It is the far future and the earth is no longer suitable for human life. All the major forms of government (Democracy,Republic,Monarchy,aristocracy,Dictatorship, Democratic Republic) have spread to new worlds but due to conflict, do not communicate/interact/help each other in any way. Before they were all forced to leave, they adopted the Same form of Terraforming technology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming) They then used this to create almost identical worlds far from one another. My question is, which form of government might be the first to form a post scarcity society and why?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Hohmannfan, SRM, Aify, Pavel Janicek, Youstay Igo Mar 5 '17 at 13:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi there, this looks like an opinion-based question. The problem is that we can only speculate on post-scarcity-societies, as we have not achieved them as of now. Furthermore many different forms of government have existed throughout human history and they always seem to have some flaws. In western countries democracy is normally favoured in stories as the good guy, because then we are the good ones and everyone else is bad - there is no objective way to talk about societies achieving something we haven't achieved. Most will probably vote for their favourite. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Mar 4 '17 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ That's fine as long as people answering provide evidence as to why they think this form of government would succeed $\endgroup$ – Cameron Leary Mar 4 '17 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ That's the problem I currently see: for me there seems to be no way of providing evidence, only speculation. For you this means that your question might get put on hold for some time if others think so too. Questions that can't be somewhat objectively answered don't fit the scope of the site. If your question gets put on hold you can edit it with the help of the community to get it reopened for answers. I left that comment to inform you of this problem I see and right now I don't know how to make the Q fit the site more. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Mar 4 '17 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ There's no wrong or right answer to this question. Monarchy because the first guy to realize that he can have anything creates enough weapons to hold everyone else hostage. Or direct democracy because we're all now walking on eggshells because everyone has a personal nuke and we need everyone's permission for everything. Or an oligarchy of the people who know how to run the cornocopias. There's just too much open space around this question. $\endgroup$ – SRM Mar 5 '17 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ @SRM ,but what would be the first to happen; that is the question $\endgroup$ – Cameron Leary Mar 5 '17 at 1:07

I'll suggest the answer is a reversion to an ancient form of governance called "Timocracy". In ancient times this conflating citizenship with with land ownership, in a sense tying landowners to the polity since they had a great deal to lose should they not be in charge of things.

In a post scarcity society, matter and energy are inexpensive to the point where no one is materially deprived. If you want a car, you can have one. If you want a college or university level education, you can get one. Travel or access to information? No problems.

The only things which would be limited in such a society would be bandwidth and time (because we always follow the laws of the Universe in this household). People would measure their "wealth" not in the coin of the realm, but in things like reputation or talent. Consider a person with a social media account as an example. If they have thousands of followers then they have a high reputation and realistically won't be able to communicate to all their followers individually. Having this individual reach out to you to collaborate on a project would be much like winning a lottery or getting a job working for a multi billionaire.

The "tied to the land" part of the equation comes from how reputations or other scores would be measured. Just because you are a high level moderator on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange would not translate into a high reputation on a financial forum, or when dealing with tradesmen building a space colony. Your reputation or talent is tied to a specific area of expertise or life, and you could even seriously damage your reputation if you go off the reservation and try to apply your talents or expertise where it isn't relevant or applicable. This would obviously not apply to polymaths like a reincarnated Leonardo Da Vinci, but they would be the Steve Jobs, Peter Theils of Elon Musks of that era.

There would be a few wild cards as well. Space settlements would be more insular due to their distance and the time delay getting information to and from them (even at the speed of light). Seeing a question on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange and providing an exciting answer from your home orbiting Neptune means your answer would be many hours delayed from the posting of the question, and you may find yourself answering after the question is already closed or a winning answer was picked. Strong AI would also need to be treated differently, since they would be capable of thinking thousands or millions of times faster than a human or biological post human, so would be able to seemingly access and manipulate time and bandwidth compared to normal biological beings.

In a society built around these principles, then governance would most likely fall upon those people who have demonstrated enough merit to have developed strong reputations that others will follow or at least seriously consider their opinions and suggestions for courses of action. Since the primary role of governance in todays society (protection of individual rights and liberties, ownership of property and Rule of Law) may well have been supplanted by what could essentially be considered courts of public opinion inside each particular grouping. If you have a strong reputation and your suggestions have observable positive results for your group, then you will become a leader and exercise governance over your group. How you fare int other groups you are a part of will depend on where you stand in these groups.

  • $\begingroup$ The linked webpage regarding Timocracy says that power is derived from wealth/land, I assume that due to the rest of your answer, this would be replaced by your reputation in area of expertise and your education level. Am I correct in this observation? $\endgroup$ – Cameron Leary Mar 5 '17 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ Rather than "land", it would be where your reputation is based. A plumber would have a difficult time attempting to use his reputation in a masonry site, for example. $\endgroup$ – Thucydides Mar 5 '17 at 0:55

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