At some point, we will need to replace our government. We have learned a lot over the past two centuries. We can build a government that takes advantage of post-enlightenment knowledge. In particular, the philosophy at the founding assumed that the future solutions will come from the current population with the luxury of wealth to finance their pursuits of solution. We now recognize that many of the most important solutions come from the consumer population who do not have that luxury. We learned that frequently the people currently with wealth stand in the way of future solutions.
Assuming a post-scarcity world, the big challenge will be how to satisfy the human need for justice. At the very least, there will be two systems of justice: one for the wealthy celebrities and another for the rest. The masses will have very little opportunity to seek justice from the wealthy, especially once democracy is replaced or rendered lame from politics of division of ever smaller identity groups. Over time (especially over generations), we will learn to satisfy our needs for justice though non-governmental means.
The proposal to remove justice from the state’s responsibility is risky. But so is the proposal to remove truth from the state’s responsibility for justice. We are heading, perhaps inevitably, to the second option. We could at least consider the first option.
At some point, we should free ourselves to ask whether we can make a more modern form of government that better accommodates the modern challenges of the diverse populations and global influences and consequences. It is highly unlikely that a democratic (or democratic republic) can ever have the authority to make these optimal decisions that will inevitably result in condemnation by the majority.
Contrary to President Trump’s declaration, we have an inescapable need to have laws that coerce, dominate, and control our lives. There may be some people who think they can live without those laws, but I suspect that will only work when they are on an island isolated from any dissenting peers. There is something deep within us that recognizes that the rule of law is essential to our being humans.
This system of governance inevitably results in over criminalizing because it equates so many unrelated violations of law into a single category of a crime requiring a prison sentence. We may need these laws, and for argument’s sake I’ll grant that prison sentences are a valid form of punishment. I question the need for all of these laws to require prison penalties. I question the wisdom of equating any violation of such a wide range of laws to be a single category: an imprisonable convict.
Government by data requires collection of observations of actual modern behavior unbiased by traditional interpretations and one of the sources of such bias is the retention of obsolete laws. We have always introduced new laws to address some immediate concern. We now live in an era where we have the option to retire old laws to confirm that that earlier concern is no longer a problem. Restricting the number of laws enforced gives us the best data about what is most important today. Also such restraint on number of effective laws reduces the chances of misinterpreting behaviors of people disobeying an obsolete law in order to address some new problem. In that case, we need to discover that new problem instead of wasting energy on strengthening the enforcement of a law that has outlived its utility.