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I was thinking- if you had the ultimate power to change things, what sort of government would you create?

Sort of putting ourselves in the position of the founding fathers, knowing everything we do now about how things turned out.

I'm not talking about tweaking the existing system.  I'm saying that you have the power to change everything.  You do not, however, have the powers of a dictator, or of a god, or the power to change human nature.  All you can do is change the system of government.

But in this you do have the ultimate power.  You can eliminate taxes.  You can require everyone to have a chip implanted in their head.  You can create a police force powerful enough to enforce unpopular laws, or eliminate police altogether.  

I propose a government run by the scientific method.  Here's a definition of that, from the Oxford English Dictionary- "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

Government is the organization of power, of force.  So the scientific method of government would mean that various ways of organizing power must be subject to observation, testing, and measurement.  The question is, how could a method of organizing power be subject to modification if it has been shown to be a failure?

Our foundling fathers felt that the best way to organize things was to pit the various branches of government against each other.  They hoped that this system would prevent any one branch from obtaining too much power.  What they failed to account for was that an external force might overpower all three branches of government, which is the problem we face now.

But an external force is exactly what is needed to create the scientific method of government.  We need an external guardian force, an over-arching power, that can say "no, that system hasn't worked so well.  We need to formulate another system and try it."  What could that power be?

The answer to this goes right to the heart of governance.  We, as individuals, only relinquish power to overwhelming force or to a system which we feel is just.  The power of overwhelming force is by its nature a temporary thing.  We've seen that every instance of government by intimidation eventually fails.  They fail for various reasons, but mainly they fail because a system in which people feel their government is just will always overcome one which governs by compulsion.  Yea human nature!

Ultimately, power rests with us.  Government only maintains its control of the organization of power if it continues to "make sense" to people.  Otherwise, the forces of apathy and outright resistance cause it to fail.  That's why the major force in "democracy" is public relations- the selling of consent.

The structure of a government which is based on scientific principles must have the feature that the governed get to to evaluate and change the system when it fails to work.  The governed, meaning us- all of us who give up our basic right to be self-serving anarchists in the interests of the common good- need to have the express power to change the structure of government so that it reflects our needs.

What the founding fathers called revolution must be built in to the system.  The overthrow of the government must not be considered a titanic event, but part of the normal process.  It shouldn't be easy to do, it shouldn't be possible to game it, but it should be part of the established, normal process of governance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You Start at the End By Listing What Kinds of Be- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love

    haviors a democratic global superpower must exhibit to be safe and beneficial to humanity first, and itself and its people second.

    You do it this way because you happen to know your species is driving a planetary extinction crisis and your present nation is at or near the top perpetrator. So the proper frame of analysis is what makes the nation as a whole safe and beneficial.

    From there you look at systemic and institutional behaviors and forces that arise in modern societies and look at the relative strengths, speeds of action and distances of reach they have.

    Then maybe it could be soon enough to start prototyping governing principles and resulting structures. The top priorities, considering that our entire species is in crisis, is the species and its societies. As in any lifeboat situation, the individual can't be the top priority.

    Historically, government has almost never had to make sense to its occupants. Democracy as we know it is a creature of many highly anomalous circumstances, chief among them a brief window when reasonable average people could understand and profit from much of the technology available, and massive resource surpluses flowing into the economy from new worlds and underexploited old worlds. With climate change that entire mindset is now deprived of a planet to operate on.

    Because the American system is the planet's top extremophile of subservience of the needs of humanity to the freedom of the individual, any system that is safe and beneficial to humanity and also to the people would be unrecognizable to Americans and would violate many of our core values.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:52:00 PM PST

  •  Beneficence to mankind (0+ / 0-)

    would be my preference too.

    It might be possible to test a system that allows a more equal distribution of wealth and opportunity worldwide.

    But lets assume that we only have the power to change our particular form of governance.

    Could we exist as a nation, as a "world power," if we began to respect the rights of those in the third world?

    Must we conquer the world in order to save it?

  •  A constitutional republic (0+ / 0-)

    With a Constitution just like ours at the present.  Also, I'd say I wrote it all by myself.  I'd never pay for a drink in my life again.

  •  I am getting ready to publish a book (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love

    that answers your question in some detail. It is called: Faction-Free Democracy, Finishing What the Framers Started.

    The book is divided into four sections that answer four questions: Where do we stand? How did we get here? Where do we want to go? How do we get there from here?

    In the first section I show that our nation is under the control of factions as defined by James Madison in Federalist 10. In short, Madison said that factions are composed of men who work against the common good. Not all men form factions.

    In the second section I show the deficiencies in the republic that the Framers gave us, and I settle, once and for all, the debate about republic versus democracy. I also show the effects of human nature on the South, Christianity, Political Parties, and Capitalism.

    In the third section I describe how our new Faction-Free Democracy will work.

    In the fourth and final section I show how we can move from our present system to the new one.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:04:58 AM PST

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