I remember one of my favorite classes, back in high school. We were asked to pretend that society had never been created. To pretend that there was no government, no social order, no bureaucracy.
Our teacher put us into small groups of three or four kids, and told us to set up a social order that we would find comfortable. I remember that she used the word “comfortable”. Not “fair” or “profitable” or “stable.” She went with comfortable.
I remember that my group of young, idealistic, foolish kids created a “social order” where people were expected to work in a way that gave something back to the group. People would be asked to create some kind of productivity (food, technology, infrastructure) that would make life better for the group. Then those workers would get food, shelter, health, safety, education.
It seemed so simple.
We were teenagers living in a time of idealism and hope. We thought that the lessons of the 1960s had been valuable. War is not the answer. Love is the key. Share what we have. The world is a very small blue planet that we all share.
We were beyond naive.
If you ask me today what it is that I would like to see from my government, here is what I would have to say.
I want to live in a place where the “government” is made up of regular folks. Where we take turns serving and then we go back to the “real world.”
I’d like to live in a country where the sole purpose of government is the provide security, health, safety, peace to the majority of the governed. Where laws are designed to create equality of access. Where companies and corporations are viewed simply as groups of workers to provide products to the people. Where those products are valued based on how much they needed. And when they are no longer needed, those products and those companies would fade into history and would be replaced.
So I guess if I was the one in charge, I would have stopped all the petroleum based corporations way back in the 1960’s, when the first evidence of global warming was being discussed. I would have had my government throwing its weight into renewable energy.
I bet if I was the one in charge, I would have shied away from letting private companies rake in millions and billions on medical discoveries. In my simple, naive world, medicine would be seen as a benefit to the people in the society, not as a source of riches to a tiny few.
If I was the one who had designed our society, I am pretty sure that I would have made sure there were no “parties.” I would absolutely have tried to design a system where two groups of rich and powerful people weren’t able to be in charge of everything.
Most of all, if I had been the one to create this system of government, I would have set it up in such a way that it would have been a lot easier to scrap.
Cuz I have to be honest. I am sick and tired of being the ping-pong ball in the endless game of “which party has the worst villain.” At the moment, all I know for sure is that it will be a very cold day in hell (global warming notwithstanding) before I will cast a vote for either of the corporate owned parties in charge of things now.
What a freakin’ mess.
Makes me yearn for those innocent days of high school, when we still thought things could be made better.