Libracracy: the system that incentivizes learning and voting

Automation and advanced artificial intelligence will quickly replace most of human labor. Political corruption prospers in plutocracy; only those with the most wealth have influence on decision-makers. Educational investment isn’t the priority of powerful industries (such as weaponry, pharmaceuticals, and so on). Let’s evolve. Libracracy pays students to learn about issues. Citizens pass examinations for specific voting licensures. Experts form mass committees. Citizens are compensated for their political involvement. Educational and political credit can then be exchanged for trade credit. Please, entertain the possibility.

Libracracy, the library form of government, celebrates education and compassion. Only those who understand the issues may decide on them.

This system isn’t designed for today’s world—but tomorrow’s. This is for our grandchildren.

It begins with educational reform (such as adding philosophy, meditation, and more focus on the arts in the curriculum from a young age). There are details to be ironed out for Libracracy, and those qualified to do so aren’t born yet.

The government can be molded by our design, bestowing as much socialism as needed and adapting to new paradigms. For instance, with enough time, Libracracy could very well spread throughout the entire world. People could be treated as individual states (with personalized legal codes) in a decentralized confederacy. “Industrial Courts” may arise to ensure a free-market and healthy competition (or perhaps nationalization, if that’s appropriate). The “Judicial Court” may comprise of elected judges or mass juries to interpret the personalized legal codes in the event of conflicting interests. The “Intra-Judicial” could act as a watchdog against court corruption.

Let’s explore personalized legal codes more: Each citizen may write (and manipulate at any time) their own legal code to be referenced in the case of a lawsuit against another individual. You could think of this as a social contract that is refereed by Examination Results Analysts (with an appeal process). Dave and Scott may have to resolve a conflict after Scott broke Dave’s device. Dave’s legal code may allow contingencies for accidents (that is, forgive Scott) or demand monetary help for purchasing a replacement. Here’s a more extreme example: George may write in his legal code that murder is not a crime. Frederick may disagree with George, writing in his law code that murder is punishable by death. If George kills Frederick, then George dies by lethal injection. If Frederick kills George, then Frederick goes scot-free. The individual assigns value to his(/her) possessions, including his body. If Harold believes anyone who steals more than $500.00 from him should have their arm amputated, on the other hand, he must defend the reasonability of his code. The ERAs would most likely reject his rationale. All successful law codes would be posted on a website for easy reference.

Spokespeople may be elected to represent certain viewpoints on issues, but have no more power than their ability to persuade. Petitions enter the polls once popularized by a significant majority within the educated community.

Perhaps personalized legal codes, spokespeople, and a Reddit-style petitioning system aren’t the way to go. But those details don’t ground the central premise of Libracracy. Educating the next generation, guaranteeing them a wage, not shackling them with debt, and forming them into an informed decision-making body: That’s the crux of Libracracy.

I’m not educated to the high standards that my grandchildren will be. They’ll live in a new world, where the context surrounding these decisions is radically different. Could you imagine a world without political parties, without wars, without concentrated ownership? Libertarianism may become practical at that point. It’s up to the future to decide on the balance of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation human rights and other prevalent issues.

A Provisional Government (PG) would regulate the laws of non-citizens. Those laws would be democratically derived from citizens who pass the examination for that specific licensure. Petitions from non-citizens enjoy the same level of visibility as citizens. Being a non-citizen should be temporary, however. The goal of Libracracy is to empower everyone equally and fairly.

It’s a good thing to realize fluidity, because everything changes. It’s “Our Story,” not “His Story” or “Their Story.” Consider this: Money doesn’t have to enslave us. We could design a virtual credit system that is protected against the damages caused by inflation and deflation. Suppose a loaf of bread costs $1,000,000 or $.00000000001. That’s irrelevant with digital money. Think of a credit card and the shift away from physical money. That ridiculously high or low price of a loaf of bread would still equate to one swipe of a credit card. Moreover, virtual currency enjoys the luxury of instantaneous and unlimited manipulation (which, of course, would be regulated by the people). Virtual currency could be anchored to energy production, the most scarce resource (making it variable), or nothing more than mutual belief. Imagine infinite money under compassionate control.

The future looks brighter than ever. Harvesting asteroids, developing new means of energy production, designing smarter-than-human artificial intelligence, reclaiming the environment and ecological damage we’ve caused: these things will likely happen. Our progress is accelerating at an exponential velocity.

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Daniel J. Neumann is a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. He is also a science fiction novelist and poet. His blog is at danieljneumann.com

6 Responses

  1. Luke says:

    This is a good idea, albeit with two caveats that render it unnecessary.

    1. Nominally, this is what we have now. People have their own moral codes, which technically correspond to some kind of belief in how a legal system should operate. Of course, as people often times don’t really have the time (or interest) to work out the minutia of a coherent and consistent moral framework, they tend to work heuristically and will simply agree to a moral/legal framework that approximates what they really think, or go to someplace that has such a thing if where they are now doesn’t. Of course, your answer to this is the second problem.

    2. You say that this is a system for tomorrow, not today. As Sally Morem suggests, and you seem to agree, “tomorrow” may involve living in a post-scarcity society. As I generally work from a Marxist framework, it seems to me that most governmental systems are designed to address economic scarcity, and thus the traditional role of government will be non-existent. Hence, why the need for this?

    You could argue that there will still be problems in a post-scarcity society (and there are, without a doubt, arguments to be made in that direction; a lot of fiction is written about such things). But we’re not really at a place to understand what such problems would be.

    • Luke,

      I appreciate your criticism. You make a valid point, reinforcing Sally’s. I agree that a huge role for government now revolves around property. If a post-scarcity world drops all notions of property (except, perhaps, the ownership of one’s body), then it would appear that government would be an antiquated concept as well.

      But I don’t foresee a world without government, because there’s more to government than that. In an era that celebrates education, there will no doubt always be debate on how best to educate the next generation. The journey never ends—or it ought not to. Besides voting on educational reform, as I addressed before, there may be a need to vote on general policies of mankind once we start leaving our solar system. I’m a science fiction writer, so I can’t help but think of “the Prime Directive” from Star Trek.

      You’re absolutely right to question our ability to fathom the issues of the future. The entire paradigm will shift. You can tell that I’m reaching a bit for examples. Maybe one of our technologies will cause some harm but is mostly beneficial and people will have to decide on whether to continue using that technology. This is what I’m getting at: Why not prepare for a future in which decisions on a larger, collective scale are still necessary?

  2. Thrint,

    You’re assuming that the educational system will remained unchanged when that’s wholly against the premise of Libracracy. The only bias will be towards tbe truth if we start reforming our mindset now.

    Sally Morem,

    Thank you for the polite criticism. You asked what could people possibly need to vote on in a world of abundance. I think we will still have to decide on issues in the future. Utopia doesn’t entail a lack of suffering altogether. Voting on further educational reform, for instance, will likely always be debatable. It’s hard to conceive of the issues we will face in the future, but I think it’s safe to assume that there will be a place for healthy debate and choices. Deciding on how we treat ourselves, where we would like to spread, how to deal with alien relations (if there are other intelligent civilizations in reach)—these are all plausible scenerios where some kind of government is necessary. So why not change the way the state works—so that the people decide how best to act.

  3. Sally Morem says:

    Why would people participate in such a government at the time they achieve an Abundance society with nanotech and 3-D printer/replicators? What would they be voting on, since at that point they’d be able to personally produce all they want without asking for permission or working for someone else?

    I’m betting Abundance pre-empts libracracy.

  4. Thrint says:

    What are you smoking?

    “… Citizens pass examinations for specific voting licensures.”

    Only people that “think the right (i.e., leftest) way” would be allowed to vote.

  1. February 11, 2014

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