In the interests of the prevention of Tyranny, Synarchy, or Democracy hamstrung by short-termism and self interest we should perhaps reconsider an ancient Greek idea, government by randomly selected people.
An ideal government would consist of an oligarchy of experts drawn from all relevant fields that would plan for a sustainable and equitable future for its entire polity that does not preclude sustainability or equitability in other polities.
Such a government cannot exist in principle if the Oligarchy of experts has full executive powers, for it will inevitably use them to privilege, protect, reward, and aggrandise itself. The system would require another element to check and balance the Oligarchy to ensure that it behaved selflessly, wisely, and with farsightedness.
A democratically elected and democratically de-electable body cannot properly perform this function because it remains at the mercy of the short term economic interests of the electorate.
We need to find some way of checking the power of the Oligarchy of experts that involves the electorate in an equitable way, but does not involve the use of politicians.
Thus I propose Government by Chaocracy & Oligarchy. (Chaoligarchy).
Oilgarchies of Experts divided into various ministries or departments can propose and draft whatever legislation or actions they see fit.
The Chaocracy, has the absolute power of veto over any of it. It may also repeal any law.
Society selects the Chaocracy by random means from the population; everyone remains eligible for drafting into the Chaocracy by lot, as with jury service.
If the Chaocracy has some several hundred members then it should contain a representative selection of ages, sexes, and interest groups, unlike most parliaments.
Half the Chaocracy gets replaced every few years and those serving on it receive the kind of rewards that put them beyond concealable bribery and corruption.
The system also requires a specialised Oilgarchy called an Independent Judiciary.
The Chaocracy settles all matters by debate and their own consciences expressed by secret ballot. (Thus they cannot be bought or intimidated).
The Chaocracy can dismiss or downgrade a limited number of Oligarchs.
The Chaocracy elects a head of state, if required, as frequently as it wishes.
The emerging ‘political class’ which has begun to loose its class roots in the class structure of post-industrial societies, will thus become partly absorbed into the Oligarchy of experts. A random selection of the people will decide which of their policies to adopt, after searching their own consciences.
An Oligarchy offers the best means of producing and maintaining a group of experts in any field, for only experts can decide what constitutes expertise, and we should let them get on with that through their own efforts to persuade each other in the battle of ideas. It works well enough in universities, and we would have no obligation to accept their recommendations.
Members of the Chaocracy would get paid handsomely to turn up and argue and vote on all measures proposed by the various departments of the Oligarchy. The members would consist of a roughly equal mix of sexes and a representative selection of age and interest groups. Half will display below average intelligence and some will make little or no impact on debates but about 5% will show leadership qualities, so a selection of 500 people will provide a nucleus of about 25 persons capable of leading serious debate about exactly what policies a society should pursue. As they have nothing else to do, and no accountability, or re-electability, or short term self interests to worry about, I think that they would inevitably do it well.
I believe that the majority of humans instinctively act for the good by default, except when they find themselves in situations where other courses of action appear more rewarding. Thus we should endeavour not to put them in such positions.
Many elements of the political class, and those with strong political convictions would find a natural home in the oligarchy and revel in the internal power struggles of its various departments. They would also enjoy considerably enhanced job security, for failure to persuade would usually mean merely failure to advance, not outright unemployment.
The legislation offered by the departments of the Oligarchy would at least have the virtue of having been devised by specialists in the relevant fields rather than by politicians with little understanding of anything but its short-term political implications for themselves and their power bases.
The population at large would become free of the tiresome duty of voting merely to exclude the least apparently desirable candidates and parties.
The power to approve or discard policies would lie with those who did not seek such power but had it thrust randomly upon them as a well rewarded public duty performed for a limited period only. In return for discarding a mostly pointless personal vote everyone would receive a chance to perform this privileged function of government.
The media would loose much of its political influence as would big business and indeed any self-interest group with disproportionate influence.
A society must delegate power, for not everyone can continuously involve themselves in matters of government. Yet we should not delegate it to those who seek it. Thus we should delegate it by the only truly fair method – pure chance.
Can Chaoligarchy evolve out of any current form of government?
Well the Political Class would oppose it almost everywhere but we could make a start on it in Britain by having a Randomly Selected 'House of Lords' instead of filling it up with aristocrats, bishops, failed politicians, and political apointees. Most importantly, it should have absolute power of veto.