Political Science Fiction

Isn’t it odd how few experiments are performed, or hypotheses tested, in ‘political science’?

Science fiction can provide interesting ideas. What follows is a brief quote from “Rolling Thunder”, by John Varley.

I’ve mentioned before that the Martian Constitution is open source, meaning anybody can amend it. Earthies think we’re crazy, but Earthies love their incredibly complex law and, in spite of what they claim, lawyers. And open source doesn’t mean some weenie can insert a codicil to the effect that it’s illegal to be Billy Smith because he’s a nimrod. There’s open, and then there’s open. Junk and idiocy is sorted and deleted in minutes, and the poster can be fined (after open discussion and majority agreement), and is banned from the franchise for varying periods, up to and including life for the most determined putzes.
Changes to the sidewalk-spitting regulations can take as little as a week to be ratified. Changes to murder law have to resist challenges for six months. Debates on national policy require a year, a 60 percent majority, and ratification by the Senate.


3 Responses to “Political Science Fiction”

  1. this is exactly why the movement towards super-states is troublesome. With only a few players you have less permutations being tried and humanity is therefore less likely to hit upon one that works. It’s bad enough that all forms other than social democracy are thought to be in need of liberating.

  2. And “social democracy” is currently understood to mean “the government takes care of everybody”.

    I’m not very optimistic about seasteading. The people involved don’t seem to have given a lot of consideration as to what they’re actually going to accomplish.

    Vegas really shouldn’t be treated as the model for a working society.

  3. The bread-and-peace model seems to be an attempt to make falsifiable predictions. It doesn’t seem to be terribly reliable though.

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