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#1 2001-09-29 03:58:51

SCFalken
Banned
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 4

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

While we're examining systems of Government, why dont we look at the pro's and con's of a Constitutional Monarchy.
Perhaps a more robust form of the British System, with the Monarch (Queen, Empress, Archon, etc) taking the place of an Executive (i.e. President, Premier) but with a modified Checks and Balances System (Strong Legislative and Judicial Branches).

How to select an initial Monarch?  Perhaps elect a Council whose job it would be to, -in closed session-, review likely candidates.  Upon selection, candidate would be presented for confirmation by the Legislative Branch.

Once in, a Monarch could be deposed by a Significant majority of the Legislature, and that decision confirmed by referendum.


Thats just an incomplete outline of a system. I'll have to delve into my books and fill it out a bit more.
Any thoughts?

Steven C Falken
Corporal, A/1/14th Infantry
US Army

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#2 2001-10-04 07:11:20

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

What would be the benefit of having an inherited Executive? However you place checks and balances upon a Monarch, what would be the reason to have one? By having a monarchy you are also placing a greater value on "who" you are, instead of what you can do.

No matter how hard you work, how successful you become, you cannot become the leader- only those who happen to have the (mis)fortune of being born to certain parents get to enjoy that opportunity.

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#3 2001-10-04 20:53:11

SCFalken
Banned
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 4

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Ever been to Thailand?  The King has, in at least a dozen instances, prevented Martial Law from being imposed, ordering Army units back to Barracks.  The Monarch is apolitical, not caring for one party or another.  Such an institution has a vested interest in stability.
   Also, if you arent dead-set on the American system, oriented on a powerful Executive branch,  a powerful Legislative branch can balance a permanent Chief Executive.
Of course, any practical system would have to delineate means for removal of an unfit Sovereign.  Thats the simple part, observable in the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, and the impeachment process.
    I draw your attention to the following paper:
        http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/future/j9/poast.html

    A formal system of preparing a future Sovereign would have to be instituted, in order to instill confidence in ones ability.
    Perhaps a Succession Committee, formed by Equal numbers of Upper and Lower House reps, and Supreme Court Justices,  would be charged with determining the suitablility of an Heir presumptive.
   

Steven C Falken
Corporal A/1/504th PIR
US Army

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#4 2001-10-04 20:59:28

SCFalken
Banned
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 4

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

What would be the benefit of having an inherited Executive? [/quote:post_uid0]

What would be the benefit of having an inherited Executive? [/quote:post_uid0]

Whats the benefit of having an elected Executive?
One Party wins, everyone else loses.  Witness the fun last November/December.  A strong Legislative/Judicial complex renders an elected Executive potentially dangerous.
A non-elected executive with carefully delineated powers is a useful force for stability.

Steven C Falken
Corporal A/1/504th PIR
US Army

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#5 2001-10-08 07:22:17

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

"Ever been to Thailand? "

Ever been to Saudi Arabia? How about Burma?

Often, the Royal Family becomes more concerned with their own personal welfare, than about the welfare of the people. You argue that a Monarcy has a vested interest- so does every form of government that allows one group to have power over another.

It seems that you are suggesting we evaluate monarchies for the sake of monarchies, as opposed to evaluating it on it's own merit.

What benefits can truly be derived from a monarchy versus some of the various forms of government that already exsist? Is it so difficult for people to actually choose their leaders? Is it to much to expect that people at least are given a say in who will lead them? Aren't you proposing that we stop choosing who we want and just take who is adequate?

If you dislike the party system, there are other means to get around the negative aspects.

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#6 2002-01-27 02:10:06

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

This is a very interesting debate for several reasons. The first thing that really hit me was that a Corporal in the U.S. Army would argue for a constitutional monarchy, like Britain's!
I thought that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, all Americans had rallied to the flag and were determined to defend every aspect of American culture to the limit. I didn't think the current attitude in the States would really allow people, especially military personnel, to advocate any political system other than the American system. (At least not without risking being branded a traitor or something.)
   Not that I have anything against a constitutional monarchy since I was born in Australia and have lived here, or in Britain, all my life. I understand that Americans are terribly patriotic and that they probably think their system of government is simply the best, but I think the system I have always lived under is at least as good; if not better. There is something reassuring about Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Governments come and go, often in a welter of scandal and corruption, but she is always there; above all the pettiness. She represents the Commonwealth and gives it a kind of solidity and stability which is difficult to describe to an "outsider". Of course, we all know that monarchies everywhere have had their share of serious scandal throughout history, and God knows the British monarchy is no exception! And, of course, in today's world, CNN and others make sure we get all the sordid details! But a long-reigning, dutiful, and popular monarch is a potent force for cohesion in a fast-changing and often frightening world. Americans understand "Mom and apple pie" .... well, The Queen is like a mother figure to us in many ways!
   I should, in fairness, point out that many Australians support
the notion of a republic, though they are in the minority at present. However, this may be due more to the fact that our monarch is an English woman living nearly 20,000 kilometres away(!) than to an actual distaste for constitutional monarchies in general, I don't know! (If only she were Australian ... !!)
   I think the main problem with setting up a monarchy today, on Mars or anywhere else, is that it would lack history. The British monarchy, for instance can be traced back over many centuries and its traditions are equally old and venerable. In other words it has a kind of "cultural momentum". The Queen is the queen and everybody knows that Prince Charles is next in line for the throne by birthright. I think it would be very hard to just pick a monarch out of a hat and expect everyone to respect him/her as their sovereign. Am I making sense to anybody out there? I know what I'm trying to say but I'm not sure I'm expressing myself very well.
   It is a refreshing thing, though, to see a debate about a Martian government including the possibility of a constitutional monarchy. We should not assume that an old idea is necessarily a bad idea, and every form of government which has proven itself stable and which has delivered freedom, justice, and democracy to "the common man" should be considered.
   Thank you for hearing my thoughts on this very important topic and may the debate continue in an atmosphere of good-will and friendship.    big_smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#7 2002-01-29 11:09:17

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Unlike Saudi Arabian royalty, I believe Jordan's recently deceased King Hussein did a wonderful job of protecting his nation's interests. Monarchies are great * if * you are lucky enough to get a good king/queen - but how do you assure you will get a good one?

I believe Shakespeare got it right with his sequence of history plays:

Richard II
Henry IV (1 & 2)
Henry V
Henry VI (1, 2 & 3)
Richard II

Henry V was a great king who ascended the throne through a combination of force and accident - his father Bolingbroke's military overthrow of Richard II allowed the dissolute Prince Hal (companion of Falstaff) to inherit the throne, and Hal (by accident?) unexpectedly became the valiant King Harry.

But despite Henry V's good qualities as King, in Shakespeare's world the logical outcome was the horrific reign of Richard II.

Thus I turn to Federalist Paper #1 (written to support enactment of the US Constitution of 1787) which asks the "Great Question" of politics:

Can good government arise from calm reflection and choice by people of good will or must we rely on the vagaries of force and accident and pray for good fortune if we seek the prospect of good government? (A paraphrase - the original text is much better.)

Going to Mars will not change this question in any meaningful way, in my opinion, and I am convinced that Jefferson and Lincoln understood the road to good government better than anyone before or since - even if my country, the USA, has not always followed in those footsteps.

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#8 2002-01-30 19:38:17

Alexander Sheppard
Member
Registered: 2001-09-23
Posts: 178

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

I think that ultimately, a monarchy is a foolish kind of government to deliberately enact. The reason is simple. The interests of a monarch differ from the interests of the people. Furthermore, because the people have no say in what goes on, they are reduced to mere spectators. Why pay attention to the political situation if you really have no reason to? Why listen when you cannot act? It is pointless, unless you plan on revolution. And if you plan on revolution, then is not a representative system a better one, where you can revolutionize peacefully? The only way for the interests of the people to be heard is through, in a monarchy, a revolution. The stability that monarchy offers, is, therefore, a false kind of stability. What monarchy really offers is oppression, and people often rebel against oppression. There is much historical evidence for this.

Besides, stability is not desirable anyway. If a government is stable, that implies it is not open to change. But if it is not open to change, then what are we to do, when, inevitably, the monarch becomes corrupt? The best kind of government is one that [i:post_uid0]isn't[/i:post_uid0] stable, one that [i:post_uid0]is[/i:post_uid0] open to change, and for Mars this will, like many things, hold much more as a principle than here. In the initial few hundred years of colonization, Mars will be undergoing a period of rapid and enormous changing. The [b:post_uid0]last[/b:post_uid0] thing you want is a government not open to change.

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#9 2002-01-31 00:32:51

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

I may be wrong, but I suspect Alexander Sheppard might be confusing an outright monarchy with a constitutional monarchy.(?)
   I don't know anybody who wouldn't agree with Alexander that a dictatorial monarchy is something we definitely do NOT want! You might just as well phone Saddam Hussein and ask him if he'd like to run Mars as well as Iraq!!
   No, what we are discussing here (I hope!) is whether a CONSTITUTIONAL monarchy may be worth considering; a system which certainly offers opportunities to kick out unsatisfactory leaders at regular elections. It is a dynamic and democratic system, but the head of state is permanent; born to the job and above the hurly-burly of day-to-day politics. It is really a ceremonial position but gives a feeling of continuity and tradition to its citizens, and the people come to see the monarch as a flesh-and-blood embodiment of the spirit of the nation. It must fulfil some kind of primal need because it is remarkable how many people regard their king or queen with so much affection. Personally, I believe it gives a country, so often perceived as a cold and monolithic entity, a human face. This is comforting and far less intimidating for people than some other forms of government might appear.
   Anyway, it's an interesting idea; though I'm certain many will disagree entirely with the notion. And that's how democracy works, I guess!
                                                  smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#10 2002-01-31 17:18:40

Alexander Sheppard
Member
Registered: 2001-09-23
Posts: 178

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Well, then what are you are advocating is a republic, not a monarchy, because a monarchy implies ruler by one, which is not what you are talking about if it is to be a ceremonial position.

In any case the best government is one which is by and for the people, and that one is not an electoral "democracy", since such a system is open to abuses. Democracy, rule by the people, is only really in place when people get to actually decide important issues. Deciding upon who is to decide is simply not satisfactory because, it is awefully hard to put someone in place who will decide anything not influenced by corruption, as the past hundred years demonstrate in the United States.

I wonder what would happen if the masses ever actually got control of their own political system. The consequences are so unbearable for those in power [that is, equality and honest government] that they must always work to keep the forces of true democracy forever unrealized.

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#11 2002-01-31 21:33:13

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Alexander raises very pertinent issues about corruption in government; which, of course, is what we're all trying to minimise in any future governmental system on Mars.
   I use the word "minimise" because it is probably impossible to eliminate corruption. Too many people are too easily swayed by their own greed.
   The kind of government you mention, where the people make all the decisions directly, is probably more feasible today than ever before because of electronic communications. As has been mentioned elsewhere in this section of Forums, everybody could vote on every issue via their home computer.
   I suspect, though, that after the initial novelty wore off, a lot of people would abandon voting in favour of other pursuits. It would mostly be such boring statutory stuff that all but the most politically motivated people would just give up.
   But the Swiss system might satisfy MOST of Alexander's requirements for fair government. As I understand it, if a particular issue catches the attention of the public, they can instigate a referendum on it by gathering a certain number of signatures on a petition (100,000 from memory but I am ready to be corrected on this). This way, if something makes enough people hot under the collar, the government has to act upon it. But the average person doesn't have to get involved in the more humdrum day-to-day decision making which is best handled by politicians paid to do it. I'm sure this system is imperfect too, but it seems to offer more of a 'hands-on' opportunity to the ordinary citizen.
   What do others think about it?
   ( Incidentally and just for the record, I'm not actually advocating constitutional monarchy for Mars. I have a very open mind about it all. But I would urge caution in setting up anything too 'brand new'. History has shown that it can take a long time to eliminate all the loop-holes in a new constitution, and dictators have emerged by squeezing through those loop-holes. A tried and trusted system, however flawed, may therefore be preferable to something untried. I always think of that old adage: "The price of liberty is constant vigilance".)
                                                       smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#12 2002-02-01 10:00:20

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

I suspect, though, that after the initial novelty wore off, a lot of people would abandon voting in favour of other pursuits. It would mostly be such boring statutory stuff that all but the most politically motivated people would just give up.

You have to wonder what you'd be voting for, obviously. In a purely democratic socitey (that is, everyone gets an equal say) most decisions would be made on a community basis, and then, they wouldn't be so common as to require voting every day or week or month whatever. Voting wouldn't  even be done on a term basis, it would just happen whenever it was required.

Think about what voting is mainly used for currently (in our representive democracy). It's usually done to keep parties in power, not to give people equal say. In America, one party looks out for the well being of most people, the other party looks out for the well being of an ideology.

In an pure democracy, where everyone has equal voting power, everyone has equal say, everyone has equal status, there would be no parties, there would be no power structures. If anything, voting would become an idea facillitator.

Here's an example of how a pure democracy could work.

Reigon: Chryse / Xanthe Dorsa

Someone suggests during a festival in Lexington, “I think we need to really make the area between Yorktown and Rong, Cairns and Clogh Peixe a historical reserve, since this is where Viking 1 landed. You've all seen the spot, and I think all here would agree that it and the surrounding area should stay relatively pristine, with no large scale industralization or construction done. Shall we send out a worldwide request for comments?”

The towns-people of Lexington (and the following days, Bristol, Cairns, Rnog, and other regional towns) write up and vote upon the following WRFC proposal (obviously modified from the original suggestion):

The people of Chryse in the Xanthe Dorsa reigon request that the following area be considered a historical reserve by all of the people of Mars.

The area hereto:

From 20km NW of Charleston to 20km NW of Bristol
From 20km NW of Bristol to 20km NW of Lisboa
From 20km NW of Lisboa to 20km NW of Lexington
From 20km NW of Lexington to 20km NW of Charleston

The area not exceeding 2200 square kilometers.

Development in this area will be kept to a minimal, following the conversationist guidelines of 2024 (WRFC 42).

Special additions are as follows: No mass transit system may cross beyond 3km of the the proposed broundery. No airborn vehicle may pass over beyond 4km of the proposed boundry (no fly zone).

Etc.

The people of Lexington (unanimously) vote yes to send the WRFC out to each town in the immediate area, it's also posted immediately to the WRFC resource site where all on Mars (and Earth for that matter) can see.

Idea exchange goes on for weeks after the proposal is made, the proposal is redesigned a dozen times. Indeed, the voting process depreciates to a worldwide exchange of ideas. Until a final draft is complete and execution of that draft commences.

Does this make sense?


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#13 2002-02-03 16:33:45

Alexander Sheppard
Member
Registered: 2001-09-23
Posts: 178

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Hey everybody I just stumbled over an anarchist literature collection... http://flag.blackened.net

It's dedicated to Proudhon.

Oh and Josh I like that idea of not having voting on a term by term basis in a direct democracy. Clearly that is what makes the most sense ; if you need a vote, do one.

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#14 2002-02-03 17:34:02

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

I personally like http://www.infoshop.org for all my anarchist needs.

But I frequent the flag.blackened.com forums a lot (in fact, I feel bad for not mentioning them before to you guys). I've never posted under my name though, I only make time to post about my immediate passion. Mars. smile

(Which I regretably haven't had time for recently. If I did, I'd have figured out how to read the TES profiles from the PDS by now, grrrr.)

Anyway, I'm straying from the subject. smile

That Historical Reserve proposal thing is a good example of ‘law,’ Alexander. This is what I was talking about. A simple framework that helps us keep ideas in place. I mean, really, what are ‘laws’ without government? Ideas, in my humble opinion.

God, what an informed society we would be!


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#15 2002-02-05 17:41:51

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Think about what voting is mainly used for currently (in our representive democracy). It's usually done to keep parties in power, not to give people equal say. In America, one party looks out for the  well being of most people, the other party looks out for the well being of an ideology.[/quote:post_uid0]

Point of clarification, all politcal parties, yes, ALL, politcal parties are based on an ideaology. Both parties maintain power by providing either to more people with less money, or less people with more money- we have two parties that struggle to find an equilibrium.

In an pure democracy, where everyone has equal voting power, everyone has equal say, everyone has equal status, there would be no parties, there would be no power structures. If anything, voting would become an idea facillitator.[/quote:post_uid0]

If everyone didn't ban together to create groups, then yes, you would have your utopian ideal. The system that you go on to propose is just as inherently flawed as our current attempts at democracy in that it does not address the main problems:
1. Demagogury (sp, i know, leave me alone)
2. Flow of information- the system you describe where everyone gets a say for a few weeks sounds good- however the system becomes unstable the larger it gets.
3. knowledgable pundits- the system as described forces individuals to make decisions outside or their personal experience (what the #### do I know about nature reserves?) or rely on other individuals- so how do you allow the people to make informed and educated decsions?
4. Daily life- how are people expected to live their lives, raise their families, work, etc- and then make time for "voting" and all the requesite research involved in order to become informed?
5. With no control over when votes are collected or started, how do people plan their lives? What if you're on vacation to earth when one of these things come up that is important to you? Saying- internet avoids reality becuase staying connected ALL THE TIME is not a viable nor realistic solution.

As for a monarchy on Mars, of any sort, why? Some have offered a "face"- this is merely a symbol, it dosen't have to be a person so is an artifical and silly argument for a form of governemnt where I would theroritcally be obligated to support another individual and family for no better reason then their genes.

Some have argued that monarchies can stay above the politics- I cry foul. Monarchies, especially constitional ones, are just as subject to forces of politics- those who say otherwise are not doing their history and are being naieve.

If you want a representive for foreign emmisaries and dinataries, have an elected government choose the "Martian Fool"- he has no power, no privelages, no special treatment, is chosen for a one-term limit, and the only function is to cut ribbons and dedicate new buildings.

We think we have made progress by translating the feudilistic economic system into the modern day feudalistic (capitalism) system and now you want to go back to kings and queens? Has no one learned anything?

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#16 2002-02-06 00:30:08

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

1. Demagogury (sp, i know, leave me alone)

Without hierarchy you run no risk of having this. If this happened, it would not be the fault of the system, but rather unfortunate weaknesses of the human mind.

The system doesn't rule out practices, of course, it just defines a social structure that isn't hierarchal; so you could have, say, someone who uses propaganda to achieve some goal, but people who ‘follow’ him will be in total agreement, after subjectivizing the situation they will decide themselves whether or not what is being said is truthful; it would then be voluntary.

2. Flow of information- the system you describe where everyone gets a say for a few weeks sounds good- however the system becomes unstable the larger it gets.

Fortunately it's decentralized. And I'm not sure equal say should be necessary, but rather ‘regional.’ And I don't think, as a direct democracy, ‘word is law.’ When a zoning suggestion goes through in Chryse, it's the people of Chryse who are immediately responsible, and thus, the vote is for people of that region.

And I disagree that the system becomes unstable the larger it gets. We have these sort of systems currently on the internet. Indeed, the RFC database is huge. It's basically a place where internet standards are born, and I truely don't see how this can't apply to larger things. The RFC is respected, but it's not ‘law.’

Microsoft breaks the RFCs all the time. In an anarchy, they would be frowned upon for being disrespectful. smile

3. knowledgable pundits- the system as described forces individuals to make decisions outside or their personal experience (what the #### do I know about nature reserves?) or rely on other individuals- so how do you allow the people to make informed and educated decsions?

You have a fairly good point, but if you were to look at a voting ballot, you might notice that everything is outlined for you, the only problem is at the time of voting, you often have to make quick decisions, without having the ablity to look things up. Voting would be so much easier if you could do it from home, using information from a large scientific databases.

But again, this isn't voting in the typical sense, and it obviously requires more thought. In retrospect, it may make more sense that, ‘everyone in region R has equal say in a direct democracy.’

4. Daily life- how are people expected to live their lives, raise their families, work, etc- and then make time for "voting" and all the requesite research involved in order to become informed?

How do they have time now? We're not talking 8 hour work days here. Without hierarchy life is a heck of a lot better, in my humble opinion. We can get into this if you want, but I'd rather let Alexander argue the case for an anarchy. tongue

::tired::

5. With no control over when votes are collected or started, how do people plan their lives? What if you're on vacation to earth when one of these things come up that is important to you?

Well, like I said, this is a decentralized process. People who are informed would be affected. People who cared to know about it, would be affected. People who were in the immedate region would be affected. I mean, it's concievable that a vote can be going on 24.5/7 (^_^), but since votes are regional it's not a problem.

Think about the RFC, but think about a zoning rule that people are encouraged to respect instead of a new internret protocal. The protocol affects those who use it, and those who want to use (respect) it, much like the zoning law exists for those who use (respect) it locally and those who respect it globally.

As to what you say about monarchy, well, I don't care about it, but I'll say that there's one plus to having one. Efficiency. Things get done, very quickly. If you were to throw some constitutional guidelines behind the government, you'd have effectively gotten what you wanted, and gotten it quickly. The only problem is you may or may not get as ‘much’ as you wanted or deserve.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#17 2002-02-06 14:37:10

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Without hierarchy you run no risk of having this [demagoruey]. If this happened, it would not be the fault of the system, but rather unfortunate weaknesses of the human mind.

Communism didn't fail, the people who participated in it failed... You avoid the issue. The best system is the one that takes into consideration human weakness and human frailty and devises solutions, or means to correct failure. If you suggest an idea, and you do not account for reality, then you waste all of our time. I can list a thousand different IDEALS for everything from health care to pollution control- none of them are acceptable because they are all based on an IDEAL, whihc means they do not account for reality (ie human behavior, economic constraints, known-physics limitations, etc.)

Fortunately it's decentralized. And I'm not sure equal say should be necessary, but rather ‘regional.’ And I don't think, as a direct democracy, ‘word is law.’ When a zoning suggestion goes through in Chryse, it's the people of Chryse who are immediately responsible, and thus, the vote is for people of that region.

How do you decide which regions get a say? Who decides what is a "region"? How and who changes the "region"? What if there are those who feel they should be included, while others feel they should not be included in a region- who decides? Who decides who will decide?

Anarchy and systems wwithout clearly defined hierarchy ALL breakdown at these points.

And I disagree that the system becomes unstable the larger it gets. We have these sort of systems currently on the internet. Indeed, the RFC database is huge. It's basically a place where internet standards  are born, and I truely don't see how this can't apply to larger things. The RFC is respected, but it's not ‘law.’

So you are suggesting that people take time out of their lives, become educated on an issue, just to say their piece and have no REAL result? LAME.

The system becomes inherently unstable the larger it gets because the more people on the net means EVERY voice is diminished to make room for one extra one. This encourages demagogorey becuase only the charismatic will be able to heard.

You have a fairly good point, but if you were to look at a voting ballot, you might notice that everything is outlined for you, the only problem is at the time of voting, you often have to make quick decisions, without having the ablity to look things up. Voting would be so much easier if you could do it from home, using information from a large scientific databases.

You point out that our current "ballot system" often makes individuals make on the spot votes- how does any of that change with the internet? The ballots in question are given to voters well in advance of the actual vote. The two sides of the issue are discussed BEFORE the vote- it is up to the voter to do their own research and to form their own opinion- how does the system you suggest alter the reality that people must do their own research? ANSWER: It dosen't. You haven't found any solution to a current problem- all you've done is suggested a system that is inherently weaker than what we have now.

How do they have time now? We're not talking 8 hour work days here. Without hierarchy life is a heck of a lot better, in my humble opinion. We can get into this if you want, but I'd rather let Alexander   argue the case for an anarchy.

People don't have time now, that is my point- and they certainly won't have time in the future. You are suggesting that we do away with a current solution to apathy in voting- that is, elect individuals we feel are responsible to make decisions for us becuase we lack the time or resources to do so ourselves- your suggestions offer no solution, they merely compound the problem.

If you depend on Alex to prove any of your points, you will be waiting a very very long long time.

Think about the RFC, but think about a zoning rule that people are encouraged to respect instead of a new internret protocal. The protocol affects those who use it, and those who want to use (respect) it, much like the zoning law exists for those who use (respect) it locally and those who respect it globally.

And if someone dosne't respect it? What then? What about pollution of water resources used by multiple communities? What if a proposed regional vote on allowing sex with adolecents? Should everyone else respect that?

As to what you say about monarchy, well, I don't care about it, but I'll say that there's one plus to having one. Efficiency. Things get done, very quickly. If you were to throw some constitutional  guidelines behind the government, you'd have effectively gotten what you wanted, and gotten it quickly. The only problem is you may or may not get as ‘much’ as you wanted or deserve.

As this is the only part of your message that actually pertains to this topic, I might add that there are other means to have an effecient executive without a monarchy. Having a king, just for the "kings" sake is incredibly stupid.

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#18 2002-02-06 16:32:22

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Communism didn't fail, the people who participated in it failed... You avoid the issue.

It hasn't necessarily failed... Cuba manages to exist quite well... but anyway, I partly avoided the issue because it's a can of worms that I truely didn't want to open.

The best system is the one that takes into consideration human weakness and human frailty and devises solutions, or means to correct failure.

And who says anarchy doesn't? In fact, anarchy considers everyone, not just those in power. Of all the systems you could have, anarchy is the finest. The problem with current systems is that ‘weakness’ is illusionary, built by hierarchal systems. Consider how ‘strong’ a master is without his slave.

If you suggest an idea, and you do not account for reality, then you waste all of our time.

I did account for reality in the second statement, however. I said, “after subjectivizing the situation [the anarchist] will decide themselves whether or not what is being said is truthful.” I don't think people have to have people think for them. In fact, I use words that suggest systems similar to our own, because I believe anarchy is understood better that way.

How do you decide which regions get a say? Who decides what is a "region"? How and who changes the "region"? What if there are those who feel they should be included, while others feel they should not be included in a region- who decides? Who decides who will decide?

How do we do it now? It's really no different from how things function currently. If people in Lexington decide they want to be a town, it's a town. The database then has, ‘Lexington’ as a town. Just like now, if you create a town, it's added to the books, gets a zip code, etc. Who adds it to the books? Whoever wants to; it would function much like a forum. I would think that it would be obvious who gets a say, then. Those who would be affected by whatever is being voted upon. For example, say some of us wanted to build a canal from Isidis Planitia to Hellas Planitia, I would think that the towns in Tyrrhena Terra (Fournier and Terby) would vote.

Anarchy and systems wwithout clearly defined hierarchy ALL breakdown at these points.

Well, I agree a framework is necessary, and I'm not suggesting that one wouldn't exist. I think this is a fundamental problem with arguing the case for anarchy, because it's assumed no rules would exist. However, hierarchy is absolutely not necessary for have a collective framework.

So you are suggesting that people take time out of their lives, become educated on an issue, just to say their piece and have no REAL result? LAME.

There would be a ‘result,’ but is is always susceptable to change. The RFC has results, obviously. Consider! The protocol which you are using this very instance started as an RFC! Can you explain to me how the RFC can't be expanded to a fit larger political system? You can read about the RFC here: http://www.rfc-editor.org

The system becomes inherently unstable the larger it gets because the more people on the net means EVERY voice is diminished to make room for one extra one. This encourages demagogorey becuase only the charismatic will be able to heard.

This is why voting would have to be regional... the whole planet would be knowledgable about whatever is going on, and the whole planet can vote to get the WRFC to go far enough to get locals to vote upon it.

People in Hellas Planitia need water piped down to them from Isidis Planitia, they send out an WRFC, the people in the immediate region come to a conclusion by communicating and redefining the WRFC... (Worldwide Request for Comments)

The vote then doesn't really cater to a majority, just those affected.

It dosen't. You haven't found any solution to a current problem- all you've done is suggested a system that is inherently weaker than what we have now.

I haven't? Often people don't have time to research the things they're voting for. And often, since voting is a one day every so often kind of thing, people take time to vote, simply because they feel it's their responsiblity. A vote could go on for weeks in my system.

[...] your suggestions offer no solution, they merely compound the problem.

Your system relies on a programmed weakness. Mine relies on well rounded individuals. The difference between the systems, is yours is a system of slavery, and mine is a system of freedom. If that is compounding the problem, then so be it.

If you depend on Alex to prove any of your points, you will be waiting a very very long long time.

Nah, I was just seeing if Alex might want to share his opinion on the subject. Anarchy isn't about one opinion, you realize. Things can be done differently than from what I'm suggesting, I'm just suggesting this framework would be the best way I think things could be done.

And if someone dosne't respect it? What then? What about pollution of water resources used by multiple communities? What if a proposed regional vote on allowing sex with adolecents? Should everyone else respect that?

Heheh, well, obviously we aren't throwing out ethics. I don't know how it would happen. In anarchy sex is about mutual relationships. And I would think that to be able to have sex with someone you'd have to be able to show the capacity to make that decision. If an adolecent could exhibit certain maturity, then I think it would be justified. I'm not saying I know how it would work, but as an anarchist, if I saw what I believed was unethical behavior going on in another town, I would attempt to liberate them.

[...] this is the only part of your message that actually pertains to this topic [...] Having a king, just for the "kings" sake is incredibly stupid.

Well, I was merely pointing out a better system, elaborting on Shauns' voting ideas, I didn't think it was off topic. And I agree, but it should be noted that the most efficient systems are inherently draconian in nature.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#19 2002-02-06 17:40:56

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

In fact, anarchy considers everyone, not just those in power. Of all the systems you could have, anarchy is the finest. The problem with current systems is that ‘weakness’ is   illusionary, built by hierarchal systems. Consider how ‘strong’ a master is without his slave.[/quote:post_uid0]

The "weakness" is not illusionary. The inherent weakness in any system is US and our less than admirable traits. Hierarchal systems do not make good people bad, nor does it make bad people good- it merely acts as a system to give people incentive to act in "good" ways that are acceptable to society, and provides dis-incentives when people act "bad". Anarchy strips away any and all incentives and purports to be a better alternative without providing a solution to the weakness of human character. Human beings are hierarchal by NATURE, it is our pre-programmed biology to have dominant and submissive positions- if you do not account for this natural tendancy then you have a system that has failed from the very begining.

I did account for reality in the second statement, however. I said, “after subjectivizing the situation [the anarchist] will decide themselves whether or not what is being said is truthful.” I don't think people   have to have people think for them. In fact, I use words that suggest systems similar to our own, because I believe anarchy is understood better that way.[/quote:post_uid0]

that's assuming thaey have access to alternative points of views, which has yet to be adquetly established. You may claim that the internet will allow for any and all points of view, however this leads to the direct problem of too many voices drowning each other out- it also fails to address problems when information is controlled by only a few major outlets. US is an example- there are only a few websites that handle a majority of the internet traffic- that means those few websites have defacto control over tha majority of the people in regards to information content.

How do we do it now? It's really no different from how things function currently. If people in Lexington decide they want to be a town, it's a town. The database then has, ‘Lexington’ as a town. Just like now, if you create a town, it's added to the books, gets a zip code, etc.[/quote:post_uid0]

And if only one person wants to be declared their own town? And if they would be the only one affected, wouldn't they be the only one that gets to vote? Then what happens when you start taking votes based on "townships"?

Who adds it to the books? Whoever wants to; it would function much like a forum. I would think that it would be obvious who gets a say, then. Those who would be affected by whatever is being voted upon. For example, say some of us wanted to build a canal from Isidis Planitia to Hellas Planitia, I would think that the towns in Tyrrhena Terra (Fournier and Terby) would vote.[/quote:post_uid0]

And what if it dosen't affect you directly, but will in say ten years (water rights being but one example)? Or say that a township would like to experiment with biological agents? Should no one else have a say?

However, hierarchy is absolutely not necessary for have a collective framework.[/quote:post_uid0]

A collective framework IS a hierarchy- it is merely based on mutual agreement enforced by an understanding of all members, however there are clear lines of responsibility and expectations.

There would be a ‘result,’ but is is always susceptable to change. The RFC has results, obviously. [/quote:post_uid0]

The problem with what you offer is that there is no incentive to follow any decree or result. There is no mechanism for protection.

Consider! The protocol which you are using this very instance started as an RFC! Can you explain to me how the RFC can't be expanded to a fit larger political system?[/quote:post_uid0]

Can I argue a negative? RFC can't be expanded into a larger political system becuase it does not allow for fair and equitable means of representation and enforcement of decrees. The RFC does not deal with 100 million voters- how exactly do you have 100 million people adquetly have their say and make sure that they are becoming informed on the issue?

People in Hellas Planitia need water piped down to them from Isidis Planitia, they send out an WRFC, the people in the immediate region come to a conclusion by communicating and redefining the  WRFC... (Worldwide Request for Comments)[/quote:post_uid0]

And as WRFC increase, the ability to monitor and make educated votes on each decreases. The system fails as it gets larger- but hey, go ahead and use it at the town level.

Often people don't have time to research the things they're voting for. And often, since voting is a one day every so often kind of thing, people take time to vote, simply because they feel it's their  responsiblity. A vote could go on for weeks in my system.[/quote:post_uid0]

So you think that by replacing the "one day vote" system with a 365+ day vote you will get a better return? On what do you base this redicoulous assertion? None of the fundamental problems of our system are answered, they are only perpetuated- except now it takes place 265 days out of the year.

Your system relies on a programmed weakness. Mine relies on well rounded individuals. The difference between the systems, is yours is a system of slavery, and mine is a system of freedom. If that is compounding the problem, then so be it.[/quote:post_uid0]

You suggest a different form of slavery, so put the rhetoric aside. All systems depend upon well rounded individuals, but guess what, you don't always get em- so how does your system account for individuals that are not "well rounded"?

If an adolecent could exhibit certain maturity, then I think it would be justified. I'm not saying I know how it would work, but as an anarchist, if  I saw what I believed was unethical behavior going on in another town, I would attempt to liberate them.[/quote:post_uid0]

Ahhh, but your ethics are different from mine, so what right do you have to "l;iberate" anyone? Aren't you really suggesting that you have the right to enforce your value system on others if you disagree with theirs? Isn't the whole point of anarchy to avoid this in the first place?

Are you suggesting that individuals, and society, is better off when people enforce their own value system on others with no oversight by society or the community? That is what your argument is now suggesting.

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#20 2002-02-07 09:21:24

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

The "weakness" is not illusionary. The inherent weakness in any system is US and our less than admirable traits. Hierarchal systems do not make good people bad, nor does it make bad people good- it merely acts as a system to give people incentive to act in "good" ways that are acceptable to society, and provides dis-incentives when people act "bad".

The weakness in indeed illustionary. Explain to me how a working man who works 16 hours a day is any more ‘weak’ than a CEO who is on a perpetual vacation, coming and going when he pleases. Hierarchal systems make good people bad the second good people start imposing their irrational will upon someone else. The second they start denying their absolute rights. (The ones Proudhon outline.) Hierarchy doesn't give incentive, it alienates! People who function in it are struggling, it's by mass delusion that hierarchy works at all.

Anarchy strips away any and all incentives and purports to be a better alternative without providing a solution to the weakness of human character. Human beings are hierarchal by NATURE, it is our pre-programmed biology to have dominant and submissive positions- if you do not account for this natural tendancy then you have a system that has failed from the very begining.

How does anarchy strip away any and all incentive? Human beings are naturally hierarchal? Could you please provide evidence for this rather bold assertation?

Humans are not hierarchal by nature, they're possibly organized by nature, but not hierarchal. I don't think you understand what I mean by hierarchal.

[...] this leads to the direct problem of too many voices drowning each other out.

I don't see that as a problem, it's not like the views will drastically different from each other. Generally speaking, views will be for and against something. Just like with the RFC, ‘I'm not for the HTTP PUTS command since no one ever uses it.’ ‘HTTP PUTS is actually quite nice, since HTTP ports can be resused. Perhaps we should encourage people to use it more.’

If the RFC is a ‘failed’ system by your standards, I don't really know what to tell you.

[...] it also fails to address problems when information is controlled by only a few major outlets. US is an example- there are only a few websites that handle a majority of the internet traffic- that means those few websites have defacto control over tha majority of the people in regards to information content.

The internet is the perfect example, actually. Indeed, there are only a few fiber lines that handle a lot of the traffic, and though those lines may be ‘owned’ be a certain group, those lines would be worthless if they weren't connected to the rest of the internet. However, that does not mean whoever controls those lines controls the information content. Protocols like Freenet, with forums that use PGP signatures could prevent any content from being ‘faked’ or ‘controlled.’ You act like this is an impossiblity to overcome, but frankly, I don't see it happening. Freenet would require that the database is distributed over hundreds of networks, mirroed on each and every one. Tell me how in the #### someone is going to fake hundreds of thousands of PGP signatures over a huge network? Sure, someone might be able to crack their local mirror, but once that mirror didn't match up with the rest of the network, it would be checked out. Ideally, we wouldn't have to have any security measure like this, but we should probably implement it anyway. It's not like a secure system would take away freedom. Indeed, Freenet is the embodiment of privacy.

And if only one person wants to be declared their own town? And if they would be the only one affected, wouldn't they be the only one that gets to vote? Then what happens when you start taking votes based on "townships"?

I knew you would ask that! Heheh. Look, I'm not saying I can define the system myself, I've never brought this kind of system up to anyone who wanted to talk about it. I personally don't think one person constitutes a town, or a couple of people. Perhaps, you become a town once you are able to mirror the WRFC database? That sounds reasonably fair, doesn't it? (And if one person has the resources to mirror the database, that's fine.)

Direct democracy stops happening when you start taking votes upon ‘township,’ so obviously that wouldn't happen. Everyone who is affected by whatever is being voted on has an equal say.

Your next question is going to be, “How do we determine who is affected?” My answer for that is that I don't really know for sure. Obviously before anything is to be done there has to be a lot of scientific investigation done. This can lead to defining areas which would be affected.

And what if it dosen't affect you directly, but will in say ten years (water rights being but one example)? Or say that a township would like to experiment with biological agents? Should no one else have a say?

Water rights? What do you mean? Everyone would have equal water rights in an anarchy... and if someone was bold enough to try to keep it from everyone... they would likely lose it. The ‘biological WRFC’ is a perfect framework for a township that wants to experiement with biological agents. If you're affected by it I don't see why you can't write up your own WRFC and submit it.

A collective framework IS a hierarchy

Do you know what a hierarchy is? You don't tell me what to do, I don't tell you what to do. We have mutual agreements, and we do it together. In a hierarchy you tell me what to do because you think that's best for you, not both of us.

The problem with what you offer is that there is no incentive to follow any decree or result. There is no mechanism for protection.

I don't see how. If I build a pipeline I'm surely going to use it. If I create a protocol for sending messages encrypted with RSA, I'm going to use it... if someone suggests a certain area should be a national reserve, I'm going to respect it... why wouldn't I?


RFC can't be expanded into a larger political system becuase it does not allow for fair and equitable means of representation and enforcement of decrees.

Well, obviously not everyone is going to get a say, obviously it's those affected. If we were to build a Martian ‘welcome center,’ for new visiters, or a space elevator or something to that magnitude, obviously everyone would probably have an equal say as to where it goes.

But that's the thing. Where would the best place for a space elevator be? Obviously the highest place on the equator. So, though there would be other suggestions, it's likely that the best place would get the most votes. The voice of many is more fair than the voice of few. I mean, I find it appaling that a select few of people can have so much power in our representative democracy.

And as WRFC increase, the ability to monitor and make educated votes on each decreases. The system fails as it gets larger- but hey, go ahead and use it at the town level.

So far the RFC isn't failing, sure, there is heck of a lot of things in it, they're up to 3238 protocols and suggestions, but look, they're just ideas. When submitting a town to a WRFC, you could outline the whole system, from waterworks, to roadmaps. Building plans, everything, could go into the WRFC, since, obviously, voting is at a town basis normally, it would be a town-by-town thing.

Consider. A group of people in Lexington wants to build a large new dome, they log on to the WRFC database, go to the Lexington Town Hall, click on the Suggest a Vote button, and in the Zoning Comments section adds, ‘Proposal for a new dome in the east section.’ They then outline what the dome is going to be made of, where they could obtain the resources, and so on. The people, then, of Lexington, during a nightly get together vote on the proposal.

This is exactly how it works now. This is exactly how it works, except for one thing. Now, you go to your town council, and make your suggestion. Depending on your ‘status’ they'll vote the option through. If they know you, for example, it will go through automatically, no matter how ridiculous it is. If you're a newcomer or whatever they'll stop your suggestion at the door, no matter how good it is.

Of course, we may want to limit how many vote suggestions someone makes, for people who want to abuse the system. But I think if you were abusive to the system, your neighbors and friends wouldn't respect you, and you wouldn't want that.

So you think that by replacing the "one day vote" system with a 365+ day vote you will get a better return? On what do you base this redicoulous assertion?

Hmm, well, obviously the vote is automatically over after everyone has voted, and we could have a time limit of a few days if it was necessary. We could even have a no vote for people who are too busy to concern themselves with things (if I was on vacation, I'd probably just do a no vote). You get a ‘better return,’ because the system is solid, everyone gets a say. No one said socialism was fast, it takes time to get a collective opinion. In my opinion, better everyone get an equal say, than some get to control what gets to be said at all (as it is in current ‘town council’ systems).

You suggest a different form of slavery, so put the rhetoric aside. All systems depend upon well rounded individuals, but guess what, you don't always get em- so how does your system account for individuals that are not "well rounded"?

You don't know what slavery means if you consider that rhetoric. Look, if you can't take care of yourself, I'll take care of you, okay? If you can't make a vote or make choices for yourself, we'll just make sure you do a no vote every time a decision needs to be made. Is that fine with you? The problem with hierarchy is that it relies on people not being able to make decisions for themselves. Perhaps I'm giving people too much credit, but I think we all have the capacity to make our own rational decisions.

but your ethics are different from mine, so what right do you have to "l;iberate" anyone? Aren't you really suggesting that you have the right to enforce your value system on others if you disagree with theirs? Isn't the whole point of anarchy to avoid this in the first place?

Another misconception, that anarchy is about absolute freedom and such. I was having a discussion along these lines with someone the other day, and they were implying that anarchy should have no ethics at all. Anarchy has ethics, indeed, imposing your will upon another isn't ethical from an anarchist perspective. And if it takes force to remove your imposition, then it should be done. You pretend that anarchy is defenseless, which is obviously is not.

My ‘ethic’ is that of someone who wants to be free.

Are you suggesting that individuals, and society, is better off when people enforce their own value system on others with no oversight by society or the community?

No, read what I said. I essentially said that I would liberate whoever was being unethical. If I were to try to liberate people who slaved under a capitalistic system, I would not be imposing my will, I would merely be showing them my ideas, it would still be up to them to decide.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#21 2002-02-07 10:37:27

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Josh, a few questions about your proposed system:

<1>     Would be unethical (illegal?) for one person to purchase votes from other people? 

Vote "Yes" for my pipeline proposal (which will be built 2000 km from your home) and I will give you $$$ or perhaps a few containers of hydrogen, if this is a barter economy.

<2>     How would you restrict/prevent coercion of voting?

Unless you vote "Yes" for my pipeline proposal, when you are sleeping your airlock may experience an unfortunate malfunction (or, unless you allow my brother/friend/comrade to watch you vote, then. . . or, unless my pipeline proposal passes, then. . .) - The last example, of course, is simple terrorism.

A more insidious threat would be the following, made to the person/people guarding the master computer server:  "Unless you allow my computer nerd to hack the vote counting mechanism. members of your family will disappear"

<3>     How do you prevent "heirarchies" (bands, gangs, political parties etc. . .) forming among people who wish to use intimidation to coerce votes that excessively favor themselves?

Sometimes, a voluntarily agreement to become another's subordinate can be in my interest if my lord or boss can protect me or if my boss can organize myself with other thugs to obtain additional resources for myself and my fellow gang members - all at the expense of the society as a whole. Hitler did NOT need to conscript or coerce his Nazi thugs - most freely volunteered and willingly gave him their allegiance and obedience.

<4>     If some bad people form a gang of thugs, the good people will need to form into defensive groups and will that not inevitably lead to feudalism?

In a world filled with individuals, a small team will have an enormous competetive advantage and the better teams will have an even better competitive advantage. Bands, gangs or clans with a strong central leader will usually defeat disorganized bands. "Follow me" says the great leader, "and I will protect you from [name your threat]"


* * * * *

Anarchy evolves into feudalism which evolves into capitalism which perhaps can evolve into something better, but if we return to anarchy, don't we just start all over?

* * * * *

Josh, I do have considerable sympathy with the goals and objectives you apparenty wish to pursue. Unfortunately, I also believe that anarchy, as you have described it, could only work after a profound change in current human nature, a change I fear is unlikely to occur.

However, I do wish to propose a deal. I will buy and read several works of Proudhon if you buy and read a book by English evolutionist Matt Ridley "The Origins of Virtue" along with Federalist paper #1 and the American Declaration of Independence. Some Hobbes would not hurt, either.

Deal?

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#22 2002-02-07 12:23:35

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Ah, two big replies in one day, how am I making time for this? smile

Would be unethical (illegal?) for one person to purchase votes from other people?

Vote "Yes" for my pipeline proposal (which will be built 2000 km from your home) and I will give you $$$ or perhaps a few containers of hydrogen, if this is a barter economy.

Would it be possible, should be the question... consider that if the system uses PGP signatures (a system with two public and one private key- that is utterly impenetrable) it would be quite impossible to ‘take’ someones identity or vote, short of stealing their private key. This system obviously requires more thought, but strictly speaking, it's not impossible to insure that identities can't be stolen.

How would you restrict/prevent coercion of voting?

Unless you vote "Yes" for my pipeline proposal, when you are sleeping your airlock may experience an unfortunate malfunction (or, unless you allow my brother/friend/comrade to watch you vote, then. . . or, unless my pipeline proposal passes, then. . .) - The last example, of course, is simple terrorism.

That's a good question. If someone threatend me with something like that, I would go to my friends and we would kick his butt, obviously. I mean, really, what you do if someone threatened you in that mannor? I would rat their butt out to the whole community. Then he'd be alienated from our society completely; he'd be lucky if we shared anything with him. The funny part is that he'd probably get his pipeline proposal passed if he could provide ample reasoning for it.

A more insidious threat would be the following, made to the person/people guarding the master computer server:  "Unless you allow my computer nerd to hack the vote counting mechanism. members of your family will disappear."

I can envision a litterally unhackable system, short of each and every computer terminal being hacked by an individual hacker, it would be impossible. Even if someone were to suggest doing this, it would never happen; they're a minority (they wouldn't be trying to fix the votes if they weren't), so the majority can quickly be alerted to the illegal activities going on.

How do you prevent "heirarchies" (bands, gangs, political parties etc. . .) forming among people who wish to use intimidation to coerce votes that excessively favor themselves?

Sometimes, a voluntarily agreement to become another's subordinate can be in my interest if my lord or boss can protect me or if my boss can organize myself with other thugs to obtain additional resources for myself and my fellow gang members - all at the expense of the society as a whole. Hitler did NOT need to conscript or coerce his Nazi thugs - most freely volunteered and willingly gave him their allegiance and obedience.

The reasons heirarchies form in the first place, is you are indebted to whoever ‘rules’ you for whatever reason. In our current society, you can't do something becuse you lack the necessary means (that is tools, resources, etc), so you work for whome-ever to obtain those means. I don't quite see why people would become subordinates in a society where all share and share alike. It's backwards.

Anarchy evolves into feudalism which evolves into capitalism which perhaps can evolve into something better, but if we return to anarchy, don't we just start all over?

Anarchy is the topmost political system. It's the best form of organization possible, especially in a society of conscious beings. Capitalism is more on the bottom, below Socialism. Anarchy is a society without authority, in the purest form of the definition.

Unfortunately, I also believe that anarchy, as you have described it, could only work after a profound change in current human nature, a change I fear is unlikely to occur.

You mean a change equal to that of a whole society existing solely on consumerism? We could list a hundred political systems right now, all of which work fine for people. I really wonder what human nature is all about, as I think it's not about how we structure our society, but how we understand our environment.

Simply because one chain of humans decides to be dominate over one another, that is not enough evidence to say that this is human nature.

I will buy and read several works of Proudhon if you buy and read a book by English evolutionist Matt Ridley "The Origins of Virtue" along with Federalist paper #1 and the American Declaration of Independence. Some Hobbes would not hurt, either.

Well, Proudhon is long dead. You can get some of his works at: http://promo.net/pg/index.html

The Philosophy of Misery: <a href="" target="_blank">ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext96/pmisr10.zip</a>
What is Property?: <a href="" target="_blank">ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext95/pprty10.zip</a>

It should be noted that some of his ideas are no longer applicable, but he does bring about some very valid points that can still be applied today.

I would suggest some of Eric Fromms stuff. Especially To Have Or To Be.

I've read the book you suggested (by Matt Ridley), in fact, it was one of the first books recommended to me during an argument with someone about this very same subject. I've also read Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene (another book recommended by someone who felt I was misguided). However, neither book really touched me as much as Proudhon and Fromm.

And I agree with the American Declaration of Independence more than you think, and I think it agrees with me, except for all the government folderol. The fact that government is an institution of coercion is more than enough than to make me want to liquidate it.

Deal?

Well, I'll look for some Hobbs stuff at the library, and while I'm doing that, why don't you read The Anarchist FAQ: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1931/

It could answer the questions better than I could. I only don't ‘quote it’ when the questions come up because I'm figuring these ideas out for myself.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#23 2002-02-07 13:31:43

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

Josh writes:

<<The reasons heirarchies form in the first place, is you are indebted to whoever ‘rules’ you for whatever reason. In our current society, you can't do something becuse you lack the necessary means (that is tools, resources, etc), so you work for whome-ever to obtain those means. I don't quite see why people would become subordinates in a society where all share and share alike. It's backwards.>>

Josh, I think we are at a crucial point here.

Getting to society where all "share and share alike" is an intoxicating objective. I find the vision of such a society quite appealing. However, to quote a punchline from a joke of the American South, "I know where ya' want to go, but ya'all can't get there from here."

I believe some people (even when starting from a point of perfect equality) may well choose to be subordinate to Leader A if voluntarily surrendering a portion of their equality to Dictator A can help assure their superiority to persons X, Y  & Z.

Classic "scapegoating" follows this pattern. Hitler said in effect: "Make me your leader (give me dominance) and I will put the Aryan people in their rightful place as masters the "inferior" Slavic peoples and as liquidators of the Jewish people." Many Germans eagerly supported a hideous tyrant in exchange for being granted membership in a "master race."

Jefferson wrote that "all men are created equal" (IMO he meant to include women, even it he was not consciously aware of that intention) - however I see that as a statement of a moral and ethical goal, not an observation of scientific or historical fact.

As an issue of historical fact, all people simply are not created equal. As a moral or ethical goal, I support Jefferson 100%.

In reality, some people are more powerful than others - long ago physical strength gave influence. Today more intelligence gives some power and greater charisma (and perhaps being a "good liar") gives even more power.

Among unequal people, feudalism and heirarchies are entirely rational. Less powerful people either band together or they give allegiance to more powerful people to protect their interests. Among completely equal people, the balance is destroyed as soon as B or C decide to follow A in exchange for A helping B or C dominate X, Y & Z and then heirarchies again become rational choices for different people.

"Lord of the Flies" and "Animal Farm" are instructive here, IMO.

(BTW, I once cited "Animal House" rather than "Animal Farm" as an example and thoroughly messed up the discussion! John Belushi and George Orwell bring very different viewpoints to the disucssion.)

I submit that in the real world the formation of heirarchies is usually seen as perfectly rational by the folks going about creating such heirarchies.

* * * *

In the 16th (17th?) century, Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) discussed this very issue and suggested that it could only be solved by creation of a central political power that held a monopoly on the use of coercive force.

In your example, the creation of an "unhackable" computer network is a necessary precondition. However, someone needs to builds that system to start with and how do you assure there are no backdoors designed in from the start? Rumor has it that Bill Gates has given the CIA trap door entry points into all Microsoft products. True? I do not know - I suspect it is one of those internet hoaxes, but it is possible.

Therefore, true believing anarchists would need absolute power and control over the design and implementation of this computer network. "Make us dictators and we will give you a perfect society."

Further, if some computer genius did figure out how to hack your system that person would be able to become a dictator and perhaps no one would even know. The idea of a totally unhackable system sort of reminds me of the idea of God. If God were King here on Earth, OK, I agree things would be really, really good for all of us, but until then, what do we do?

* * * *

As I said before, I have sympathy for where you want to go.

Share and share alike is a noble goal, however, as George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm, all too often some pigs end up being more equal than others, especially when those pigs assert they are acting for the "common good"

Until that issue is solved, I believe we will need a political system with "checks and balances" on the unequal power which will be inevitably held by various people. And a guarantee of the rights of private property (within reasonable limits) is a necessary place to start.

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#24 2002-02-07 14:13:37

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

I believe some people (even when starting from a point of perfect equality) may well choose to be subordinate to Leader A if voluntarily surrendering a portion of their equality to Dictator A can help assure their superiority to persons X, Y  & Z.

I absolutely agree with you. Look at segregation (among many many other things, like woman not being allowed to vote) in the US as a perfect example. Of course, the people who segregated did not feel they were voluntarily surrendering anything, when in reality they were surrendering their own constitutional framework!

Many Germans eagerly supported a hideous tyrant in exchange for being granted membership in a "master race."

Is this not obviously a case of mass delusion? The people who desired to be the master race obviously felt their position in society was inadequate, else they would have had no psychological reason to dominate.

‘I will make you better than everyone.’ ‘But then, what follows, is that I am not good enough?’ Even clark is suggesting that people can't vote for themselves!

[...] however I see that [all people are created equal] as a statement of a moral and ethical goal, not an observation of scientific or historical fact.

Well, I think it can be represented scientifically. I mean, I don't think it would be hard to show, scientifically, that people are relatively equal in psychological capacty. As such, our society would probably be best off taking that into consideration. By not assuming that people who are ‘weaker’ are also psychologically inferior.

I submit that in the real world the formation of heirarchies is usually seen as perfectly rational by the folks going about creating such heirarchies.

I agree, but that does not mean that the people who are subordinates are unable to exist outside of a heirachy. The formation, however, is often done outside of a rational sphere of thought.

In my opinion at least. smile

However, someone needs to builds that system to start with and how do you assure there are no backdoors designed in from the start?

Heheh, I should have pointed this out myself. In a free society, obviously everything would be open, including the source code that would run the software. Everyone would have the ablity to look at the source code, and, like Freenet (which too is open source), the system wouldn't function if the protocol was broken (that is; hacked). Obviously interception is possible, but without the private PGP key, whatever is intercepted is basically impenetrable.

The funny part is that most of these supposedly ‘broken’ and ‘impossible’ systems that ‘defy human nature’ are already functioning currently in the Free Software movement called GNU. http://www.gnu.org

Rumor has it that Bill Gates has given the CIA trap door entry points into all Microsoft products. True? I do not know - I suspect it is one of those internet hoaxes, but it is possible.

It's totally possible. If the source code was open, that is, everyone could look at it, then we'd really know for sure. Of course, intellectual property rights forbids that. I mean, it really would be ‘bad business practices’ to give your source code to everyone, right?

But anyway, I digress.

As I said before, I have sympathy for where you want to go.

Thanks Bill. I'd like to say that I appreciate your demeanor, as I have never met anyone who disagreed as kind as yourself.

Until that issue is solved, I believe we will need a political system with "checks and balances" on the unequal power which will be inevitably held by various people. And a guarantee of the rights of private property (within reasonable limits) is a necessary place to start.

I don't know, I think you know where I stand on this issue. I think that it should be encouraged that people freely associate and share, since anarchy is the lack of government, it doesn't mean there can't be a capitalistic system next to it. It just means that the anarchists within that system would freely associate amongst themselves.

I think it's appalling that if people were to ‘freely associate’ in America, they would be considered ‘welfare cases,’ and looked down upon by the majority. There was a case in Boston where homeless people took a vacated building and refurbished it completely. Once it was essentially livable again, they were vacated and the building was rented out. I mean, c'mon, that's wrong.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#25 2002-02-07 23:11:38

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Monarchy? - WHy not a Constitutional Monarchy?

The reasons heirarchies form in the first place, is you are indebted to whoever ‘rules’ you for whatever reason. In our current society, you can't do something becuse you lack the necessary means (that is tools, resources, etc), so you work for whome-ever to obtain those means. I don't quite see why people would become subordinates in a society where all share and share alike. It's backwards.[/quote:post_uid0]

Have you read about the Spanish Civil War?  I can't claim to be much of an expert on political systems, but it's one of those times in actual history that pretty much threw out the window notions that we must subvert ourselves to the rule of
others.  I was reading that even in the rebellion's (I forget their official name) militia there was no chain of command, they merely came to military decisions as a group and they were pretty effective considering they fought and held off both Franco and Hitler for some time.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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