Gaia Gov inc.
Prospectus: December 1 2019
Gaia Gov is an information service company providing live data to government, media and all members of the public.
Gaia Gov, has nothing to do with, and is not involved in any way with the democratic process of electing law makers. The app has everything to do with providing information to everyone about the product of politics, (the actual laws produced by government). The information produced by the app carries no political authority and in no way constitutes interference in government business. The app is designed to encourage everyone to participate by influencing elected officials through a competitive interactive lobby and bring clarity and awareness to everyone about modern issues through open and free debates.
Policy: Without exception, no political advertising from individuals, groups or political parties will be published on Gaia Gov inc.
Create an interactive electronic application giving account holders, in the app., virtual control of managing their personal piece of political authority (POPA), on four levels of government:
1.International, (UN level), 2.National, (federal), 3. State (provincial, territory etc.), 4. Municipal, (county, administrative district, city, town etc.).
#2 Services offered:
A. Based on the GPS location of the account holders home address and overlying public domain electoral maps when the account holder selects their political account they will see which politicians (law makers) are using their (the account holder's) personal piece of political authority (POPA) on four levels of government.
When the account holder selects one of the four politicians a new screen will open up with a list of all politicians on the same level of government. By using the "green dot algorithm" the service will allow the account holder to virtually move their POPA to a law maker who best represents their interests.
Provide an information service (web page) where politicians publish justification for their actions and account holders can access this information by tapping the law maker's picture.
Provide information to government by publishing the percentage of consensus (POC) which represents the sum of account holder support for all politicians voting yes, divided by the number voting no, times one hundred at the time a bill is being voted into law. Unless the public is perfectly synchronized with government this number will be different than the simple majority of elected politicians making law today. At the present time there is no service providing, what in the future will be considered, essential information.
Provide an interactive live streaming of open and free debates on four levels of government on each Wednesday. UN level the first Wednesday of the month, Federal level the second, State level the third and Municipal the fourth. This service will provide revenue by allowing governments to attract advertising that the service will air between stages in the open and free debate sequence. Like airbnb, GG will take a cut of revenue.
#3 Security offering details:
Seed money investors should expect to leave money in Gaia Gov inc. for a minimum of five years. At the five year mark the majority share holders may decide to sell or liquidate the corporation only if they follow the provisions of the original agreement. In the event of liquidation the assets will be sold off and distributed. If successful Gaia Gov inc. may go public with an IPO only at the discretion of the majority share holders. Before the corporation can be sold a majority of world governments must formulate a law with heavy penalties to the purchasers for failure to uphold the principles of political equality.
#4 Primary business:
Information and media company directly related to creating good law.
#5 Background and qualification of primary officers:
Founder: Angus Ramsey. (need team of experienced developers.)
#6 Current financial position:
nil. (Need seed money.)
#7 Projected financial cost to start project:
$1,000,000.00 minimum first year for initial wire framing, coding and testing with foreseeable maintenance and enhancement budget for subsequent years of half that per year until year five. Total minimum projected five year budget of $4,000,000.00
#8 Assumptions underlying the project:
The assumption that: 1. "Build it and they will come," will apply to Gaia Gov just as it has to other internet services like Facebook. 2. With the tool of Gaia Gov laid out for everyone to use there will be a rapid learning curve and acceptance of the underlying principles of political equality.
3. Good law is an essential element in building a sustainable world.
4. The human dynamic meshes perfectly with political equality.
It can be assumed that the success of western society can be attributed to the ideals of great men of the past. Gaia Gov will enhance theses ideals and cultivate a sustainable world.
"Laws made by many people for many people are generally better than laws made by a few for many" (Aristotle).
"People impose their own freedom, (law) creating liberty." (Jean Jacques Rousseau).
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves," (Thomas Jefferson).
It is assumed businesses will want to advertise to large numbers of account holders participating in open and free debates. If account holder numbers grow like Facebook numbers, at five years, we should expect in excess of one hundred million participants in the debate process.
At the end of a five year period it is assumed the project will be profitable based on the open and free debate module revenue. In year six a single US federal debate, on say "gun control", could generate the equivalent of Super Bowl revenue with Gaia Gov inc. taking a ten percent cut. This is one federal government out of one hundred and ninety five. Gaia Gov inc. investors should expect truckloads of British pounds, German Euros, Swiss Franks and dozens of other currencies to be part of the revenue stream.
Advertising generated through UN debates will probably be less than federal advertising revenue which will be less than the thousands of state, provincial and territorial debates which will be less that hundreds of thousands of city, local and municipal governments. Potential revenue will be greater than, for example, all accommodation business on the planet combined. Gaia Gov inc. will have a virtual monopoly on providing this vital service.
#9 Foreseeable risks.
This is bleeding edge technology moving into uncharted territory. To minimize potential problems and failure it is essential an experienced team, unhampered by financial constraints, build perfect software with unhackable security equal to or better than the security used in the banking industry.
#8 Incentive model:
The application will depends on account holders entering into a competitive struggle, to make the best laws. The application is an empty vessel waiting to be populated by account holders.
Gaia Gov staff need only populate the UN level leaving three levels of government unfilled. In place of the square where the picture of the politician using the account holder's POPA would be, there will be a sign, "To populate please select". When the account holder selects this, a form with an explanation will appear. "Please fill in the official public domain name and email address of the government office administering this jurisdiction." When completed the account holder need only press the "submit" button.
The incentive to press the submit button will come from many sources. Interactions in drinking establishments, at coffee breaks at work, from media sources and generally through the act of living in our modern world. Ubiquitous complaining about government ineptitude will provide the incentive and Gaia Gov will provide the portal.
After the form is filled out, and the submit button pushed, Gaia Gov will automatically send an email to the government office in question with an explanation of the financial and improved socioeconomic benefits of using Gaia Gov and a URL to download the gov module. The communication will also contain an explanation that after downloading the gov module, it should take one resource person less than two hours to upload the public domain electoral maps of the jurisdiction and submit the public domain names and email addresses of the elected officials, and, an as needed maintenance component, where the resource person uploads agendas, times and dates of votes on bills and puts the results of votes into a form provided by Gaia Gov.
Over a period of time with enough persistence from account holders and, in some cases after a few elections, many meetings and discussions with staff and politicians, probably years in some cases the office will succumb.
The incentive driving government bureaucracies will come from many sources. The financial incentive from open and free debates, emails from account holders in their jurisdiction, pressure from electors and criticism from media if they refuse to use this modern tool to improve their governance.
It should be noted that, if the government bureaucracy refuses to download the government module, a citizen's group could perform the same task, reap the benefits, including the advertising revenue from open and free debates by bypassing the government entirely. All the information needed to fill in the forms is in the public domain.
Gaia Gov will automatically send a package to each elected official after the government module is filled in and submitted. The package will include: a security key giving the law maker exclusive access to their personal web page, instructions on how to set up a separate email address to receive info on their support for auditing purposes, information on uploading the politician's picture and general information about the function of Gaia Gov.
Incentive for politician participation will come from their will to politically survive the next election.
#8 Design: Gaia Gov will be built using three modules.
1. The account holder registry module.
Each new account holder will be uniquely identified by one of three methods depending on the account holders preference. a.) Using a combination of biometric signatures. In this case an account holder would not need to give any personal information. b.) typical unique identifiers, ie. name, address, driver's license etc. c.) sign on using Facebook, Amazon or other shared account holder registries.
The second and equally important piece of information is the GPS location of the account holders chosen home address. Because the the system is designed using four overlapping public domain electoral maps, to place the account holder in the correct electoral district, the GPS location must be accurate. This can be accomplished by having the account holder fill in the form at their desired home address and have the system ask if the account holder would like to use the present location of their device. A rule should be developed where the account holder can only change their GPS location every six months or so. An account holder should live in the electoral area for a minimum time before participating.
2. The government module.
The resource person in charge of the government module will find software that will allow public domain electoral maps to be uploaded into the system by translating various formats into mapping software used by Gaia Gov. They will find a form requesting the public domain names and email addresses of elected officials and a maintenance form to be filled in on a regular basis to record changes, schedules and results of votes.
When the system is mature account holders will see eight squares, four populated with the pictures of politicians using the account holder's POPA to make law on four levels of government. On the right side of each picture a box that when selected will give the account holder access to information published by the government bureaucracy on that level of government, ie. agendas, time and date of votes on various bills etc. It should be noted that only information pertaining to the making of law will be found on this page. At the top of the page a box labeled "Open and Free Debate" will give the account holder access to the open and free debate module.
3. The open and free debate module.
Decisions for what issues will be on the agenda and identification of the debaters will be decided by a consensus of account holders using the green dot algorithm.
When an account holder selects the open and free debate module they will be asked if they wish to propose a debate issue. If they choose yes, they will be asked to fill in a form and submit the issue. After submitting a screen will open showing a list of submissions from other account holders and a question asking if they would like to support an existing submission. If the account holder selects an existing issue their stand alone submission will disappear and their support will be given to the group representing the issue they select.
If the account holder chooses no, when asked to submit an issue, a screen will open with a list of issues and the account holder can choose which issue they choose to support by dragging their green dot to the issue and anchor it there by double tapping.
At the end of each month the system will choose the most popular issue on each of the four levels of government and add that issue to the agenda to be debated nine months in the future.
For eight months and two weeks the agenda item will be open to account holders who would like to debate the issue. When an account holder selects an agenda item they will be asked if they would like to be a debater. If they choose yes they will be asked to fill in a form. When they press the submit button they will see a list of other debaters. At this point they can select a request to join an earlier established group or let their nomination stand and hope for support.
After selecting an agenda item if an account holder selects no, to the question of being a debater, they will see a list of debaters and can support an individual or group by dragging their green dot to the one they prefer.
Two weeks before the debate the system will select, based on the green dot algorithm, up to nine groups or individuals to participate in the debate.
Debates will happen on each Wednesday between 4 and 8 PM local time of the central bureaucracy. UN issues on the first Wednesday of the year, Federal debates the second, State, Provincial, or Territorial the third and Municipal on the fourth with this schedule repeating each month throughout the year.
Gaia Gov will provide all government bureaucracies, that have downloaded the Gov module, live streaming software providing a service to their jurisdiction. Live streaming a debate can be as simple as taping a selfie stick with a WiFi connected cell phone to a chair and pointing it at the debaters or as complicated as setting up an elaborate studio with cameras lights and microphones.
The debate will consist of three live streamed one hour sessions. In the first round, if there are nine groups, each group will be given five minutes with two minutes between groups. Account holders watching the live stream can drag their green dot to the group they support at any time. At the end of the first round debaters will assess their support and decide if they want to cast their support to a more popular group or continue on with the hopes that better rhetoric will gain them more support in the second session. There will be three eighteen minute intermissions between sessions to be filled with commentary and advertising.
It is expected that the number of debating groups will diminish, as unpopular ones join popular ones in round two and three expanding the time each group has to debate.
Open and free debates will imbue the social construct of political equality, provide wholesome entertainment and produce valuable information which will inform the discretion of account holders. Account holders who are leaders in our society today will be joined by thousands of new leaders who will bring a refreshing new slant to what society considers truth. By using the resource of everybody, lawmakers will have an easier job of making good law with strong authority.
Like all successful internet services Gaia Gov inc. will build an empty platform and rely on humanity to populate the majority of the application. The question is how to kick start the process of populating the application.
The least onerous layer of governance is the United Nations because there are only one hundred and ninety three participating members of the UN and the borders between countries are well established.
Initially the application will be built and rigorously tested using public domain UN data. The application will go live with a fully populated UN level and three empty lower levels of government.
By doing this the entire world population will be given an opportunity to become account holders. It is assumed the layers will be populated as described in section #8 Incentives.
#11 Future considerations:
With time Gaia Gov will become an established social construct and considered an essential element of society. It should be expected that political equality will grow ownership and responsibility in law which will reverse trends of increasing bureaucracies and law enforcement resulting in a flourishing noble citizenry. Problems society has had trouble solving in the past like ending war, overpopulation, poverty and reversing man's influence on climate change will be solvable with laws made with the weight of an informed human population.
One of many Solutions
The solutions to the problems is literally staring us in the face. I watch people gazing into the miracle of their devices. The statistics say more than three billion human beings are connected, through their I pads, I phones, smart phones and tablets, to the world wide web. These devices are staring at us and saying, "do something useful!"
Imagine if you will a government app. The acronym GOV in a circle when selected moves you into a world of law making. A world where elections are not as important as the actual laws governments make. You become politically equal to every other human being on the planet including all the presidents and prime ministers. The service provides the user with the name of the politicians on all levels of government, ie., municipal, state or provincial, federal level and who is looking after your international or UN politics, based on the GPS location of the user's chosen home address. "Who cares?" you say. Well, if you did know and didn't approve of the politicians who won the seat in your area the service would allow you to move your personal piece of political authority (POPA) to someone you do approve of 24/7 365 days a year.
This is one of hundreds of undiscovered applications waiting to bring political happiness and stability to our world. Yes, there will be issues. "What about security?" you ask. Thank god we learn from security problems with the likes of Facebook and Target. The banks seem immune and have set a good example and then there is the aspect of bio-metrics. How would you like to set up a political account where you don't need to give any personal information not even your name. Today it is possible to uniquely identify every human on the planet with a bio-metric signature. A combination of iris scan, fingerprint scan, facial recognition, voice recognition and a GPS location is all that is necessary to create a secure account with total anonymity. No one can copy who you are and it can be determined if you are alive by analyzing a series of words you are asked to say.
This is all hypothetical of course but the wonderful thing is the transition from our representative democracy to the future participative democracy will be done without disruption of our present political system of government. Nothing would change except we would be aware of the POC (percentage of consensus) for each law passed in our representative democracy. In a nut shell; in a representative democracy we use democratic legitimacy to elect our governments. In a participative democracy we not only use democratic legitimacy to elect out governments but also use democratic legitimacy to make law.
The object is to shift political power to make law from the elite to the comfortable foundation of participative democracy. This does not mean the present leaders in our society will disappear, on the contrary they will be even more powerful but instead of hated they will be loved because they will be obliged to lead rather than rule. Unlike most I have been exposed to the good side of humanity. I am aware that everyone is different and through this awareness have found a deep love and respect for my fellow beings. Awareness of the true nature of humanity comes from trust with an absence of expectations. Awareness that political equality brings out the beauty of humanity is the driving force behind this writing. It is time to move forward into sustainability and leave the madness behind.
A high tech idea to start the process.
This app has nothing to do with and is not involved in any way with the democratic process of electing politicians. The app has everything to do with providing information to everyone about the product of politics, (the actual laws produced by government). The information produced by the app carries no political authority and in no way constitutes interference in government business. The app is designed to encourage everyone to participate by influencing elected officials through a competitive interactive lobby and bring clarity and awareness to everyone about modern issues through open and free debates.
The value of an app is directly related to its popularity which is directly related to the service it will provide. The more service an app provides the bigger the audience and value. Does the 20-20 GOV app supply a service that will attract an audience. If the answer is yes then it is worth pursuing for two reasons. The first is the humanitarian value of building a better, more sustainable world with less political corruption where everyone benefits from increased awareness. The second is the financial aspect of building a successful company.
1. Everyone of 3.4 billion people who have access to the internet in 2019 will be able to set up a free account by going to the app store. The system is based on information gathered from overlaying electoral maps and using the GPS location of the home address of the account holder. When the account holder taps the GOV app a screen will appear asking the account holder if they would like to log into their political account using the same kind of security banks use. If they choose to not log in they will find the first service offered by the app, a selection of news feeds, advertising from the likes of MacDonald's, Home Depot and bulletins from governments in the account holders area. This is necessary to pay for the app.
2. By choosing to be an account holder and log in everyone will enter an add free virtual space where they will only find information from government and elected politicians. The second service is information to everyone who wants to know which politicians are using the account holder's piece of political authority (POPA) to make law on four levels of government. Municipal (city, district, borough, county etc.), State, Province or Territory, Federal and who in the UN has been appointed to use their authority to make international law. When the account holder selects a level of government by tapping the picture of the politician, who is using their political authority on whatever level of government, a new screen will open with a list of all the politicians on the same level of government in the account holder's jurisdiction. On the same screen account holders will find postings from each level of government regarding agendas, time and dates of the votes etc.. For example if a person with a GPS location of their home address in the USA selects the picture of the representative using their political authority on a federal level they will see a list of 535 voting members, 435 representatives and 100 senators. The politician,s who won the election in the account holder's electoral district and is using their POPA will be identified by a green dot. By tapping again on the politician's picture the account holder will find whatever the politician has posted on the site. If the account holder would prefer a different politician on the same level it is a simple matter, anytime 365 days 24/7, of putting their finger on the green dot, when it begins to blink drag the dot to the politician they prefer and tap the green dot twice. This will initiate three keyed emails with no personal information for auditing purposes, one going to the account holder the other the politician who received their support and the third to the government office. A bar graph beside each politician's picture will give indication of support for the politician and when tapped will give a graph of support for all elected officials generated at that instant.
3. The third service is to give elected politicians a platform to post new ideas for better laws and explain why they vote yes or no to bills that will become law (legislation). This is what the account holder will see when they tap the politician's picture from the list of politicians.
4. The fourth service is to give government bureaucracies a platform to post easily available schedule of time and date for votes on bills and proposed agendas.
5. The fifth service is to provide an accurate tally of support for each bill that becomes law. A snap shot of support for politicians at the time of the vote will generate a number representing percentage of consensus (POC) from account holders. For example at the time of the final vote on a new law to allow industrial intrusion into park lands in the USA a majority of politicians may vote yes, however the POC may only stand at 18 when everyone knows a number above 50 is required to make an effective and efficient law (political happiness). This service is for everyone including the Judiciary, the Senate and the media who may want to publicly debate the question of legitimacy.
This is a tall order but sometimes these changes are meant to be. I need help. I need a team of dedicated people who have an interest insuring the children of today have a world as wonderful as we have had. What I have presented today is one idea but I know there are hundreds of undiscovered ways to put this insurance policy in place without making any significant changes to the way we make law. It is a simply matter of where the authority to make law comes from. I trust the wisdom of everyone rather than the wisdom of a few overworked and lobbied politicians. With time and use the concept of everyone's political equality, open and free debates to rid us of fake news and the quantitation of legitimacy, will with little effort smooth, the out of control politics of today.
The first is advertising to a large audience of people interested in politics.
The second is premium accounts for those who wish to support the app with a voluntary minimum donation and receive the services without adds and maybe a bit better resolution of the live streamed open and free debates.
Over time governments will realize the entertainment and information value of interactive open and free debates. The app will provide a service for all governments to live stream open and free debates one evening a month. For example the first Wednesday the UN, the second Wednesday Federal level, the third State or provincial level and the fourth Wednesday all local governments will be given the stage. Governments will benefit financially from advertising they can attract minus a small percentage that will go to the app.
Along with the humanitarian value of the app a strong monetary component exists. There are three obvious revenue streams and many more as the app matures.
The app will be built using modules.
The first is building a user account module. In order to maintain credibility a system uniquely identifying each account user by establishing each has a heart beating in their chest and only one GPS location. Perhaps a provisional account with instructions for the account holder on how they must confirm their identity with an established government census agency.
The second is building a government module. The module must be simple enough so that a single resource person can set up a government account in a few hours by uploading electoral maps, entering the names of politicians and sending emails to elected politicians with a key and instructions on posting their picture and how to use their personal blog.
The idea is to build the app in stages starting with the UN. This is the simplest because the electoral boundaries are easily accessed as countries on a global map. This is a good place to begin the process of building a global account base and ironing out problems with duplication and data base security. The first module built will be duplicated and used for all levels of government.
The design is as follows.
The home page will actually be five pages accessed by swiping. The first is the account set up and log in page administrated by the app company. The next four pages will be administrated by the four levels of government found at the GPS location of the user.
The plan is to build a single module that will be used by all levels of government. At launch time the app will only have the UN level of government. When the account holder opens the app they will see the fully functioning UN level and three blank spaces for federal, state and municipal.
Inside the blank spaces there will be a note saying to the account holder that these levels of government are under development and require the account holder's help to develop.
When the account holder taps the under development sign a box will open with a form letter to be filled out by the concerned account holder and sent to the government in question.
The letter will have a URL directing the government administration in question to a new site used exclusively to open a government account. It is hoped that a single resource person can fill in the information required to open a new government account in a few hours.
Public domain electoral maps in a suitable electronic format and the names and emails of all publicly elected officials working in said government are the only information required to set up GOV account. When this information is received the app will automatically send elected officials information on their personal account and how to post their picture and use their exclusive blog spot accessible with a provided key.
Information about the live stream service offered and the benefits of open and free debates will be included. An explanation of how the office, in question, can use the entertainment value of the live streams to attract advertising revenue for their government will also be provided.
Records of time and results of new legislation and which politicians voted yea or nay for bills passed into law will need to be updated in the provided electronic log. Also electoral boundaries will need to be kept current by resource person.
All information put into the app will come from account holders and public government agencies on a voluntary basis. No information will be provided by the app company and the only information found after logging onto an account will be provided by elected officials and official government agencies.
Concerned account holders will be motivated by a willingness to participate in the process of finding consensus in the making of law and government agencies will be motivated in the same way plus answering letters from concerned account holders in their jurisdiction. In no circumstances will any individual or group be required to participate. The entire process is about choice and everyone has a right to not participate.
Make democracy great again!
As a young man I lived in a world filled with the madness of war on the brink of a nuclear holocaust. I had a dream.
I dreamed that when I was old I would be living in a world free of war, corruption and oppression. I dreamed I would be living on a planet where a peaceful human race shares the bounty of our planet with all life forms.
Now I am old. I share an amazing world enhanced by technology but my dream of border crossings dissolving into welcome centers filled with people who have a deep trust in one another has not occurred. Instead I live in a world filled with the madness of war on the brink of nuclear holocaust run by madmen. To accomplish this dream we need political change.
As an old man I want to pass on the dream of peace and justice to a new generation.
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall not sit in? Greek proverb
The needed political change is simple
Problem: Citizens only control political authority to select a government, but no authority to make law. In a representative democracy laws are made with questionable authority causing divisiveness, inefficiencies and anger. No one knows if there is a consensus of citizens who agree with laws made using representative democracy.
Solution: Make a system where it is know that there is (legitimacy) a consensus of citizens who support new laws. Only bills where there is a know consensus can be passed into law giving each new law know legitimacy.
Goal: Without government intervention, over a period of time, gently migrate our democracies from a representative democracy to a participative model.
Expose the idea and create a brand.
Recruit interested individuals who understand the need and benefits of this change.
As a group encourage educators to teach the fundamentals of politics so citizens know they own a piece of political authority (POPA). Encourage educators to teach about the benefits of upgrading to a participative model.
Encourage universities to open faculties of political engineering.
Encourage software engineering students to produce an app which gives each citizen access to their political account and the control to move their political authority 24/7 365 days a year to a politician with the vested interest of each citizen.
Measure percentage of consensus (legitimacy) by adding up the number of citizens each politician represents at the time of the final vote and publish results.
Outcome: You (the citizen) sign up on a political app giving enough information to establish that you are a human with a heart beating in your chest, a home address so the app can see who is using your POPA on each level of government and some type of bio-metric signature. The first thing you see is a list of politicians who are using your POPA to make law. By clicking on a politician you can drill down and see what the politician has posted on the site. You can also see a list of politicians on the same level of government. You can find any information the other politicians have posted by clicking on their name. On the list you will notice a green dot representing your authority. You can move this green dot at any time signifying that you have moved you POPA to a different politician. When you move your POPA you will receive audit information on the change you made. This will allow each citizen to monitor the authenticity of the final count.
These small changes on how we perceive politics will have profound effects on all aspects of society. Participative democracy is a truly organic form of law making. The app is only a platform allowing citizens and politicians to participate in harmony to make law. Ownership and responsibility for laws will be shared by all citizen including politicians which will build a noble citizenry. We will learn to trust and will see the true beauty of our fellow citizens. Because of this over-site governments will become as efficient as businesses.
Governments that ignore the results of the app do so at their peril.
Today: Citizens are given an opportunity, by a higher authority, to form or elect a government.
The future: Citizens participate in the making of law as well as forming or electing government.
In the year 2117 you wake at seven after a busy night watching the results of an election. Your candidate didn't win. You find your device, check your emails, catch up on some Facebook chatter, maybe check your bank account and move some money into your checking account. Then you open your political account. You note who is using your POPA (piece of political authority) at your municipal level, state or provincial level, federal level and UN level. You go through the list of winners of the political contest from the night before. You move your POPA to a winning candidate who represents your interests, close your political account and then enjoy your four hour work day. You have lots of time with friends to discuss issues and find information about new laws that are being proposed by your elected officials. By the end of the day after being influenced by your friends and doing a bit of snooping you may want to change who is using your POPA.
To find out more read
"The Secret to Political Happiness"
For free PDF download request at email@example.com
An explanation of the Cover Photo
The cover is a photograph of a peace rose in full bloom. The delicate structures and brilliant colors adorned with tiny drops of dew show the magic and power of the environment we share. To grow a perfect rose takes a perfect set of circumstances.
The human species can be compared to a rose struggling to survive on rocky and hostile territory. Over millenniums we have sprouted buds of understanding, developing flowers of peace and prosperity ready to burst into bloom. The human species has never had a chance to achieve full bloom. Our own people have nipped the buds with autocracy and covered the entire plant of humanity with the black rust of oppression. For what ever reason, the buds have fallen, never allowing the true colors of the human-race to shine through.
Today we have a near perfect set of circumstances to allow humankind to expose her true gentle nature. All we need is a tiny drop of fertilizer in the form of understanding to allow the brilliance and intricate structures of the human family to burst into a bloom of peace and prosperity.
What is politics and why is it the most important part of establishing the quality of our lives?
The basic premise is that all people want to go about their business (their lives) without interference.
When people go about their business they interfere with each other.
In the past this interference, in the absence of law, ultimately lead to war, murder, rape and pillage.
Law is a magic spice that prevents people from doing harm to each other.
If legitimate Law is a magic spice that, when sprinkled over human beings, stops the negative side of humanity, where do we find it? It's not a good idea to search through jungles or in exotic places far away from civilization. A more sensible approach is to look to our past. Our history books tell us we can make our own law with one essential ingredient, a source of authority. The most popular source of authority, historically has been the individual; King, Queen, Shah, Tzar, Sultan, Emperor, Monarch, Pharaoh, dictator, autocrat chief, Meir. There are dozens of labels in the English language for individuals who are a source of authority.
Throughout history we have celebrated these kings and queens because they bring order. Because autocrats almost always make laws that forbid their subjects from doing harm to neighbors we know where we stand and people live in peace.
It is clear that giving an individual absolute authority to make law is not a good idea.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
In the past,without exception individuals controlling absolute political power have justified giving themselves and their friends' privilege because they have might or a divine right from God.
When there is a group in society with privilege, by definition, it is essential to have a group who are underprivileged.
Privileged groups oppress underprivileged groups.
In your dictionary you will find the antonym of oppression is liberty.
Liberty can be defined as, the quality or state of being free. Rather than just another word for nothing left to lose, I like to think of liberty as freedom with ownership and responsibility.
Oppression brings out the worst in human beings just as liberty brings out the best.
When people are oppressed they don't smile much, they do horrible things to each other and they are not as honest. (questionable assertion, you judge. I remember an interview of a Russian hockey player in the 1972 Canada-Russian series saying he noticed people in the west smiled and laughed more than in his home land.)
If you read history you will find the second most popular source of authority is, theocracy, a monotheism or, simply, a single religion. In theory, the laws produced by using the authority of a God, the head of a belief system, who is omniscient and impartial, should be the best.
Western Europe experimented using a single belief system as a source of authority in the early part of the fourth century when Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity.
Roman Catholicism became the main element in the theocracy of Western Europe following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Historians call this the medieval period. Some historians use the term the dark ages because of the incredible oppression. People did heinous things to each other under this oppression. You can find stories of people burning living women tied to stakes or stretching human bodies on a rack until the joints dislocate and then throwing the still living bodies, filled with incredible pain, into a dungeon to rot. Because the people were absolutely controlled by the church, in mind, body and spirit they took no ownership or responsibility in what the modern world would think of as crimes. Considering this period lasted for over a thousand years there was little technological or scientific progress.
People living in jurisdictions using a monotheism (single religion) as a source of authority, in modern times, report oppression. The most popular modern monotheisms are Islamic states using the Koran and the Muslim belief system as their source of authority. Although the oppression is far less than the oppression found in the medieval period, where Roman Catholicism was used as a source of authority, it still causes factions which justify heinous acts. We have all heard stories of people strapping bombs to living young people, sending them into crowded places and then exploding the human bombs.
The third and least popular source of authority in our history is to use the mass of the people to democratically elect a government. In modern western societies we use our governments as our source of authority. Governments have one simple job. The citizens in democratic jurisdictions charge their government with the responsibility of making the most effective and efficient laws. Most western jurisdictions use a representative or participatory democracy.
Within our governments we have dominant philosophies like socialism, communism and capitalism. These isms are good in theory but in practice fail because of the inherent autocratic oppression generated by the granting of privilege to law makers. The complexity of modern politics comes from managing the age old practice of giving groups and individuals privilege. Another word for privilege is monopoly. Monopoly is not a bad thing if there is a consensus of citizens solidly behind monopolistic law.
As I said earlier, people have never lived so well as we do in western society using representative governments elected by the mass of the people on a regular basis. Un-corrupted, elected governments produce an environment of liberty. People smile and laugh, they are more generous, creative, innovative, honest and they don't, generally, do horrible things to each other.
Liberty is good. Oppression should be avoided at all costs.
There is however one small flaw in our representative democracy. The flaw is the question of legitimacy. Is there a solid consensus behind each law produced by our representative governments? Is there a consensus of citizens in a jurisdiction who agree with the law? In western democratic societies we don't know if there is a consensus. This ignorance is the flaw.
Now, after this short lesson, you as a good citizen, can judge laws from the perspective of interference, oppression and legitimacy. This is one of your responsibility as a citizen. By using the three elements of law, from your perspective, you can question any given law.
Does the law minimize interference between people going about their lives?
Does the law minimize oppression by eliminating privilege?
(And now the most important part of each law.)
Is the law legitimate? Is it known beyond any shadow of doubt that there is a solid consensus, a large number of interested citizens in a jurisdiction, who agree with the law?
By carefully examining representative democracy it becomes obvious the fault causing so much difficulty is the question of legitimacy.
The electoral process uses democratic legitimacy. In a proper democracy the results of an election can be quantitated. The exact number of citizens supporting each candidate are known without question. However because representative democracy is old and tired and hasn't been updated for hundreds of years even these basic premises are often violated.
The winning candidates form a government and make laws. No one knows if there is a consensus of citizens who are in favor of laws produced. Depending on what style of government, legislators justify legitimacy with terms like parliamentary legitimacy in British jurisdictions and congressional legitimacy in republics. The USA uses Executive presidential legitimacy, which oversees about 5,000,000 military and law enforcement personnel, Judicial legitimacy (Supreme Court) which judges legitimacy based on previous law and congressional legitimacy derived from 535 representatives or one per million citizens as the cornerstones of federal law.
With the exception of Swiss direct democracy, democratic legitimacy is not used to make law in representative democracy. Without democratic legitimacy governments are exposed to corruption and a baseless fear of change.
There are thousands of undiscovered ways to improve modern politics by introducing democratic legitimacy into our laws. Participative democracy is only one.
Over a period of time, the ignorance of knowing or not if there is consensus, (the flaw) will weaken our governments. With each questionable law, the cost of administering and enforcing laws escalates. Maintaining bureaucracies, increasing security, overburdening judicial systems and building new jails to incarcerate non-conforming citizens is very expensive. As the costs mount and more citizens balk at questionable law the authority of governments deteriorate, allowing privilege to vested interest groups (corporate plutocracies) and ultimately revolutionary forces will weaken the authority of our elected governments.
Rome had a similar problem with their republic in the last century BC. Although the history is not without debate it seems for decades the Roman Republic had been in a state of political paralysis. In 44 BC the Roman Senate, in a desperate move, succumbed to autocratic rule. The first Emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar "dictator in perpetuity" became the source of authority displacing the authority of the Republic of Rome. It is said that Julius's rule only lasted nine months, however, before the Senators of Rome managed to kill him, Julius had managed to create laws making it impossible to get rid of the institution of Emperor. Augustus Caesar (Gaius Octavius, the adopted son of Julius Caesar) became the individual who took over as the source of authority after the death of Julius.
At this point I would like to make it quite clear; I do not advocate changing our governments in any way. Our governments have the ability to produce excellent, well thought out laws which should be honed through many checks and balances. I am not an advocate of changing our electoral system. Our electoral systems do a good job of putting warm bodies in the seats of our governments. I am an advocate of changing the largest part of our democracy, the citizens. It is time people stop believing in Kings, Gods and Politicians and start believing in themselves and their fellow citizens.
The citizen pays the highest price for this flaw of ignorance because it takes away their liberty. Citizens don't have ownership or responsibility for the laws made by our representative governments. As a people we suffer from this lack of liberty. Jean Jacque Rousseau, the French Revolution Philosopher, made the statement, "Man imposes his own freedom." When we impose ownership and responsibility on ourselves we produce freedom which equals liberty. In a representative democracy the ownership and responsibility is so diluted the citizens don't feel they have liberty.
When my children turned 16 they got drivers licenses. We were pleased to lend them our cars. They were responsible to a point but often would bring my, or my wife's car, home with little or no gasoline, who knew if there was air in the tires, oil in the engine or if the car needed a wash. My son got a job and bought a car. I watched him wash, wax and vacuum his car. He checked the fluids, the tire pressure and even had his friends come over to lift the car so that he could check the break linings. This is the change I expect when people realize they have ownership and responsibility in making law. Generally it is possible to pick out rental or social housing units when you drive down residential streets. People who have ownership and responsibility take more care. When people have ownership and responsibility in making law we can expect a dramatic shift for the betterment of our world.
Some of us lament the past where people were self-sufficient. Their very lives were dependent on their resourcefulness and creativity. They had ownership and responsibility filling them with a sense of freedom. In my childhood I watched families grow, can, and preserve food for winter. They were happy strong and resilient people with little reliance on grocery stores. Since then this ownership and responsibility has been diluted, diminishing our liberty, making our lives less meaningful and fostering the bad side of humanity. If anything, today we are moving towards a fortress mentality because we have ownership and responsibility inside our property but at the same time we ignore what is going on outside our residence.
When in public spaces our governments treat us like welfare cases. Public officials have good reason to mistrust modern citizens because they know citizens have no ownership or responsibility. Yellow clad police will not be necessary, at public gatherings to herd the masses, if citizens have ownership and responsibility. Not only are we missing the important social interactions of working together towards accomplishing goals but our decision makers are missing the accumulated wisdom of citizens when it comes to producing the most efficient and effective laws.
It is impossible to measure the financial cost of the flaw but think for a minute, about the escalating cost of security. Billions are spent on policing, software security, automobile security, building security and maintaining government secrecy. People who live in an environment of liberty are less likely to have reasons to lie, cheat or pillage.
Our society has propagated the idea of good people and bad people. Most of us, if given the chance to judge good and bad, would judge ourselves as trustworthy, good people. Where do the bad people come from? Babies are all good. People grow from babies. Somewhere between the infant stage and adulthood people morph into what society judges as good or bad. If we are all good we don't need to spend billions on security. Again the original argument about liberty and oppression can explain why western democratic societies are better. People are better when they live in an environment of liberty or freedom with ownership and responsibility. Notice the millions of enlightened people who are migrating (legally or not) to western democracies.
In a dictatorship it is the physical body of the citizen that is oppressed. In a communist regime the mind and the body are oppressed. In a monotheism the body, the mind and spirit are oppressed. In a true democracy the body, the mind and the spirit are liberated, unmasking the good side of humanity.
Most of us spend a good part of our lives earning privilege through education, by growing a business or by lobbying government for special privilege within law. It is not hard to find people who think the laws, giving privilege to components of our society, are increasingly unfair. Commercializing our world causes economic oppression, a concept akin to slavery. Instead of using the best technology, citizens are forced to use inferior technology (why not have an operating system using the best of Microsoft and Apple) because the holders of privilege monopolize intellectual property. Oil companies, big box stores, big pharmaceutical companies, the arms industry and monopolistic agricultural companies earn privilege in law through lobby groups. Our representative governments protect this privilege producing economic oppression exposing the dark side of humanity.
If we can fix the flaw we can start moving toward a trusting society. The millions of laws our governments produce are like a tightening noose around our necks. Something beautiful is dying. This tightening noose is oppression. People don't smile as much as they should and they lie, cheat and steal more than they would in an environment of liberty. The individual is paying a huge price because our governments are not producing effective, economical and quality laws which are known to be legitimate. Instead I understand there are two laws on the books for each citizen in the USA. Almost a billion useless laws. Harvey Silverglate describe how we all, unknowingly brake
laws every day in his book "Three Felonies A Day".
Everything seems so simple after it is done for the first time. The people living a hundred years from now will know how simple it is to fix our political problems. These people will look back at our society and wonder how could we have lived like we do? How could we afford the cost of an oppressive society? How could we carelessly allow our environment to be torn to pieces because of the avarice of a few? How could we stifle the innovation and creativity and, above all, how could we thoughtlessly take away the joy of life from our people?
Our political world has been shaped by the works of Niccolo Machiavelli who in 1531 wrote "The Prince". He observed, political success does not come from being a good guy but rather can only occur if one follows the example of the most devious politicians. Hard line politicians follow his ideas and with a cunning sociopathic intelligence, lacking remorse for those who suffer, accomplish their goals. If a politician says they know what the people want they are being dishonest. They know only what their supporters and friends want. Even the most advanced polls can be misleading. Politicians (because they believe they are somehow superior) who say they believe in democracy and at the same time insist they are doing the right thing, rather than bending to public opinion, are paternalistic and in fact dishonest. Although goals can be accomplished with this hard headed approach it should be noted that Machiavelli's Europe continued to be in turmoil and in some ways his books exacerbated unrest and violence for centuries after his death. Participative democracy produces a powerful legitimate authority eliminating the need for Machiavellianism which some feel is necessary to accomplish goals using a representative democracy.
Law makers have an obligation to the people to make laws which minimize interference between people going about their (lives) business, minimize oppression by eliminating aspects of privilege in the laws and insuring only laws where there is a known solid consensus are passed. Legitimate laws with consensus are economical, effective and free of oppression.