27 votes

What does your ideal society look like?

We all want changes to our societies that we think would be beneficial, either for ourselves, our families, or as a whole. Rarely do I see discussion on a personal level of what posters envision for society at whole. So I figured I'd try that here. You can be as expansive as you'd like. Economy, governmental structure, citizen responsibility, guaranteed rights, etc. You can make it a future utopia or what you think could be feasible today.

53 comments

  1. [3]
    skybrian
    Link
    Inevitably, someone will bring up universal basic income, so here you go.

    Inevitably, someone will bring up universal basic income, so here you go.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      blake
      Link Parent
      lol, that is def part of my ideal ha

      lol, that is def part of my ideal ha

      6 votes
      1. EscReality
        Link Parent
        Universal income, giving me the ability to pursue my own interests at will is literally all I desire from life.

        Universal income, giving me the ability to pursue my own interests at will is literally all I desire from life.

        6 votes
  2. [15]
    tindall
    Link
    Any society in which improvements in efficiency produce near-proportionate (0.7x or so) decreases in labor by definition must have solved all the problems that plague our current one. I don't know...

    Any society in which improvements in efficiency produce near-proportionate (0.7x or so) decreases in labor by definition must have solved all the problems that plague our current one. I don't know if that's the ideal, but it's enough of a pipe dream that I'm not thinking beyond it.

    10 votes
    1. [9]
      skybrian
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Often, improvements in efficiency result in more stuff or better quality, not less labor. I think we are proving now that many of us can get by with a lot less, though. An immediate concern is...

      Often, improvements in efficiency result in more stuff or better quality, not less labor. I think we are proving now that many of us can get by with a lot less, though.

      An immediate concern is making sure people have the stuff they really need, and for that that, well, I mentioned UBI?

      But here's the other thing: thinking ahead and being prepared often means having extra capacity. Spare capacity can be funded by providing luxuries in good times. Examples:

      • Nobody needs 4K video, but if they have it in good times that will pay for network capacity, and it can be throttled back when there's contention.

      • Watering your lawn in normal times could pay for a desalination plant. Then ban watering your lawn during a drought.

      • Give people the option to pay for large private rooms in a hospital, which can be double-booked in a crisis.

      • Flight attendants are there (required by law) for safety. But they can also serve drinks.

      I suspect a far-thinking, prosperous society would have a lot of "luxuries" that have non-obvious purposes behind them, but this isn't easily accounted for with simple equations.

      In the society we have, such repurposing seems to be mostly ad-hoc.

      5 votes
      1. [7]
        tindall
        Link Parent
        In my estimation, it's actually pretty simple. There's the socialist/ML way, which is a fully planned economy and works fine if you can get a real democracy going; there's the anarchist way, which...

        In my estimation, it's actually pretty simple. There's the socialist/ML way, which is a fully planned economy and works fine if you can get a real democracy going; there's the anarchist way, which works great but is vulnerable to attack from outside (see, e.g., Rojava), and then there's the way that I think is at least theoretically feasible in the West; a sort of rethinking of capitalism.

        1. Limit the maximum size of companies and the maximum length of contracts, and require significant worker representation on the governing bodies of companies. A hundred employees and a year are oft-cited figures, but setting the actual limits would require math and trial and error.

        2. Establish strong regulatory bodies that are well-divorced from the industries they serve. This works well in concert with #1, since the lobbying heavyweights like Comcasts and Fords can't form in the first place.

        3. Strong limits on landlordship. Obviously individuals renting out bits of the property they live on isn't usually a very exploitative relationship, and can be mutually beneficial, but individuals or companies owning large buildings or many small ones is a recipe for disaster, as we see today.

        4. Tax the shit out of wealth. Once you accumulate more than you can spend, you start to hit a steep tax cliff; "use it or lose it" philosophy of taxation, essentially. Sure, if you can find a way to maintain a yachts-and-gold-toilets lifestyle that's fine, but if all that money is coming from stocks and debt you own, you're going to lose it fast.

        5. And finally, use all that tax money for good infrastructure and a strong social safety net. If you can't work, that doesn't mean you die; you'll still have places to live, clean water, health care, and enough food. Whether you're working or not, you'll be able to avail yourself of good roads, well-funded rail, well-maintained parks and museums, and community-governed social programs.

        I could go a lot more in-depth on this - I'm currently working with a group in Chicago building parallel power networks designed to promote exactly this kind of resource management strategy - but the basic ideas are there.

        In essence, limit how much power any one person can accumulate and make sure the gains of industry are distributed to workers first, and then to the rest of society.

        8 votes
        1. [3]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          I wonder if there are any soft limits that would encourage smaller businesses? Something like limiting the amount of money you can raise per year. There are a lot of regulations that only kick in...

          I wonder if there are any soft limits that would encourage smaller businesses? Something like limiting the amount of money you can raise per year.

          There are a lot of regulations that only kick in for larger businesses, but that's a step function based on number of workers rather a gradually increasing restriction.

          As to contracts, I would like to see something along the lines of a "disaster exception". Suppose both mortgage payments and rents automatically get cut or suspended in a declared disaster area?

          3 votes
          1. mrnd
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Something I have thought about, would be to require increasing amounts of worker representation as the company grows. So very small business owners can keep control of their company, but as they...

            Something I have thought about, would be to require increasing amounts of worker representation as the company grows. So very small business owners can keep control of their company, but as they grow, the workers get more and more mandatory representation until at some size it becomes effectively a worker co-op.

            This would not outright ban large companies, but would still probably weaken their tendency to grow infinitely. And if they do grow, at least they'd be more democratic and thus hopefully less harmful.

            5 votes
          2. Eric_the_Cerise
            Link Parent
            I've long been a fan of some kind of progressive business tax, with just ridiculously high rates for the biggest companies, like 90+% tax rate on companies' 2nd billion of (net? gross? not sure)....

            I wonder if there are any soft limits that would encourage smaller businesses?

            I've long been a fan of some kind of progressive business tax, with just ridiculously high rates for the biggest companies, like 90+% tax rate on companies' 2nd billion of (net? gross? not sure).

            I think I actually first heard this idea from RMS, of all places. In any case, any time any business reaches "Too Big to Fail" status, that is an explicit failing of the govt it lives under.

            Regardless, absent a full-scale global class war, I think this falls well in the 'pipe dream' category.

            4 votes
        2. [3]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Okay, but I'm not sure if this is in response to my post? You're elaborating on your original post?

          Okay, but I'm not sure if this is in response to my post? You're elaborating on your original post?

          1. [2]
            tindall
            Link Parent
            Sorry - you edited while I was responding to your original question. It's true that this is now off-topic, but the original question you asked was (in my reading anyway?) more along the lines of...

            Sorry - you edited while I was responding to your original question. It's true that this is now off-topic, but the original question you asked was (in my reading anyway?) more along the lines of "how do we pull this off without just making more pointless shit".

            3 votes
            1. skybrian
              Link Parent
              Okay, sorry about that! Posting and then editing is a bad habit of mine.

              Okay, sorry about that! Posting and then editing is a bad habit of mine.

              3 votes
      2. emdash
        Link Parent
        I like this pleasant way of looking at our current situation. As the proverb goes, make hay while the sun shines. Things we do now can still benefit us in the future, even if we don't make use of...

        But here's the other thing: thinking ahead and being prepared often means having extra capacity. Spare capacity can be funded by providing luxuries in good times.

        I like this pleasant way of looking at our current situation. As the proverb goes, make hay while the sun shines. Things we do now can still benefit us in the future, even if we don't make use of them intentionally or at full capacity.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      krg
      Link Parent
      What's that definition?

      by definition

      What's that definition?

      1 vote
      1. tindall
        Link Parent
        The Kropotkinist definition of artificial scarcity.

        The Kropotkinist definition of artificial scarcity.

        4 votes
    3. [3]
      Uncharted
      Link Parent
      Tell me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a post scarcity society rely entirely on a willingness of the rich and powerful to sacrifice their wealth in order to create a better world for everyone else? I'm...

      Tell me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a post scarcity society rely entirely on a willingness of the rich and powerful to sacrifice their wealth in order to create a better world for everyone else?

      I'm not an economist, so my understanding of all this is shaky.

      1. tindall
        Link Parent
        Or a willingness of the 99.9% to get their shit together and tax them, extracting their wealth by force if necessary.

        doesn't a post scarcity society rely entirely on a willingness of the rich and powerful to sacrifice their wealth in order to create a better world for everyone else

        Or a willingness of the 99.9% to get their shit together and tax them, extracting their wealth by force if necessary.

        6 votes
      2. thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        The people can just take it back by force.

        The people can just take it back by force.

        3 votes
  3. [6]
    Loire
    Link
    A corruption-less social democracy with transparent crony-free capitalism where competition is the driver of advancement and success. Personal liberties are enshrined by constitution and supported...

    A corruption-less social democracy with transparent crony-free capitalism where competition is the driver of advancement and success. Personal liberties are enshrined by constitution and supported by an impartial judicial branch of government. A strong universal healthcare system, as I believe a healthy population is both the most productive and free. I go back and forth on universal education system however, a system such as Germany's where mentorship, and trades/polytechnic educations are strongly encouraged. Perhaps make it harder to get into University at the same time, if tuition is abolished. Increased funding for research and faculties. Not sure exactly where I stand on the Arts, perhaps enough funding to educate at replacement level. A strong focus on human advancement, especially space colonization at this point in our history. A tax system that prevents/penalizes tax dodgers, but allows for some level of differentiation in income (I don't think low-first-digit millionaires need to be taxed that hard, billionaires, however, should not be possible). Self-sufficient in-country manufacturing and resource use wherever possible. If it can't be built by humans at reasonable salaries thrn let robots do it.

    More or less Germany with the U.S.A's GDP would be a strong start.

    10 votes
    1. [5]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If I am being pragmatic, my ideal is very similar to yours... although if we allow ourselves to go into pipe-dream territory (at least within our lifetimes), a post-scarcity economy with universal...

      If I am being pragmatic, my ideal is very similar to yours... although if we allow ourselves to go into pipe-dream territory (at least within our lifetimes), a post-scarcity economy with universal basic income at its core, and heavier focus on promoting the arts & pure sciences in education enters the picture for me.

      billionaires, however, should not be possible

      Amen!

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        So this is where I get a little "right-wingy", but I am a strong believer that, with the exception for the disabled, all people should be providing something for society beyond just their...

        universal basic income

        So this is where I get a little "right-wingy", but I am a strong believer that, with the exception for the disabled, all people should be providing something for society beyond just their existence. This of course includes artists (there should be no "starving artists"), charity workers, home makers, and whatever else underpaid roles. If we are talking ideal worlds there would be enough jobs (including "enjoyable jobs"), for the 90-95% of society that is capable of working. I genuinely don't believe it is healthy for humans to not have some form of comprehensive task/hobby/labour to perform and keep themselves busy.

        While I understand UBI will have to be inevitable with the oncoming automation, I can't shake the fear that it will encourage the less driven among us to essentially never push themselves, excel, explore, or find their thing.

        In my ideal Utopia there would be no need for UBI, although I admit in our world, it is a necessity.

        4 votes
        1. tindall
          Link Parent
          The problem is that any time anyone tries to define who is disabled, some people who absolutely need "disability benefits" or whatever get defined out. I truly don't understand this mentality. I...

          with the exception for the disabled, all people should be providing something for society beyond just their existence

          The problem is that any time anyone tries to define who is disabled, some people who absolutely need "disability benefits" or whatever get defined out.

          I can't shake the fear that it will encourage the less driven among us to essentially never push themselves, excel, explore, or find their thing

          I truly don't understand this mentality. I don't mean to belittle it - it's more that, as someone with a million hobbies which are held back by my need to study formally and work in a corporate job, I can't imagine how it could be true.

          As people get more free time, it seems to me, the people who now struggle to create will be able to excel, and those who excel will become even more impressive. Just think of all the Twitter artists who sell sketches for what comes out to like $5 an hour. Imagine if they could just draw or paint whatever the wanted after coming home from a 10-hour work week, or all the budding electronics hobbyists who only have an hour or two a week to spend on a hobby because they work 40 hours.

          I certainly believe that there are people who would do the absolute minimum required to get enough to survive and then do something else, like spend all their time with their family or their friends or chasing rock bands around the country, but I think equally there are many, many people whose imaginations, talents, and skills would be unchained by having no need to perform pointless menial corporate labor or drive Uber or whatever.

          With the level of technology we have, we could support a much larger percentage of layabouts than I think there actually is, while still reducing the amount of work required from those who do the work, if all the value and power from that work didn't get funneled straight into Jeff Bezos' pockets.

          EDIT: I also want to point out that "work or die" and "no incentive" are not the two options here. We can build a kinder world and still reward people who contribute to society.

          8 votes
        2. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Heh, it's funny because I have the exact opposite outlook about UBI. I strongly suspect that it's the burdens imposed on everyone by our current economic model that is making it hard for people to...

          I can't shake the fear that it will encourage the less driven among us to essentially never push themselves, excel, explore, or find their thing.

          Heh, it's funny because I have the exact opposite outlook about UBI. I strongly suspect that it's the burdens imposed on everyone by our current economic model that is making it hard for people to truly push themselves, excel and take risks, because everyone is too fucking tired/stressed out from working and worrying about providing for themselves and their families to risk trying new things, especially when it comes to their careers. But IMO UBI would significantly reduce that mental burden, and also reduce the financial risks involved with taking chances with regards to careers, so more people will likely be willing to attempt to pursue their dreams instead of just continuing to trudge down dead-end and/or unfulfilling career paths like they are now.

          6 votes
        3. archevel
          Link Parent
          In my view UBI is at least partially an idea from the right not the left. It would open up demolishing large parts of the wellfare systems (eg. "why would social workers be needed if we havet...

          In my view UBI is at least partially an idea from the right not the left. It would open up demolishing large parts of the wellfare systems (eg. "why would social workers be needed if we havet ubi?!?") and a dismantling of support systems. However, if I was living in the states I would definitely see the appeal since there doesn't seem to be a functioning state apparatus doing these things anyway.

          5 votes
  4. Whom
    Link

    I like to think
    (it has to be!)
    of a cybernetic ecology
    where we are free of our labors
    and joined back to nature,
    returned to our mammal
    brothers and sisters,
    and all watched over
    by machines of loving grace.

    9 votes
  5. spctrvl
    Link
    On the social side, the two big things I'd want to see are the abolition of unjust hierarchy and the extension of democracy into the economy. I think our current system of a patchwork of private...

    On the social side, the two big things I'd want to see are the abolition of unjust hierarchy and the extension of democracy into the economy.

    I think our current system of a patchwork of private fiefdoms, dictatorships, and other authoritarian business structures that needs to be entered into to survive represents an affront to democratic values, and undermines our hard-won political liberties. Sure, you might be able to vote for representatives and exercise your freedom of speech and what not off the clock, but when you need to spend half or more of your waking hours toiling for unelected and sometimes even hereditary leaders, with no decision making input and the risk of firing at the slightest or no provocation, just for the privilege of survival, the purpose of the qualifier in 'bourgeois democracy' becomes apparent.

    That needs to be done away with, and while my immediate next-step solution would be something like reorganization of private businesses into democratic workers' cooperatives, I'm not particularly dogmatic about it, and I'm sure there's a wide solution space for democratic modes of production that should be explored. In particular, I think some level of economic planning is desirable, to prevent both damages from externalities, and inefficient use of productive capacity caused by things like high level equilibrium traps, bad responses to market saturation, and red queen scenarios, things that markets are vulnerable to without rational oversight, but I'm unsure of how best to implement such planning.

    On the technological side of things, I'd like to see us moving into space in a big way. In the short run, space based solar power and orbital ring transport networks would let us nip climate change in the bud, all the while giving us access to vast amounts of cheap, clean power, and revolutionizing intercontinental travel. In the long run, moving most of our population to vast space habitats lets us reduce Earth's population and begin rewilding efforts on our own terms, while giving us a practically unlimited amount of land and resources to build new and prosperous societies.

    I'm also strongly in favor of at least moderate transhumanism. Using genetic engineering to eliminate heritable diseases, making surgeries and medicines available for people to shape their bodies as they like, having the option to suspend aging, etc. But we should definitely be cautious about things like tinkering with the brain, or genetic enhancement of children, that can lead us down some dark roads fast.

    I think that's potentially the case for a lot of technologies actually, it's pretty naive to just think that any new technologies are, by definition, good for society, just because advancement has mostly been good to us in the past. I don't think we've come upon any really big technologies yet that we'd be better off having never invented (even nuclear weapons have their uses), but that doesn't mean there aren't any. A desktop bioprinter that can create novel pathogens could be a civilization ender. My ideal society would definitely be high tech, much more than today, but with more of a deliberative approach to introducing new technologies, if such a thing is possible.

    TL;DR: Partially Automated Luxury Trans Space Syndicalism

    9 votes
  6. [5]
    Staross
    Link
    A controversial one : less liberalism (laissez-faire) in social interactions. If you let people chose "freely" what they want to do, socially awkward or anxious people just stay home, people that...

    A controversial one : less liberalism (laissez-faire) in social interactions. If you let people chose "freely" what they want to do, socially awkward or anxious people just stay home, people that think they are ugly exclude themselves from the dating game, obese people keep eating shit, social groups stay among themselves, etc.

    I think we can do better, not sure how exactly though.

    6 votes
    1. Uncharted
      Link Parent
      I think this idea in and of itself has merit, but in this far-from-perfect world, a system like that would just be used as a tool of oppression by people in power.

      I think this idea in and of itself has merit, but in this far-from-perfect world, a system like that would just be used as a tool of oppression by people in power.

      5 votes
    2. [2]
      Magneto
      Link Parent
      "I think we can do better, not sure how exactly though." Well considering you're opposing the idea that people should "freely" choose what they want to do, you would be in support of a higher...

      "I think we can do better, not sure how exactly though."

      Well considering you're opposing the idea that people should "freely" choose what they want to do, you would be in support of a higher power (probably government or government agency) choosing what you want to do.

      Essentially you're indirectly advocating for some form of Socialist social policy. Not to be confused with Socialist economic policy (where the government owns the means to production), but where the government owns your social life.

      I feel issue in this case isn't liberalism. I, personally, fundamentally insist that liberalism be a primary focus in social affairs. I don't think the government has any place in my social/private life. I should be free to say what I want to who I want, eat what I want, date who I want. I will get radically violent to defend this if this condition is threatened to be removed from my society. (and it's not, so no violence necessary. This is simply the social contract in action).

      However I do believe the reason why people make poor decisions is simply the result of poor support in general. People need good quality education that enforces social cooperation, and healthy decision making. I (as a Canadian) do not think my government public schooling has properly enforced these conditions (they tried an failed), and I think they should go back to the drawing board to make this better. We also need this conditioning after school aswell. We need more nutrition facts on food labels. Did you know that WHO has a recommend daily maximum of sugar? For a 2000 Cal diet that would be 50g of sugar. A can of coke has 39g of sugar...just a can...those 600ml bottles have over 65g. How many people would buy a can of pop if the label said 78% of daily recommended sugar intake? A bottle would say 130%.

      Another thing to consider is social economic support. A lot of people are obese simply because they're poor. If these people had more disposable income they would be able to afford healthier foods. Many of these people are also working long hours to provide of a family and just dont have time to make home cooked meals.

      3 votes
      1. Staross
        Link Parent
        I don't think the government is really the higher power here, it's rather society. It's society that institute the government in the first place, channel its power trough it. And society is...

        I don't think the government is really the higher power here, it's rather society. It's society that institute the government in the first place, channel its power trough it. And society is already and always telling people how to live, so I think the "freedom" question is misguided ; in the end there's always something that determines people to act in a certain way, even if you don't know it. The relevant question is rather how we can shape all these causal factors so that they lead to desirable and pleasurable outcomes for most people. Letting the "invisible hand" do the job leads to shitty results.

        I'm thinking more about stuff like festivals, not someone telling you you can't do X or Y :

        Festivals often serve to fulfill specific communal purposes, especially in regard to commemoration or thanking to the gods and goddesses. Celebrations offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups, contributing to group cohesiveness. They may also provide entertainment, which was particularly important to local communities before the advent of mass-produced entertainment. Festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics also seek to inform community members of their traditions; the involvement of elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival

        2 votes
    3. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Social, hygienic and nutritional education as school subjects perhaps? There could be a day in school where everyone stops and watches a video guide on how to go out, talk to people and make...

      I think we can do better, not sure how exactly though.

      Social, hygienic and nutritional education as school subjects perhaps? There could be a day in school where everyone stops and watches a video guide on how to go out, talk to people and make friends and try it out in practice in a park or something like that. Problem is this will inevitably tap into a well of social issues people already have and the edge cases and differentiating between fact, opinion and advice, even in a fictitious utopia. (This would also make parents useless. While I judgementally say that's a good thing, it does make having children nearly pointless. You could say that's a good thing in a utopia, since then people can have children for keeping birth rates above replacement without actually needing to take care of them, but the moral implications of such a thing are so bad even I care.)

      Hygienic and nutritional education would be easier to do in a utopia, although some chunks of advice (like shaving your body) might be stated as opinion.

      2 votes
  7. [2]
    Arshan
    Link
    Since the central challenge I see to Anarcho-Socialism is how it gets implemented, this question really lets me dream. I have personally suspected that the human species has the productive...

    Since the central challenge I see to Anarcho-Socialism is how it gets implemented, this question really lets me dream.

    I have personally suspected that the human species has the productive capabilities to provide a lower Western Middle class standard of living, likely before the 21st century. There would be a period of time where local structures, i.e. homes, would need to be constructed, but after that point, everyone's basic needs would be provided for. Everyone would work in producing basic needs, so the per-person amount of time spent would be tiny; I would guess less than 10 hours a week. If you automated away the work you were performing, you could become exempt from the required labor. Full automation would likely occur in my lifetime. Luxury items would be exchanged in either a barter system or with a simple currency that reduced in value over time. In our free time, everyone is free to do whatever they want; learn, build, do absolutely nothing, sleep, fuck, take up the piano, travel, hang out with friends, etc, without being shamed by people "Hustling" on social media.

    I don't see any path to this world actually being reached, the landed elite are to powerful and to many of the people believe that they will inevitably be billionaires.

    6 votes
    1. spctrvl
      Link Parent
      Depending on what you consider lower middle class, I suspect we could do better. If you're looking at raw production power, a whole lot of our capacity is locked up in things like planned...

      I have personally suspected that the human species has the productive capabilities to provide a lower Western Middle class standard of living, likely before the 21st century.

      Depending on what you consider lower middle class, I suspect we could do better. If you're looking at raw production power, a whole lot of our capacity is locked up in things like planned obsolescence cycles because of economic incentives against accepting market saturation, to say nothing of the existence of entire industries of dubious social value, like advertising or high frequency trading.

      2 votes
  8. [2]
    blake
    Link
    I'm not going to get very expansive at all ( I don't have the time ), but I'd start with UBI. Second is a truly transparent capitalist economy with a focus on fairness, competition, and openness....

    I'm not going to get very expansive at all ( I don't have the time ), but I'd start with UBI.

    Second is a truly transparent capitalist economy with a focus on fairness, competition, and openness. So yeah, probably never going to happen.

    More reading:
    https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/Explorations_TheTransparentEconomy.pdf
    https://quillette.com/2019/03/10/the-clear-case-for-capitalism/

    Obviously I don't agree with everything in the above reading, but there are good points made for opening up competition and forcing transparency in certain markets. Clearly some regulation is needed, and regulation can be used to create competition e.g. CAFE standards via the EISA Act in the auto industry directly resulted in a significant increases in engine technology in a short time (2007-now).

    5 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      We seem not to be very good at preparedness and thinking ahead, though, so along with transparency we might need other fixes that reward disaster preparedness.

      We seem not to be very good at preparedness and thinking ahead, though, so along with transparency we might need other fixes that reward disaster preparedness.

      2 votes
  9. [3]
    moocow1452
    Link
    San Junipero as a public service.

    San Junipero as a public service.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That was honestly the most beautiful depiction of an afterlife that I can realistically imagine as actually being possible for us humans. I genuinely hope that one day it comes to fruition, even...

      That was honestly the most beautiful depiction of an afterlife that I can realistically imagine as actually being possible for us humans. I genuinely hope that one day it comes to fruition, even if it's not in my lifetime. :)

      And IMO the non-realistic ideal version would be the afterlife as depicted in the finale of The Good Place (which in saying so is hopefully not too spoilery!).

      1 vote
      1. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I had a whole lot of words about the Matrix as a human habitat, maximizing for our best nature, and resources decoupled from currency decoupled from achievement, but "San Junipero" was a...

        Yeah, I had a whole lot of words about the Matrix as a human habitat, maximizing for our best nature, and resources decoupled from currency decoupled from achievement, but "San Junipero" was a pretty good shorthand for what would probably be seen as the ideal human environment. The True Good Place would also be nice, but the only real difference between that and SJ as depicted is processing power and a different definition on what is real.

        2 votes
  10. Magneto
    Link
    I believe that in order for a society to make the best decisions the the decision makers themselves need to be competent themselves. So I advocate for more of a Technocracy where leaders are...

    I believe that in order for a society to make the best decisions the the decision makers themselves need to be competent themselves. So I advocate for more of a Technocracy where leaders are chosen based on their competency in a given field. Using the scientific method to invoke policy, instead of ideology.

    I still firmly believe this society should still be democratic which throws a wrench into things because not everyone has competency to choose a competent leader. The simple solution is to split up the government into a council. One member with a vote on the council would be the president of the people...everyone votes for this guy (ranked ballot for all votes of course!!) even the uneducated/unemployed. This is the guy who talks to the media, but he still needs to cooperate with technocrats to get things done. The technocrats will be other members on the council. You'll have a business technocrat which only members of the business community get to vote for. You'll have an environment technocrat which only members with expertise in the environment get to vote for (ie: environmental engineers, some civil engineers, forestry and park workers, Rangers, Aboriginals, mining engineers, geologists, etc). You'll have a science technocrat which members with expertise in science and engineering get to vote for, with phds getting vote multipliers. etc etc etc.

    The biggest area of issue with the above is that there will be bureaucracy with who is allowed to vote for which technocrat. It should be up to other members of the council or a separate entity that creates the list of rules for the kinds of people who can vote for what. This system will require a good cold start where a good list of eligible voters is made, and overtime the council can change who gets the vote or if another council member is required. Another issue is striking a balance on the council. You don't want the council to be too focused on STEM, you need humanities in there too such as History/Law technocrats. Those humanities technocrats will defend the council from radical takeovers as they'll be able to sound the alarm early and block bills by withdrawing support and their vote.

    Given that you have a competent government making competent decisions, good policy should come as a result. If polices like UBI makes sense for a good policy it well be implemented, and removed if it's no longer good or if it's not working. Decisions shouldn't be ideological. They should be calculated and based on the scientific method.

    So if you have a society that uses the scientific method to make decisions, you need to know which variables you're trying to optimize. These variables are very tricky to select (because there are trade offs) and I think that's the case because depending on the situation going on in the world these variables will change. Ideally you would try to maximize citizen happiness, however because of COVID, it's no longer sensible to maximize happiness...now you need to minimize infection cases...all at the same time. That's a direct conflict because locking people in their homes will reduce happiness. There's trade offs depending on the government's direction. So essentially you need to strike a balance. It's important to note that measuring citizen happiness is really hard to do.

    I'll like to point out that having a large council like the House of Representatives (hundreds of people) is outdated. We don't need a government full of partisans making a 6 figure income. Representatives represent their party, not their region which they were elected in practise.

    5 votes
  11. [2]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm not gonna point out anything too specific, mostly just underlying mechanics. 1: A cleavage between company/market and press/state like the one for religion. Corporate campaign and media...

    I'm not gonna point out anything too specific, mostly just underlying mechanics.

    1: A cleavage between company/market and press/state like the one for religion.

    Corporate campaign and media finance should be amendment banned and be replaced with a public finance apparatus and purely popular finance of news. This isn't perfect by any means but it's much better than allowing large corporations to control politics and the media. Advertising is just propaganda by rich people and it works.

    2: Unionization/stake in corporate decision making as a right

    Everyone should be able to Unionize in order to not be powerless in corporate decision making, otherwise they are usually trampled. In Denmark this works so well the state doesn't even need to mandate a minimum wage at all, the workers just do it themselves.

    3:Just more transparency in general.

    You should be able to see all the data collected by tech corporations, everything that goes into companies' quarterly profits (this is mostly done without getting completely out of hand by antitrust which will be elaborated on) and CEO's incomes sources. I personally think that the amount of (financial) privacy you have is directly proportional to how little you own. Noone can take Bezos's wealth so we may as well make it public to see if he's being honest.

    4: Strong antitrust

    Each industry should have at least 4 companies particular to it and no company outside it can do anything to it. Only you. Admittedly the main problem is defining industry and attempting to reconcile very different markets (see perfect competition) into this Ideal, but Unionization would work in our favor here.

    5: You should be able to take one (or maybe 5, I'm pretty lenient) house you live in off the market at your disposal. The idea of buying a home to generate value is IMO really absurd. This follows with housing as a right, although thanks to the nature of housing achieving this would probably be hard.

    6: Free and well funded education, Healthcare, along with most of the stuff we see in places like Germany. Education must include, politics/civics and business/economics, since those are the 2 things that govern our world. Maybe social education too, but I don't know why we aren't having friends anymore and social science is very meta.

    7: UBI, probably. The basic part does need to be kept in mind though or we go back to worrying about incentivizing people to do stuff. The middle ground where this does happen is decently wide.

    8: A STV-type electoral system with 5-9 winner districts in the lower house (states not populous enough for that get their districts merged), an STV-type system for electing Presidents and either a unicameral legislature, a party list system instead of STV for a Senate (this means parties pick senators at will and they only get in if their party gets down to their position in the list) or a parliament.

    9: Some level of corporate democracy?
    Unions cover anti-worker decisions but you should certainly allow workers to kick out bad leaders or impeach CEOs for something like sexual assault or kowtowing to China/using prison/African slave labor. One of the main problems with this stuff is multinationals cover people so different that again, such a thing would really be a full-blown election and the kowtow to China stuff won't work if your labor force is already Chinese.

    (hot take alert for the stuff below)

    10: The complete automation of all manual or repetitive work.

    Noone should work in something as outdated/repetitive as a farm or factory and those who do have their livelihoods tied to their country's ability to do manual work which in wealthy countries is impossible without opposing globalization, which outside particularly important stuff like insulin is terrible. This also applies to stuff like retail, taxi driving and janitorial work. There's a reason this stuff is usually minimum/garbage wages so in the ideal world such a job wouldn't be done by humans at all.

    11: The destruction of the petroleum industry wherever possible.

    Oil pollutes the planet so alternatives to it must be found and universally adopted wherever possible. One less oil rig/refinery is one less harvester/emitter of pollution and one bit closer to undoing climate change.

    12:The destruction of agriculture wherever possible.

    We have stuff like lab-grown meat to replace animal farming so we should. Farming also is a large contributor to food consumption and deforestation so it's an existential threat to humanity.

    4 votes
    1. tindall
      Link Parent
      The majority of farm work is pretty hard to automate; while a major energy breakthrough or significant investment in the technology could get us there, I don't think this is realistic at the moment.

      Noone should work in something as outdated/repetitive as a farm or factory

      The majority of farm work is pretty hard to automate; while a major energy breakthrough or significant investment in the technology could get us there, I don't think this is realistic at the moment.

  12. Turtle
    Link
    A common language (probably invented). Urban areas designed for people, not automobiles. Work would be optional. Everyone could have an adequate standard of living regardless of how much "value"...
    • A common language (probably invented).
    • Urban areas designed for people, not automobiles.
    • Work would be optional. Everyone could have an adequate standard of living regardless of how much "value" they produce
    • An education system that differentiates itself based on each learners skills, interests, aspirations, etc. Basically, less "cookie-cutter" than what we have now.
    4 votes
  13. [2]
    tmm
    Link
    Forget what the theory is called, but something along the lines of a society where the architects don't know what roles they would play in the new society.

    Forget what the theory is called, but something along the lines of a society where the architects don't know what roles they would play in the new society.

    2 votes
    1. spctrvl
      Link Parent
      That's the Veil of Ignorance, popularized by the philosopher John Rawls.

      That's the Veil of Ignorance, popularized by the philosopher John Rawls.

      3 votes
  14. Flashynuff
    Link
    i'd like to see a society that is structured around caring about the well being of people; that aims to give everyone a dignified life. basic aspects of life, such as housing, food, health, and...

    i'd like to see a society that is structured around caring about the well being of people; that aims to give everyone a dignified life. basic aspects of life, such as housing, food, health, and purpose, would all be taken care of for all people. with that as a base i'd want to see a form of democracy that corrects for as many of the gaping problems in the united states electoral system as possible.

    2 votes
  15. krg
    Link
    I had an answer in mind that is basically futuristic Ancient Greece minus the icky parts. But, another thread gave me inspiration: the society of... DEMOLITION MAN. Except with less...

    I had an answer in mind that is basically futuristic Ancient Greece minus the icky parts. But, another thread gave me inspiration: the society of... DEMOLITION MAN. Except with less authoritarianism, a bit more rudeness, and real sex. The sea shells stand, though.

    1 vote
  16. [6]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Star Trek

    Star Trek

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      TNG era, I assume? Because if you're referring to the xenophobic, rife with inequality and social injustice hellscape that is the Federation in Picard... no thanks! :P

      TNG era, I assume? Because if you're referring to the xenophobic, rife with inequality and social injustice hellscape that is the Federation in Picard... no thanks! :P

      2 votes
      1. EscReality
        Link Parent
        Not sure what you are talking about, they stopped making Star Trek after Enterprise aired, nothing new has come out at all, not a single thing, nothing at all.

        Not sure what you are talking about, they stopped making Star Trek after Enterprise aired, nothing new has come out at all, not a single thing, nothing at all.

        4 votes
      2. AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        While I love everyone from the TNG era, I haven't watched Picard or anything past Enterprise to be honest.

        While I love everyone from the TNG era, I haven't watched Picard or anything past Enterprise to be honest.

        1 vote
    2. EscReality
      Link Parent
      I would agree. Having a humanity that is entirely focused exploration and the betterment of society and one's self is the ultimate future for our species. A humanity when we have conquered space...

      I would agree.

      Having a humanity that is entirely focused exploration and the betterment of society and one's self is the ultimate future for our species.

      A humanity when we have conquered space travel, conquered clean energy production and done away with a internal monetary system.

      1 vote