Middle to out analysis

Lyon Keating:

Reading about Ben Franklin the other day was pretty inspiring.  I like that he created a business and then at some point retired to do science and politics.  He seemed like a pretty charismatic guy who was successful at everything he touched.  I can’t help but feel like this maybe could have been something he might have wrote;)

It is pretty apparent that for roughly the whole of the world and up till about the 1600s the general idea on how to govern and who was the smartest was from top down (The minor exception here are Native American/Indigenous populations whole ruled very community oriented and had far less differences between normal people and those that governed…way ahead of their time I would say).  I think most people would know what top on down governing/thinking entails.  The person who is the richets/most educated/most religous/has the most power/etc. has the best ideas and therefore states what is right and is trickled down to the masses and lonely plebeians to follow.

With the Greek influence around 0 BC/AD obviously but in the more modern era around 1600 we started to see the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment take hold in the western world.  Ideas put forth that stated that the monarchy/religion were perhaps not the best way to govern challenged the age old tradition of top on down thinking/governing.  How could anyone else rule but a king and how would anyone think of any other way.  Well what about bottom on up?  What would happen if the masses dictated what the government/monarchies/religions/etc. did (all these things will now be summed up as either the ‘government’ and/or the ‘pps’—powerful peeps;)?  No, blasphemous, out of control, why would you put the dirt farmers into the realm of people who make decisions in society?  What a stupid concept?  Can’t happen, no way!  However for the last 400 years every country or group of people who wants to be taken seriously has to take upon democracy as a way to rule.  Countries that don’t seem to die out or just implode from within because the people are powerful and have learned of their collective power over the ages.  However, is democracy really here to stay and have we found the perfect form of government that will last for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years never to be changed?  Would baby jesus and god together feel content in picking democracy to rule 100% of the time?  I seem to think not.

You have top on down thinking, you have bottom on up thinking, but why can’t there be a middle to outwards approach?  No, blasphemous, can’t do it, no way, it’s never been done before!  Well, a lot of things were never done before, before they were ever tried;)  You got to start somewhere.

My idea is this and for the sake of this example I am going to use money and ability to live an affluent lifestyle as a way to differentiate between who is at the top (affluents), the bottom (non-affluents), and in the middle (some affluent population like middle to working class or whatever but could also be a mixture of affluents and nons to create a middle perspective).  However, this whole general idea can be used for anything that has one extreme at one end and another extreme at the other.  Race could be used as well.  For example, whites as the top, blacks as the bottom, mixed in the middle or a combination of various individuals from top and bottom.  Obviously there are a million different races so this can be mixed and matched to abide by whatever is you’re defining as top, bottom, middle.  I have used the money example because I think that is the biggest element that creates a difference in perspective in how people go through life and what choices and experiences they are mostly allowed to have.

People in politics and those that govern are people but they arn’t people in the idea that they know what it’s like for most people to go through life.  They have a loss in perspective and have no idea the trials, tribulations, and experiences associated with having to live and function within the society that they govern because they more or less purely live in bubble of affluent, wealthy living.  Yes!  There are some that fit the mold of having experienced what most people go through living in a more or less common existence and have achieved enough in their life to get to the point of governing.  These types of people are invaluable but very rare and by no means make up any distinct part of the population.  It’s also these types of people that create bridges.  These bridge people (I’m making them sound like trolls or something) are really the ones who connect one group of people to another and are responsible for an enormous amount of positive change to take place.  Kudos to them!

Because these bridge people are by no means the norm we have to create an environment where enough people from the top meet at the same place with enough people from the bottom to create a whole essence that resembles the perspectives and mindset which reside within a bridge person.  This is where middle to outwards governing/thinking comes into play as a new way of thinking and governing.  People from the top who are normally involved in governing and going to the best schools and who are exposed to a very affluent lifestyle with usually lots of money are to meet in the same room as people from the bottom who experience what it’s really like to really live within the society that the affluent population has created for them.  This is where government now happens; in the middle.  The needs of the affluent are pitted against the needs of the non and compromises and decisions need to be made that will affect how our society will be run.  The decisions made in this middle environment and that which is decided upon will have to go outward for approval in two directions.  One direction will be towards the masses to vote on, the other direction will be towards the governing officials to vote on.  And agreement will have to be decided upon in order to go forth and create most of our laws, regulations, rules, etc. in our society that cater to the compromises reached by the affluents and non affluent.

So who are the people from the top again in this situation?  I am largely thinking of people who will be in power no matter what structure of governing and society is used.  These people are the rich, come from an affluent background and because of this will be in positions to take power no matter what society they are apart of.  Think of our common policymakers who are in Washington.  They could still be voted in by the people and the reason I say this is because largely people get voted in on doing this or that and in the end whether it is their fault or not, they usually don’t do those things and elections seem to be pretty much a entertaining spectacle anyway that doesn’t really mean a whole lot.  It doesn’t help either that Republicans and Democrats are largely the same in the grand scope of the possibility of political ideologies that could be accepted.  So sure you can keep voting them if you’d like.  That doesn’t need to be changed.  These people are going to more or less be in power whether you vote them in or not anyway.  Important representatives from this group would have to meet in the middle with the non affluents to make decisions.

Who is the bottom and how do they get in the magical middle room of discussion.  I’ve actually done a lot of thinking on this and this is where ideas are going to have to be tried and trued, experimented with to be figured out, etc.  Unlike the top people who are more or less going to be in their positions of power regardless of the governing/society structure, the bottom simply can’t have everybody partake in the discussion in the middle environment as that obviously would be crazy and impossible to do.  A combination of people could come from the bottom.  Local elections could be held to have people represent a group of people.  By keeping it local then more normal people could be involved in government.  Ralph’s dad comes to mind as someone who could have been involved in local politics.  The idea is that local politics are getting closer to the people.  They could more easily be people you at least see or know and know more about the lives of normal people or could really be them themselves.  There could be people picked from various fields within society that could stand in this room.  For example, a representative from education could be voted in by teachers themselves, the same could go for a nurse within their field, a beer distributor, a park ranger, a day laborer in the fields, whatever normal job you can think of that ordinary people hold that represent the needs of a group.  These people could go and be in this middle governing ground of discussion.

Another idea, one that I actually like more which has been spiraling around in my head for some time now is that along with people who are chosen as described in the paragraph above are those that resemble how we choose people for jury duty.  We put trust in randomly selected people to handle the judgment we give out to ourselves and others so why wouldn’t we also allow randomly selected citizens to be responsible for having a say in how we are governed?  People could be selected at random to make up a percentage of this discussion room and in this way this would guarantee that all walks of life would have a chance of being represented with their voices heard; everyone has a chance at government in the U.S.!  These positions would have to be paid decently as they would almost be full time jobs for a while and given full ability to leave from their work, which is actually more flexible than the current jury duty leave from work situation.  No one wants to go to jury duty because it is a crap shoot.  Why would you take way less money to do something, even if it is your civic duty?  News flash, do people do nice things?  Yes they do and they do them often.  Do people do nice things that take a huge amount of time and their civic duty because it is their duty and their responsible and since they are nice they should?  Hell no they don’t! (at least not most of the time).  Just like anything else they need an incentive to do something and if you ever want more motivation to have anything done more correctly then you got to pay for it.  We would have to place a priority on these people and thus make it worth their while to participate.  Can you imagine an environment where people are actually motivated to be involved in government?!?!?!  Now, what happens if someone gets chosen who we overwhelmingly KNOW is not cut out for this responsibility such as a child molester or that teacher who is burnt out and hates everybody or whoever of this sort.  There could be a veto process that could remove a person from being the one chosen and moved onto someone else that could consist of a 75% or 66% vote in order to get the person out.  The person chosen would have to be made known to the public along with most of their life information, and people could then come and vote them out if they so deem it.  By incorporating these types of people within an environment where policy could be created with people at the top then all perspectives could be ironed out and given a chance.  The randoms that would be selected would stand for an idea that everyone could be represented and put the burden of governing more on normal people and anyone possibly at anytime.  We would then feel more connected with the process and definitely reap more of what we sow.

I’m understanding more and more that in order for this idea to have a higher chance of success (or really any idea to have a higher chance of success) then smaller government would have to be enacted.  What we have now is a bludgeoning of out of control ways of governing that are so far away from normal people that nobody really gives a damn.  We have seen history and obviously I would say know what top to bottom rule is like.  We have a much less shorter history with bottom to top (democracy) history but that is often led by people’s passions and whim desires and takes a lot of time and can easily get completely out of control too as this defines really what happens when too many cooks are in the kitchen.  We need affluent people but they need the perspectives and ideas of non affluents as well in order to rule effectively and really, I think, have a better chance of staying affluent in the end.  Why not push for a middle to outwards governing/thinking strategies where we value the perspectives of both the top and bottom combined, and put our emphasis on people and energies who can create bridges of understanding for us to cross rather than believing that top or bottom perspectives alone are what’s best for everybody?

 

Queen Amidala:

I have a few questions for you….playing the devil’s advocate…

1. When you mention that the “bottom” people will get incentives, or get paid to do this – how long will it be, and how much?  because if it’s too much then you risk them becoming a “top” (no, not in the gay sense).  If it’s not too much, or if people aren’t guaranteed their job when they return, then they will really think about doing it – because if I’m putting my family’s well being at risk (I’m already struggling because I’m a bottom) – I’m not going to give up a job that I already have for something that could get me fired – it’s like the struggle of a career woman deciding whether or not to have kids.

2. You mentioned vetoing people who don’t fit/belong.  Who decides this?  What if you, Lyon Keating were in there, and everyone else felt very differently about an issue, and you were the only one who was thinking out of a box, and thus they decided to veto you. Why doesn’t your opinion matter?

3. you mentioned Ralph’s dad – and although I think he’s a great guy, I would hardly think of him as a “bottom” – they were a solid upper middle class family who had means, and didn’t really have much of an experience living life as a “bottom” would.

4. How can I sign up to be a bridge person/troll?

 

Lyon Keating:

1.  Well the wage given to people to govern would have to be more than say what is offered by jury duty but less than what would be giving people a way out and somewhere in the middle that would make it a realistic motivation for people to actually want to do it.  I’m sure a lot of research would have to go into what would be an appropriate average wage.  Maybe it could just be a little bit more than the average wage in society.  It definitely wouldn’t be a wage that would make them a top.  Tops would normally make well over a hundred thousand a year (I’m sure most politicians have hundreds of thousands if not millions coming in from all sorts of directions, thus giving them their own reality but skewed in the sense of being able to relate to what most other people experience).  Maybe it could also be the same wage as what their job they’re leaving is if they do in fact work.  The private and public work forces would have to be in agreement or told that they can’t fire anybody and without a doubt give people their original job back when they are done governing.  That would have to be a must or else the whole thing crumbles on itself.

2.  Maybe the veto process for not allowing chosen people to govern could be tinkered with or removed.  I know it’s a slippery slope when you say you can veto someone from governing that “doesn’t belong.”  This is where the U.S. already has some good ideas in place about minority rights.  You’re right I wouldn’t like it if I was vetoed against from governing so maybe because of this I suppose it would be good to err on the side of having all opinions expressed rather than having the veto ability.  I’m for scrapping the veto part because of this.

3. I know that Ralph’s dad has a motor home and plays golf and makes a shit ton of money and has definite upper class perspectives and dwelling.  I used the example of Ralph’s dad as someone who is known in the community and who people see and meet at say church, see at the grocery store, see in local politics and also doing a somewhat normal job.  I’d vote for the guy and be confident he knows a thing or two about the local issues because I really know who he is and see him often if I were living in somewhere like Rohnert Park.  Way better than a situation where we vote for people who we have no connection to than just seeing them on the TV.  Government has to be brought down in size big time for it to be more efficient and speak to the ACTUAL needs of the people within their local community.

4. You have to live different experiences and be able to connect to people to be that bridge person…Or just dress up as a troll on Halloween to get their quicker

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