Failed Forms

here are only a few basically different types of government. All of them have one thing in common.

They all exhibit a hierarchical structure

The main guy has a few honchos under his thumb ... then they have their honchos ... and those honchos have honchos also ... until there are enough honchos to intimidate the non-honchos (who do all the work necessary to make life possible).

Obviously, a hierarchical structure in any government (be it representative or totalitarian) is necessary if a few are to make rules for many. The name for a main guy who rules a country without a foundational hierarchy is a nut, i.e. nobody listens to him. But if a nut acquires an army of honchos he is a "great leader".

The essential difference in governments lies in the way the leaders are selected. In general, if the selection process is fair they will tend to act fairly in their govenrmental dealings. If unfair (as by force of arms) they will act badly toward the non-honchos.

These are the basic selection mechanisms:

  • By crude force of arms
  • By lottery (all types of chance)
  • By the "choice of god" (a theocracy)
  • By birthright (as a king)
  • By default (nobody else wants it)
  • By vote (democratic or variant)

Can you think of any others? It doesn't really matter. You have to ask only one question. Which category has anything at all to do with the qualifications necessary to run a civilization? Obviously, by some sort of legitimate vote. (Force or arms might be a good way to select a military leader but that's no qualification for making decisions about sewers, roads, water floridation and next years tax code.)

Maybe a super computer could decide everything for us. OK, I'll program it. No? Who then? Shall we vote on it? Let's let the super computer run for office and if it gets elected that will be OK by me. We can always recall it later. (This isn't going to work ... ever.)

We can all vote on everything, majority rules. Good idea. Let's see ... make everything into yes/no answers ... then whoever in the country always guesses the outcome of each vote is the defacto emperor since his judgement is, defacto, ruling the country (your highness Joe Doaks who guessed correctly ... YYNNNYNYYNNNYYNNNNNYNYN ... ). But bear in mind here, when everybody votes on everything they do so in an uninformed fashion. Since everybody has his own job to do when will he find time to do a detailed study of the item he is to vote on. No, if everbody votes on everything it won't be equivalent to the most average guy ruling. It will be equivalent to the most average uninformed guy. (A potential disaster. Picture a mass vote on what procedure a brain surgeon should perform next. Might as well elect Beavis or Butthead president.)

The specific problem with the present voting mechanism is that the best man for the job is not in the public eye. You don't know him. I don't know him. You can vote for your choice (dung or manure) presented to you by unknown mechanisms functioning in unknown ways in the minds of unknown others. To get elected you must have mastered the art of getting elected which is not a qualification for governing civilization, only its present, necessary antecedent. What direct qualifications do politicians exhibit? ... clearly, none whatsoever. Most would not even make a competent floor sweeper.

And from this mess you get the next section.

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