Some thoughts on a manifesto for simplicity

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Diderot Mirabeau
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Some thoughts on a manifesto for simplicity

Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

I'm going to take advantage of the opening of the new discussion group to publish my ideas for a worthwhile political mission:

First of all, what are the inherently valuable aspects of simplicity?

To me simplicity in a democratic government is a Good Thing to the extent that it :-

[i:1dau1bz8]1) Levels the playing field, enhances transparency and democratic accountability and lowers the barriers to participation,

2) Reduces the amount of time and other resources that need to be spent carrying out government functions so that our citizens and their resources can get on with pursuing the wortwhile activities that they would like to bring to the CDS experience,[/i:1dau1bz8]

.. without overly impeding the realisation of other important values of our society.

Thus, obtaining simplicity in a democratic government is not only about keeping simple the process of governance. It is also about limiting the domains of governance to those only where certain values for our society are deemed to be of such importance and of such difficulty to achieve that they justify government intervention.

I think establishing a clear framework for delimiting the latter could be our movement's greatest contribution to the political community of CDS.

Perhaps a framework can be sketched out by first drafting a vision of what we want our community to be; thereafter defining how a government can feasibly contribute to realising the vision; and finally setting forth critique and proposals through the political process to bring our existing system in line with our vision.

My vision of what the CDS should be as a society draws heavily upon concepts and dichotomies established by Mikael Lunardi in his brief visit to our forums.

I recognise his observation that to a certain extent there is an unresolved issue in our society over whether the ideal for our development should be expansionism or enclavism.

In an attempt to resolve the dichotomy I would like to try and identify a number of specific domains in my vision for our society where one or the other ideal is more feasible in my subjective view.

I would like CDS to:

- Be a beacon for democratic governance in SL and to promote the values and interests of democratically governed territories.

- Manifest itself as an architecture of trust that enables commercial actors to enter into cooperation by committing valuable resources to creative ventures safe in the knowledge that their investment will be protected.

- Be a cohesive community of responsible, self-reliant individuals, who desire to spend their SL free time in CDS because of the opportunity to engage in unhindered social interaction with peers of diverse observation (politically, socially, culturally &c.)

In relation to these ambitions I believe the possible role of government to be as follows:

[b:1dau1bz8]Beacon of democracy[/b:1dau1bz8]: Our government can deal effectively with the promotion of democratic governance in SL both through example and by setting up institutional arrangements to allow other communities with ambitions for democratic governance to draw upon our government's expertise and resources without having to give up anything. Simplicity here means that our government should only be devoting time and efforts to pursue initiatives in 'foreign policy' that have a tangible, short-term aim and not waste resources in the roleplay of manning 'embassies' with no particular purpose.

[b:1dau1bz8]Architecture of trust[/b:1dau1bz8]: For commerce and technological development to prosper together it is of vital importance that good investments are rewarded accordingly. For good investment to be reward it is necessary to minimise the impact of 'irrational factors' such as opportunism of business partners to influence the potential for success of a business venture. Government can act as a mediator of trust by establishing buffer mechanisms where f.x. risk is shouldered collectively.

Simplicity in this regard takes on a slightly different meaning: Rather than a business context where simple one-man organisations and simplistic business models such as "clubbing" are the norm because they are not dependent on the trust of business partners, we should strive to create an environment where the government creates a simple interface to potentially complicated arrangements so that our creative entrepreneurs may devote all their resources in pursuit of development without having to worry about the bureaucracy involved in raising investment capital, managing sub-contractors or handling customer relations.

Our government has the strength to and indeed already has developed and incorporated technologically driven solutions to enable entrepreneurs to get on with their business while complying with our regulations. It should do more of that.

[b:1dau1bz8]A cohesive community of individuals[/b:1dau1bz8]: Interactions between individuals in a community are best left to be the responsibiliy of the persons in question. Government should stay out of regulating anything but commercial or otherwise pre-agreed relationships between citizens and should in general strive to minimise the toll taken on citizens to perform services to the community of an involuntary nature.

All citizens should have the same right to co-determination over every aspect of the collective community and we should therefore not add artificial boundaries or redundant layers of government bureaucracy to handle the issues of self-perceived special interest groups. If there is a specific domain within which decisions need to be taken which may not be of interest to everyone it is best handled by setting up a forum and let those, who are interested participate in the debate there after which our democratically elected body will take a final decision. That way we do not need to waste government resources by establishing another layer of unneeded complexity.

I hope the above can contribute toward stimulating a debate over what The Simplicty Party ought to bring to the table in CDS politics. Keep in mind that it is a very rough draft and that some of the ideas and principles may not be as precisely or consistently formulated as they could have been.

Last edited by Diderot Mirabeau on Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Aliasi Stonebender
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Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

Good points all, Diderot, and (at least at this broad, conceptual stage) I have no disagreement with them.

While self-interest will always be with us - certainly, I'm not immune - I feel events as they are now are sorely leaving that third point unfulfilled.

Consider our 'legal system' - I believe there are at least three or four cases on the docket now, and not one of them, to my knowledge, has been successfully heard. Even allowing for the fact that things are just getting started up and we have only one judge at the moment, this does not seem to speak well in favor of the current setup.

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