All bow down to the Major Domo! (re: Billy Brown's gov model)

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Wed, 25 Aug 1999 17:06:59 +1000

> Billy Brown wrote:
> Has it been 3 months already? Oh, I guess it has. OK, sure, we can argue
> this one again.
> FWIW, here is my current best idea for implementing a truly free society
> without getting everyone killed. It all hinges on an idea for making
> governments more fully subject to market forces:
But let's make it virtual and possible now for a bit of fun.

> 1) Find someplace ininhabited to set up shop, so you don't have to deal
> with
> any messy problems on the issue of consent. Anyone who doesn't like the
> following proposal can simply go elsewhere and do something different.
The Internet (well, you can always build an uninhabited bit)

> 2) Start by claiming an expanse of physical space (preferably a solar
> system, but something as small as a large asteroid might work.
Virtual space; lots of servers, add more as necessary, buy in by new citizens could pay for such

> 3) Set up a national government charged with defending said space. Give
> it
> the power to raise a standing military force, collect taxes (but not
> control
> emmigration - so it is a lot more voluntary than current systems), and
> conduct dimplomacy. It also gets to have a few negative powers - it may
> use
> force to prevent local governments (see below) from making war on one
> another, creating internal trade barriers, or preventing the free flow of
> money and people from one locality to another.
Systems admin

> 4) Set up a process by which citizens may create a local 'government'
> spanning any unclaimed region of physical space the national government is
> willing to try to defend, or any virtual space that they themselves have
> created. A local government could be anything from an authoritarian
> mini-state to a completely ungoverned anarchy. Its scope is limited only
> in
> that it is forbidden to infringe on the perrogatives of the national
> government (i.e. defense and foreign policy).
Mailing list owners

> 5) Since a locality can not force people (or their money) to stay put, the
> various local governments will find themselves competing for citizens.
> Thus, we would expect that localities will evolve to actually give people
> what they want. Any vision of society that can actually work, and that
> has
> a significant number of adherents, should end up being implemented by at
> least one locality. Conversely, schemes that can not work well will tend
> to
> be weeded out by economic forces as businesses migrate to more hospitable
> localities.
People can join mailing lists at will, drop out at will. As a bonus, you can have "citizenship" of multiple "nations"; as many as you can keep your obligations to, and can be bothered joining.

> A few obvious questions that I don't currently have good answers for:
> 1) Should there be a national Bill of Rights, with some sort of national
> police/court system empowered to enforce it? Personally I think this is
> giving the central government too much power for too little reason - if
> some
> people voluntarily choose to live in an oppresive locality, who are we to
> stop them? OTOH, there are some sticky issues involved if a locality
> suddenly takes a turn off the deep end. I think the key issue here is how
> to make sure that no one ever has to live under a system that they haven't
> explicitly agreed to.
In a Mailing lists realm, it's not such a problem. But you still have to look after meat-world.

> 2) Is there some minimal criminal code that all localities should be
> required to recognize? This is a significant issue, since otherwise there
> will be a market niche for localities that are hospitable to fugitive
> criminals. OTOH, it is difficult to devise an effective soluition to the
> problem that does not compromise the whole nature of the system. Perhaps
> we
> are better off leaving the market alone?
Also not a problem for e-mail world

> 3) What kind of system should be created to make sure that localities can
> not use false advertising to lure people into their sphere of influence,
> and
> then prevent them from leaving via devious, indirect methods? Bear in
> mind
> here that we have to take into accound the potential for advanced
> technologies like personality editing, mind copying, sentient AI,
> borganisms, and 100% virtual worlds. Giving the central government
> sufficient police powers to investigate possible cases in detail would
> make
> it entirely too strong for comfort, but I don't like the idea of just
> saying
> 'caveat emptor' - these are people we are talking about, not dollars.
> Maybe
> we need an additional power group of some sort?
Caveat-emptor may do fine here

Do you think that you could somehow attach control of real-world resources to mailing lists? So various lists could actually make binding decisions that affect the physical world? Then maybe you start getting something like what Billy proposes above. You could eventually attach *all government* to mailing lists which any person in the world was free to join or leave at any time. Sounds pretty unstable to me, but I'd like to hear good reasons why it'd work or not.

There is a problem of people not living with the consequences of their actions, which exists in e-mail world as well as Billy-world. Nations/Lists could make popular, short term gain decisions which totally stuff up things for that Nation/List in the long run. Then, when things get tricky, everyone "defects" (quite legitimately).

As Billy suggests, different styles of control could be tried by different groups (democracy, rule by everyone (where everyone can vote on everything), monarchy, dictatorships, corporate fun, etc...) and natural selection should sort out the goats from the sheep. Although anyone who's ever played a multiplayer strategy game will concurr that there are many factors involved in surviving such a setup - looking weak can be real bad, looking strong can be REAL bad.

(By the way, does anyone remember Companion Set D&D? As I recall, it listed different forms of government as relates to different character classes like so:

	Magocracy - Government by Magic Users
	Theocracy - Government by Clerics
	Monarchy - Government by Fighters
	Democracy - Government by Thieves

Earlier extropians ran TSR in the 80s, methinks.)