Designing A New Nation – Part 2 - Government - Caleb Jones

This is the next part in my continuing series on developing a hypothetical future nation called Ascendia, based on small government and personal liberty. This is a for-fun thought experiment only; I have no interest in actually doing any of this.

In the last installment, I talked about the geography and size of the nation, strictly in the interest of keeping the parameters consistent. Today, I will talk about how I would design the government.

Since the goal of the nation would be to keep government as small as possible for as long as possible, Ascendia would not be a democracy. As I’ve explained here, democracy is a form of government that is only valid if your goal is to eventually have a Western European-style socialist government with a strong focus on a large welfare state. Since Ascendia will be a small government, libertarianish nation, we can’t have democracy. If we did, eventually people would start voting for other people’s stuff. This has always been the case in places like Europe, and is now the case in the USA.

Instead, Ascendia will more closely model small, prosperous nations that are not democracies, like Singapore and Hong Kong. The problem is Singapore is too authoritarian and Hong Kong is a little messy, so we need something a little more streamlined and free.

An important note before I continue. All forms of government are bad. All forms of government are extremely problematic. Therefore, you’ll be able to find lots of flaws with the type of government I’m about to lay out. My goal here is not to have a governmental system that has zero flaws, since that’s impossible. Instead, my goal is to use a form of government that is least bad. It’s bad, but it’s not as bad as most other governments.

Elitism

Elitism exists in all cultures and in all nations. Communism, socialism, fascism, authoritarianism, dictatorships, democracies, capitalism, corporatism, all of these kinds of nations, and I mean all of them, have elitism, in that there is a small group of elites at the very top who tell everyone else what to do and get fat and rich off the system. It’s not fair, but it’s human nature, and it can’t be avoided. If you think you can develop a nation without this problem, you’re seeking Disney utopia and you’re not living in the real world.

The Western world lies about this, and its politicians run for office saying that they “care about you” and want “to go to work for you.” Then they get into office, become one of the elites, and act like greedy little asshole dictators who get rich off the system while consolidating power.

Authoritarian nations like China and Russia are, strangely, a little more honest about this. Their government says, “We love you, but we’re better than you and we’re going to tell you what to do for the good of us all. Now shut up and get to work.”

I like the honesty of authoritarian nations regarding elitism, but I don’t like the lack of freedom. Therefore, the government of Ascendia would acknowledge that we can’t avoid elitism, but we still need to focus on freedom for the typical citizen.

Government Type

Therefore, after a lot of research, I’ve come up with the least bad government type for a small libertarianish nation, and that is a constitutional oligarchy. This means a small number of people who set policy for the federal government, but who are also bound down by an enforceable constitution that restricts their power to some degree. I considered a constitutional monarchy, but this relies too much on a single king (or queen) who may be an idiot or a psychopath. Having a constitutional oligarchy spreads the risk out a little more.

Under this system, the oligarchs, okay, let’s call them “representatives” to make it more palatable, would say to the people, “Yeah, we’re the elite here and we’re a bunch of greedy assholes who are in charge and who are here to maintain power for ourselves and our friends and families. But! At the same time, our goal is to make this nation the number one economy on the planet, so we want all of you to make as much money as humanly possible. When you make money, we make money, and we look good, which is what we want. You win, we win. No, this isn’t a democracy, and you can’t vote us out of office, but this is also the freest nation in the world, and when you’re all making $100,000 a year, we have a feeling you won’t give a shit that you can’t vote.”

This would be a completely honest message. The representatives would indeed have the mandate to be the number one economy and the freest nation in the world. That way, they could make even more money, be popular, and hold on to their power, which is what elites always want.

The oligarchy would be called the assembly. (Again, we want to make these terms more palatable for proper marketing.) The assembly would be made of 1000 people who would only work part-time and vote on a few things per year. These people would be mostly asshole elites appointed by other asshole elites, and they would make no effort to hide this. Intelligence tests and other testing regarding history, business, and economics would be required to pass for any nominees to be approved by the assembly. There would also be a minimum age of 40.

The Enforceable Constitution

The assembly would be oligarchs, but they could not do whatever they wanted. The laws they pass would be heavily limited by Ascendia’s constitution. Learning from the mistakes made by the United States, this constitution would actually be enforceable. The Constitution of the United States is one of the greatest written documents in world history, but the problem was the damn thing wasn’t enforceable at all. Congressmen and Presidents could just ignore it and do whatever they wanted. Not so in Ascendia. There would be several levels of enforcement to help ensure this wouldn’t happen, or at least wouldn’t happen too soon (since all nations degrade over time).

First, there would be a clause in the constitution that would say something like:

“Any politician at any level, ex-politician, or government employee who passes a law or executes an order in violation of this Constitution, or engages in any acts prohibited by this Constitution, will immediately be removed from office, will serve no less than 15 years in a federal prison with no chance of parole, will never be allowed to serve in government at any level ever again, and if hired by any company where he/she makes more than the average level of income (as determined by the relevant city tables) will pay 80% of said increased income as a fine to the federal government in perpetuity.”

This means that if anyone in government passes a law that is in violation of the constitution, the son of a bitch gets removed from office, goes to jail, and won’t be able to cash in on his violation later as a lobbyist.

As a libertarianish nation, there would be very few laws over its citizens, but there would be all kinds of laws and restrictions on its politicians and government employees. Laws that limit the freedoms of citizens are bad. Laws that restrict the power of politicians are not only good, but very good.

Who would enforce this clause? The Constitutional Enforcement Agency, of course! The CEA would be to the assembly what internal affairs is to the police. The CEA could not pass or repeal any laws, but they would have the power to remove, imprison, and punish anyone in the federal government who violates the constitution. The oligarchs, I mean representatives, would always be wary of the CEA looking over their shoulders. Again, the representatives would still have vast power and be able to enrich themselves, but they would not be able to do it to the degree to which the typical citizen would notice.

If you’re asking who would watch the CEA, that’s a flaw in my system. We could create another organization to oversee the CEA, then another organization to watch them, etc, but we can’t do this ad infinitum so we have to draw the line somewhere.

The third level of protection against government growth would be that no unions would be allowed at the federal government level. Unions would of course be allowed in the free market if the private sector desired them, but any sort of unionization at the federal government level would be illegal, always.

The assembly could, if they wished, and they probably would, appoint a Chief Executive. This person would be in charge of running the internal economics of the nation as well as being the nation’s chief salesperson to other nations. This person would have one job: make Ascendia money and improve the standard of living for the typical citizen using free market, capitalistic practices. If he made money and improved the economy, he would continue in his position and be rewarded. If he didn’t, he would be fired and replaced.

If you’re going to point out that corruption could occur within the assembly and/or the CEA regardless of what I’ve just outlined, you’re correct. If you’re going to point out that eventually, the constitution would be violated in some way as time goes on, you’re correct. Again, remember, least bad here, not perfect. What I’ve just described has the makings of the smallest and freest government the world has ever seen despite its flaws.

The Federal Government

The entire government of Ascendia would consist of just two levels: the federal government and the free cities. That’s it! There would no states, no provinces, and no counties in Ascendia, and none would ever be allowed. Your address as an Ascendian citizen would list your home address, your city, and the name of the nation. That’s it! You only have to worry about two levels of administration or taxation; the federal government and your local city/town.

The federal government would only perform these five tasks:

  • Manage foreign policy and trade with other nations.
  • Coin money, digital or otherwise (though it would not have a monopoly on this and free market currencies would be allowed, even encouraged; more on this in a future article).
  • Manage the military.
  • Mediate disputes and lawsuits between the free cities.
  • Manage a patent office.

That’s it! It would do literally nothing else (unless I’m forgetting something). Every other function of government would be left to the free cities.

The Free Cities

Every government in each city of Ascendia would be free to govern their own affairs. They would be responsible for things like:

  • Roads (private roads would also be allowed and encouraged)
  • Police (private security would also be allowed and encouraged)
  • Courts (private courts and arbitration services would also be allowed and encouraged)
  • Infrastructure
  • Environmental standards, if any
  • Welfare services, if any

That welfare part is important. There would be literally no welfare state in Ascendia. The federal government would never remit any funds of any kind or any services of any kind to any individual or company, regardless of the reason (government employees excepted of course). However, individual cities would be allowed to offer things like public schools or public health care to their citizens if they so chose and if the voters in those cities so voted. Cities could hold elections if they wished, or they could duplicate the model of the federal government, have no elections, and just have a mini-assembly. It would all be up to each individual city how they wished to handle these things. Since the federal government would do so little, cities would have massive flexibility and leeway.

Since there would be no states, provinces, or counties, and since the federal government would own no land, groups of citizens in rural areas would be able to form their own legally recognized cities or towns, and develop them in any way they wished.

Cities would be able to sue each other using a court/mediation system at the federal government level. Let’s say City A had stronger environmental restrictions on its air and water, and City B had lax restrictions. City B’s pollution somehow floated over (or went down-river) to City A and caused problems there. City A would be able to sue City B at the federal government level for damages. This would encourage these sovereign cities to get along despite their possible political differences. Things like highways, high speed trains, and other inter-city infrastructure would be encouraged, but not funded, by the federal government. (I am open to suggestions on how inter-city travel could be done under a system like this.)

That about covers it for the basic overall structure of the government. If you have any thoughts on how I can improve the above, please let me know in the comments. In the next few articles, I will cover taxation and monetary policy, then we’ll move on to issues such as foreign policy and military.

37 Comments on “Designing A New Nation – Part 2 – Government

  1. Hey Caleb you say elitism is apart of human nature. Since that is the case what do you believe is a non-elitist purpose in life?

    To become an elitist? TO beat the system?

    Just curious

  2. Hey Caleb, you actually never stated the goals that someone seeking to create such a nation would set. I think this all can boil down to this one question:

    By what metric(s) would you determine whether Ascendia succeeded or failed after having existed for, say, 25 years?

    or alternatively,

    What criteria does Ascendia have to satisfy for you to choose it as the country to reside in?

  3. The federal government would only perform these five tasks:

    Manage foreign policy and trade with other nations.
    Coin money, digital or otherwise (though it wouldnothave a monopoly on this and free market currencies would be allowed, even encouraged; more on this in a future article).
    Manage the military.
    Mediate disputes and lawsuits between the free cities.
    Manage a patent office.

    I would hope that the assembly could negotiate military protection from a neighboring country so that Ascendia’s citizens could focus on business. I can’t imagine myself fighting to protect Ascendian citizens whom I haven’t met. So, I’d want the government to farm out the military work to someone else.

    Also, I think a patent office with 20-year protection just gives rise to patent trolls and frivolous legal disputes. What the protection lasted 5 years only, or the assembly allowed the patent examiners to assign a length based on existing competition, usefulness, and novelty of the patented idea?

    Lastly, Ascendia’s society sounds like it has a narrow purpose: make money and improve economy. I think that people would accept this goal for a time, say for 1-2 generations, but once we’re rich enough, what then? Would people still buy into it? How do you judge the success of Ascendia? Is it GDP? Or is it the longevity of the governmental/societal structure?

  4. In systems like this, the oligarchial families are the “electors”.

    The CEA would necessarily wind up being the *real* government by virtue of its being able to threaten any of the oligarchs with 15 years hard time. Just a brief meeting in a hallway “Oh, by the way, yes we are looking at the implications of bill XYZ-123” would be enough.

    Instead, the power would have to work like recall elections. A poll of the regular folks, very difficult to organize, almost never happens, but there is always the *threat* of it happening.

    No women in the assembly?

    There’s have to be constitutional protection against the central government abusing the power to make treaties to create de-facto legislation outside its remit.

    What about constitutional protections against having a central bank? The US constitution specifically empowers congress to mint the money, but still somehow the US manages to do its business mainly in bank notes.

  5. Hey Caleb you say elitism is apart of human nature. Since that is the case what do you believe is a non-elitist purpose in life?

    To become an elitist? TO beat the system?

    I don’t think it’s an issue to the individual. Elitist or non-elitist, none of that matters to you individually or your inner circle (spouse, kids, parents). Forget about society, beating it or joining it, and focus on your own life instead.

    By what metric(s) would you determine whether Ascendia succeeded or failed after having existed for, say, 25 years?

    Highest standard of living and after-tax income in the world (or close to it; let’s say top 10 or top 5) for the average citizen living there.

    What criteria does Ascendia have to satisfy for you to choose it as the country to reside in?

    That’s a very big question that I’ve talked about before many times in the past (very low taxes, very low regulation, zero wars, sound money, etc).

    I would hope that the assembly could negotiate military protection from a neighboring country so that Ascendia’s citizens could focus on business.

    Yes, that’s a valid function of a federal government, though it would more likely be private mercenaries than a foreign nation.

    I can’t imagine myself fighting to protect Ascendian citizens whom I haven’t met. So, I’d want the government to farm out the military work to someone else.

    Yes, the military would be outsourced to the private market and there would be no draft. I have an article about that soon.

    Also, I think a patent office with 20-year protection just gives rise to patent trolls and frivolous legal disputes. What the protection lasted 5 years only, or the assembly allowed the patent examiners to assign a length based on existing competition, usefulness, and novelty of the patented idea?

    I have not done enough research into how to prevent patent trolling to answer that question. There must be some simple solutions to this; to protect other’s IP while preventing those god damn patent trolls.

    Lastly, Ascendia’s society sounds like it has a narrow purpose: make money and improve economy.

    And thus standard of living and freedom, yes, more or less.

    I think that people would accept this goal for a time, say for 1-2 generations, but once we’re rich enough, what then? Would people still buy into it?

    All nations eventually collapse. Ascendia would experience unparalleled success, and then slowly, over time, the citizens would start feeling guilty and slowly shift to the left and embrace more socialistic aspects. Then they’d go bankrupt and collapse (and hopefully many would leave and start their own new free nation all over again). You can’t avoid it, but you can extend the good times for as long as possible. It would last much longer than “1-2 generations.”

    How do you judge the success of Ascendia? Is it GDP? Or is it the longevity of the governmental/societal structure?

    You’re the second person who’s asked, so I’ll write a future article about this.

    It certainly wouldn’t be GDP, since Ascendia would be a small nation, and government spending is part of GDP (which is why I hate using GDP as a measurement of success).

    In systems like this, the oligarchial families are the “electors”.

    Correct. It would end up being several prominent families who run everything, just like in the United States  (the Bushes, the Clintons, the Rockefellers, the Kennedys, etc) and everywhere else. As I said in the article, elitism cannot be prevented. It can only be tolerated and managed.

    The CEA would necessarily wind up being the *real* government by virtue of its being able to threaten any of the oligarchs with 15 years hard time.

    Over time that’s one possible outcome, perhaps.

    Just a brief meeting in a hallway “Oh, by the way, yes we are looking at the implications of bill XYZ-123” would be enough.

    GOOD! I want lawmakers to be constantly TERRIFIED to pass new laws.

    No women in the assembly?

    Where did I say that? Of course you can have women there.

    There’s have to be constitutional protection against the central government abusing the power to make treaties to create de-facto legislation outside its remit.

    Not sure what you mean; give me an example.

    What about constitutional protections against having a central bank?

    Absolutely. That would be another clause in the constitution. I’ll write another article about the constitution specifically.

  6. Since we’re dealing with fun hypotheses, I wonder what you would have to change to implement libertarianism in older times, if possible at all. From ancient to medieval era, specifically.

    In a country that can’t draft soldiers, how can it protect itself?
    I’m thinking such an economical country should work to establish trade with all neighbouring countries to make long-term alliance profitable compared to war.
    Of course, paying mercenaries and other tribes for protection comes to mind but so does the fall of Rome at the hands of said tribes when they realise Rome can’t defend itself without them. Maybe having several separate groups for protection would negate that problem.

    Eh, I dunno. I’m not well versed in politics or history to have an opinion on this.

  7. The issue is that most men are not REAL men and therefore are too scared to pick up arms and fight a Government that is out of control.

    Most men are scared to go to prison or risk this and being called crazy or a cook or whatever.  Shoot most men won’t even stand up to the Child support system or the IRS for fears of going to jail.

    Could you imagine how fast things would get fixed if we had some way to organize a small % of men to stop paying income taxes (I don’t see where this is Constitutional or written very clear anywhere btw).

    Eventually, over time, the prison system would become over crowded with more petty crime people than real hard criminals.  Then, the Government would need to hire more employees to Enforce it, which would cost more $ and therefore lead to them being 15 years behind on collection.  The system would eventually implode or become useless if a majority or many stopped paying it.

    Then maybe the Politicians would begin to lower the rates or make it legal and more fair possibly.

    But the problem is we are not organized, fearless nor patient enough as a nation to do something like this.

    Any new nation would eventually become lazy and complacent too and same cycle would repeat.  This is why it is good to have several passports.  Dubai for example – if the West crumbles, so would it.

    So, it’s probably good to have a passport in some smaller less well off countries (like neighboring Lebanon or Beirut, which I love) that are not quite as dependent on America or the West.

     

  8. In a country that can’t draft soldiers, how can it protect itself?

    Uh…dude, you do know that there is no draft in America right? We got rid of it 40 years ago and we defend ourselves with an all volunteer army.

     

  9. Yes, the military would be outsourced to the private market

    That is absolutely insane! Private for profit companies wanting war and bloodshed in order to avoid their own bankruptcy? Uhh, no. The military industrial complex is bad enough here. We don’t need an army slaughtering children in order to improve their quarterly statement. I hope you were just kidding.

    I have not done enough research into how to prevent patent trolling

    Abolish the patent office and the concept of “patenting” completely.

     

  10. Private for profit companies wanting war and bloodshed in order to avoid their own bankruptcy? Uhh, no.

    No, there would be constitutional protections (as well as penalties) against going to war for no reason. But I’ll address that in the military article.

    Abolish the patent office and the concept of “patenting” completely.

    How the would authors, artists, movie makers, inventors, innovators, and other IP creators be protected then?

  11. I would hope that the assembly could negotiate military protection from a neighboring country

    That is probably the most insane thing I’ve ever heard.

    You want us to be dependent on fucking foreigners to protect us? Pathetic. You might as well rip up the Declaration of Independence and declare us a province of whatever country is protecting us! It’s slavery!

    How about showing some self reliance and protecting our own damn selves instead of pathetically enslaving us to some foreign land? If we can’t even defend ourselves from invasion without asking for a favor from foreigners, then we are not a sovereign nation! We’re a slave to foreign interests! Jesus!

    I can’t imagine myself fighting to protect Ascendian citizens whom I haven’t met.

    Then don’t. Who said anything about drafting you?

    So, I’d want the government to farm out the military work to someone else.

    You mean, to a foreign country? Foreigners have never met you either. Give them that kind of power over us, and they’ll just invade us, rape our women, kill our men, enslave our children, and say, “thanks for the money, suckers!”

     

  12. No, there would be constitutional protections (as well as penalties) against going to war for no reason.

    Corporate fascists can always come up with a reason. “Weapons of mass destruction…… he gassed his own people……he’s sponsoring terrorism……he hates us for our freedom……wah wah”

    How the would authors, artists, movie makers, inventors, innovators, and other IP creators be protected then?

    Abolish the concept of “intellectual property.” You should make money only from the physical (or digital) things that you create and sell. But once it’s mine (because I bought it from you), I should be allowed to do whatever I wish with it, including give it, or sell it, to others, as long as I don’t rob you of your reputation via deception (plagiarism). but rather give you verbal credit for your work.

    Intellectually speaking, we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants. Ideas, once obtained, should be free floating. Only actual physical (or digital) products should be recognized as having private ownership, and I am the private owner as soon as I buy it from you!

    Ideas should not enjoy any private ownership (barring reasonable civil laws against plagiarism, which is deception).

     

  13. I think it would be important to teach the citizens of Ascendia or the world in general the method of how to know what is true.

    In this way we can make permanent change because people will understand how the world works in a way that can’t go backwards.

    In this way concepts like property rights could be permanently upheld and we will live in everlasting happiness with ever increasing good.

    Awesome next stages or targets we could aim for outlined in your post.

    How could we go about bringing this into reality?

    Thanks Caleb.

  14. Corporate fascists can always come up with a reason.

    I know, as I said above, something like that would likely eventually happen no matter what you did. Give me a better system then.

    once it’s mine (because I bought it from you), I should be allowed to do whatever I wish with it, including give it, or sell it, to others, as long as I don’t rob you of your reputation via deception

    Philosophically I agree with you, but that would never work in the real world. Explain how a writer (as just one example) would be able to make a good living under that system. My Blackdragon business would be almost impossible under such a system (again, as just one example of many I could give).

  15. How could we go about bringing this into reality?

    Sadly, you’ll have to wait until the Western world collapses. No one will be interested in this stuff until then (other than the teeny tiny percentage of humans who are libertarians and who have no power in society whatsoever).

  16. Caleb, about Chief Executive and the Assembly:

    Are they judged on their long term planning and long term profit they create for Ascendia, or say, yearly/bi-yearly like a corporation?

    I imagine a scenario where the Chief and a bunch of Oligarchs devise a genius plan that will make Ascendia super rich in about 25 years, but requires ENORMOUS investment (say, purchasing rights to mine platinum at the bottom of the Mariana Trench); and then they get socked out of the office for it by the CEA, since the yearly profit suffers.

    So, focus on long term planning and investment, or get-rich-now schemes?

  17. Since we’re in imaginary land:

    Humans are highly irrational and loves to find creative ways to skirt around rules – hence I propose that these constitutional oligarchs/monarchs be AI entities – perhaps some form of highly sophisticated decentralized autonomous organization.

     

    I, for one, welcome our robotic overlords.

     

  18. Are they judged on their long term planning and long term profit they create for Ascendia, or say, yearly/bi-yearly like a corporation?

    They’re not judged at all. They’re oligarchs. They’re just limited by the constitution and the CEA as to how much money they can spend / power they can assume.

    I imagine a scenario where the Chief and a bunch of Oligarchs devise a genius plan that will make Ascendia super rich in about 25 years, but requires ENORMOUS investment (say, purchasing rights to mine platinum at the bottom of the Mariana Trench)

    That wouldn’t happen in the first place since the constitution / threat from the CEA would forbid such an expenditure. The federal government would be small and barely spend any money. That’s the entire point.

    Humans are highly irrational and loves to find creative ways to skirt around rules – hence I propose that these constitutional oligarchs/monarchs be AI entities – perhaps some form of highly sophisticated decentralized autonomous organization.

    I, for one, welcome our robotic overlords.

    Haha, that could happen to everyone anyway. 🙂

  19. It sounds like a lot of good possibilities.

    If you’re asking who would watch the CEA, that’s a flaw in my system. We could create another organization to oversee the CEA, then another organization to watch them, etc, but we can’t do this ad infinitum so we have to draw the line somewhere.

    The CEA balances the oligarchy but it needs a check.  You can prevent the ad infinitum problem by possibly creating a circular/triangular set of check and balances, like what the USA does with executive, judicial and legislative.

    At the same time, our goal is to make this nation the number one economy on the planet, so we want all of you to make as much money as humanly possible. When you make money, we make money, and we look good, which is what we want. You win, we win. No, this isn’t a democracy, and you can’t vote us out of office, but this is also the freest nation in the world, and when you’re all making $100,000 a year, we have a feeling you won’t give a shit that you can’t vote.”

    Possibly consider making this more explicit.  Set performance benchmarks/bonuses for the oligarchs.

    For example:

    When the median and mean income of the Ascendia both reach $75,000 (adjusted for inflation) each year over the previous 10 year period, all oligarchs receive 5% of all of that years taxes.  (Assuming a 5% tax rate – 6 million people *75000*5% tax rate*5% bonus = $1.125 billion). If $100,000 over the previous 10 year period, all oligarchs receive 5.5% of all tax revenue above $75k (about $1.5 billion).  If $125,000, all oligarchs receive 6% of all tax revenue above $100k.  Etc.

    This would help align the interests of the people with the oligarchs.  It could be a sliding scale from $45k  up. And it would remove some chances for bribery.  Special interest groups would have a billion dollar hurdle to overcome.

     

  20. Of course, paying mercenaries and other tribes for protection comes to mind butso does the fall of Rome at the hands of said tribes when they realise Rome can’t defend itself without them.

    I think “when they realize it can’t defend itself against them” isn’t by itself a strong reason for mercenaries to overthrow a nation, unless the motivation was there to begin with. The mention of “Rome” and “mercenaries” is making me think of Carthage, which relied on mercenaries a lot. Granted, they almost brought it down between the first two Punic wars (because it hadn’t paid them after a war it lost to Rome), but a country like Ascendia wouldn’t get into wars of that severity and cost unless it was about pure survival (which the first Punic war wasn’t for either of the two powers, not initially), in which case the threat of being screwed over by the mercenaries becomes pretty secondary to the rest anyway.

  21. “The issue is that most men are not REAL men and therefore are too scared to pick up arms and fight a Government that is out of control.”

     

    This comment brings up a concern.  What about religion?  We know you are not religious… but I doubt ANYONE who is atheist or agnostic fights for their country.  Religion and the idea of divine providence is what puts a citizen’s skin in the game.  If they knew their was no common god, no spiritual connection to the land or the society, they would probably not give a fuck about being invaded.  They might just leave.

  22. Religion and the idea of divine providence is what puts a citizen’s skin in the game.

    This is the thread-winning comment.  Ascendia will not succeed as outlined.  I am not a spiritual or religious person, but I recognize that humans need more of a mission in life than making money.  If that’s all there is, then corruption and petty bickering will destroy everything.  Strip mine everything now and fuck the future.

    If you look at stable societies, there is a sense of community and belonging.  Japan had this.  Then they went batshit over money and became debt slaves.  America had that for a few decades because they were bound together for wilderness survival and against a common enemy.

    I’ll take America with a few tweaks.  An exit clause for states would have forced the federal gov to respect rights or watch everyone brexit.  One house of congress for the elites and one for us rabble.  Any law requires the elites and regular folks mutually benefit, or it doesn’t pass.  Beyond this, I just accept that humans are ungovernable.

  23. Most of the flaws in your system could be fixed by having a single ruler with absolute power over the assembly. The oligarchs would have to answer to the regent.

    This would be a system that could work on any scale even world wide. Have a single all powerful person in charge: the god-emperor. On local level the power would be highly decentralized and any country could govern themselves however they wish. The Emperor would have an absolute power over all of them, of course but in practice would not really care as long as they follow a short list of basic rules set by the god-emperor. Any violation would result in severe consequences which could include spontaneous eliminations of the elites.

    This way there is of course a risk that the world will be good or bad depending on who is the emperor but it is a completely transparent system where all the rules are super clear and everyone knows what to expect. If the world is not satisfied they can (try to) eliminate the Emperor.

  24. The CEA balances the oligarchy but it needs a check.  You can prevent the ad infinitum problem by possibly creating a circular/triangular set of check and balances, like what the USA does with executive, judicial and legislative.

    I agree but I couldn’t think of a way to do that. I’m open to any suggestions.

    Possibly consider making this more explicit.  Set performance benchmarks/bonuses for the oligarchs.

    I will write a new article about that.

    What about religion?

    It would have freedom of religion and all religions would be welcome. The government would do nothing to promote or limit any religions.

    In a free society, religion is the purview of the people, not the government.

    Ascendia will not succeed as outlined.  I am not a spiritual or religious person, but I recognize that humans need more of a mission in life than making money.  If that’s all there is, then corruption and petty bickering will destroy everything.

    Then what else should the government focus on besides economic success? And note what I just said about religion.

    Most of the flaws in your system could be fixed by having a single ruler with absolute power over the assembly. The oligarchs would have to answer to the regent.

    As I said in the article, no. What if that person was stupid? Insane? Etc? Do you really want to live in a country ruled with an iron fist by someone like Justin Beiber?

    You don’t want any ruler to have power over the constitution. Rule of law, not men.

  25. I also would put an AI in charge of some things. For sure courts – this should not be done by humans. The AI will not be a real AI but a simple script which would determine whether something is allowed or not by simply checking with the constitution and applicable laws. Therefore there is no need to have some independent body to check whether laws are against constitution as the AI would handle this. Any law against the constituion or decision made by court would simply be blocked with a pop up error message saying that it does not agree with what is allowed and that they have to change the law (or court decision) and try again.

  26. As I said in the article, no. What if that person was stupid? Insane? Etc? Do you really want to live in a country ruled with an iron fist by someone like Justin Beiber?

    You don’t want any ruler to have power over the constitution. Rule of law, not men.

    It is enough the first time for a limited time when it is set up. If the system is set up good enough and that people think such person exists that might be enough. Then just keep the world in ignorance that the Emperor does not exist. The Silent King.

    https://dncache-mauganscorp.netdna-ssl.com/thumbseg/424/424421-bigthumbnail.jpg

  27. I also would put an AI in charge of some things. For sure courts – this should not be done by humans.

    I generally agree but someone would have to prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that such an AI is smart enough to actually do this by the time the nation is set up (that it understands all the nuances, etc).

    If the system is set up good enough and that people think such person exists that might be enough. Then just keep the world in ignorance that the Emperor does not exist.

    That’s different than what you earlier suggested. Not sure if it would be worth doing.

  28. I generally agree but someone would have to prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that such an AI is smart enough to actually do this by the time the nation is set up (that it understands all the nuances, etc).

    Well let’s see how far we can get with AI by then.

    If the system is set up good enough and that people think such person exists that might be enough. Then just keep the world in ignorance that the Emperor does not exist.

    That’s different than what you earlier suggested. Not sure if it would be worth doing.

    The original idea was based on someone like me being in charge. The follow up comment relates to how I would try to set it up so that it continues functioning after my death. Perhaps an AI with the personality and decision making process of the original emperor could work. In the future we might have things like brain snapshots so you could even make an android that forever behaves like a historical person during specified time period. So the actual emperor could retire after a few years and then it doesn’t matter if he gets crazy later because hes not in charge anymore.

    The problem is the more individualities in charge the more chaos. You think its good idea to have an assembly so they can check and balance each other but you can see that in the world this rarely happens (they often band together for bigger personal profits – or wage massive wars between the groups). In a group leadership like you suggest you will basically get a mafia system. Which is exactly what we have now with the political parties. I am guessing your line about banning unions on this level also covers political parties being illegal – which I would make illegal immediately also – but thats only possible on the outer level. Secretly they will still form groups and thats not possible to stop, unless you are planning to put them all on 24/7 surveilance that will be accessible to public – that is another idea, you become an oligarch who rules the country, you lose all privacy and you are subject to public scrutiny. Brings some balance, interesting idea. But you might lose potentially really capable leaders who wont be interested anymore because of this, the assembly would probably then be full of exhibitionist psychotics.

  29. I agree but I couldn’t think of a way to do that. I’m open to any suggestions.

    Using the USA model with 3 branches. the oligarchs could be in the executive branch.  Say there were 9.  They could elect one as president/king every 4-10 years.  The CEA would be in the judicial branch.  They could be appointed by the oligarchs and approved by the legislative branch (elected democratically or republically) or vice-versa.  Or the supreme court (appointed like in the USA) could appoint the CEA court of say 5,7 or 9 people, approved by the other two branches.  Not perfect but some level of checks and balances.

    I generally agree but someone would have to prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that such an AI is smart enough to actually do this by the time the nation is set up (that it understands all the nuances, etc).

    AI is really cool and has amazing potential. But using AI to govern also sounds like the basis of a dystopian sci-fi thriller like Minority Report, etc.

  30. I am guessing your line about banning unions on this level also covers political parties being illegal

    That would be irrelevant since there would be no national elections.

    Using the USA model with 3 branches. the oligarchs could be in the executive branch.  Say there were 9.  They could elect one as president/king every 4-10 years.  The CEA would be in the judicial branch.  They could be appointed by the oligarchs and approved by the legislative branch (elected democratically or republically) or vice-versa.  Or the supreme court (appointed like in the USA) could appoint the CEA court of say 5,7 or 9 people, approved by the other two branches.  Not perfect but some level of checks and balances.

    Interesting idea but I don’t want the CEA being a judicial body, but an enforcement one. And if the three branches are all appointed by one branch, that would cause issues too. I like your overall idea; I just don’t know how to implement it based on the stricture I have in mind.

    AI is really cool and has amazing potential. But using AI to govern also sounds like the basis of a dystopian sci-fi thriller like Minority Report, etc.

    Yeah, I don’t like his idea of using AI to actually govern, but I could be convinced to turn over certain decision making processes to AI.

  31. Yeah, I don’t like his idea of using AI to actually govern, but I could be convinced to turn over certain decision making processes to AI.

    I think you both misunderstood. Def not to govern, that has to be done by a human. The AI could help enforce the law and or settle disputes. An example of this done in an interesting way in fiction is in Ergo Proxy.

  32. Not exactly the same, but have you read on the Holy Roman Empire?

    This sounds awfully similar with Imperial Free Cities and the Emperor having very limited powers except in things that explicitly crown controlled.

    The main issue with this ideal state would be the same as in the HRE. Your enemies would have high spending governments or autocratic powers, and you would be unable to respond fast enough to any threat, while they chipped away at your borders.

    Also, another country could offer heavy benefits for one of your major “free cities” that are among some of your best, and offer independence or dependency – welp there goes one of your economic centres.

    Additionally, noble competing interests ruined the empire; they squabbled and even allied against each other in favour of foreign powers who offered different benefits to different cities.

    Your oligarchic structure is an even worse idea – as instead of nobility fighting, the heads of state – the oligarchy would be bribed or played against each other the same way.

  33. Not exactly the same, but have you read on the Holy Roman Empire?

    Yes, a lot. I love it.

    Your enemies would have high spending governments or autocratic powers, and you would be unable to respond fast enough to any threat, while they chipped away at your borders.

    Incorrect. There would be a unified, centralized federal army to protect the borders, unlike with the HRE. I will write about that soon.

    Also, another country could offer heavy benefits for one of your major “free cities” that are among some of your best, and offer independence or dependency – welp there goes one of your economic centres.

    What? Uh, no. Name one truly free country in the world today. Name one. (And if you mean people would move out of Ascendia to places like Sweden because they wanted to sit around and get welfare checks, then we don’t want those kinds of people in our country anyway; that would be a good thing, not a bad thing.)

    Ascendia would the the exception to the rule.

    Additionally, noble competing interests ruined the empire; they squabbled and even allied against each other in favour of foreign powers who offered different benefits to different cities.

    Doesn’t apply to Ascendia.

    Your oligarchic structure is an even worse idea – as instead of nobility fighting, the heads of state – the oligarchy would be bribed or played against each other the same way.

    Give me a better system for very small government then. I’m open to suggestions.

  34. In your post ‘a dragon in Japan’ you told us about how Japan is totally developed , awesome, high tech but is content being Japan. But China wants to be the no.1.

    I don’t understand it actually cuz if you want your country to be the no. 1 you just can’t be non interventionist. China isn’t. And you admire China alot. And I’m quite sure China can’t do shit without it’s authoritarian government.

    So do you really think that ascendia can become no.1 nation or it’ll be just another developed nation where people are content?

     

     

  35. I don’t understand it actually cuz if you want your country to be the no. 1 you just can’t be non interventionist.

    You’re misunderstanding what I mean when I say number one.

    I don’t want my country to be the most powerful or influential nation in the world. That means an empire and I hate empires. I don’t want to pay taxes so my government can have a military base on the other side of the planet. Fuck that!

    Instead, I want it to be the number one economy in the world, at least on a per capita basis. That can be accomplished by being totally noninterventionalist while trading a lot with other nations, just like Hong Kong and Singapore.

  36. So while you really admire China becoming an empire you don’t want your company to do it, is that it? Or do you not admire China’s imperialistic activities at all?

  37. So while you really admire China becoming an empire you don’t want your company to do it, is that it? Or do you not admire China’s imperialistic activities at all?

    I do not admire China’s imperialistic activities. I utterly hate them.

    I admire China’s economic growth over the past 15-20 years.

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