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Greta wrote:... one needs to have lived in countries that are truly not democratic
Greta wrote: what we have in the west is vastly more free and reasonable than authoritarianism and dictatorships
...When we study the history of democracy, it is traced back to ancient Greece. For them, the fundamental feature of a democracy was the use of sortition: the process of putting the names of all the adults into a hat and selecting those that came out to serve in government. There were no elections or political parties, just a process of random selection by lottery...
...but if we are to eradicate oppression, there will need to be sortition.
ZoneOfNonBeing wrote:... I do not need to live anywhere else to develop an "appreciation."
nism and dictatorships ...
Says who?! Ask the indigenous people, who have suffered genocide and colonialism for 500 years, if the West is "free and reasonable."
Steve3007 wrote: How often would you perform this act of choosing a government by random selection? Once every four years? Once a year? Once a month?
Would you apply this principle to other jobs too? Surgeons or airline pilots perhaps? I guess it would make life interesting.
Greta wrote: It's easy to complain about the world not achieving our overly lofty expectations.
Greta wrote: I'd be interested to know about the superior societies that you wish to emulate, that are seemingly so much better than what you have now. Whom should the US emulate in your opinion?
ZoneOfNonBeing wrote:Every society has its flaws, as I outline in the original post. Ancient Greece had the positive feature of sortition that we should incorporate moving forward. However, we need not always reference a "superior society" and "emulate" them. There does not need to be a precedent for our dreams. There does not need to be a pre-existing template. We can be trailblazers, not followers. All we need to do is understand the woeful conditions and imagine something better.
Given the large population, having 4 year terms would likely prevent every from having a chance to serve in government. So I would opt for shorter term limits. At this stage of the game, this is meant moreso as a thought experiment, so it is not necessary to pin down a timeline just yet.
And I think this principle could apply to some jobs. I think we need to rethink our current division of labor. Like Marx said: (paraphrasing) be a fisher in the morning, artist in the afternoon, and critic in the evening. However, I do think that being a surgeon requires an expertise that is not and cannot be readily found - so there will need to be some stability in the more expert positions.
Greta wrote: Humans have aimed for this goal for thousands of years. If non-corrupt, egalitarian societies were possible we would have achieved them.
Greta wrote: Watching the infrastructure paralysis in the west due to governments focused on winning the next election rather than nation-building has many westerners looking wistfully at the harsh efficiency of the Chinese, knowing that unless something changes they are going to be out-competed.
Greta wrote: Desperately the US reaches out to a political neophyte, one of the more exploitative and less philanthropic billionaires out there, hoping to break the chain. Instead of finding a politician not beholden to corruption they elect one of the corrupters, one whose first action was to free up his own company's pipeline project, previously held up by environmental concerns.
Steve3007 wrote: It's quite easy to work out. Take the US as an example. Let's say it has an adult population of 200 million. We want them all to have a shot at being president at least once in, say, 30 years. If you do the maths, that means they're each in office for 4.7 seconds.
Steve3007 wrote: Seriously though: If somebody was randomly chosen from the population to do your job, what are the chances that they could immediately pick it up and do it better than you? For my job, the chances would be very low. Not because I'm especially clever or anything. Simply because, like almost everybody, I specialize in a particular thing and have done for some time. I find it hard to believe that the thing which distinguishes running a country from every other job you can possibly name is that it requires no experience or knowledge whatsoever
Steve3007 wrote: We are a world of specialists. That's the main reason why such a vast number of human beings can live on this planet with hardly any of them starving to death.
The idea that we are "a world of specialists" is only the case under conditions of exploitation.
No, I do not agree that specialization is a "naturally occurring feature of the groups of people that we call societies."
What should government do? : Government should ensure that the needs of all people are met, and protect against abuses. This means the government should ensure that everyone is housed, fed, clothed, employed, and in receipt of health insurance. Any government that does not serve these purposes is an enemy of the people and should be toppled.
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