I noticed that there is not a thread on what the ideal form of government would look like, so I thought I would start one considering this moment in time now would be an ideal time to figure out what type of government would be best to govern a people.
Things to consider: What is the purpose of government? Why do we even need a government? What would the ideal government do, and what should it represent? How does justice influence government? Which is more effective, authoritarianism or democracy? Can basic rights be upheld in either? What about education?
There is only one form of government, and that is democracy... All other forms are rule of some sort whose weaknesses fa out weigh their strengths...
Are you sure about that? I see too many weaknesses within democracy when the people continue to be too stupid to make well reasoned decisions. To me, that weakness can far outweigh any sort of benefits to democracy, or drawbacks of another form of government.
I think there is a tendency among Americans to view democracy as bound to free-enterprise capitalism which, as we've seen, will devolve into Casino capitalism given half a chance. The Norwegians are as democratic as any others and yet they thrive under a form of socialism many Americans would shun as communistic. Socialism of one sort of another lies at the core of any successful government. It is what provides police and fire protection, roads and airports, schools and hospitals, and so many other things without which society would turn rather ugly.
Fido, please don't let the enormity of America's debt mask the genuine enormity of its wealth. America remains an immensely wealthy country but far too much of that wealth has been distributed by institutions that would transform democracy into oligarchy.
You might be interested to read American Theocracy by former Republican aide Kevin Phillips. He traced the rise and fall of the earlier global monoliths - Holland, Spain and England - and identified a pattern of a process which your United States is following today. Each mega-state began with humble, agrarian roots; rose to the the dominant economic engine of its day and then decentralized its economic core (outsourcing) in the belief that its bright, shining future lay in financialization. It raises eerie parallels to the FIRE economy (finance, insurance, real estate) that has evolved in the United States, displacing once mighty manufacturing, and leaving in its place short-term wealth spawning a succession of burst bubbles. He discusses at some length how a FIRE economy creates an illusion of robustness yet is far less resiliant in the face of severe economic downturns than a manufacturing-based economy.
The steady demise of America's middle class, the decline of social mobility and the stagnation of wealth for the working classes, blue and white collar, are all features of the financialization of a nation's economy.
Democracy has the power to right this keel but that ultimately depends on an educated, informed and engaged electorate with the motivation to exercise its franchise to demand a better deal. America does face an enormous debt crisis, one that can be readily exploited to manipulate the public, but it is not insurmountable if the collective will do do that can be rekindled. If, however, the American people can be persuaded, through deception and fear, to continue to embrace 'everyman for himself' politics, I fear it's over.
I have to agree with Fido. If we are talking about what the best government would be for an apathetic/indiferent/amoral society, then hey, authoritarianism. But if the public wants to really be the government, and get educated, then I feel quite simply that everyone who has the passion should not be neglected from a speech.
Otherwise I agree with RD on some levels. Let the well educated deal with international levels of government for the particular country. But if we're talking about achieving happiness, lets face it. The people inside the box get to say what goes down in the box, because that's all that would matter, right?, is what's in the box...unfortunately.
The only purposes of government should be to 1) manage relations between citizens of the nation and foreign entities, 2) maintain order within society by claiming and enforcing a monopoly of power, in that acts of violence by one citizen against another are prohibited, under threat of state violence, 3) enforce contract law: i.e. formal agreements entered into voluntarily by both parties, 4) build and maintain certain basic types of infrastructure which cannot be built or maintained privately, such as highways, canals, bridges, etc., 5a) to collect excise and incise taxes, and 5b) to collect corporate taxes. Next, all of these functions should not be centralized, but rather divided among several strata of government. Function 1 and 5a should strictly be the prerogative of the national government. Functions 2, 3, 4 and 5b should be the responsibility of the governments of the federated states. Additionally, the national government should have the power to settle disputes between the states. The national government should consist of two legislative houses; the lower house exactly like the house of representatives in the U.S.: the upper house like the U.S. senate except in that senators are elected by state legislatures, not popular vote. Also, at the end of every senator's term, he will be subjected to a mandatory review by the legislature of his respective state; if he is found to have violated the trust of those he was to represent, he can be banned from ever holding public office again, though only those state representatives who voted for him previously could participate in such a punitive vote. When citizens vote for representaives, they choose whether or not they want to allow the government to record their vote and enter them on rolls from which a jury will be randomly selected to judge their representative at the end of his term: i.e. only people who voted for the representative will judge him. The chief executive would be chosen by the national legislature from among nominees elected by each of the states, which choice would then have to be ratified by popular vote. He would have the power to veto any act of the national legislature (though his veto could be overturned by a 2/3 majority), lead the military in times of war, and pardon any person who was not a member of government during the commission of the crime for which he was convicted; he would be responsible for employing the funds provided to his office by the legislature. There should be three levels of courts: intra-state, state, and federal. In some cases, such as in suits between states, the legislature may act as the court of final appeal. Judges should be elected for terms of one year, by lottery, from the list of all doctors of law, though such people can refuse to accept the honor. Judges are not paid, though they are provided with housing, food, etc. like preachers, if they request such benefits. All of this would be expressed in a federal constitution, which would have in it exactly the same bill of rights as we now have in the U.S. The state government could do as they please except in that they could not take on responsibilities that are proper to the federal government, nor violate the bill of rights, nor do anything but maintain order, enforce contract law, collect corporate taxes, and build/maintain infrastructure. What power they delegate to intra-state governments (counties e.g.) depends on the state constitution, though they have to at least create local court systems independent of the state courts. Declarations of war could only be made by the national legislature, with ratification by 2/3 of the state legislatures, and a popular vote; peace could be made by 2/3 of the state legislatures and a popular vote, without reference to the national government. During times of war, the federal government could assess annual taxes from the states.
Bo, what aspects of fascism appeal to you and how do you believe that system could benefit the United States?
But fascism is inherently totalitarian and revolutionary only in a narrow and self-serving sense of sweeping away everything in its path to absolute dominion. Mussolini held that the essence of fascism is corporatism. Given the mess that America now finds itself in, do you really think fascism could resolve its political, social and economic problems?
Here are a few thoughts from Benito:
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power"
"War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it."
"It's good to trust others but, not to do so is much better"
"The truth is that men are tired of liberty."
These quotes illustrate the toxins in Mussolini's ideology that left his Italy war-ravaged and in ruins. America is already reeling from a bout of unrestrained corporatism. How well did that work out for you? Are you then willing to yield your essential liberties to the whim of supposedly beneficial dictatorship?