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Polycracy

Everyone gets their way, and it's not anarchy either.
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You have grown up, and are old enough to be emancipated (to legally become an adult) under the rule of your parents' government. But first you will need to choose a government of your own and buy some land, as all minors-to-be-emancipated and immigrants need to before continuing. Each government has the right to enforce its laws on the land of the people who choose to follow it, can take taxes from those people and have its own policy towards other non-polycratic nations, but it's people, as a polycracy's highest law, can always change governments. In summery a polycratic nation is a group of nations that move to you instead of you immigrating to them.

Fee Simple http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fee_simple
Are you really sure that you own your land? [DrBob, May 12 2009]

[link]






       Yes, I know, but it's your land, right?   

       The annotation was there a second ago...   

       [] I see a problem here: this disenfranchises the poor. The rich buy all the good land and make everyone else work as serfs.   

       You can't have everyone get their way as long as people want other peoples' stuff.   

       Imagine Poor Johnny, who turns 18 and immediately buys an acre of desert land (all he can afford). For his government, he chooses the WelfareStates, to avoid paying taxes. Unfortunately for him, the land where he lives and works is owned by Bigshot Bob and governed under the laws of the MegaCorpStates, where Johnny has to pay high taxes and work as a serf.
sninctown, May 10 2009
  

       HE must OWN the land to legally be an adult, so he better stay at home and save up.   

       Sorry for deleting that anno [bbsof]. Wow, that was only up for maybe two seconds before I thought better of it. I think I misunderstood the idea and asked, "how could the end result not be one country per person?"   

       Which now makes your first anno make much more sense.   

       But if Government X governs lots of tiny little parcels of land all over the place, how will it provide infrastructure like hospitals, police, schools, etc. It can't cooperate with other Governments on these because they'll have different spending priorities. And which Government regulates things which *require* cooperation, such as the use of radio wavelengths, and control of airspace?
hippo, May 10 2009
  

       nations so small that "quit peeing on my nation" is a frequent cause of international conflict.
WcW, May 10 2009
  

       You'd end up with little micro states where hate speech, heroin abuse, child prostitution and worst of all copyright infringement were legal.
Bad Jim, May 10 2009
  

       I don't fully understand this idea, but mine - which bigsleep links to as a "system where everyone gets their own way" - most definitely is *not* a system where everyone gets their own way. It's still a single system, with a single set of rules - just how those rules are made would change.   

       Back to this one. A lot of contracts work across time - first you give something, then you get something (a little more, typically) back. Social security, health care, education, rule of law. How does that stuff work across state affiliation changes? Seems like there would need to be some minimal federal framework that makes contracts enforceable.
jutta, May 10 2009
  

       This reminds me of Neil Stephenson's "Snow Crash".   

       Feeling militant? "General Jim's" is the government for you.   

       Don't like guns? "Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong" has franchises in every city.
normzone, May 10 2009
  

       Any system that awards very different laws to parcels of land has inherent problems. Look at a good criticism of Libertarianism to find a representative sample.   

       How do you enforce land ownership for a start? Any land could decide that it is OK for it to invade and capture lands of different governments.   

       Furthermore someone could only change governments if they could buy land in that government's territory. Also if someone wanted to leave a rotten government's land they could find their land impossible to sell.
Aristotle, May 11 2009
  

       There is universal Polycratic laws:   

       1. Citizens can always change governments. 2. Polycratic Governments can't attack other Polycratic governments from the same Polycracy. 3. Minors-to-be-emancipated must always choose a government and buy land to live on, stay minors or become a minor hobo that most likely eventually stumbles across an angry self-governor and is dumped into a pit full of rabid rabbits.   

       Violation of any of these laws will result in immediate dismemberment from the Polycracy and most likely in effect becoming a shooting range.   

       Note that events prefixed by most likely are not official but just to help readers understand the concept better.   

       As for hippo's comment, land based infrastructure would be built through properties big enough to support such things, through agreements with neighboring governments and/or transporters. Air space and radio frequencies are bought and sold by citizens like land.   

       //There is universal Polycratic laws// - aah! so there is an overarching authority which enforces these laws and prosecutes administrations which contravene them.
hippo, May 12 2009
  

       [hippo], yes and that overarching authority would need land, resources and have most people (regardless of minor government affliations) loyal to it. People would probably argue a lot over the implementation of the "polycratic laws" in order to favour their minor goverment over rivals.   

       If a citizen can always change government, and if that change is dependent on buying and selling land, there would need to be some major intervention on land sales by that authority.   

       There would also need to be some thought about what happened if a minor goverment went bankrupt, succeeded to another minor government or was conquered (militarily, politically or economically) by a peer.
Aristotle, May 12 2009
  

       Isn't this just a metaphor for growing up?   

       i.e. you live in your parent's home, and for as long as you do, you live by their standards, rules and general status-quo.   

       Then you move out, get your own place and operate in a manner more of your own choosing.   

       Simple as that.   

       If there's a grand, over-arching super-government that regulates land sales, inter-personal transactions and other matters, isn't that just the normal government, writ large.   

       By owning a building/land, I already have practical privileges and responsibilities over how things are run (at a human level) within my jurisdiction (and within limits) so if I decree that it's bacon sandwich time, by golly it's bacon sandwich time.   

       If I wish to change from a pro-bacon government to a pro-salad and balsamic vinegar one, then so be it - my will is supreme while I am ensconced within the confines of my flat. My home is, in terms of dietary policy at least, very much my castle.
zen_tom, May 12 2009
  

       Hmmm! Land ownership as a qualification for citizenship is hardly a new concept, is it! In fact, until the various forms of representative government came into being relatively recently, this was a rather common practise through human history. The upshot? Whenever the surplus of land ran out. those that didn't own land were faced with the prospect of being either second-class 'citizens' or to strike out on their own. This second option normally took the form of military adventurers with armies of mercenaries (composed of landless second sons etc) constantly invading 'weak' states in order to appropriate their land.

//my will is supreme while I am ensconced within the confines of my flat//

...and as long as someone else doesn't kick you out.
DrBob, May 12 2009
  

       //my will is supreme while I am ensconced within the confines of my flat// - [zen_tom] walks on water, cures the sick, and brings peace to the world, in his flat.
hippo, May 12 2009
  

       //walks on water, cures the sick etc// - I very well might, if I chose to - I caused bread to rise the other week, planted a tree, and performed all manner of miraculous domestic chores. And, since moving in, no wars have broken out, in my flat.   

       //kick me out.// - If I managed to eat enough bacon sandwiches, I might not fit through the door - but the "they can make you" thing will allways apply - if I lived alone on a distant planet, I'd be able to do what I liked, until such time as the alien hosts arrived to inform me otherwise.   

       The Law is just an imaginary framework, and while it wont help me if they choose to build a bypass through my flat, it'll ensure that I'm at least offered due process. And when all else fails, there is always the alternative of staging a successful coup.
zen_tom, May 12 2009
  

       //[zen_tom] walks on water, cures the sick, and brings peace to the world//

He could do it too!

Well, yes z_t, it's the eternal problem isn't it? Whilst I'm in sympathy with what I take to be the general thrust of this and other similar ideas, until the problems of a) how do you put the idea into practice in the face of what is bound to be hostility from your current government and b) how do you maintain it in the face of hostility from anyone else, then it is just wishful thinking and gets a fishy from me. Just addressing these problems in the original idea would be a good start.
DrBob, May 12 2009
  

       I'm not in sympathy at all - the idea seems to be describing the general current situation in that:
i) you can replace the word "government" with "person"
ii) replace "enforce its laws" with "act in their interests, within the limits imposed by the 'Big Government'"
iii) replace "can take taxes" with "can charge rent"
iv) replace "have its own policy towards other non-polycratic nations" with "interact with other people in a manner of their choosing"
v) replace "can always change governments" with "move in with someone else"
vi) "a polycratic nation is a group of nations that move to yu instead of you immigrating to them" with "a polycratic nation is like a set of social values that many people, despite geographic distance, might share"
  

       The later admission that there is a great "Big Government" that looks over all of the little ones and limits what the little ones can do - is the final nail in the fence and we're right back to where we were at the beginning - no idea.
zen_tom, May 12 2009
  

       Why does a nation have to be limited to a predefined area of land? Surely, you should be able to keep your current land and just place it under another nation's government by filling in a few forms.
vincevincevince, May 12 2009
  

       Being able to change governments while remaining in place throws up a similar set of problems, in that rules change chaotic fashion that might be nearly impossible to keep track of.   

       You might find that all, of enough of, your neighbours have shifted to minor governments that allows loud music - potentially to encourage you to sell your land so it could be bought cheaply by them. You might pay a neighbour a necessary visit only to find that he is now allowed to shoot any visitors without warning.   

       Again these are all well explored problems.
Aristotle, May 12 2009
  

       //Surely, you should be able to keep your current land and just place it under another nation's government by filling in a few forms.//

Sorry vincex3, but that is one of the most naive comments I have ever seen. In essence, states can only exist because they can draw on the resources of the land that they control. Either directly in the form of manpower & minerals, or indirectly in the form of taxation. What possible motivation could they have to allow packets of 'their' land to secede? It would be slow suicide. You could argue that it also presents opportunities for a state to expand but the states that currently sit at the top of the pile have the most to lose.

//Why does a nation have to be limited to a predefined area of land? //

Well, I think you need to distinguish between governments, states & nations. What we are really talking about in this idea is the state, the organisational, political & cultural environment within which most nations exist. My understanding of the word nation is that it is a collection of people with a common cultural or political identity. So, to answer your question, nations can & do exist across different states (e.g. Arabs are a good example of this). The third partner in this triumvirate is the government, which is the particular set of individuals that are appointed to run the state at any given moment.

States, on the other hand, tend to be limited by geographical proximity because a) it's a lot harder to administer and to enforce the law in an area that's divided into different locations and b) it's a damned sight harder to defend it.

z_t, yes, I take your point but I was thinking more of the plea that seems to recur quite frequently in these ideas which, I think, comes down to one question. Why can't I live in a country where the rules haven't been set by some old guys who died years ago? It's a reasonable question and, to me, the answer is not to keep putting forward ideas for different idealised states or political systems but to describe a process whereby this radical change can be implemented without being squashed by those whose interests are best represented by the current status quo.

Sorry all, that went on a bit longer than I intended!
DrBob, May 12 2009
  

       How is interstate commerce regulated?   

       And, what's to stop the rich landowners from exploiting everyone else?
sninctown, May 12 2009
  

       There is NO BIG GOVERNMENT, laws are enforced through other governments being allowed with no consequence to attack an offending government.   

       //Violation of any of these laws will result in immediate dismemberment from the Polycracy and most likely in effect becoming a shooting range.//   

       But, without magic, you would need a big government to adjudicate and enforce your "no consequences" rules, [BlueBeaver].   

       Otherwise the more powerful minor governments could just declare that they have the rights to deliver up some consequences and/or break each and every one of your polycracy rules if they so desired.
Aristotle, May 13 2009
  

       //Way to keep the status quo there DrBob//

Hardly. Just like any other invention posted on HB, you have to at least make a stab at explaining how the idea can be implemented otherwise it's just wishful thinking. It's not really any different from posting an idea for a more efficient internal combustion engine without explaining the engineering behind it.

As regards the details in this idea; basing citizenship upon land holding or 'assets', as you put it, is hardly democratic. In fact it limits democracy to a select group and entrenches inequality.
DrBob, May 13 2009
  

       Good point Aristotle.   

       Drbob, this is not democracy. It's polycracy.   

       It's bollocks is what it is!
;o)
DrBob, Aug 24 2009
  

       A form of democracy where Parrots become the means of expressing the people's vote - Labour renames themselves to be the "Cracker" party, the Conservatives rebrand themselves as the "Pretty Boy" party and the Liberal Democrats adopt the "Pieces of Eight!" line.   

       <Parrot>Wark! Polly wants Proportional Representation!</Parrot>
zen_tom, Aug 24 2009
  
      
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