diplomacy, and a small parcel of land. This could be enacted after just about any Situation X. Short term survival notwithstanding, once the immediate threat of extermination is dealt with, it is time to begin rebuilding civilization.

Example:

In order to relate to the need for such a plan, as well as its efficacy versus more militant strategies, one need only examine present-day Iraq, whose situation I would suggest to be a Class 3, possibly even a Class 4 Situation: Conventional Destruction/Violence. While the death toll is probably not near the million-marker yet, the situation is presently degraded to the point where there is no longer a forseeable return to normalcy without intervention.

Summary:

In briefest detail, the standing army must successfully control a small parcel of land with access to potable water (or water that may be made potable), and do everything it can to assimilate, consolidate, and apply all local technologies regarding city infrastructure, as well as act as a free market broker for additional technologies. Every infrastructure-based technology is made freely available to the general workforce. The military acts as the backbone of the workforce, with civilians adding to this force on a voluntary basis. If a civilian wishes to live within the protection and luxury of the city, then they must contribute in some way to its growth. If a civilian wishes to leave, they may leave at will, with enough food and water to see them well on their way. This becomes a symbiotic relationship, whereby the city grows by the desire of its denizens, and its appeal caused by growth. Once the city has become saturated with a solid, productive citizenry, a colonial militia is dispatched to begin the process anew in a different location, freeing up space in the original city, and providing the backbone of the workforce for the new one, as well as

creating new military and job openings in the existing city. Eventually, this becomes a process of exponential growth, as one city becomes two, two become four, four become eight, and so forth, until natural or political borders cause a cessation of the expansion.

Disclaimer:

For simplicity sake, I'm going to forego political correctness, and abbreviate the available workforce as "men" as in, human, not male, and individuals as "he". This is not because I feel women any less equal to the task than men, but rather I don't feel like typing "he or she", "man or woman", etc, every single time I need to make a pronoun-reference. Just assume that men=multiple people of whatever gender, preference, etc, and he=an individual of whatever gender, preference, etc. Also, please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.

The Full Plan:

The basis of the plan assumes that one controls a militia capable of protecting an area the size of 1 to 25 square miles, with access to water or water that may be made potable, and that one has already laid the foundation of food and shelter for this military.

Step One: The Land Parcel - Ideally, the first parcel should encompass as many resources as possible. Water is a must. Civilization, even present-day, is build upon water. Without its own independant source of water that cannot be cut off by outside sources, the city is doomed to failure. That aside, other resources that will greatly assist in the growth of your city will be stone, metal, clay, rich topsoil, a large forest, coal, oil, natural gas, and silicon. Allow for expansion later on to incorporate these elements if need be, but your primary focus must be access to water.

The initial size of the land parcel should be, assuming a square or rectangular shape, should be as wide one two sides as one-third of your army, standing arm's length side to side, the two perpendicular parallels should be as wide as said army can slowly and quietly walk in one hour. Thus, a thousand-man army should initially stick to a swatch of land about one mile by five miles.

Why? Most people's minds work in 8 hour shifts. We sleep for eight hours. We work for 8 hours. We are at leisure for 8 hours. One should never assume that any more than 1/3 of their troops or workforce will be immediately available at any given time. Further, in the event of a disaster, a crime, a missing person, livestock, or whatever, etc, you will need a disciplined force of men to calmly and methodically police every square foot

of the area within one hour, at least initially. This is especially important when in hostile territory, such as present-day Iraq, or a hostile environment with deadly flora and fauna abounding. The sooner the person, place, or thing is found, the faster everyone can be removed from an alert status, get back to work, leisure, etc.

The land parcel should be completely enclosed by walls with only two methods of egress: the main gate, and an evacuation gate leading to a tunnel, cave, forest, or wherever would provide a headstart for a populace fleeing an overrun city. Cities may be rebuilt, but the skillset and viable gene pool your populace carries is not easily replaced. The walls need not be particularly high, but should be high enough that the casual invader

could not leap a mount over it, nor should a visiting thief be able to easily hop over the wall pending their theft of someone's property. The walls should have battlements and ramps to them to provide your troops ready access to defend from, as well as towers with signal fires and bells and/or drums in each corner for both sentry and signaling.

This will not stop all attacks, nor all thieves, nor does it guarentee the safety of your populace. It is merely a deterrent and a chance, among many others you will need to provide your citizens, if they are to survive raids, fires, and other crises during the rebuilding.

Real Life Example:

from

Nebuchadnezzer's Defense of Babylon

This design of Babylon was more of necessity and ingenuity than anything else. Babylon was a difficult city to defend due to the passage of the Euphrates through the middle of the city. The older part of the city lay on the east bank of the Euphrates and the new city lay on its right. Nebuchadnezzar attempted to correct this by building immense forts at the north end of the city, where all the great invasions had come from, and by diverting the Euphrates through a canal intoa moat which wrapped around the city's outer walls. (Wellard, 1972) The inner wall of Babylon, the Imgur-Bêl, and the outer wall, the Nimitti-Bêl, were to be made so strong that no force could impregnate the city. The compass of the walls was so vast that no single power could bring the city

to famine, and due to the number of walls and environmental conditions that lay beyond the walls of the city. Excavations by R. Koldwey and his successors have revealed no less five walls, three composing the outer walls and twocomposing the inner walls.

(Sack, 1991) The walls were comprised of sun-dried and baked bricks and were of varying degrees of thickness. The inner wall also had at regular intervals towers, which may have been similar to those along the outer wall. The walls were also allowed for a protected roadway called Imgur-Enlil, and Nimitti-Enlil, were the designations for the inner and outer walls, respectively. A path served to separate the outer wall and the moat so that "as Nebuchadnezzar himself says " ...no pillaging robber might enter into this water sewer, with bright iron bars I closed the entrance to the river, in gratings of iron I set it and fastened it withhinges." (Sack, 1991) Nebuchadnezzar, as a servant to marduk, believed that "eternal fame rested on his creation of a rampart that would protect both his citizens and his god's temple from attack. Similarly, the Sumerian hero Gilgamesh as found in the "Land of the Living" created a rampart enclosing his city of Uruk recording these achievements for all time. More over, Gilgamesh also stated that "he had 'raised up the names of the gods' in a manner not seen before his time." (Sack,1991) Upon further review however, it can be seen that virtually all Mesopotamian rulers "considered defense of their capitals and the maintenance of their god's temples to be the keys toeternal fame." (Sack, 1991)



CONTINUED NEXT POST




posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 12:51 PM
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Step Two: Technology - Acquiring, Integrating, and Applying technology should be your next concern once your people are fed, watered, and protected. For agricultural, livestock, construction, and other local-resource type needs, you will generally find that local technologies will be more appropriate because they will more readily apply to what is available in the region. However, "foreign" technology (such as the ability to grow plants or raise animals not native to that region) may prove extremely useful in the future development of your city. Technology is second only to the protection of one's populace in importance. A simple lesson in math will illustrate the importance of this.

Say your city has trade relations with four others, each of which has a different technology to offer you. You, in turn, have one technology to offer. Trading your one technology to one neighbor will net you both one extra technology. If you can trade it to all four, your city gains four technologies, while they each net one. You might even be forced out of neccessity to trade two technologies to get one from each neighbor. You still end up two technologies ahead.

A technology is more than a commodity, it makes industry possible, opens new avenues of commerce, increases the yield of existing resources and manufacturing, and acts as a springboard towards new areas of research. While most places will be loathe to trade away any military technologies, the opportunities civilian technology trade can afford are too great to pass up and are often seen as much less harmful to share because of the largely humanitarian appeal. Some will even donate technology to you for free. The difference a single agricultural technology makes can change the entire fate of a people.

Real Life Example:

from

Camp Silos

One of the first scientists to join the station started by (Henry A. Wallace) in Mexico was Norman Borlaug. Born and raised in Cresco, Iowa, Borlaug's work led to great increases in agricultural production in Mexico.

Twenty years after the station was built, corn production in Mexico had doubled, and wheat production had increased five-fold. Borlaug went on to win the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his development of high-yielding wheat.

The work of Borlaug and others in expanding yields of corn, wheat, and rice prevented worldwide famine. Over the years, the lives of a billion people were saved.



Step Three: Government Civics - Government is a social contract whereby men exchange liberty for security on inversely proportional scales. This is perhaps one of the least-understood concepts today, as so many people are of the belief that mankind can survive without government (anarchy). While this is, technically true, in a state of anarchy, man has unlimited freedom; he may kill, rape, steal, and commit any number of offenses against anyone or anything, with the only reprisal being self defense of the victim. A civilized society cannot exist in this state.

If mankind wishes to voluntarily work together, he must first trust that those he works with will not destroy him in the process. So, in agreeing not to commit violence and theft against one another, mankind sacrifices a little liberty for a lot of security. From that point on it is a series of diminishing returns to the point of a facist regime where the population has gains very little additional real security (such protection from Incitement) in exchange for rather large liberties lost (such as the right to Free Speech). As such, the ever-changing needs of the people will create a constantly adjusting slider between either end of the spectrum.

The true purpose of government is to act as a core set of standards. Without a standard to go by, there is no ability to compare or contrast, the essential foundation for advancement. Thus, government should, at its core, provide the standard for the exchange of liberty versus security (law), the standard for economic exchange (currency), and the standard for protection of the people (military). A government that cannot provide at least these three vital elements is doomed to failure. Everything else is optional and, this must be understood, agreed upon by the people if the city is to grow in size.

To attract inhabitants to your city, you must offer them a better situation than where they come from. If your government is religiously intolerant, you will lose pilgrims. If your government imposes restrictions on science, you will lose researchers. If your government taxes without need or representation, you will lose merchants. If you impose too many building or union restrictions, you will lose engineers. These skilled immigrants are the ones your city needs most, because they bring with them free technology and a productive workforce. Be sure the civics your government chooses to enact favor the influx of skilled immigrants, especially in times of neccessary growth.

Real Life Example:

from

UN Discussion Paper No. 1782

The increased return to capital as a result of high-skilled immigration tends in the longrun to attract more capital to the economy. This may arise from encouraging domestic savings, discouraging natives from investing their capital elsewhere, and encouraging foreigners to invest in the domestic economy. This increased capital stock has a long-run feedback effect on the productivity, and hence earnings, of both the low-skilled and high-skilled workers in the destination economy. The immigration of high-skilled workers has an additional beneficial effect. High-skilled workers are the driving force for innovation and invention (improvements in technology), that is, the efficiency with which resources are utilized and the speed of the dissemination of technological advances. In technical terms, they help push outward the economy’s “production possibility frontier”.



Step Four: Education - While not required, the cost-to-benefit ratio of Education is ignored at a government's peril. The more educated ones citizenry becomes, the more productive they can be in the future, the more technological advancements will occur, the more decisions will be based upon logic and reason rather than emotion and passion. In America, a country considered to have one of the least-efficient educational systems, and the most advanced military, the total cost to provide a student education for thirteen years (~$31,000) is actually less than the cost to recruit and train one Army recruit for 8 weeks (~$35,000). Conversely, China has achieved more, with less than $17 a year per student for only 9 years, and produces a nearly 100% literate graduating class compared to the U.S., which struggles with an embarrassing 29% average. It is little wonder that China is now emerging as the leading global educational power, despite having to educate over four times as many students.

Why? Simply put, because the Chinese value education more than luxury, and thus have made every effort possible to increase its capacity and efficiency in education.serendipitous technological breakthroughs result when there is a mind great enough to recognize the fortunate potential of a mistake. More revolutionary technologies occur via serendipity than through specific goal-oriented research (which often yield seredipitous results). The greater the number of minds capable of recognizing serendipity, the greater the number of revolutionary technological breakthroughs will occur.

China and India have not only come to accept this fact, they have adopted it as the new driving force for the country. The two countries now produce more engineers than every other nation combined. China also brings in the highest number of foreign students studying abroad (140,000+ in 2005) and over 97% for Chinese studying abroad return back to the Chinese workforce.

Now compare that to China's polar opposite in treatment and attention to education, America, for our real world example:

Real Life Example:

from The Washington Post

Literacy experts and educators say they are stunned by the results of a recent adult literacy assessment, which shows that the reading proficiency of college graduates has declined in the past decade, with no obvious explanation.

"It's appalling -- it's really astounding," said Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association and a librarian at California State University at Fresno. "Only 31 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it. That's not saying much for the remainder."

While more Americans are graduating from college, and more than ever are applying for admission, far fewer are leaving higher education with the skills needed to comprehend routine data, such as reading a table about the relationship between blood pressure and physical activity, according to the federal study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Experts could not definitively explain the drop.




CONTINUED NEXT POST

(edit multiple times)

[edit on 1/25/2007 by thelibra]



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 01:07 PM
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Step Five: Colonization - The need to expand existed in every early culture, and the rate to which a civilization can expand is largely based upon its economic prowess. Assuming the previous four steps have been implemented, the city should be a bastion of stability, commerce, technology, with luxury being the natural result. The greater the degree to which these fundamentals of the plan are implemented, the more attractive the city-state will become to outsiders. Provided that one has the military might to defend the city from invasion, the only way outsiders may partake of the city's fortunes are to assimilate into that culture. While this is exactly the goal in the beginning, growth, later on the city will reach a point of saturation, and new land will need to be settled.

This is the key to making the plan work in the long-term. Provided a willing population, and a need for additional space and resources, colonization is inevitable. It cannot, however, be assumed to be easy. Presumably the land will by now have been scouted around, and the best locations for new potential settlements will be discovered. At this point, a military detail will need to be dispatched to the most promising of areas (based upon Step One's criteria), and the area cleared of hostiles, a safe perimeter established. During this time, groups of settlers may be built up from within the city of all walks of life, from agriculture, to construction, to education. It is important that existing citizens of the city be the ones to colonize the new area, and not the new influx of immigrants arriving past the point of the original city's population saturation. The reasons for this are twofold: you want it to be your civilization expanding, not the civilization of those immigrating to you, and additionally, things will be quite chaotic on the new settlement. A disciplined populace that knows exactly what is expected of it will be crucial.

After the all-clear is signaled, a second military detail will escort the party of settlers to the new location where the new city will be built, and the five-step plan begins anew. This achieved three vital functions: more resources and space for your civilization, new promotions, business, and opportunities for your populace, and the freeing up of space within the existing city for additional immigrants. In addition are countless other functions, such as the creation of new technologies to accommodate easier settling of a region.

As each city grows past its saturation point (determined by the resources available), the process is repeated. Thus, one city becomes two. Two become four. Four becomes eight, and so forth. The result is an ever-expanding stable civilization with exponential growth in all areas of the human experience. Each additional city pushes back the bounds of barbarism, settling the land. In the end, the rampaging hordes of the uncivilized are reduced to a tiny fringe element as the vast majority eventually trade in swords for plowshares. What emerges is a country ready to claim its place among its brothers and sisters in the world of peace and diplomacy.

Real Life Example:

from The History of Greek Shipping
The nautical advances and colonialism of the historic period was due to the independence and progress of the Greek city-states. The return to dominance of the seas by the Greeks was because of the need to colonize, the need and the natural inclination to trade across the seas, and for political freedom and freedom of the spirit.

Colonialism was at its height at about the 8th century BC, both because they wanted to send to new fertile lands the overspill from the increase in their cities' population, but also because they wanted to expand their activities in the sea trade.

The Greeks in contrast with the Phoenicians, by colonizing, did not want to profit through violence and stealing, but instead this was a sign and an expression of their love for adventure and the discovery of new places, as well as of their nautical instincts.

In certain cases, colonies were established for the sole purpose of ensuring that the mother city-state had a monopoly on the produce of the region. The colonies of Fasis and Pityous in the Black Sea ensured the tar and the lumber of the Caucasus, and those old Crimean grain from Russia.

During the colonization period and up to the 4th century BC, the Greek merchant fleet sailed throughout the Mediterranean, from Syria and Cyprus through the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea, and from Libya through Italy to Spain. The maritime tradition of the Greeks and their high degree of seamanship is primarily due to what the Greeks achieved during the historic period; in other words, during the rise, the strengthening and the dominance of the city-states and the development of the fleet and/or the merchant marine of each. In the history of each city-state one finds the reasons why the Greeks created and established a seamanship and a maritime tradition that has lasted through the ages until today.




Conclusion:

Civilizations are not just collections of buildings, governments, and people; they are a living organism unto themselves with each aspect acting as a seperate part with its own function. Just as with any natural selection, the functions that serve the greatest use in the survival of that civilization are the most greatly emphasized. The parts that are used the least or lead to demise, tend to become weeded out. Needs will continuously change, and so will the emphasis on what is most important to an individual nation. However, dating back through recorded history, the most essential factors to the success of a nation have always been the ability to protect, feed, and water itself, a government civic that appeals to the populace, successful colonization, and the pursuit of education. With these functions present and emphasized, anyone may build, or rebuild, an entire civiliation from the ground up.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 02:27 PM
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Excellent post thelibra. WATS for that one.
The real world examples were also great.

I do have a question though...

In step three, would the set of standards be derived from the current way things operate, or would an entirely new system be created?



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by JBurns
Excellent post thelibra. WATS for that one.
The real world examples were also great.


Cheers, mate. Thanks!



Originally posted by JBurns

In step three, would the set of standards be derived from the current way things operate, or would an entirely new system be created?


Great question. One of the reasons it took so long to write this out was that I had to continuously scrap portions of the plan that got too specific. I realized that, while I can sit at my desk and write out "the perfect government" in my own mind, the truth of the matter is that not every people are ready for every government. It takes certain...growing pains, as our own nation is living proof. Sometimes, in the beginning, what you might actually need, in order to get the job done, instead of democracy, is a dictatorship, or a monarchy, or communism, or whatever the people will agree to follow.

My original intention for Step Three was a Heinlein Republic, which is to say that all citizens get the standard rights, benefits, and protections of the government, but sufferage (the right to vote) only came as a result of civil or military service. The idea being that people whom have taken an active role in how their government is run will be more capable of making an informed decision in their vote, are less likely to be swayed by appeal to the lowest common denominator, and their votes will usually result in the betterment of government. Military only recieve their sufferage once they retire (which prevents the military from taking control of the vote), while all civil government employees have immediate sufferage, and the CGEs have jobs ranging from CEO all the way down to janitor. It doesn't really matter in what capacity you serve your government, but rather that you have served within it, to better understand the situation and reality when it comes time to vote.

Personally, I think that's a fantastic idea because, the occasional mistake aside, if people knew the reality behind government, rather than the illusion of what the TV, radio, or their friends tell them to think, our system would be extremely efficient and improving itself at a faster clip than our present Republic. However, not everyone feels that way, and some don't even want a representative government, some don't want a government at all. So, after writing out a huge system or rules and whatnots, I chucked it and revised it to let the reader best decide what his or her people are capable of handling in terms of civic government.



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by thelibra
while all civil government employees have immediate sufferage, and the CGEs have jobs ranging from CEO all the way down to janitor. It doesn't really matter in what capacity you serve your government, but rather that you have served within it, to better understand the situation and reality when it comes time to vote.


I don't like the sound of that at all. It would create the worst kind of Orwellian, self serving government, where the beurocrat was even more powerful than he is now.. If you don;t like the government, tough, you can't vote them out unless your one of them!

Also, on the subject of consent, you say there may be times when other forms of government would be desirable...even dictatorships.. who would decide who gets to be dictator? And what if a group within the city say 'we don't like your rules" and take over?

Your plan seems to assume people are just mindless automotons willing to do anything thy are told to do. reality is entirely different. In the event of Sit X, "the people" will not be sitting around waiting for someone to come up with a nice organised plan... They will be getting on with rebuilding their lives themselves.

Don't get me wrong; you made a good and thought provoking post... I just don't see hw it could work in practice.. particularly in somewhere like Iraq, where outside meddling such as this is the problem, not the solution.



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
I don't like the sound of that at all. It would create the worst kind of Orwellian, self serving government, where the beurocrat was even more powerful than he is now.


I would beg to differ, I think it would bring about a more enlightened government where the voters can respect the government and the government would respect the voters. If there were a huge policy change, it wouldn't be because some extremely charismatic right or left wing pundit won over enough mindless dopes in the heat of the moment, it would be because the voters were able to see the direct result of their actions within the government system.

Now, to be fair, I'm a fan of strong government (not BIG government, but STRONG), because frankly, I think we exist at a stage in human and technological evolution where anarchy will never be feasible on a long-term scale again. A small, strong government that does it's core jobs really well will IMHO, provide better, faster results than a large bloated government that is eternally chasing the pundit's pallet and the uneducated voter's decision.

However, I also recognize the fact that not everyone feels this way, which again is why I chose to leave #3 deliberately vague.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
If you don;t like the government, tough, you can't vote them out unless your one of them!


See, I would be of the opinion that if you don't like the government, you either need to get involved, revolt, or you need to move to a different country. Not liking the PEOPLE in government, that's another matter, and rest assured, just because someone works for the government doesn't mean their brain is magically replaced by a non-thinking partison receptor for instruction. People are still, overall, thinking rational logical creatures that have individual opinions, beliefs, and the need for change when things aren't working.

What I disagree with is that people who don't like government, aren't willing to participate in it, aren't willing to revolt, aren't willing to learn anything about the system, aren't keeping up with anything other than Faux News, are still allowed to vote. The whole reason we are a Republic and not a Democracy is because people figured out a long time ago that mob rule, frankly, doesn't work.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
Also, on the subject of consent, you say there may be times when other forms of government would be desirable...even dictatorships.. who would decide who gets to be dictator?


Yes. As a matter of fact, Rome's senate had a clause where, in the event of BOTH Tribunes being absent or killed, etc, a dictator would be chosen by the consuls vote to preside until the Tribunal could be reestablished. Now, in today's enlightened times, of course no one wants to be ruled over by a dictator. The very word itself conveys a sneer on the lips of the speaker and dictators won't even referr to themselves as such because of the negative connotation it implies. The Dictatorship form of government, however, is still alive and well today in many countries, and even the ones that don't currently practice dictatorship most likely did so in more primitive times.

As for who would be dictator, I should think the answer would be obvious: whomever controls the military.

However, again, please consider that in most circumstances, the dictatorship is going to be the least effective form of government. The only rational times I can think of to use it is when your people are in an immediate threat of extermination. Even then, it wouldn't be "called" a dictatorship, it'd probably be called La Resistance or something. Still, there are times when it has its uses.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
And what if a group within the city say 'we don't like your rules" and take over?


(shrug) Then you failed as a city administrator and ruler of your people and deserve to lose your post. This is why, once again pointed out in #3, you want to choose your civics very carefully to match the will of the people in that area. The people MUST be on your side, or be able to be convinced to your side, if you are to succeed.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
Your plan seems to assume people are just mindless automotons willing to do anything thy are told to do. reality is entirely different.


I beg to differ on this point as well, but in a different direction. You and your family just had the crap bombed out of your home. Everything you had was there. The banks have shut down. You have no money. Even if you had money, it wouldn't do any good because your government has dissolved. There is little or no hope that it will ever be reinstated. There are no police. There are no firemen. There are no hospitals. There is no water or electricity. You get the point.

Your family wanders, in search of somewhere, anywhere, to find a hot meal and a safe place to sleep. Along the way you come across all manner of people who fell victim to the elements, raiders, or starvation.

You happen across my city. I welcome you to the city with open arms. We have 3 squares a day, clean, comfortable, private quarters for you and your family, fresh water, and a good defense against the raiders that are roaming the countryside. The rules are simple: everybody works and contributes to the betterment of the city. We won't work you like slave labor, you'd put in eight hours or so a day, with breaks and lunch, at a job you are competant at, and perhaps even enjoy. Your children would be given continuing education. Your wife's injuries would be treated with the medical care we had available. You are free to pack up and leave at any time you feel you don't like it anymore, and we'll even send you with food and water and perhaps even a scout if it could be afforded.

Who in that hypothetical situation is going to turn that down? And of the extremely rare obstinate person who does turn it down, who in the city is really going to care?



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
In the event of Sit X, "the people" will not be sitting around waiting for someone to come up with a nice organised plan... They will be getting on with rebuilding their lives themselves.


No, of course not. However, what next? I'm not talking about the day after Situation X, when people are still cleaning rubble out of their ears and trying to figure out where their next meal is going to come from. I'm talking about the building of a civilization. There's a big difference between "getting by" and Advancing or Recovering your civilization. What this offers is a way to begin the latter within an otherwise lawless land. It's not the ONLY way to get things done, but it is A way to get things done.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
Don't get me wrong; you made a good and thought provoking post... I just don't see hw it could work in practice.. particularly in somewhere like Iraq, where outside meddling such as this is the problem, not the solution.


I invite you and anyone else to point out where the plan would fail and I'll do my best to rebut.

In regards to Iraq, I disagree. What destroyed Iraq was not meddling, but rather a horrible travesty of mismanagement, nepotism, and completely eff'd up priorities. Instead of guarding the people, the military was ordered to guard oil wells in the middle of nowhere. Instead of creating new infrastructure, they went around storming people's homes, kicking in the door, and abusing the populace. Instead of talking with the enemies to find out why the hell they kept shooting at us, we just shot back. Instead of setting up electricity, water, schools, police, firemen, housing, etc, as a haven for the newly liberated Iraqis, we set up a militarized green zone where only Coalition Forces and overseas contractors were allowed in. Instead of adsorbing the Iraqi army and replacing the top of the leadership with American-friendly Iraqis who knew the land, the language, and the people, we disbanded it and sent an enormous group of armed thugs out into the wilderness without any leadership, to be adsorbed into extremist militias. Instead of sending competent, qualified professionals to rebuild Iraq, we sent people who could repeatedly convince committees that they would be loyal to Bush under any circumstance. Instead of Bush offering a hand to the Iraqis to help them up, he told them to bring it on.

Do you see where I'm going with this? The American "Meddling" in Iraq was never done in such a way as to win over the Iraqis, and that was the biggest mistake of the entire thing. You MUST win over the populace to succcessfully rebuild a conquered nation, and to do that, you need to provide them with their basic needs, basic protection, the means with which to advance themselves, and a common goal to work towards.

Countries have been conquering and annexing or rebuilding countries for thousands of years. Some did a poor job of it, some did a great job of it. Rome was a really good example of an empire who knew that once you won the war, it was time to win over the people. They showed leniency to the conquered military, in most cases adsorbing them or allowing them to continue as civilian police. They shared their civic technologies, brought the conquered people fresh food, water, roads, sanitation, and order, and all they demanded in return was fealty and work.

Most people will give fealty easily enough if they think it's in their best interests, because they can always switch sides later. Good people will also have no problem putting in work if they know they're getting something out of it.

I wouldn't do things exactly like Rome did. Slavery and giant statues of myself, for instance, are right out.



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 04:44 PM
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thanks for the thought out replies!
but I still think your plan could open up a whole can of worms..


Originally posted by thelibra
I think it would bring about a more enlightened government where the voters can respect the government and the government would respect the voters.

but the government ARE the voters in your model. What about THE PEOPLE, those who don't work for the government?


If there were a huge policy change, it wouldn't be because some extremely charismatic right or left wing pundit won over enough mindless dopes in the heat of the moment, it would be because the voters were able to see the direct result of their actions within the government system.


I think you are grossly underestimating the level of "mindless dopery" likely to be prevalent within the government itself. The civil service is a heirarcial structure, which by default breeds "dopery" since advancement is based on following instructions and not making waves, rather than results... pretty soon it's full of people who's oly interest is keeping their jobs, having an easy life and consolidating their own little power bloc.

Again, there would be no motivation to serve the proles.


A small, strong government that does it's core jobs really well will IMHO, provide better, faster results than a large bloated government that is eternally chasing the pundit's pallet and the uneducated voter's decision.

You really have no faith in people do you? uneducated? mindless dopes? The truth is the smartest people tend not to work in government, or be attracted to the idea. Those with other ideas as to how to rebuild will do just that. Food production, rebuilding infrastructure etc will all occur faster if the people just get on with it, without having to worry about the dark citadel emerging down the valley.



As for who would be dictator, I should think the answer would be obvious: whomever controls the military.

However, again, please consider that in most circumstances, the dictatorship is going to be the least effective form of government. The only rational times I can think of to use it is when your people are in an immediate threat of extermination. Even then, it wouldn't be "called" a dictatorship, it'd probably be called La Resistance or something. Still, there are times when it has its uses.

I have to say it frightens me that anyone with a basic knowledge of 20th century history would come to the conclusion that military dictatorship could be a good thing. YOu will have created a situation where only those loyal to the dictator would keep their jobs in the government, and therfore their political voice. (after all, he's a dictator, he'll fire/shoot/imprison everyone else!).. and you're left with a one party stalinist nightmare... how would you persuade the dictator to give up his power and return the coutry to the Party?

Seriously.. read 1984, and if there is any major difference in the political structure between your plan, and Orwell's vision of a jackboot, stomping down on a human face, forever, then could you point it out? because I don't see it!

...

on another topic... economics.

Once the system as grown larger than a small village, people are going to need some sort of money. Your milita will need to turn into a regular army if they are to maintain enough relative strength to control the population and enforce laws. This means they'll need to be paid. They'll spend a lot of time watching the civil servants, who are organising the system, and who also need to be paid. None of these people will have time to produce food. That will be left up to the farmers, who will either work for the government, and therefore need paying, or not, in which case they will need to be paid for the grain they sell to feed the army and civil servants.

So where does the money come from? The government won't have a surplus of food to sell, even if they tax some off the farmers, since most of it's people aren't producing any food, just consuming it. In fact it will have a deficit. They would have to borrow some, maybe from some kindly european gentleman.. but then your state would not only be a triumph of two tier, totalitarian tyranny, run by self serving beurocrats, but it would be pretty much owned by foreign money too... Eeek!


edit: btw. WATS for the effort, even though I wholehearted disagree with you!!


[edit on 26-1-2007 by nowthenlookhere]



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 10:09 AM
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there are some very interesting pointers there .
but if it was up to me to lead a growing civilization's then what i would do is forget about religion but focuses on the facts and not blindly offer ourself to nameless gods. The new civilization would be completely military and technological and spiritual advancements. There would be a qarentene zone but to start off i wouldn't place the main structers on hills and/or high elevated places. The start of it would be in a mountain environment with fresh running water that would come from the mountain once the ice melts and comes down like it would every year.

Everyone would have a fitness code everyone will have to be fit and strong and learn all sorts of survival and weapons that would be left over.
Hopefully in the long run the small pack of people will turn into a civilization that
will not kill in the name of gods they know nothing about and will be a military and science and will be peace because there will be one leader and with the upbringing everyone will be like one big community so there will be no error in the human.

That is i think the only way to make a civilization that doesent kill its own kind for money (bits of paper with ink) or prophets or gods that wont tell you there real name yet ask you for your soul.



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 11:20 AM
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a very informative thread,

but if i had my druthers, i'd opt for something in line with the
ECOVILLAGE Network

which is a 10th year of growth org. which aids in establishing
small self sustaining hamlets, villages all over the planet.

Here in the east coast USA, there are +44 such ecovillages
and here's a link to one close by my location, as an example
www.earthaven.org...

if your inquisitive go ahead & navigate the site beyond the
'membership page'...there's other types of communities such
as 'Entoa' ecovillage in the mountains of GA....but the list of
ecovillages, their locations, is only available to registered members
@ gen.ecovillage.org...



________________________________


i sorta think that in your model where active military is not granted a vote franchise (to avoid a PAC of sorts)
that principle should also cover actual elected persons & those actively employed in civil service

once mustered out of office or employment....then one is granted a vote!



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 04:28 PM
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Thanks for clarification, thelibra.


I agree with that setup of government. Would the police (assuming there were police) be considered as an entity of the government? Or "civilian"?



posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 06:44 PM
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wow this thread is one long read...
and very interesting.

The only problem i have is that civilisation IS the problem... its almost like you plan is taking us through i feed back loop haha...


It also sounds like my worse nightmere... I do not like many of the things about our current society and would hate to think of some one starting it all up again... the control over peoples lives, turning them until little worker bees for someones grand dream.

Lets say we follow your plan... start to build citys again, develope industry, military, trade etc... Than what?? eventually we are back where we started... having massive wars, developing new weapons, poluting the planet... maybe this time we can finally succeed in killing the planet HAHA

Personally i would stay well away from this "civilisation" of yours and stick to a small comunity of farmers or similar.

That is of course until your "civilisations" soldiers decide to wipe out my village because you want my land for expansion!

Or worse still... we are Colonised by your empire



I like St Udio's idea...




a very informative thread,

but if i had my druthers, i'd opt for something in line with the
ECOVILLAGE Network



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 02:40 AM
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Interesting post!

Public indoctrination ahem I mean education in this country is on the verge of collapse because some fool back in the early 20th century decided to model the system on the industrial factory model. Let's crank out student to be good little worker bees with a few factory managers to ensure production figures. Students today in the US spend more time learning Chaucer than they do the US Constitution. I asked my twin nephews who are graduating from high school in May to recite the Bill of Rights and the couldn't even get half of them.
Our current Western Civilization is still based on the feudal/royal pattern with a ruling class and a serving class. The rich rule the military and the poor serve as cannon fodder.
The current war is basically between the Royal Family of Saud and its Wahabist Islamic allies and the Bush Family and their multinational oil companies allies for control of the most valuable commodity on the planet, crude oil.
I, too, favor a small limited gov't . I favor the old Society model that was once so popular a hundred years ago for solving many of our civilization problem with as little gov't. interference as possible. Both the Red Cross and the Amatuer Radio Relay League were in place and on the ground in the Katrina disaster long before the govt arrived but were ordered to cease and desist helping folks there on pain of prosecution. There are millions of folks who favor much greater human efforts in space endevours but are limited by the govt actually telling them they can't do it and unrealistic licensing fees and requirements. I used manned space exploration but its just one of many areas where the current political system has stymied true human progress. Burt Ruttan and company will soon reduce the cost per pound to orbit by at least a factor of ten. If the huge govt. contract holders will let him...



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:09 PM
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Hello all, I'm back from a busy weekend, and look at all the fantastic replies on here. I'll do my best to answer them in turn.


Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
but the government ARE the voters in your model. What about THE PEOPLE, those who don't work for the government?


Ah, well, they still enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. They get to use the public services, they get the police and fire protection, they get the right to have a fair trial, they get the waste and water services, etc. They are in no way, shape or form made to feel like second-class citizens except in that they would not get to vote.

Now again, this is not the way the civics have to be, it's just the way a Heinlein Republic would work (actually it was a Federation in his book, but it seems silly to call one city-state a Federation). And additionally, if the people really hated it that much, the government would fail and the people would revolt. Thing is, I'm not entirely convinced it would fail.

Example #1 of the Pros of a Heinlein Republic:

Jimbo and several of his friends move into the city. They slack about, barely doing what the merest minimum work is neccessary to remain in the city. His bunch are neither intelligent, clever, or hard working, and they make no effort to really get involved in the community. They're put into the work area of farm labor. After harvest, he notices there's a whole warehouse full of grain, and that the aquaduct is full of water, and yet the city still has he and his friends working each day, and what's worse, they're starting to ration the food and water.

Now in a Democracy, Jimbo and his friends are able to rouse enough support to change the city laws, not only removing the restriction on food rations, but also to divert labor away from the fields. Unfortunately, the whole reason both situations existed was because winter was approaching, and the city was stockpiling to make it through a very hard three or more months with no food, and lots of immigration from cold starving families. Of course, since Jimbo doesn't see past his immediate comfort, he'd never know this, and neither do his friends and fellow voters. As a result, the city starves or skilled immigrants have to be turned away at the gates. In a truly horrific outcome, the city might even have to resort to cannibalism to stay alive, or be overrun by starving masses who storm the gates.

In a Heinlein Republic, Jimbo can't force this situation upon the city or it's potential immigrants. The government bean-counters, who know each citizen needs X food per day, they expect the non-growing season to last Y days, and they have Z amount of food in stock. They are also expecting, based on previous years, at least A number of immigrants, averaging their staggered arrival at B days worth of winter, in addition to C number of citizens who will be there the entire winter. They work out the math.

If ( Z - ( A*X*B ) - ( C*X*Y ) ) < 0 then someone starves to death that winter.

Now most of the people in government for a city-state will be well aware of this fact and formula, and the neccessity for skilled immigration, and the tradeoff between allowing some starving families to integrate, straining the resources, vs. letting hungry desperate people build up just outside the gates.

Perhaps there are various options available as well. Suppose no one is going to starve, but a surplus is desperately needed to advance the city. Mayhap there are potentially 1000 "units" of extra food available after winter, at the beginning of next spring, beyond what is needed to feed the populace.

What is to be done with the excess?
Send it out with a colonizing group to help spread your civilization?
Use it as trade to gain badly needed tools and medicine?
Use it as a gift to get in the good graces of a more powerful neighbor?
Distribute it evenly among your people as a reward for their hard work?
Sell it to gain luxuries and increase a bit of happiness?
Give it away freely as rescue packages to nearby families suffering hardship?
Use it as seed material/fertilizer for farm expansion?

You can only choose one of these, and your city seriously needs to do all of the above. A skilled administrator will recognize the short and long term benefits and hazards of each, and, thanks to their involvement with the city, will be able to make at least an educated guess as to what the correct course of action is for that extra food. Jimbo and his friends, on the other hand, are almost always going to opt for the short-term instant gratification, and if they are given the vote, may end up damning the city to stagnation as a result of indulgence.

Sooo... anyway, though, like I said, it's not the -only- method of government, but in circumstances of scarcity of resources needed just to get by and within a hostile environment where the wrong pursuit for a city's resources can doom it to starvation or stagnation, I would keep the power in the hands of the city government. Technically, the power is always in the hands of the people because they can revolt, but I'm a firm believer that as long as you care for their basic needs, provide them the occasional luxury, and always increase and advance as a civilization, the people will accept your rule, or leave peacefully. Once things stabilize, and the focus shifts away from that mindset, things would probably change, governmentally.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
I think you are grossly underestimating the level of "mindless dopery" likely to be prevalent within the government itself. The civil service is a heirarcial structure, which by default breeds "dopery" since advancement is based on following instructions and not making waves, rather than results.


Indeed. In present-day situation, where you have a complacent populace in a country that has more wealth and food and guns than it knows what to do with, no work ethic, no sense of practicing the morality that is preached, and as much cynicism of government towards its people as there is of the people towards its government, you are entirely correct.

However, I'm not talking about America.

I'm talking about Survivors after Situation X whom have barely escaped with their lives and have come to realize the only way they will survive to produce another generation of humanity is to work together and do their part. The people who want to become involved in the city government would be these kinds of people, or alternately they'd be power-hungry, either of which will suffice.

However, the complacent cows who currently barely put in enough effort to keep themselves alive, will probably be dead, dying, or left for dead after Situation X. Among the rare few lazy slobs who survive long enough to make it to the city, they'll be given a job, fed, watered, sheltered, and as long as they do their minimum share of the work, they'll continue to "get by". I do not, however, want those kinds of people having a hand in telling me how to run my city, especially when they have zero idea of what is going on behind the scenes.

Now, should they decide they want to get involved, or to better themselves, or whatever, then they can work as a part of the government, learn just how difficult the balancing act is to feed, water, shelter, and protect the entire city, care for the influx of immigrants, deal with shortages of resources, expand the civilization, keep a standing army, etc... THEN they may have a say in how it is run. Even though their desires may not neccessarily be altruistic, they will at least have an idea of how things work in the real world versus how they think it should work.


Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
.. pretty soon it's full of people who's oly interest is keeping their jobs, having an easy life and consolidating their own little power bloc.


There would be no "easy life" in my city. Everybody works (or alternately, as kids, learns). The jobs given would not generally be "sweet jobs" but rather things that need to be done. Keep in mind, a government job might include being a corn-thresher out in the field, or a roofer, or a road-builder, like the old work programs back during the Great Depression. Not all (in fact, almost none) of the jobs would be some "sweet desk position". Without computers, email, telephones, etc, it is entirely likely that the only time they'll get to spend at their desk will be to either process existing workloads or to engineer new ones.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
Again, there would be no motivation to serve the proles.


They wouldn't have to be motivated to do so. Any benefit granted to a voter is also granted to the non-voter. The one and only difference is that the non-voter can't eff-up the city's laws through ignorance and emotional sway.


(continued next post)



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
You really have no faith in people do you? uneducated? mindless dopes?


I've worked in the computer support field for over a decade now. Every workday, on the phone, I talk to anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people, very few of them are repeat business. Almost every single one is unable to follow even the simplest of instructions. My very first call was a woman who called to report her computer had caught fire, and then told me she had to switch phones because the fire was spreading. My most recent call was from a gentleman who, after being completely incapable of understanding his new password was now "password", I changed it to "abcd1234". After about ten repeat attempts at this, he asked me if I meant a "little two" or "capital two"?

I've watched an entire city erupt into riots so bad the city had to enact something on par with martial law, and repeatedly over and over and over on the news I watch rioters get interviewed. They had no idea why they were rioting. They had no understanding of why protests were taking place against the WTO, or even what WTO stood for. But they knew they were supposed to hate the WTO because someone else had told them to.

In recent years I've watched as city after city erupted into explosions and flames because some extremist suicide bombers felt that causing these explosions would afford them a place in paradise. I've watched as an entire NATION, the most powerful nation on Earth, elected the worst president in its entire history not once, but twice!

You are correct. I have very, very little faith in humanity, and even less faith in their ability to properly lead themselves.

This doesn't mean there aren't a few people out there who are capable of thinking. Indeed, I'd be so generous as to say perhaps one in five have enough logic, reasoning, and comprehensive skills to be a valuable, contributing member of society. The other four? Cattle. And if I am proven wrong I will smile wider than anyone on the planet, jump for joy and rejoice that my city is blessed enough to have such an enormous concentration of brainpower.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
The truth is the smartest people tend not to work in government, or be attracted to the idea.


I'm sorry, but that's just not true. The greatest minds I can think of, right off the top of my head, all worked for government at some point, and most pursued careers within it:

Marco Polo, Machiavelli, Einstein, Shakespeare, Sun Tzu, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Moses, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Musashi, Caesar Augustus... I could go on. And I'm sure that there are lots of brilliant minds who didn't, but the idea that the smartest people tend not to work in government simply has no factual basis. You might not like your government, and may have had bad experiences in dealing with it, and it might even be chocked full of 4/5 stupid people. But it doesn't mean smart people won't go into it.


Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
Those with other ideas as to how to rebuild will do just that. Food production, rebuilding infrastructure etc will all occur faster if the people just get on with it, without having to worry about the dark citadel emerging down the valley.


See, I think here's the fundamental difference. You envision my city as a dark citadel of nepotism and doom. I envision it as something more like one of the eco-houses someone else mentions down the line. I picture a stabilizing force in the region that takes care of its people, allows new ones into the fold, and helps nearby communities.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
I have to say it frightens me that anyone with a basic knowledge of 20th century history would come to the conclusion that military dictatorship could be a good thing.


Probably a lot more than it frightens me that a mind could remain so closed as to think such a situation impossible.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
YOu will have created a situation where only those loyal to the dictator would keep their jobs in the government, and therfore their political voice. (after all, he's a dictator, he'll fire/shoot/imprison everyone else!)


To be perfectly honest, if that's what it took in the beginning, that is exactly what I would do. I ask you this: if you had to kill someone to protect your family, would you? I bet the vast majority would say yes. I know I would. Yet the idea of being an authoritarian to ensure their survival is unthinkable?

Now come on, we both know it couldn't last as a government for long with present-day human beings. But in the beginning? To get you and your family and friends to safety? To set up and maintain a camp of people long enough to get a city started? If there were no other way to but use absolute power, you would decline?

(shrug)

To protect my kin, if I could bring myself to kill another human being, I could certainly bring myself to lead them as a dictator till circumstances changed. But maybe that's just me. My personal experience is that leading people is a lot easier than killing them.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
...how would you persuade the dictator to give up his power and return the coutry to the Party?


Depends. If I'm the dictator, all it'd take is a party of people who say "Hey, ummm... I think we're ready for a new system of government now" To which I'd say "Oh really? What did you have in mind." Together, we can work together and compromise on something and I can maintain my legitimacy as ruler while at the same time appearing as a gracious visionary among my people.

If someone else were dictator, I'd see first if they were as open-minded as myself. If not, I'd off them, assume their role, then wait for someone to say they wanted a different system of government...you get the idea.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
Seriously.. read 1984, and if there is any major difference in the political structure between your plan, and Orwell's vision of a jackboot, stomping down on a human face, forever, then could you point it out? because I don't see it!


Yep. Done so. A few times, actually. Just because it was in 1984 doesn't mean it was wrong, and doesn't mean it has to be executed poorly, or that the people need be kept miserable. If everyone is fed, watered, sheltered, medically cared for, educated, working, with fair pay, time off, and whatever luxuries and personal freedoms they can afford, then who really, truly, wants things to change that much?

Think about it. Everything you want, pretty much taken care of. Because you are within a new, growing city, you are able to physically see the fruits of your daily work each day, and have the satisfaction of seeing how it integrates into the big picture. You never want for the basic neccessities, you aren't overly taxed, you earn a fair wage, have been able to afford some luxuries, and you have the freedom to leave at any time you desire.

Who, really, is going to find a reason to revolt in that kind of situation. And even if they do, how hard is it going to be to find others who want to revolt?

Add to that, all politics is local. Assuming I DID decide to be a dictator, and heard that unrest was growing for some reason, I would listen. If it was within reason and my ability to grant, I would. If not, I would explain why in a general assembly, and ask if there were perhaps something else the government could do for the people to show its empathy.

The key to ending revolt is always listening to the people. Using force will only suppress it till a later date.



Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
on another topic... economics.

Once the system as grown larger than a small village, people are going to need some sort of money.


Indeed. And obviously, it will be based around whatever the scarcest, most desirable resource is. Perhaps in the future, gold is useless and potable water is precious. Perhaps it would be salt. Perhaps it is credits for electricity. Society will invent currency on its own, the government's job will be to standardize the medium of exchange.


Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
Your milita will...spend a lot of time watching the civil servants, who are organising the system, and who also need to be paid. None of these people will have time to produce food.


Two problems with those statements. One, as the original plan states, the military is the working backbone of the city, at least initially. Later on, as you mention, they might become a standing army, but it would be smaller in number, with their reserves being the farmers, etc. Also, I'm not big on watchmen. And 95% of the "civil servants" you mention, as I previously stated, aren't going to be desk jockies. Remember, we're building a whole city, followed by more cities. The civil servants are going to just as likely be laborers as they are "white collar" jobs.

Their pay, from the government perspective, is the free housing, food, water, and so forth, that we provide them. If they want money, then we'll institute a tax to pay them with, and the stupidity of paying them money so they can pay us that money back so we can pay them again will begin out of neccessity.

(continued next post)



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
So where does the money come from?

...then your state would not only be a triumph of two tier, totalitarian tyranny, run by self serving beurocrats, but it would be pretty much owned by foreign money too... Eeek!


Meh... it would come from within, without, and around. Once the people decide upon a currency they have faith in, my government would standardize the rate of exchange. Once a rate of exchange is determined, society will then determine the market value of every good and service in the city. Once we have a stable market, we establish trade relations with other cities, communities, etc, and perhaps even in the process, end up deciding on a new form of currency.

You also mistakenly assume we would only produce food. Even if that were the case, the mere act of building a city creates excess goods and services easily for sale at a more profitable rate than their use within the city, from which the proceeds can go towards something we need more of.

Mankind mistakenly believes they control economics. This is as ridiculous as thinking we control the ecology. Economics just is. Granted, we can tinker with it, we can ruin it, and we can stimulate it, but overall, it will exist as long as there are two people who want what the other has.

I am thoroughly enjoying this debate, however my work shift just ended. I will have to get to the remaining replies tomorrow.

(replies to be continued)



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by thelibra
I am thoroughly enjoying this debate, however my work shift just ended. I will have to get to the remaining replies tomorrow.


Me too, and I can see you've given this a fair amount of thought.. I'll have to ask for your patience until I have the time to respond properly...

I can see though that we're coming at this from the perspective of opposite personality types/belief systems here. You talk of logic and reasoning, and I am maybe taking a more holistic viewpoint... Taoist as much as anything else, and the unyielding, forcefulness implicit in your plan concerns me.. I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from... but I'll try to elaborate in more detail when I have a little more time.. (tax return deadline here in the UK..SitX or no SitX!)


[edit on 29-1-2007 by nowthenlookhere]



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 12:30 PM
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Okay, more replies to the responses I got in the thread, in order...


Originally posted by syress
there are some very interesting pointers there .
but if it was up to me to lead a growing civilization's then what i would do is forget about religion but focuses on the facts and not blindly offer ourself to nameless gods.


Well, to be honest, religion does have its place in governing a people. Someone who would otherwise break a law might be dissuaded from such an action if their religion forbids it. Most devout people I know say that if there was ever a conflict between their religion and the law, they would side with religion. So you probably don't want to alienate religious activity in your city, lest you anger a lot of really charismatic people (priests, imams, rabbis, etc) who will turn their flock against your government and undermine your rule. Much better to have them on friendly terms, or at least neutral terms. If you try to suppress religion, it will only make the taboo that much more appealing.

Perhaps what might instead be a policy more in line with your desires is to adopt a policy of "free religion", in which there is no official state religion, never will be, and each religion is treated with equal neutrality. This will inevitably cause a few problems here and there (such as the current case with Islamic women whom choose to wear the hijab, versus security policies against hiding the face), or christian fundamentalists who don't want sex education taught in school (versus public education standards), but you can't please everyone all the time. As long as you are pleasing half the people half the time, you'll do alright and the people shouldn't rise up and revolt against you.


Originally posted by syress
There would be a qarentene zone but to start off i wouldn't place the main structers on hills and/or high elevated places. The start of it would be in a mountain environment with fresh running water that would come from the mountain once the ice melts and comes down like it would every year.


Ummm... wouldn't a mountain qualify as a hill or elevated place?



Originally posted by syress
Everyone would have a fitness code everyone will have to be fit and strong and learn all sorts of survival and weapons that would be left over.


I didn't really consider that, but you may be on to something. If there were a period each day where the city organized some sort of calesthenics in the morning and evening it would help keep the populace in shape and let them warm up/cool down before/after the manual labor. Plus it'd be a good group activity. And combat training would greatly help if the militia needed to be suddenly bolstered against a raid by bad men. Even if a civilian couldn't swing a sword for squat, they might be able to at least understand enough combat discipline and protocol to keep the ammo coming, put out fires, or do repairs under combat stress.



Originally posted by syress
Hopefully in the long run the small pack of people will turn into a civilization that
will not kill in the name of gods they know nothing about and will be a military and science and will be peace because there will be one leader and with the upbringing everyone will be like one big community so there will be no error in the human.


I am a firm believer that xenophobia is a part of our ingrained species trait. It is probably what helped us survive when we had to compete with other species of man back in the day, as well as against other animal predators. I believe this ingrained xenophobia is the the root cause of racism and religious intolerance. If there were no religion, people would attack each other based on race. If there were no race and no religion, people would attack each other based on ideology or scientific camp (not all scientists agree). Homo Sapiens just really likes to think that it and it's local group are the only safe survivable option.

Fortunately we have the ability to overcome our latent xenophobe within, but it takes discpline, practice, and consideration. Perhaps one day we will evolve as a species into something that does not have inborn xenophobia, but that could be thousands of years down the line.

In the meantime, recognize the beast within and use it to your advantage. Machiavelli had a theory called "The Monster". In a nutshell, he said the populace needs a monster. Often time, mother nature will provide one free of charge: your country will be at war with an enemy, a disease may be spreading, or a neighboring people might be snatching up all the trade in the area. You use these monsters as motivators to keep the populace under control and working in the right direction. Sometimes, however, there isn't a monster. According to Machiavelli, this is an even better situation.

In the instance where no "real" monster exists, the State should create a monster that is contrary to the government's policies. This way, the people who hate the monster will be more inclined to help the government in any way they can, and the people who turncoat and side with the monster have actually still aligned themselves with a government force, they just don't realize it. Because you control the monster, you now know who has turned against you, and using the monster you can figuratively sacrifice these traitors to achieve yet more ends.

Now I know that's not what most of us on the board want to hear, and it is certainly unethical and immoral, but the effectiveness of it cannot be denied. For what it's worth, Machiavelli was called The Devil in his own day. What he really did, though, was take what effective government admnistrators already knew, and put the reality of it down on paper.




Originally posted by St Udio
but if i had my druthers, i'd opt for something in line with the
ECOVILLAGE Network


A very interesting site. I'll be reading more about it when I finish these replies. Perhaps you could answer this question. I was watching one of those Extreme Engineering shows, and they showed a commune much like the ones in the EcoVillage network, however, this thing was apparently HUGE, and in Arizona with a beautiful view of the mountains, had approximately 60 members, and an Italian sounding name that meant anti-consumerism. They had this huge arch-shaped covered walkway made of recycled cement, and the special played on something like National Geographic, or Discovery channel. I want to say it started with an "A"... have you ever heard of them? And for some reason, Maricopa sounds like something I heard in that segment, but I could be wrong about both of those last two things.



Originally posted by St Udio
i sorta think that in your model where active military is not granted a vote franchise (to avoid a PAC of sorts) that principle should also cover actual elected persons & those actively employed in civil service

once mustered out of office or employment....then one is granted a vote!


That sort of compromise might go a long way towards assuaging the concerns of nowthenlookhere about the government having sole control of the vote. I could live with that situation, and it makes sense. Perhaps in exchange for a couple of years service, and then leaves office, one gains the right to vote. The only real problem I can see is 1.) The ramp-up time involved to get a voting public and 2.) What if, once someone earns their vote, they want to go back to work for the government later on? Would they still retain their vote because they served the initial time, or would they lose it so long as they remain in the government's employ? Actually also, 3.) Knowledge a vote might be based on would almost surely be outdated.




Originally posted by JBurns
I agree with that setup of government. Would the police (assuming there were police) be considered as an entity of the government? Or "civilian"?


There would definitely be police. In the beginning, when the population, city size, etc, is relatively small, the police would probably be the remaining military that didn't take the swords-to-plowshares route. However, as the size of the civilization grows, it will inevitably reach the level of complexity where police and military practice do not play well together. At that point, the police would become a civilian entity, where the focus was less on "defeating the enemy" and more on "investigation and catching them".


(More Replies Next Post)



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by undercoverchef
The only problem i have is that civilisation IS the problem... its almost like you plan is taking us through i feed back loop haha...



Well, considering the alternative is anarchy and barbarism, I'd rather take the feedback.



Originally posted by undercoverchef
the control over peoples lives, turning them until little worker bees for someones grand dream.


Yeah, but, ummm... that's what people are. Worker bees.

Consider this. If you removed civilization altogether, even to the point of taking away all material possessions, house, car, tools, clothing, etc... and put man back to square one in terms of what they have, what would man do?

According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, mankind is always trying to improve himself, and the only way to improve himself initially is through work. Later on stages may evolve towards things like meditation, spirituality, etc, but that's at the top of the pyramid, and before those needs can be ably satisfied, mankind must first be able to have access to food, water, sleep, air, sex, and a place to void his bowells.

After these base needs are met, then comes things like safety and security, a place to regularly sleep, a shelter from the weather, the assurance that food will be there tomorrow, and so forth. As this state does not naturally exist, it must be created.

How do you presume that these needs be met without work? Should they just fall out of the sky? Should he steal them from his neighbor? Or should mankind remain unevolved, unadaptive, and live only in a reactionary state to his environment? If your opinion is the latter, I invite you to examine the neanderthals and their fate, as this was the case with them, and they eventually died out, natural selection favoring sapiens for their ability to plan ahead and imagine the future and work towards it.

Homo Sapiens will always seek work because in order to satisfy our needs we must first be productive. Even if it is their own isolated house, in the middle of nowhere, with narry another human around for miles, they must work to eat, they must work to keep a shelter, keep it in good repair, work to store food through the winter, work to have firewood to keep warm, etc... Work, work, work. Those that do not work will either die of exposure or starvation, or they will have to have their needs met through the labor of someone else. In other words, a non-worker becomes a parasite.

The whole point of civilization is to share and balance the workload, so that everyone is able to do less work to achieve the same level of homeostasis for everyone involved. In other words, I might work 8 hours a day at my job, specializing in one particular job, for 8 hours worth of pay in the form of an accepted currency, relative to the difficulty of that job and the training time required to be able to perform that job well. This is why a fry cook at McDonald's does not earn the same wage as a Doctor. The Doctor has put in years and years worth of training to even be able to see his first patient. The fry cook at McDonald's sat for an hour watching a training video. If everyone were capable of becoming a competant doctor with a one-hour training video, the pay for a doctor would probably be close to that of minimum wage.

Anyway, with the pay earned from my job, I am able to buy an equivolent number of hours of labor or goods from someone who has mastered a field that I have not. So that instead of spending weeks learning how to be a decent carpenter, then finding the right kind of trees, cutting down the trees, sawing them into lumber, and nailing them together in the proper fashion to achieve a storage shed, I may simply use my money to buy a storage shed, and put the rest of my time towards other pursuits, be they profitable or leisurely.

I realize this probably doesn't sit well with you, but the sad fact of the matter is that we would still be little worker bees without civilization, just in order to stay alive. Civilization is simply the next step in balancing that workload cooperatively.



Originally posted by undercoverchef
Lets say we follow your plan... start to build citys again, develope industry, military, trade etc... Than what?? eventually we are back where we started... having massive wars, developing new weapons, poluting the planet...


Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe instead, this time around we learn the lesson from our past about what nearly killed the world, and this time we work to avoid it. Or maybe we don't learn our lesson, but end up not blowing up the world because eventually we learn it. I mean, what, are we just supposed to abandon the whole concept of civilization and the human race because it might one day prove to be a bad thing, despite all the benefits we get?

That's a pretty bleak outlook on life. One wonders why bother even getting up in the morning, when eventually you know you'll probably just die someday anyway, or you could get shot, or you could end up having to breathe polluted air, or you might end up witnessing a war. I'm sorry to say that is a mindset that will get weeded out by neccessity once adversity rears its ugly head, because once adversity hits, it's either stand up or lay down. Me, I like standing.



Originally posted by undercoverchef
maybe this time we can finally succeed in killing the planet HAHA


Or maybe we end up saving it. Every action you take in life has consequences far beyond what anyone can imagine. The chances are pretty high that the planet will remain fine until such time as it either is thrown off its orbit, or the sun flares up. Now, MANKIND may end up getting killed off, and geologically speaking this is an eventual certainty, but that will happen regardless of civilization or not, be it through disease, meteor, ice age, whatever. The next life form will inherit the Earth, or we will have spread to other planets or moons by then. Either way, it's entirely possible, and indeed, probable, that it will happen with or without the aid of civilization.


Originally posted by undercoverchef
Personally i would stay well away from this "civilisation" of yours and stick to a small comunity of farmers or similar.

That is of course until your "civilisations" soldiers decide to wipe out my village because you want my land for expansion!

Or worse still... we are Colonised by your empire



Yep. Pretty much. We'd remain on friendly terms till we needed to expand, and then you'd be invited to join us. If you refused, and we needed the resources and land bad enough, we'd try diplomacy first, and try to arrange things so that you kept your village's autocracy, but frankly, even if we managed that, you'd eventually be adsorbed into our lands much like the Amish in North America. Your farmers would be quaint isolated little pockets amidst a larger civilization that took over the land. Which is fine. I've considered living among the Amish a few times in my life, but it wasn't my destiny.


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posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 05:18 PM
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The name of Paolo Solieri's village is ArcoSanti. It an amazing work of architecture but I seriously doubt that humanity is ready to give it's consumerism.

That said I believe that consumerism is about to take a strange turn as more and more people are aware that unbridled materialism isn't going to be sustainable. Welcome to the age of the enlightened consumer. Consumers are starting to demand fair trade products. No govt interference necessary. Many corporations are looking beyond the next quarter's earning statement at long term survivability.

The internet is now eliminating the infamous middle man. Consumer co'op's are forming to negotiate contracts with farmers and ranchers to curb the excesses of the huge agribusinesses which have pillaged much of the world arable land for a few measly billions in profit. Some of these agribusinesses have been responsible for some of the worst abuses of human rights in the developing world. Every wonder why many Latin American countries despise the US? Just ask them about Dole or the United Fruit Company . You'll get an earful. This is where govt interfered when it shouldn't have which has led to nearly 60 years of communist insurgency literally at our back door.

I believe that the US Constitution for all its flaws is the most important document written in the last 1000 years. The problem we're facing in this country is one of political corruption rather than one of social values. Until we the people demand the severest sentences for political corruption they'll keep right on stealing the American taxpayers blind. The recent cases of corruptions in Ohio and California are just two of the cases where the guilty parties were given slaps on the wrist compared to the millions if not billions they've stolen from the American citiczenry. These people are traitors and should be treated as such.





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