5. Politics & Government


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Politics & Government

Government and politics is something none of us will ever satisfied with. We always feel politicians and bureaucrats are after personal gain, they never do anything properly, and what actually goes on in the government is hidden from us. And because that does have a germ of truth in that no matter what the government’s intentions initially were, politics ends up being a power struggle. Everyone has an opinion on how society should be run, and there are variations upon variations upon variations of government. Anarchism? Authoritarianism? Capitalism? Social Democracy? Theocracy? Oligarchy? Gerontocracy? Communism? Autocracy? Heck let’s go with Autocracy.

Indulge yourself. Imagine we’re going to have an autocracy, and you, yes you, are going to be the autarch. In case it isn’t clear, autocracy is where one person gets to rule. Pretty awesome right? So you have a massive army to police your population, keep everyone in line and ensure they’re as they’re as meek as lambs. Shall they inherit the Earth? Not on your watch, no sir. Now let us continue as if you are writing about your adventures as an autarch in dairy form, in first person, to make it come alive.

The aim of this gedanken experiment is to demonstrate -
1. Government or a ‘state’ is inevitable in human society. This is because we have to cooperate in order to survive. To cooperate, we need to follow some rules so that everyone is happy. This is society. When society gets to complicated that you need to regularize those rules, you get government.
2. Running a state is extremely complicated and constantly runs up against reality.
3. The running of a state is locked in a constant battle with our human natures.
4. Society is fully inter-meshed, and individual progress goes with societal progress.
5. There are many forms of government. While their relative merits may be debated, the efficacy of a system of government really comes down to the implicit attitudes and level of understanding that the individuals who form the society being governed possess.
6. Government is a contract between individuals to shape society, whether implicit or explicit. A government is not ‘outside’ society. It is part of society.
7. The following thumb rule applies to actions at the societal level. “Every action has reaction. And the reaction will have a reaction. However the first reaction to the action will typically be stronger than the action, and the succeeding reactions will typically be of smaller and smaller magnitudes.” More on this in the analysis at the end.
8. Power corrupts. Thus, every system of governance needs checks and balances, and an intrinsic method of cleansing to ensure that the corrupting influence of power is stopped in its tracks.

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