Some utopian musings

The problem is to come up with a political and economic system which provides everyone with a good life.

Is this possible? I’m going to assume it is. Starting from this assumption, I’ll try to imagine what this system is like.

This political and economic system isn’t imposed by force or by threats or manipulation. People freely, actively choose to be part of this system.

And since almost everyone actively and freely chooses to be in this system, this system must be a really, really good deal.

Furthermore this political and economic system must not be set in stone; it must always be up for re-negotiation. This is part of what it means to say that people freely and actively choose it.

I’ll say also that this system is as direct and participatory as possible. Another way to look at this: choosing something is the same as doing it.

Here in the UK, if you want better hospital care, you vote for the party that promises better hospitals. You don’t start sorting it out yourself – talking to nurses, doctors, and hospital managers, asking what the problem is and what is would take to fix it – that’s the government’s job. In a more participatory society, choosing something is more closely related to doing it.

When I think of a political and economic system, I think of parliament, laws, politicians, courts and judges, and police. The politicians make laws, and the police, courts and judges enforce them. But I said before that the system I’m thinking of isn’t imposed, but freely and actively chosen. The system I’m thinking of is very different from the one I live in now. It is not held in place by laws, police, and judges. The only thing that holds it together is that people freely and actively choose to make it work, over and over, because they find that it is a really good deal for them.

Actually now there’s a problem. I keep saying that this system, whatever it is, is such a good deal for people that they freely and actively choose it over and over, essentially bringing it into existence with their actions. So why doesn’t this system exist already? If it’s such a good deal for people, why haven’t people already chosen it? There must be some kind of barriers in the way. And that means that, if the goal is to bring this new system into existence, then the way to achieve that is to find those barriers and break them down.

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