Human government in all its shapes and forms has a responsibility to bring peace and prosperity to the people it rules. How is the world faring?
Human government or rule is a key to understanding the state of Earth today. Look around and do an audit of the universe. Can we say we’re further or closer to peace and prosperity?
(Audit of Humankind, chapter 4.1)
The question posed since the first writings of The Explanation has been, how would you bring peace and prosperity to Earth? Governance plays a central role in peace and prosperity. How any organization is ruled governs the state of the said organization.
In this chapter, I shall expound and do an Audit of the Universe with regard to human government.
As I write the gilets jaunes (yellow fluorescent vests, worn after a car incident) have overwhelmed the Champs-Elysees in Paris, leaving welts of their burning and destroying. Peaceful demonstrations transformed into riots, sparked by dissatisfaction with governmental taxation, particularly of gasoline. The malaise is much deeper as citizens find their purchasing power being whisked away.
On TV, I watched Star Wars VII, The Force Awakens which portrays the governance of Rey and the Resistance finally crushing the governance of the First Order. Wherever you turn, in real life or in fiction, the stories and plots revolve around this key theme, rulership.
The preambule to the Constitution of the United States has one of the best definitions of peace and prosperity. This should be the goal to reach for human government and a more perfect union:
- Establish Justice,
- Ensure domestic Tranquility,
- Provide for the common defense,
- Promote the general Welfare
- Secure the Blessings of Liberty
The purveyors of these noble objectives are the people. through designated governmental representatives and institutions. A 2018 audit of the state of the union leaves much to be desired. I believe one could say we’ve taken a step backward in pursuit of national peace. Even the most ardent supporters of the present administration know and admit there are serious flaws in the system.
Those cracks and crevices in human government are not limited to the USA, by any means. Governments worldwide are seam-bare as witnessed by Brexit, the Italian budget crisis, the rise of populism in Germany, and more right-slanting human rule in Turkey, Syria, Russia, Venezuela, Brazil…
We’re a far cry away from justice, tranquility, defense, welfare and liberty.
Whether you’re a couple, family, clan, community, state, or nation as social relations have skyrocketed both vertically through population growth and horizontally through social media, as explained in the last chapter, governance should be establishing all the means necessary to reach those objectives.
Wherever you live, in whatever country, it is natural for you to be close to its culture and in particular its form of governance. Whether you’re pro or con, that leadership is part of your worldview and is probably the norm by which you judge governance elsewhere. Look at the different forms of governance.
The Economist magazine in the UK gathers and schematizes data to propel a map of the state of democratic indicators. (not be confounded with democracy), in 167 countries. It’s a checkerboard that runs the gamut from authoritarian regimes to fully democratic nations. Check here to see if these factors are increasing or decreasing in your country.
The question The Explanation asks is, Has the diversity of regimes and human government brought lasting peace and prosperity to just one of these nations? This map is a static image of 2016. Expand the question to include all of human history and that and subsequent to 2016. Has human rule brought justice and liberty?
Here are 7 forms of Human Government that run the gamut of authoritarian regimes to full democracy:
- Totalitarianism: Total control by an individual, junta, clan or government
- Authoritarianism: Tyranny via military or any other form of heavy imposed constraints
- Monarchy: Hereditary rule of an individual and family
- Oligarchy: Rule by a financially, well-connected, powerful elite group
- Republic: Nominated representatives who establish and apply rule of law
- Direct democracy: majority rule by the citizens
- Anarchy: The absence of any control leading to disorder, a power vacuum
These governmental structures can be further broken down and detailed. There are also checks and balances or simply additional authority to impose peace, generally with an absence of prosperity. This is tantamount to maintaining citizens in a state of fright and poverty.
- Power by many through direct representation by an assortment of liberals, social proponents, or decision-making citizens chosen via a lottery.
- Power by few which carry all sorts of names, generally associated with anocracy, aristocracy, plutocracy, kakistocracy, kraterocracy, stratocracy, timocracy, meritocracy, technocracy, geniocracy, noocracy, kritarchy, particracy. ergatocracy and tetocracy. I don’t know what most of these are either.
- Power of one includes despotism, dictatorship, military dictatorship.
The above schema of human government poses a fundamental question that opposes East and West. Should rulership be from the bottom up (by the people) or the top down (by a leader)? We’d be quick to answer that. But have we thought about it? It takes a lot of wisdom to know how to govern. Is the wisdom with the masses or single people? I realize that’s an awful dilemma. These are all contours of the puzzle pieces The Explanation will assemble to show you how we will reach peace and prosperity. For now, we can see that a debate on such a question would not reach any consensus.
In fact, the types of human government that have been instituted are more multitudinous than we realize. At some point in history, in some place on Earth, someone or some group has modified the governance structure because the one in place wasn’t satisfactory. Peruse this amazing list of innovative forms of human rule.
The diversity of human government models almost defies the imagination. Below are some of the points evaluated as democratic indicators. I would simply call them the necessary ingredients for the peace and prosperity of the people being governed by a leadership. Find a fuller list of such criteria here
Nationhood and Citizenship
- Number of persons granted citizenship
- Number of persons leaving the country
- The time required to deliver decisions on citizenship applications
Rule of Law and Accessibility of Justice
- Expert opinion regarding the law-abiding culture of citizens
- Level of legal knowledge of citizens
- Are there legal provisions imposing adherence to law, ethics, and transparency on state officials?
Economic and Social Rights
- Expert opinion regarding the protection of economic rights
- Expert opinion regarding the protection of social rights
- Number of cases of unwarranted layoffs from jobs
Political and Election Process
- Number and type of elections held since 1992
- Do elections lead to a change of political force in power?
- Are there legal provisions providing for registration, voting and filing complaints?
The Role of Political Parties in a Democracy
- Number of political parties
- Change in public confidence in political parties
- Number of political parties represented in the legislature
Government Effectiveness and Accountability
- Poverty rate
- The urban and rural difference in the poverty rate
- Rule of Law
Civilian Control of Police and Military
- Is there legislation providing for civilian control over the military?
- Percentage of military expenditure in the state budget expenditure
- Participation of women in the military
- Is there anti-corruption legislation?
- Corruption Index
- Corruption Perception
Media in a Democracy
- Is there legislation providing for the principle of media independence from government?
- Freedom of Press
- Legal environment
- Number of NGOs
- Allocation of NGOs
- Number of civic protest associations and movements
Government Responsiveness and Accountability
- Number of letters received by Parliament
- Content of letters
- Expert evaluation on the responsiveness of government to Citizens opinion
- Number of self-financed provinces, cities, and its changes
- Financial support from the central budget to the local budget
- Amount of revenue levied from local governments to the central budget
Human government is a very complex yet essential element in the quest for peace and prosperity for all. Is there any one form of governance that has or is emerging that can bring such a state to families, cities, and nations?
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 4.1 of the book Audit of Humankind.
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