Governments and Human Cultures
A culture is an agreement by a group of people on individual behavior within that group. In ancient times the tribe was the culture and all citizens participated in both its formation and enforcement. From Ramidus to the early days of Homo Habilis, a period of more than two million years, man was a herd herbivore. With the discovery of weapons and fire, he shifted to living in tribes of hunter-gatherers. He lived in hunter-gatherer tribes until about ten thousand years ago, a period of another two million years. He has lived under large scale governments less than five thousand years, about one tenth of one percent of the time. During that time, more and more of the basic rules within a culture have been shifted to a centralized government.
Evolution, over a four million year period, provided man with instincts that are tuned to tribal living.
The instinct of man, shared by both man and woman and embedded by evolution over a four million year period, is to be responsible for himself, his family and his tribe. Species survival would not have been possible without this necessary drive. They loved their family and wanted to take care of them. They supported their tribe because survival without them was impossible. The contribution of everyone in the tribe was necessary for tribal survival.
Developed along with that instinctive responsibility came the instinct for self-reliance. In ancient times, the family would perish without the dedication and determination of both parents. Self-reliance demands individual freedom in order to function. One cannot exercise self-reliance if someone else dictates his actions, or provides his needs if he fails. For self-reliance to be reinforced the rewards of action taken within that freedom must not be taken away and the possibility and consequence of failure must be allowed. Life, to be lived to its fullest, must be a participatory experience. Modern dogma preaches that man should treat life as a spectator sport, one in which he has no serious personal involvement. Others tell him what to do and give him what they deem he should have. He is then admonished to be happy and have high self-esteem.
The actions of man living naturally (instinctively) may be observed in modern day primitive tribes. The primitive tribes in South America, Borneo and Australia are quite possibly representative of man prior to ten thousand years ago. Most of the tribes in Africa are probably not representative since most of them are quite large and many have been under the influence of overlying European influence too long. Exceptions may exist among isolated smaller tribes.
In all cases the tribes are patriarchal and there are cultural divisions (classes) by age and sex. The duties and social positions are different in these divisions. Tribal customs (laws) are complex and strict. All adult males participate in the tribal government. The tribal leaders hold office by common consent (a form of democracy). The tribal leaders and the tribesmen are personally acquainted and often kin. The communication lines between leader and citizen are direct and short.
About 10,000 years ago, the population of man began expanding. Larger and larger tribes began forming. Groups of tribes made alliances. Layers of management were needed in government. Due to geographical separations between citizen and leader, communication was slow and cumbersome. Today, we have governments (tribes) which cover hundreds of millions of people and hundreds of sub-cultures (tribes within tribes). It was during this population growth that the common man became isolated from his leaders. It is a condition that is not compatible with man's instincts. If man is to be content, he must have a direct voice in his own government. The form of the overlying government must be one that allows personal participation in its management by each citizen.
Man tends to form tribes with the slightest provocation. He joins with others like him, and identifies his group as separate by speech, ideology, dress, art or mannerisms. The Boy Scouts, NAACP, Baptist church and the PTA are examples. When governing bodies become large, they also tend to become tribal, to separate themselves from those they govern. The result is that the governing tribe tends to victimize the governed, and the governed tribe frets under the rule of the "other tribe." Some countries, such as the US, have many governing entities (tribes). Members of each are loyal to "their own." The tribe that we call congress, is a different bunch from IRS, CIA, FBI, CAA, FAA, the justice system, the white house bunch, etc. That same pattern is repeated at the state, county and municipal level. Man not only becomes isolated from his leaders, he becomes totally confused with the whole structure.
The term "culture" for a given group covers all behavior within that group. As such, it must encompass the cultural rules (laws) of the overlying government. One cannot form a culture which encourages bank robbery, for example, under a government that does not allow it. There are no governments on the face of this earth that do not intrude, and excessively so, into personal behavior. A sub-culture under any government must tailor its behavior to that of the overlying government. The government culture (tribe) has a great advantage in enforcing its culture on all of the sub-cultures under it. An example is the blatant teaching of socialism in all of our public schools.
A government is a formal organization to protect, administer and enforce a culture.
History abounds in conflicts between a sub-culture and its overlying controlling government. One of the most famous is that of the government of Rome and the Jewish sub-culture at the time of Christ. A culture is at its strongest when the government and the culture correspond. A modern example would be Iran where the joining of individual and group (government) behavior is seamless. A modern government/cultural conflict exists in the US. The elements of morality of the people have different definitions when practiced by the government. This leads to such conflicts as a womanizing president preaching family values to the public.
Although tribal instincts do cover the need for man to cooperate in living and working together, they apparently do not cover forms of government. Complex governments appear to be a modern (intellectual) development as a result of life style changes within the last 10,000 years. In a hunter gatherer society (covering all of mankind up to 10,000 years ago), tribes are small, rarely more than a few hundred. The ruling hierarchy in such small groups is rarely more than two or three tiers. In reviewing written history, early large governments were usually based on religion and monarchy, with the monarch being a sacred being in the religion. Since religion is a strong and cohesive force as a culture, large groups could be considered merely large extended tribes.
Since the theoretical form of government is not instinctive, an intellectual form of government is possible without instinctive conflict. The function of the government is, however, individually restrictive and there it must take heed of the instinctive needs of the individual.
The problem with any government is that it invariably becomes political (separately tribal). The instant it is formed it no longer represents the citizens It immediately starts forming its own tribe and its culture begins drifting. A fresh new government formed to serve the people, immediately begins plans on how the people can serve the government. The only way this can be offset is requiring that certain key positions have limited tenure (keep shifting new members of the common tribe into the government tribe and removing them as fast as they become tainted).
The problem with the politics of a government is that politicians are involved. Almost the instant that a citizen is elected, he becomes a politician. Give someone authority and they will immediately begin to use it, rarely in the direction promised before the election. Politicians are a devious lot who have their own tribal culture, a culture characterized by being parasitic. They not only live lavishly on our money, they lay awake nights trying to figure out ways to do a better job of extracting our money and living more lavishly. They do this by selling the citizens (or forcing on them) expensive programs and then using the programs as a basis for raising taxes high enough to allow plenty of skimming room.
The problem with politicians is that they demand legions of bureaucrats under them. They seek status by the number of bureaucrats that they can get on their payroll. Each added bureaucrat strengthens the resolve of the political tribe and thereby subtracts from the ability of the government to perform the function that was intended for it.
Some forms of government intrude on personal behavior more than others. Iran, for example, strictly enforces the rules of behavior of one religion on all of its citizens, yet allows free-enterprise and private ownership. North Korea, a socialist country, on the other hand, controls the daily lives of each citizen in detail, even to dress, speech and art. Such a government is no more than a prison, with the bars installed on its borders.
The desire is, then, a protective and permissive overlying government, one which supplies the essentials and is culturally neutral on all matters below the essential level. That does not mean that this government should be allowed to force or coerce cultural neutrality on its citizens thereby diminishing the sphere of any sub-culture. Nor should it encourage any sub-culture, especially its own. Furthermore, this government must be responsive to its citizens.
The word "democracy" comes immediately to mind. In the broadest sense, it has never been made to work. One of the ancient Greek city-states had a go at it once. It was short-lived. And it had restrictions. Only certain people could vote. The mish-mash we have in the US is one of the best governments in the world but it is far from a democracy.
The closest form of government devised by man which allows large populations, yet allows the individual a voice in his government, would be a democracy. The theory of a democracy is that each citizen will objectively vote for the welfare of the entire culture. In small groups, such as a tribe, this works quite well, especially when the vote is vocal and in front of friends. Democracy fails to deliver that ideal in large groups where votes are anonymous and the votes of strangers are counted together. In such case, all people vote in self-interest. To further distort the democracy, if there is no self-interest then people tend not to vote.
An unrestricted democracy ordains equal voting rights for all citizens. If all citizens were alike, then this would be reasonable, but they are not. 5,000 years ago, a true democracy could possibly have worked and perhaps did, especially on near tribal population levels. Evolution maintained a lean gene pool in those days. Genetic diversity is now, more and more, providing citizens who are unlike, physically, mentally and instinctively (socially).
An unrestricted democracy has never been tried in known history. All framers of governments in history have shied away from it. The US, for example, is not a true democracy. It also currently restricts voting to above a certain age and revokes voting rights for felons (both of which are quite reasonable restrictions). The US also insulates most law-making from the voter and allows jury participation only under closely controlled conditions.
If history is to be followed, a restricted democracy is indicated, one which is designed to approach the ideal but makes allowances for the capability of the individual voter. In an intellectual culture, a vote must be considered an earned privilege, as opposed to a right. The would-be voter must meet certain intellectual standards, if he is to provide an intelligent vote on an intellectual solution to cultural problems. Conversely, in such a culture, every qualified citizen should be required to vote.
The idea behind the age limit is a good one. It says that voting is a responsible act and, in general, citizens under a certain age have not reached the proper level of maturity. Age alone is not a reliable measure of maturity. Maturity is difficult to define. Some reach maturity much earlier than others. Some never do. A far better indicator of responsibility lies in citizen performance. If the citizen makes his own way (is not receiving public support) and pays taxes, then he has demonstrated his maturity. Others show inability to manage their own affairs, a good indicator that their voting maturity is also questionable. The removal of voting rights from felons is a good idea and citizens who fail to have a high school education or its equivalent should be denied voting privileges.
Conflicts of interest are also voting problems. Government employees should not be allowed to vote in elections concerning their own work, for example. No government group should have the power to vote their own rewards (such as our congress).
A democracy is not a true one if other political forms appear before it. The idea behind a democracy is that each citizen has a vote which he can cast to elect an official or modify an element of the government over him. The US is an example of layers of interests between the citizen and the exercise of his voting rights. It is not a democracy if the voter does not have his choice in his vote. He does not have that choice in the US, instead, he has the choice of those presented by intervening political organizations. All political groups are for the express purpose of subverting the desires of the general citizenry (otherwise they have no reason for being since a direct vote would satisfy their desires as well). A true democracy cannot exist if political groups are allowed between the citizen and his government or to influence the conduct of the government after the citizens have chosen leaders with policies that are acceptable to them. In short, any political organization or lobby function should be declared criminal against the rights of the public. Anyone associating with such groups should answer to charges in court that parallel current fraud and theft punishment. An elected official caught dealing with such groups should face sentences exactly twice that. Only then can the individual be assured that his vote counts where he wants it to count.
Streamlining the Government
Along with the growth of complexity in our government over recent history, large businesses also became highly complex (IBM, GM, ATT and the like). Both government and such big businesses have layer after layer of management, each layer densely populated with bureaucrats. The need for these huge organizations arose from the need for information processing and flow. The president of GM, for example, had no means of communication with the guy on the line screwing radiators into place, except through the information processing and transfer means supplied by those layers of management and legions of bureaucrats. With the long delay in information flow, the tendency was to get out of step with reality. Many did. It proved quite costly.
The businesses, however, have competitors. The efficient organization gets the worm. As communications and data processing hardware and software became available, the businesses suddenly realized that a lot of those intermediate levels were not only costly and superfluous, they actually slowed the information flow process down. Enter the idea of down-sizing. The clamor was for the government to do the same. Unfortunately, the government has a monopoly. They responded by forming new departments in addition to the old ones, to handle the data flow and processing, then had the flow interrupted and routed back through the same old offices. The government tribe takes care of its own.
If modern technology was forced on the government, and that is the only way they will ever embrace it properly, it would be possible to streamline it sufficiently to make a democracy work. Modern communications, properly installed, would solve the problem of citizen direct to government exchange.
An example would be using the internet to control the chaos of elections. Allow each candidate a ten megabyte site (not his own server). Restrict him to describing himself and his stand on issues. Allow him limited space for comparison with other candidates. Forbid him any paid advertising. Allow him any public exposure he wishes, but forbid media coverage.
Security is becoming adequate on the internet to allow charge cards. That is sufficient coverage to allow voting by e-mail.
Any responsible citizen (not on the dole and a tax-payer) will already have a computer. The government could set up 800 numbers for dial-in voting for the few without internet access . The government already knows who is on the dole and who pays taxes. Duplicate votes would be easy to trace.
What are the essentials of government?
Until a single world-wide overlying government can be established, defense will be required. A nation which has a rational culture based on provable knowledge will be immensely successful in providing goods and services. If all citizens are free, live in a dependable culture, and have equal opportunity, not only will they have great personal satisfaction but they will happily produce for themselves and others. Other nations will be intensely jealous.
2. Individual fulfillment:
The individual must be free to pursue his own dreams. He must be given equal opportunity based on merit. He must be allowed to have, and required to have, full responsibility for his own decisions. He must then be allowed to succeed or fail, only by that can he assume full responsibility, and be held fully responsible, for his own decisions. The public is responsible to educate each individual, where that education extends to provable knowledge and a career. As long as he performs to acceptable standards, he must be educated to enter his chosen career. He also must be educated throughout his schooling in cultural discipline and self-discipline (he will be taught how to act, not what to think). Cooperation must be stressed, as opposed to personal rights. Private schools will be allowed to teach any subject they wish and may be attended by anyone who wishes to do so, but not at public expense.
In order to minimize individual and group friction due to inherited tribal instincts, a single world-wide culture must be formed. Every required and desired individual behavior must be codified, along with the details of enforcement. Each rule must be stated briefly and plainly. Each such cultural rule is acquired, modified, or removed by democratic vote.
A common world-wide language is necessary. Since the selection of any will cause cries of anguish from all others, perhaps now is the time to embrace a new language, a scientific one which is unambiguous and simple to express in written form. Perhaps it is time for our linguists to come forward and earn their keep.
4. A justice system which seeks truth and justice:
The adversarial justice system is an archaic throwback to the days when disputing parties hired mercenaries to represent them in armed conflict. Under this system each side is required to distort evidence in their favor. The side whose lies are the most convincing wins.
Sophistry (stretching truth for personal gain) is practiced by all lawyers, indeed it is required by their code of ethics. Most elected people are lawyers. They are influential in the community. Their sophistry has become a part of our culture. So rare is honesty in speech in our modern culture that a straight answer to a question is never believed. The media no longer reports fact, it puts an ideological (socialist) spin on every event. It is time to stop this nonsense.
A justice system based on seeking truth with fixed penalties and an unpleasant (not cruel or unhealthy) penal system must be established. No extenuating circumstance allowed in the courtroom. No paroles allowed from prison. Education and work is required of all inmates. None of the niceties, ice cream, TV, movies, etc. should be allowed in any jail or prison.
5. Compassionate care for the deserving unfortunates:
Welfare will be reserved for those who are deserving and in need, such as the elderly, sick or infirm. Examples: School drop-outs do not get welfare, ever. Those with HIV, an avoidable disease, who did not innocently get the disease, do not deserve public support. Drug addicts do not get welfare or free medical care. In interests of cutting back the population, at its most vulnerable position, entry to welfare should require sterilization of those who may have children (not the elderly, children, or infirm).
6. Population control:
Birth must be controlled by law. No one has the right to have a child. They must, instead, meet stringent health, education and economic requirements. A ceiling must be placed on allowed annual births. An unauthorized birth must be severely dealt with. Loss of children and jail time for both parents should be automatic.
Sterilization should be required on entry to any jail or prison.
A genetic analysis is required of any prospective parent. Those with any known genetic defect should not be allowed to have children. They may instead adopt children who are orphans or were born illegally, if they meet the other requirements as parents. Note!! This action will not stop species degeneration, but it will slow it down considerably.
Until world-wide acceptance of the new culture is achieved, it may be necessary for the pioneering political group to establish population isolation.