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Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1,296
On size of government, geographically...
    #4346432 - 06/28/05 12:40 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I was thinking about all the people who are unhappy with their government. I think everyone is unhappy with their own government in at least some aspect, and I mean everyone. So I got to thinking, how would this "problem" ever be solved? No matter what government you put in place there's going to be people who don't like it. But then I had an idea...

Theoretically, it seems the problem is the size of government, not just in range of power, but geographic jurisdiction. Since there are millions of opinions of what the best type of government is, the greater the number of people under that government, the greater the chance people are going to be unhappy with it. And the larger the physical boundaries of the government are, the greater the number of pepople there will be under it's sovereignty. Therefore, as a government's boundaries grow geographically, the worse off the people are. And the worst possible scenario is a one-world government.

Mathematically speaking, we approach the ideal situation as the number of individual nations approaches the number of different opinions of what kind of government should be in place, so long as those individual nations are representative of those opinions. In the ideal situation, then, there's a country with a government that each person could feel comfortable living under. As the land is split up more and more geographically, trade agreements between nations would become increasingly important as resources are divided and compartmentalized.

Of course, this is just theoretical, and it's laughable to think that the United States, Canada, China, Russia, et cetera, would split up into smaller nations. Power is power, and those who have claim over such vast amounts of resources are not about to give them up.

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Registered: 05/13/04
Posts: 7,751
Last seen: 5 years, 7 months
Re: On size of government, geographically... [Re: moog]
    #4346462 - 06/28/05 12:58 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

That's how the US should be. The states are supposed to be in charge of themselves without any undo restraint from the federal government. If this were the case it would be quite possible for each state to be representative of different sets of ideals.
But the good citizens of this country have let that go to hell in a handbasket.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

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Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 8,978
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Re: On size of government, geographically... [Re: moog]
    #4346724 - 06/28/05 02:44 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I remember reading somewhere that we work together best in a average size village of about 300 people.

so i googled it and found this article.

For most of the human past, people lived in small bands, each containing no more than a few dozen individuals controlling their own affairs entirely locally. Even when people in some places began settling into villages some ten thousand years ago, the local community remained self-governing. Perhaps seven or eight thousand years ago there arose the first multi-community societies: chiefdoms, in which one person had achieved effective political control over two or more villages. In the following millennia, some of the chiefdoms coalesced into states: multi-community societies with a central government strong enough to tax, draft, and legislate. With this came social cleavages--familiar to us today--between town and country, rich and poor, rulers and ruled. The cultures of state-level societies differ greatly from the cultures of band and village societies; they differ much less among themselves. When Cortes first encountered the Aztec, for example, he found much that reminded him of life back home--fields, markets, churches, and "many poor people who beg from the rich in the streets as the poor do in Spain and in other civilized places" (Cortes 1986 [orig. 1522]:75). Social growth indeed causes culture to evolve in certain definite ways, as Herbert Spencer had insisted.
Chiefdoms, and especially states, developed independently in several places around the world; but in most places, humans continued living in bands or villages. What made the difference? In 1970, Robert L. Carneiro identified three kinds of circumstance that seemed to foster political evolution. The first is environmental circumscription--fertile land more or less hemmed in by mountains, deserts, or water. Here, as agricultual intensification made land ever more scarce, defeat in war increasingly would leave the losers with nowhere to go to escape subjugation. Chiefdoms, and eventually states, would result. A second circumstance is resource concentration--productive resources, such as lakes or streams rich in seafood, so attractive that people try to stay near them. A third circumstance is social circumscription--being hemmed in not by geographical features but by other societies.

The term "social circumscription" Carneiro borrowed from Napoleon Chagnon (1992). Chagnon had observed that population growth among the Yanomamo Indians of the Amazon Basin led to villages splitting and spreading deeper into the tropical forest around them. Due to such splitting, the average village size--around one hundred people--seemed fairly stable through time. At any given time, though, the more centrally located villages were the largest. Perhaps, Chagnon suggested, this was because, being surrounded by other villages (usually hostile), central villages were less able than peripheral ones to resolve internal conflicts by splitting.

A time-honored idea held that human societies, like organisms, had a natural tendency to grow larger. (This analogy was elaborated especially in the 19th century by Herbert Spencer.) From Chagnon's work, though, it seemed that the natural tendency was for societies instead to stay about the same size, even when overall population was growing, due to splitting. Was it possible that the tendency to resolve social conflict by splitting was in fact a deep and universal propensity that had had to be suppressed before large societies ever could evolve in the first place? Could inhibition of splitting be the key to human social evolution? Suppose it was. Under what conditions would splitting be easy, and under what conditions would it become difficult? It seemed to me that the most important factor would be the presence or absence of opportunities for geographic expansion. If a growing population was surrounded by rich, unoccupied territory, it would expand easily into that territory; but it would do so Yanomamo-like, and the average society size would remain nearly constant due to splitting. Increase in this average size would be expected only when the opportunity to expand was somehow inhibited. Inhibited expansion would lead to inhibited splitting; if societies could no longer split fast enough to offset population growth, larger societies-- chiefdoms, states, empires--eventually would be forged, and culture would have to be transformed accordingly. What kinds of conditions would cause this process to unfold? The very circumstances Carneiro had identified: environmental circumscription, social circumscription, and resource concentration.

It proved possible to formulate mathematical definitions for inihibition of both geographical expansion and political splitting. The assumption that splitting would not be inhibited until expansion was inhibited proved fruitful, and led to an exact mathematical theory of the relationship between population density and political evolution. I began presenting these ideas at meetings of the American Anthropological Association in the mid 1980's; my first article on the subject appeared in 1988; and a book, A Scientific Model of Social and Cultural Evolution, came out in 1995. I continue working along the same lines today. I like to think it is the richness of the ideas that has kept me absorbed so long; but I'm afraid another reason is my slowness at figuring out even rather elementary mathematical


America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama

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