Midnight Pub

Redesigning the World

~tetris

Some thoughts on how I think the world should be, and how to possibly achieve it.

General Summary

Society should be split off into small meaningful free-thinking groups ("clades"), and these groups should be supported by a higher resource-based state. The state manages global resources (housing, food, infrastructure) and is made up of representatives from each clade.

Small Towns, High Representation

State Provides For All

1: Loosely based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

2: A basic voting competency must be passed. E.g. "Who is Mr. X and what are their policies?"


axiom

I think I see what you've tried to articulate here. Effectively, a flat-plane multiverse of contemporary sociocultural sandboxes coalesced under the umbrella of an economically all-encompassing, central planning-based welfare state. (Correct me if I'm wrong, of course.)

However, I feel this doesn't address the underlying issue that leads us to the socioeconomic burnout we feel in the present civilizational paradigm. Currently, the issue isn't that people aren't free to move into smaller groups and shift out of mass society, so much as it is that there are no alternatives to mainstream residential setups.

Also, central planning seems inevitably destined to nourish the worst of humanity--through its tendency to foster that particular kind of administrative arrogance that it fundamentally requires to operate (how do you take decisions affecting vast swathes of people with varied interests, while knowing you can't escape your own biases, without having some kind of narcissism-inclined cognitive pathology?). Even sortition/lottocracy doesn't feel like a sufficiently effective mitigating factor. But maybe that's just me.

That aside, it is an interesting thought experiment. And in that vein, I shall take the liberty to suggest a modification:

First, we will retain the idea of clades but clearly define them as knowledge/ideology based coalitions/associations with a residential component hinged on being initiated into that system. So, effectively, each clade is something of an academy--with the insulation common in these cases being mitigated through technology (in transport and communication) that facilitates trade, travel, and casual interaction between the individuals in various clades.

In this sense, clade's retain their principle of voluntary membership.

Second, we will also retain the current urban environments and their monolithic culture. Clades and cities, thus, will be contemporary formats of residence and economy--particularly, their simultaneous existence makes them active alternatives to each other. People, thus, are free to choose between living in a mass society/mass culture (cities) or a kind of distinct ideological conglomeration (clades).

The distinction is that the cities would retain that increasingly-homogenous rat-race culture of global metros as is familiar to us today (in varying degrees, of course; but trending towards becoming globally homogenous), while the clades are knowledge centres that allow for people, whether children or adults, to seek and gain membership based on whether they feel the tenets of its organisation resonate with them.

Third, we remove government from the context of the clades almost entirely. Consider that the government is an organisation whose primary purpose is the maintenance and upkeep of cities. This includes infrastructure, law enforcement, healthcare--effectively anything under the purview of a central planning-based welfare state. The only part of the clade-equation that a nation-state participates in is international representation (in forums such as the UN and other such inter-national coalitions, current and future), and the provision of defense, again, only in an international context (global or regional wars between nations, etc). The election of government official can employ the original idea of sortition/lottocracy, including participation of members from the clades (since, as an extension of international representation, all individuals, whether of cities or clades, are recognised as citizens by the state).

The administration of the clades--and so, even the responsibility for their own survival, regardless of how brutally they may fail or what they choose to legalise/condone to survive (barring, perhaps, indiscriminate violence)--is left entirely up to the clades. The social, cultural, and commercial economy between individuals and groups will ensure that contact between clades and cities remain active. The clades can perhaps enter into agreements/treaties with the government that serve to recognise the clade and define the basic aspects of the concessions and limitations afforded to the clades (perhaps even using a general structure applicable to all clade's as a base)--in order to better define this interaction between government-administrated cities and self-administrated clades.

To be clear, the general framework of interaction between government and clade will define the limitations and concessions afforded the government just as much as it does those afforded the clade.

I feel this structure that offers the individual the choice between centres of mass society and multiple niche offshoot societies, while they serve as active alternatives to one another, might foster a more equitable environment in the long-term. The overarching clade environment, devoid of pure government intervention, also becomes a sort of meta-meritocracy in that only the clades able to sustainably administer themselves will last. The others will either volunteer to become subsumed under the state--or will collapse into bands of marauders intent on proliferating the vectors of their decline upon the whole system of clades and/or cities.

In an ideal iteration of this, both clades and cities will offer formats of residence while contributing to the whole, conceptualised as the nation-state or national economy, in two distinct ways (on top of, and apart from, residence): the cities contribute commercial efficiency and the clades contribute epistemic longevity.

I feel I may have overworded--though, attempting to review and reduce has still left me with this teetering verbal obelisk. Nonetheless, this was an interesting exercise in speculation. And if you've made it all the way to the end here, I appreciate your patience :)

... ... ...

tl;dr: a system of clades and cities, rather than an ecosystem only of clades--done so, to provide meta-diversity rather than just diversity (choice to not choose rather than just choice between choices); and, the majority of state intervention is absorbed by cities, while clades are left to pseudo- or quasi-anarchic self-administration

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tetris

Hey thanks for your fantastic comment, sorry it took so long to reply -- life has been hectic at the moment.

Currently, the issue isn't that people aren't free to move into smaller groups and shift out of mass society, so much as it is that there are no alternatives to mainstream residential setups.

Different clades would allow for that though: Hippie-based clades would promote communal living, or living off the earth. "Normal" clades would do the atomic housing model we have today. As long as both clades provide a minimum living-standard that complies with the State, then all setups are valid.

how do you take decisions affecting vast swathes of people with varied interests, while knowing you can't escape your own biases, without having some kind of narcissism-inclined cognitive pathology?

Forgive me, this I don't quite follow. The State will be made up of random clade members. As long as we sample each Clade without replacement, the State should eventually represent all beliefs (over a given amount of time). Where does the narcissism come into it?

First, we... In this sense, clade's retain their principle of voluntary membership.

Nice amendment, sold!

Second, we will also retain.... Clades and cities, thus, will be contemporary formats of residence and economy--particularly, their simultaneous existence makes them active alternatives to each other. People, thus, are free to choose between living in a mass society/mass culture (cities) or a kind of distinct ideological conglomeration (clades).

Fair enough, who am I to prevent people from clustering in larger groups.

I'm against the idea of cities because I find them dehumanizing in the sense that you never really get to know your neighbours and build a community, and this is further exacerbated by language barriers, which makes it hard for groups to come together, unionize[1], and serve a common interest. However, ~Contrarian rightfully pointed out that such a mode would likely lead to a kind of eco-fascism in many clades. So... yeah, fair enough, maybe a boiling pot of different cultures, languages, and beliefs, all smushed into one chaotic space is a necessarily guard against such extremism.

The distinction is that the cities would retain that increasingly-homogenous rat-race culture of global metros as is familiar to us today (in varying degrees, of course; but trending towards becoming globally homogenous), while the clades are knowledge centres that allow for people, whether children or adults, to seek and gain membership based on whether they feel the tenets of its organisation resonate with them.

I'm liking the idea that clades represent a nicer alternative to cities, whilst cities still being present. I have the feeling that this will force cities to become nicer places overall, in order to entice people away from the clades.

Third, we remove government from the context of the clades almost entirely. Consider that the government is an organisation whose primary purpose is the maintenance and upkeep of cities. This includes infrastructure, law enforcement, healthcare--effectively anything under the purview of a central planning-based welfare state.

But then wouldn't clades just become private entities who have to secure their own funding in order to exist, ultimately just rewarding the more capitalistic-based clades?

Ref1
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inquiry

My feeling at this point goes something like "no system is any match for self-centric morons", which unfortunately seems to describe the vast majority of the species - including the writer of these words, of course.

Somewhat likewise, a system is hardly - if at all - needed for selfless beings possessing proverbial "half a brain".

The necessary, effective change is within, and already prescribed by any number of religions/philosophies shown to effect such change in beings that give it "half a chance".

Which, of course, just so happens to be thwarted - if not sadly circumvented - by personal/individual moronic self-centrism....

Quite the pickle, no? :-)

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tetris

A safety here is that the self-centric morons can cluster together but in small manageable groups where they can enact no harm on anyone other than themselves.

I'm of the low opinion that most people can't engage in the half of the brain needed for their own self-benefit, because they're simply overwhelmed with the rat race of life. Asking people to change themselves, is asking people to first have time for themselves, and I don't think many have that choice.

As much as I'd love a revolution of the mind to happen organically from below, I'm of the opinion that state socialism + some federalization is probably more likely

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inquiry

Seems reasonable.

Yet, oh, the vast quantities of nickels (or the reader's locale's equivalent) we'd be drowning in for every time reason couldn't foresee some Nth order entropy-friendly effect itching to reproduce into precisely what pulls the rug out from under the best made plans.

It kind of makes sense, though (which is kind of sadly funny, given this is reason appraising itself). How could mere re-presentation take all of re-ality into account, being merely (again) re-presentation, i.e. not Thing Itself?

(The hyphens after "re" were intentional, suggesting perhaps there is no standing-alone-unto-itself/thing-in-itself reality, but that all seeming "is-ness" is (haha) but representation blessed with just enough, um.. blissful ignorance to seemingly "make it so" (yes, a show reference...).)

Anyway, my bowl of franks and beans is nearly depleted even as I re-re-alize the futility of words (i.e. re-presentation, i.e. modeling).

That said, I enjoyed your initial post on the subject, and your followup to mine (heh... initially typed 'mind'...).

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tetris

Yep, our best made plans laid to waste. I'll probably get the blame for rolling it out, and they'll hang me publicly to much cheer before the next despot rolls in

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inquiry

*Now* you're getting a feel for this species.... :-(

(the frownie was over the seeming reality of a mostly dumb-assed, flag-waving, slogan-chanting, let's-see-who-can-act-out-more-stupidly-than-anyone-else species)

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contrarian

That sounds like a nightmare. Groups can never be free-thinking. I suppose you think Gene Roddenberry got it right too? Someone's inevitably going to bring up Starship Troopers.

I am detecting some guild socialism. It's also a hop, step, and jump away from National Anarchism except you've gone full mondialism. Sortition is good, and you can't really have a polis above 10,000 people. I certainly think city of industry could be a lot more literal with kids being shipped off to schools that are closely intertwined with their future economic activities. The best schools should be public, not private.

What we're really going to get is eco-fascism.

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tetris

The idea was that it could facilitate all kinds of different political systems¹, whilst still providing a safety-net of sorts.

Guild socialism? Maybe, I guess it depends on how a specific clade implements making their luxury goods. For the most part, everything is owned and comes from the state (which I guess is owned by everyone).

Yep, on second thought, National Anarchism would probably be a big factor in many clades, as many clades will likely end up racially homogenous... but I like to think that the progressives will still pool together in their own clades too and they will thrive from the exchange. If people with similar backgrounds wish to live together, and they can't enact harm upon others with different backgrounds, then what's the issue²?

I'm not sure what you mean by Mondialism (despite searching). Each Clade is just a conglomeration of shared belief, but individuals in these clades can freely move to other clades that support their different beliefs if it clashes so harshly with their current clade. The individual is still protected.

I didn't consider schools, but that's a good point. Ideally, all children should be aware of the beliefs of other clades, know their rights, and be taught to some common standard.

Eco-fascism will likely occur in quite a few clades, yes, but I don't think it will be the prevailing model. Fascists have a tendency of limiting their children's actions, and if those children know that they are free to move away from their parents and explore their freedoms, then why wouldn't they.

I imagine we will see more multicultural city-like clades neighbouring each other, with some fascist-like clades dotting the edges here and there. Essentially the distribution of the world right now, but with less city-density, so that mega-cities (made up of 1000s of clades) stretch out over more distance.

1: Yes even the fascists. They're apparently hard to get rid of.

2: Not a rhetorical, I often don't think things fully through in terms of ethics.

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