Re: virus: A new government, for the people, by the people.

John ''I Take Large Steps'' Williams (
Thu, 19 Jun 1997 06:17:32 -0400

At 01:51 AM 6/19/96 -0500, you wrote:

>I've been thinking about this issue for a while too. I think that you
>are right: we no longer need Representative government. We have the
>technology to govern ourselves. Allow me spell out what I see...

>And I'm sure there are problems with this idea, but damned
>if I can see them...

Then let me offer a couple to get started. ;-)

First of all, as a liberal, I'm often accused of believing that people
aren't capable of running their own lives. This is about 50% true. I
believe that people can't protect themselves from manipulation.

Right now, we have a problem with politicians saying one thing, then doing
another. Not "doing another" right in front of us, but "doing another"
behind our backs. They do things that, if we knew about them, we'd be
upset. Here's something interesting: the American Senate and House just
passed a Consitutional amendment making flag-burning un-Consititutional.
Several years ago, this was a hot issue with lots of debate. I haven't even
heard this talked about much on the news...just recently that it had
passed. (The Constitution isn't amended yet). I know people that would be
really upset about this if they knew it....

Your "potential dicator" with over half of the votes would still have a
powerful free hand, because what he does publicly, and loudly, can be quite
different from what he does behind people's backs. People want to believe
the best about the leaders they like, so it'd take some work to convince
his majority that he's a sleaze.

Another complaint: one person, one vote for everything doesn't do much to
protect people's rights. If we had this sort of thing going right now-- and
especially if votes applied on a local level only -- chances are the
Southern States would have established a State religion by now.

With the number of people I heard running around saying we ought to have
nuked Saddam Hussain, I wouldn't be surprised if we would have used nuclear
weapons. I think this threatens a mob-mentality democracy, rather than a
"good-old-boy" network Republic.

Basically, I don't want to turn over the day-to-day operation of the
government to a bunch of selfish, greedy, un-politically-educated people
running things. But I'm not willing to chuck *that* system for mob rule.

Another complaint: we've all complained, I'm sure, about how easy public
opinion is to manipulate. Does this solve the manipulation problem, or does
it just make it easy for radicals on both sides -- and demagogues and
protodicators -- to gain power, where in this system it would be much more
difficult? No one says they *have* to tell the truth to get people to
follow them. They just have to not get caught lying. And sometimes lying
isn't enough
to violate people's loyalties.

>> Another is to make the scope of laws geographically smaller. Let local
>> governments decide how to run their areas, rather than the federal or
>> even the state government dictating how to do it. Should an 18 yr old
>> be allowed to drink? Should a 20 yr old be allowed to have sex with a
>> 16 yr old? Let each community decide its values for itself. Let them
>> develope their own culture, rather than having that culture given to
>> them by people in the nation's capitol. This needs to be balanced with
>> the genuine needs of state and federal governments.

It seems like the best thing to do would be to break up larger countries
into smaller countries, by this thinking. One value of federal regulatory
laws is the sense of coherence that living under similar laws and laying
claim to a (basic) culture -- or at least, set of goals -- gives the
citizens. If this becomes entirely localized, then organizations like the

>> We need an Army,
>> we need the IRS...

Seem to be very oppresive; the national government risks being viewed as an
occupying force, rather than "part of us."

Localities need to make some decisions for themselves; no need for the
Capitol to micromanage. Also, that many world federal governments are *not*
rulling large groups of people (comparitively). IE, you can get to the
other side of France in one day via train. There are several American
states -- and Canadian ones -- *much* larger than some European *countries*.

>I'm all for this. Simplify the system. I think we really need only one
>/real/ "justice" law: the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have
>them do unto you. So simple, potentially so effective.

So potentially dangerous.

First of all, I still live in an area where a lot of people don't believe
that black folks should have rights. Local rule would have wiped them out
years ago here, and even now would do serious damage.

Also: how does one justifiably *enforce* such a law?

>Yes. Freedom is the ultimate law. Freedom is the concept that almost
>all laws are designed to uphold. Just remove the laws already, becuase
>they are putting bars on our freedom!

Freedom only exists as long as there is no one with a bigger club than you.
Once someone has a bigger club, it's a bonk on the head and "hello,

>Live not like a machine; rather live like a God. Do not wallow in pity;
>rejoyce in freedom!

Again. I know people I don't *want* to be free.

John Williams ICQ Address: 1213689
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"
Various Artists: Raising the Tide of Mediocrity for Two Years