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An old lady.
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I had a teacher in high school who would often state adamantly that benevolent dictatorship was the ideal system of goverrment. I'm starting to believe him. (Hey, this isn't a Bush-bashing thread, so don't ruin it.)

Here's what I have figured out so far:

-Democracy simply will not work for a population that's beyond a certain degree of diversity.

-America masquerades as a democracy, but is really more of a constitutional republic. I think they use the word "democracy" to imply that we, the people, are running the show. This only seems to satisfy the ignorant majority, who are unable to see what the term really means (Majority always wins, anyone in the minority is SOL).

-People like to feel like they have a certain degree of choice. Dictatorships breed discontempt and unrest.

-Theocracy only works for populations with homogenized religious customs.

-Can a single person/figurehead run a nation? Methinks not...

-Maybe we ought to just hand the reins over to the NBC execs now... :rolleyes:

What are your thougts? What would be the ideal system of government. (And please, don't reply with the tired, same-old same-old reply of "I should be in charge...(going on about minions and enslaving the human race)..." I'm looking for serious analysis here.)
 

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How about having 2-10 guys in charge at the same time,each representing thier own group and every decision needs to pass through them until they all agree before it is put into effect
 

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aerith099 said:
-America masquerades as a democracy, but is really more of a constitutional republic. I think they use the word "democracy" to imply that we, the people, are running the show. This only seems to satisfy the ignorant majority, who are unable to see what the term really means (Majority always wins, anyone in the minority is SOL).
well, i've seen on more than one occaision that if the majority of the people are not pleased with the way a politician does their job its the politician thats SOL come election time...or in the case of Governor Grey (sp?) Davis of Collyfornia :)p) they are given judgement day :)p) and by the will of the people are terminated :)p)...damn cant think of any more puns.
 

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That might ensure relatively fair decisions but would be very inefficient.
 

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that may be but to deal with humans (non-robots obviously) its about as efficient as it gets...and who needs an efficient government that gets in the way always passing laws and **** anyway...inefficiency in government allows for smaller government (in theory :D)
 

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Simply put, there is NO Ideal system of government...or more to the point no Perfect form of government....For the simple reason that you can't please all the people all the time...
For example, if Kerry had won the election, you would have Half the country unsatisfied because they did not support him nor support his views. Does that make The American system bad??? Hell no.... What makes this country great is the fact that even though we disagree, we still get along (With the exception of extremists on both sides...). I don't respect you or anyone else less because they supported Kerry. I personally thought he was a duffus and in no way worthy of running the country, but that doesn't mean I think that of anyone who supported him. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and , because this is America, they have a right to express that opinion. A lot of other countries would love to have the right.
In America the "Will of the people" has always been the majority, because in ANY situation there will always be a minority that disagrees. Thats about as perfect as it can ever be...human nature :p
 

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I agree, there's no way you can have a perfect government. No matter which type of government you choose, at some level has to rely on human judgement, which is inherently flawed.
 

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aerith099 said:
I had a teacher in high school who would often state adamantly that benevolent dictatorship was the ideal system of goverrment.
Lord of Darkness, Proto will finally have a mentor :lol:

I don't believe there's a perfect choice considering that there are pros and cons in every system... Democracy is a fallacy nowadays, Presidents do their bidding and they couldn't care any less about what the people think or want. It often feels like a fallacy for an autocracy... a fine example of this can be seen in most countries of South America. Even worse when this hidden autocracy derives in a malevolent dictatorship (as happened in Argentina several times)
The power in only one person is always a risk... the so called senates work as good as half of what you'd want to.

Dictatorship is often a rejected option for a simple reason: lose of freedom. Granted I'm not entirely sure how it worked where it was applied, the few years this country (mine) spent under a military dictatorship (mmm... maybe that's the clue for why it didn't work) left nothing but a trail of missing persons who dared to criticize the flaws of the system (amongst other things). I've heard that some things worked better, decrease of robberies, certain increase of the efficiency, etc; but you are losing freedom of speech...

Theocracy sounds like "you follow my religion or you are screwed"... so, that's a direct no.

Considering that all systems bear flaws the choise is just sticking to the lesser evil. That'd be democracy, for it to work however a nation has a lot to do (namely, establish less strict boundaries in order to allow diversity)...
 

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Dictatorships tend to get very, very corrupt very, very quickly. Human beings, even when they think they've good intentions, have a tendency to overestimate their own abilities and their own altruism. Handing the power over a nation to a single individual (or selected cadre) is a recipe for chaos.

Democracies only exist in a perverted form these days, but IMO it's still the best system. We just need to get rid of representative democracy (i.e. politicians) and go for participatory democracy (where your vote will truly count, instead of just electing a guy with an agenda of his own). Needless to say, this will require a lot of changes, and it'll not be an easy transition.

Read James Hughes' column Engineering Better Citzens for an overview of an argument towards a participatory democratic process. Hughes argues that the implementation of a true democracy will require human enhancement (genetic, cybernetic, cognitive etc).
For a long version of the same argument (well, basically the same), read James Hughes' book Citzen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future .

I agree wholeheartedly with Hughes about the need for human enhancement before we can have a truly functional government system. Human nature and human limitations get in our way too many times - just look at the history of the human race. Even the libertarian types who tend to oppose Hughes democratic system (since they proppose to let the Free Market do everything, without regulation) agree about the need of human enhancement.
 

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I think I'll let that last post tear itself apart - true democracy requires human enhancement? Sounds like forcing people to conform to one will.

The first poster had a point with the benevolent dictator, and Boltz had a point that a human dictator will inevitably become corrupt, however benevolent they may think they are. Another possibility, though I don't agree with it myself, would be to design a machine to take on that role - properly designed, it would stay permanently benevolent and incorruptable (except through sabotage). However, who will you trust to design this machine? Will you accept its rule over you? Personally, I wouldn't accept such a thing... read what I wrote here about that, and of course your own replies to it. But, if a perfect government is your thing, that's about the only way to achieve it... that and a social miracle.
 

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KillerShots said:
I think I'll let that last post tear itself apart - true democracy requires human enhancement? Sounds like forcing people to conform to one will.
Nope, it's about everyone being able to express their wills. Nobody would be forced to take the enhancement route, but the non-enhanced would not be able to cope with all the requirements of proper democratic engagement (read the article that I posted - humans just don't have enogh brainpower to handle it, our evolved cognitive architecture isn't built to it).

And speaking of AIs, I believe that a Friendly AI would be able to create an almost perfect system, expressing our collective volition . But I'll not speculate about these matters here, since the people here on the forums seem to be hostile towards it ;)
 

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For more info on democracy and physiological and psychological enhancements, and the notion that everybody has the right to such enhancements, read this short paper called Democratic Transhumanism .

For an ethical defense of the right for human enhancement (and a rebuttal of consequentialist objections) read philosopher Nick Bostrom's paper Status Quo Bias in Bioethics: The Case for Human Enhancement .

Now, for a completely different government system, based on free-market ideologies, read economist Robin Hanson's "manifesto" Futarchy: Vote Values, But Bet Beliefs (or check out his academic paper directly: Shall We Vote on Values, But Bet on Beliefs? ). I do think that the market logic has some bearing on the issue, but I don't trust such a solution as much as Hanson does. Anyway, it's an interesting reading :)
 

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And let the eugenics wars begin... when you start excluding people from government involvement it becomes akin to slavery. Want to modify yourself? Fine. Just don't cut me off.

AI: Nah, I don't think anyone's hostile towards the discussion of AI "Overlords" :). In the other thread, nobody seemed hostile about it either. If you want to talk about that, by all means do so.
 

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Boltzmann said:
But I'll not speculate about these matters here, since the people here on the forums seem to be hostile towards it ;)
I hardly respect people... what makes you think I'll respect (and take orders for that matter, from) a lifeless (under my definition) thing? It's not about being hostile against the thought, I just happen to be set on my ways to this... "idea to be" ;)
 

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KillerShots said:
And let the eugenics wars begin... when you start excluding people from government involvement it becomes akin to slavery. Want to modify yourself? Fine. Just don't cut me off.
It's not about excluding the non-enhanced - that's not the point. It's just that the non-enhanced will have insufficient brainpower to keep up. And I do think that whoever opts not to get a cognitive enhancement should be entitled to participating in the democratic process - if I thought differently, I wouldn't be proposing a democratic system.

The situation is similar to our modern intelectual culture. Too many people lack the brainpower to actually take an advanced course in physics, or math, or engineering. It's not that they're excluded from universities - it's that they can't keep up, so they stay out.

Now imagine a world where people begin to regularly make cognitive enhancements, becoming progressively more intelligent (more-than-human intelligence, after a certain treshold). The non-enhanced will be missing a lot of the action, if simply because they'll be unable to understand it (try teaching quantum physics to a guy with Down's syndrome, for instance).

KillerShots said:
AI: Nah, I don't think anyone's hostile towards the discussion of AI "Overlords" :). In the other thread, nobody seemed hostile about it either. If you want to talk about that, by all means do so.
Look at Kaiser Sigma's post, above this one. Apparently, myself and Proto are the only ones who desire this kind of future. But even then, we disagree on the specifics, since Proto thinks that mankind should substituted, while I think that we should craft a better world for mankind under a benevolent AI.

For an interesting view of life under a benevolent AI, read Of Transition Guides and Sysops , by Eliezer Yudkowsky, from the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence . In this scenario, the AI takes control over most aspects of reality, allowing us to do as we please as long as we don't harm each other. It's utopic, I admit - but I do hope that something like this happens to the world in the future.

For a very good novel on this subject, check out Diaspora , by Greg Egan.

Kaiser Sigma said:
I hardly respect people... what makes you think I'll respect (and take orders for that matter, from) a lifeless (under my definition) thing? It's not about being hostile against the thought, I just happen to be set on my ways to this... "idea to be" ;)
I understand your position... even though I deeply disagree.

Personally, I would respect a mind in general much more than I respect people, because people (including myself :D ) are too biased and self-centered to be trusted. This "lifeless thing" would deserve much more respect and trust than our fellow human beings (provided that it has the right cognitive architecture - i.e. it's "friendly"). Of course, this is just me.
 

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It seems that the discussion has pretty much established that democacy, though perverted, is still the best option.

Boltz made an interesting point about participatory democracy before he started getting weird.

Could we really do away with representative democracy (polititians)? Initially, the system was put together because majority of the populous was poorly educated. To be honest we really have not changed. Surprisingly enough we have more youth like yourselves getting involved in political issues, but many do not. There are also those who are easily led by propaganda, half truths, or spins. Not many take the time to thoroughly research topics. We noticed this greatly in this past election. In California they air different ballot propositions. One prop called 66 was established to do away with California's 3 strike law (3 criminal strikes and your going to jail buddy!). The commercial and prop was sponsored by a rich citizen, and his commercial explained about individuals who had made 2 criminal mistakes, but were sent to jail on a 3rd strike that was something as minor as stealing a slice of pizza. Of course the commercial made the 3 strike law seem obsurd. Polls showed that 70 percent of likely voters would vote to do away with the 3 strike law as a result of the commercial advertisements. What the commercials did not explain is that if the prop was past then thousands of criminals who were already tried under the 3 strike law were eligible for appeal and could be released. Passing the prop would have put criminals back on the streets. It took for more commercials, and the governor's backing, to make people aware of what the prop really entailed. People voted against it, and it did not pass. Later it was determined that the rich endorser of the prop had a son who would be tried under 3 strikes. The prop would have freed his son.
Basically, what we are trying to establish is that a participatory democracy would only work if every voter were knowledgable of all the laws and policies normally researched by politicians. People will vote for anything if you word it right.

So we are stuck with the same corrupt representative democracy...bah...but Unicron makes a good point with ex-governor Gray Davis of California (If you don't know what he is talking about then Google 'Grey Davis recall california'). If the people make it clear to the politicians that we will fire them if they don't do things right...then maybe we can get some more honesty out of them
 

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the best form of government is communism(everybody owns all). unlike socialism(governemnt owns all) that runs NorthKorea and Cuba socialism gives everyone a chance. The biggest problem with it is that it can only work with perfect people and in case nobody noticed this is also called anarchy. A benevolent dictator might be fine and everything. The problem comes when the benovelent leader's spoiled child takes over after the old man dies. Also Aerith i feel that we do live in a good democracy the problems you seem to have comes from the lack of choice. We only had two real choices in the last election. We had a overlysimplistic texan and a overlycomplex hippy. The real person i wanted to vote for(Howard Dean) was knocked out during the democratic primary. It would be real cool if we had something better than this two party stuff.
 

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Dark Watcher said:
Boltz made an interesting point about participatory democracy before he started getting weird.
Well, you can forget all the weird part if you think that participatory democracy can be achieved without cognitive enhancements. I think that it cannot, but everyone is entitled to their opinions.

Dark Watcher said:
Basically, what we are trying to establish is that a participatory democracy would only work if every voter were knowledgable of all the laws and policies normally researched by politicians. People will vote for anything if you word it right.
And here I agree completely with you. That's why I think that cognitive enhancements would enable everyone to be a rational voter, and allow for a participatory democracy take over the representative mess we have these days. The fact is that most people these days don't know how to vote and often vote against their own best interests. Your own example about the 3 strike law proved this point quite well.

Kaiser Sigma said:
I thought he was just being overly sarcastic :rotflmao:
AFAIK he's not, though I may be mistaken ;)
 
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