What is the Best Form of Government?

Hey! Today, we are going to be taking a brake from The Republic, and be talking about what is the best form of government. (Though, in truth, a lot of these forms of government I only know of because of The Republic.) Anyways, enjoy!

How this is going to be structured is I am going to be giving a quick definition and the Pro’s and Con’s of each form of government. And then, at the end, I am going to say which I think is best.

Tyranny- A Tyranny is the most basic form of government, where one ruler has complete control over their nation. They control the military, and can do anything they want. They can make or brake any laws they wish, and so most of the time this is a terrible form of government. If the leader is a perfectly moral genius and the people are completely moronic evil-doers, it is just great. If the leader is bad, the city is doomed to decades of Tyrannical oppression. And even if the leader is good, they will probably become corrupted by all the power they hold.

Oligarchy- An Oligarchy is where the richest people rule the city. The richer you are, the more power you have. This is pretty terrible as the leaders are greedy and corrupt. Since this society is built around wealth, everyone is trying to get it. Eventually crime will arise and the city will fall in on itself.

Aristocracy- Several noble lineages go back through the ages. These people hold the power, generally the money, and the land. If being a good ruler is actually genetic, then the rulers will be just. On the other hand, It is pretty random selection, and the more land that goes to the nobles the less to the people.

Empire- One ruler rules their empire. Though they hold a lot of power, they, unlike they Tyrannical leader, cannot break the law. Generally their children are the heirs to their empire, but sometimes they will choose someone else like a close friend or trusted politician, or maybe even a spouse.

Democracy- One form is where the people make the laws, and one is where they vote on a ruler who does. Sadly, back then a lot of the time women weren’t considered citizens. Also, if the people aren’t very well educated, they might turn up with a bad ruler. On the upside, the voices of the people are heard and they are governed how they want to be.

Republic- Instead of allowing all the people to vote, senators are selected to govern the nation. In some cases, instead of those senators governing, those senators vote for a ruler who governs the nation. The good thing about this second example is that the senators are better educated than the people and can choose a better leader.

Timocracy- Warrior-kings rule the nation. Those with zeal and a love for battle rule the nation. This seems very stupid to me, as the rulers rule with their gut instead of their head. In addition to this, they will constantly be waging war and will probably ruin their city’s finances.

Socratesocracy- The name I made up for Socrates’s form of government. Their are three classes, divided by their traits. The common class, the self moderate ones. The guardian class, the zealous ones. And the ruling class, the wise ones. The city is ruled by philosophers.

In the end, for me it comes down to Republic, Democracy, and Socratesocracy. (I love saying that.) While a Republic would have a better ruler than a Democracy, a Democracy would have more freedom. And a Socratesocracy would have more wise rulers than either of the other two, but it is possible that the philosophers ruling would become obsessed with learning more and stop caring about their city. Philosophers jobs are to pursue knowledge, and so the perfect philosophers might care only about that and forget about the city. We cannot have this as a possibility, so I am going to have to eliminate a Socratesocracy. (Sniffle.)

Now as we have said there are two forms of Republic and two forms of Democracy. The form where the senators/the people make the laws, and the form where the senators/the people vote on a ruler who makes the laws. I honestly think that a Republic is better – a lot of the time in a Democracy you end up with a terrible leader because the people don’t know who to vote for. So now we come to our final question. What is better- A Republic in which the senators vote on a ruler, or one in which they make the laws themselves. I am going to say the latter, because honestly I am just really not a fan of putting a large nation in one persons hands.

But wait, don’t think we are done: We have to perfect this. So I came up with a specific system. Keep in mind, this is designed to fit a city-state, not a large empire. So here’s how it works. There are various offices around town where normal people come to. These people share any public problems they have. Maybe they think their tax rate is too high. Maybe they think their water system is inefficient. The administrators at these offices gather up the problems they think are most important or are mentioned most and tell those to the city’s senators. The city’s senators vote between themselves on what they think is the best solution to this problem, and then present these solutions to the Public. Maybe it is a new law or a new building they want to build. Then, the public votes on whether they think these are good ideas. This way, the Public does not have to come up with the ideas, but they still get to choose what affects the in the end.

This is my perfect system of government, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments! Of course, I would also always love critiques or responses to my ideas! Adios!

8 thoughts on “What is the Best Form of Government?

  1. A bunch of these systems make the assumption that being better educated helps you be better at picking a good leader. I wonder what the “active ingredient” that makes this work is?
    I imagine it involves learning about statistics, history and economics, so you can’t be easily misled by grandiose claims, or track records that ignore tail risks or depend on luck. Plus other stuff I haven’t thought of.

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  2. I’ve been thinking about a form of democracy where as a voter you can either vote directly for a candidate, or write in the name of another voter. If you write in another person’s name, that person’s vote counts double. (And so on, if ten other people write in your name, your vote counts for 11 votes. You can also make this recursive.) This is something like a mix of direct democracy and representative democracy. The advantage is that people who spend a lot of time investigating an issue can have their vote count for more (if they can convince other people to write their name), and if you feel you can’t or don’t want to choose a candidate yourself, you can outsource it to someone you think is reliable.

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    1. Hey! I am sorry it took me so long to respond to your comment, it did not send me an email like it usually does. This is a really interesting idea, but I see many flaws with it. People who are famous because they are actors or musicians or something might get a lot of votes, and they might be concealing their political identity. Basically, anyone with enough public prestige will get a lot of votes. But this certainly is an interesting idea, and I think it is a good topic for discussion.

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      1. Hmm yeah! I think this is something that varies across cultures. For example in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, actors do in fact get tons of votes, so much so that the path to political power in TN involves getting into the Tamil film industry as a leading man first. But this isn’t true of other states in India and I have no idea why.

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  3. There seems to be an assumption that a government can be good. Not. It is more useful to consider government a necessary evil. The main need is to limit the government since there is no way to mitigate the knowledge problem.

    Also, consider the “myside bias”. https://quillette.com/2020/09/26/the-bias-that-divides-us

    “If you are a person of high intelligence, if you are highly educated, and if you are strongly committed to an ideological viewpoint, you will be highly likely to think you have thought your way to your viewpoint. And you will be even less likely than the average person to realize that you have derived your beliefs from the social groups you belong to and because they fit with your temperament and your innate psychological propensities.”

    This should provide insight into the inherently evil nature of government. It merely bullies dominating others. If you see the bullies as “your bullies”, on your side, this may not be so obviously evil. Still, it is.

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    1. So you think that because I come from an intellectual background I do not question my beliefs enough? This is an interesting claim. I actually think this is true for almost all intellectual backgrounds, but the whole point of philosophy is to question yourself in order to achieve self-improvement. And on the point of government, do you just think we should be in anarchy?

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      1. To leap from a call for limiting the predation of the organized crime groups that we call governments, to a call for anarchy (a boo word) is not intellectual engagement. It evades the intellectual questions.

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