Of the people, for the people, by the people

The idea of a dystopia has a strong interconnection with the idea of people’s government. Many dystopias are predicated on the idea that a central ruling power oppresses the people of its governance unjustly, and this is what created the dystopian society. Thomas Hobbes discusses the nature of man and the need for control over the nature of man, which he argues is competition. Hobbes further states that on the large scale all men are created equal and only distinguish themselves by their honors and dishonors. Hobbes argues the need for a centralized authority of power to regulate the quarreling nature of man. Hobbes arguments point towards the need for a strong centralized unit of law needs to exist to provide structure and form to competition, and to ensure that competition can be healthily expressed for the benefit of bettering society.

I agree with the need for a strong body to regulate the natural competition experienced by man, and I agree that those who choose to use their natural talents and are successful in using these talents to better society should be rewarded. I do feel the need to add to this argument, however. I think authoritarian powers only in control of the hands of a few individuals are subject to corruption, even if these individuals are elected by the people they govern. My reason for this belief is that as the layers of abstraction grow from elected officials in local government then to state government and then to the federal government (e.g. U.S.), the will of the people gets represented by people who do not understand the deep issues specific to particular regions and peoples under the control of the elected officials. As such the will of the population in these regions becomes misrepresented, and clarity of belief is lost at the highest levels of government.

With these arguments in mind I would propose a liberal direct democracy as the least dystopian form of government, in which there are no few elected officials who represent the centralized power of many peoples, but where policy issues are directly voted on by the people they affect in their defined population and region. This form of government would allow for both community freedom and healthy individual competition in a market economy, under whatever restrictions the people of those regions impose upon themselves. Still, in accordance with Hobbes argument, these individualized governmental bodies would need to be under some authoritarian form of restriction by a larger body. This body should follow the restrictions of liberalism in their policies, including access to healthcare and education. The military in this scenario is an issue for further discussion.

Fundamentally, I believe in a strong bottom-up approach to government rather than a top-down approach; this could be respectively preference for a direct democracy and a representative democracy. Ultimately, I believe in government of the people, for the people, and by the people, and believe that the form of government which does this best is the one that is the least dystopian. Within my beliefs, this is a liberal direct democracy.

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