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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Perfecting governance in the 21st Century and beyond
Perfecting governance in the 21st Century and beyond
desertsoldier22Date: Sunday, 21.04.2013, 06:25 | Message # 1
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I had a very interesting discussion with a major in Political Science about the future of political governance and how it pertains to rights, economics and the fundamental human condition. I have a bit of interest in the origin of the political bodies and how to create a more perfect form of governance. How does this pertain to a science forum mostly involved with space flight? Well you guys are science fiction nerds, check this out...

There are few basic things you need to keep in mind when creating a working governmental system and foregoing these principles almost always dooms a society to failure...

1. Your system must acknowledge human nature good and bad

2. Create a set of checks and balances that creates a balance of power between the government and the governed

3. Government must ensure the protection of basic freedoms without infringing on them in the name of safety

4. The freedoms must come from the people, not the government

5. Help to foster an environment where common economic prosperity exists without infringing on economic liberty.

During the last century there has been a battle between those who believe that economic capital should be distributed by a free and open market with private means of production and those who think that the government should own the means of production and distribute wealth based on need not ambition and personal merit. I am not going to debate the rationale between Socialism and Capitalism, I have my personal beliefs on both but this is not the subject of discussion. What is the subject is what are they both trying to do? They are trying to take the basic needs of human existence...Food, Clothing, Education, Transportation...etc and distrubute them in the most just way possible...either by central planning or by decentralized free markets. What if there was a third way? No I am not talking about Fascism...maybe I should say fourth way.

How to solve

1. Create a system and technologies that make the basic needs of all so plentiful that they virtually cost nothing.
2. Land would be so plentiful that it would basically cost nothing.
3. Instead of using our talents to create a good standard of living for ourselves, we would have one by benefit of technology
4. Those talents could then be used to further ourselves and humanity.

I guess you could call it Technoism...I laughed at him and referenced a certain science fiction franchise as related tongue Thats where the sci-fi nerd popped out...but I guess you could get a point where basic resources could expand to a point where everyone is wealthy by virtue of birth and we could choose to live life as bums or eventually get bored and do something with ourselves.

That was the first hour...the rest was a discussion what technologies would get us to that point.

What do you guys think

Added (21.04.2013, 09:25)
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BTW this whole discussion started when I mentioned using cheat codes in Sim City to boost resources and thought what if we could do this in real life except with advanced technology. Damn video games rot the brain I tell ya tongue

 
midtskogenDate: Sunday, 21.04.2013, 06:54 | Message # 2
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So we need to invent robots that will do all labour that humankind and individuals need, and they need to be open source and free?
Or less ambitiously invent machines that will keep our bodies alive and then we all hook up with a virtual reality to cover our intellectual needs?





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desertsoldier22Date: Sunday, 21.04.2013, 07:02 | Message # 3
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More like the machines become so cheap and common place that they are virtually free or better unnoticed. Also they need to be self replicating and/or self repairing. Something like replicator technology combined with abundant free energy. That would eliminate the need to acquire things, because you would have access to anything.

I am not so keen on the Virtual reality stuff, though
 
midtskogenDate: Sunday, 21.04.2013, 07:36 | Message # 4
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Machines may be cheap to produce, but if they're loaded with IP, the manufacturer may still charge even if they become commonplace. Self repairing/replicating is implicit in the all needs part.




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HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 21.04.2013, 11:46 | Message # 5
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Quote (desertsoldier22)
The freedoms must come from the people, not the government

That part seems a bit vague. Could you elaborate on or rephrase that?





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VoekoevakaDate: Sunday, 21.04.2013, 13:36 | Message # 6
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Quote (desertsoldier22)
2. Create a set of checks and balances that creates a balance of power between the government and the governed

I think the power should be accorded to the majority, and the majority is the governed. The role of the government, in my opinion, is to assure that the freedom of everyone are respected, but not to decide about the diplomacy of the country. If the people had more power, I think most of the wars may not have occurred. In general, declarations of war are made by the governments, but the people did not want war.

Quote (desertsoldier22)
5. Help to foster an environment where common economic prosperity exists without infringing on economic liberty.

I don't think human nature is fundamentally bad. But I noticed the fact that generally, when someone have economic freedom, he will exploit the others (that is happening in capitalism today, rich people are exploiting poor people, but that happened also in soviet communism, where the government was exploiting his people). Money was always a way to enslave people.
I don't say that money is a bad thing, but I think the entire economic system should be reworked.

Quote (desertsoldier22)
1. Create a system and technologies that make the basic needs of all so plentiful that they virtually cost nothing.

I don't think technology should be a basic need. I'm afraid about three things about this :

♦ With robots doing all labour for humans, I'm afraid about humans being more and more lazy. In this case, the values that make humanity THE humanity will probably dissapear.
♦ Humans are not perfect, and robots too. I think a scenario like Matrix, where a robot community revolt against humans is possible, mainly if we develop machins as intelligent as humans.
♦ A society entirely based on technology could be very fragile. Imagine, a crisis occur, and energy ressources went too much rare to provide all needs. Most people should be unable to live by themselves, because they have forgotten how to farm, how to build their houses...

For me, the use we have to do with technology is to make it a way of sharing knowledge, and building awersome pieces of art like Space Engine (just for example...). The way we use technology today is sometimes like the way we use money : I see cases where technology enslaves people.





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desertsoldier22Date: Tuesday, 23.04.2013, 02:32 | Message # 7
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
That part seems a bit vague. Could you elaborate on or rephrase that?


It means that the government is not the creator nor the taker of rights. Those rights are inherent in human nature.
In the case of the United States the idea is outlined in the Declaration of Independance

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator(This means that rights come from a higher power than government, they are implied by our very nature, they come from the people) with certain unalienable Rights (cannot be taken away even if an entity tries), that among these are Life (Right to live), Liberty (right to control one's actions) and the pursuit of Happiness. (Right to aquire the necessary means to survive in what ever manner one seems fit)"

This is the American interpretation but you see similar clauses in most westernized democracies including the U.N. Charter on Human Rights.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Tuesday, 23.04.2013, 02:42 | Message # 8
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I am quite familiar with the concept, I was just making sure you didn't mean that freedoms were decided by the people (in a majority rule sense) which could and inevitably would end up violating the fundamental rights of some members of the population. Thanks for the clarification.




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desertsoldier22Date: Tuesday, 23.04.2013, 03:09 | Message # 9
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Quote (Voekoevaka)
2. Create a set of checks and balances that creates a balance of power between the government and the governed

I think the power should be accorded to the majority, and the majority is the governed. The role of the government, in my opinion, is to assure that the freedom of everyone are respected, but not to decide about the diplomacy of the country. If the people had more power, I think most of the wars may not have occurred. In general, declarations of war are made by the governments, but the people did not want war.

Quote (desertsoldier22)
5. Help to foster an environment where common economic prosperity exists without infringing on economic liberty.

I don't think human nature is fundamentally bad. But I noticed the fact that generally, when someone have economic freedom, he will exploit the others (that is happening in capitalism today, rich people are exploiting poor people, but that happened also in soviet communism, where the government was exploiting his people). Money was always a way to enslave people.
I don't say that money is a bad thing, but I think the entire economic system should be reworked.

Quote (desertsoldier22)
1. Create a system and technologies that make the basic needs of all so plentiful that they virtually cost nothing.

I don't think technology should be a basic need. I'm afraid about three things about this :

♦ With robots doing all labour for humans, I'm afraid about humans being more and more lazy. In this case, the values that make humanity THE humanity will probably dissapear.
♦ Humans are not perfect, and robots too. I think a scenario like Matrix, where a robot community revolt against humans is possible, mainly if we develop machins as intelligent as humans.
♦ A society entirely based on technology could be very fragile. Imagine, a crisis occur, and energy ressources went too much rare to provide all needs. Most people should be unable to live by themselves, because they have forgotten how to farm, how to build their houses...

For me, the use we have to do with technology is to make it a way of sharing knowledge, and building awersome pieces of art like Space Engine (just for example...). The way we use technology today is sometimes like the way we use money : I see cases where technology enslaves people.


Very good points but historically some of the ideas you mention have been tried and fail.

1. Power of the majority...

This is very important but there are many cases where the power of many have been used to oppress the few. If the masses have power over the property of others the poor will pilfer the rich, if the rich become to powerful they will oppress the poor. Also whenever any body tries to force economic equality through policy or progressive taxation it results in stagnation because their is no incentive to improve oneself because there is no benefits in terms of improving one's quality of life. That is why the people's majority is but one cog in a republic, in the case of the congress that is supposed to be the peoples say in governance. Originally the Senate was the a way for individual states to have equal say to the people but the 18th Amendment made that defunct. But a true democracy (what I think you are describing), always devolves into people voting to enrichen themselves and eventually bankrupting the entity, this is why most all democracies these days are representative republics except in small local systems.

Capitalism

I don't think Capitalism is inherently bad, when it is practiced correctly. What we have today is crony capitalism, where in exchange for political favors many wealthy entities try to change the rules and influence policies that improve their selves at the expense of others. I think in a true capitalist system there needs to be separation of business and government, with government having no influence over the market and business having no influence over government. Jefferson warned of Central Banking as a means to financial corruption and the danger of government "investing" in enterprise. Nothing should ever be too big to fail, failure in business spawns a stronger market in a way that is similar to Darwinism's survival of the fittest. Again though this is the classic "how to allocate resources" instead of making them infinite....

Technology enslaving people

People are naturally ambitious, even with every need provided for them they always try to improve themselves. Look at those who are so wealthy that they never have to work again. They engage in research, go on trips of discovery and adventure and generally do not sit on their asses. Frankly people get bored...I believe technology always gets to a point where it is transparent and taken for granted. We are already at that point, it would just take a solar flare of sufficient magnitude to send us back to the 19 the century, but eventually not even something like that could stop us.

Added (23.04.2013, 06:09)
---------------------------------------------
When I mean technology getting to point where we have infinite resources, I don't really mean robots. What I mean is the quantity of available resources are so high that the per capita costs to utilize them are zero.

There are ways to do this...

1. Spaceflight, especially low cost, fast interstellar capability. Imagine you have hundreds of solar systems worth of resources instead of one. Albeicure drives, Mass reduction, FTL comms could happen with a simple breakthrough, just look how fast Fission took off after a few experiments to confirm a theory.

2. Low cost high volume energy production. Imagine if you could park a power station at the La Grange point between Io and Jupiter and create anti-matter at high volumes. Nuclear Fusion...we are actually close to surpassing the "Break Even" point with experimental reactors..this could be a Chicago pile moment. Zero point energy etc....windmills are cute, but this is serious stuff.

3. Matter/Energy replication or Nano-Technology. You could create food, clothing, building materials etc. out of waste. Fabricate homes, ships, precious metals, fuels....anything

4. Life extension..We are very close to a Cancer vaccine (look up CD-47 treatments), Tolemere replacement and amazing breakthroughs in Cybernetics (which ironically are thanks to the Iraq and Afghan wars). Imagine a researcher being able to devote 100 years to project instead of 40 smile

 
LucasDate: Sunday, 12.05.2013, 00:17 | Message # 10
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Governance has a long way to go before it is perfected. Currently, we are slowly collectively ensuring that the global climate will resemble that of the Triassic era, and that in the same time as we are well under way causing the collapse of the biosphere (2050-2100).
 
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