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Utopia - the perfect government

Introduction

We are all subject to government in one form or another. There are no places on Earth that are free to live and which are uncontrolled by a government. Not even Antarctica. This means we are more or less stuck with whatever government we have. For some of us, who live in the more democratic societies, this can be a good thing. For others, government can be their first problem in trying to live a normal life.

The government layers  most of us have to deal with are local, like city, county or state, national or federal and trans-national, like the European Union. Government is not a bad thing in itself. We need people that are educated to regulate society, take care of our safety, keep the economy in balance, protect our environment and so forth.

But we all know that many governments are not doing their job right. They seem to be more involved with themselves than the citizens they are supposed to be serving. More common these days is that governments sell out to large national and multinational companies, thinking that these companies can help improve the economy, which is only partly true.

So what then is perfect government?


 

Government evolution

 

Leaders and rulers

From the earliest headman or headwoman human societies have had one or several rulers. Being boss is a natural phenomenon on planet Earth whether you are a human animal or any other kind. Those of us that live in groups or masses all have a ruler or ruling class or caste. That's just how it is.

But what makes a good ruler or leader? In general terms it takes a combination of skill, experience, attitude and personality.

These are not traits that are necessarily hereditary so why are so many rulers simply there on the basis of their genetic disposition, such as kings or dictatorships.

A democratic system was devised many years ago to overcome this hereditary deficiency. People were tired of having a bad ruler undo what his or her predecessor achieved simply because it was the ruling bloodline and they inherited all power.

A good leader, male or female, can be born in any class or position. Unless we actively start to breed for a line of good rulers this choice should not be made on the basis of inheritance but on the presence of the traits described above.

Modern democracy is a farce as our choice of leaders is limited to a small number of people with either the financial means or the connections to stand for election.

This system can never produce the best leader. If it wasn't for the checks and balances most democracies have in them we would continuously end up with one dictator or tyrant after another.

Still, the system we have now is far from perfect as the politicians and bureaucrats are basically all of the same mind and intention - personal advancement and wealth gathering.

There are better ways.

(See Utopia: Education.)

Government

Government needs to be flexible, adapting to changing conditions, as well as stable in its foundations.

This means that its leaders need to be the same; able to adapt to the ever changing conditions of the national economy and culture, while keeping a positive overall trend.

Assisted by a number of equally selected advisors and second-level decision-makers we can construct a government that is both reliable and trustworthy.

 

 

It is easy to blame the leader for any or all ills but often it is the second level that needs to be held accountable as they do not necessarily change with the election of a new leader.

Perhaps government should consist of people that are there only temporary, at all levels but the most basic. Like military service we all get to be bureaucrat for a number of years after which we must relinquish our position to the next person that was selected for the job.

In this manner no one will be able to consolidate their position over any real length of time and thus build personal networks that would have negative influences. They can also be held fully accountable for his or her actions during their term of service and afterwards as the next person will be obligated to learn and understand what has gone before.

Behind the times

By popular definition, government is usually ten years behind the rest of society in its development and understanding. Bureaucracy is generally not the fastest turning wheel in the mechanism and can be a real burden or hindrance to personal and professional development.

That's not to say government is either unnecessary or superfluous. Hasty decision-making is not desirable either. But if the system is made to be adaptable rather than stagnant this gap can be closed significantly and government would be far more effective.

 

A regular change of guard keeps the attention alert and ready.

 

Civil service

 

The bureaucrat

First and foremost, government is civil service. It's an ideology, to devote your mind and energy to improving living and working conditions for your fellow countrymen. As a government official you are not important in who you are but in what you do.

The ruler or leader of a government is not the whole of the government. It's a temporary position at most, regardless for how long. This goes for most of the top layer of government.

The mainstay of government are the workers, the bureaucrats, that hold position regardless of who is ruler. These middle level bureaucrats can stay in their position for an entire working life, anywhere up to forty years or more.

While we all know or suspect government corruption at the top levels, the corruption at the middle and lower levels is often overlooked or underestimated. Unfortunately, this lower level corruption can be most destructive of all, even if its monetary value is less.

This middle level is a constant drain on resources and often the reason why taxes are continuously increased. It is common practice in many places that yearly budgets are automatically increased by at least 10% regardless of any planned future or past expenditures.

Why? Because it is also common knowledge that if you budget less for next year you may not get any increase the year after that when you may indeed need it.

The result of this typical bureaucratic behaviour is that far too much tax money gets spent on unnecessary, even frivolous items, positions and procedures. Because, unless you spend all of your budget - and declare a deficit - it would again become clear that you are getting too much.

Businesses that deal with governments know this very well and equally increase their prices every year for any government department that has a contract with them.

This results in huge price differences in what a government department would pay as opposed to a regular business or a consumer. Understandably, government projects are highly sought after.

Some governments install watchdogs that make sure they do not pay more than market value for any goods or services acquired, but this is rare.

In wealthier governments an attitude of "unlimited" money and special interest (let's hire uncle John and split the profits) cost the tax payer amazing amounts of money.

What we need here is serious attitude adjustment.

The right stuff

Should there be tests to determine who is civic minded? There certainly should be some kind of aptitude test to determine who makes a good leader or not.

In a true democratic society we should try and find the best person for the job of leader, not whoever can put out the most cash and who has the most influential friends. In fact, these are two factors which should be considered as a negative when accepting candidacy for the top job.

 

Many professions have strict regulations, preceded by years of study and exams before they can call themselves professional and are allowed to practice. Why then are we lacking this trajectory for one of the most important positions in society?

Shouldn't our candidate leaders be subjected to rigorous testing to ensure their qualifications and qualities are suited to the job? Yes, they should be. Then why isn't it done?

Why is democratic principle of "allowing anyone to stand for office" made a mockery of when reality shows that "anyone" is certainly not able to do so.

In fact very few are, or are even allowed in some places. When you have a choice of one, as in Iraq under Saddam Hussein or in Belarus, you cannot speak of democracy.

When you have to bribe or coerce people to vote for you democracy is equally non-existent. When you send out hoodlums to terrorise people at the voting booth this is also not democracy nor is miscounting of the ballots or replacing them.

Most people are not fooled by these fake democracies, "it's so unlike our own". But many are fooled by our own democratic system where the choice is at best to have to choose from the best competent out of a group of incompetents.

They're not listening

Election time is the only time we actually get to hear what we want - less taxes, less unemployment, cleaner environment, fight corruption, better health care, etc.

Unfortunately, once election is over our opinions are completely ignored until the next election comes around, and any decision-making is completely out of our hands.

Those we elected are supposed to follow up on their election promises because this is why we voted for them. So why aren't they doing so?

Simple, because they never intended to. Except for promising what you want to hear they are not interested and return to business as usual with the only difference is that we have maybe different faces to look at.

Shouldn't there be a system of control whereby failed election promises result in jail? Maybe.

What is sure is that our elected leaders certainly need some kind of incentive to stick to their promises.

And why are leaders not required to retire? Are people in their 80's really aware of enough what goes on to be good leaders? No, they're not.

The elderly make good advisors but are certainly not capable of proper decision-making. With a global population of which half is under 25 we need younger leaders, able to understand and react to a fast-changing political environment.

The elderly are not encouraged to drive a car beyond 80, why on earth do they think they can still rule a country?

We need an age limit on candidates, perhaps 60? At 60 you are still young enough to be active and at the end of your term, which will be between 4 and 7 years later, you have the right age for either retirement or an advisory role.

Government requirements

If you could decide what government should do and what it should not do, what would you want from your government and the people that make up that government?

It is easy to criticize government but how easy is it to be part of a government? Would you be able to control yourself?

 

Often it's not the lack of intentions that make bureaucrats slip, it's the environment in which they find themselves. Peer pressure is a bitch, we all know that, and to withstand it you need more than good intentions.

So again, what is the best way to ensure that bureaucrats actually achieve what they promise or what their job entails?

Government and politicians' rights

Be concerned with controlling itself rather than the citizens.
Be concerned with spending as little money as possible.
Be open about all policies and spending.
Honor freedom and privacy as much as the citizens do.
Retire at pension age just like everyone else.
Government spending should bear no relation to any personal liaisons of any government official.
 

Government and politicians' wrongs

Make it difficult for anyone to know what they are busy with.
Not busy with designing new taxes to take more money from the people.
Cling to power and position well into their eighties.
Have no secret projects. None, not even military that at least one watchdog knows about.
Projects and jobs are often handed out or made easy for relations rather than being objective.
 
   

 
 

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