To Build a Country – Lessons Learned

In an earlier post I described some of the mechanics of creating a new country – the physical infrastructure of creating a country out in the undesirable section in the middle of either the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

Starting a new country doesn’t mean anything if you don’t restructure government and how it performs.

In project management, after every project ends you have to (or really should) perform a lessons learned. It is a process where you get everyone together and discuss what worked in the project, what didn’t work, and how to do things better. These items are then documented and hopefully put in to play for the next project so the next project can be a better experience.

Elsewhere, I have said that being President of the United States of America is like being a project manager. Something that is sorely missed in our political process is a review of what happened during the presidency. A formal review. With documented issues.

In addition, any project needs a charter. What is the charter for being President of the United States of America. It is very simple. The charter for the President of the United States of America is to improve America. To, in part, improve the lives of the citizens of this country.

There are a lot of operational functions of government. Like project management – it is important to understand what a project is – and operations are not projects. Improving or replacing operations are definitely projects.

Of course, in the present time the hope of having an objective lessons learned with the partisan politics that dominate.  There are also problems that most projects don’t have – projects usually have a clear charter about what they are going to achieve in the next period of time.

In regard to that, well established measures can be used to estimate if – after a term of presidency life is improved or not. There is a section of the population that deny any statistical and measure evidence and I would conclude at present that they would not be interested in pursuing this article.

I am a fan at taking the long view about the world around me. Well, at least objective matters that are not about the heart or the spirit.

There is a group called “The Long Now” – which advocates taking a very long view of humanity. In fact, they are creating a clock that will work for 10,000 years. It would be a mechanical clock that is designed by computers to work indefinitely – well, 10,000 years. It is the stuff of science fiction. Imagine, the stories you could write about when the clock stops working? The doomsday cults? The people concerned that it would be the end of time? The people fighting to live another day because a clock is just a clock? The shadowy people who maintain the clock – because no matter how well designed things go wrong. Earthquakes happen, fuel sources run out or geothermal heat sources move (could be fueling the clock). Wonderful.

We should take a longer view about politics and government. No government lasts forever. It is possible that the democracy that exists as it is today is threatened by our recent election. It is possible that our democracy is not threatened. It doesn’t actually matter. No government has lasted thousands of years. Humanity has lasted tens of thousands of years (even longer than the time The Long Now’s 10,000 year clock. People die. Political systems die – even though the propagandists might insist that their system is the best and will last forever. What does that make government? What does that make our present government?

Short-term projects. Projects that come to an end. Projects that require a lessons learned to make better governments in the future.

As with many things, government is constantly changing and the Democracy that we have now is not the same as what was in place for the founding fathers over 200 years ago and it is not the same as what they actually had in place over 200 years ago. So, despite the illusion of having the same government for 200 plus years – that isn’t exactly true.

There are also other conditions – positive conditions – in which new governments can arise. As indicated earlier – there is the potential of creating a floating sea city – outside of any governmental control. A new government can be formed. In addition, in a positive view of humanity’s future – there will be humans that live beyond the boundaries of Earth. At first, perhaps the governments of Earth will maintain sovereignty over these humans, but that is unlikely to be maintainable.

But what government? Right now – we can do something we can create Lessons Learned for our government – The United States of America – as well as any other government that has existed on Earth that has sufficient documentation of events and core concepts.

It is important to establish a scope for exploring Lessons Learned for government.

There are layers to government.

  1. The activities that are permitted by agents of the government. For example:
    1. Can government agents kill citizens? If so, under what conditions.
    2. What kind of actions can agents of the government do to people? Under what circumstances? An example would be proportional response. If a person breaks a law, what kind of force can enforcement use against that person? If someone is illegally selling cigarettes is an outcome where that person is dead ever an appropriate outcome.
    3. Can agents of the government falsely imprison people?
    4. Can agents of the government force people to behave in a manner inconsistent with their normal behavior – provided that behavior does not harm others?
    5. Do agents of the (or can they) government assist non-governmental agencies that cause harm to sections of the population.
    6. Debtors prison
    7. Can governmental entities betray the spirit of laws. For example, laws that are explicit about something – make laws or otherwise betray the meaning of the laws.
  2. The activities that are permitted by the people by the laws of the government? For example:
    1.  Allowing people to own people
    2. Allowing people to persecute other people
  3. How is the governmental allowed to deal with other government entities.
    1. Can the government betray treaties – even the spirit of the treaties?
    2. Under what conditions can war be initiated?
    3. What are the ethical ways of dealing with other governments?
    4. Can genocide ever be justified?

This is just the beginning of the things we can do. There are people out there already working to try and make the first satellite self-governing entity, Asgardia.

The time to think about what a new government would be like is now.


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