Tag: government

A Vision for a Better Society

Hail, internet travelers! It’s been awhile since I last posted anything here. I suppose I was waiting for the time and inclination to write something. I got some inspiration at work earlier, so I guess I’ll dive right in: today I found myself pondering ways in which people might develop a self-sufficient, decentralized society. Here is the question: what if every community was completely self-sustaining, produced its own food, generated its own power, made its own electronics and machinery, had its own self-contained government? What might that look like? What would be required to bring it about? Why would it be beneficial? What I would like to share today is a specific vision I have had for how such a society might be organized. I might talk a little about how it could be brought about, but I will probably say little as to why it would be beneficial, because that should probably be an entire post on its own. Before I go any further, I’d like to offer a disclaimer: I’m not an expert on economics, social studies, or any other subject that would make me particularly qualified to theorize about this. So, please do take everything I say with a grain of salt, and remember that this is merely a vision, and is not intended to be a detailed plan.

 

My musings today began thus: I wish that I could find a Christian church that put a heavy emphasis on living in, respecting, and taking care of nature. If possible, even a church that met outdoors, in a grove or some other pleasant natural setting, that emphasized communing with God through getting closer to nature. I went on further to think, what if such a church started to grow its own food? What if attempted to provide as much sustenance as possible for its members? What if it had its own little community which was dedicated to serving God and forging a self-sustaining, close-to-nature lifestyle? A little like a monastery, I suppose, but of course that’s also edging into cult territory. I then made the leap from a church, to an entire community of mixed faiths and belief systems that wouldn’t be able to be called a church. And that was where my line of thinking really took off.

 

In this vision, everything would be based around a small, self-contained unit: the village. Rather like our Medieval ancestors (and the peoples of some Third World countries today), we would live in small villages, surviving with subsistence agriculture. Each family would have their own field or garden and probably a few of their own animals, and would produce enough food to feed themselves, plus perhaps to have a little surplus to sell or share to their less fortunate neighbors. Every village would have its own power generation facilities, which would consist of windmills, waterpowered generators, solar panels, or other fairly natural, non-polluting facilities. No single village would generate enough electricity to power another village. Each village would have its own water supply, be that a river or stream, an aqueduct or canal, or a system of wells or springs. The village would have its own machine shop and small scale manufacturing facilities; its people would create everything they needed with their own hands, trading for raw materials with other villages. Each village would also have its own Chief or Lord, who would be responsible for passing judgments and administering the village, as well as leading the Town Guard in the event of a battle. His or her position would be hereditary, passed down to whichever of his own children the chief deemed most worthy to rule. The reason for going back to a hereditary system is two-fold. It prevents large-scale conflicts like we see today between the major political parties, by putting the leadership into the hands of someone who as already been chosen by dint of being a child of the previous leader. The other reason is that it allows for careful, hands-on, life-long mentoring and teaching for the position of chief, by the previous chief to his heir. One of the chief’s primary responsibilities would be to prepare his heir to take over his position upon his death. However, these village chiefs would not be all powerful. Each village would hold a council monthly or as needed, in which every adult in the village, male or female, land-owning and productive or not, would gather to vote on policies and courses of action. The chief would officiate, but he would have to abide by whatever decision his people made. For example, he could never attack a neighboring village unless his people voted to attack. The reason for this is quite simply that he would not be able to force anyone to join the fight; the chief would have a few people who would aid him in policing the village, but there would not be enough of them to take control, and at any rate they would not rely on the chief for their income (as modern soldiers and policemen do), and so would not have any incentive to support him in a violent takeover of the village. In this way, each village would be truly democratic; truly self-sufficient; truly autonomous.

 

As I thought further, I realized that, of course, cities would not cease to exist. It would hardly be feasible for every urbanite to move to a country or even a suburban village. So, every city must then become a conglomerate of villages, or, in the case of a city, Towers. Every apartment complex or tower  or group of condominiums would be its own village. They would each generate their own power and provide, as much as possible, their own food and water. I believe that it is theoretically possible, through hydroponics and rooftop or balcony based gardens, for an apartment building to provide enough food for its residents. There might be animal stalls in the lower floors, where each apartment would have a place to keep a few chickens or a goat or cow. Every apartment would have its own chief and its own guard, as well as its own machine shops and manufacturing facilities. The towers would likely not be able to produce as much food as the villages, but they would make up for it by having plenty of nearby towers to trade and share resources with. On the other hand, they might be able to produce more machinery or finely crafted tools than the average village.

 

Several villages and towers would combine to form a city-state, which would be headed up by a hereditary earl, who would also be chief of his own tower or village (perhaps the largest or richest tower or village in the city-state). He would be, in effect, a chief of chiefs. Every tower or village would have its council, and the decision made there would then be conveyed by its chief when he or she traveled to the City Council to vote on matters of importance to the entire city-state. He would be required to cast his vote as his village decided he should, and in that manner, voting could be partitioned and decentralized so that it might be a less time-consuming and laborious process. The earls of the city-states could then convene a Moot or Althing in times of crisis. They might elect a King to temporarily direct all the city-states, whose power would be severely limited by the fact that each earl has complete control over whether his own army helps the king or not! And of course, each chief within the earls’ armies would be able to make his own decisions about whether he really should lead his village guard into war.

 

This society would therefore have no strong centralized government at all. It would have no (or very few and very weak) corporations. It would have no official currency and no Federal Reserve, as each earl would issue his own money to his own city-state, and even that would typically be put aside in favor of barter. Banks would fall drastically in power and importance, as most people would have all their valuables in their homes, where they can use them. There would be no attempts to force people to share resources, as everyone would produce his own resources for himself and share where he saw fit. The city-states, being independent, would be quite free to fight amongst themselves or abroad as they saw fit. They could make their own laws and control their own destinies.

 

Of course, the powers that be would never allow something like this to happen. The Federal Government needs to die; its members seem to be in general power-hungry, corrupt, and inept; but it is that very corruption and hunger for power which will cause it to hold on to the bitter end. The mega-corporations, banks, and other large centralized powers would likely also fight tooth and nail against the emergence of such a society. It therefore seems unlikely to me that anything like this vision would occur, on a large scale at least, unless and until the current power structure collapses, as I believe it will sooner or later. It always does, and when one society falls, the way is paved for another to repair its legacy and build a beautiful new world–or create something worse and more pestilential than the original ever could have been. It is my hope that, when the collapse finally does happen, my vision may become, in some small part, a reality.

 

~ Jared

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I Rant About the Government

I hate this country’s government and everything it stands for.

The corruption, the lies, the tyranny. The violence and intolerance. “Political correctness.” Conformity. Control. Power. Empty gratification. Mindless acceptance. It’s a vile creature, this government.

It started okay. Good idea behind it. Wonderful Constitution, and all that. Yay for freedom! But the government today has devolved into an entity which is quite frankly beneath contempt. My personal belief is that this change started in the Civil War of the 1860s. That war was, at its core, about state’s rights. Yes, the excuse both sides used was the issue of slavery. But ultimately, this was how it went: the states in the South didn’t feel like the U.S. government was very good for them, and therefore, they wanted to secede from the Union and make their own country. The Government, however, didn’t like that. They didn’t want to lose any of their power. So they started a war to force the Southern states back into the Union, though they had no legal or moral right to do so. After the Civil War, the rights of individual states decreased a good deal. I consider this unjust and tyrannical application of power on behalf of the Northern Government to be the start of the current Federal Government’s corruption.

It can be argued, however, that the beginning is even earlier, at the very introduction of the constitution. According to Patrick Henry,

The fate … of America may depend on this. … Have they made a proposal of a compact between the states? If they had, this would be a confederation. It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government. The question turns, sir, on that poor little thing—the expression, We, the people, instead of the states, of America. …

With the replacement of the Articles of Confederation by the Constitution, the United States became a single country rather than a collection of principalities united toward a common goal. Thus, it can be argued that the start of the government’s unjust powers was in fact with the acceptance of the Constitution. Do I think the Constitution was a bad thing? No. It was an enlightened document. Unfortunately, humans are capable of abusing any law, no matter how enlightened it might be.

At any rate, this country has reached a point where the its people are in thrall to a government that wants nothing but more power and more money. A government that will use any excuse to tighten its stranglehold on the public (case in point–the SOPA Act, the Patriot Act, and the recent modifications made to the National Defense Authorization Act, which allow the government to detain for an indefinite period any US citizen who is suspected of terrorism). A government that spends with no thought to the future and forces its citizens to bear the burden of its own lack of fiscal wisdom. A government run by corrupt thieves for whom lying comes as easily as breathing, which supports any suppression of free thought. A government eager to use violence and physical force to cow its enemies, be they foreign or domestic. A government… that needs to fall.

I realize this may seem to some like a gross over-simplification. I realize that not everyone in the government is an evil bastard. However, consider this: power, by its very nature, is an extremely corrupting influence. Because of the way this country’s government is designed, the people who gain power tend to be the ones who look for it, who will do anything to attain it. It’s been said that the man most worthy of holding power is the one who wants it least. Draw your own conclusions.

I could spend a long time ranting about the Government’s various shortcomings, and how these can be tied into all levels of American society. However, I don’t think that would be very constructive. Instead, I shall present a possible alternate form of society, which would, I think, resolve most if not all of the problems with this government. I don’t claim that this idea is practical, and I have little idea of how it could be put in place, but it’s good to ponder other options. There is rarely only one way to do something.

The first and most important thing to do: abolish the Federal Government. A big government creates the exact opposite of freedom. There is, in modern society, a very large misunderstanding of what the government’s role should be. People tend to think that they are owed something by the government. They feel entitled. This starts young: “everyone’s unique and special! You have to follow your dreams! Don’t let anything stand between you and happiness!” And this view is carried into adulthood. The government only encourages the view, by running welfare programs and putting out economic stimulus packages and doing other such things. However, the government’s purpose is not to be a breadbasket for the population. The purpose of a national government is extremely simple: enforce the laws and protect the people. That is it. There is absolutely nothing else the Government should be doing. It is not the government’s place to interpret or create laws. It is not the government’s place to declare war. It is certainly not the government’s place to run the economy or give financial aid to anyone with a sob story.

So clearly, the Federal Government’s powers must be drastically reduced. I would reduce the government to one single entity: the Court. This would be a simple system of judges. Every town would have a judge, who would handle local disputes. If a dispute involved certain criteria, it would be passed upward to a higher court, of which there would be as many as needed to keep things running smoothly. I imagine there would be some “circuit judges,” servicing the more remote towns. There would be no lawyers. Juries would be used, and they would of course be raised from the local folk. The Court would have its own private army–what is today the Police–in order to ensure that its verdicts are carried through. A Code of Laws would be set up at the beginning of this administration, which could be amended only by consent from a large amount of voters. Punishment would be swift, public, and in proportion to the crime. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” would be the Court’s motto. A murderer would be put to death immediately–courthouses would have their own facilities for punishment–most likely by hanging, a historic and effective form of public execution. It is important to make these punishments public because public punishment dissuades others from committing the crime, or at least that’s the theory. Many punishments would involve public humiliation, such as being put in the stocks. The fear of having one’s pride demolished would be an effective fear in the prevention of crime. Punishments would also be applied evenly regardless of age. It does little good to coddle the young, because such coddling reinforces the belief that one can sin and get away with it, making it more likely that the youngster will commit the same crimes when he’s older. In short, the justice system would be swift, efficient, and as impartial as possible–as well as the only permanent government entity.

Now, that sounds like an awful lot of power. In order to balance that power, there would be a militia. This militia would serve a couple of roles: protection from foreign threats, and keeping the Court’s powers in check. The Court and the Militia would serve to keep each other in check, so that neither entity could abuse the people. A further check would be that Commanders and Judges would be elected, not by members of their own organization, but by the local citizens.

A nationwide council would be elected, by popular vote, to handle foreign affairs and other such things that are better handled by a small group of people than by a large country. Its members would change every few years, and it would hold little real power.

The Federal Reserve would be abolished and inflation would become a capital offence. Each bank would issue its own money, but money would really become less important, as a more compact barter system would have equal prominence. No one entity would be allowed to control the economy, and each state–each community–would have free rein in terms of trade.

There would be no standardized, government-run education system. Such things encourage only close-mindedness.

There would also be no centralized medical care. Medical care would be run on a smaller and more local basis, rather than being controlled by huge hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

Standards would be enforced by the Police, who follow a series of Codes–Construction Codes, Educational Codes, etc. However, the if Police became overzealous, it would be the job of the Militia to step in and keep them in check. Also, there would be no gun control laws (beyond perhaps age-based permits), and common citizens would therefore be able to defend themselves from both the Court and the Militia.

In essence, everything would be decentralized and taken out of the control of the Federal Government. By spreading power, freedom would be maintained. The country would no longer be so unified, but unification comes at a steep price, and I don’t believe this price is always worth paying.

Of course, I don’t claim that all this would work. But I think something like this would be a better option than the current power-hungry monstrosity that controls the nation. Another thing I find interesting is a revival of the feudal system in modern society, which I might discuss in a later post….

Peace.

~ Jared

How to Turn a Third-World Nation Into a Major Power

This is something from my old, now defunct blog. It probably has some holes, but it was amusing and I thought it would be fun to post.

 

Have you ever wanted to take a poor, starving African country and turn it into the next great power? We all have, haven’t we? But knowing where to start and how to go about this is quite another matter. So, I have decided to put forward this simple, eight-step plan. I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to put it into effect, but that’s beside the point.

So how does one go about achieving this lofty goal?
Step one: Money. You’ll need a large, steady supply of it, because your nation won’t be self-sufficient for a long time. How to get this money? Use your imagination. Start a major fast-food chain, play the stock market, rob banks, con rich dummies into sponsoring you. While you’re waiting for the money to come in, move on to steps two and three.
Step two: Begin training a successor. You must always think on the long term.
Step three: While you’re waiting for funds to accumulate, choose a country and build a team. When choosing a country to take over, location is very important. Anything in Central America is a no-no, because of the USA. South America is safer, but still not advisable. Similarly, Asia is a difficult proposition because of China. The Middle East is dangerous because of the constant violence, but certainly doable–and the oil will give you a powerful resource. Eastern Europe is a definite possibility: there isn’t much to get in your way there, although Russia and the EU might present problems eventually. However, the best option is probably Africa. Constant turmoil, people in need of a benefactor, plentiful natural resources, and a lack of caring from all world powers make African nations perfect targets. Now that you’ve chosen a country, build your team. You’ll need a small group of loyal, skilled followers, although it is possible to achieve this goal on your own. My suggestion when it comes to followers is to find an expert computer hacker, someone with lots of money and no particular skills (heiresses are nice), someone with a strong knowledge of current economies, a military tactician and strategist, a charismatic administrator (to be your right hand), a thief, and three or four experienced body guards. This should give you all you need for step four.
Step four A: For those with a more peaceful outlook. Hack into your chosen nation’s computer systems and begin bribing government officials. These bribes, along with discreet assassinations, should allow you to build a strong power base. Once this base has been constructed, rig an election and put yourself in power.
Step four B: For warmongers, or if your chosen nation is controlled by a dictator. Viva la revolucion! Move in with your team and begin spreading propaganda among the people. Your aim is to get them to join your guerilla army. You’ll need to make heavy use of the funds you’ve acquired to equip this army–it is imperative that it outclass the government’s forces. Once you’re strong enough, launch a coup and place yourself in the position of dictator.
Step five: A propaganda campaign. Make sure everyone knows you’re their new best friend. Use the power of stories to manipulate the population–this is a time where it is money well spent to hire a skillful storyteller. Through very careful, almost subliminal manipulation, you can build approval for your new state. Once the people see your promises beginning to come true, you can back off on this.
Step six: You have, through peaceful or not-so-peaceful means, gained control of your chosen nation. Now you must reform it, and construct your platform for world domination. The first reform you must make is to the economy: ban inflation and remove all government controls on buying and selling. Establish a flat tax, and promise never to raise it. Establish a gold standard–this is very important. A total free market is your only option here. The economy may seem to fail at first, but it will recover. In the meantime, support yourself and your endeavors with the funds you acquired in step one. The next reform you must make is to the system of law. Most third world countries have a Civil Law system in place–you must replace it with Natural Law. Recognize that the government’s job is not to create laws, but to enforce them. The basic foundation of this system of law is this: do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property. All other laws will follow from this. Your goal, remember, is to have as few laws and regulations as possible. Abolish lawyers. Impose swift, harsh penalties for infractions. The death penalty is a must, but don’t use it too liberally. The third reform you must make is to the government. A republic is not a good option at this stage, because bureaucracy will rule. A constitutional monarchy is my preference–it places a significant amount of power in your hands, yet it also allows the people to feel as if they have influence. This establishment of government should be done within the nation’s existing laws, and you may have to make new laws before you can change the government. This, however, should be easy if you have the money for bribes or the muscle for assassinations.
Step seven: The government, economy, and law system have been reformed. The people are behind you. The nation is ready to stretch its muscles. Encourage people to set up factories and mines, in order to take advantage of your resources. Employment will skyrocket, and people will begin to have the money to buy advancements in technology. As your nation becomes more and more industrialized, increase the size of your military. Spare no expense in training and equipping. Launch major recruitment drives. Then, once the army is large enough and your industrial base powerful enough, unleash yourself upon the nations around you. Conquer outright the first two, then give all others a chance to surrender and join your regime. If they do not surrender, fight them until they do. If the war drags too long, carpet bomb them until no one is left alive. Ruthlessness is the key. At this time, the propaganda campaign must be designed to convince your citizens of their superiority, and their duty to liberate the peoples of surrounding nations.
Step eight: Create alliances with major nations, especially the US. Refuse to join the UN. Continue expanding your empire, but be careful not to grow too large–inevitably, your regime will fall apart. However, if you keep it small enough, it can last indefinitely. Stay out of major wars not started by yourself. Export your products all over the world, with the goal of making nations everywhere dependent on you. As your trading and military influence grows, so will your cultural influence. This is important–when people admire your culture, they will be less likely to hate you. At this point, your goal has been achieved. You are a major world power, able to dominate. But remember–DO NOT OVERACHIEVE!!! If you attempt to fully conquer the world, you will fail. Your nation will fall apart before you manage it. You can control the world just fine without conquering it. Peaceful trade is the key. You will never fully dominate the world, because that is not the nature of human society. Let other nations continue to exist, to keep your own nation strong through competition. In this way, you can leave a legacy to last through the ages….
So, that is how it’s done. None of this is proof against bad luck, of course…. You must be very, very careful. Have one person you can trust implicitly–it looks good to the people, as well as being beneficial to yourself. But trust no one else. Make sure you have a strong security force and military. Hire the best tacticians and planners. And always remember….
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN.
There are countless small nations this plan would be suitable for. Don’t give up if you fail with your first target. Good luck, I wish you all the best in your efforts.
~ Lucius