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My Ideal Government - Not AnCap


This is my argument for a little government. In response to it, I'd like to describe a brief picture of ideal government in America.

The basic building block is the county. Each county has a militia and a sheriff. It also has what I would like to call a 'moot'.

The moot is a county council. Anyone can attend, it is fully democratic, and each possesses its own organic constitution. The moot does three things: appoints the sheriff, clarifies law (mostly procedurally), and appoints courts.

The Sheriff is nothing more than the boss of the militia. He has no inherent powers or authority. However that county deals with the militia, the Sheriff is whatever that county grants to the boss of the militia.

The court is appointed on essentially a case-by-case basis. It's a jury, with a temporary judge etc.

All county government is lay. In other words, with few exceptions, judges, sheriffs, juries, the moot are all comprised of ordinary citizens.

Counties are organized into States. State like State of Arkansas state. In fact, both state and republic imply a corporate body which rules over the counties. This is not my intent. A better name would be Commonwealth. By that standard, county implies state thinking, so a better name would be Society.

So, you would live in the Fairfax Society of the Virginia Commonwealth. Both imply: law, territory, people.

A Commonwealth is not a society, so it lacks the right to pass judgments on people. To the extent it exercises a monopoly of law over people, it acts like an oppressive state. Societies alone exercise monopolies of law and judgment over people.

The commonwealth is something like a tribe of counties. The commonwealth is a given set of societies that all share a similar common law. For example: the commonwealth of Missouri might have as its common law that able bodied males be armed in case of a need to call up the militia. Each society appoints its own sheriff, but all the societies in the common wealth have the same militia structure and standards. Additionally, similar commerce laws allow for fluidity between societies.

To review - Societies engage in the work of government: jailing and executing justice. Commonwealths set the basic standards of the common law

In one sense, the commonwealth governing body has some power over the societies. Most likely, moots would appoint members to a house of delegates. These delegates would not be able to pass any law they choose. Moreover, they wouldn't operate within some corporate 'constitution'. Instead, the delegates would gather in response to a petition by some portion of the Societies to discuss a given issue. They would then come to a conclusion on that issue, which would serve as law for the other Societies. Societies would be bound to obey the common law, but could secede as well.

The size of a commonwealth would be much small that our current states. Western Maryland would be a commonwealth. The eastern plains of Colorado would be a commonwealth. The non-cajun gulf coast would be a commonwealth. Etc. Each divided into societies the size of counties.

Commonwealths combine into federations. These are in fact corporate bodies. They have written constitutions, and the right to secede is in fact explicit. These federations would be like small regions of America: New England for example. Or: Texas. Or: Appalachia. Federal constitutions share power of law with the commonwealths where specific powers are explicitly delegated to the federations. This is a sacrifice of power to corporate state authority, a small concession of sovereignty. However, the right to secede, again, is explicit.

Finally, federations can combine into a confederation. Because the federations possess sovereign right to delegate powers - say the power to make war, they can formally share those powers with other federations. A good comparison would be NATO, sort of. No concession of sovereignty is made to the confederation, whose governing bodies have no power whatsoever over domestic concerns. A federation, i.e.: federal police, might enforce law even in a Society so much as it is over a delegate power (espionage, catching a spy, or something). Confederations can't do this. A confederation is like a permanent multi-lateral alliance with a given power structure. For example, each federation has an army with a general staff. The confederation specifies how the different general staffs will interact, it might even include a constraint on each federations' ability to make war.

Inherently, the federations would declare war independently, but the confederation might have some rule like: a war on one federation is legal casus belli for the rest to come to its defense. Or: federations might independently engage in war, but the confederation can block members from engaging in war (or they'll have to withdraw and lose the right to common defense).

Obviously, the confederation would be what we call USA.

So: Society (Jefferson County), Commonwealth (State of Ohio), Federation (California Valley Republic or Texas), Confederation (Columbia/North America/USA).

Some unique things further clarifying: Societies alone can put people in jail for domestic crimes. Commonwealths have the power of militia: they specify how the militia is to be organized. Federations are indeed corporate body republic 'states'. Being comprised of commonwealths, they have no unified domestic law, thus their corporate civil law is limited to delegated powers and they are bound to a constitutional process. Also, secession is the ultimate check against them. Confederations essentially 'make war' against foreign powers. They have next to no power to raise troops, but still have a role in terms of law of the sea/space law, how civilized society is represented against complete anarchy.

1) The confederation, USA, might look like Swiss cheese. So Commonwealths, even Societies. There might be Societies with their own unique common law but not associated with anyone. There might even be zones with no common law, complete anarchy. Hopefully all the governmental organization is essentially voluntary.
2) A final government body for the modern era is the City. The City is a corporate body (republic) within a commonwealth. The federation and City must be kept with a strict wall of separation. Thus, cities will be 'authorized' by the commonwealth. Cities will operate under civil law, much like they do now. They will have broad police powers, but the commonwealth can place limits on these powers in City charters. The commonwealth has almost arbitrary power over City powers. In other words, the default is instability from civil law into common law.

While this arrangement makes sense, the question is: "Won't the city overpower commonwealth politics?", so let's say that only societies can appoint delegates to the commonwealth, and that people in a city are subject to its corporate civil law and are therefore not subject to common law in the city. City dwellers can't vote in the commonwealth. But wait! Won't commonwealth members oppress city dwellers (who might be an industrial 'colony' of the commonwealth)? Well, the commonwealth cannot have any say on the civil law of the city. They grant a charter: the right for the corporate body of the city to exist. That corporate body is basically like our current 'states' (Nebraska, Oregon). It's still republican in nature. The people who choose to participate in it set its laws in a democratic process (similar to being on a ship at sea).

The way this will remain clean is that the commonwealths grant the charters, not the federation (or as in old times, the King). The corporate body of the federation has no authority to intervene in how charters are granted or formed or revoked.

The commonwealth cannot exploit anything from the City (taxes for example). All issues of revenue are handled locally in the Societies. The commonwealth can only grant permission to a City to make law and taxes or revoke it. Revoking means that the people of the city are now a Society in the commonwealth, and so the militia will come and get the former mayor if he continues to use his police to levy a tax. Granting a charter means that the militia won't march against the city so long as it follows the constitution of its charter. In other words, in a commonwealth, almost any attempt at statism will be met with the militia. A city charter is something like a permission to engage in statism a little according to a proper constitution.

Now, the seperation between federation and city is what will 'ensure' clean politics. But, it would behoove commonwealths to follow a common law tradition treating cities like so:

Minimal radius - a city would be much more the commercial district of the 'city'. The neighborhoods, let alone suburbs, would be their own Societies, governed by common law not civil law. What we call a city, such as the "City of Denver" would be a Federation in this model. Only the innermost, dense commercial districts would be subject to civil law. You'd have the 'commonwealth of Aurora'.

This way, even most workers are only subject to the 'admiralty law' as they attend work, but in leaving the city and commuting home they 'return to shore'. If significant populations are living in a City, and the commonwealth doesn't reorganize or alter its charters, that's a problem. But so would be letting Stalin take over in an election.

Make sense?

Again, most of society has little government: common law. That means militias and moots. Federal powers are always severely limited, and federations are much smaller than they are now. Cities are limited in scope - almost an entire civil law for a single police precinct.

It's all Swiss cheese. People in a City can 'secede' and restore common law. As long as it truly doesn't bother anyone, people can 'secede' from their local governments altogether. While the Society, depending on the common law of the commonwealth, can still apply the law to you - well, it depends on the will of the militia and nature of that law.

The thing, again, that makes it 'work' is that the commonwealth is entirely founded on common law. It's not a 'republic' or corporate state. It doesn't tax anyone, nor provide services. Thus, when the House of Delegates convene, they'd have to have a very good reason for directing that the militia prosecute seceding individuals.