In the near future (hopefully the beginning of March), the fundraising effort for a national education campaign will be finalized, at which point you can contribute to the campaign's advertising effort, or help pay for YouTube and powerpoint presentations, or to upgrade this website, etc.
What follows are a number of observations re this new field of study.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
making the inconceivable, conceivable
The following thought experiment is the fastest, easiest way for our political scientists, their students, and America's voters to get their heads around the idea of our U.S. Congress being able to solve America's major problems -- once (as inconceivable as it may seem) our LOC and ROC voters begin keeping the House and Senate continually replenished with liberals, conservatives, libertarians, social democrats, etc. who don't have (relatively speaking) self-serving, politically ambitious or power hungry bones in their bodies .
The most important of S-G Sci's "21st century" thought experiments*
* may qualify as the most thought provoking, most “new knowledge” spawning, and longest titled thought experiment of the 21st century.
U.S. Congress Consisting Of One Passionately Liberal Philosopher King
One Passionately Conservative Philosopher Queen
(a.k.a. the Two PKQ Congress Thought Experiment).
To begin, let's imagine that America's voters wave a magic wand that instantly turns our two chamber, 535 seat Congress into a one chamber, two seat Congress – one seat permanently reserved for a passionately liberal philosopher king, the other for a passionately conservative philosopher queen.
Let's call them PKQ-caliber legislators, or PKQs for short, which makes them the mirror opposite of the self-serving PAPs who overwhelmingly dominate both political factions in Congress.
To make our two PKQs even more exceptional, let's give both of them the:
- intelligence of an Einstein,
- wisdom of a Solomon,
- compassion of a Mother Teresa,
- pure logic of a Mr. Spock,
- ingenuity of a MacGyver,
- vision of an Elon Musk,
- moral compass of a Nelson Mandela.
Finally, our PKQs' genetic profile mirrors our general population: in round numbers, roughly 61% white, 18% hispanic, 13% black, 6% asian, 2% other.
We now have what Plato and others in history have called the most perfect or ideal form of government possible (given our species' many human flaws and shortcomings):
a benign dictatorship.
In this case, it's a benign co-legislatorship. One that issues its decrees in the form of legislation jointly crafted by our co-dictator-legislators -- which they then wisely assign our Executive Branch the responsibility of implementing and enforcing.
FYI: this is the Legislative/Executive Branch relationship our founders drafted into the Constitution, with the expressed intention that the President of the United States never become an Imperial President (which, fyi, is exactly what an unbroken chain of craven, responsibility-phobic, PAP-controlled U.S. Congresses allowed to happen starting a long time ago).
Back to our PKQs. For any legislation to become law, both of our PKQs have to vote for it. And since one PKQ is passionately liberal while the other is passionately conservative, any legislation they craft must not offend either PKQ's ideological values or principles.
From this thought experiment, a number of questions come to mind:
How many of America's major economic, financial, fiscal and societal (EFFS) problems can our PKQ-controlled Congress solve with legislation that doesn't offend the ideals and principles of liberalism or conservatism?
Answer: Essentially, all of them, principally (but not solely) via a new legislative policy formulation process (which will produce new "categories" of legislation).
One notable formulation process begins by our legislators (perhaps with the help/involvement of grade school, high school and college civics classes around the nation) systematically going through the hundreds of thousands of pages of legislation enacted into law by all 117 current and past Congresses (= 230+ years).
Then, relying on hindsight, common sense, Einstein-level intelligence, Solomon-like wisdom, etc., removing every self-serving legislative provision inserted by every PAP who has ever served in Congress -- which, fyi, is a lot of PAPs.
For the time being, let's call these self-serving provisions: "dysfunctionalizing" legislative provisions (DLPs).
Here's an instructive way to visualize their accumulation over time...
Why the term: dysfunctionalizing? Because, at some point, it should become apparent that DLPs, which one could reasonably estimate number in the hundreds of thousands -- PLUS the tens of thousands (?), hundreds of thousands (?) of bureaucratic rules and regulations that were directly or indirectly created as a result of the DLPs -- are responsible for dysfunctionalizing America's major systems:
- free market system
- healthcare system
- financial system
- public education system
- criminal justice system
- mental heath system
- immigration system
FYI: there are a number of ways to think of each individual DLP.
- As a tiny wrench thrown into the gears of one or more of our major systems. One tiny wrench, too small to notice. A million or more wrenches (= dysfunctionalized systems).
- As a serving of simple sugars or trans fats added to an otherwise healthy meal. One meal, no problem. 200 years of sugar and trans fat laden meals = major systems suffering from chronic "diseases."
- And the "symptoms" of the diseases: America's major EFFS problems.
- As a very small explosive devise set off inside or outside a skyscraper. One explosion here and there, manageable. After 200+ years of unrepaired explosions = heavily damaged structure, electrical system, plumbing system, etc.
- see following "DYSFUNCTIONALIZED SYSTEMS" graphic.
In cause/effect terms, DLPs help explain, in a manner of speaking, the "birthplace" of the lion's share of our major EFFS problems, i.e., where they "came from."
This, in turn, explains not only why so many of our problems seem so intractable, so impervious to (painless) legislative solutions, but also why generations of our liberal and conservative intelligentsia (in academia and think tanks, especially) have been arguing ad nauseam the same "talking points" re which political party's policies -- e.g., tax cuts vs. government spending -- have hurt vs. helped our economy, economic growth, unemployment numbers, etc.
aside: for all intent and purposes, all of America's major EFFS problems come under the category: PAP Created Problems (PAPCPs).
(Figuratively speaking) PAPCPs account for 99% of America's problems, and (literally speaking) explain why PAP-controlled Congresses represent an existential threat to America's EFFS wellbeing -- and, eventually, to American democracy.
Back to DLPs...
DLPs go a long way toward destroying the Democratic and Republican parties' political/ideological (PI) myths re where America's major EFFS problems "come from."
The Republican Party, and hardcore conservatives, would have us believe they come from...
The Democratic Party, and hardcore liberals, would have us believe they come from...
Self-Governance Science's apolitical/non-ideological (ANI) TRUTH
They actually come from...
The concept of DLPs opens the door to other 21st century insights as well, for example, why our free market system isn't even remotely free, or fair -- or why "predatory capitalism" is so dominate -- since DLPs are the means by which the last 230 years of self-serving PAPs in Congress have engaged in the wholesale practice of various forms of legalized corruption -- i.e., government created and/or sanctioned "unfairness" -- e.g., special interest-, vested interest-, and political cronyism (e.g., patronage).
It's important to note that making our nation's free market system truly free and fair will not, in and of itself, rid America of all its EFFS problems. It is, after all, just one of many of our major systems in serious need of substantial repair by PKQ-caliber legislators (think: extensive "de-dysfunctionalization" agenda). But "optimizing" our economic system will get us well down the road to that highly desirable, easily achievable objective.
Systems de-dysfunctionalization and optimization:
piece of cake
massive nightmare (with major societal pushback)?
Will de-dysfunctionalizing (in some cases) and optimizing (in other cases) the many moving parts of our nation's major systems, be a piece of cake, legislatively speaking, for our PKQ-controlled Congresses?
In some cases, it probably won't. But in a great many cases, absolutely yes. That's because our national legislature will have a few things going for it -- starting with the fact that they won't be beholden to any special interest group(s) save one: America's 320+ million people.
That means, among things, that they will be able to draw upon the sum total of all planet Earth's economic, financial, fiscal and societal/sociological "knowledge."
Meaning, they will have a wealth of economic, financial, etc. data from dozens of major nations going back, in some cases, centuries. This is where IBM's Watson, plus big data algorithms, might be especially useful, e.g., correlating specific elements of legislative policies around the world to see which produced beneficial vs. harmful outcomes.
Equally, if not more, importantly, PKQ-controlled Congresses will have what no other national legislature preceding it had: the trust, faith, respect and support of the vast mainstream of our LOC and ROC voters – along with the rest of society as well.
Bottom line, our nation will be 100% behind our PKQ-controlled Congress' efforts to undo the damage done to our nation's major systems by generations of PAP-controlled Congresses.
Let's assume that a small but critical mass of our most civic minded LOC and ROC voters decide to begin using social media, along with standard recruitment "tools and methods," to identify, then aggressively recruit, PKQ-caliber liberals, conservatives, etc. in advance of the Democratic and Republican primary processes.
Will they discover that individuals with this particular set of qualities are extremely rare? Somewhat rare? Not rare at all?
Answer: while an exact number is clearly out of the question, if we conservatively guesstimate a range of as few as 0.5% (one out of two hundred) of America's ~250 million adults, to as many as 5% (one out of twenty), there are between 1.25 -- 12.5 million Americans who qualify as "PKQ-caliber." In raw numbers, even at 0.5% that's a lot of people (almost 2,900 in each of our 435 congressional districts).
That's enough to keep Congress overflowing with a steady supply of highly capable liberal, moderate, conservative, etc. PKQ-caliber legislators for well over ten thousand years* (about 14,000 years to be exact).
* assumes the maximum time served in office for our 100 Senate and 435 House members is six years.
Fourteen thousand years. ** pause to let that fact sink in **
ASIDE: Knowing that (in raw numbers) our nation is literally awash with PKQ-caliber Americans -- but devoid of them in our U.S. Congress -- brings to mind a wonderful line from an outstanding Kathy Mattea song,
"...standing knee-deep in a river and dying of thirst."
How can a Congress controlled by "amateurs" -- i.e., legislators who are not "professional" or career politicians -- run a nation as large and complex as America?
Answer: First, it should be obvious that Congress doesn't "run" America (thank goodness). Our nation is "run" by tens of millions of Americans distributed throughout:
- dozens of major federal agencies
- 50 fully functioning state governments
- thousands of county, city and other government bodies, and
- millions of:
- community and social organizations
- school boards, churches
- charities, etc.
Next, PKQ-caliber legislators will be among the most intelligent, most educated -- most knowledgeable -- and most accomplished members of our society.
They will NOT be, as some might fear, erudite academicians who will rule from high atop Mt. Olympus, divorced from the reality of everyday life; blindly indifferent to the daily plight of the unwashed masses. America's voters, unwashed or otherwise, wouldn't give such people the time of day, much less recruit them to run for our national legislature.
Next, PKQ-caliber legislators will have what no other generation before us has had: the sum total of all human knowledge at their fingertips (or, rather, their smartphones). And IBM's Watson, Alexa, Siri, and other forms of artificial intelligence at their beck and call. Add to that the wealth of "flesh-and-blood" knowledge, experience, wisdom, expertise, etc. that will be at their disposal in our federal agencies, our many think tanks in Washington and around the country, our universities, Silicon Valley, our business sector, etc.
Finally -- and what all of us need to think long and hard about:
"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand
Let's face it, if the collective we, i.e., LOC and ROC Americans, don't fix our broken Congress and our broken politics, our broken Congress and politics will end up destroying our democracy.
It's that simple.
It is all but impossible to get high quality candidates, much less PKQ-caliber candidates, to run for Congress. So why should we expect to see sufficient numbers of PKQ-caliber candidates suddenly start stepping forward?
Answer: Most won't step forward, they'll have to be arm-twisted via social media -- or "recruited" via traditional recruiting methods. But they will agree to "run" because, like the vast majority of our society, they will want to see our nation's major EFFS problems actually get solved -- (this bears repeatedly repeating) in many cases, completely and permanently -- not kicked down the road, or papered over, or "solved" with wack-a-mole legislation, i.e., solves some problems in some areas at the expense of creating other problems in other areas.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."