Blueprint for a Future Polity

Mike Curtis
Sep 28, 2017 · 11 min read

Preamble

Certain advances are assumed, all are currently feasible with current technology, or confidently predicted given the current state and current rate of development. These are:

  • The (independent) existence of AGIs (Artificial General Intelligence) comparable to and in many situations exceeding the intelligence of a human being.
  • Abundant, very cheap energy from sources such as nuclear fusion (very close now) and orbital solar energy collection (technically possible now).
  • Sufficient food to feed everybody using genetic modification (available now) and 3d printing (experimentally available now).
  • Improved health and lifespan using drugs, organ replacement, regrowth and nanobots (mostly experimentally available now).
  • Construction of material goods as required using nanotechnology and 3d printing (experimentally available now).
  • Universal, secure, fast and personal access to information and computer power through the internet using mobile devices carried or worn (available now) or by implant with direct connection to the brain and nervous system (experimentally possible now, though at an early stage).

Some ideas are similar to those put forward by the proponents of Social Futurism[3].

Constitution

The constitution shall exist as the core programming of a dedicated AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) whose purpose will be to interpret the constitution as required, with the assistance of a committee of the current government. It will gather information as to the state of the polity and the prevailing philosophies of its citizens which it will use to assist in its interpretations. It may suggest amendments, but it may not amend itself without the approval of the citizenry in a plebiscite.

The Fundamental Right

Corollaries

  1. Actions that cause avoidable adverse effects on a citizen’s fundamental right will be a crime or misdemeanour according to the nature of the offense.
  2. Necessary actions that incidentally adversely affect a citizen’s fundamental right may be subject to review to determine whether there are alternatives.
  3. All cases where a citizen’s fundamental right is adversely affected must be recompensed at a level determined independently.
  4. Every citizen has a right to life, liberty, health, material comfort, education and the basic necessities such as energy, food and water. If they cannot provide them for themselves then the state has a duty to provide them. Without them a citizen’s condition would necessarily deteriorate and therefore their fundamental right be adversely affected.
  5. The State does not have any right to interfere in or dictate the way that a citizen chooses to live their life, except in so far as it adversely affects the fundamental right of other citizens.

The State

  1. Maintaining a primary, permanent residence within the defined geographical area.
  2. Acceptance of the Constitution and its current interpretations and consequences.

Reasoning beings may become citizens either by being born within the geographical area (Residential Citizens) or by passing a test, administered by the Constitution AGI, and public acknowledgement of their acceptance of the Constitution (Constitutional Citizens), followed by a probationary period. Full citizens are those satisfying both criteria; residents would normally satisfy their acceptance of the Constitution as part of the educational process. Children of residential citizens have automatic residential citizenship. The children of nonresidential citizens will have certain rights because of their association with their citizen parent(s); they do not automatically qualify for citizen status. Residential citizens moving between different parts of the geographical area maintain their residential citizen status. People moving into the area from outside, whether constitutional citizens or not will become residential citizens after a period of time, provided that they maintain a residence within the area and live there most of the time. The two citizen concepts are completely orthogonal, being a citizen of one kind in no way affects qualification as a citizen of the other kind.

The geographical area need not be contiguous but may be composed of communities with powers of self-governance known as VDP States, where VDP stands for “Virtual, Distributed, Parallel.”[2]

The rights and responsibilities of citizens according to the constitution will differ according to their citizenry status, for example:

  • Only Constitutional citizens may participate in government selection and plebiscites.
  • Only Residential citizens benefit from the infrastructure and participate in the care of the local environment.
  • All citizens pay taxes, non-residential citizens may pay reduced taxes for the upkeep of the environment and infrastructure, on the basis that they will pay those taxes at the point where they do reside; they will however pay taxes relating to the maintenance of the government and the constitution. Residential but non-constitutional citizens will pay full taxes as they receive most of the benefits provided by the state.
  • All constitutional citizens must maintain an internet connection to the Constitutional AGI, or one of its satellites in order to participate in elections and plebiscites, and to receive important information.

Any citizen has the right to cease constitutional citizenship at any time; readmittance may not be automatic, even if they pass the test again.

The state has the right to suspend or remove constitutional citizenship from offenders, subject to due procedures set out in or consequent from the constitution, and international law.

Federations and Regions

The Principle of Subsidiarity

Corollary: The lowest possible level of the hierarchy is the individual. Any decisions or actions that only significantly affect the individual must be made by the individual, or their nominated representative (e.g. parent). The state may only take such decisions where the individual is unable to make decisions through incapacity and has no nominated representative.

Governance

Plebiscites

  • The representatives fail to agree;
  • A substantial minority of the representatives (e.g. 25%) request one;
  • A substantial proportion (e.g. 20%) of the constitutional citizenry request one;
  • For any constitutional change.

Each plebiscite will be held online and will consist of three phases:

  1. The Information Phase, all constitutional citizens will be informed of the plebiscite and all relevant information made available for study;
  2. The Registration Phase, after a suitable time for study, all constitutional citizens wishing to vote will register their interest and undergo a short test, administered by an AGI, to demonstrate a basic understanding of the subject matter;
  3. The Voting Phase, a short period during which all registered voters cast their vote.

It is expected that this process will last in the region of seven to ten days.

Representation

The Judicial Branch

House of Justice

The Executive Branch

House of Philosophers:

The Legislative Branch

House of Experts

House of People

House of Regions

Legislation

Crime and Punishment

Most offenders will, it is hoped, be deterred by a technology that makes it very likely that they will be caught. It should also help determine those who are ill, for example drug addicts, or those with some psychological weakness that others could use to manipulate them. Incarceration should be reserved for the very worst cases, not necessarily those who commit the worst offences, but those predators who have no conception of the rights of other people to be free from their depredations. It should be a major goal of technology to be able to detect these people at the earliest possible opportunity and, if no remedy is possible, to remove them from society in order to safeguard others. They must of course be due respect to the basic human right, so even the worst predators must have the right to rehabilitate themselves, so treatment, education and jobs must be available. However if someone is dangerous enough to warrant removal from society then they must demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that they are safe before they can return.

Education

Conclusion

[1] Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, The Free Press 2012, http://www.abundancethebook.com/

[2] Liberal Democracy, The Third Way, & Social Futurism by Amon Twyman, http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/twyman20140719

[3] What is Social Futurism http://wavism.net/principles/what-is-social-futurism/

The Janus Web

Techno-Progressive Politics

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