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In my story, after ww3 or equivalent, most of the world joined a WTO that incorporated political governance as well as economic. Mirroring the corporate world's interlocking directorate was to ensure all governments within the system had the same overall values.

Each Congress or Parliament has a mandatory number (1/3 to 1/2) of members being outside MPs (representative)--they cannot be citizens of the country in question (akin to outside directors who cannot be shareholders or other stakeholders in the company).

As such, to give an example in this world, the UK parliament would have an MP in the US Congress which would have an MP in the Russian Duma, which would have an MP in the Chinese National Peoples Congress, which would have an MP in Australian Parliament, ad nauseam.

Just as economic interdependence supposedly reduces war between trading nations, so too is the govt interdependence. It also gives outside experience and voting for human rights and transparency, standardising across the globe.

The judicial branch could have the same 1/3-1/2 outsider requirement, strengthening global standards of human rights, democracy, and transparency.

The executive branch could be made 100% insiders (i.e. citizens of their country), similar to many CEOs being employees or shareholders of the company in question.

Trying to choose which to use for the story. Would this system of govt work?


Definitions

Interlocking directorate refers to the practice of members of a corporate board of directors serving on the boards of multiple corporations (e.g. Walmart has a director in Target who has a director in Google who has a director in Amazon, ad nauseam).

Interlocks allow for cohesion, coordinated action, and unified political-economic power of corporate executives. They allow corporations to increase their influence by exerting power as a group, and to work together towards common goals.They help corporate executives maintain an advantage, and gain more power over workers and consumers, by reducing intra-class competition and increasing cooperation.

Outside Directors--director (member) of a board of directors who does not have a material or pecuniary relationship with company or related persons, except sitting fees. In the US, independent outsiders make up 66% of all boards and 72% of S&P 500 company boards.


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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, please consider that this site is about answering questions, possibly with a clear "best answer". Letting you know what we think is off topic in SE. You should edit your post and transform it into a real question. For this reason in the meantime it is probably going to be closed. Can be reopened once you have edited it. $\endgroup$ Dec 16, 2021 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ "The same overall values": What might these values be? Are you under the impression that the Chinese Communist Party, the House of Saud, the Christian-Democratic Party of Germany and the self-styled Republican Party of the USA have a lot of values in common? (And you are using the words government and parliament as if they were interchangeable. They are not.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 16, 2021 at 10:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Duncan Drake I have edited. Please do not close. $\endgroup$
    – 리주민
    Dec 16, 2021 at 10:30
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting question and approach, but what is the problem to be solved? Like, why the local MP-es, raised and understanding the local culture, not good for task but good for creating the laws in another country? Also, how come the executive is good to be local (even if proper management would dictate that there are very few objectively-good solutions to any problem - and an infinity of bad ones - so any professional executive should be able to find and apply a good one no matter where s/he's originally from). $\endgroup$ Dec 16, 2021 at 11:12
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    $\begingroup$ I still don't get it. Your proposal breaks quite radically with the traditions, and yet you feel bound to mirror the current ones. And this is spite of a good manager being able to solve actual pragmatic problems in other cultures, but the "law makers" - which are supposed to represent those that will need to follow the laws - can be parachuted down from total different cultures and traditions. Besides, I didn't yet understand what problems pushed into such a radical "solution", how is this rationally justifiable? $\endgroup$ Dec 16, 2021 at 13:47

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I doubt that system of government would work.

As far as I can tell you completely fail to address corruption. Just like the USA, our system of government is failing because we have no robust response to collusion and corruption in the self-interest of those elected to office.

They have rigged, and continue to rig, by legal means and passing laws, ways to legally line their own pockets, keep their seats, and prevent anybody from challenging them.

When Trump engaged in criminal activity, breaking laws, defying subpoenas, giving illegal orders, he was impeached. Twice. And both times, there were so many of his fellow criminals in Congress, he could not be removed from office.

The same thing happened in Russia, and many other now former democracies. Putin engages in outright assassination of his opponents, with impunity, because he has installed his fellow criminals, now legally paying them millions, to "lead" every form of police protection that might charge him or prosecute him. Even destroying the press in Russia if they dare criticize him or try to expose him.

If your governmental system does not protect against collective corruption, collusion, rule by gangsters, then it doesn't work for anybody but the corrupt and the gangsters. Or the religious gangsters that want to enforce their particular brand of insanity upon the people.

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There are two components to this: The ability for this system to function as a form of world government, and the fallout of such a government

As a cynic, I would say that the corporate interlocking directorate is designed to maintain an elitist class and quash competition not sanctioned by the corporate elites to maintain the veil that there is competition and not an effective monopoly on everything. This includes legislative competition of course through aggressive lobbying of governments for them to do their will.

The Government Puzzle

An interlocking government could function in theory. I think the primary issues one will run into will be the sentiment of the people regarding non-citizen foreigners in the government making decisions about their lives. The citizens will need compelling reasons to accept this, beyond their leaders saying it is a thing now.

The other important thing to consider is the interlocking faction in addition to or instead of current representation? Not that it matters numerically, but for the citizens it may matter a lot. Not to mention depending on the country, it may have serious ramifications on the makeup of the new government.

For example, as of now, the Canadian Parliament is in a minority situation of 155 Liberal to 119 Conservative of the 338 seats total -- Other parties make up the rest of the seats. If 1/2 to 1/3 of seats are to be foreign-sat, do we inflate Parliament by roughly 112 to 169 seats to keep representation as it is, or are we taking them from the current house setup, meaning that the people will have theoretically less representation as the same people have less seats in Parliament to represent them.

If you do just reassign seats to foreign representatives, what happens? There are a few scenarios:

  • The ridings/districts do not change and the seats are just reassigned to foreign representatives. This will be exploited as a power grab for the party in power unless legislated against initially.
  • The maps are redrawn so that the same people are represented by less MPs. The people now have less representation per capita and this whole process can be gerrymandered for generations.
  • Some combination of both is possible, and may be billed as a best compromise until people really read into it.

It is an important thing to consider, and unless codified in the treaties that created this system, each country will do different things based on what they think is in their better interests as a nation. For that matter, who nominates the foreign seats?

In the sense of how the government will function, that shouldn't change in theory unless they change the rules as part of the treaties that mandate foreign representation. What will need to be guarded against is legislation made by countries to actually limit foreigners from partaking in the system. As the foreign faction will not have a majority by the rules laid out in the question, they will not effectively have power in some governments as the local majority will rule if they come together against foreign interference.

The Human Element

The real problem that your interlocking governments are going to run into is the human element.

In an ideal situation, the people we elect here in North America should be working for the people and looking out for our collective interests. Realistically, that doesn't happen nearly as much because we little people can't bribe ... er, lobby ... our politicians quite like a giant corporation can.

As such, our politicians tend to be more receptive to corporate wants and demands than those of the people. For Canada and similar parliamentarian systems, there is also the issue of having to vote along party lines on issues more often than not creating regional problems within a party.

Interlocking governments will almost certainly not solve the current corruption problem that many governments have. In fact, depending on the level of contact between the foreign faction and their home countries, it may increase it. Foreign representatives can be lobbied not only for support in the lobbyist's country, but for issues in the foreign rep's country at the same time. It's like a two for one sale on bribes ... er, lobbying.

Not only that, but you now have channels for a lot of quid pro quo regarding policies in other countries though channels in your own. Such acts will not necessarily break down the international governmental system, but it will inject further corruption potential into the systems.

Of course, if you can fill the system with people that will serve their countries as intended then the system will work better. But that is a more a function of the people and less the system.

Unintended Consequences

Maybe they are intended consequences, who knows?

If you look at our world now, we have things made cheaply in some countries, then shipped to other countries and sold at a massive profit. They can do this because the countries that make our stuff potentially has lower wages and worker's rights than say Canada or Germany.

An interlocked government may not eliminate that and in fact codify it into laws as corporate like rule infiltrates the world governments. The world could slowly becomes a caste-based planet based solely on where you live and how connected you are with the government.

It will not be pretty, but it is one directions the consequences of this could take.

Conclusion

The system will work somewhat, but I don't think it will be a panacea for a recovering world. There will be corruption, backstabbing, and countries that will limit the influence of foreigners in their government if able.

So basically, like the governments we have now, just more interconnected.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very detailed, thank you. Why do shareholders not balk at having non-shareholders (non- corporate citizens) being on the board (legislature) as you say they would in the political realm? $\endgroup$
    – 리주민
    Dec 18, 2021 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ Hazard a guess, because the board members likely have a vested interest in the success of the company, and are driven by the same motive for profit as the ones that actually work for the company. I sincerely doubt that a non-shareholder member of a corporate board works for free. Something I don't necessarily think would translate as well to a political system -- then again I could be totally wrong on that $\endgroup$
    – Haylen
    Dec 21, 2021 at 2:34

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