If We Were Starting Over….

Every couple of years, I include a favorite question on the take-home final I give my graduate students. It’s probably time to retire it, but before I do, I’m curious to see how my blog community might answer it.

Earth has been destroyed in World War III. You and a few thousand others—representing a cross-section of Earth’s races, cultures and religions—are the only survivors. You have escaped to an earthlike planet, and are preparing to create a government for the society you hope to establish. You want to establish a new system that will be stable and enduring, but also flexible enough to meet unforeseen challenges. You also want to avoid the errors of the Earth governments that preceded you. Your answer should include the choices you make and the reasons for those choices, including: The type/structure of government you would create; the powers it will have; the limits on those powers, and methods for ensuring that those limits are respected; how government officials and policies will be chosen; and the fundamental social and political values you intend to inculcate and protect.

Most students respond by creating a system similar to the American model, with “tweaks”–usually things like universal health care or a constitutional amendment to the effect that money doesn’t equal speech. But on occasion, I’ll get a truly creative response–sometimes radically libertarian, sometimes communitarian/socialist.

The little community that has emerged in the comment section to this blog is demonstrably thoughtful and knowledgable. I’d be very interested in your responses to this “thought experiment.”

If humanity was starting over, and you were the one who got to make the decisions, what decisions would you make? What would a just and effective government look like in your brave new world?



  1. Hmmm…

    Can I reject the premise of th question? What makes me most qualified to make these decisions? Plus, my ideas would probably not survive any kind of vote.

    Seriously, I am not sure we could improve on what we have now. It’s not that our system is flawed as much as humans are flawed. No matter what tweaks we might adopt, human nature will find a way to defeat the fixes and create new flaws.
    I would give serious consideration to adopting a parliamentary campaign process, though. These 18 month presidential campaigns are ridiculous.

  2. Your question contains several presumptions you must first answer. Review your passage:

    “You have escaped to an earthlike planet, and are preparing to create a government for the society you hope to establish.”

    Why, Sheila? Before anyone answers your presumptuous question, you first have to answer why a government needs to be created. You also have to explain your moral and consensual authority for creating a government, unless you’re planning on being an autocrat. You further have a nasty knot you have to untangle when you posit “society” in juxtaposition to “government,” and claim that society is a thing that can be established or that society is aided by or needs a government.

    Were your office in Cavanaugh Hall, you would ask such questions only in the hopes that students would catch the myriad of false premises in the task.

  3. I would make sure a copy of the Constitution of the United States and all Amendments along with the Bill of Rights was packed with my belongings. I would add some specifics to the Amendments – such as requiring freedom of speech to include truth and facts, keep religion out of government to accompany keeping government out of religion and explain that “a well regulated Militia” doesn’t include giving everyone the right to own military type weapons. All forms of racism, sexism, bigotry and level of wealth would be outlawed when seeking leaders. Finding a way to fairly elect/appoint leaders would present the same problems we are dealing with today…and would include the power to those leaders to oust those who take advantage of their leadership position if and when leaders were in place. Education would be a priority; based on the Montissori method of teaching; and the Jewish Kibbutz settlement style of people doing the work they are best suited and qualified to do would be established. How to get anyone to go along with this idea is the problem; everyone believes their way is THE way to do things and they are the people who would be in the group going to that “brave new world”. Maybe we can’t get there from here…just sayin’

  4. Oh gosh that’s an interesting question.

    First, with just a few thousand people, at the beginning it’s going to have to be full-on Marxism. Those with the skills must perform them and those with the needs must have them met. If there are only three doctors, one can’t decide she’s only going to offer private concierge service to the 100 wealthiest citizens, while others die from lack of attention. That’s just as true of the farmers, by the way.

    Societal needs will be education, organization, and enforcement.

    The real question is not what will be needed or what kind of government will you form, but how do you select the leaders, because they will ultimately create the government they want. There are a few choices. The most obvious is a simple democratic process- one person, one vote. It’s probably a terrible idea. Why? It will result in faction voting. The surviving group with the most members will be elected to leadership, ultimately creating a caste system and resentment.

    Another way to pick leaders is from skill sets. Let the trained educators select university leadership, and let that leadership create an educational system below them. If all the teachers vote, there is still a chance of voting by surviving group size, but a few things mitigate that risk. First, you might have more white American survivors, but black African teachers. If voting is entirely by group, there is a chance different parts of government are led by different groups, creating less risk of caste. Second, trained educators and administrators are more likely to select from the best among them than their “team,” because they all have the same knowledge and interest.

    In the long run, though, this, too, will create a caste system, but one based upon profession. Only some professions pick leaders, so what happens to hairdressers, carpenters, and miners? They will become less important because they have no voice. Do they, then, get a voice at the table? Clearly they must, so a congress of some sort is necessary. Again, though, it can’t go to the largest surviving group, so I would still elect it by skill set.


    Law enforcement and justice will have a tremendous amount of power in so small a society, and is therefore one of the flash points for risk of totalitarianism, malignant or benign. Also, I’m writing this, so I get to put in place an experiment I’ve been contemplating for years in our own system.

    First, identify the problems with law enforcement. There are many, but at the core, I believe the alignment of prosecutors with police officers is a particular cancer that makes the whole system sick. Why? Because it is the prosecutors who are the gatekeepers of all behavior in the system. They decide who gets charged, from pickpocket to rogue cop.

    I would create a unified office of prosecution and defense. If a case comes in, it gets appointed by lottery. An attorney in the system could be a prosector on one case and a defense attorney on another. This means on one day she will be working with the cop, and on another she might be cross-examining him. It also means she starts to see defendants as people, rather than “mopes,” or “scumbags.” Everybody gets one of these attorneys. In so small a society, there is no need for private defense counsel. (and that comes from somebody who makes a living as private defense counsel). This office, in so small a society, would take care of civil and criminal matters. Eventually, as society grows, perhaps there can be some specialization, but only in matters handled, not in the sides taken. The grand American system of defense attorneys and plaintiff of prosecuting attorneys should die. It creates false narratives and incorrect assumptions and is no longer (if it ever was) the best way to achieve justice. Instead, it seeks victory, too often to the detriment of the blindfolded lady with the scales. Judges, too, can come from the same office, but I would suggest a panel of three, rather than a single judge. Juries? That’s hard. It is an important and rewarding part of being a community, but there is a lot to do and only a few people to get it done. I’m torn here, but leaning ever so slightly toward a decision by a panel of judges and not using a jury system.

    No death penalty, not because it’s not deserved, but because it assumes (a) we can accept a certain level of error, or (b) the people running the system are perfect. I can’t accept (a), and I’ve never met (b).


    Money is needed. It is the best way to transfer value. But in a system in which everybody contributes by skills and ability and receives by need, the central government is not just going to have to create the money, it’s going to have to pay it out. Yes, I’m talking about a centralized economy. It’s all very soviet, but we’re talking about a society of thousands trying to survive and build a world together, not a society of millions trying to create wealth and opportunity.

    There is also going to be a huge safety net. Individuals and families are going to be so busy creating an agriculture and society that the community is going to need to help care for those who can’t take care of themselves.

    The society must also have private ownership, and a path to individual entrepreneurship as it moves forward. Patents and copyright, too, must be protected, to encourage development. But the society must be wary of even the scent of monopoly. It is too small to allow power to collect in any single entity, whether it is a branch of government or a person or business.

    Everything I describe is an anathema to me, a free-market business-owning American. But I see the weaknesses in our system, the injustices and the inequality. I also know that people are people, and they are driven by the good of themselves and their family, not society as a whole. That’s just the nature of the beast. They are also tremendously tribal, so whatever you create will ultimately define the tribes they fall into. The driving issue, though, is the huge challenge and the small population.

    As time goes on, it will change. When the population is a few million instead of a few thousand, there will be far more opportunity. Wealth, rather than mere sustenance, will be the goal of many, and that’s okay. But it must be gathered while remembering the opportunity came, not solely because of the sweat of one’s own brow, but from the struggles of those who came before and the infrastructure that makes the wealth possible even then. Accumulation of wealth over generations should be grossly limited. Let each achieve by their own deeds rather than the deeds of their fathers and mothers.

    That’s my $0.02, and not worth even that.

    I’m going to get some more coffee.

    I forgot coffee. A very large percentage of the population will be dedicated to the growth, harvesting, roasting, and brewing of coffee. In this area, and this area only, I would be in favor of forced child labor, if necessary.

  5. “The little community that has emerged in the comment section to this blog is demonstrably thoughtful and knowledgable. I’d be very interested in your responses to this “thought experiment.”

    If humanity was starting over, and you were the one who got to make the decisions, what decisions would you make? What would a just and effective government look like in your brave new world?”

    Gopper; the above two paragraphs are the crux of this blog today. (Crux refers to an unanswerable question – it is a thought-provoking mental exercise.) Please; try to go with the flow, join us in this interesting – and possibly enlightening – endeavor to seek new ideas. The question posed already debunks the current world condition, your comments are redundant.

  6. Very interesting question!

    Considering our experience with government so far we can claim much success, temporary failures (wars) and one massive failure (sustainability).

    A start at maintaining the success and addressing the failures would suggest a representative democracy and regulated capitalism for markets where competition can be effectively maintained by regulation.

    Local, state, federal and global divisions of responsibility defined by local, regional, federal and global applicability of solutions.

    Biggest change? An effective world government which would own and manage all earthly resources. Land, air, water and everything that they contain. All uses would be based on annual rents to them the proceeds covering whatever costs would be incurred maintaining a future without shortages.

    The biggest challenge? Population control. Perhaps a starting point would taxes based on population density that reflect the additional resource load increased density creates.

    Short big picture answer prof.

  7. I remember little of my classroom instruction from my undergraduate days but I do vividly remember an assignment in a Design class I took at SIU-Carbondale. The Design faculty were heavily influenced by Buckminster Fuller, who I photographed and talked with on several occasions . The assignment was a variation on Sheila’s question. Imagine the earth would be destroyed in one week’s time, except for one country. Each student drew a name of a country out of hat. Each country was one that none of us had ever heard of before. Our task was to ensure survival of humankind in our little plot of land. We had to research the country’s natural resources, what was imported, what the population was, etc. We had to define what was missing and make plans to get it there in a week. The means of transportation had to be reasonable. So the source of material had to be close enough to make it by the shipping method. Then came the people problem. Do you need doctors? Probably. Are there any in the country? What about medical specialists? This kind of thinking went on endlessly. Do you need to build something for the future and are there any construction materials and engineers able to do the task. The assignment I had, and the one Sheila poses, is to get people to think about the complexity of survival. Her question comes from her interest in public policy. It’s a question that asks her students to sum up what they have thought about in their lives and coursework. The assignments in my design class a half century ago are the only ones I remember outside my major. They made me think about the complexity of life. My guess is that many students will remember Sheila’s question for decades to come.

  8. Gopper, we tried society without government when things were simple. It was so bad that we invented government. As society got more complex the need for government demanded more complex solutions.

  9. First, I would be more interested in seeing some of the “bad” or “off-base” answers to this question that you have received over the years! That would be an interesting read. But the answer to your question is simple: Lord of the Flies (without a rescue of course). All attempts at government eventually spiral their way to an inevitable dystopian conclusion.

  10. I don’t see the proffered solutions as being sufficient to the task. People are simply too independent, stupid, evil and headstrong. The dark forces must be contained and they will always be with us. Therefore I envision a benevolent dictator; one with all power and all wisdom.

    People, are you ready for this from the ultimate agnostic: A God!

  11. Yes, we’d have to be Marxist. From each according to his or his abilities, to each according to his or her needs. All this overseen by a council selected by having a random group of ten citizens choose who amongst the few thousand of us would best serve on the council. We would argue long into the night and come up with twenty first-rate people. This council will be changed regularly and its members be returned to the general population.

    I often fantasize today that if my neighbors and I would choose one thousand really fine citizens and assign some to congress, some to the administration, and some to the judiciary America would be much better off than it is now. Such a process, of course, is utopian – that is, it is nowhere – but I think that if things were being run by folks like Sheila, and David Brooks, Mark Shields, Matthew Tully, Jo Ann Green, and Karen Moratz, the principal flutist of the ISO, we’d be.much better off than we are now.

  12. This is still a free country, so let Gopper speak his piece.

    His voice is very reminiscent of Moeller van den Bruck who wanted a New Nationalism for Germany: One that didn’t demand a definite political system and would avoid the pitfalls of liberal democracy. It would avoid that pitfall, “for it rested on no rational system of government. Its program was written on the Volk soul of the race.” Vanguard of Nazism: The Free Corps Movement in Postwar Germany 1918-1923 (New York, 1952) p. 276

    Writing in 1923, two years before he committed suicide, he said: “Our history has gone astray. Nothing of ours is succeeding in the world. Nothing today; nothing yesterday. nothing–if we think back–nothing for the last generation….Our cause was still-born from the start… Something has gone wrong with everything. And when we try to set anything aright, it breaks to pieces in our hands…An evil spell hangs over the Reich…” p.263

    Van den Bruck was no Nazi. They unfortunately used his political theories. I hope we in the US can learn a few lessons from him before its too late.

    In the event that some could survive WWIII, I would recommend a Radical Communitarianism.
    Much like what JoAnn has written. Unlike prayer in the schools, I would have time set aside each morning for “Civic Knowledge. “

  13. “Gopper, we tried society without government”

    Your sentence is internecine.

    Please stop responding to me. You’re not fit for it, and I don’t get anything out of covering remedial ground in responding to you.

  14. You would have to start with a dictatorship with the dictator telling each of you to do what you were best suited for and once you had an established group you could split, choose sides, go to war and end it all once and for all. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. And, Dear Lord, and Dear Bob G. please bring miss-guided evangelicals into the fold of true Christians so that they don’t blind us into a unity government upheld by a self-righteous Supreme Court.

  16. I will defer to quote attributed to Einstein – “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” There is a similar quote – Joe Laitin reports that reporters at Bikini (nuclear test site) were questioning an army lieutenant about what weapons would be used in the next war.
    “I dunno,” he said, “but in the war after the next war, sure as Hell, they’ll be using spears!”

    It would not take long and all the Modern Technology would fail on the New World. At some point all the provisions you brought with you would run out. I looked at a loaf of bread, I have no clue how to make bread. Oh yes, I can read instructions for making bread but the presumption is I have Flour, and yeast and other ingredients. You would be back at best to a Hunter-Gathering Society. All the political manifestos would fail as they were developed during and after the Agricultural Revolution.

    We are today a product of long line of learning since our ancestors first evolved in Africa. Each step along the way was built upon previous steps and mis-steps. We would not likely survive.

  17. Louie; Modern Technology by any other name is Global Warming which has exacerbated Climate Change for centuries. During the horrible winter of 2014 I was ice and snowbound in my house, streets ice covered and not cleared for days – remember – my power went out and temps dropped to 12 BELOW zero. What good was all the Modern Technology to me then? When my sewer backed up into my basement 6-7 times during one week; I wished for an outhouse. We are comfortable but with that comfort comes complacency and dependence on technology which would be lost if there is WWIII. We need some good old pioneer spirit and knowledge to prepare for such times; that knowledge would be needed to survive before even considering government formation on any level or what weapons to create.

  18. And I’d make sure Pete had an influential position, probably in the justice system. He has the necessary restraint to maintain both logic and decorum when presented with self-righteous nonsense.

  19. So I guess I just realized that, without actively intending to answer Sheila’s question, I did. I’d seek people with the appropriate hard and soft skills to help me pull together a functional body of calm and reasonable individuals, and then we’d just do our best together. (How to deal with the Goppers of our new little world? I’m not qualified for that. I’d have to consult with folks like Pete and David.)
    I know I don’t get a passing grade for my answer, Sheila. But it’s a great question, and thanks for making me think about it (if not with the kind of time and thoughtfulness it deserves).

  20. I’m glad that I finished university 10 yrs ago because I’m too lazy these days. I graduated from high school in the 70s and never had an opportunity to take civics (no seats left that senior year) so I was never taught how the government works but learned on my own after finishing. (I didn’t vote for decades because Tricky Dick says he wasn’t a crook, ya right).

    In a few lazy minutes, this is what I came up with: Government is needed for a civilized society to survive. It’s really that simple. Rules, laws, discipline, order and civility toward one another. I imagine a world without borders with free movement. (It’s not us against them). I’d ask Senator Bernie Sanders to come up with a government, and I’d follow that, as he speaks for myself and many others about what drives our society. We need infrastructure, we need equality in careers, income, taxes and education (short list). Medical care for all no matter your station in life and every one will get cooking lessons. Teach them how food sustains life and how not to consume chemicals that are poisoning our bodies that cause disease like diabetes and obesity. Food might be hard to find in a new world, even on someplace similar to Earth.

    I know that there are conflicts and wars but I would make them illegal. Seriously. What are we fighting for? If it’s control, then we have to figure out a way to get along. Maybe this new world will show us that fighting isn’t working for us and we need to be kind to one another. Yeah, I know, that sounds sappy but I can’t help myself. I just don’t ‘get’ war. I don’t get conflicts. I don’t get angry and I don’t understand why we just can’t live in peace. In order to do that, I would outlaw religion from the work place, the society in general and say if you have a faith you want to carry around, do it in the privacy of your home and leave the rest of us alone. Religion and fantasies like religion do nothing for me logically.

    And everyone would be required to be involved. With your neighbor, your grocery, your coworker, everyone included in everything that requires decisions to be made. Voting would be simplified and mailed in if necessary. You didn’t mention the population numbers in your request so I have no idea if this would work or not.

    I’m bored now. I’m going to do something else. I guess I’m not cut out to be a leader afterall. I would rather find a society that works for me and live there. Oh wait, I did. I moved to Europe months ago and I’m at peace with that decision. I just wished they all spoke English. LOL.

    P.S. I shortened my ‘name’ so that it wouldn’t wrap anymore. Thanks Professor. I really enjoy your blog. I don’t know where you get the energy, time and commitment to come up with a new post every single day. You’re amazing and your students will be better citizens because of it.

  21. It’s the cynic in me, but this story has already been done and made into several movies. In those stories, mankind fares worse than it was before the cataclysmic event. This is because the problems we have now, greediness, need to control/manipulate/subjugate others, racism, sexism, ageism, and so forth, would continue because they stem from the dark parts of human nature, competitiveness and lack of concern for others. With fewer citizens of a broad range of backgrounds starting civilization over, those problems might be lessened because each would feel like a stakeholder and would be informed and involved. The proposed new justice center is a good example of what happens when people become informed. Once people learned that this deal was cooked up behind closed doors between the mayor and his political cronies and that the numbers were wonky and based on shaky assumptions, they were up in arms and it got stopped. The American system was created by altruistic men who had a vision for democracy utilizing a 3-branch government with checks and balances. This system is good. I can’t think of any way to improve on it, other than to inspire citizens to get more involved. It begins with people seeking out information, such as this blog and others.

  22. Gopper: Pete is absolutely fit to respond to any and all of us here.

    Pete: Keep on keepin’ on!

  23. “All the political manifestos would fail as they were developed during and after the Agricultural Revolution.”


    Early legal codes, such as the Code of Hammurabi, are quite different from current American law, as you see early law having detachment and equality and being applied equally among all people.

    American law, by contrast, sees the benefit in almost each and every law for the special interest that drafted it.

    It’s difficult to see the full-employment-for-police nature in this Hammurabic Law:

    “If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried. ”

    American law does not have such moral authority, as American law does not rest on right and wrong, but upon power, control and special interests. It becomes somewhat easy to look at pages of American laws and say “Republican law,” “Democratic law.”

    An ancient and foreign law such as this, even today, earns more respect than almost every law passed in America.

    “If any one open his ditches to water his crop, but is careless, and the water flood the field of his neighbor, then he shall pay his neighbor corn for his loss.”

  24. Surviving such a cataclysmic event would likely entail severe psychosocial trauma on top of what other injuries these survivors might have suffered so launching into any form of governance might take a considerable length of time, possibly generations. These survivors would possibly be living, at least initially, a hunter-gatherer type of existence before any semblance of societal development could be established and maintained. Who these survivors could turn out to be would likely be random even if it did end up being a cross-section of existing societies

    When the late Herman Kahn, one of the earliest nuclear war theorists, made his famous comment that “the living would envy the dead” this is what he was talking about. The grief from experiencing and surviving such an event would be cataclysmic in itself and overwhelmingly traumatizing. This has always been one of the great unknowns regarding the aftermath of any massive nuclear exchange going all the way back to the very beginnings of nuclear strategy since the underpinnings and infrastructures of the societies that these survivors would have come from would have been utterly destroyed. Having experienced such an event would color any decision making processes that still existed and possible impede them.

    While it would be interesting to speculate what form of governance, if any, could eventually be established as these survivors and successive generations sprang back, hopefully, it would take a long time and what form it would take ultimately would also be heavily influenced via the experiences these people would have even getting to that point. I seriously doubt if it would be pretty and would be very much a trial and error progression just as it was with human civilization up until the point where some bright person thought that essentially destroying the human race and laying waste to a considerable portion of this planet was a logical and necessary tradeoff for pursing a particular ideological point.

  25. I’m going to cheat and copy from the guy sitting next to me. His name is Richard Heinburg and he’s been thinking about this much longer than most. He believes that before we fix government we have to fix our culture and our economy.


  26. I am going to leave all of you thinking about the “new beginning”; I am listening in my mind to the last line from “Soylent Green” which was about nearing the end. “It’s people! Soylent Green is people!” Will it come to this?

  27. A less abstract way to ask the question: how will the survivors organize after the simultaneous collapse of capitalism, religion, preternaturally cheap energy, and stable world order.

  28. Pete,

    I had a chance to watch the terrific talk by Richard Heinburg. Thanks for the recommendation.

    I would strongly suggest we better watch government (the political) along side the serious environmental and economic problems he alludes to. Not to do so is politically naive. Political unrest doesn’t necessarily have to come down at the end like in “Soylent Green.”

  29. Clarification: stable world order is really the benevolent dictator aspects of militaristic imperialism from super powers.

  30. Gopper, the Code of Hammurabi may sound black and white. We really do not know if a friend of Hammurabi broke the Law if the same draconian punishments would be enforced, like today we have Too Big to Fail Too Big to Jail.

    The survivors on the New Planet will see all the trappings of a Modern Society collapse. They are not going to worry about the Magna Carta or Three Branches of Government, it will be all about survival. There may even be a point where the next generations of survivors do not even know how to read or write.

  31. I agree Marv. We have no vote on the simultaneous collapse of capitalism, religion, preternaturally cheap energy, and stable world order but hopefully in this country at least democracy will continue despite the forces lined up against it now and we’ll save our right to choose who leads through the quagmire. If we have given away our democracy by that time I would have very little hope going forward.

  32. Then perhaps the first “non survival based” order of business should be philosophy classes to establish a common framework for structured thinking… then coffee… then the law and order stuff.

  33. Pete,

    I know you see the danger. It’s very real.

    We published Democracide: The Far Right’s Path to Power in 1992. Last year, I removed the copy from the internet. I think it’s time I put it back on.

  34. Marv; please do restore “Democracide: The Far Right’s Path to Power”, I watched it begin here in Indianapolis under Goldsmith. Would be very interested in information on this movement regarding other states and at higher levels…very frightening levels today.

  35. Marv, can you let us know if/when you restore “Democracide” to the Internet? I’m not familiar with it. Thanks

  36. JoAnn, I will in the next few days.

    Hopefully, by the end of June, I will have successfully published Democracide II: Releasing the new strain of the “Hitler Virus” on http://www.GroundZero.world.

    No promises. Most of the writing for Democracide was done by my long-time companion and collaborator Barbara Walch who passed away a few years ago. Her writing ability was vastly superior to mine.

  37. I find, most often, that we are bound by various notions such as language and understanding (among a plethora of others). The human species needs further evolution to begin to approach the complexities involved in life. We are bound by this planet as well. We know not how to phrase the question that would begin to direct us to an answer – as the answer would most likely be ever changing and evolving. I don’t believe there is an answer to the question/problem. Certainly, the parameters of living will continue to be altered. Perhaps if we begin to really understand our own history and “trends” we will begin to have just a small glimpse of what life means and how it is to be lead. This is not within our capacity at this time, if it ever will be. Our only hope is for each one of us to truly find ourselves, know who we are and how, if at all, we can become one with each other.

  38. The United States I believe has as good a system that has yet been devised 236 years ago. And even throw the system was designed to grow and adapt to the times, like technology the world, and nation is changing faster than governments can adapt to the changes. This fact has been the downfall of more governments in the past 50 years than any other cause. So sustainability is the key issue that must be addressed at every turn. Technology’s must be matched by Government flexibility. And strict term limits for all official positions.

  39. “There may even be a point where the next generations of survivors do not even know how to read or write.”

    i hEr U

  40. My first thought was that for small groups, a kibbutz-style communal government might work, but I thought I’d read through the comments first. I think David Honig has the basics nailed — down to the required coffee. Bob G added some good thoughts as well.

    The alternative, of course, is the benevolent dictator, but I am the only one I would trust — and I wouldn’t want the job. 8)>

  41. A lot of very interesting ideas! I personally, under the circumstances described, would advocate for a Buddhist monarchy a la Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, Siam or Laos.

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