New form of government

I am seeking constructive comments on a theoretical new form of government I have been developing called Expert Government.

Its principal feature is that all policy is devised by experts that act only within their specialisations. Expert Government is a single entity with no politicians or parties, just experts and some administrative staff to help them. Otherwise it is dogma free to enable it to adapt to changing needs and circumstances. Structurally its experts are grouped according to their respective specialisations, and all experts have equal influence within their specialism, but none outside of it. Influence is not organised into hierarchies.

The web site has a more information at http://expertgovernment.org.uk/.

There are two significant observations that influenced the principal feature of Expert Government. Firstly, most problems that befall us seem to be within our ability to prevent, because they arise from our own actions. Take for example recent sovereign debt problems. Secondly, humans have constructed very sophisticated and necessarily complex systems that enable advanced civilisation. Those systems are based on the principle of collaboration between many experts acting in their own specialisms. Indeed, it is hard to see how else such sophisticated systems could be organised. Now it is my opinion that a country is also a sophisticated system. I believe that the problems that befall us are because we do not use an organisation of experts for government. Instead the administrators are making decisions. These administrators are not sufficiently aware of all the sophistication and complexity in the system, so problems appear to them to come out of nowhere.

Thanks for reading, and any useful thoughts you may have.

 

Your proposed system of

Your proposed system of governance is sound and tactful, and I fully support your viewpoints. What you are proposing is similar to the governance of Venice, whereby election is based on nomination, balloting and voting to preclude nepotism and incompetency. However, the scourge of the salary being concentrated in the hands of the experts may still exist. How would anyone expect them to be free of avaricious thoughts and be brimmed with zest and dedication to serve the country?

Hey Geby, Anything new on

Hey Geby,

Anything new on your theory?

 I am also creating my own

 I am also creating my own government called Comprisism. It is a mesh of different polices of well-known governments and government theories. It was created from trying to make a "corruptless" communist government. Its main features are: 1. Money will not be used for groceries, instead families will get all their meals for the entire week for free. this allows them to spend money on media-based things. 2.at the age of ten, all kids will be test- not on what they have learned but on their potential to learn. If they best with good scores they go to various government schools to figure out they that are best in. average scores or under will go to regular school. If a child passes with FLYING colors, they have the choice to opt of training. 3. Comprisism isn't necessarily are permanent thing of it's own, and will be use when a nation is trying to stabilize itself between various troubles. The political system can practically be anything, from anarchism, democracy, nomocracy, oligarchy. The systems that can NOT be in place are those that are ruled solely by one person,(i.e autocracy, fascism, feudalism, etc.)wealth,(i.e aristocracy, timocracy, and plutocracy.) and religion(i.e magocracy, sultanate, theocracy, etc) The current political system will rule for 3 years unchallenged, after those years are over, the ruling system may be challenged. The winner is decided by votes of the working class, those with STRONG political ties cannot vote. NO system can use violence or espionage to win. 4. there will be an existing stock market, however those only those exceeding a certain salary can simply roam the stock market, to avoid having small families go bust. You may be questioning why i've shared this with you, but I rarely find a idea similar to mine in such a stage. Maybe I gave you some ideas. I feel as though later in life our ideas will clash to be the world's superpower. Yes this is propagada. Feel free to criticize, for it will help me get better Ideas and improve.

               Comprisism's sole founder, Adam maxwell.   

dear gebyatt, i too extend my

dear gebyatt, i too extend my sympathy re the disgusting reactionary and negative responses you recieved to an honest and open appeal for contributions to a subject that obviously you have given a lot of deep thought to and care about. i have not given a lot of thought to the subject nor have i much education regarding. for the moment i will just say that i have just returned from 6 years abroad (i study cultural anthropology, vernacular architecture, and the like) and i found the society of france more comfortable in many ways and so i have just taken an interest in LEARNING about types of government. my present concern is the many very negative social results of our almighty-dollar driven culture. i find so much gross and crassness that i feel it's out of control. i suspect that a capitalistic system must be balanced with a very well informed (educated) citizenry - including the all-important importance of regular if not constant sacrifices by the way of involvement. i know from the perspective i've gained re this country from abroad that way too many americans are horrifically complacent, sadly blind (myopic and/or tunnel vision) content to form their views per idle conversations and/or tv and such. fickleness and 'about me' defensiveness/combativeness is FAR too little to support a moral/ethical culture. i feel america has been a great idea and attempt but 'the flare is descending' for lack of of skillful, knowledgeable, engaged attention on the parts of all. i feel things began heading down in the 60's and has been increasingly wobbly since - various situations, reasons, contributing. as a culture we are 'too ready to fight' rather than think, get/be REALLY, DEEPLY, WIDELY informed (my father was VERY informed politically - i went on the selma march with him at age 12 - so much so that ironically i 'let him do it all' - he did as much as 5 average people and since i knew his values and trusted him i always allowed him to 'review everything that was up for vote' with me while i did my good works socially (working with the homeless and other social needs). the best thing for america would be if every young person could spend 2 years abroad (i.e. not as a tourist, but in order to really feel/and identify with another culture, in order to really 'see what we are about here'. (i need to say that of course i am generalizing and there are plenty of people who do not fall into these deficient or negative catagories - i am thinking of the great number of well meaning and/or very 'nice' people i've met since i returned but who are so 'out to lunch' re anything that matters outside of their immediate boundaries. and i'm not saying that people like this do not exist in france. infact the fact that they DO and still socially it feels less hostile (we have 5 times the rate of nearly everytype of crime and violence compared to other first world countries - we are volitile, defensive, superficial-behaving, loud, restless/anxious/fearful). i am now studying american culture in an attempt to understand WHY we are as we are. (I have a lot of guesses, some theories, a hypothesis or two, etc.). anyway....i am just NOW beginning to get a wider view re the subject of governance and will be studying it. meanwhile i regret i can not intelligently offer anything on the subject specifically. i commend you for your interest and willingness to explore the important subject. i will say that i tend to agree with you re 'experts' as i have 'gone through the roof' a few times when complete no-nothings were put in positions of power in our government. on the otherhand an expert alone is not enough - it's extremely important that people in positions of power be emotionally and morally healthy and have strong ethical underpinnings, eh? lastly i just want to reiterate the importance of education - not just for the sake of employment and/or feeding the capitalistice market/system - but about ethics, social/civic responsibility, philosophy, geography, etc. - all that's needed for strong awareness, and responsible citizenship. being in europe for so long allowed me to understand that part of the problem is THE SIZE of this country. it's ridiculously huge. it was far easier for me to feel involved in england and france (both approximately the size of texas and about the same populations). a powerful force behind education is needed to get people engaged and keep them there. we're like a big planet out in space on our own - FAR from the rest of the world. we need teachers to be well trained - exquisitely well trained - and then highly paid, highly respected and education needs to be the country's focus (versus more and more stuff that - obscene overkill) - the greater the freedoms the more responsibility is needed and america has dummied down at a time when exactly the opposite was/has been needed in order to keep it stable and forward moving. i'm afraid all the excitement on the part of many at this time (worry, anxiety re 'what's going on') is about too many years (decades) of as good as takin-a-nap, only to get excited when 'the deed is done' and it's just too little too late. i'm sorry to end on this negative note but actually i have to go somewhere at this moment. p.s. i will try to read this whole blog thoughtfully at some point (i just skimmed it) as i think i may learn some things, so keep up the good work those of you that are 'thinking'. god bless :) 


This is a response to your 14

This is a response to your 14 February 2012 - 2:37pm.

Perhaps this discussion has gotten out of hand based on communication errors on my part. I’m willing to test this hypothesis.

One of the arguments you have used frequently to defend expert government from my attacks on accountability is the idea that experts, by virtue of being experts, can be trusted to act within the best interests of citizens without additional controls.

From gebyatt 14 January 2012 - 8:32pm

“I have to disagree that extra incentives are necessary. You ignore my point that the kind of people who can demonstrate a career building expertise and are proud of that are most unlikely to undo all that work with a below par effort in a short term in government.”

I satirically demonstrated that this was a special pleading fallacy by restating your arguments with the word politician substituted for the word expert. You have never responded to my assertion that your argument is a special pleading fallacy, but you have continued to use it anyway.

Even if your argument weren’t a special pleading fallacy, just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be accounted for. This would be like saying, “terrorist attacks are unlikely, therefore we don’t have to be prepared for them,” “war is unlikely, therefore we don’t need a standing army,” or “a catastrophic asteroid impact is unlikely, therefore we don’t need to investigate preventative measures.”

I may never be able to convince you that expert government needs more accountability, but can we at least agree that this counter argument of yours is logically fallacious, and that you can no longer use this argument in defense of exert government?

Hello again Anonymous I am

Hello again Anonymous

I am sure that I am not fault free either.

On your charge of a “special pleading fallacy”: Just because I plead a special case does not mean it is fallacious. I know a number of people who are what I would call experts. Regardless of their specialisms it is obvious to me that these people possess something that sets them apart from non-experts in their field, and it is not just their knowledge and experience. I would say it is a passion for their subject that enables them to explore it thoroughly and to excel in it. They did not achieve expert status by chance, disinterest and doing the minimum. By definition, experts on their subject are a special case. I think this is because they do care more than is normal about their subject, and as a result they will do a better than average job; that is why they are experts. So I cannot see my argument as “logically fallacious”, in fact I see it as axiomatic. Politicians are incapable of doing a good job of running a country, not because they lack intelligence, passion, or expertise in their job, rather because they cannot be expert in all the matters they have authority over. The system they work within is profoundly faulty, they can never correct for that.

As regards trusting the experts without enough controls; I feel I do have strong enough controls. Obviously that view is subjective and we differ on it. The citizenry can challenge any policy as non-conformant to the strategic direction they alone control in the covenant, and enforce it in a court in which citizens have the ultimate authority. This is much stronger control than currently exists in the UK system of government which has no direct control by citizens over policy. They can also ask government police to check problematic behaviour in government at any time. Citizens need not wait for an election to force change. Elections conflate many influential factors. It is an affectation of naivety to pretend citizens simply vote out a government because it was inept or corrupt or broke its manifesto promises. Votes separated by many years apart are far too blunt a tool. Much finer grained control is needed. I would say I have delivered that in direct influence over policy and individuals in government.

The only additional possible role I see for accountability would use previous members of government. They at least have been vetted to a similar standard of qualification and have more experience on their side. How the prior experts would be allowed to affect the incumbent experts or their output would need careful consideration so as not to undermine the authority of government positions.

I believe you have implicitly

I believe you have implicitly answered this question, but I’d prefer a direct answer.

Do you agree that “just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be accounted for”?

Hello again. Once again

Hello again.

Once again we’ve run into the same misunderstanding regarding the difference between effectiveness and accountability.

The question is whether or not experts will abuse their power if given the opportunity. Your assertion was that experts would not abuse their power because “They did not achieve expert status by chance, disinterest and doing the minimum”. The exact same thing can be said of political experts. They did not achieve success by chance, disinterest and doing the minimum either. The reason your assertion is a special pleading fallacy is because there is no relevant difference between experts and politicians regarding whether or not they will abuse their power. The only difference you gave was a difference in knowledge. This difference in knowledge may have been relevant if we were discussing effectiveness, but, as I have said many times before, we are discussing accountability.

To break the special pleading fallacy, you must provide a relevant difference between experts and politicians regarding their likelihood of abusing power. If you can’t, then the special pleading fallacy stands, and you must concede that both experts and politicians are equally likely to abuse their power or equally unlikely to abuse their power.

I think the idea of an expert

I think the idea of an expert government is good in principle but it should not be a replacement for democracy. What is wrong with the latter is that too often people in charge know little about the issues they are put in charge of, for example, what credentials did Gordon Brown have when he became the Chancellor of Exchequer? What credentials did Jack Straw have over and above so many experienced judges? I am sure there were more qulified people who weren't even in the running for various reasons.

I think the best way forward is to keep our democracy but somehow ensure that those chosen by a prime minister to do a job in a certain office are the best in that area and have the experience and knowledge required.

Hello PA71 You have the same

Hello PA71

You have the same reasoning I had when I started my project. I thought I just needed to tweak a couple of problems with the UK form of government, mainly to get more appropriate politicians and to keep their remuneration in check. However, the more I considered the system the more problems I uncovered. If one fixes a problem with a theoretical system that nobody is waiting for, then why not fix another? Why not all of them? Obviously what I have ended up with is quite different, but the reason is that my priorities are different than those used in the current UK form of government. An apparently simple change makes a huge difference. In my system primacy is given to the efficacy of government. Everything else is negotiable. It is not that I set out to abandon universal suffrage; in fact I tried hard to improve it in my early efforts. It just turns out that universal suffrage is not compatible with my priorities. My form of government does use voting, but as it doesn’t have representatives so citizens can’t vote for them, and it makes no sense to have them voting for experts. Becoming a member of government should not be a popularity contest, it is about who is the best applicant. Candidates can most effectively be selected by their potential colleagues and people who specialise in assessing applicants – a kind of job interview.

What you propose sounds like it has a chance to be better than what we have. If you like the idea then develop it. The key thing to remember when embarking on this kind of project is to be absolutely clear what you priorities are. If you change them everything you have done may be worthless. Have fun.

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gebyatt

I can't believe you are still here.  You have mentioned several times that your ideas are a 'work in progress'   Let me ask you a few questions.

1. In all the months of explanation of your expert system, have you converted anyone to your system?

2. Have you modified your thinking on this system, in the light of all the comments that you have read?

3. Have you modified your original expert system in the light of comments or new information you have gleaned from this online roadshow of your system?

Thanks in advance

Hi indigoboy I can't believe

Hi indigoboy

I can't believe I am still here either. Each time I think the conversation has died someone comes along and restarts it. Clearly there is some interest in this topic.

“Q1. In all the months of explanation of your expert system, have you converted anyone to your system?”

A1. No. However, developing my ideas is my interest. As they improve perhaps some people may change their attitude toward Expert Government. As it is little more than a hobby it really does not matter too much if it never gets any support. It interests me, I am not selling anything, and I am doing nobody any harm. If getting a following was my priority I would have given up long ago. It could be that I am a bit crazy, but I can do a lot less damage with this interest than some others I could get involved in.

“Q2. Have you modified your thinking on this system, in the light of all the comments that you have read?”

A2. Yes. Many small features have been changed and a couple of big ideas have been added, but the same principal ideas inform it. Expert Government is still closest to a technocratic form of government; although that is such an over-simplification it is misleading. You may have noticed recent use of technocratic governments in failed European economies. They are closer to my form of government than voter – representative forms of government. I realise that is not an endorsement of Expert Government, but it certainly isn’t an endorsement of voter – representative forms of government either. It will be interesting to see how things work out in the coming years.

“Q3. Have you modified your original expert system in the light of comments or new information you have gleaned from this online roadshow of your system?”

A3. Yes. My modified thinking has resulted in many changes to Expert Government. Another rewrite of my website is overdue to realign it with recent developments, but that is time consuming. I will probably get around to it when the conversation here goes quite again. Since November I have been quite distracted by other events in my life, but those distractions are beginning to slow down now. So I should have more time soon.

Thanks for taking an interest.

gebyattJust thought you'd

gebyatt

Just thought you'd like to know, that there is another chap called Rupert Read on the OpenDemocracy website with ideas/proposals for democratic 'modifications'.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/guardians-of-britains-future-generations

His idea is more of a kind of 'jury service' of trained people from all walks of life.  I think his report  is, unfortunately, also in need of a great deal of work. But it may be worth a read to see if there is any synergy of your thoughts and his?

Take Care

 

 

Thanks for pointing that out

Thanks for pointing that out indigoboy. I will take a look.

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How do you allocate resources to the various expert bodies? If the expert economists decide the country needs a 10% GDP stimulus package, how do you allocate those resources? How much of that 10% do you give the economists, and how much do you take away from other expert bodies? Who decides which policies take priority over others, and who holds those people accountable for their decisions?

The people who decide the allocation of resources will be the de facto politicians. They will decide which policies get financed and which ones don’t. And they will surely use this power to force experts to compromise their solutions. Will a budget expert who disagrees with climate science fund climate science research or alternative energy research? How about an expert who disagrees with women’s abortion? How about an expert who wants to end social security or public education? The people who control the budget will control the direction of the nation, and so they must represent the values and priorities of the people.

One solution to this logistical problem is to democratically elect budget politicians who represent the values and priorities of the people. These politicians would allocate resources to the policies of various expert bodies. They would weigh the costs and benefits of each policy proposal and would force necessary adjustments to these policies. In the case of the economic stimulus example, these politicians may decide that the nation can only afford a 5% GDP stimulus package, and thus would only approve of such a package. Another solution would be to elect representatives who then elect a prime minister who decides the allocation of resources.

Basically the solution to the problem is the current system.

The issue of budgeting is a potentially fatal blow to your expert government system, and it is only one of the logistical concerns I have of this system. I will suspend further comments until you reasonably address the problem outlined above. Good luck.

For managing the economy the

For managing the economy the important principle remains dividing authority widely among many specialist groups each with many specialists with equal authority, but ideally experts. Hence managing the economy is done in the same way that policy is managed and for the same reasons. The one important difference is that there is a need single maximum amount of taxation and spending. This necessitates a loose association between specialisms.

A macro scale taxation group decides how much tax should be raised that is in accord with the covenant, and allocates parts of the total take to multiple more specific specialist groups associated with different ways of raising revenue. Otherwise they have no authority concerning how the more specific specialist groups act. The more specific specialist groups in turn do the same with even more specialist groups, and so on. A similar principle is applied to spending revenue.

In this scheme no very powerful individuals exist, so there are no de factor politicians. Wide distribution of authority is designed partly to prevent the corrupting influence of high levels of authority. It is essential to ensure that each group of specialists is independent from others and that all the many specialists within a specialism have equal authority. However the main principle of specialisation is that good decisions are made.

This is a response to your 20

This is a response to your 20 January 2012 - 6:02pm.

I’d like to keep the focus of this discussion on relevant points. Attacking one’s motives is off topic, and tends to be the last resort of individuals who have run out of intelligent things to say. I have never avoided addressing relevant points, so I would appreciate the same courtesy from you. If you think you have a relevant point that I have failed to address, then draw my attention to it, and I’ll explain to you why your point is irrelevant.

So to paraphrase, you’re admitting that you don’t have any answers to the many issues I presented.

To Q2 R: We’ve already had this discussion. You say, “a vote has a negligible effect on accountability and no effect on policy.” I then repeat my 22 December 2011 - 5:18am, 22 December 2011 - 6:57am, 24 December 2011 - 4:50am, and 28 December 2011 - 7:42am comments. If you wish to continue this discussion, then you must answer the points made in these comments. Then you have to explain why your anecdotes are necessarily stronger than my anecdotes, why your anecdotes conflict with broader statistical analysis and empirical observation, after which you then have to reasonably demonstrate causality.

Your proposed solution to the infinite regress problem is not a viable option. This is like saying, “if we had fusion generators, then the world’s energy problems would be solved." Build a working fusion generator first; then we can talk about what it can and can't do. Until then, speculation of such of a device is off topic.

As long as your proposed solution is designed by humans, has qualitative goals set by humans, has quantitative values gathered and inputted by humans, and has its effectiveness judged by humans, then the infinite regression of accountability remains a problem. To say nothing of the fact that your proposed device doesn’t make value judgments, which are essential to allocating resources and responding to new challenges. But since your proposed solution isn't a viable option anyway, it is irrelevant to the discussion.

The infinite regression problem stands; the special pleading fallacy stands; the problem of accountability stands.

This is a response to your 7

This is a response to your 7 February 2012 - 6:00pm comment.

“My system has much stronger controls … I remain doubtful that they (experts) would not try to as that attitude is likely intrinsic to people who are accomplished in a field”

We’ve already established that expert government has no soft controls. We’ve already established that your assumption of altruism is a special pleading fallacy. We’ve already established that just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be accounted for. Why you continue to repeat points that are no longer valid is beyond my understanding. 

“my form of government has the potential to be better because it is based on proven techniques from other systems that have yet to be tried in government … my concern is effective government however it is achieved.”

We’ve already established that the true power of those techniques comes from proper feedback; something your system doesn’t have. It is astounding that you’ve already forgotten that we’re discussing accountability, not effectiveness.

“I understand for you universal suffrage is paramount … I think it is less important than providing effective government.”

I don’t care about the vote. I care about accountability. Accountability and effectiveness are both necessary for a fair and functional government. Your system unnecessarily ignores the importance of accountability in government. This concern has been clearly expressed in several comments of mine including the 28 December 2011 - 7:42am comment which has stood for well over a month without a response. You have again shifted the discussion from accountability to effectiveness; making your response off topic.

Since I am unconvinced you will ever read or respond to the 28 December 2011 - 7:42am comment, I’ll just paste a relevant passage from it.

“Effective government is not the most important thing. Effectiveness and accountability are at least equally important, if not more toward the ladder. To alter a quote from Albert Einstein, “Accountability without effectiveness is lame, effectiveness without accountability is blind.” A government that is effective at producing wigs made from pubic hair provides no value to its citizens. A government that is effective at oppressing human rights provides no value to its citizens. A government that is effective at murdering six million people of the “wrong” religion provides no value to anyone. Accountability is important. You cannot eliminate the best system for providing accountability to citizens without a really good reason and a clearly better alternative.”

“I can’t comment as I have not read it (the article). I hope to have a look soon, but I have many things to do.”

Interesting. In the past 1 ½ months you didn’t have time to read a 4,758 word article. Yet somehow you found the time to write me 10 responses totaling 7,485 words. How long did it take you to write this past 1,561 word comment that I’m responding to?

“They do not vote!”

Yes they do. I wonder how you were able to conclude that they (insects) don’t vote since you admitted you didn’t read the article.

From gebyatt 7 February 2012 - 6:00pm

“The effectiveness of the v-r model is not my main concern. The effectiveness of government is my main concern”

From gebyatt 20 January 2012 - 6:02pm

“My second question was couched in terms of what I feel is the ultimate problem with the vote, its ineffectiveness. I feel it is obvious that the effectiveness of the vote is germane to accountability in government.”

Either we’re discussing the effectiveness of the vote, and therefore accountability, or we are discussing the effectiveness of government, which is off topic. You cannot change the purpose of your second question at your own convenience.

“The corrective aspect of the vote is used in my covenant and its juror based court.”

We’ve already established that the covenant and juries can’t micromanage policies. Arguments involving the covenant and juries have been invalid since early December of last year, and you have not challenged the invalidity of your arguments since my 22 December 2011 - 5:18am comment.

“many poorly informed votes are not worth as much as one well informed vote.”

This isn't necessarily true. Read the article. More importantly, you accepted the premise that citizens don’t need to be informed to make corrective decisions. This contradicts your central argument against democratic feedback.

“I think it is better to create a more sophisticated system that is likely to make fewer mistakes than fixate on a means to remove individuals and a government when they are ineffectual.”

These ideas aren’t mutually exclusive. Making less mistakes is good, but the ability to correct the few mistakes that will inevitably occur doesn’t make your government weaker, it makes it stronger.

“the v-r pattern does not solve the infinite regress problem either.”

Yes it does. That’s one of its inherent benefits.

“It’s your choice. If you say it is too early for you then it is.”

I’m not sure what this means. Are you saying you would accept the hypothetical pill as a viable solution to the v-r model?

“Please restate it (the solution to the infinite regression problem) to save me some time if you would.”

6 December 2011 - 5:35pm; 28 December 2011 - 7:00am

It is absolutely shocking that you continue to repeat the value of effectiveness as if that would somehow make the value of accountability less important. They are both important, and expert government fails to provide adequate accountability to citizens. All of your points regarding the effectiveness of government are irrelevant to this discussion. I don’t know how to make that any more clear.

This is a response to your 9

This is a response to your 9 February 2012 - 12:17pm comment. 

“You make many complaints about my treatment of this thread.”

My complaints have solely been on your avoidance of my concerns.

“Remember the purpose of this topic is to discuss a new form of government, specifically the one of my devising.”

You have repeated that expert government is not a completed idea. I’ve been attempting to discuss and provide potential solutions for one of expert government’s weakest points; its inability to provide accountability to citizens. However, you have continued to dismiss this problem while presenting counter arguments that are neither valid nor relevant. Simply repeating myself didn’t seem to be enough to make you address the problem, so in mid January I attempted to force you to address the relevant issues that you had been avoiding for the first 1 ½ months of our discussions. Considering how disgusting other users had been on this thread, I figured you could handle the more direct tone as long as my points remained valid. However, even being direct wasn’t enough to make you address my concerns with expert government, and you even took offense when I challenged you to justify your claims. So because politely repeating myself didn’t work, and being direct didn’t work, the purpose of my last comment was to make it insultingly clear what the focus of this discussion was. Rather than responding to my points or simply requesting a more respectful tone, your reaction was to end our discussion. It seems you are not interested in discussing any criticisms of expert government regardless of whether the tone is polite, impolite, or direct.

You have accused me of being entrenched in my position. My entrenched position is that leaders should be accountable to those they lead. How this accountability is achieved makes no difference to me, so long as it is achieved. Anything you believe of my position beyond this is your own added interpretation.

Your entrenched positions seem to be that expert government doesn’t need any further soft controls for accountability, and that democratic feedback is not an appropriate soft control for accountability. I have broken all of the arguments for your positions and have demonstrated that your ladder position is based on non sequitur reasoning.

It seems you think everyone should just accept expert government without question. I apologize if you just expected me to congratulate you for your incomplete, personal variation of a technocracy.

 

From gebyatt 12 December 2011 - 10:59am, and gebyatt 12 December 2011 - 11:42am

“I have made many strong points that were reacted to with silence. I never knowingly avoided a single post on this topic; at least that is the ones directed at me which are exploring some pertinent point.”

From gebyatt 17 August 2011 - 10:30pm

“You resist the truth, but it stares directly at you.”

 

“Do you have any other matters you wish to discuss?”

Seeing as how you are refusing to address the problem of accountability, it seems unlikely that you will honestly discuss any other matters.

 

The following comment was never presented to you because it was long and irrelevant.

The source of the altruism hypothesis, which asserts that humans prospered over Neanderthals due to their greater altruistic instinct, appears to be from a book published in 1996 by author James Shreeve, who, as far is I have researched, is not a scientist. In the 15 years since the book was released, there appears to have been no published scientific literature regarding the hypothesis. It has not been referenced, supported, or even addressed by any scientists. Almost everything I’ve found on this hypothesis has been on non-scientific websites that advocate the importance of religion, spirituality, and world peace. The altruism hypothesis doesn’t appear to have any credibility within the scientific community. Please research your information before presenting it.

Regardless of the hypothesis’ truth, it is fallacious reasoning to assert that the way something was is necessarily the way it is now. No one asserts that the average life expectancy of humans is 30 years simply because that’s what it was 10,000 years ago. By the same reasoning, you cannot assert that humans are altruistic because of who they were 10,000 years ago. In that time, the environment may have changed to favor individuals who were more selfish, thus changing the nature of humans from altruistic to selfish. It doesn’t take long for a beneficial genetic trait to become present in an entire population. Also, different behavioral tendencies may express themselves differently in different environments. How humans behave at a sporting event says little about how they will behave at a job interview. By the same reasoning, how humans behave while hunting and gathering on an African savanna says little about how they will behave in modern civilization.

For more information on how altruism may have evolved in animals, see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA4dZ6NVNbk

You may recognize the host. This documentary was made back when he was still a scientist.

You say I avoid your

You say I avoid your concerns. From my perspective I never avoided any of them. I addressed them to the level of detail I thought appropriate and was able to given the style you employ; more of that at the end.

I appreciate your concern to provide a potential solution to what you see as Expert Government’s weakest point – “its inability to provide accountability to citizens”. Firstly, Expert Government does have accountability to citizens through a binding covenant controlled by the citizenry, government police that may be used by citizens to check the function of government - which they do an a proactive basis anyway, courts of jurors taken randomly from the citizenry with relevant expertise, and open access to information used by government. Secondly, Expert Government’s approach avoids the pitfalls of populism and localism that are inherent to v-r style accountability. So I am not convinced that the accountability of Expert Government to citizens is a weak point. You may not like the degree of autonomy afforded to Expert Government, but that is not the same as it being a weak point. That can only be established if it can be shown to not deliver on its stated objectives. Chief among them is effectiveness at running the country in accordance with its covenant.

You have never clearly differentiated your ideas from the v-r pattern. Indeed you often seem to be defending it. Even after all this dialogue I cannot encapsulate just what your proposal is, or even if you have one. You spent a long time talking about feedback to enable controls as though they were absent in my system, when in fact they exist but are just not as overt as voting systems. I highlighted them but you brushed them aside, seemingly because they were not strong enough “soft controls”.

Your comments that I am not interested in discussing any criticism of my system are patently unfounded. I have developed my ideas as a result of feedback I have received on this topic; some of it yours. I have spent longer listening to your arguments than any other, trying to find the value in them. If I had no interest in finding good ideas I would have dismissed your ideas soon after you started this dialogue, but I put the time in to see if you had anything important to say.

Your stated position “that leaders should be accountable to those they lead” is extremely loose. Many arrangements can claim this, including my own. From everything you have been saying it seems to me you actually want a high level of accountability, and I would be most surprised if you were to tolerate anything that did not include use of the v-r pattern.

Your statement of my position is fairly accurate, but I will nonetheless take this opportunity to ensure clarity. I am still actively creating new ideas to improve effectiveness of government through better feedback mechanisms – the need recognised due to your observations, but that does not require more public accountability. The v-r pattern has many faults, but above all it is incompatible with a system like mine that insists authority on anything is only given to those informed enough to use it. The general public can never be informed enough to be given the authority to vote on who is in government. You may feel that you have ‘broken’ all of the arguments I made supporting my position, and demonstrated a non sequitur, but as far as I am concerned these are successes only in your mind.

Your remarks regarding unquestioned acceptance of my ideas are incompatible with the time I take on this topic to respond to others ideas and how I evolve my ideas as a result. I may be wrong, but I think I am open minded relative to many others on this forum. Nonetheless that does not mean that I am prepared to compromise on the central principal of my form of government. I explored the concepts around voting before I came to a well formed idea of Expert Government. It is a large retrospective step for me to discuss them. I could simply have dismissed that conversation with you but I showed you the respect that I thought your interest and apparent abilities deserved.

Technocracy is the closest form of government to Expert Government, but to consider it a variation is wrong. They both recognise the axiomatic importance of authority on a matter being given to those with understanding. In technocracy that resolves to giving authority to scientists and engineers. I believe my analysis is deeper and so comes to a more refined position. I believe that it is not enough to simply invest authority in intelligent well educated people. I reasoned that authority given to specialists, or ideally experts, must be equal, independent, and restricted to their specialism. I further reasoned that each specialism must be independent. If any of these are not mandated a potential exists for an expert decision to be overridden by a less expert decision. The non-hierarchical authority used in Expert Government is a natural consequence of that reasoning. It has well and often been observed that hierarchical authority is prone to some of the less salubrious features of human nature. Technocracy simply fills government positions in a hierarchical authority system with scientists and engineers. It fails to recognise these other important observations.

You occasionally and unnecessarily stray from attacking my reasoning to attacking my abilities. For example, you inferred a lack of cognitive ability at one point by implying that I “have run out of intelligent things to say”, and you now intimate a lack of honesty saying “it seems unlikely that you will honestly discuss any other matter”. Insults about my abilities, even thinly veiled by inference and intimation, are unwarranted and diminish my opinion of you.

Your writing style is awkward to respond to and causal for some of the problems you complain of. You provide a profusion of parallel threads in each post that cannot be adequately addressed in a reasonable sized response. This also obfuscates, intentionally or otherwise, the true priorities you attach to each. Sometime later you will then claim that one received light treatment and that it is my fault for avoiding it. Also your posts are often out of sequence with the post you are responding to. This makes it even more difficult to trace the thread of conversation. If you find placing them out of sequence is necessary it may be partly a symptom of that conflation of threads into large posts. I approach your posts with interest, but knowing that I may have to reread several posts scattered around the topic to bring together all the threads. This is a natural inhibitor to responding to your posts.

You make many complaints

You make many complaints about my treatment of this thread. The exchange is getting petty and recriminatory. I do not want to take part in such an exchange. Further, I think that we have stopped exploring ideas and are entrenched in disparate positions. I feel that we can make no further progress on the matter of accountability and must agree to differ. So I am not prepared to discuss it further.

Do you have any other matters you wish to discuss? Remember the purpose of this topic is to discuss a new form of government, specifically the one of my devising.

This is a response to your 23

This is a response to your 23 January 2012 - 1:16pm comment.

there is something of a balance to be found between extending courtesy and bringing a matter quickly to the important discussion points.”

I apologize. I didn’t realize that being polite and staying on topic were mutually exclusive. Thank you for the clarification.

I will admit that difficult issues remain to be resolved … I have no complete ideas at this moment to addresses the infinite regress problem.”

So to clarify, you don’t have any answers to the many issues I brought up.

You can’t ignore my response to your second question and then complain about me not responding to it.

From 22 December 2011 - 5:18am

You may argue that democratic feedback is not an effective soft control, but not having any soft controls in your system is even worse. If you cannot think of a better soft control than democratic feedback, then it must be include in your system regardless of how poor you believe it to be. Not having any soft controls is simply not an option.”

From 22 December 2011 - 6:57am

You may argue that citizens don’t have enough direct influence over policy in the current system, but it doesn’t follow that your system, which takes political influence away from most citizens, and gives an extremely limited jurisdiction of influence to those who do have influence, is any better.”

From 28 December 2011 - 7:42am

As long as people are capable of selfishness, accountability will be necessary to ensure that leaders act in the best interests of those they lead. Democracy is the best system of accountability developed so far, and as long as that remains true, it will remain necessary. When a better control for accountability is developed, democracy may become obsolete, but until then, its utility remains unchallenged.”

The article also makes a case for democratic decision making based on the success of bee quorums and pari-mutuel betting. It asserts that many stupid agents, even in the face of complex problems, are able to decide on appropriate solutions using a democratic process.

If the problem is that democracy doesn’t provide enough accountability, then it doesn’t make sense to get rid of it without replacing it with a better alternative soft control for accountability.”

Regardless of my response, your question is off topic. Evidence against the effectiveness of the vote is not evidence in favor of expert government in the same way that evidence against natural selection is not evidence in favor of biblical creation. Positive reasoning and evidence is required to assert the truth of any claim. Your claims are no exception.

Citizens don’t have to be “informed on the many complexities of governing a large developed civilization” in order to hold leaders accountable. All that’s required of citizens is that they know when their own quality of life is improving or not. For example, most customers don’t know the many complexities of building a state-of-the-art personal computer, but they are still able to hold businesses accountable because customers can tell if their new computer is better than their old computer.

Even if one could demonstrate that a vote has a measurable effect on accountability and policy it is still worthless if the vote makes the wrong selection.”

While this may be true, it is the lesser of all evils. When dealing with humans, the lesser of all evils is the best anyone can hope for. And if voters do make the wrong decision, then their quality of life will suffer, which will motivate a selfish response to correct the error. This is the advantage of having a proper feedback mechanism; the ability to correct errors.

I have to accept that you are not prepared to discuss inchoate ideas and so I will not raise the idea of algorithmic budget allocation with you again.”

I’ll discuss any thoughtful algorithms you prepare. However, you’ve ignored the fact that even a completed algorithm is not a solution to the infinite regression problem.

It is not unreasonable for me to demand to know how your algorithm works before accepting it as a viable option. If I were to answer your second question by postulating a pill that could give all citizens perfect information of all global issues and could eliminated all human biases, you would respond much the same way I responded to your postulation of a budget allocating algorithm. It would not be unreasonable for you to demand to know how this pill worked before accepting it as a viable option.

I already provided an answer to the infinite regression problem. When you attempted to counter my answer, you went off topic.

Take all the time you need to figure things out. Keep in mind that “Evidence against the effectiveness of the vote is not evidence in favor of expert government,” assertions require their own positive reasoning and evidence, “Citizens don’t have to be “informed on the many complexities of governing a large developed civilization” in order to hold leaders accountable,” and that “even a completed algorithm is not a solution to the infinite regression problem.”

Hello again Anonymous ““I

Hello again Anonymous

““I will admit that difficult issues remain to be resolved … I have no complete ideas at this moment to addresses the infinite regress problem.” So to clarify, you don’t have any answers to the many issues I brought up.”

You said you are not prepared to consider my incomplete ideas, but that is not the same as not having any answers as you claim.

“From 22 December 2011 - 5:18am

You may argue that democratic feedback is not an effective soft control, but not having any soft controls in your system is even worse. If you cannot think of a better soft control than democratic feedback, then it must be include in your system regardless of how poor you believe it to be. Not having any soft controls is simply not an option.”

I think that I have made a good case that the v-r model is not an effective control. My system has much stronger controls. I have conceded that there is no external incentive for members of government to excel, but I remain doubtful that they would not try to as that attitude is likely intrinsic to people who are accomplished in a field. Nonetheless I agree I should I have ideas to improve the shortcomings you highlighted in this area. There is nobody waiting for my form of government so I do not feel I need to make any temporary arrangements. In any event, the vote seems to me to me to be a crude and retrospective incentive. I am sure that it is not beyond the wit of man to devise something more elegant.

“From 22 December 2011 - 6:57am

You may argue that citizens don’t have enough direct influence over policy in the current system, but it doesn’t follow that your system, which takes political influence away from most citizens, and gives an extremely limited jurisdiction of influence to those who do have influence, is any better.”

In my system authority on a matter exists only with those people who are best informed to use it. This is my main technique to obtain my main objective, which is effective government. My main concern is not to give everyone a say on government. Forms of government using the v-r pattern have been given plenty of time in many variations to prove effective, and in my opinion have failed. It is time to explore new ideas with an open mind. I believe that my form of government has the potential to be better because it is based on proven techniques from other systems that have yet to be tried in government. Just in case I am not being clear enough, it is not my concern to give everyone more influence. I have noted the lack of it provided by the vote and the many other shortcomings of the vote as part of my analysis of it, but my concern is effective government however it is achieved, not influence for the general public.

“From 28 December 2011 - 7:42am

As long as people are capable of selfishness, accountability will be necessary to ensure that leaders act in the best interests of those they lead. Democracy is the best system of accountability developed so far, and as long as that remains true, it will remain necessary. When a better control for accountability is developed, democracy may become obsolete, but until then, its utility remains unchallenged.”

In my system the priority is effective government. The best way I have found of obtaining effective government does not seem to be compatible with the v-r system. Consequently I have put in place a number of other measures to help ensure members of government act in an honest and egalitarian way. I understand for you universal suffrage is paramount. You need to recognise that I think it is less important than providing effective government. Your priorities are different from mine.

“The article also makes a case for democratic decision making based on the success of bee quorums and pari-mutuel betting. It asserts that many stupid agents, even in the face of complex problems, are able to decide on appropriate solutions using a democratic process.”

I can’t comment as I have not read it. I hope to have a look soon, but I have many things to do. I reassert that the apparent sophisticated behaviour in successful systems of simple creatures is always associated with specialisation. They do not vote!

“Evidence against the effectiveness of the vote is not evidence in favor of expert government in the same way that evidence against natural selection is not evidence in favor of biblical creation. Positive reasoning and evidence is required to assert the truth of any claim. Your claims are no exception.”

I think you have misunderstood me. The effectiveness of the v-r model is not my main concern. The effectiveness of government is my main concern. I have noted shortcomings in v-r, but I was not saying that therefore Expert Government is better because it does not use it. My observations on the shortcomings of v-r were important in my early thinking about government when I was trying to improve it. Later I realised the issue that concerned me was not that, but the effectiveness of government. This is not a matter of how the members of government get their positions or are corrected for doing poorly. It concerns authority being given to the people who understand best how to deal with a matter.

“Citizens don’t have to be “informed on the many complexities of governing a large developed civilization” in order to hold leaders accountable. All that’s required of citizens is that they know when their own quality of life is improving or not. For example, most customers don’t know the many complexities of building a state-of-the-art personal computer, but they are still able to hold businesses accountable because customers can tell if their new computer is better than their old computer.”

I can agree with you on this. It concerns the corrective aspect of the vote rather than its elective aspect. The corrective aspect of the vote is used in my covenant and its juror based court. Obviously my system tries to ensure the juror/voter is better informed. As I have observed often enough, many poorly informed votes are not worth as much as one well informed vote.

““Even if one could demonstrate that a vote has a measurable effect on accountability and policy it is still worthless if the vote makes the wrong selection.”

While this may be true, it is the lesser of all evils. When dealing with humans, the lesser of all evils is the best anyone can hope for. And if voters do make the wrong decision, then their quality of life will suffer, which will motivate a selfish response to correct the error. This is the advantage of having a proper feedback mechanism; the ability to correct errors.”

I think it is better to create a more sophisticated system that is likely to make fewer mistakes than fixate on a means to remove individuals and a government when they are ineffectual. Prevention is better than cure as it is often said.

“‘“I have to accept that you are not prepared to discuss inchoate ideas and so I will not raise the idea of algorithmic budget allocation with you again.”

I’ll discuss any thoughtful algorithms you prepare. However, you’ve ignored the fact that even a completed algorithm is not a solution to the infinite regression problem.”

I never claimed it was a complete solution; rather it does address it partially. I was simply interested in your views on some early stage thinking. I will point out the obvious; the v-r pattern does not solve the infinite regress problem either. Even if everyone was forced to vote it does not change the value of those votes.

“It is not unreasonable for me to demand to know how your algorithm works before accepting it as a viable option. If I were to answer your second question by postulating a pill that could give all citizens perfect information of all global issues and could eliminated all human biases, you would respond much the same way I responded to your postulation of a budget allocating algorithm. It would not be unreasonable for you to demand to know how this pill worked before accepting it as a viable option.”

It’s your choice. If you say it is too early for you then it is.

“I already provided an answer to the infinite regression problem. When you attempted to counter my answer, you went off topic.”

I missed it. Please restate it to save me some time if you would.

I think our disagreement stems from what I perceive as your priority for the vote above all other factors, while my priority is for effective government above all other factors. This need not at first sight cause us to diverge in our treatment of the solution, but in practice it has. I believe that universal suffrage is not very compatible with my system. I also think it deserves some more original thought to generate new ideas. However, I do not deny that you have a good analysis of the existing system and so have strong potential to improve it. Thanks for your strong analysis. You have provided some of the most stimulating arguments so far.

If you feel I have been less

If you feel I have been less than courteous to you Anonymous, then I apologise unreservedly, it was certainly my intent always to be polite and fair. In my defence I can only say that there is something of a balance to be found between extending courtesy and bringing a matter quickly to the important discussion points. Clearly you feel I have that balance wrong.

I am not admitting that I don’t have answers. This discussion has been more nuanced than that. I will admit that difficult issues remain to be resolved. As I have said before, this is a process of developing ideas for me, not testing a conclusion. I have to accept that you are not prepared to discuss inchoate ideas and so I will not raise the idea of algorithmic budget allocation with you again. As I have no complete ideas at this moment to addresses the infinite regress problem and you have made that a precondition of discussing the other arrangements I have delineated, then we are concluded discussing my ideas on the matter of accountability. I will develop the ideas further on my own, and can discuss them here with others who are interested. Now, I am interested to hear your own solution to the infinite regress problem.

My second question was originally in my 17 Jan post. You have failed to address it. I will restate it more fully. As I have indicated there are many problems with the vote, but I consider this one to be its ultimate problem. One cannot be informed enough about the complexities of governing a large developed civilisation and the likely implications of manifestos to make a well-informed vote. Many ill-informed votes are not better than one ill-informed vote. Ill-informed votes have no value other than that they grant authority. Authority should and I believe can be better assigned than being based on ill-informed votes. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to break that syllogistic chain.

The issue you chose to respond to concerns the effectiveness of the vote for controlling representatives and its effect on policy. Aggregated votes clearly do have effects on who becomes a representative, but as the vote is ill-informed those effects not useful. My case is not simply based on anecdotal evidence. I have noted elsewhere on this topic and on my website, comments by Prof Graham about problems with the vote. He says in the programme I cite that research has shown problems with the vote. Unfortunately I don’t think it is a trivial task to demonstrate unequivocally that the faults with the vote do lead to it having a negligible effect on accountability and that it has no effect on policy. Then I don’t think proving the contrary is trivial either. Surveying the research will probably take a long time given that I am not working on it as a job. Also there is a difficulty with my doing that survey. Some researchers have shown that people tend to decide on important matters in a way that is congruent with their existing beliefs, and then they recount evidence that endorses that view while ignoring evidence that does not. Those people who are more able to find better supporting evidence appear to have better arguments, but they are still presenting a distortion of the true situation. Obviously I would be open to claims of presenting a distortion of the truth, however well I did the survey. As your final requirement on this matter - to demonstrate causality - trumps all those before it and I accept it is a good idea, but that I am not able to do that any time soon, we will have to put this discussion off for some time. In any case this point is itself trumped by my question regarding how informed the vote is. Even if one could demonstrate that a vote has a measurable effect on accountability and policy it is still worthless if the vote makes the wrong selection. As votes in the UK are split between multiple parties and the winning party often has less than half of all votes it is clear that if any choice is right most voters do not endorse it. This alone does not give me much confidence that aggregating many poorly informed votes is in any way better than a single poorly informed vote.

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This is a response to: gebyatt: 1 January 2012 - 7:56am

I certainly hope we are not having a debate. A debate implies neither party will change their positions, and are instead trying to win the support of a third party. A discussion is when people share ideas for the purpose if agreeing, or at least compromising, on the best ideas.

So your official answer to the FPE example and similar problems is, “I don’t know, but I’m working on it.”

“Are you saying that budget allocation is too much authority?”

Ewars’ decisions can affect any policy from any specialism. The scope of their power crosses all specialisms. Because of this, they may be the most powerful expert body in expert government. They have the power to fund any new policy or eliminate funding for any existing policy from any specialism. They will in essence be deciding which policies are enforced and which policies aren’t; just like politicians. All expert bodies are dependent on EWARs to set favorable spending caps or provide additional funding. This gives EWARs great bargaining power over other expert bodies, as well as power over the general direction of the nation.

If EWARs decide they don’t want soldiers occupying a certain country, then they can just cut funding to FPEs. If they decide that citizens over the age of 70 shouldn’t receive state-funded healthcare, then they can just eliminate funding for those people. If they decide that they don’t like a certain economic policy, then they can reject funding for it and force economists to design a new policy that is more to their liking. They can control what children learn in schools by deciding which curriculums get funded and which ones don’t. These are just a few of the things EWARs can do.

You cannot argue that EWARs only set spending caps, but don’t decide policy because you have conceded that EWARs will be involved in reviewing and approving proposed budgets from every specialism. EWARs will be the CEOs of the nation. If EWARs see something they don’t like, then they can just stop funding it, and they can use this power to force experts to design policies that serve less than altruistic motives. If the grocery store analogy is valid, then you cannot take away their power to force experts to design more appropriate policies because it is a necessary power.

You cannot use the argument from specialization and division because this problem already exists within a specialism. You cannot use the police, juries, and covenant because they can’t control soft political behavior.

You have still not answered the question of how expert government controls the discretion given to EWARs to set spending caps for various expert bodies, or the discretion to fund or eliminate policies from any expert body.

As long as we can assume some experts will act selfishly while in office, then proper checks and incentives will be necessary to control their discretion. A government that assumes humans will attempt to use power selfishly can at least limit the damage done by such agents. On the other hand, a government that assumes humans will use power altruistically opens itself to abuse from less than altruistic individuals. There are no benefits in assuming experts will use power altruistically. It is safer to assume that humans are selfish.

If you believe people are naturally altruistic, and that we can therefore trust people to behave altruistically when in positions of power, then you are putting faith in an assumption for which there is no historical precedence. To say experts are somehow exempt from historical precedence and current observation is at best a special pleading.

You have admitted on your website that human nature is corruptible. The fact that you have repeatedly defended the idea that experts can be trusted to use power altruistically is a stunning contradiction.

The issue of allocating scarce resources to various expert bodies has not been reasonably addressed.

Thanks Anonymous Sorry for

Thanks Anonymous

Sorry for the delay in replying, I have been very busy with work. Anyway …

Regarding the FPE example, I am happy with what I said in my 1 Jan 2012 07:56 post. To reduce it further to “I don’t know, but I am working on it” is an oversimplification. I have for example justified why I think it needs special treatment and why I am not currently equipped to do that. Naturally you can describe it that way if it helps you, but I cannot endorse the oversimplification.

I have to agree that EWARs can affect policies, although I think not as much as you claim. EWARs allocate budgets to specialisms, not to policies. Each specialism prioritises how its budget is spent, and in many cases that involves allocating its budget to sub-specialisms. Only the narrowest specialisms have the direct choice of funding on policies. I appreciate that the lowest priority policies are effectively deselected by a budget, but this will always be the case in any practical system because resources are finite. My main concern is that EWARs don’t produce a seriously unbalanced allocation. I am not convinced that because this degenerate behaviour is possible that it is probable. Nonetheless, you are correct that it could happen and so controls are needed to prevent it. In my 1 Jan 2012 07:56 post I put forward ideas about how that could work. I have further elaborated that scheme. Tasks are separated into four sub-specialisms: [1] those that analyse and create policy, [2] those that measure aspects of the system the specialism is concerned with, [3] those that gauge conformance of policy to the covenant, and [4] those that asses if a policy has a causal relationship with a measured aspect of the system. Using four sub-specialisms instead of three should deepen specialisation and narrower individual influence. For the same reasons control over the actions of the policy makers should also subdivided. So multiple independent groups should asses if policies have a causal relationship with measured aspects of the system. If they disagree then then it is not clear that a policy is faulty, but the policy makers should be informed of their findings. If they agree that a causal relationship exists between a policy and a measured aspect of the system then it probably does. Consequently they can then instruct the policy makers that they must change the policy, but they have no control over what the policy change is. Lastly if policy repeatedly worsens then some consideration must be given as to why that is. This could find that the specialism is not well enough understood yet, or that individuals in it should be removed. Thus we have means of measuring the efficacy of the policy makers and a means of controlling them. This scheme is consistent with the overarching principle of independent specialisation and narrowed individual influence, but avoids the pitfalls inherent in the voter-representative model. This scheme can be applied to the EWARs as much as it is to the other specialists, and so is elegant and coherent.

I have to disagree that extra incentives are necessary. You ignore my point that the kind of people who can demonstrate a career building expertise and are proud of that are most unlikely to undo all that work with a below par effort in a short term in government. The kind of people currently in government are attracted by the money and power and are unsurprisingly exactly the wrong kind of people. By minimising influence and remittance these factors are diminished and a quite different culture based on merit should emerge, or at least has a much greater chance of doing so. I am glad you noticed that my website says human nature is corruptible. I think that in minimising the effects of money and power I have gone some way to diminish corruption. Therefore my scheme is not a simple contradiction. It is a best effort to minimise what cannot be removed from human nature.

Can you elaborate on your point “The issue of allocating scarce resources to various expert bodies has not been reasonably addressed”.

Welcome back. From a

Welcome back.

From a technical perspective it is true that EWARs don’t allocate funds to policies, but from a substantive perspective, it is not. The people who control funding can dictate policies to specialisms and sub-specialisms whether you like it or not. If expert government were like a movie production, experts would be the directors and EWARs would be the producers. Producers have the money that directors need to make the movie. Because of this, the producers have the power to change any decision made by directors. The same will be true of the relationship between EWARs and experts.

By accepting the business division/CEO parallel in your previous comment, you’ve already admitted that EWARs do have the power to affect and fund specific policies. And if the grocery store analogy is valid, then the power of EWARs to affect specific policies is a necessary power.

For the third time; you have still not answered the question of how expert government controls the discretion given to EWARs to set spending caps for various expert bodies, or the discretion to fund or eliminate policies from any expert body.

I didn’t ignore your point about “the kind of people who can demonstrate a career building expertise and are proud of that are most unlikely to undo all that work with a below par effort in a short term in government.” I satirically addressed this point in Anonymous 28 December 2011 - 7:42am; a comment that is still awaiting a response. If anyone is to complain about being ignored, then it should be me. Because you have not explained how experts are necessarily exempt from historical precedence and distinct from political experts, the special pleading fallacy stands.

Even if it is “unlikely” for experts to abuse their power, that still does not excuse your system from proper incentives and controls. “Unlikely” and “impossible” do not mean the same thing. This is like saying, “terrorist attacks are unlikely, therefore we don’t need to prepare for them.”

Efficacy has never been central to this discussion; accountability has. Any comments you make regarding the efficacy of government are off topic.

The infinite regress problem of expert government was never addressed; you simply went off topic. Until that problem is addressed, using sub-specialisms to ensure accountability is pointless.

The logistical complications of allocating government revenue to various specialisms have not been reasonable addressed.

Glad to be back. I would

Glad to be back.

I would like you to address directly three critical points that I am not clear of your position on. Firstly, do you acknowledge that there is a possibility that the old forms of government are increasingly incapable of managing progressively complex civilisation, and that any macro scale problems, whatever there directly attributed causes, are ultimately symptomatic of that divergence? If not, why not? Secondly concerning voting schemes, do you have any more arguments as to why many poorly informed votes are better than one poorly informed vote, other than your ant analogy? Thirdly, do you acknowledge the advantage inherent in placing authority on a matter in the hands of those that are the most informed on the matter? If not, why not?

Concerning your 16 January 2012 post:

You are right to highlight the importance the infinite regression problem, but solving it is difficult. I have some inchoate thoughts on it as applied to budget allocation. I think they change the nature of this discussion. I am considering schemes that partly or wholly replace judgement by people with a formulaic and simulation based approach to calculating budgets. This removes or diminishes the infinite regression problem and subjective bias. Naturally much needs to be done with this idea, but I am interested to hear what you think of its potential. I also like its ability to diminish effects of the budget allocation hierarchy that does not sit well with the independent specialism theme.

I will address outstanding issues in your 28 December 2011 – 7:42 post soon. I had not forgotten, I am just time constrained.

To summarize your response to

To summarize your response to my 16 January 2012 comment, you’re basically saying, “I don’t have any answers to the many issues you presented, but I’m working on them.” You did not address any of the points that were presented.

To question 1. It is possible that “old forms of government are increasingly incapable of managing progressively complex civilization.” It is also possible that fairy dust causes flowers to bloom. As you are the one claiming to know the cause of government’s ineffectiveness, the burden of proof is on you to justify your claim; not me to justify my non-belief in your claim. More importantly this question is off topic. We are discussing accountability not effectiveness.

To question 2. I’m not going to read the article for you, nor will I reread my 28 December 2011 - 7:42am comment. More importantly this question is off topic. We are discussing your government’s lack of accountability, not its effectiveness.

To question 3. I never challenged this premise. More importantly this question is off topic. We are discussing accountability not effectiveness.

Since my December 6 2011 comment, I have pounded the issue of accountability in nearly all of my comments and have clearly distinguished the problem of accountability from the problem of effectiveness. I’m struggling to understand why you continue to repeat points that are no longer valid.

Please try to resist the

Please try to resist the temptation to summarise my ideas for me. If you want a summary, ask. I don’t recall that I have ever pretended that my ideas are anything but work-in-progress. Further I doubt that any form of government was ever conceived complete and all issues resolved by a single person. So to a greater or lesser extent, yes, I am working on all of my ideas.

I am beginning to feel you are entrenching to a voter-representative (v-r) defensive position rather than honestly exploring new ideas. If this is the wrong inference to take from your text then I apologise, but it would be disingenuous of me not to state what I feel is happening.

In your 16 Jan post you stated “The infinite regress problem of expert government was never addressed; you simply went off topic. Until that problem is addressed, using sub-specialisms to ensure accountability is pointless”. I (quite reasonably I feel) took that to mean you wanted me to address the infinite regression problem first. So my response acknowledged that I had not addressed the infinite regression problem, that it was important, and then proceeded to offer the beginnings of an answer to it. I also said that my new ideas on that problem changed the nature of the discussion. I assumed that you would understand from that I would wait for your response before answering your other points. Indeed, I asked for your thoughts. I see now I should have been more explicit.

You are no doubt aware that the infinite regression problem is difficult. My second question was leading. It was designed to encourage a response after which I would reassert that I feel the v-r forms of government handle that problem badly. I have made the observation several times before that a vote has a negligible effect on accountability and no effect on policy. My second question was couched in terms of what I feel is the ultimate problem with the vote, its ineffectiveness. I feel it is obvious that the effectiveness of the vote is germane to accountability in government. I suspect that you have read the effectiveness of the vote as the effectiveness of government. If you read my question carefully you will see it concerns only the effectiveness of the vote and therefore accountability in government. Alternatively, and at the risk of reading too much into your response, it could be that you recognised you were trapped by this line of argument and preferred to close it down. I apologise if I am reading too much into your response, but I prefer to be honest about my thoughts on it.

Regarding your response to my first question; I have asserted my belief but I think it is impossible given the complexity of these systems to show a strong causal relationship. I have seen multiple views by eminent thinkers on the causes of the recent credit crunch, so insisting I should prove strong causality on something even more complex is unreasonable. I still think my question was reasonable and polite, and that there is good anecdotal evidence for my assertion. Honestly, I found your response on this to be unnecessarily testy. Nonetheless I acknowledge it was off topic. You clearly like to compartmentalise topics into different posts so I will make more effort to do so for you. With that in mind I will respond to your 28 December 2011 – 7:42 post separately, and I quite understand that my third question was not something you would want to answer given it also was as you said off topic.

Lastly, do you have any thoughts on the idea I put forward to counter the infinite regression problem. An automated or semi-automated treatment that is possible with algorithmic/formulaic/simulation style solutions clearly has potential to circumvent the infinite regression problem. Automated solutions need not be held to account as they are not human. They would probably be very complex and could be created as generic methods to be applied across specialisms. If so the act of creating them would be so divorced from the outcome of applying them that it would be difficult to see how any non-obvious bias could be applied to their construction. I was only implying this idea could be applied to the budget allocation role previously allocated to EWARs. I don’t intend for it to be used in other areas of expertise. As you stated, the budget allocation roles are by some measures the most powerful roles, so I think this idea is highly pertinent.

Thank you for your response.

Thank you for your response.

As long as you have experts who decide which policies get funded and which ones don’t, which specialisms get funded and which ones don't, you will have de facto politicians who control the direction of the nation.

The covenant can’t micromanage the funding of policies. Some discretion will be given to experts, and there is no outside incentive or feedback mechanism to prevent them from doing whatever they want with that discretion. If the covenant can micromanage every policy, then there will be no need for experts, and your government will be a direct democracy.

The issue of budgeting has not been reasonably addressed.

Thank you

Thank you Anonymous

Labelling the specialists/experts which deliberate on taxation and budgeting as “de facto politicians” does not help me clearly understand the precise nature of your concerns. Please be more specific, what are your concerns precisely? I may head off some of them by clarifying my scheme:

The specialists/experts that are concerned with raising revenue are distinct and independent from those that allocate revenue to budgets. Both are distinct and independent from those that deliberate on policy. These clear separations help minimise the effects of special interests and corruption. Certainly no specialist/expert has anything like the amount of influence that a politician does and so I feel that the parallel is not well deserved.

As is the nature of Expert Government, very little authority exists in each specialist/expert. By dividing it between many specialists/experts the effect should be to assign influence only to those that have sound understanding, and to dilute the influence of minority extreme positions, and to avoid the corrupting effect of money and authority.

You are correct that the covenant cannot micromanage funding of policies. I thought my description was clear that it is not intended to. In all respect the covenant is designed to provide only strategic direction from the people. All policy, taxation, and budgeting is by design left to the discretion of many specialists/experts operating with equal authority each only within one of many independent specialists groups. I continue to assert that this scheme is best placed to make decisions on complex matters. As a result it should be equally applied to the management of money.

I have not yet looked deeply into the matter of feedback for the specialists/experts who manage revenue and taxation. This is obviously complex specialist activity. Although it is very tempting, I am not qualified to talk on the matter. I propose structural provision for it, but any detailed planning looks like a task for people with deeper specialists skills than I have. I suspect that you have stronger credentials for this kind work. Do you have any suggestions that could fit within the structural arrangements I have outlined?

You have experts who raise

You have experts who raise revenue and you have experts who create policies. Having Experts Who Allocate Revenue (EWARs) to various expert bodies is where the problem is.

Let’s say Foreign Policy Experts (FPEs) decide that war is necessary against Nation X. To execute this policy, the FPEs would need additional funding for soldiers, equipment, supplies, transportation, etc. If FPEs don’t need permission from EWARs to spend money, then extreme budget deficits are inevitable. If FPEs do need permission from EWARs, then EWARs act as politicians, deciding which policies take priority over others.

Spending and policy are linked in such a way that separation of these duties is nearly impossible. In order to execute a policy, you must first know how much it costs. If it costs too much, then you shouldn’t finance the policy. Someone has to force experts to design policies within the framework of a budget; otherwise their policies simply won’t be funded at all. That someone will most likely be EWARs.

When you walk into a grocery store, you don’t just buy every item you want because you have a limited amount of income to spend. You have to measure which grocery items are the most important and purchase as many of those important items as you can without going over budget. If a necessary item is too expensive, then you must purchase a cheaper alternative. Metaphorically, the people who decide which items are purchased and which items aren’t will be the politicians of the household.

Now think of every policy created by experts as a grocery item. Because national income is finite, not every policy can be purchased. Someone has to decide which policies are the most important and purchase as many of those policies as the nation can afford. If a necessary policy is too expensive, then someone has to force those experts to design a cheaper alternative policy. The people who decide which policies are purchased and which policies aren’t will be the de facto politicians of the nation.

The decisions of EWARs should be tied to the values and desires of citizens; otherwise citizens will be vulnerable to abuse. The covenant can’t micromanage the decisions of EWARs. Some discretion will be given to them, and there is no outside incentive or feedback mechanism to prevent EWARs from doing whatever they want with that discretion. You cannot repeat the argument of division and specialization as a solution without explaining how those two instruments necessarily solve the specific problem outlined above.

I already made suggestions in my initial comment. The issue of allocating scarce resources to various expert bodies has not been reasonable addressed.

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Thank you for the feedback

Thank you for the feedback Anonymous

Currently Expert Government fiscal policy is constrained by what the populace thinks it should bear in taxation. This arrangement is designed for ‘normal’ circumstances and a measured change in total tax burden. Your war scenario is an example of extreme circumstances and draws attention to the lack of provision in Expert Government for extreme circumstances. I am not qualified to make that provision as I have not yet read enough about how extreme historical events have been handled. If this project gathers enough interest with others then I will take advice from those who are better informed about these matters.

It is true that revenue allocation, taxation, and other policy are linked, but for Expert Government under normal circumstances a budget is strict because total tax burden is mandated in the covenant and so is enforceable by government police and the special courts. The total tax take is not flexible as it seems to be in many modern economies. Hence significant deficits should not arise except in extreme circumstances. I realise that events are not always predictable, and that budget overruns and under-runs are possible, so adjustment should be made frequently to curtail divergence. Consequently FPEs don’t need permission on specific spending policies, but their budget is capped by EWARs. If this is not possible or not appropriate then there is an extreme scenario which needs a specific arrangement.

I feel the need to reassert the absence of any political parallels in Expert Government. By design nobody has that much influence. All authority is widely distributed to many narrow specialisations each with many specialists of equal authority or ideally experts. There can be no political figures or quasi political figures. It is a government that is more of the people than one using politicians.

The covenant does not micromanage, it gives direction. If the people decide it should contain regulation on values and desires then that is their prerogative. Nothing can be excluded by the experts as it is not theirs to control. Over time I expect the covenant to evolve, becoming more sophisticated and specific. I think the danger of it becoming too specific is small. If the country prospers then people will lose interest in changing it. If it does not then it should be adjusted.

It is true that EWARs could abuse the discretion they are given, but what reason would they have to do so? They are policed to prevent any corrupt or incompetent activity, and they are selected on the basis of their appropriate characteristics.

I recognise that elected politicians could represent the values of the people, although I have pointed out some of the many flaws in using elections. So I ask you why use elections when experts could be given that task? Experts could go much further than just getting enough votes. For example, they could be charged to survey and analyse public opinion. Much more sophisticated possibilities exist beyond a simple vote on a small prescribed set of possibilities. If you can answer this fairly then I will believe that you are not irrationally wedded to the old voter-representative scheme as so many here are. Can you see that understanding “the values and priorities of the people” is not restricted to systems of voting? We can do better than that.

I’ll address your

I’ll address your tangent.

Why not do surveys in addition to voting? It doesn’t follow that if you have one, then you can’t have the other. They are not mutually exclusive. More methods of controls and feedback only make a system stronger. Though as I have said earlier, surveys are a form of feedback, but they are not a feedback mechanism/soft control. A feedback mechanism controls the outputs of a system. Surveys only provide information about a system; they don’t control anything. For example, businesses use customer surveys and other forms of marketing research to find out what customers desire. The soft control that ensures businesses act on those desires is revenue. No such soft control exists in your system.

You can say that democratic feedback is an ineffective soft control, but it doesn’t follow that you should therefore eliminate it and replace it with nothing. You say that experts can be given the task of holding experts accountable to the people, but then who holds those experts accountable? More experts? And who holds them accountable? At some point your feedback mechanism/soft control will have to be tied back to the people. Citizens are in the best position to judge effectiveness because they are the ones being affected by policy decisions. And because citizens are the stakeholders of policy decisions, they can be trusted to act selfishly to improve their own circumstances, thus providing the feedback mechanism that ensures accountability. You can say “we can do better than democracy” all you want, but until you present a clearly better alternative control to provide accountability, you have no rational grounds for eliminating democratic feedback altogether.

I agree that more sources of

I agree that more sources of information for feedback should be better than fewer. I also want it to be clear that have no problem with the principle of voting. It is required for specialists/experts in a discipline to express a definitive view on matters. Nonetheless, I still do not see the efficacy in anyone voting on matters they don’t understand; citizens ostensibly voting for manifestos being a good example. I cannot see that the emergent sophistication and adaptive nature of ant colonies relative to the abilities of individual ants shows anything about why many poorly informed votes are better than one poorly informed vote. Can you explain why it does? As I have said I have given this matter a great deal of thought and it was my starting position to improve the efficacy of the vote. Ultimately I cannot find a way to counter the fatal flaw (from my view at least) that many poorly informed votes are no better than one poorly informed vote. Perhaps you can. If you can then the others become worth tackling again.

On the matter of how to provide more soft control I am now considering division of each specialism into three sub-specialisms. Those that analyse and create policy, those that monitor the effects of policy and its absence, and those that gauge if policy is conformant to the covenant. As you have noted the covenant must be interpreted because it can never contain enough detail; so one of the functions of the third subgroup could be to try to engage the citizens in debate about that interpretation. I have not yet decided on how the two new sub-specialisms should control the policy creating sub-specialism. I would value your thoughts on this idea before I put much more effort into it.

I agree that replacing an ineffective control with nothing is not helpful. Although I think the controls by government police etc. are more than no control I have already conceded that more control is needed and as you can see I am giving it more thought. I have to say that I still believe that infrequent voting by citizens for representatives is probably useless as a control. Indeed I am not convinced there is any evidence it is of any use to make government more effective. Do you know of any? The argument that change occurs does not demonstrate that it is effective. The argument that government improves because voters act selfishly is also a non sequitur. Many people have argued that elections reduce corruption. If they do then how do they explain why Italy is well known for its corruption but has had more votes and changes of government than many much less corrupt governments. The corruption stymying argument also seems specious. I suspect corruption is more due to memes than inadequate government controls, but it is certainly augmented by hierarchical systems of authority.

I also agree that there is a problem with the need for an infinite progression of people checking each other. I think it is important to consider if everybody should be involved with checking the efficacy of government. Should people have the right/requirement to (not) get involved? Also I question your assertion that “citizens are in the best position to judge effectiveness”. I think an important point I am making is that they are not. I know that there is a natural assumption that every adult should have the right to self-determination, but we accept that young people and criminals should not. So if it is right to say that they do not have whatever is necessary for self-determination we can say the same of other adults; it is just a matter of what criteria we use. I think my ideas about specialisation begin to address this. As I have mentioned before I gave some thought to testing people when voting to see if they are qualified enough for their vote to count, but it could be viable to allow them only to vote on narrow ranges of government activity they know something about.

Also I wish to question if selfishness is going to produce the best system. At the risk of over-using the analogy of the ant colony, we know that they, like bees, act in very unselfish ways. So we could reasonably ask if it is possible to be individualistic and still be expected to address matters of government in unselfish ways.

I apologize for the late

I apologize for the late response

You have not addressed any of the concerns from my previous comment. You disregarded the FPE example as an extreme circumstance (it isn’t that extreme in the US). You ignored the grocery store analogy which was the core of my argument. And you hid behind division, specialization, and the covenant, even though I’ve already explained why you can’t do that for this specific problem.

How does expert government control the discretion given to EWARs to set spending caps for various expert bodies, and how do EWARs determine what that cap is without knowledge of the policies that need to be enforced in each body?

Businesses executives don’t just give money to the many divisions of their business without some knowledge of how those divisions will be spending that money. Divisions propose budgets, which are then reviewed and altered by executives. The same will be true of EWARs. EWARs, just like business executives, must review the expenses of expert divisions to determine which expenditures will take priority over others.

Specialization and division cannot answer the questions I’ve posed because the domain of these questions is already contained within a specialized division of expert government. The covenant cannot micromanage the “strategic direction of the nation given by citizens,” and your system has no soft controls to curve the discretion of experts.

You should never assume that anyone will act with altruistic intentions, especially if they have power over others. The question is not “what reason do EWARs have to abuse their power?” The question is “what reason do EWARs have not to abuse their power?” The police and covenant cannot answer this question because they cannot micromanage political behavior. For all decisions that fall outside the influence of the covenant, you need a soft control to influence political behavior. Your system has no soft controls.

As long as EWARs have the authority to decide which policies are funded and which ones aren’t, which expert bodies are funded, and how much they are funded, then whether you like it or not, they will be the de facto politicians of the nation.

The issue of allocating scarce resources to various expert bodies has not been reasonably addressed.

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Thanks again Anonymous for

Thanks again Anonymous for the debate. I wish you a happy new year and I hope you enjoyed the break.

I recognise that your FPE war example does not seem rare in the US. I would like to say that it is rare in the UK, but I think we are almost constantly involved in military activity somewhere. When I described war as extreme as was referring to a country under Expert Government, not any specific country using its current form of government. I realise I have only anecdotal evidence, but in my observations most military activity is due to the will of politicians, the poor majority suffer the most for it and would be very unlikely to vote for it. So I am not ignoring it, I am saying it would be an extreme circumstance in my proposed system and is worthy of special treatment I have not yet got the knowledge to assess. I think that military activity in foreign countries by our countries not being an extreme circumstance is a strong indication that something is very wrong with our systems of government.

I thought I did address the grocery store example. Perhaps I was too oblique. I was saying that parts of government have the same limitation in their finite budgets. They are not allowed to create debt. Deciding where to spend it is no doubt an important task. Saying those that allocate a budget are de facto politicians does not help me understand what you are arguing. Are you saying that budget allocation is too much authority? I feel that I have been careful to distribute authority very widely. I am certain that it is much more widely distributed than in hierarchical political systems. I think perhaps we are at crossed purposes on this point. Can you please clarify?

The only control of EWARs in allocating their budget to more narrowly focussed EWARs is that the total must not exceed what was allocated to them. This goes back to the principle that they are in the team of experts that know best how to allocate resources in a specific specialisms. If this were not the case then I would be contradicting that central principle. I see no reason to prevent EWARs from presenting their budget requirements with justifications for changes to the EWARs that allocate their budget. I think it is important to remember that after the system has been operating for a time, budgets will be unlikely to change wildly and so decisions will be more adjustments. So I think agree with your business divisions parallel.

I have conceded the need for more soft controls and I will post more about my new thoughts on the matter. Also I can see that some experts may well be inclined toward non-altruistic behaviour, although I think it is not reasonable to assume this in all experts. I have come across some views (the names of those promoting them escape me for now) that altruism is an innate feature in human nature developed in response to the evolutionary pressures on social animals. It has even been suggested that our species prospered over Neanderthals because we possessed more of that predisposition. However, it is well known that power corrupts. My system avoids authority hierarchies partly to minimise that problem. In case you wish to raise the problems of non-hierarchical authority I must point out that have noted before in this topic and on my website the failure of the commune experiments and how I address that problem.

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You have often compared expert government to businesses in the free market. While it is true that businesses specialize in different products and services, expert government lacks the very thing that makes the free market so effective; a feedback mechanism that promotes quality. If a specialized business produces high quality products that customers desire; then customers will purchase those products, the business will generate profits, and thus the business will continue. However, if a specialized business produces low quality products that no one wants; then customers will not purchase those products, the business will not generate profits and thus collapse. Your system does not have a feedback mechanism that promotes quality. Modern governments use a democratic feedback mechanism for this purpose. While democracy is not a perfect feedback mechanism, it is the best one developed so far. The next big leap in political theory will be to develop a better feedback mechanism than democracy. If you can produce such a mechanism, and incorporate it into your system, then you will have made an important contribution to both political theory and expert government.

Most technocratic designs advocate specialized panels of experts who are democratically elected by experts in their same field. This way the expert panel is checked by the experts in their community. If the community determines that certain panel members are not faithfully exercising their duties, then they can be removed democratically. This eliminates some of the need for citizen juries and policing, since bad panel members can simply be voted out. This also encourages panel members to design policies toward the consensus views of their communities. While the opinions of a few experts is good, the consensus of hundreds of experts is even better. Not all experts agree. A consensus among many experts is preferred over the radical ideas of a few.

Just as with any representative democracy, full transparency of facts and finances are necessary for expert voters to make the most informed decisions.

If you are set on experts being hired and moving up the system like in the private sector, then a model you can use is the US judicial system or that of public corporations. This would require a body of democratically elected representatives to check the actions of the experts. The representative body (similar to parliament, but with no legislative authority and no prime minister) would behave like a supervisory committee. To extend your business analogy, the representative body would be like the board of directors. The board of directors would be elected by shareholders (citizens). The board’s responsibilities would be to check the actions of the CEO (the experts) and to represent the interests of the shareholders (citizens). Experts would be appointed by democratically elected representatives. These representatives can use approval voting to nominate the best expert candidates, and use preferential voting to select the expert/experts. Preferential voting promotes the consensus candidate, and thus discourages extreme or polarizing experts. While representatives would have no authority over policy decisions by experts, representatives can investigate and impeach experts who are not acting in the best interests of the people by a supermajority vote. Experts who do a good job can move up the ladder by being appointed by higher representative bodies. Experts in this system would not be limited by terms. They can remain in power as long as they are doing a good job, though they can still be replaced at any time by a supermajority decision by representatives. This way accountability is loosely tied back to the citizens. Experts must be appointed by representatives. Appointment by any body that is not accountable to the people invites abuse and corruption.

You can also mix and match characteristics of both systems I’ve proposed. Whatever system you choose, citizens have to be the final check against government abuse because they are the ones who will ultimately suffer the abuse. If I think of anything more to add regarding accountability, I will post again. Otherwise my next comment will cover the logistical complexities of your system.

I think you have a

I think you have a misunderstanding of my system. Nobody is “moving up the system”. There is no hierarchy in positions. I think you may have taken the analogy with the private sector too far. It was a simple analogy to demonstrate the ubiquity of specialisation in complex system; nothing more.

All specialists/experts have equal authority within their specialist group, and none without. Also I want to stick to a single limited term of office, rather than being allowed to continue if one is doing a good job. This helps increase the distribution of influence to more people. That in turn allows more current ideas to pass through government and helps reduce the chance for corruption. It also tends to make government more ‘of the people’. As I have said before this is the most important principle of (pure) democracy that people often forget. They fetishise the vote and so pervert the idea of effective government by prioritising the means of getting it. In my opinion it is also demonstrably a poor way of getting it. Representatives are so weakly controlled by the vote that it is nearly pointless. They get years of unhindered authority as soon as it is granted. The voter gets very little choice of candidates and even then as you point out has little of any value to offer in their understanding. Among the many faults of voting that I have covered the most perverse is perhaps just how little effect a single vote has. It has no measurable effect on policy and negligible effect on who get elected. To pretend that this is ok because people vote collectively is to ignore the obvious. People vote with little knowledge, many prejudices, and individually. If there is some magic by which all these poor quality votes become good when aggregated then I have yet to hear it explained. Many poor votes is not equal to one good vote.

I think citizens in my system do have the final say. However, I remove voting from the normal course of governing, because I could not find a way of making it effective. We cannot continue pretend that it works when it does not. We must let go of that failed dream.

I apologize for the late

I apologize for the late response.

“Representatives are so weakly controlled by the vote that it is nearly pointless. They get years of unhindered authority as soon as it is granted.”

Perhaps things are different where you are from, but America has the opposite problem. Representatives are too heavily controlled by the vote. Unhindered authority is impossible in a functional democracy due to democratic feedback. If your system has no soft controls, then the question should be “how does expert government control the unhindered authority of experts?”

“I want to stick to a single limited term of office, rather than being allowed to continue if one is doing a good job. That in turn allows more current ideas to pass through government and helps reduce the chance for corruption.”

Single limited terms are not ideal. Do you think Apple would be a better company if they had changed CEOs every 2 years instead of keeping Steve Jobs? Would Disney have been a better company if they had fired Walt Disney after his second year? Would sports teams be better off changing their head coach every 2 years regardless of the team’s performance? You don’t want your nation to be at the random mercy of good and bad experts flowing through government. You want to extend the tenure of good experts and limit the tenure of bad ones. Democratic feedback allows you to do that.

The reason you find it necessary to change leaders in order to get current ideas and avoid corruption is because you have not established a proper feedback process that regulates soft political behavior. Democratic feedback is quite effective at reducing corruption from a theoretical perspective, and it is supported by empirical evidence. There is a strong inverse relationship between democracy and corruption. This evidence runs counter to your indirect assertion that democracy is a corruptive form of government.

“We cannot continue pretend that it works when it does not. We must let go of that failed dream.”

Looking back through the history of pre-democratic Europe, it seems representative democracy has done its job quite well. Before the era of democratic elections, leaders of government were forcefully removed in 3 ways: 1) take over by another nation, 2) assassination, and 3) revolution. Representative democracy allows the people to change the leaders of government before the situation becomes dire enough to warrant assassination or revolution. This has led to more stable nations, allowing citizens to build wealth and increase their standard of living. It is not a coincidence that almost all of the wealthiest nations in the world are representative democracies.

The purpose of democracy is accountability. Getting rid of democratic feedback because it doesn’t produce effective solutions is like getting rid of spoons because they don’t cut meat. Spoons are not for cutting, democracy is not for effective solutions; democracy is for accountability. Just as spoons and knives are both necessary for eating, effectiveness and accountability are both necessary for government.

Even if we were to accept your premise that representative democracy has proven ineffective, then it is still important to understand why that is. Is it because of a fundamental flaw in democracy, or is it because of other variables within the system? Removing an entire system because it doesn’t work, without understanding why it doesn’t work, may not be the best course of action. The problem may be superficial, in which case it can easily be corrected. For example, if your car isn’t performing well, you don’t simply assume the entire car is broken. It may just be the tires. If the car’s tires are flat, then the solution is to fill the tires with air; not buy a new car. You may argue that citizens don’t have enough direct influence over policy in the current system, but it doesn’t follow that your system, which takes political influence away from most citizens, and gives an extremely limited jurisdiction of influence to those who do have influence, is any better.

“If there is some magic by which all these poor quality votes become good when aggregated then I have yet to hear it explained”

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/07/swarms/miller-text

The part about horse racing is particularly damaging to your case.

Thank you Anonymous Now you

Thank you Anonymous

Now you mention how the American politician is “heavily controlled by the vote” your complaint about populist politicians becomes clearer. Do American politicians not do as they please when they are not closing in on an election? In England control by vote does not seem strong to me. Votes are infrequent and there seems to be no accountability between them. I think this goes to prove the very diverse meanings of the word democracy. As I have said before in this topic the term democracy means what the user wants it to.

Control of experts is by the government police and special courts. Anyone may ask the government police to investigate a member of government and anyone can be removed from office by the police at any time. No need to wait for elections. All government activity is made open to public scrutiny to help with accountability. This seems like more direct control to me than a vote at infrequent intervals. There is little chance of any politician in the UK ending up out of a job between elections. Even when we have a vote many factors affect it, such as confidence in the party that the politician belongs to. Many people in the UK simply vote for the person who represents the party they have always voted for. It matters little what they did. The fact that politicians also represent a party highlights another problem with that scheme. Their loyalties are divided between party and electorate. I once asked an MEP if she could support a particular position in a European vote. I was told she had to follow a party line on the matter and vote against my wishes. Many political appointments in the UK have been monopolised by the same political party for generations. This completely undermines the idea of the vote. While I believe that my scheme does provide more control than the vote I am prepared to consider more controls, but there comes a point where experts would be too controlled. Their freedom to act according to their best understanding is critical to this form of government.

I agree with the principle of trying to keep good experts in place, but the practicalities seem too difficult. In some of my earlier ideas about Expert Government I tried to do just that. The trouble is who decides on who should stay and for how long. Having already found insurmountable failings in votes by the general public it would have to be votes by someone else. Unfortunately it is very difficult to provide for this and still avoid corruption and nepotism. In the end I decided that the advantage of this continuation of a few people was not important enough to justify the contortions necessary to support it, and the potential for misuse of the provision. In addition a constant flow of new ideas might even outweigh the benefits of keeping these people anyway. I am still open to this idea if it can be managed practically.

You are partly correct about the need to change the specialists/experts often. It is partly designed to prevent corruption. However, it is also to ensure a constant flow of current experience. Recently in the UK our politicians were so corrupt that some have been sent to prison for various reasons that amount to stealing. This was in spite of the extraordinarily generous schemes they devised to pay themselves. The corruption was only slowed down by the diligence of a free press. No feature of our system of government stopped it. Indeed, the speaker of the House of Commons lost his job because he castigated some politicians that saw the writing on the wall and started to side with the press. Notably they did not do this before the press broke the story and pursued it. Even now the politicians are kicking against the feeble reforms introduced by their own appointees to a body they set up that now seems to exist only to add an extra layer of legitimacy to the stealing. Political parties in the UK gain backing for their political campaigns that seems to be correlated with peerages, and a lot of money is spent on lobbying which ends up somewhere. There are endless accounts of corruption in UK government and I feel sure we know only a small fraction of what goes on. The UK version of democracy is very far from corruption free. I am not claiming that it is the most corrupt form of government, but voting has certainly not made it inherently difficult to corrupt.

I agree that democracy has improved the state of those countries that have tried it, like those in Europe. Indeed I have said before on this topic it was an important step. Unfortunately in my opinion it has taken us to a dead-end. I have tried to rescue the voting system, but it is an intractable problem. It does not address current and future problems which I believe are based in the increasing complexity of civilisation. Voting may be an acceptable way to control a fete, but is not adequate for a complex modern society. Recent financial events are a good example. If government was any good this should not have happened. It arose ultimately because of a systemic failure of government on a huge scale. To blame it on greedy individuals and institutions is to ignore the important job of government to not allow some sections of society such deviant practices that they ruin the economy. I repeat my observation that to prioritise the vote is to prioritise the means over the objective. I could get into a debate again about what the fundamental principal of democracy is but it would not help. The important thing is not the label and its definition. It is to realise that effective government is the most important thing and that for all the advantages the voter-representative system has given us we should now see that we have long since past the point where it is adequate.

I also agree it is critical to understand what the problems with government are. I think I understand why UK government is ineffective. I believe the heart of the problem is that politicians have the authority and they are generalists. Advice from experts will be ignored when it is politically expedient. It is well accepted that the best consideration of a matter is most correlated with expert opinion. The more complex the matter, the better the experts perform relative to others. As civilisation becomes more complex so do the matters that need to be considered. Also there will be an increasing number of kinds of matter to consider. Ergo, any form of government that does not give all authority to experts acting only within their specialism is at a disadvantage. As society gets more complex, so it needs more specialisms. Also hierarchical authority allows some people to override the decisions of a greater number of other experts. Many experts combined must be better informed than fewer experts higher up the hierarchy, no matter how good they are. Hierarchical authority also enables corruption. No authority hierarchy resolves to independent specialists and specialisms. I believe I have thoroughly explored the idea of using voting to install experts, but that it suffers too many drawbacks. Better then to use a scheme like the one developed by the private sector, where one’s potential future colleagues make the judgement assisted by HR specialists.

My system gives direct control over strategic direction to all citizens through the covenant. That is theirs to control, not the experts. This is far more influence over policy than a vote for a representative every few years. Indeed it may be a regular occurrence to get involved in developing the covenant. This is still passed by referendum. So voting by citizens is not removed, just voting for representatives.

Thank you for the link. Swarm intelligence is used by Expert Government. Expert Government is self-organising according to generic rules. The cumulative effect of many independent specialisms and many independent specialists/experts within them is to produce what I have also described before as emergent effective governance. If you look back by searching for ‘orchestrated’ or ‘self-organising’ you will find that I argue that government is too complex to be orchestrated by an elite, like politicians. There are no people that are that clever. Effective government can only emerge from the independent actions of many individuals working on small tasks they specialise in. Just like ants. The article does not stress the importance of specialisation enough, but I think if you have watched any documentaries about swarming animals, the ones that seem to do the smartest things have specialists. The problem with applying the analogy to voters is the absence of specialisation. The principle is not just the weight of numbers, but also specialisation. I note that the ant colony also has no elite in charge. As I said when a task becomes too complex to be orchestrated by an elite group it must be devolved to many specialists. I think my case is well proven by the ants. Much more can be achieved by this scheme than attempting to orchestrate what one cannot possibly understand. I don’t think that the terms Swarm Government or Self-Organising Government or Emergent Governance sound quite as nice, and they don’t capture the critical value of specialisation. I suppose the term Expert Government does not capture the power in numbers or the self-organising nature or the independence. It was difficult to choose a concise but meaningful name.

I do not agree with the

I do not agree with the self-regulation of specialists. It leads to an inevitable potential for corruption. Policing and correction of deviant specialists must remain independent and the concern of specialists in assessing deviant behaviour. It is still possible for specialists to report each other to the policing units for assessment. The principle of specialisation, both for better consideration and the avoidance of corruption remains the primary principle in all matters of organising government.

I will have to answer this

I will have to answer this post of yours with multiple replies.

Firstly I need to clearly differentiate between a feedback mechanism and competition. The latter is an example of the former, but a feedback mechanism does not have to be competition. Also I want to restate that my prime concern remains efficacy of government in an increasingly complex civilisation. I believe that this should be the main objective of any form of government. You use the term ‘quality’. It is not clear if by that you are implying the same objective that I prioritise, so I will continue to talk in terms of efficacy.

I assert that there are no sustainable examples of complex systems that do not use subdivision of tasks between many specialisms. It is true that some complex systems, like free market based systems, also use a competition feedback mechanism, but others do not. The state sector uses specialisation but usually without competition. However it sometimes employs other feedback mechanisms such as customer approval surveys. It seems to me that specialisation is essential to manage a complex system, while feedback mechanisms are only desirable. Further, there are multiple feedback mechanisms and it is less than clear which should be used in which circumstances. My system does provide a feedback mechanism in policing, courts, and open data access. The only question is if it is appropriate. I believe it is possible to have a feedback mechanism that is too aggressive and this should be guarded against. I don’t feel you have made a convincing case that in my feedback mechanism I have the wrong balance. Please expand with reasons why my form of government is not likely to provide effective government, and where it does not why my feedback mechanism is lacking. I think I have made a strong case many times with many reasons why citizen voting is a poor feedback mechanism to promote efficacious government. Those explanations fit the facts and you have restated the populist problem yourself.

I suspect you know that there are concerns about the competition feedback mechanism. For example, Robert H Franc (Professor of Economics at Cornell University) talks about problems with competition in highly competitive markets. He contributed recently on this subject in a regular BBC programme called The Forum http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00lf0gr. From my own experience a growing factor in modern business (if you speak to small business like I do) is the fragmentation of revenue streams due to increasingly intensive competition. Everyone is working harder at selling. Time used in selling is a cost which is a burden on improving products and services. So competition is improving customer service, but at the expense of developing products and services and work-life balance. In short, competition is increasingly being understood as not always beneficial. It is too simplistic to say that it is the best feedback mechanism, although I am not challenging the need for a feedback mechanism.

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This is also a response to your later comment.

The goodness of policies in the current system is measured by results. The welfare of the people is the feedback indicator that measures which policies are good and which policies are bad. The political feedback process is:

Politicians are elected (inputs). Politicians create policies (outputs). Those policies either improve or worsen the lives of citizens (feedback). Citizens act selfishly to re-elect or replace politicians (feedback inputs).

Assuming the system contains no pollutants, properly designed feedback processes always produce their desired ends. In the case of the political feedback process, the desired end is citizen welfare.

The people who measure the efficacy of expert government are the police and juries, not the people, whereas in current government, efficacy is measured by the welfare of everyone. This ensures the end goal of every policy is citizen welfare. Any policy that does not achieve this goal is eliminated by the democratic feedback mechanism.

The covenant can’t micromanage every policy. Some discretion will be given to experts, and there is no outside incentive or feedback mechanism to prevent them from doing whatever they want with that discretion. If the covenant can micromanage every policy, then there will be no need for experts, and your government will be a direct democracy.

Based on your avoidance to my logistics comment, I’m beginning to think you have no reasonable solution to the budgeting issue. There has never been a comment displayed on this thread that has taken you this long to address.

This may sound detached, but

This may sound detached, but the welfare of the people is the people’s concern. It is tempting to take a utilitarian stance, but I think it has been adequately demonstrated by greater disputants than I that this is not possible. The calculation is trapped by the infinite progression of causation from an act. Hence it is essential that strategic direction be given to the people. I have said before that it is incumbent on the experts to explain the prevailing best advice, but they must be prevented from succumbing to the temptation to control every aspect of civilisation. Government must have limits of control applied to it by the covenant.

I remain unconvinced of the efficacy of the vote to force politicians to do anything directly to the advantage of the people. Examples of them not doing so are so numerous that I don’t feel any sane person could argue that the voter-representative feedback loop is remotely close to effective. Indeed, you have highlighted one of its many faults yourself in populist policies. As I said to Henry Hart, I set out to save the voting scheme from its own inadequacies, but I found the task to be insurmountable. It is best that we move on to some ideas that have a chance of becoming useful.

I think you have not recognised another feedback loop inherent in specialism. Specialists refine the state-of-the-art in their specialism from the results of their previous actions. This does not require voting from people outside of the specialism. Indeed, they would be foolish to listen to those that do not understand their field. The government police and courts/juries do not measure efficacy, they measure and correct transgression. The specialists/experts measure and adjust their own efficacy, just like scientists do.

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I apologize for the late response.

“This may sound detached, but the welfare of the people is the people’s concern.”

If the welfare of the people isn’t the goal of government, then what is? Effectiveness depends on goals. Effectiveness is measured by the difference between reality and an ideal. Without that ideal, it is impossible to measure the effectiveness of any policy.

“I don’t feel any sane person could argue that the voter-representative feedback loop is remotely close to effective”

I already have in many of my comments. The voter-representative feedback loop is nearly identical to the customer-business feedback loop, yet you don’t seem to be arguing against the ladder. You can't assert that specialization is the difference between the two, especially since you have already conceded that specialization does nothing on its own. And since citizen welfare is not the goal of your system, what ideal are you using to measure effectiveness?

“Specialists refine the state-of-the-art in their specialism from the results of their previous actions.”

There is no incentive for experts to refine their own actions or the actions of previous experts. This is not a feedback process because there is no feedback mechanism that controls outputs. Your system relies heavily on the altruistic intentions of experts to provide their own feedback.

“The specialists/experts measure and adjust their own efficacy, just like scientists do.”

I’ve already explained how science works and why your system cannot be compared to it. Scientists don’t measure their own efficacy; engineers, other scientists, and reality do. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make. Efficacy in other fields is measured and controlled by exterior forces. The efficacy of scientists is measured by engineers, other scientists, and reality; the efficacy of businesses is measured by customers; and the efficacy of politicians is measured by citizens. The covenant can’t micromanage every policy. Some discretion will be given to experts. When an expert is put into office, there is no incentive for him/her to pursue the desires of citizens, and there is no feedback mechanism to eliminate undesirable policies. There are no soft controls to correct the behavior of experts. Your system relies heavily on the altruistic intentions of experts to correct themselves.

The goal of expert government

The goal of expert government is to effectively deliver on what is required in the covenant. People get very indignant without some sort of self-determination. Feeble though it is they cling to their vote. That is the reason why I introduced the idea of the covenant. It is not strictly necessary, but it does hand more self-determination to the citizen than the vote does. Citizens can use it to directly affect policy. Importantly my scheme is not the old Technocratic notion of experts orchestrating our lives because they are so much clever than us. It is that we aggregate the value of many experts that know better about matters in their specialism.

Effectiveness is difficult to measure. With a covenant the problem is no longer mine. It rests with the citizens to change the covenant, boot out any sub-standard specialists, and repeal incorrect policy. The vote does a similar job for the electorate, but has less control. For example it does nothing to repeal incorrect policy and one has to wait for the next vote to extract a poor politician. Under both schemes there is of course some duty of care, but both are feedback mechanisms to correct government we are not happy with. With both the people judge if a good job has been done.

I never intended to mention the customer-business feedback loop. With that analogy I was only intent on demonstrating the utility and ubiquity of specialisation. I should probably have gone with the ant colony analogy. I have acknowledged that feedback loops are powerful and pointed out that some exist in Expert Government. I am also prepared to improve mine, although I have also noted that I need to preserve the independence of the specialists/experts to allow them to exercise their expertise. On the matter of the efficacy of the vote it looks for now like we will have to agree to differ. Unless that is you have any compelling new arguments you think may change my mind.

I agree that specialists as I employ them improve their own work within government. As I have said before I think the kind of people that do this would want to continue their pursuit of excellence. So long as this is enough then we need not be concerned. Do you have reason to believe this would not be enough? I am reluctant to use financial inducements as this would attract people with the wrong motives. I don’t think we have explored all the feedback possibilities yet. I am going to agree with you about usefulness external agents providing feedback. I will give the matter some more thought. Altruism may not be enough, but I am not ready to switch back to voter approval. It has too many flaws. I need to test out new ideas. You have convinced me that there may be a problem, but not that there is a problem.

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I apologize for the late response. This will be a response to your two December 23 comments.

 

Response to 7:10 pm comment

I accept that the covenant can set the ideal to which effectiveness is measured. Thank you for clarifying that. I actually like the idea that the people can vote on specific issues that are important to them. In a perfect voter-representative system, such a measure is not necessary, though very few systems are perfect. However, there are extreme problems with the people having direct legislative authority.

Many nations and states that give citizens direct legislative authority are quickly learning just how easy it is for a majority, or even a passionate minority of citizens, to oppress the rights minority groups. And as some states in the US are beginning to realize, it often leads to massive budget deficits due to citizens voting to increase spending but refusing to pay more taxes.

As a person living in a nation that is fiercely divided and highly susceptible to propaganda, I would want there to be some kind of check against the passionate masses, otherwise oppression of minority groups and massive budget deficits are a near certainty. Perhaps a system where covenant changes are reviewed, adjusted, and ratified by a relevant expert body would be more ideal. Giving the masses unchecked legislative authority is not the best idea.

The following quoted passages are satire.

“Politicians are elected based on a long established pattern of excellence. This is hard to achieve and its pursuit is probably in the nature of politicians. Further they are unlikely to want to undo that hard work in a relatively short time in government. Their feedback is the recognition of their excellence by others, and their self-respect in having achieved something they attach value to.

I agree that politicians as I employ them improve their own work within government. As I have said before I think the kind of people that do this would want to continue their pursuit of excellence. So long as this is enough then we need not be concerned. Do you have reason to believe this would not be enough?”

When developing your system, assume that the humans are selfish, and will always act in a way that benefits them most, regardless of their ethical history. While not all humans are selfish, assuming everyone is will be a more reliable assumption than the opposite. From that assumption, design a system of incentives in such a way that general welfare emerges from individuals pursuing their own selfish goals. In every position of government infrastructure there should be a selfish motivation for the office holder, and that motivation should come from an external source. The less your system relies on altruistic motives, the stronger it will be. Any time you give someone authority over another human being, you need to install proper checks and incentives. You should never assume that power will be used altruistically.

 

Response to 3:45 pm comment

If corruption is your concern with democratic based government, and police and juries are your solution, then why not simply add them to a democratic based system. Democracy and your police and juries are not mutually exclusive ideas. Both serve an important function, so why not have both? Specialists will have the same opportunities for corruption as politicians, if not more. If you don’t believe the police and juries can solve the problem of corruption in current government, then it doesn’t follow that they therefore can solve the problem in expert government.

You paragraph on understanding the root problem of current government never addressed my point. I have said many times that the purpose of democracy is accountability. If you believe democracy is ineffective at providing accountability, then you need to understand why it doesn’t provide it before assuming democracy itself is the problem. It is a non-sequitur to say that democracy has failed to produce effective solutions in an increasingly complex world; therefore we should eliminate the control that provides accountability to citizens.

Democracy is not a direction, it is a tool. It makes no sense to say it has led to a dead end. As long as people are capable of selfishness, accountability will be necessary to ensure that leaders act in the best interests of those they lead. Democracy is the best system of accountability developed so far, and as long as that remains true, it will remain necessary. When a better control for accountability is developed, democracy may become obsolete, but until then, its utility remains unchallenged.

Effective government is not the most important thing. Effectiveness and accountability are at least equally important, if not more toward the ladder. To alter a quote from Albert Einstein, “Accountability without effectiveness is lame, effectiveness without accountability is blind.” A government that is effective at producing wigs made from pubic hair provides no value to its citizens. A government that is effective at oppressing human rights provides no value to its citizens. A government that is effective at murdering six million people of the “wrong” religion provides no value to anyone. Accountability is important. You cannot eliminate the best system for providing accountability to citizens without a really good reason and a clearly better alternative.

If you read the 4,758 word article again, you’ll notice that specialization, division, and even separation were not mentioned once. The point of the article was that intelligent behavior can emerge from many stupid agents to solve complex problems; an idea that you condescendingly described as “magic.” The article also makes a case for democratic decision making based on the success of bee quorums and pari-mutuel betting. It asserts that many stupid agents, even in the face of complex problems, are able to decide on appropriate solutions using a democratic process. Democracy can be an effective decision making device. This idea runs counter to your claim that democracy can’t make good decisions or produce effective solutions. How you were able to interpret the article as supportive of your government is a curious achievement.

You can claim that your government is self-organizing, but understand that I cannot take this claim seriously until you explain how it self-organizes. This is actually another logistical problem that I intend to explore more deeply after you finished addressing the budgeting issue. As I said already, issues regarding accountability can be easily refined. The logistical application of your system is where the big problems are.

 

Closing statements

You keep claiming that there are flaws in the democratic process, but you have never explained what those problems are. If the problem is corruption, then your police and citizen juries should solve it. If the problem is ineffective solutions and an increasingly complex world, then it doesn’t make sense to remove democracy since democracy’s purpose is to provide accountability to citizens. If the problem is that democracy doesn’t provide enough accountability, then it doesn’t make sense to get rid of it without replacing it with a better alternative soft control for accountability. If the problem is that people are too stupid to choose the best politicians, then the article on swarm intelligence suggests that is not a problem at all. It seems there is no reason to believe the democratic process is inherently flawed.

You have conceded that specialization solves nothing without proper feedback mechanisms; you have conceded that your system has no soft controls; you have conceded that your system relies heavily on altruistically inclined experts; and you have conceded that the passionate masses have direct legislative authority; but you’re not convinced that there is a problem with your system?

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This is actually response to your later comment. I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my comments. I understand that responding to my comments is not your profession, and that various other commitments will take priority over responding to some stranger on the internet.

Your solution to government’s ineffectiveness is specialization. By analyzing other fields that utilize specialization, I have demonstrated that specialization itself is not a virtue, and it is unlikely to produce any value on its own. The specialized fields in science and the free market produce no benefits without proper feedback mechanisms. Because of this, it is essential to first design the feedback process. Once that process is designed, the specialized bodies, if needed, should self organize to solve problems. If specialization is needed, it will only be a product of the solution, and not the solution itself.

To put the situation into an analogy, you are building a car without an engine, and you’re expecting it to drive. Your focus has been on the structure of government instead of the incentives that drive it and the feedback mechanisms that control it. Incentives and feedback are the most fundamental and essential aspects of government, and so they should be the primary focus of any new government system.