Earlier this week, I was in a public hot tub with a redneck! This fellow had opinions on everything and very willing to give the rest of us (captive audience) a taste of his gourmet of ideas. He was smarter than Ph.D’s, MD’s, army generals, CEOs, etc. I thought: “How can I soften this fellow?” I tried to interject with some counter information, but he would have none of that. Then I interjected with: “You really should be in public office you are so smart.” I did detect a little softening after the third time I said this. I have a little different strategy the next time I see him.
This kind of fellow will likely not be part of the early TDG. So the early builders will have not to deal with this mentality while they learn how to build consensus on a consistent basis. As the TDG grows and broadens its membership, such a mentality can still join and vote, but he/she is not likely to rise very high in this structure. In time, such outspokenness won’t be seen as a virtue.
I thought the most profound quote of your response was: “Political powers exists to limit the baser instincts of the animals we are.” I like to say: “Western democracy has somewhat corralled the power-accumulation instinct such that those on the outside do have some say.” I think the two sayings have some similarities. We do have to overcome our hunter-gatherer instincts.
We can see that western democracy has given more opportunity for non-politically aligned citizens than other systems in the past and present. As you have read my essay, you know I should not be discussing these kinds of things with you — if my class heritage had anything to with it. Yet western democracy has created a profound positive change for average people when compared to my grandparents’ time and place.
If we can make that kind of change in society, we can do better than where we have come today. Why not think in that way?
You have made a point about people being too preoccupied to participate effectively in the TDG. Before I address that further, I have been having an interesting conversation with another Medium thinker. This fellow brought me back to 1982, when Canada got its constitution away from the British Parliament (yes, the Brits did legally run Canada up to that point). This was big news in Canada. But I was only 22 years, more interested in my career than politics. I just did not care! Yet I still had the right to vote and did vote.
Many members of the TDG (and later all citizens) will likely be preoccupied enough not want to be voted into the TDG. But they still have the responsibility and opportunity of voting for one of their neighbors who they believe exhibits the attributes of good character and capacity for governance. Maybe voting once a year is all they will do for the TDG. But after the vote, they leave the affairs of TDG to others. Just like I more or less left the repatriation of the Canadian constitution to others in 1982.
BTW, I did become political in 1986, so I started having strong opinions on these things later in life. But I understand that many citizens will not have the same enthusiasm for politics as I used to have. The TDG will leave much of the decision-making to others, just in the same way many citizens in western democracies do the same today. As I like to mention to political junkies, not everyone has the same commitment as the junkies.
In your response, you mentioned that quite a few people in your circle are just too busy to serve in the TDG. And that is fine! In every neighborhood, there will be a few people with some talents and time for the TDG. If one of them gets elected and serves well, that person will likely be elected for a long time and could rise higher in the tiers.
If someone is busy and gets elected and doesn’t want the job as neighborhood representative, I advise this person just don’t show up for the TDG meetings. The neighborhood will find someone else next year. A TDG government will not fall apart in this time.
And those of us who want to build careers instead of being in public service, let other people into public service. If the system is working well, the citizens on the outside won’t have to be so vigilant to keep it somewhat honest.
Thank you for reading the essay and offering your great comments.