Social Question

ninjacolin's avatar

What should the world be like?

Asked by ninjacolin (14230points) April 19th, 2012

Imagine you had complete political control over a brand new planet with 6 billion people living all around it, reproductive abilities similar to ours, internet, satellites, combustion engines, and all the other technologies we’re used to in our world. Almost everything about them is the same as us really except one thing: They just popped into existence and they need some direction, a hint at how to begin living together on their almost identically similar Earth-like planet.

They’re going to need access to resources for everyone and a way of living life that their planet can withstand.

What do you advise that they do?
Would you suggest dividing into separate countries like we have?
Would you suggest creating a stock market?
Would you suggest monogamous relationships?
Would you suggest farming and domestication of animals?

Get creative and critical. What do you suggest these 6 billion people do for the long-lasting good of their existence.

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26 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

I don’t think that there is a fact of the matter regarding what the world should be like, especially when it comes to political matters. Politics, it seems to me, is a clash of irreducible preferences. As such, I’d set up a democracy and be done with it. If I tried to impose my opinions on them, they’d likely wind up seeing me as more of a scoundrel than a savior.

Setting up a democracy already involves a couple of assumptions, of course, and would require some basic rules. Beyond some basic practical and institutional laws, however, I’d try to leave things open and changeable. I would not institutionalize any of the things that I find to be mere prejudices, but I’d leave most of it up to them. Their lives are and ought to be in their own hands, after all, and a dictator simply cannot give anyone a good life no matter how omniscient he is. A good life must be lived, not merely experienced.

wundayatta's avatar

It matters, just a twee, what these people already know. Where do they come from? What culture(s) are they from? What is their history? What are their expectations? What skills do they have?

Political control implies a bureaucratic apparatus and elements of some kind of police. I’m assuming these are people I have been working and training with for decades in preparation for this event.

In fact, now that I think about it, the people who “popped into existence” have also been training for this adventure for a long time. They have gone through a selection process and have been chosen based on a demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of consensus-building techniques. In addition, there is a cadre who also have demonstrated fast-acting decision-making in response to rapidly-changing events.

The rule is that no organization may grow larger than around one thousand people. If it does, it must split up within a year or be dissolved permanently. No one may own a weapon that can exert deadly force at a distance of over fifteen feet. All such weapons must be kept under communal lock and key and can only be opened with a dual key system.

Any piece of technology that is capable of being used to kill people may not be privately owned.

There will be private ownership, but it will be more restrictive than in the US. More like Sweden.

There will be no state religion, however there will be publicly sponsored spiritual practices. No dogma. Just practice.

It will be against the law to tell someone else they “should” do anything at all unless a committee of twenty all agrees and there are no more than five people dissenting anywhere within the community of one thousand.

Most of these determinations can happen instantly using internet technologies. All issues can be voted on, but not all issues will be brought to a vote by the entire community. Each community will determine its own process of how things get determined by the entire community. If the entire community votes on something, the vote must be passed by a two-thirds majority, and in some circumstances, an even larger majority.

People may apply to leave a community, but must have acceptance in another community already arranged. Only people who have had ten votes go against them in the course of a year are eligible to leave the community for political reasons. People may leave at any time for logistical reasons such as employment, change of scenery, vacation, family needs, etc. There will be no questioning of a person’s stated reasons for moving. I.e., you can use other reasons to move if you don’t want to go through the political process. However, there are certain advantages to moving for political reasons if you want to go through the process. These have to do with political capital and ability to get things done in your new community.

As soon as the system is running, I will be removed from office and will live anonymously in a community of my choice. There will be no more supreme leaders.

Communities may form alliances and close economic ties, but may not offer each other tax advantages. They may also not share accounting information other than that necessary to keep the books correctly. If they share proprietary information, they will forfeit profits to the league of communities. They may also be dissolved and all members will have to find new communities. In such a case, each family must go to a separate community and may only keep assets equal to the amount necessary to live for seven years at the median inter-community standard of living. Anything in excess of that will become the property of the League of Communities. Any family that does not have at least two years of median level assets will receive funds to bring them up to that level from a redistribution from the rest of the dissolved community unless sufficient assets do not exist. There’s more to this, but I won’t bore you with it.

I’m going to stop here. Community building could take a huge chunk of time out of one’s day. Or week. Or year.

King_Pariah's avatar

mass suicide

Keep_on_running's avatar

I think it would take many lifetimes to answer this question.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I would probably run a police state for liberals. Everyone could do whatever they want as long as they aren’t hurting others. There would be no laws against eating, drinking, or smoking anything they want in their own homes. All roads would have a track running down the middle that the cars and trucks attach to as you pull out of your driveway, that would pull the vehicles down at a set pace, stopping all traffic accidents, speeding, distracted or impaired drivers. No more traffic signs, as all the stopping, going and yielding would be controlled by the track. Those who refuse to work or are too messed up to work would be delegated to the minimal housing projects. The better a person does in their education and employment, the better the accommodations and possessions will be delegated to them. There would be no more welfare cases with smart phones and cable TV. Religion would be banned. Morality and family values would be encouraged. That would be a start, anyway..

basstrom188's avatar

All lawyers, accountants, bankers and politicians should be the lowest of the low.

josie's avatar

Your hypothetical leaves out a description of there fundamental nature. If they, like us, are rational creatures motivated by self interest, they will probably spontaneously do what you suggested anyway . Attempts to control their behavior will eventually lead to tragedy and failure, since one way or the other they will begin to act in there rational self interest. If too many laws and customs are based on some other value than that, their civilization will collapse.
If on the other hand, they are mindless and amoral, you can make them do anything you want. Your suggestions are a pretty good start. Human beings did all that, and the human life span has increased gradually over generations, the number of people able to produce wealth has gradually increased, medical technology has given hope to the hopeless, and people know more about the reality that surrounds them than they ever had. Not bad for a critter that is one Earth’s newcomer species. Good enough for your imaginary people I think

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I think no matter what you set up for your civilization, there is always going to be some money-hungry, power-trip P.O.S. that ruins everything.

I still like my “track” idea for the traffic problems. Can you see it – all cars would be kind of like enclosed roller-coaster cars. As you activate your car, it glides down your driveway and connects to teeth on the track that then drags you to your destination using the GPS coordinates you have programmed in. The track system could even be elevated to keep traffic off the ground. Or maybe the cars could dangle from an overhead track. Cool!

Pandora's avatar

I would make Spock and Picard supreme overlords.

Paradox25's avatar

Boy, as a laissez-faire type of leader this is a difficult question to answer for me. I’m not even sure if there is one ideal way to live for everyone. Maybe the best thing that I could suggest would be to divide different sections of the world where people could live the way they want to. It may also not be a bad idea to encourage these people to respect the beliefs/rights/ways of others as well. In the end it is not political or religious philosophies that will bring peace, fairness and happiness since every type of belief system, religion, cult, political affiliation, etc is completely dependent upon the morality of the very people that make them up.

flutherother's avatar

They should establish a world government and then they should try to reduce their numbers below the one billion mark. Everything else is easy.

lloydbird's avatar

It should be a nice place – allover.

” What do.. ” I ”..advise that they do?”

Help others first.

That way, everyone helps you.

ninjacolin's avatar

@Paradox25 sounds like you’re advocating the availability of moral education for the masses.
Lol @wundayatta awesome sauce.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Like the bumpersticker reads:

Visualize, No Liberals.

lloydbird's avatar

Although, my fear is that it should be just as it is now – discordant.
If so, I must stop worrying!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 I take it you’re not a capitalist. Otherwise, why would you be so afraid of competition?

Crashsequence2012's avatar

I’m a capitalist:

I am for people buying the sticker.

wundayatta's avatar

Visualize: no liberals. Only true progressives!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 Ah, I see. So you’re just a hypocrite then.

ninjacolin's avatar

no liberals = economic anarchy

NanoNano's avatar

All law, distribution of resources, individual rights and long term objectives of society need to be taken out of the hands of the population.

These decisions are then made by a benevolent, supremely wise overlord (you).

Problem solved.

People no longer live for the accumulation of wealth or for survival. They live to express themselves through art, invention, the discovery of new lands, the stewardship of other life forms…

Essentially, you become an eternal parent to the population.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@NanoNano There is no such thing as a benevolent, supremely wise overlord. This is because being benevolent and supremely wise is contrary to being an overlord. Being free and making one’s own decisions are important elements in human wellbeing, and anyone who was both benevolent and wise would want to promote them. But as being free and making one’s own decisions are incompatible with being ruled by an overlord, anyone who wanted to promote them would also have to promote a world in which there were no overlords. Thus any benevolent and supremely wise overlord would be forced by his own benevolence and wisdom to abdicate his position.

NanoNano's avatar

In the context of ninjacolin’s question, there is.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@NanoNano No, there isn’t. There’s just a person with power. I hope you don’t believe that power is the same thing as wisdom.

NanoNano's avatar

This is a hypothetical question about someone in control of an entire planet’s population, and you don’t think this someone would be above managing such a population?

If you assume someone has this level of control, you must also assume they are competent at it otherwise, the question itself is not valid.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@NanoNano The hypothetical is this: you—understood as each individual reading this—gain control over this new world. For whatever reason, this newly existing population has asked you for help. It then asks what you would recommend. The thought experiment is basically just a way of getting people to engage with the actual question, which is presented in the title.

As such, the question does not force us to believe that we—the one’s being put into power—are supremely wise. Indeed, I would daresay that none of us are. Regardless, my point stands. Even if we were supremely wise, our wisdom would lead us to abdicate rather than remain a dictator (for the reasons I have already stated). In short, I am disagreeing with your assertion that the world would best be run by a benevolent, supremely wise overlord.

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