Creating Your Own Government - A Thought Experiment

I've been lurking the P&C forums a fair bit over the years, and I know most of you guys are fairly well read up on what works and doesn't work in governance.

So I pose a theoretical scenario for you.

Say we found an actual working stargate and on the other end is an inhabitable planet. Because of your ancient jeans you alone can control who goes through stargate and therefore you personally have a chance to set up a brand new government / nation on the other side.

If you were to design the government from the ground up, what would it look like? No more 'Republicans are corporate shills who make the rich richer' or 'Democrats are Marxist wannabes who buy votes with their handouts'. What would *your* government look like? Would it start with the Constitution? How free would you allow your people to be? How much control / regulation would you find to be necessary?

He who wears the Ancient Jeans, controls the world.

Well, people are gonna people, so "deciding who goes through" means nothing in a generation.

And in a subsistence world where First Arrivers have to start from scratch, our current prescriptions for society are irrelevant.

Assume you've got the tech to establish a self sufficient city. Several years have passed, and you've become established as the Benevolent Dictator of Jeans. Everyone loves you, but you're worried that when you die, your 17 sons will squabble over the reins of power, so you wish to set up a government that will last a thousand years, take the examples from earth's history, and be better than them all.

Would you copy the Constitution, word for word? Would you establish a minimum wage? Would you promote capitalism? How would you prevent the people who have from exploiting the people who have not? What values are important to you? Is Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness enough?

Pawz wrote:

Assume you've got the tech to establish a self sufficient city. Several years have passed, and you've become established as the Benevolent Dictator of Jeans. Everyone loves you, but you're worried that when you die, your 17 sons will squabble over the reins of power, so you wish to set up a government that will last a thousand years, take the examples from earth's history, and be better than them all.

Would you copy the Constitution, word for word? Would you establish a minimum wage? Would you promote capitalism? How would you prevent the people who have from exploiting the people who have not? What values are important to you? Is Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness enough?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusade...

Enshrine the idea that communities can't be any bigger than, say, 400 people. Once your village gets too big to have town hall meetings including every citizen, split into two. Enforce this rigorously, and avoid centralized government. While we're at it, avoid industrial agriculture; again, once your village is too big for the surrounding countryside AS IS to support, split.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Enshrine the idea that communities can't be any bigger than, say, 400 people. Once your village gets too big to have town hall meetings including every citizen, split into two. Enforce this rigorously, and avoid centralized government. While we're at it, avoid industrial agriculture; again, once your village is too big for the surrounding countryside AS IS to support, split.

http://apolyton.net/showthread.php/1...

But how will you split the village? The devil is in the details.

WizKid wrote:

But how will you split the village? The devil is in the details.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/r0AYH.gif)

FeralMonkey wrote:
WizKid wrote:

But how will you split the village? The devil is in the details.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/r0AYH.gif)

IMAGE(http://cdn.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/2222383/82326283.jpg)

IMAGE(http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/floridaamericaswang.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/fall2013/images/features/upinarms-map.jpg)

Until we discover AI, this all just wankery. Governments made by people will always suck. I'm gonna go read some more Iain M. Banks now.

It's wankery that has been going on at least 2500 years
IMAGE(http://www.daftblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Penguins-edition-of-Platos-republic.jpg)

I don't understand how so much of the Midwest gets lumped into Yankeedom.

Seth wrote:

I don't understand how so much of the Midwest gets lumped into Yankeedom.

Because the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise banned slavery in the territories that became the Midwest states.

OG_slinger wrote:
Seth wrote:

I don't understand how so much of the Midwest gets lumped into Yankeedom.

Because the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise banned slavery in the territories that became the Midwest states.

But there is so much more to the South than slavery. There are lynchings, deep friers, and trucker caps.

OG_slinger wrote:
Seth wrote:

I don't understand how so much of the Midwest gets lumped into Yankeedom.

Because the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise banned slavery in the territories that became the Midwest states.

Yeah, but Michigan at least seems more similar to his description of The Midlands. I mean the two groups aren't nearly as disparate as the other groups, but the "trust in government" is very definitely lacking once you step outside City limits.

The more I read the discriptions though, the more vanishing the difference becomes. Just feels like I have more in common with Iowans than I do with people from Massachusetts.

Seth wrote:

The more I read the discriptions though, the more vanishing the difference becomes. Just feels like I have more in common with Iowans than I do with people from Massachusetts.

Yeah, I'm not sure why Woodard lumps states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota with the states that were part of the original 13 colonies. Those states are much more Midwest than Yankee.

The specific map comes from the idea explored in this book:
http://www.amazon.com/American-Natio...

Honestly, it made a hell of a lot of sense to me, as I was reading it.

Clicking the image also takes you to a good read about the map.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Enshrine the idea that communities can't be any bigger than, say, 400 people. Once your village gets too big to have town hall meetings including every citizen, split into two. Enforce this rigorously, and avoid centralized government. While we're at it, avoid industrial agriculture; again, once your village is too big for the surrounding countryside AS IS to support, split.

That sounds like hell to me.

Zona wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Enshrine the idea that communities can't be any bigger than, say, 400 people. Once your village gets too big to have town hall meetings including every citizen, split into two. Enforce this rigorously, and avoid centralized government. While we're at it, avoid industrial agriculture; again, once your village is too big for the surrounding countryside AS IS to support, split.

That sounds like hell to me.

I think most of the problems that humanity as a whole faces at the moment is that there are too many people. This is direct result of modern (ie, the last 10-12 thousand years) agricultural practices, and leads directly to systems of organization (eg, states, countries) that are outside the scope of individual understanding (see The Monkeysphere). People in organized groups of 200 can do a lot less damage than people in "organized" groups of hundreds of milllions.

Zona does have a point though. Small communities Are far more susceptible to having a scapegoat or a pecked hen in the community. You see more Hester Prynnes in small communities where they may not be able to find support than in metropolises where like often finds and supports like.

Seth wrote:

Zona does have a point though. Small communities Are far more susceptible to having a scapegoat or a pecked hen in the community. You see more Hester Prynnes in small communities where they may not be able to find support than in metropolises where like often finds and supports like.

Oh, is that what their point was?

Small communities are much less susceptible to large-scale genocide, wide-scale systemic corruption, and horrifically imbalanced distribution of wealth.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Seth wrote:

Zona does have a point though. Small communities Are far more susceptible to having a scapegoat or a pecked hen in the community. You see more Hester Prynnes in small communities where they may not be able to find support than in metropolises where like often finds and supports like.

Oh, is that what their point was?

Small communities are much less susceptible to large-scale genocide, wide-scale systemic corruption, and horrifically imbalanced distribution of wealth.

Sure, there are pros and cons of a government ordered population redistribution; with the exception of your third example, I wouldn't quibble that those are definite weaknesses of urban organization (imbalanced wealth distribution can exist anywhere, just ask a family of four and their 396 slaves).

I'm pretty happy in small, self sufficient communities, although I do certainly appreciate the anonymity, solidarity, opportunity, and community that urban environments offer.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Seth wrote:

Zona does have a point though. Small communities Are far more susceptible to having a scapegoat or a pecked hen in the community. You see more Hester Prynnes in small communities where they may not be able to find support than in metropolises where like often finds and supports like.

Oh, is that what their point was?

Small communities are much less susceptible to large-scale genocide, wide-scale systemic corruption, and horrifically imbalanced distribution of wealth.

And they are far less capable of producing anything of real value.

Personally, I like things like antibiotics, disposable razors, and kickass motorcycles (to name only a few). A 400 person community would have difficulty enough producing a line of bicycles.

Your question is a difficult one, Pawz, and I've been writing and deleting several responses. It's clear to me that I would be a hypocritical leader with ancient jeans :). One thing is clear - I would make full use of that Stargate to banish people from cheebatown.

I would want 100% freedom of expression, but if you speak out against classic novels because they have bad words in them, you are flung into the stargate.
I would want freedom of religion, but I would only want atheists or agnostics to come through.
My education system would practically be paramilitaristic. If your kid can't read by 6? Stargate. If your kid won't join a sports program? Stargate. If a parent can't attend a parent teacher conference? Launch 'em.
If I'm not allowed to be king of this realm I would have a president, but the first qualification must be that we can only accept candidates that do not want to be president.
Don't like bacon? Stargate.
My economy would be largely laissez faire. But if I had to deal with nations like Saudi Arabia, I would not allow imports or exports there until they had equality for women.
Any country whose market is not open to some of my goods or uses government subsidies to give their corporations an advantage would see trade stopped.
No handouts to foreign governments.
No handouts to corporations.
Copyrights = 5 years, that's it.
No speed limit. All curves in my nation's roads would be banked. Driver's ed would be similar to GTA 4's driving school.
Food industry: no processed food with more than 5 ingredients.

My list goes on for a while ;).

Paleocon wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Seth wrote:

Zona does have a point though. Small communities Are far more susceptible to having a scapegoat or a pecked hen in the community. You see more Hester Prynnes in small communities where they may not be able to find support than in metropolises where like often finds and supports like.

Oh, is that what their point was?

Small communities are much less susceptible to large-scale genocide, wide-scale systemic corruption, and horrifically imbalanced distribution of wealth.

And they are far less capable of producing anything of real value.

Personally, I like things like antibiotics, disposable razors, and kickass motorcycles (to name only a few). A 400 person community would have difficulty enough producing a line of bicycles.

Agreed. In the abstract, at least, I think the price we pay for those things is too high - depression, nuclear waste, potentially a whole slew of auto-immune disorders, wars where hundreds of thousands of people die... Seems expensive for Bics, Harleys and fancified bread mold.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Paleocon wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Seth wrote:

Zona does have a point though. Small communities Are far more susceptible to having a scapegoat or a pecked hen in the community. You see more Hester Prynnes in small communities where they may not be able to find support than in metropolises where like often finds and supports like.

Oh, is that what their point was?

Small communities are much less susceptible to large-scale genocide, wide-scale systemic corruption, and horrifically imbalanced distribution of wealth.

And they are far less capable of producing anything of real value.

Personally, I like things like antibiotics, disposable razors, and kickass motorcycles (to name only a few). A 400 person community would have difficulty enough producing a line of bicycles.

Agreed. In the abstract, at least, I think the price we pay for those things is too high - depression, nuclear waste, potentially a whole slew of auto-immune disorders, wars where hundreds of thousands of people die... Seems expensive for Bics, Harleys and fancified bread mold.

Considering our life expectancy is easily twice as long as it was when populations of cities with self supporting agriculture first came on the scene, I would say the price has been way worth it.

I will take the possibility of dying of an autoimmune disorder at 80 over dying of a tooth infection at 20 any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

What if two villages got in a fight though? I bet the bigger village would win, which is a fantastic motivator to have a big village. I'd rather go the other way. We can fit the whole population of the earth in to Texas, and maybe a few other states, depending on how dense we make our super-metropolis. Then we can have continents of pristine wilderness.

Equally unworkable.

Overpopulation is a problem for sure, and I'm 100% down for more responsible reproduction up in this piece. I agree that many problems are caused by having too many people. However, I also believe that we can come up with more creative solutions than, "have fewer people."