The Peter principle says that “In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.” And the higher people get, the more rights (to money, power etc.) they get. Combined, this means exploitation of people on lower levels, who have fewer rights (as we are in a hierarchy, after all). Applications:

  • As hierarchies are found in the economy, they create financial problems. People at the start of their career need to do all the hard work and get very little money for that, and start climbing the ladder that way, while people higher on the ladder exploit them.
  • As hierarchies are found in states and other power constructs, they create problems of power abuse.

IMHO, the problem is the hierarchy itself, not its application. Hierarchy is cool for reducing complexity in technical items, but prone to be abused when applied to social systems.

First of all, thhe concept of national sovereignty in international law should be modified: it should be possible to do “worldwide democratic decisions” on what people are searched for because the committed severe crimes against the international community (like war crimes, genocide etc.). Such decisions can be organized in large intergovernmental organizations like the UN, in “representative democracy style” involving the UN committees. This is of course a very poor approach to world-wide decision making, but other ideas for this are lacking currently. The special thing would be that these searches would be possible without respect of national sovereignty, i.e. it would be internationally accepted (and considered a breach of sovereignty) to arrest such people in states that want to prohibit that. The new idea behind this is that national sovereignty is itself a negotiated concept, and should lose its “God-like” status that it has currently (i.e. total control over a certain part of land). The benefit would be that, if such search statements are issued against heads of state, they could be arrested in their own state without any breach of international law!

What we then need, in addition to that, is “special forces of international police”. They would be trained to execute arrests of such persons that are on these international search lists. And if this involves taking a head of government into capture, this would be done in covert operations, comparable to military operations behind enemy lines, or to secret service captures. Most of the technology for such operations still has to be developed (like capturing people by drones, etc.). The task is always to capture people alive, without hurting anybody, so that they can be brought to justice. The court that has to deal with these cases probably has to be invented also; as the ICC deals only with cases from countries that ratified the statute).

To prohibit power abuse and corruption in these international police special forces, and to get a motivated, powerful, hard-hitting group in this business that will cost many of the contributors their life, the following structure should be used: all members are volunteers; members must go through admission tests, which require extraordinal intelligence and being pure from non-rational / non-sober (mostly extremist) thinking; members undergo a 5 year education that is essentially self-regulated, but where states can contribute lectures; members are trained in this education in reflective thinking and personal decision making; every member is then free to choose, bound only by his or her own conscience, which of the search warrants to carry out; and only this international police special forces would be allowed to carry out these search warrants in the area of sovereigns who want to prohibit that; members of these special forces can organize themselves into small groups to do one or another capture, there is no central military command-and-obey principle at all; also, these people organize and invent their own equipment, the only external contribution is money, which can be paid by states but also by individuals. So perhaps individuals will start to pay for them, and to like doing so, just like it might happen with or similar organizations that are a counterforce to the abuse of government power.

In the end, this idea can even lead to a new mode of “death-less” war, if applied in larger scale. War is currently an extrajuidical event, in which extrajuidical killings do happen on a regular basis. Which is a bad thing. Instead, every wrongdoer should simply be put before justice. And war should be modified as follows: the army is a group of people trained to capture the wrongdoers of the opposite side, without harming anybody. This could be particular effective in war against Guerilla groups. The principle must be to hold people personally accountable for what they do in war. The technology for this (week-long full stealth operations in enemy-controlled area, capturing by drones etc..) is not yet there, but possible.

I agree that, in a society, one needs agreed-upon “interfaces” by which people are able to recognize other’s abilities and qualifications. However, I argue that the current implementation of that interfacing is or got compromized. I am therefore against this system.

The current implementation is based on “names” or “titles”, which entitle people to certain positions or rights, both in hierarchy-based parts of society (like the school teacher system, or politics, or military) and in non-hierarchical parts (like in the “free economy”). Names might include personal or company references (having worked for somebody special), education and degrees (like a dissertation, a diploma etc., all in a formal education system) and positions (having served for some time in some position).

Now the problem is, as with any meta layer or proxy measure that you introduce in society contexts (such as money), that people start to strive for the proxy (here, names instead of qualification; also applies to money instead of value; also applies to beauty instead of health). Because it takes less effort to reach the proxy than the thing it proxies (which is the attribute that makes such a system compromiseable).

Now this leaves us with a society full of hypocrites: people strive for names and titles, wasting all their time, money and energy for this, and qualification is just a bye-product. And society is then expected to live on that bye-product … poor society.

Also, technicians like me (here meaning: the people interested in technology and ability, not in names) are the losers in such a name-based society. I want to leave this and join another society …

For years I am in search of better models for society. Here is another one. Normally, states may suppress people, but the people are not able to suppress the state. This situation should be changed so that states are forced to compete for people; which would establish a “population market”. People would migrate to the state with the best conditions, there would be a high and short-term fluctuation between states.

To be more specific: there should be at least one large group of stateless people (or at least, people with cosmopolitan self-identification). They should number at least 250,000 people and be organized like an army, but for constructive work. (The inner power structure has to be discussed, but probably has to be a meritocracy or modified egalitarian democracy). This group should search recognition in international law as a sovereign without land, comparable to the Order of Malta (nearly everybody knows them … they are the operators behind Malteser first aid and relief agencies). Then, this group seeks a homeland. Which means they ask potential host countries if they would guarantee to work towards some minimal standards for its whole (!) population, including civil liberties etc., and if possible the status of extraterritoriality for the group’s base so that it can be controlled by the group’s own laws (it is not necessary to have own land to be truly sovereign, just to have temporary land with extraterritoriality, as e.g. the Order of Malta has). And if (and as long as) a state grants this, the group comes and commits to constructive work in the country. States will want to not lose this group, and therefore keep up the minimal standards, as losing that group means losing the driving factor of ones economy, and therefore the source of personal gain for the powerful persons in any state (as the group would be composed of highly intelligent, life-long educated people from all over the world). The group would be mobile, and always stay mobile (living in trucks), so that it can indeed draw out of any state within days. It also would be highly trained in techniques how to avoid being arrested and get out of a country instead, should a state try to use arrests to hinder these people from getting out of a country.

This new society model targets to disrupt the principles by which people are able to bring other people under power. Namely: by coercion (military and “political control technology”), by lazyness (of people, to out-migrate), by social cohesion (which holds people back from out-migrating alone).

There are two types of society: those whose working principle is want (necessity, absence) and those whose working principle is abundance. In practice, there are all sorts of societies in between these extremes. Strictly speaking, the abundance based society is paradise.

It is important to note that “lack” and “abundance” here do not refer to richness or scarcity of natural resources. In a global scale, the world is rich for all people (which can be seen from the simple fact that it would be rich for all if humanity would be so self-restrained as to keep the world population constantly at 200 million people).

Instead, want and abundance are results of human attitudes. A society that mainly is about “rights” (including money as the licence / right to buy, and including the “state of law” concept) is one that either has a problem with aggressive or greedy attitued of its members. So that “rights” are introduced to deal with these, either to restrict them, or to provide tools so that greed and agressiveness can be more efficient (like greed in capitalistic “states of law”).

Now where these attitudes are eliminated and instead positive “abundance providing” attitudes are developed (as is the ultimate goal of Christian love), the transformation to an abundance-based society is performed. This can be done sector by sector; one example is the “free software” movement, where people wave their “right” to licence their work, and create abundance for people to use their software free of charge and free as in “free speech”.

In extension to these thoughts: it follows that companies are a very poor approach for managing the natural resources of this world. A company is notoriously “want centered”: it always lacks resources, because resources are expensive, and the money should come out as gain instead of being spent on resources. Also, a company has short-range monetary targets and is therefore unable to stick to long-term goals and stability. Just compare the naming and version numbering in the Java world to that of the Linux kernel, or the chaotic development of WIndows to the linear development of the Linux kernel.

Most states in Africa call themselves “democracies” and are formally “democracies”, but the real ways of influence and might are that different that they are not to be regarded as democracies.

Even Iran seems to call itself a democracy, but is dictatorship. It is very clever to keep other countries and the own people as quiet as possible by telling them that the state is a democracy.

Now, what about Germany, about Europe? They will probably be called “democracies” even in 50 years, just because the people would not be quiet in anything else. But the reality, behind the scenes, might be different then. And it might be different very now. There is nothing a-priori that tells us our state is currently a more democratic democracies than some African ones. It probably is (yet), but this has to be measured!

A more rational approach to choosing my desired lifestyle would not hurt. So, what are the pros and cons of living inside the social system of this society, versus escaping it in my style by living and traveling in an expedition vehicle, working from on the road with an Internet-connected computer?

I need to think more ’bout this, but here’s my first impression. Outside “the normal way”, you lose a good deal of social reputation, and a good amount of money. I would never be really “well-off” in this world, financially. However, I also would not need that additional money, as I have a lifestyle that does not consume that much of money. And I also would not need that social reputation, as I would have a worldwide network of cool people and friends to travel to.

“I do not need social reputation”: this is a strange view, but grants a lot of freedom. Normally one accepts that social reputation in ones society is something like a basic need, and strives to meet this as an “external demand”, like obeying a command. However, looking at this from a utilitarian perspective: what does it hurt to not have it, if you have good friends? Nothing.

That said, the pros seem to outweigh the cons: a more flexible, mobile lifestyle. Which is also able to cope with harsh conditions, and to react quickly to local crisis situations by moving places. And which is more free, in the sense of independence: it has low consume and therefore also low demand of monetary income originating from other people.

One caveat, though. If I choose this off-center lifestyle, I need to take some care to be still “socially compatible” with normal people: I need to create a “neat and tidy” environment in the truck so that I can invite the normal people.