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This is the home of Matchism, a philosophy and a design for political, economic, and social systems that will provide an optimal fit for human nature and our current level of technological development. This document is the Matchism Manifesto, but also includes a wide range of specific proposals: It's not only a Declaration of Independence from these existing systems and the leaders who exploit them but also a prototype Constitution for how we'll organize a society that works better without them.
This document is organized such that it can be published on-line or in book format. Many of the links will open up the document referenced (if anyone asks, you're obviously a scholar or you wouldn't be here, so this redistribution is covered under fair use). Others, including most references to books, will take you to Amazon's web site so that you can find out more about the book and either order it or use the information to find it at your local library (although some of them are academic books which you'll probably have better luck finding at a university library or through inter-library loan). This document itself is intended to be read sequentially, however. If you follow any of the internal links, be sure to use your browser's back button to resume reading where you left off or you may find the later sections hard to follow because they rely on information presented in previous sections. If you'd prefer to read the whole thing off-line, you can download it as a PDF or as HTML.
Not every claim is backed up by a reference link: Most are either easy to verify with an Internet search, or are theoretical claims for which there are no relevant published resources. When a reference is provided, it's not merely to bolster a claim but instead to ensure the reader has the necessary background information (i.e., you really should read them): As a "Master Class" in social engineering it presumes the reader has some familiarity with concepts in the domains of ethology, anthropology, psychology (social, personality, and evolutionary), economics, and political science. And of course some familiarity with engineering principles would be most helpful. Of these a deep appreciation of ethology (the study of animal behavior with particular emphasis on the genetic basis of that behavior) is the most crucial as it is the foundation of most the psychology and anthropology cited here. If you have not completely assimilated the concepts covered in Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, for example, that's the place to start. After that, a good next step would be reading an overview of the field of evolutionary psychology, such as Christopher Boehm's Moral Origins or Robert Sapolsky's Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.
Much of matchism.org will be slow going for some readers because it is more engineering specification and instruction manual for the political "technology" than the "story" needed to sell it. This is by design. It is instructive to compare the foundational documents of three of the most important revolutions (American, Bolshevik, and Nazi) to see why. For the American Revolution, the specifications of the technology on offer are The Federalist Papers. These are also quite dry but the most complete and specific of the three founding documents. Marx's Communist Manifesto, which Lenin and Trotsky used as the technological basis of the Bolshevik Revolution, is more of a mixture, but with enough detail that the technology can be clearly seen. Hitler's Mein Kampf, on the other hand, is mostly story and it requires careful reading to pick out the technology parts. Hitler sold 8 million copies of his manifesto, primarily because the "story" in it was very compelling. It was only after implementation that it became clear that the technology behind it was fatally flawed. Of course we now know that all three of these technologies have fatal flaws, but it should be clear by the inverse relationship between specificity and longevity that it is better that the technology be completely and clearly specified first. The "story" part of Matchism can come later, after the details of the technology have been worked out.
As you're reading please keep in mind that this is just an alpha-test version of the Matchism Manifesto. The 1.0 release is the one that will be complete enough to actually be implemented. If you find a problem, whether it be something that is just unclear, or definitely flawed (a bug), please make a report to email@example.com so that it can be improved. You are also encouraged to join the forum (http://www.matchism.org/forum/) to ask questions, debate specific proposals, and suggest additional ideas.
Matchism is at present merely a philosophy. It is not a club, political party, corporation (non-profit or otherwise), or religion. The information on this site as well as the source to The System (https://www.proxyfor.me/) are and always will be free and open source (Public Domain licensing). No one has any proprietary interest in any of the ideas unique to the philosophy or the words used to described them. There is no management, board of directors, or leadership. This is for everyone's protection: No one can be held responsible for any of these ideas, nor can they be held against you, neither because you read them, discussed them, or even signed up and voted on The System. Until version 1.0 is put into an implementation phase, there are no Matchists as individuals or Matchish as a people. You may have "Matchist tendencies", be "Matchist curious", or be a "Matchist sympathizer", but because there is no membership or oath or any other requirements, everyone is just a hobbiest, a researcher, an explorer.
The pages on matchism.org will never include advertising, be used to sell any products or services (e.g., the links to books on Amazon are not associated with any sales account), or sell any of your information or contributions to others. You may at some point be given the opportunity to contribute time or money toward some particular project, but you will be free to not participate, and it will be years before those opportunities come, if in fact they ever do.
Next: Tenets of Matchism
(The Executive Summary)
1) Human beings evolved to function best in small bands in vigorous competition with each other in an environment characterized by scarcity of resources (The Era of Evolutionary Adaptation, or EEA).
2) Humans, like all animals, come with built-in behavior patterns that evolved along with our anatomy and physiology because they facilitated gene transmission in the EEA. These patterns of behavior are called Clinations in Matchism.
3) Clinations vary in strength among individuals and they combine with other differences among individuals to generate "personality". Personality has a large effect on an individual's behavior and the roles that individual tends to play in society.
4) Clinations and their expression as personality characteristics are frequently maladaptive in modern society because they evolved prior to our access to technology and because our definition of "system success" has shifted away from gene transmission and toward the goal of enabling the well-being (happiness, freedom, sense of purpose, etc.) of individuals and ensuring the survival of our political/economic/cultural/social systems. These new goals are known in Matchism as the Goals of The People.
5) Clinations can be suppressed and overridden with social and behavioral engineering, the extensive conditioning we are subjected to as children being the primary example. Other examples are the development and enforcement of laws, and the various means we have developed to ensure compliance with social/cultural/religious customs. But there is a cost associated with all behavioral engineering, however, both individually and collectively. The more we tried to replace behavior originating from Clinations with behavior constrained by engineered systems, the more expensive it is, the larger the side effects (particularly fear and stress, which can lead to depression, self-medication, and violence and other antisocial behavior), and the higher the failure rate (non-compliance).
6) There is as yet no field of research or specialization of "social engineering" that specifically addresses the issues of our suboptimal political/economic/social systems and our amateurish attempts at behavioral engineering, but there is a vast amount of research in social psychology, anthropology, economics, and other fields that can now be used to create one.
7) Because there is no field of social engineering, our current political/economic/social systems have either been created by amateurs (and often primarily self-interested amateurs) or merely evolved to fit the constraints in knowledge and technology available at some point in the past. In the search space of all possible systems there are a large number of these "local maximums" - stable but suboptimal states that are hard to get out of even if advances in knowledge or technology should allow this. Examples of these are (were) heredity-based monarchies, feudalism, slavery, and a wide range of other aggregations of dysfunctional customs and traditions.
8) Matchism is the process of considering the available research and social engineering technology to determine which political/economic/social systems are the best "match" for our Clinations and our current level of technology. It also seeks to facilitate the transition to those new systems and to direct research and development to enable the next iteration.
9) Among the primary observations of Matchism is that the most maladaptive Clination in the modern environment is tribalism and its various expressions (racism, nationalism, nativism, protectionism, etc.), and that this Clination is thoroughly intertwined with the human moral architecture. If this is the case it would mean that the architecture of the human moral system is inadequate to the task of facilitating achievement of The Goals of The People and so it must be supplemented, and in some cases replaced, by a more robust system.
10) A second observation is that individuals who score highly on the psychological measures of Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA), and Psychopathy are of particular concern when determining which political/economic/social systems are the best match for human beings. Each of these sets of traits is correlated with prejudice, aggression, and corruptibility. The people with high levels of these characteristics are known collectively in Matchism as SDAPs (Social Dominators, Authoritarians, and Psychopaths). SDAPs make up a minority of the population in general, but a majority of "leaders" in all fields.
11) Any form of government that doesn't take into account these variations in personality is guaranteed to be suboptimal at best and dangerous to The People at worst. Among those that we have tried and found wanting include dictatorship, oligarchy, and representative democracy, all of which are fatally flawed because the characteristics of the people who are inclined to wield power in these systems have personality characteristics (i.e., are SDAP) that make it difficult or impossible for them to act in the best interests of The People as a whole.
12) Because it is now clear that "representative democracy" is just another local maximum and has become an impediment to further progress, a new political/governmental system must be designed that compensates for the inclination of SDAP individuals to take on leadership roles by ensuring that decisions are made not by "leaders", but by The People as a whole. The best match currently, therefore, is a form of direct democracy where each individual can cast a vote directly when practical and through a psychologically matched proxy otherwise. The new system must be designed to allow achievement of The Goals of The People, harnessing and accentuating Clinations that facilitate that process and bypassing Clinations, and the associated SDAP behavior, that are incompatible with it.
We've had a pretty good run as a species: We overwhelmingly dominate the other species on the planet, and for the most part even the strongest of natural forces. Most of us are now relatively happy, relatively safe, and relatively comfortable, at least by historical standards, or the standards enjoyed by any other species.
Of course there have been failures, including countless millions killed in wars and countless more millions in various acts of genocide. Add in millions more who have died of starvation and disease due to mismanagement of resources, and millions on top of that due to preventable accidents, murders, and suicides. And all of these things continue to occur at rates that should astound, and dismay, any rational and compassionate being.
But all these premature deaths are arguably not even our greatest failure: For every premature death listed above many other individuals have failed to live up to their potential, many living longer, but unhappier and less successful lives than we'd all prefer they have.
Why are we so incompetent at managing our affairs? Our species has existed in its current form for tens of thousands of years, and our species itself is something over a million years old. Why even after all this time have we still not developed a system that will prevent these atrocities and enable at least the majority of individuals to achieve something near their potential?
One possibility is that these types of failures are an inevitable consequence of the fact that our political, economic, and social systems are a poor match for us. In particular, the type of hierarchical leadership-based political systems that have been standard fare since agricultural technology enabled settlements larger than a few dozen individuals may actually be the social-technology equivalents of lead-based paint, DDT, chlorofluorocarbons, or a wide variety of other seemingly useful chemical compounds that our technology has provided us but that we've only recently discovered are poisoning our environment and our bodies. As is the case with those toxic chemicals, there is now considerable evidence to support this hypothesis.
Bob Altemeyer's 2006 book The Authoritarians (a free PDF, and well worth reading!) provides an overview of research on people who have been classified using personality tests as Authoritarians or Social Dominators (or both). For Authoritarians (which in his research he calls Right Wing Authoritarian because they are much more common and the group usually in power vs. Left Wing Authoritarians), his RWA scale measures an individual's tendency to support "traditional" values and leadership (i.e., strongly hierarchical government). For example, high RWA individuals tend to agree more than average with the following types of statements (p11):
It is always better to trust the judgment of the proper authorities in government and religion than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers in our society who are trying to create doubt in people's minds
Our country will be great if we honor the ways of our forefathers, do what the authorities tell us to do, and get rid of the "rotten apples" who are ruining everything.
Women should have to promise to obey their husbands when they get married.
For assessing the frequency and characteristics of social dominators (Social Dominance Orientation, or SDO), a similar kind of test and scale was used (p160), which had statements like the following on it:
To get ahead in life, it is sometimes necessary to step on other groups.
We should strive to make incomes as equal as possible
According to research by Altemeyer and others, a significant percentage of the population scores highly on one or both of these tests, a percentage that is higher among politicians and other leaders (p200) because people with these characteristics are more driven toward leadership roles. This in itself is a serious problem because there are characteristics of both groups that render them less competent decisionmakers than average people (p187) including a penchant for hypocrisy, double standards, and other illogical behavior (p75-95). They have also been shown to be much more susceptible to corruption and other immoral behavior (p167, p220).
Unfortunately, those are but a small part of the problem: The far larger issue is that both of these groups have characteristics that make them especially dangerous to "outsiders", and that both groups tend to be preoccupied with these distinctions. This inevitably leads them to commit acts of aggression toward people they perceive as being different from themselves (p169). Combined with their inherent tendencies toward immoral and unethical behavior, they are far more successful at achieving their goals of marginalizing other groups than their peers that lack these characteristics are at preventing them from doing so.
It is important to keep in mind during this discussion that these tests produce a continuous and normal (i.e., bell-curved) distribution, so where you draw the line to define "types" is essentially arbitrary. For example, in Altemeyer's experiments he defines the upper 25% of scores as "High RWAs" and the lower 25% as "Low RWA". The problem of identifying authoritarians is particularly difficult because the characteristic is highly dependent on context, threatening environments greatly increasing the level of authoritarianism. Stenner's 2005 The Authoritarian Dynamic claims that more than 50% of the population has significant authoritarian tendencies, the distinction being that the RWA scale measures actual attitudes at whatever level of activation the individual happens to be in. By experimentally manipulating this level of activation Stenner and Lavine, Lodge, & Freitas 2005 provide a more complete picture of the dynamics of authoritarian behavior.
Stenner also found (p132) that roughly a third of individuals that have authoritarian tendencies also have socialistic tendencies, further emphasizing that authoritarianism is not strictly a right-wing phenomenon. Right wing authoritarians are more common, however, and apparently have a higher resting activation level which would explain why the lefts don't show up so commonly in RWA measures taken in the absence of a threatening context. Since all authoritarians, regardless of their resting level of activation and their left/right political tendencies, pose similar risks to those they perceive as outsiders the term "Authoritarians" rather than "High RWA" will be used to refer to them here.
It is also important to keep in mind that these are psychological definitions which are often more specialized than the usage of those terms in everyday language. For example while "authoritarian" is most commonly used to describe dictators and other leaders or their governments, the psychological use of the term applies to those leaders but more commonly (and more importantly) to the people who have similar personality characteristics who tend to support these leaders (i.e., authoritarian followers). For "social dominators", which is not a common term in everyday language, you might think "alpha male" or "bully" (or in many cases, just "asshole").
There is one other classification that we need to be particularly concerned with: Sociopaths and psychopaths (the difference being primarily the origin of the condition, psychopaths being mostly born that way, sociopaths made that way by emotional trauma experienced as a child or changes in brain chemistry or anatomy as the result of disease or injury). While most people associate this category with serial killers and other criminals, in fact there are a significant number of "high functioning" (sometimes called subclinical) psychopaths living successful and productive lives all around us. While some of them do eventually cross the line into overtly anti-social behavior (Bernie Madoff and Mao Zedong being notable real-world examples, and Frank Underwood in Netflix's House of Cards series being a textbook fictional example), there are a great many who actually perform very well in some specific fields where they are highly overrepresented. For example, while they only make up 1 or 2 percent of the population as a whole, they are far more likely to be found among the ranks of CEOs, stock traders, lawyers, politicians, and surgeons. And while they may not be as over-represented in government bureaucracies, they can be powerful people with a large influence on government operations.
Next: RWA and SDO
It is a frequent claim among sociologists and political scientists (e.g. Corning 2005, p411, and Kessler & Cohrs 2008) that the evolutionary role of authoritarian behavior is to promote group harmony and cooperation, thereby improving survival rates for the group. Unfortunately this claim fails to address three of Altemeyer’s fundamental findings. The first is that, for all their tendencies toward harmony and cooperation, groups of authoritarians fail (and in many cases fail spectacularly) to achieve the goals set out for them, as was clearly shown in Altemeyer’s Global Change Game experiments (p30), also available in journal form as Altemeyer 2003. In those experiments, groups of 50-70 individuals participate in a global political/economic simulation which includes key features of our current civilization, including resource management issues, trading between countries, militarism, and the potential for war. By controlling the percentages of authoritarians in the simulation, Altemeyer was able to project just how fit these types of individuals are to run our governments. The results were striking: While the comparison group of low-RWA individuals had a good run where only 400 million people died (a relatively low number in that game), the authoritarian group ended up killing off the entire population of the planet in a nuclear war! Even when the game was reset for them to try again, their death rate was over five times as high as the low-RWA group.
The second issue that refutes the claim that authoritarian behavior is a sort of “glue” that allows humans to function as a group is that is that there are three components to Authoritarian personality, and these are inseparable (even by factor analysis, see Altemeyer 1996 p52 ): submission to authority, aggression in the name of the authority, and conventionalism. Although the first and third do support the harmony/cooperation hypothesis, the second clearly conflicts with it. There would be no need for authoritarians to be prejudiced and aggressive toward individuals whom they perceive to be different from themselves (even if they are not true outsiders, i.e., an “outgroup”) if the evolutionary benefits of authoritarianism are merely to promote cooperation. Although this tendency toward aggression might have a “keeping people in line” benefit and so increase cooperation, the continuous infighting this behavior generates definitely works against even that goal, and there should be no need to be concerned about true outsiders since they wouldn’t be cooperating anyway.
The third problem of attributing authoritarianism to the need for group cooperation is its uneven distribution: If it truly was only needed for general cooperation all humans would be authoritarian. Since only a small percentage of the population is authoritarian, there must be some reason why having too many authoritarian people in a single band would actually decrease survival rates.
Although Altemeyer's book does mention the causes of authoritarianism, it does not even bring up the issue of why individuals with high levels of these characteristics make up such a significant percentage of the population when it is clear that they often represent a danger to themselves and to others. Unfortunately, as is the case with Altemeyer's theories on the origins of authoritarianism, it is not possible to do controlled experiments that will tell us why it even exists. But a little thought experiment might give us some insight into the issue.
Next: Pleistocene Thought Experiment
Imagine you're living 100,000 years ago together with a small group of individuals much like yourself. This is the late Pleistocene Epoch, also known as the Era of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA), the time period and environment in which human genes are being selected for based on their fitness to survive in that time and place. By this point in human evolution you are a member of a fully-evolved human species, but racial differences are just starting to appear, and culture is relatively rudimentary and so cultural differences between neighboring groups are relatively small by today's standards. You live with a group of 30 or so individuals, some of whom are known to be related to you, some not. You participate in common hunting/gathering parties but have meals and sleep in a separate area with your extended family. Your band is essentially egalitarian, with all important decisions being made by the group as a whole. There are extensive social controls to encourage sharing, prevent free riding (slacking off to take advantage of the work done by others), and prevent strong leaders from becoming established, particularly if those leader-wannabes start displaying aggression toward other members of the band. Indeed, in most hunter/gatherer societies repeated violations of these policies can result in expulsion or even a death penalty being imposed on the offender (all of the above as described in Boehm's 2012 Moral Origins).
Life is not easy: You are constantly having to battle the elements, the local wildlife, and diseases that you have no idea the cause of. But even more threatening is the constant competition from other groups of humans living nearby, humans that are somehow different from you, either in the way they look, the language they speak, or maybe just having different customs. Although both bands have common ancestors and there is some drift of individuals between them, the bands themselves have been separated for generations, and most or all of the members of those other groups are strangers to you.
There are no rules and no referee in when a conflict with this other band develops and so you have only your own moral code to guide you, perhaps in combination with an innate fear that you or one of your band-mates may get seriously injured or killed if the conflict escalates to violence. Such fear may even be the original basis of that moral code: If you didn't have it, you'd be a lot more likely to get yourself killed or otherwise removed from the gene pool, either by other bands or maybe even by members of your own. So, you try to avoid these kinds of conflicts, and especially skirmishes with other bands, whenever possible.
In some cases your ancestors may have made this easier by working out an agreement with this other band establishing a geographic boundary between the two groups which you and they know not to cross. But what happens if it's a new band that has moved in next door, or if your band or the other suffers some calamity like a flood or fire and loses a significant portion of their resources, or maybe just outgrow the resources available on their side of the boundary? How will your band survive, other than by putting aside your fear of injury and your morals and resorting to violence?
If you delay and debate and listen to your conscience your group may eventually be attacked and wiped out by the other group. But what if there were individuals within your group who had intense feelings about the conflict and who characterized the other band as being immoral or even evil and so unworthy of your concern? Even better, what if these band members were willing to fight, risking serious injury or death to protect you and the other members of your band? Would you be willing to look the other way and let them take action to ensure the survival of your band?
As this scenario plays itself out over thousands of generations, those bands with the right percentage of these "born warriors" would have a clear evolutionary advantage over those with too many (in which case they would become immune to the normal social controls and end up directing their aggression at each other or at harmless members of the band), or too few (in which case they would not have the numbers necessary to goad the band into taking violent action). And individuals who lack these attributes would still eventually be bred to defer to these Social Dominators and Authoritarians when they sound the alarm. They may even defer when they know there's a good chance that things will get out of hand and heinous acts will be committed, acts that they find morally disgusting including the rape and murder of women and children, mutilations, and maybe even human sacrifice (all of which were quite common throughout human history, perhaps to the point of being universal).
Unfortunately, in the modern world, this tendency toward aggression and even violence is maladaptive, as is the inclination of "Neurotypical" people to allow these types of individuals to run the show. The term "Neurotypical", borrowed from the autism community, will be used in this document to refer to those whose personalities do not contain high levels of the characteristics that distinguish authoritarians, social dominators, psychopaths, autistics, or any other easily distinguishable class. The term "normal" might be used except that this would mean these other groups are somehow "abnormal". Which is not really accurate because such individuals should more accurately described as "specialized", although in the case of Authoritarians specialized to perform a role their band (which is now the human race as a whole) no longer requires.
Next: Psychopathy and SDAPs
The third category we must be concerned with, psychopaths and sociopaths, are different from SDO and high RWA individuals in one major respect: While they generally will have no compunction about taking advantage of another person for their own gain, they generally lack the outgroup-specific prejudices that are characteristic of the other two types. It's therefore a little harder to hypothesize an evolutionary advantage psychopaths bring to a group. The evolutionary advantage to individuals (and their genes), however, is much clearer: Via their ability to "game the system" a small number of psychopaths can do quite well in conventional society, a fact well documented in Dutton's 2012 The Wisdom of Psychopaths.
The risk to the population when psychopaths rise into leadership positions is just as great as when Social Dominators and Authoritarians do, however. Individuals with high levels of one or more of these three characteristics (they are not mutually exclusive) will be classified here as SDAPs (Social Dominators, Authoritarians, and Psychopaths). Go ahead and pronounce it "stap": no one will notice the unvoiced "D". Fortunately where we put the dividing line between a SDAP and a Neurotypical based on their test scores is not important because Matchism is not about classifying people or changing their behavior. It's about recognizing that these characteristics exist, that people behave differently depending on the levels, and that this behavior has major implications for the type of government that will allow our species to reach its goals: Putting an end to violence and creating a society with the level of freedom and support required for individuals to fully realize their potential.
Certainly it should be clear that, along with dictatorships, even representative government is doomed to failure because many of the people who rise to leadership positions are frequently unfit to take on these roles: They simply cannot be trusted to do what is in the best interests of The People because they lack a Neurotypical moral compass and capacity for rational thought. Even if they had the required characteristics originally, the Authoritarians in the population would gradually make it impossible for them to govern by corrupting them with money or raising one boogieman after another until the leadership takes the bait and starts an unjust war or begins persecuting some segment of their own population.
And the Neurotypicals, as is their nature, will stand by and watch it happen. Or, if they feel their safety or their resources are being threatened, they may even pitch in to help: Remember, Hitler was confirmed as dictator by an overwhelming majority (88%) of Germans in a national referendum on 19 August 1934. What they got via their democratic popular vote was exactly what they voted for: A textbook example of what Altemeyer labels in his 1996 The Authoritarian Specter as a Double-High, an Authoritarian Social Dominator, someone who has a double-helping of each of the negative qualities of these conditions (prejudice being only the most visible example in his case). This quote from Hermann Goring, founder of the Nazi's Gestapo, in an interview with psychologist Gustave Gilbert during the Nuremburg war crimes trials shows that he well understood the process and used it extremely effectively in his efforts to bring Hitler to power:
Goring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Goring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
If in fact it is SDAPs in government that are the source of aggression between races or nations, predictions of ever decreasing violence such as are made in Pinker's 2011 The Better Angels of Our Nature are not only incorrect, but dangerously naive. Inexplicably Pinker does not even cite Altemeyer, nor even offer any discussion whatsoever of the dynamics of authoritarianism. He also neglects to even consider the possibility that the decrease in nation-scale violence since WWII may instead be the result of the rapid advancement of technology having temporarily relieved the human population of their fears of resource scarcity. Unfortunately, when threats of scarcity inevitably return, humans will follow their instincts and call for a return of authoritarian leaders, as they have in Russia, Ukraine, Syria, India, Egypt, and many other at-risk nations in recent years. If these leaders go on to start wars or begin persecuting a minority in their own population, the Neurotypicals will probably just consider this the price they have to pay to protect their security, even if that choice may lead to global conflict or even the extinction of the human species via nuclear or biological warfare.
But there is another alternative: Rather than continuing to allow SDAPs to lead us we must design government systems that will require Neurotypicals, which over the last few thousand years have been gradually but steadily marginalized by the hierarchy-oriented SDAPs, to regain their prehistoric role as the decisionmakers for the band (which, again, is now all of us). They can then ensure with their sheer numbers that all decisions will take into account what's best for the entire band, which is something no individual leader or small leadership group can do alone, even if they were inclined to. As history and Altemeyer's Global Change Game experiments show, even though Neurotypicals may be inclined to elect SDAP leaders and then defer to them in times of scarcity or conflict, if they are somehow forced to retain their decisionmaking power they end up making better decisions for the population as a whole than SDAP leaders, whose concern is limited to their own band/tribe/nation. While implementing a global decisionmaking process like this would have been an unreachable goal even a few decades ago, advancements in the social sciences and in computer and communication technology now finally support the development such a system.
Although this thought experiment is essentially a digression because it doesn't really matter if the details can be proven, a million years of almost constant war by itself provides all the evidence we need to accept the two key facts it is based on: 1) That there are individual differences in the predisposition toward prejudice, aggression, and war, and 2) That the people with the highest levels of these predispositions are the least qualified to run a government in a post-tribal civilization and yet are the very people who are most likely to seek to serve in those governments. But as long as we're digressing, we might as well explore a couple other areas while we're out here.
Next: Thought Experiment Digressions
The first tangent to the digression concerns the role of organized religion in society in general, and politics in particular. Back to the Pleistocene and the conflict with the neighboring band: What tools do the SDAPs have to use as leverage to goad the Neurotypicals into action? Would instilling fear and counting on our built-in ability to compartmentalize and thereby override our inherent morality sufficient, or do they need something else, something that the Neurotypicals can use as a justification for ignoring their moral sensibilities even when their faith in the SDAPs is weak? Enter organized religion: Although many mammals have been shown to exhibit superstitious behavior in experimentally controlled environments, humans alone have expanded these tendencies into elaborate rituals and customs and therefore extend the irrational behavior into realms far beyond the domain of ordinary superstition.
What could the evolutionary purpose of that be? Certainly the behavior would appear to be maladaptive: If nothing else, the waste of precious resources on something that has never been scientifically proven as a fruitful endeavor (indeed, even Randi's "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge" prize (http://web.randi.org/the-million-dollar-challenge.html), which has the exceedingly low threshold of requiring proof of any supernatural force, remains unclaimed despite hundreds of attempts at it). And there are often far greater costs than that, for example the countless incidences of religion-inspired genocide against peoples who are not even in competition for resources.
But what if our instinctive acceptance of organized religion developed mainly to provide a tool to ensure that SDAPs are able to fulfill their role as protectors and acquirers of resources (albeit via immoral acts in many cases)? Certainly this plays to the Authoritarian's strengths: What better proxy when an appropriate Social Dominator leader can't be identified than using the ultimate Social Dominator, God? And when an appropriate local candidate can be identified, how useful it must be to be able to multiply his (or her) power by deifying them? Why, the Neurotypicals would have to take action if God tells them to, right? It matters not whether that "god" takes the form of a specific individual in the band, all of an individual's ancestors, or some more amorphous supernatural force, so long as belief in this power can be used to goad people into action that would otherwise appear dangerous, irrational, or even immoral, the purpose of our religious tendencies will have been fulfilled. Has the tendency to accept organized religion, with all its irrationality and tendency to cause immoral behavior rather than prevent it, been bred into us solely to allow SDAPs to take charge when it would provide a competitive advantage to the group to do so?
It is notable that, like the authoritarianism it is highly correlated with, tendency toward devout religious belief is not uniformly distributed in the population. Perhaps this too confers fitness on the group: By allowing externalizing the moral system for selected individuals in the band, religion allows a finer grained control over them than is possible without it. And by making this externalizing process selective to those individuals who also are most inclined to commit aggression toward others, the general stability provided by the Neurotypicals can be maintained.
Belief in religion can also be useful as a salve to ease the psychological pain of having to tolerate, or even participate in, atrocities. After all, if you (and/or your band) did it to please God, that's got to be OK, right? You might even ritualize it, as in the case of human sacrifice, to emphasize that these are not just base emotional acts, they're an integral part of the process of pleasing God and securing blessings for your band. Seems like the SDAPs, which are unusually fond of those types of acts, might get a twofer with organized religion.
This proposed role of religion is compatible with theories based on "costly signaling" such as those proposed by Irons 2001 in Evolution and the Capacity for Commitment, Sosis 2003, and Sosis 2006 in Where God and Science Meet, which claim that the purpose of religious practices is to promote group cooperation by requiring hard-to-fake demonstrations of commitment. But as is the case with authoritarianism as mechanism for ensuring cooperation, the theory has to explain not only how religion is useful as a method of costly signaling, but also why it is not uniformly distributed among individuals, why it is so unitized with a tendency toward prejudice and aggression, and why that particular type of costly signaling has evolved over all others.
These theories also do not address the tendency for religions at all levels to fixate on specific locations as belonging to a particular people because it is God's (or more historically, their ancestors') will. This would seem to be unrelated to the issue of costly signaling, but a crucial feature if the evolutionary purpose of religion is resource retention or acquisition: Why else would humans be so inclined to risk death in a war to retain or reclaim some particular piece of ground? Even better, with religion you are guaranteed everlasting life, and so even the risk of being killed in battle becomes much less of a deterrent to hostility. By not emphasizing the role of religious belief as a justification and facilitation of warfare these other theories are at best partial descriptions of the role of religion in human evolution.
The second tangent to the digression is the question of the proportion of SDAPs in the population. Because of their tendencies toward aggression, SDAPs almost certainly made up a disproportionate percentage of the casualties during intertribal conflicts in our ancestral past. But in modern times, the SDAP leadership and population primarily sends in proxy (or even "volunteer") cannon fodder to fight and die in their immoral and pointless wars. Unless it can be shown that this cannon fodder is composed of a significantly higher percentage of SDAPs than the general population, we can only conclude that we are now living with a higher percentage of individuals with these characteristics than at any time in the past. Which means the need to find systematic ways to rein them in has never been greater. Fortunately, although these percentages are higher now, SDAPs remain a minority of the population, probably less than a third even taking into account the elevated activation level brought on by the 24-hour news cycle. With some targeted reduction in that (e.g., by shunning heavy Twitter and Fox News consumers and recommending they read a weekly newsmagazine instead), the incidence of activated authoritarians would significantly decrease, decreasing the effective size of the SDAP minority to below 20% where it is unlikely to cause significant disruption.
The third (and final) tangent concerns the general applicability of evolution-based arguments to behavioral, social, and political issues (i.e., the realms of Evolutionary Psychology, Evolutionary Sociology, Evolutionary Political Science, etc.), particularly with respect to traits that would at first blush appear to be maladaptive. In addition to SDAPs there are a great many classes of individuals that systematically differ from Neurotypicals, differences that would seem to arise more commonly than one would expect if they were merely genetic or developmental "mistakes". But perhaps these differences provide benefits in some circumstances, if not to the individual then perhaps to their kin. Some examples are homosexuality, transgender, addictive personalities, and mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Indeed, why are some people born liberal and some conservative? Are some of these examples of eusociality, where some individuals are genetically programmed not merely to strive to reproduce themselves but instead to play a supporting role in ensuring the survival of their kin and by extension their band/tribe? This type of specialization is common in ants, bees, and termites, and has even been shown in mammals such as the mole rat.
Another possibility is that these variations are the result of genetic polymorphism, where a specific gene is selected for because it provides a competitive advantage in some circumstances (most commonly providing greater resistance to disease) even though it can be highly maladaptive in others. While it would be quite unexpected to find that cleft palate or club foot turn out to be related to some adaptive traits, the example of sickle-cell anemia (the gene for which turns out to offer resistance to malaria) and the correlation of IQ with the genes for genetic disorders like Tay-Sachs and Gaucher's disease as documented in Cochran, G. Hardy, J., & Harpending, H. 2006 means that this is not out of the realm of possibility. All of these possibilities should be explored further, if only to understand these conditions but also with the hope that a greater understanding of them and their evolutionary basis can lead to policies that may assist these non-Neurotypical individuals in achieving their full potential while minimizing the negative impacts on others.
Next: Engineering Matchism
As part of the design process for a way to do things that does not require turning control over to SDAPs we must develop a new form of engineering, one that will be used to design political, economic, and cultural systems that work even though humans have not been designed (or evolved) to fit in them. One component of this new form of engineering has been popularly maligned as "social engineering", a concept we must attempt to rehabilitate, starting with the fact that it doesn't mean what most people seem to think it does. The use of laws and policies to coerce individuals into performing (or ceasing) certain actions even when it is not in their own or even society's best interests isn't social engineering, it's just behavioral engineering. A structural engineer doesn't try to change the "behavior" of steel or concrete, nor does an electronic engineer try to change the behavior of electronic components like capacitors or resistors. Instead, they are required to use these components as they exist to engineer systems that achieve some performance goal. So it must be with the social engineering aspect of Matchism, which will require the design of systems that will leverage the strengths of human beings while simultaneously providing support such that their weaknesses don't cause failures.
We've lived without this specialty for far too long. What we are living with now, from the external sources of our moral codes ("bibles") to our laws to our political systems, from an engineering perspective, are systems composed mostly of "kludges". In the software business, they would be called "hacks", in the marine business "jury rigs", and in roofing business "patches". In home and auto repair, it's the realm of chewing gum and baling wire. They are systems that were never engineered nor even designed to look or work the way they do now, they instead just grew organically, with problems addressed by making small fixes in limited areas with no attempt to look at whether the systems as a whole need to be upgraded. The source documents for our moral codes in particular were devised and refined by leaders who not only lacked the necessary skill and knowledge to be competent social engineers, but also had conflicting motives: Although social harmony was certainly one of their goals, providing methods of controlling their subjects and maintaining their status above them surely had an equal or even higher priority, Exhibit A being that the first four of the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments are claims to power rather than anything to do with social behavior.
It is as if we all had no choice but to buy new cars with their side mirrors attached with duct tape. But it's worse than that: The people who are selling us these cars are in the duct tape business and want us to have to buy new tape every time our mirrors fall off. That is, while the primary purpose of our current systems may have been to promote social harmony, the minority SDAPs who developed them have a secondary motivation: To keep themselves in charge and to do things the way they want them to be done, not necessarily the most rational or efficient way, let alone the way that is most beneficial to the majority Neurotypicals. Now that we recognize that this is what has happened it would seem that we have the obligation to take another look at the situation, and this time use what we've learned over the past few thousand years to engineer our social, political, and economic systems. This time, we must choose which aspects of our instinctive natures we are going to harness and encourage, and which aspects we must suppress with individual effort and through the design of these systems.
For example, as it turns out there are good tools that we can use to compensate for the most problematic aspects of SDAP behavior, many of which Pleistocene Epoch humans had at their disposal but have been lost as populations and government have grown larger, more complex, and more subject to SDAP control . The first is complete information on what the SDAPs are planning to do. Back in the day it would have been extremely difficult for SDAPs to hatch a plot to attack the neighboring band (or even one of their own bandmembers) without everyone else in the band hearing about it. The modern equivalent of that are disclosure laws (e.g., the US Freedom of Information Act) which are unfortunately only marginally effective tools for ensuring Neurotypicals have the information they need to monitor and intervene as necessary necessary (e.g., the FOIA only applies to the executive branch of the Federal government, not to the Federal legislative branch let alone states/counties/cities, and the Obama administration denied a record 77% of FOIA requests in 2015, and rejected a total of over 600,000 requests during his term in office).
The second is a structured way for the Neurotypicals to publicly identify dangerous SDAP behavior and take action to override it when necessary. Sure, nowadays if the offense is particularly egregious there will be protests in the street, and maybe if it doesn't warrant a full-on protest a few Neurotypicals will write a letter to the editor for the local newspaper. But mostly these things just result in a little grousing among friends and family and swearing to work to throw the offending SDAPs out of office at the very earliest opportunity, which won't be until the next election which will be years later and by then the promise will have been long forgotten. Clearly a more direct system is required.
Unfortunately that more direct route runs squarely into the issue of "Political Correctness", a social value that began developing around the same time as the research into Authoritarianism by Altemeyer and others finally began to gain some traction. Because analysis of authoritarian behavior as a problematic personality characteristic goes against the equality-uber-alles values embodied in the politically-correct zeitgeist, it has become extremely unpopular to propose singling out any group (even SDAPs) for special blame or treatment. For example, Waller's 2002 Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing attempts to portray genocides as acts that most or all of a population are involved in committing when even the eyewitness accounts he cites clearly show that there are large differences in the participation rates among individuals. Even in Milgram's experiments (an extensive review of which can be found in Altemeyer 2006) almost 40% of test subjects refused to administer the highest voltage shocks. So there are clear (and replicable!) differences in the willingness of individuals to commit immoral acts against others, political correctness that this is a universal human characteristic notwithstanding. And even a single individual can have a tremendous impact on authoritarian behavior if positioned correctly (e.g., Mohandas Gandhi).
In addition to accepting that social engineering is a legitimate tool for correcting our current civilization's deficiencies, we will also require the kinds of data collection and analysis that make up the bulk of what engineers in other fields do all day long. For example, if you were tasked with the job of creating a universal health care system for a country, how would you go about it? Would you take a poll of all the citizens to see what they thought they wanted and implement that? Or would you only poll the current elected representatives and the corporations who finance their campaigns to see what they would be willing to support? Or would you design several systems, build simulations and prototypes of them to see how well they work and how much they'd cost and then present the results of this analysis to the public and ask them to choose? Unfortunately the Obama administration chose the second of these, which is clearly the worst of the three options from an engineering perspective, and the resulting system has several times the overhead (parasitic insurance companies) as a government-run system would have and yet has done nothing to improve competition at the service-provider level. Matchism is about doing it the third way: Using technology to facilitate collaborative efforts to engineer social and political systems and then asking The People to select which ones they want to implement.
Next: On Social Engineering
A comparison with a more established engineering field may clarify the concept of social engineering. Consider chemical engineering as a reference. The job of a chemical engineer is to produce a given quantity of a specific chemical. What do they have to know to do this, and how do they go about doing their job?
First, a chemical engineer has to know enough about chemistry to understand what the requested chemical is, and how it relates to the feedstock chemicals available as starting points. In social engineering, the equivalent knowledge base will come primarily from experimental psychology, although a knowledge of economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology will frequently be required to understand the "feedstock" of human behaviors available. A caveat here: Most people think they're competent in these fields by virtue of being a human being. This of course is an example of the Dunning-Krueger effect (i.e. people don't know enough about the domain to even distinguish competence from incompetence). If a hundred and fifty years or so of psychological research has shown us anything, it's that people don't actually behave the way we'd predict they do, nor are they anything even remotely resembling rational decisionmakers (e.g., see this list of logical fallacies and this list of cognitive biases, and for an overview of how this irrationality throws a monkey wrench into public policy regarding economics, read Ariely's Predictably Irrational).
Second, a chemical engineer has to know about the range of equipment and processes available to change the feedstocks into the desired chemical. Pipes, pumps, valves, pressure vessels, catalysts, and the various methods of heating and cooling are the components and techniques that are used in these processes. The equivalents in social engineering are information presentation, education, traditions/customs/policies/laws, and financial incentives and disincentives.
Finally, a chemical engineer has to design a process and then run a batch of the feedstock through the process and assess the output. Does it have the required amount of the desired chemical? Does it need further refining or concentration? Are there harmful or dangerous byproduct chemicals in the mix? The social engineering equivalents of this process are experiments, surveys, and statistics which measure the effect of the process on the population. Was the goal achieved? Were The People harmed by any of side-effects of the process?
Now let's compare this proposed field of social engineering with how public policy decisions are made, historically and in the present. First, who's doing the engineering? Are they trained in psychology, economics, or any other social science? Do they have any sort of engineering background? For the most part, no: Historically the people defining these policies (think Confucius, Moses, Thomas Jefferson, etc.), to the extent they had any training at all, had a general education with no systematic experience in any of these fields. Today, the majority of legislators are lawyers and businesspeople with little or no experience or training in these areas either. And although lawmakers today have staff to assist them, some of whom have relevant experience or training, nearly all of that is in a field known as "public policy", a field in which you can get a degree without having to take a single experimental psychology or engineering course. This means that public policy is to social engineering what institutional food preparation is to chemical engineering. Such public policy "chefs" have recipes they can follow, and can usually judge the output and tune the process a little to improve the result. However, because they lack the knowledge of human behavior necessary to create new recipes, it is simply not reasonable to expect them to create a new system from scratch now that it has become clear that we need one.
So, what we've done is turn the process of defining our moral codes and our public policy over to people who, besides the fact that they lack the temperament to do it right (i.e., are SDAP), also simply lack the skills to do it well. It's the social engineering equivalent of contracting with your moonshining neighbor when you need a batch of chemotherapy drug. Sure, the process of distilling alcohol from corn is also an example of chemical engineering, but is that really the way we want to go here?
These previous generations of social engineers will be referred to in Matchism as "amateur social engineers". Calling them engineers at all is a bit of a stretch since they generally don't follow even the most important tenets of engineering. Nevertheless they do have some actual engineering skills, albeit primarily of the "seat of the pants" variety, which makes them more than just "social designers" or "social architects". And this is not meant as a slight to amateurs in general: skilled and conscientious amateurs can often perform as well as professionals in many fields. Unfortunately neither chemical engineering nor social engineering are among them.
This also addresses the issue of those who would reject "social engineering" as a field because they don't want to be engineered/controlled/manipulated. This would be a naive position to take because we are already continuously subjected to this type of influence. In addition to the "amateur social engineers" working in public policy there are even larger numbers of them working in other fields, most notably the business specialties of sales and marketing. These groups are essentially using some of the same behavioral engineering techniques used in social engineering, but instead of using them for the benefit of the individual or society as a whole, the goal is to influence human behavior (purchasing habits) by exploiting what they know about human dispositions (their desires and fears) to benefit a small group of people (the employees and shareholders of corporations). You'd also have to include politicians, the clergy, con-artists, and in many cases your own friends, family, and coworkers among those who use behavioral engineering techniques to influence your behavior, and not always with your best interests foremost in their minds. At least with Matchism these efforts will be labeled as such and you will have some say as to whether any particular technique will be applied to your behavior.
To summarize, here are the distinguishing characteristics of social engineering in Matchism vs. the way it's been used up to this point:
Besides addressing the issue of leadership, Matchism will enable a wide range of other changes to improve the way governmental and economic systems work, making them better meet our needs, improving their efficiency, and making them more compatible with our species' natural inclinations and allowing them to provide a more powerful, and yet more stable, civilization than has ever existed before. Not all of the changes suggested in this document must be implemented, and some may turn out to be impractical. But there are many interdependencies and so each should be seriously considered and implemented together if they are deemed useful: It will be a lot easier to implement them all at once in one disruption lasting a few years than dragging The People through a lifetime of more incremental changes. It also gets around the problem that many people will find something they really dislike about Matchism, with different aspects bothering different people. Realizing that everyone else is in the same boat will make it possible for individuals to vote to approve it over their own personal misgivings, knowing that collectively we will all be better off. Having to approve each change separately would make "tyranny of the (bare) majority" a core feature of the implementation, which would seriously degrade compliance: Large supermajorities are a highly effective means of establishing the legitimacy of laws and policies, legitimacy being the main predictor of their effectiveness (e.g. see Tyler 2006 Why People Obey The Law, the afterward (summary) of which can be found here as a PDF).
Providing a wide range of examples has another benefit: While no claim can be made that this document is an exhaustive list, it should be at least exhausting enough that no one can make the claim that "Matchism is unworkable because it doesn't deal with problem X". Even if "X" is not discussed directly, providing sufficient examples of social engineering principles should remove any reasonable doubt that "X" would become solvable by Matchism through some process that is not available in current government or economic systems.
In the following sections, we start development of the actual "Constitution", the set of statements (in bold) that will make up the top level laws/regulations/policies/traditions of a Matchist society.
Next: Matchism Motivations
Can humans really define Goals that would give them what they really want or need if achieved? How do we decide which human instinctive behaviors should be allowed or even encouraged, and which must be worked around or even suppressed because they are maladaptive? Which aspects of our current cultures and customs can be carried forward and which must be replaced or suppressed? From this first principle of Matchism it should be clear that these are empirical questions, not matters of philosophy. Where there is doubt we must do the research and/or experimentation to objectively determine the proper course toward defining and then achieving the Goals. To do otherwise is circular reasoning: Using a maladaptation to justify acceptance of maladaptive behavior. Examples include relying on gut feelings, your internal moral code, or the pronouncements of any authority (particularly a religious authority) who has not done the research or experiments to validate their positions.
Allowing these maladaptive instincts and behaviors to influence our decisionmaking is a form of indulgence, a selfish expression of individual preferences to the detriment of The People as a whole and often every other individual in particular. Our patterns of behavior, called Clinations in Matchism, generally originate in instinctive behaviors passed down to us in our genes, in some cases over eons of evolution. But they've become more than that now because they have been modified, and in some cases even amplified, by cultural influences (customs and traditions).
What kind of government and economic systems will Matchism define? Will it be some form of collectivism, like communism? Or maybe a more hierarchical system, like fascism, but with some mechanism for ensuring that it is Neurotypicals rather than SDAPs who end up in charge? Again, answers to these questions will not be found in the realm of philosophy, but of empiricism and social engineering. If all human beings were social dominators or authoritarians (or both) some sort of fascism or totalitarianism would most likely end up being the most appropriate form of organization. Although there would be much death and destruction in such a system, it would suit The People: The SDAP leaders would love their jobs and the rest of the population would be satisfied to let them run free because their authoritarianism would allow them to accept their own suffering as a necessary part of the functioning of the system. A willing sacrifice for the Fatherland, as it were.
If on the other hand none of us were SDAP and we all instead had strong utilitarian, egalitarian, or even altruistic preferences, we'd probably be happiest and most productive in a collectivist economic system. Whether the government was democratic or hierarchical in organization may not matter so much if all humans had these characteristics, since even in a hierarchical government the leaders would not be inclined to abuse or exploit the people they govern. And if in addition religious inclinations were a predominant feature, and we also had egalitarian and altruistic inclinations, perhaps a society resembling the Amish would be optimal.
Unfortunately for us, though, none of these preconditions hold, so none of those systems would support creating the appropriate set of Goals, let alone provide the structure required to achieve them. Tens of millions of people have died in the social engineering experiments that provide support for this conclusion. These alternatives also fail to account for the fact that there are significant numbers of psychopaths and sociopaths among us who would likely gain control at the highest levels of any sort of hierarchical government and cause widespread inefficiency or even outright suffering, as they have throughout history.
Notably the Amish path is non-viable as a global political and economic system because it relies on a 20% defection rate, which has the effect of offloading the disruptive influence of Social Dominators and psychopaths onto outsiders. This is in addition to being able to take advantage of technology (especially medical care) and the stabilizing effect of a government and economic system outside their society without having to assume the burden of creating or maintaining either of these things: The Amish do pay taxes but do not participate in the running of the government, nor do they make any contribution to the development of those technologies on which they, like the rest of us, have become dependent. An Amish society without a Leviathan to enable and take care of it would quickly come to resemble the European Dark Ages with little or no social, economic, political, or scientific progress, and the people would likely be subjected to the whims of a crippling and exploitative Church run by SDAPs. A similar relationship exists with another class of "utopian" communities, the Israeli kibbutzim, which have only survived because of the influx of billions of dollars in subsidies from the Israeli government and private charities.
A curious fact about psychopaths: Although they generally prefer to have as few rules imposed on them as possible (e.g., most psychopaths are Libertarians), when selecting rules that must be applied they turn out to be the most utilitarian members of society (Bartels & Pizarro 2011). A majority of autistics, those who exhibit alexithymia, also have these tendencies (Patil & Silani 2014). This presents serious, perhaps insurmountable, problems for that philosophy which prizes "the greatest good for the greatest number" and so would seem to be the ideal philosophy upon which to build a collectivist or even socialist political or economic system. The problem is that Neurotypicals reliably fail to follow the completely rational path that utilitarian philosophy sets out for us. The concern of psychology researchers and utilitarian philosophers is that this means that humans are inherently immoral, and so either humans or utilitarian philosophy need to be changed to make a better fit. But the underlying problem is really that there are significant differences between the environment of the EEA and that of the modern world, at least as modeled in the environment of your average psychology lab: What worked for the former gives seemingly irrational results in the latter (not even counting the fact that humans weren't perfectly matched even to the EEA, due to the inefficiencies inherent in the evolutionary process). While it would be helpful to know exactly what the differences between these two environments are (and at this point we surely don't), from an engineering perspective this is not strictly necessary. Implement Matchism just requires knowing what the working properties of the components are, not anything about how or why they evolved to be that way.
This means that the new system will have to be designed such that each personality type can work within it, yet doesn't allow particular groups or individuals to use it to exploit other individuals and therefore break the system or render it unstable. Other than some sort of benevolent dictatorship with an extensive information-gathering feature, the only political system that will ensure this is some form of direct democracy with very high (near 100%) participation rates (how that can be achieved will be discussed in the section on The System). The new system design must also take into account Clinations, those human characteristic patterns that throw a monkey wrench into any plans to use utilitarianism, or any other existing political philosophy, as a guide for defining public policy.
Matchism therefore proposes three different sources of individual behavior and is designed to utilize, or at least account for, all three:
A social engineering example: While there is undoubtedly such a thing as talent, and some individuals will grow to be richer or more powerful than others, luck plays a vastly larger role than talent in determining how high the peak of an individual's wealth and power is (e.g., see Malcom Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success). Neurotypicals are instinctively comfortable with this outcome so long as there is a guaranteed floor income, a result verified by experiments which propose a wide variety of possible economic systems, and then actually measure which systems they consider to be "fair" (as if behind a "Veil of Ignorance" as described in Rawls' 1971 A Theory of Justice, see Frohlich and Oppenheimer's 1992 Choosing Justice, Bond & Park 1991, Krawczyk 2010, and Traub 2005). This is because the egalitarian Clination is a strong behavior source in Neurotypicals. It is much weaker in Social Dominators and Authoritarians, however, so they would be more comfortable lowering or even omitting a floor-income policy. As for psychopaths and alexithymics, they would no doubt choose a much more utilitarian design than either of the other two groups with even lower levels of inequality. Summed over all individuals, however, and with weightings proportional to their numbers, The People as whole don't behave according to utilitarian principles as prescribed by utilitarian philosophers (Bentham, Mill, Rawls), nor to Objectivist/libertarian principles as prescribed in Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Instead they adopt a more hybrid approach which allows for substantial inequality, yet protects those who end up not being talented or lucky. As such, Matchism is to libertarianism as Neurotypicals are to "alpha males", and Matchism is to utilitarianism as Neurotypicals are to psychopaths and autistics.
The experimental evidence also provides clear guidance on the economic system that is most compatible with humans. Like all animals, humans are instinctively competitive: Any genes that produce an individual that does not look out for themselves above all else in an environment of scarce resources would not propagate. Every small-scale community, and indeed even every social animal society that contains unrelated individuals, operates using the fundamentals of capitalism (bartering, reciprocal altruism, etc.). Living up to the Marxist maxim "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" requires a kind of altruism that is virtually unknown in the real world (for more on why altruism should not be relied on as a feature in any socially engineered system, see On Charity).
Every attempt to implement a truly collective economic system has been a dismal failure, this despite having the advantages of working on largely self-selected samples and the ability to impose tremendous economic and emotional costs on the individuals who choose to participate: It has been tried thousands of times, yet the average commune only lasts a few years, and all are characterized by high turnover rates and continual strife (see Sosis_2000, Sosis_2003, Bader_2006, and the documentary Commune, about the Black Bear Ranch in California, where despite the community itself having survived for over 40 years the average residency for any particular individual is less than 2 years). Even the mighty Soviet Union was brought to existential crisis on multiple occasions over the issue of "handicrafts" (small scale capitalism) when it became clear to the participants in that experiment that collective action and central planning were incapable of meeting even their basic needs.
The problems with capitalism stem solely from the failure of our decisionmaking systems to regulate it, not any inherent incompatibility between that system and our natures. Although most modern politicians and philosophers cite inequality as a primary problem in modern civilization, this is simply a misinterpretation of the data and a misunderstanding of Neurotypical nature. Occupy Wall Street didn't spring up in 2007 when income inequality reached its peak, it started 4 years later and was triggered by a perception of injustice that was independent of any perception of wealth or income inequality: The problem wasn't the mere existence of the 1%, it was that they were able to game the system such that they didn't suffer the same kinds of losses as the 99%. Inequality is an essential component of capitalism: It is the engine that drives it and without it there is no drive toward competition and the improvements in product variety, availability, quality, and production efficiency that competition brings. Lucky for us humans that acceptance of inequality in outcome is a Clination even though we are apparently programmed to prefer equality in opportunity.
What all of this leads to is the proposal that for any group of people with some particular distribution of characteristics and a given level of technology there is some economic system and form of government that will be optimal. At this point, given our limited technology and even more limited understanding of the Clinations we have available to us and the distribution of these characteristics in the population, we can only have a rough idea of what the eventual products of Matchism will be. And that means that it would be the height of arrogance for us to hard-wire any aspects of it to ensure that any aspects of our existing moral codes are preserved, a design that would virtually guarantee that the new system will be a poor fit for the people of the future (and of course a poor fit for us as well). What we can be sure of is that because the new system will be custom made for us, warts and all, starting immediately (albeit imperfectly), tracking our moral and technological development, Matchism will fit the people of the future vastly better than our current systems fit us.
Next: Matchism Code
Some Clinations fit well with the needs of modern civilization and can be used directly in the design of new social and economic systems. When used in this way, they'll be called Matchable Clinations, our love of technology being among the best examples. But other Clinations are more problematic because although they may have been useful in past civilization or even pre-civilization, they conflict with our current requirements, our innate tribalism being the best example of that. These problematic modes of operation will be classified as "Deprecated Clinations", borrowing a common term from Computer Science for a feature or interface that is obsolete and should not be relied on because it conflicts with the growth path and so will likely be removed in a future version. While the ability to remove individual instincts from human genetics is beyond our current technology, because humans have a great capacity for learning and are very susceptible to social pressure, merely identifying Deprecated Clinations and designing our systems to compensate for them will allow achieving most of the Goals without requiring any genetic manipulation. A partial list of patterns of behavior to relevant to Matchism is provided in the section on Clinations, and a prototype set of Goals is provided in a separate section.
But if humans are so adaptable, why not just design utopia a priori (as many have done, see the section on Utopias and Dystopias), and then train humans to adapt to it? In theory this method could work, but there are several practical problems. The first is that the new system must be adopted first, by the existing population, and so there will be no opportunity to retrain them. There is also the problem that, because many of the new rules will conflict with their internal moral codes, retraining many of these adults may not even be possible and they would instead have to be eliminated (as has been convincingly shown by the various communist revolutions).
The second problem with an a priori utopia is that Clinations differ substantially in how easy it is to modify them. Some, such as our inherent laziness and competitiveness, are so fundamental that it is probably impossible to substantially curb them without causing serious psychological damage. Others, including our tribalism and egalitarianism, are actually fairly easy to manipulate because these Clinations evolved to function on groups after classification into ingroup/outgroup status. This makes the task of modifying them more of a marketing problem than one of overriding our instinctive natures. For example, one of the experimental conditions described in Stenner's 2005 The Authoritarian Dynamic requires authoritarian humans to read a fake news story about the discovery of alien life forms that may soon come to visit us. The results were quite astounding: Those normally highly-prejudiced and tribal authoritarians started responding as if the whole human race were their in-group, and that any differences between humans could be safely ignored. This means that what would appear to be one of the hardest problems we face as a species, getting people to pull together toward a common goal, may actually be achievable quite easily by merely defining the outgroup to be those people who are not Matchists. Why even risk trying to establish an a priori utopia when the principles required to define a fair, safe, and stable civilization (i.e., the principles of Matchism) must be used to choose the rules anyway?
The third problem is the real "deal breaker": We simply don't know enough to design the perfect Matchist system at this point. Matchism is therefore first and foremost the design of a process that we can use to ensure that our new system will gradually become closer and closer to an optimal fit for us. Since the Clinations of future generations themselves will shift as a result of our new systems, the process will be iterative, taking generations to stabilize. While the core components of Matchism can be implemented and adopted within a few years and so start providing some benefits to everyone soon afterwards, the largest benefits will only accrue to the youngest people alive today.
There are three philosophical sources for the rules that will be codified in this list:
Replism is the belief that Clinations have inherent value and provisions should be designed to preserve and promote them.
Prophetism is belief that new rules can be created and applied to improve a culture even if they conflict with or require conditioning to suppress Clinations or modify their expression. These new rules may be considered "divinely inspired" or merely practical interventions designed to solve particular problems.
Traditionalism is the belief that "The old ways are the best ways". Whether the original source of the rule was Replism or Prophetism, years or generations of use have thoroughly ingrained the rule into the culture and the people raised within it.
Liberals/Progressives/Reformers will generally prefer Prophetism as a source of rules and will readily accept new rules, Conservatives will prefer Traditionalism and will resist modifying the existing set. Replism will be preferred by antisocial or inadequately socialized individuals, including many Libertarians who tend to believe that individual power and freedom must never be made subject to constraint by society at large, and particularly not by the government acting on behalf of other individuals. As pointed out previously, this also means that it will appeal to psychopaths. Matchism is generally agnostic as to the source because the acceptance criteria for a rule is "whatever works" rather than any value that accrues from the source.
The current list of provisions that have been approved by The People, the Matchism Code, will always be imperfect and incomplete. It must therefore be updated and then reapproved by The People on a regular basis as these inadequacies become apparent.
The Matchism Code (or just "The Code") is the Matchist "bible" and "constitution": The set of rules that every individual must at least know to considered an assimilated adult, even if they don't always follow them (some provisions are more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules). Because it contains more than just laws as found in most city/county/state/national codes it is also essentially a moral code, the moral code that a Matchist society will be based on. One must keep in mind, however, that one can only expect this moral code to be fully implemented after a couple of generations of humans have been raised under it: One thing we've learned from subjecting humans to countless hours in Sunday School (let alone Madrasas) is that it has little effect on their tendency to go out into the world and commit a seemly endless variety of crimes and other antisocial acts. That is, you can't teach morality in a classroom. Nor, as the saying goes, can you legislate it. Instead, our moral codes are absorbed from our environment, particularly from trusted adults when we are children (Kohlberg 1984). And although some small percentage of the population eventually (in many cases as late as their 30s or 40s) learns to abstract morality as something that can be reasoned about (Kohlberg's stages 5 and 6), as a general rule even writing down things like the 10 commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins and expecting people to learn and follow them is the hallmark of an amateur social engineer.
The common theme in this proposed Code, to the extent that the provisions differ from the types of clauses in other examples of governing documents, is that the available science on the underlying issues provides direction, and in many cases is settled. Unfortunately most people, including our current crop of politicians, are either ignorant of these facts or deliberately choose to ignore those that do not support their existing world view or their party's platform. For example, countless studies have been done on the question of whether a particular required service can most efficiently be provided by a government agency, private enterprise, a regulated monopoly, or a government contractor. But rather than hearing about these studies when a matter comes up for debate, we get sound bites: "Government Bad, Free Enterprise Good!" or "We must protect ourselves from greedy corporations". The truth, of course, is that "it depends", and determining what it depends on, and therefore which is the best option, is a key step in the process of conversion to Matchism.
Some of the proposals in this version of The Code are ahead of the science that is required to definitively support them. Note that this is not the same as claiming that any of these proposals is invalid because the science is not settled yet: Only when the research is done and conflicts with the proposal does it absolutely need to be modified. This is because it's better to make an educated guess and plan to make adjustments in the future than to simply do nothing. As such Matchism can also serve as a road map to the types of issues that require further research.
Next: The Deceased
It may seem odd to start the Matchism Code with a dead body, but it is actually the simplest illustration of how Matchism works. This situation involves making those key distinctions between utilitarianism and our traditions and existing moral codes, yet is relatively free from the inflamed emotions that make it so difficult to deal with so many other issues that involve public policy (abortion, gun rights, childrearing, welfare, etc., each of which this document will address in turn), making it perhaps the easiest issue to see clearly and objectively with. It also nicely highlights the interactions between our level of technology and our moral codes. Finally, it will also prove to be a useful litmus test/wedge issue that will help us determine where we stand on a Matchism-readiness scale, both individually and collectively.
What to do with the body is clear under strict utilitarianism. Barring serving it up to the public for Sunday Dinner or converting it into animal feed (both of which risk the spread of disease, particularly prion disease), the efficient choice is liquefaction, where the body is reduced to a liquid and then disposed of like any other liquid waste (e.g., flushed down the drain to be handled by the public wastewater treatment system, noting that direct composting is also not a good alternative: Too many non-biodegradable bits of metal and plastic in modern humans, and too high a level of heavy metals for use as a soil amendment for growing food). Liquefaction requires a fraction of the energy and imposes a fraction of the impact on the environment as cremation, let alone the large environmental impact of burying, especially in a cemetery where the grounds are maintained to a high standard.
Disposing of the body is also a Natural Monopoly: Everybody needs this service and as long as a professional standard of service is met there can be no marketable difference between providers meaning there is no economic benefit to be had from allowing advertising or other open market competition. Therefore it would be most efficient for The People to send the requirement out to bid and have the low bidder perform the service for every body.
So, why not just pass a law putting this new system in place right now and save everyone a lot of time, very unpleasant effort (frequently at a very stressful time), and money? Because most people simply aren't ready for this, based primarily on their ignorance of this option, their attachment to tradition, and what their internal moral codes tell them is the right thing to do. This being the case, Matchism defines a process rather than a directive. The People will define a Goal in this area that there be a certain percentage increase in liquefaction procedures every year, establish the bidding and payment process for this default action, then let the process play out over however many years it takes to achieve full compliance, encouraging it as necessary to keep pace with the Goal (e.g., increase the target rate by 5% each year, ensuring full compliance in 20 years).
Next: Our Internal Moral Codes
If you had been born a million years ago, your moral code would most likely include acceptance of infanticide in times of scarce resources. If an individual was judged by your band to be a danger to them, or even just a major annoyance, murder was the accepted solution. If the problematic individual was a relative of yours, it might even fall to you to commit the act. Although these things may seem abhorrent to us now, they were in fact necessary components of a system that would ensure the survival of the band and therefore the individuals within it because they lacked the technology and resources to handle these issues any other way (e.g., they lacked the resources to build and staff prisons or mental hospitals, and also the technology to treat problematic individuals with drug or behavioral therapy, in these examples "scientific knowledge" being classified as the precursor to and component of technology).
A thousand years ago, your moral code would probably compel you to report neighbors, friends, or relatives who had committed blasphemy against the Church or sedition against the king or emperor of the land you lived in, knowing that this could result in them being tortured, disemboweled and dismembered while still alive, or perhaps burned at the stake. And you might even attend these events as public entertainment! The connection to survival is a little more tenuous in this case, but the argument of the Church would include the possibility that failure to suppress this kind of dissent could cause the "wrath of God" to fall on your people, jeopardizing the survival of your group. The argument from the ruling class might include the same claim since many if not most people believed (or at least professed to believe) that the king/emperor occupied that position by "divine right". More practically, the breakdown or overthrow of either of these organizations might pose an existential threat because without them incursions from neighboring states would go unanswered and organizing production and living situations would be much more difficult.
A couple of hundred years ago, acceptance of owning, and indeed even abusing, other human beings as slaves and denying women the right to vote and other freedoms would most likely have been a part of your moral code. These practices too would have been endorsed by the Church and the ruling elites as necessary components of maintaining order and economic growth, which although still more tenuous, in some sense a loss of these things still represented a threat to you and your people.
What these examples show is that an individual's moral code is a product of the environment in which they were raised. This suggests that moral codes are like languages: The human brain comes pre-wired to have one, but the specific language or code one learns comes from the environment and is not a genetically determined characteristic. As such, it means that moral codes, like language, are merely tools and technology and the particular set you happen to end up with does not define your humanity. Unfortunately, unlike languages which can be learned (albeit with much more difficulty) once past the receptive years of childhood, we only have one moral code and it is extremely difficult to change once imprinted, even when it is made clear through rational analysis that the one that has been imprinted is a poor match to our culture and level of technology.
The recent shift in approval for gay marriage is a good example of this: As of 2014 the rate of acceptance in the US is highly dependent on age, with people over 65 almost twice as likely to disapprove as those under 30. Unfortunately this resistance to change is just a necessary feature of a moral code: If it were easy to change one's moral code, there wouldn't be much point in having one. The evolutionary purpose of these codes is to improve social cohesion and in doing so enhance the survival rate of bands and the individuals within them. Flexible thinking in the face of moral dilemmas did not improve fitness in the Pleistocene era, so we have been wired to allow moral codes to override reason in nearly all cases, although of course this characteristic is not uniformly distributed among individuals (to spell it out, authoritarians are particularly likely to defer to their internal moral code even when it conflicts with conclusions derived from rational analysis, and indeed their moral code sometimes even seems to have rules in it that prohibit even the attempt to objectively examine their moral codes).
These examples also show is that moral codes have shifted over time as technology and culture have evolved. In the case of gay marriage, a fundamental cause of the shift was the development of technology used to determine that there are anatomical/physiological differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals, which is proof that homosexuality is not a "lifestyle choice" and therefore that it is immoral to discriminate against gays as if it were. The general tendency of this shift is toward greater individual freedom and equality, but of course there have been setbacks. These setbacks also demonstrate a fundamental flaw in using moral codes as a basis for laws and policies, and that is that shrewd leaders can "game the system" by exploiting flaws in the human implementation of moral codes. The biggest of these flaws is the classification system, which only evolved to work in small communities of relatively homogeneous individuals. By classifying people who were not raised in your group as subhuman, the whole system of protection that a moral code should provide to them simply vanishes. Whether it's because they're a different race (and so would make appropriate slaves) or a different religion (in which case killing them becomes morally acceptable), this "loophole" can be exploited by any SDAP who could benefit from doing so.
This shift in morality over time also tells us something else: Our current moral codes will be considered barbaric when compared with the moral codes of our descendants. Treatment of homosexuals is only the tip of the iceberg, and while it's hard to predict exactly what our moral codes will look like a hundred years from now, let alone a thousand, there are two fairly obvious areas where the shifts are occurring fast enough that we can see them and so can make some prediction as to how they will progress: Animal Rights and Abortion.
It is now quite common to hear of people working to stop the harvesting of marine mammals for food on the grounds that they are intelligent creatures and so eligible for the same sorts of protections we humans (typically) afford each other. The same types of arguments are made against the use of primates in medical and psychological experiments. Prohibitions against raising dogs and cats and even horses for food are a common, albeit not universal, feature of moral codes the world over. The conditions farm animals are kept in have become a frequent topic for debate. On the technological front, there have been some successes in growing meat in the laboratory, a technology that once perfected will allow humans to continue to eat meat, which is a valuable source of protein and variety, without having to kill animals to do so. It would therefore seem inevitable that our current methods for providing meat are destined to be replaced by a new technology, at which point our moral codes will be free to evolve to include prohibitions on killing animals for food.
Even if they accept the morality of abortion in principle, there are few individuals living today who would condone performing an abortion of a healthy fetus late in the 9th month of a pregnancy, a point at which a premature infant would most likely survive without the use of modern technology. As technology advances and the age of viability continues to decrease, the point at which it will commonly be held that abortion is a moral act will continue to shift earlier and earlier in the gestational process. We already can save over 50% of infants delivered at 24 weeks (6 months), and can assume that eventually this technology will enable the gestation of a human being even from conception. We must note that the ability to save these infants comes with the obligation to do so. Furthermore, the primary justification for allowing abortion revolves around the rights of the mother, a right that applies not only to the gestational period, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to the freedom from responsibility for the care of the child. If the Match-homing proposal (more on that in the section Children and Families) becomes accepted and institutionalized, it would eliminate this latter concern. Together these things will probably cause a shift in moral codes toward no longer accepting the morality of abortion except in extreme and rare cases such as serious fetal abnormality or when the mental or physical health of the mother would be put at grave risk.
These examples are not intended to provoke changes in anyone's current beliefs or behavior, but only to provide evidence that hard-wiring our current moral codes into our governing documents would be a mistake unless every aspect of them had been examined in a meta-morality analysis, tweaked as necessary such that they are at or slightly ahead of our the current state of our cultural and technological evolution, and that provisions have been made to allow them to promote rather than retard this evolution. Our internalized moral system evolved to fit a world where a small group of individuals shared the same moral code. Trying to use it in a world where these codes vary wildly between individuals is a recipe for constant strife and frequent violent conflicts.
The requirement that moral codes evolve over time to reflect scientific, cultural, and technological improvements also means that organized religion can only be considered a hindrance to the advancement of civilization. Religion institutionalizes moral codes such that obsolete elements survive when they would naturally die out without this support. Therefore The Church is actually a primary source of immoral behavior, the overwhelming religious endorsement of California's Proposition 8, which was a deliberate attempt to deprive a minority (gays) of their rights, being but one recent example.
The greatest fear of organized religion is "moral relativism" which holds that moral codes inherently vary with culture and all therefore appear to be equally valid. Matchism represents a much lower level of potential conflict because it is instead based on a theory of "moral progressivism": Given human nature and a measure at time t of a population's moral code and their level of technology and knowledge, there is an optimal moral code at time t + 1 that it is obligated to achieve. Although they are based on the same type of appreciation for innate human tendencies, the difference between Matchism and the moral codes proposed by religious social engineers (e.g., Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad) is that Matchism recognizes that our technology and our understanding of human nature continuously evolves over time. The moral codes of those amateur social engineers, however, are necessarily fixed until a new prophet (or "divine revelation") comes along.
Matchism also sidesteps the problem of the need for moral axioms and axiomatic enforcement that plague most other political philosophies. For example, preventing rigid enforcement of the Non-aggression principle that is axiomatic to Objectivism and Libertarianism requires creation of all sorts of hedges and exceptions (hacks and kludges). Same with the rigid rules in Utilitarianism which lead to fundamental disagreements over how to solve The Trolley Problem. Matchism sidesteps these issues by making the "right" answer dependent on human nature and level of knowledge and technology available. That is, it eliminates the need for exceptions and other hacks by turning over determination of what the "right" answer is over to The People rather than leaving it to philosophers or ideologues. The burden it imposes in exchange is that of education: Since the "right" answer depends on the level of education of The People, one of The People's primary responsibilities is to ensure that the general level of education is high and relatively uniform, and access to technology is universal. This is not so much an axiomatic requirement as just competent engineering. The closest thing to an axiomatic component of Matchism is the recognition that any implementation of it is incomplete until a full understanding of human nature is achieved, though this too is more like an engineering specification than anything axiomatic of the philosophy itself.
Matchism also gets around the explanatory and prescriptive flaws common in other moral philosophies. Our moral system evolved to solve the relatively simple group-cohesion problems that our distant ancestors faced. Expecting it to be sufficient to uphold any advanced system of morality, as in the moral-caring system proposed by Gilligan and the empathy-based system proposed by Hoffman (e.g., Gilligan 1990, Hoffman 2001), is a fundamental misapplication of this very limited system. These are the engineering equivalent of pounding in screws with a hammer. Those philosophies fail dismally as explanations of past and present cultural norms (human sacrifice, slavery, FGM, etc.) and even the wide variety of immoral acts committed by supposedly fully socialized and developed individuals for exactly this reason. Under Matchism these things are not only not a mystery, but also not a problem: When a subject is faced with the Trolley Problem in real time, Matchism does not require that the ultimate moral decision will be made: If the five people on the siding are a different race from the subject or have recently mistreated him or her, it must be assumed that there will be little or no temptation to pull the switch to save them. That is just how our rapid-response moral system is designed to function, and no amount of education or socialization or conditioning will eliminate these kinds of violations of utilitarian prescription.
Matchism doesn't even require that most people be able to operate above Kohlbergs's Stage 4 of moral development, in contrast with religions and philosophies that prescribe (and indeed depend on) "enlightenment" coming to the majority of people, or even a significantly influential minority. "Enlightenment" having little value in the Pleistocene, achieving it all would have to be a clear indication that your system is operating out of spec or perhaps even malfunctioning. Instead of changing the individuals as those philosophies require, The System (described later) will be designed such that they only have to recognize convincing arguments provided by other individuals operating at stages 5 or 6, and vote (or delegate) accordingly. That is, we can't expect that people will feel their way to high-level moral decisions, neither individually nor collectively, but only that, when presented with the proper kinds of information in an environment that facilitates rational analysis and acceptance of that information, they can collectively act at a higher moral level than their imprinted moral codes would otherwise allow. As generations pass many of these moral code updates will become internalized which will make compliance easier and more automatic on an individual basis. By that time, of course, the t + 1 rule will mean those people will have to deal with their own set of moral code updates.
Next: Some Harder Problems
Many of the provisions in this version of the Matchism Code will seem radical to people who've never taken an unbiased look at our current civilization. But they're all actually relatively straightforward and things that we are clearly ready and culturally mature enough to implement now. The really radical stuff comes later, and will take a lot more time before we are ready to systematically address them. To provide some perspective that shows how ideas in The Code are just the low hanging fruit, here are a few examples of some harder problems.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need an answer to the questions: What is "A Good Life"? When has a person achieved Eudaimonia? What kind of life has "meaning"? What does it mean to be "flourishing" or "thriving"? What is "well being"?
Philosophers and religious leaders have debated these issues throughout human history (and probably before that), but we're still waiting on a definitive answer. Recent philosophical efforts, such as Flanagan's Eudaimonics (as described in his 2007 The Really Hard Problem) and Kitcher's 2011 The Ethical Project, seek answers in the same evolutionary realm as Matchism, but, as with Positive Psychology (yet another path) and all the religious alternatives, they end up with a prescription involving the concept of "virtue", as if a set of behavioral directives (and potentially the conditioning or other behavioral engineering required to implement them) could be used to create a "well-lived life" for everyone.
Although Matchism doesn't rule out the possibility that this type of behavioral engineering could be part of a system that supports Eudaimonia, it also shows how it could actually be a counterproductive path and almost certainly is looking for the solution in the wrong place. Again, the fundamental problem is that it is not possible for even a majority of the people to have a "Good Life" if the political, economic, and social systems they are living in do not support this. Our current systems surely do not: Although Flanagan claims that 80% of the world's population is seeking Eudaimonia (the other 20% being preoccupied with their very survival), most surveys show that less than 20% actually achieve anything close to it (in case you couldn't guess, these individuals are invariably wealthy, well educated, and married, and this of course is discounting nuns or monks or cults like the Amish: It's much easier to lead a "Good Life" if you can parasitize other humans by exploiting their Clinations, but of course this option is not available to everyone or civilization would simply collapse).
Why should we work on the systems (via social engineering) first, rather than teaching individuals how to be Eudaimon? Take any virtue as defined in one of these religions/philosophies and assume that we had some behavioral engineering tool (e.g., conditioning) that we could use that would increase this virtue by 20% in every person. None of the major philosophies or religions seem to have any prohibitions against this sort of thing: Virtues are by definition "good", and apparently the more the better! For example, take "Courage": Would it be a good thing if we increased every human's courage by 20%? Surely more people would get what they really wanted out of life if they had this treatment. It might even prevent wars because the newly-brave Authoritarians in the population would have a far lower resting activation level and so would be much less likely to feel the need to act aggressively against outsiders who may be threatening their resources. Then again, increasing the bravery of Social Dominators by 20% may make them unmanageably aggressive. Indeed, increase the bravery and creativity (another of the standard virtues) of an ordinary psychopath by 20% and you'll create another Mao Zedong. The problem here should be obvious: There can be no such thing as a "virtue" unless defined in the context of social engineering. How will the system respond when one of the components (or all of the components) are changed? What do these systems really need to increase the likelihood of Eudamonia, both overall and for each individual?
Next: Freedom and Credentials
There should be no government restrictions on the press, and that includes judicial gag orders and information withheld in the name of national security with the limited exception of coverage of current or planned military missions in a declared war. This is a far greater level of information than is available in any country today, but an obviously necessary upgrade (are any of them free of the kinds of problems SDAP leadership causes?)
This is not much different from current practice in most countries: One must have Credentials to drive a car or pilot a plane, practice medicine or law, or use certain technology (e.g., explosives and ham radio). This design just expands the range of activities that will require certifications, and simplifies and organizes the practice of granting them. Want to smoke tobacco or drink alcohol or take other drugs? You will have to have a Credential that shows you have a complete understanding of the substance to be consumed and the risks to the individual and the People associated with it. Abuse that freedom? Get your Credentials suspended or revoked, and therefore your right to purchase or use those substances.
One common, almost universal, denial of individual freedom is the use of age to restrict it. For example, there are many 14 to 16-year-olds, and a few even younger individuals, who are perfectly capable of participating in the process of government, yet they are prohibited from doing so. On the other hand, there are some 21 year olds who are clearly not ready to be given the responsibility that comes with drug (including alcohol) consumption. It is therefore both an abuse of individual freedom and an ineffective means of protecting the rights of others to regulate freedom by imposing age restrictions. Instead, the credentialing process should be used to provide freedom based on knowledge, ability, maturity, and other characteristics that vary among individuals not as a function of age, but of experience and the relative strengths and control they have over their Clinations.
The Standard Adult Set of Credentials would include a knowledge set roughly equivalent to a high-school education, but with an emphasis on skills necessary to be an active and participating citizen including assimilation of some subset of the Matchism Code and mastery of The System. Immigrants would also be expected to meet these requirements before they could become citizens.
Rather than try to enumerate all the ways an individual may differ from any other, let's instead turn the whole thing around and outlaw any discrimination unless there is scientifically valid reason for it. Conversely, there are a very large number of freedoms people have now that when abused have severe negative consequences for other individuals and/or The People in general. Some of the more significant among the List of Credentials: parenting, running a business, and voting. All of these things require skills that not everyone has and they shouldn't be doing them until they can show the rest of us that they have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills.
More on this in the section Children and Families.
Next: Government and Taxes
The required function of government being the optimization of cooperative behavior among individuals. This is something that does not happen voluntarily, falling farther from optimal the larger the number of individuals involved (see Chapter 2 of Mueller 2003 Public Choice III).
The optimum size of government is well researched, yet few people have any awareness of what the numbers actually are. So instead of using this optimum size as an input to the process of engineering the best government, they go by their gut feelings as to whether the size of government should be increased or decreased based on how it performs at its current size. Imagine replacing a bridge by this process: "We need to save money by cutting the size of the girders" or "I think the new bridge should use 10% larger girders than the existing bridge because then it will be safer". An engineer would find out what the load on the bridge will be, then design it to match that load. The research shows that government consumption plus investment should optimally be around 30% of GDP, according to Davies 2009 and others. Unfortunately the US is currently at about 40% and many European countries are over 50%.
The only way any of us will be safe is to ensure that not only that we prevent SDAPs from wielding inordinate power in our own governments, but in any other government as well. In addition to the direct threat of aggression from any other SDAP-led government, any "saber rattling" behavior they exhibit will have the effect of raising the activation level of any Authoritarians living under Matchism, which will in turn cause them to act aggressively and irrationally. The only way to avoid that outcome is to eliminate SDAP leadership, conversion to Matchism being the most effective alternative. This means that Matchism is inherently a one-world-government design, although it differs from all existing world-wide organizations and most other proposals in that it is "bottom-up" instead of "top-down".
The Managers are the executives who direct and supervise government operations. Like mayors/governors/presidents they have complete authority over the execution of laws but do not make the laws themselves. Unlike most current political systems, however, Matchish Managers are not politicians but instead are specifically trained and talented in the areas of government operations. They are not elected, but rather selected, by The People. More on this process below.
There are three essential requirements of a tax system. The first of course is that it must generate the revenue necessary to run the government. The second is that it be efficient, with as little burden on the entities using it and as little enforcement infrastructure and other overhead as possible. The third is that it be fair, with all entities paying into the system in proportion to their benefit from it. As current income-tax systems fail to deliver on all of these requirements, they must be replaced with something that will. Anyone who's read a newspaper about budget deficits and national debt is well aware of the failure of the first requirement, anyone who's filed a tax return knows how the second isn't working, but everyone knows that there are large numbers of individuals and corporations that are not paying their fair share of taxes via their ability to exploit loopholes in the tax code or cheat by not reporting all of their income. These evasions of taxes not only deny the government the revenue it requires to operate, it also shifts the tax burden onto honest citizens from the dishonest ones. This inequity is highly corrosive to the public's opinion of the state, and creates a vicious cycle that makes it harder to collect taxes from anyone (see Hammar, Jagers, & Nordblom 2009).
A compelling case has been made to replace income taxes with some sort of national sales tax (e.g., the FairTax and the Flat Tax) which could solve all of these problems. These proposals would need to be customized to account for other features of Matchism, however. They also can be customized because as a direct democracy a Matchist government avoids by design all the corruption and gaming the system to which representative-based government is prone (awareness of which is why those other sales or consumption-based tax proposals have been limited to fixed rates).
For example, rather than a flat tax of 30% as has been proposed for the FairTax, which does not provide the optimal solutions available through social engineering, a Matchist tax rate will vary depending on the Goals of The People and the impacts of each individual product type. Taxes on recreational drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) could be higher than for food, because of the greater costs to regulate them and deal with individuals who end up abusing them. This is social engineering because it provide information to the consumer about the actual cost of these products to The People and apportions these costs specifically to those who purchase and use them and so are most likely to incur them. The People might also want to reduce the use of these substances based on current moral biases, although that would be an example of class 4 behavioral engineering and not really social engineering because it is not justified by any demonstrated benefit to society as a whole. Taxes on things like appliances and vehicles could take into account their impact on The People and their environment (safety, energy efficiency, embodied energy divided by projected lifespan, etc.)
An example, from the domain of auto sales: What should the tax rates be on supercars (e.g., Ferrari), luxury cars, and entry level models? All the same? This seems poor social and financial engineering: The Owners of the first two categories are relatively price insensitive (indeed, exploiting this feature is even a primary marketing tool used by Ferrari: By intentionally designing their vehicles to be very expensive they reduce the number of people who can afford them, this exclusivity being one of the main appeals of owning a Ferrari in the first place). So the sales tax rate on them can easily be made higher than for other products without substantially affecting the sales of those types of vehicles or the individuals who purchase them. So why not tax supercars at 30% and luxury cars at 20%, which would not only significantly increase revenue but also amplify one of the key features of these vehicles, their exclusivity? As for economy cars, they are generally not purchased out of any desire for status, but out of basic need. They could be taxed at a lower rate which would make them more affordable which in turn would raise the standard of living. This in turn would ultimately have the effect of decreasing taxes all around by reducing the percentage of taxes paid back out in social-support programs (welfare, pensions, etc.). So, for this example, the tax rate could be calculated as vehicle-cost^0.28, which would produce a 15% rate for a $15K USD economy car, a 22% rate for a $60K luxury car, and a 30% rate for a $200K supercar. This would be an example of social engineering using class 2 behavioral engineering: The idea is not to coerce individuals into particular types of behavior, but to provide a benefit to The People in general (a functional government) while having as minimal an impact on individuals as possible.
Now for a social engineering view of the issue that also makes use of more invasive class 3 behavioral engineering: There are several reasons why The People would want to influence the type of car an individual would purchase, or indeed the decision whether or not to purchase a car at all. The most important of these is the fact that the full cost of vehicle ownership is not borne by the individual purchasing it (i.e., a "tragedy of the commons"). Environmental impact including embodied energy from the production of the vehicle, its fuel economy, its projected lifespan, the amount of land required to drive and park it, and the cost of disposing of it all factor into the full cost to The People associated with a vehicle purchase. Note the difference in purpose here, which distinguishes class 2 from class 3 behavioral engineering: In the previous example the idea is simply to collect enough taxes to fund the government while having minimal impact on purchasing habits (i.e., individual behavior). If the goal was to behaviorally engineer purchasing habits, a even higher tax rate could be used. For example a power of 0.38 would result in a 100% tax rate on a $200K supercar, doubling the cost of that car. This would no doubt have a significant effect on the number sold. The downside, which would have to be taken into account in any social engineering analysis, is that it would put the makers of those car at risk, and the loss of these companies might have a negative impact on society in general (such as loss of jobs, and the intangible issue of whether the world a better place because Ferraris exist).
Anther factor that might come into play when making a social engineering design for vehicle sales taxes is the safety of the vehicle and its occupants: Some cars are more likely to be involved in accidents than others, and/or cause more more expensive damage in these accidents. These vehicles should be taxed more because the costs borne by The People are higher. We also design parking lots to accommodate the largest vehicles, wasting vast amounts of space and yet with no additional cost paid by those people driving those large vehicles. Although some of these may be accounted for in other costs the vehicle owner might be responsible for (insurance, fuel or carbon taxes, land lease rates, etc.), when you're doing engineering the entire system must be considered to make sure there are no variables that are unaccounted for. This will ensure fair rates for all.
Finally, a behavioral engineering example that is actually not social engineering at all: For this we'd need a reason to try to influence an individual's car buying behavior independent of any actual proven benefit to the individual or The People in doing so. Which is why, when you look at it that way, purely behavioral engineering is something that should generally be avoided if at all possible, and potentially even prohibited. The most common example of behavioral engineering is advertising, which is designed to manipulate customers into purchasing products that they usually don't even need. Not only is this practice harmful to the customer, but is an inefficient use of resources (i.e. advertising that is not purely for informational purposes is a parasitic burden on the capitalist system because money spent on advertising could have been spent producing a better (or lower cost) product, and time and energy wasted by the consumer in viewing (or filtering out) this advertising could surely have been invested more effectively).
One especially egregious example of this type of behavioral engineering related to car buying is government funding of "Buy American" campaigns (directly via purchasing policies or indirectly via tax subsidies), and imposing protective tariffs imposed on foreign-produced products. Although these things are supposedly done to enrich "The People" by protecting corporations and employees in certain specified industries, the science shows that it seldom if ever actually works out to "The People's" benefit even in any particular country, and always has a negative impact on The People as a whole. The "Buy American" example demonstrates another key difference between social engineering and most behavioral engineering, which often takes the form of conditioning (class 4 behavioral engineering). That sort of propaganda-based engineering not only lacks the scientifically valid principles and goal of social engineering, it also works by changing the individual rather than environment the individual is operating in. The problem with that being the unintended side effects, in this case a heightened sense of nationalism which leads to authoritarian activation which can lead to acts of prejudice and aggression against any outgroup (even if is just a neighbor who immigrated from another country).
The People owe no allegiance to any government that does not represent them. They may, however, owe others financially, a debt that is not absolved as the result of a secession and must be resolved among all parties with a financial stake in the outcome. The People of the Globality shall have final authority in the determination of what is a fair settlement.
For example, all the developments in an area could make up one Locality, with all the rural land around them making up another. There will have to be some sort of anti-gerrymandering control defined by statute to prevent the difficulty of determining the boundaries of a Locality. For example, an entire subdivision will have to fall within one Locality, determined by majority vote of people living within that subdivision.
For the first few Localities, entire existing nations should be required to convert at once. Whether or not to subsequently allow Localities to be formed from secession of an area of another country depends on the logistics, in particular whether the new Locality shares a common border with an existing Locality and how vigorously the former (presumably SDAP-led) nation would fight the secession.
The Implementation Agreements, which would include a supplemental set of Locality Laws and a list of Locality Goals, must be approved by popular vote at the Globality level. After implementation is complete, Localities would be free to modify their Locality Laws and Goals list based on the input of the local population alone.
If a Locality is dropped it would have to either set up their own national government or restart the joining process, putting it under complete control of The People under a new Implementation Agreement.
This ability to easily refine the borders of a Locality, while an administrative headache, are key to heading off the sort of ethnic tensions that SDAPs are designed to capitalize on, and eliminates the possibility of SDAPs climbing to positions of power with the promise of leading “their” people into an era of power and prosperity. Why start a war when the people can just take a simple bureaucratic action to achieve the same result? Nevertheless, the Globality needs to be prepared to deal with the possibility that the former Locality will attempt to acquire additional resources in a neighboring Locality through the use of violence, a possibility addressed by the GSF (see Defense and Disaster Relief) and in the Matchist War Scenario.
The Globality will contract out development and maintenance of a single global electronic payment system that will replace checks, credit and debit cards, stored-value cards, and electronics-based payment systems. To provide competition, however, individuals will still be able to choose the bank(s) they use as the back-end for these transactions.
There will probably be a run on the banks in the days leading up to this change as people will hoard cash in fear of having to pay a tax on it in the future, so it may be necessary to impose a cap on withdrawals (just as there is now for ATM withdrawals). This behavior will subside in the months afterward and most of this cash will return to the banks, never to be withdrawn again. Note that the GEM system must also enable private-party transactions (e.g., via Craigslist), most likely by running on smart phones or other portable devices. This will not only drastically reduce the need for cash, but also raises the possibility of collecting sales taxes on these transactions, at least at some point in the future.
Next: The System
Our current political systems are generally classified as "representative democracies", where The People are required to delegate responsibility for the creation and modification of the laws and policies that affect us to "representatives". The general theory is that these "representatives" are somehow "representative" of us, and would therefore make decisions that the same decisions we would make if we were in their position. But what if none of the candidates for a given office are like you at all? For example, which of the two major 2016 US presidential candidates are you like: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? For most people the answer is "neither". And yet these were the only two realistic choices for a leader who would be placed in charge of making a vast number of decisions for us via executive order, in large part because the legislative branch is simply incapable of making the number of decisions they should be responsible for. The situation is even worse when deciding which candidate for senate/congress/county commissioner/city council/etc.: Not only is it unlikely that they will vote like you, in most cases you have very little information about what they're like and so it is impossible for you even try to predict how they will vote at all!
The System, an electronic direct democracy and information management system, will work from the opposite direction: Rather than requiring you to research and then pick "representatives" from a very limited set of choices and then trust them to make good decisions on your behalf, you will instead provide information that will be used to match you to proxies that have already voted on a proposed law or policy, specifically those proxies that most likely voted like you would if you had the time, experience, and motivation to properly research that proposal. You will then have the opportunity to verify this automatically-calculated vote by examining the justifications for those votes provided by your proxies. If you agree with their reasoning, or if you have learned that you can trust the system's proxy-matching ability and so don't even check up on them, this proxy vote will be recorded on your behalf. If you don't agree, you can cast a direct vote to override your proxies.
General Voting will happen over a weekend for maximum convenience of the voters. The proxy batch calculation will run every Friday at midnight UTC (4pm US Pacific time). After the proxy votes are calculated each voter get an email or text message telling them what vote has been calculated for them. They will then have the weekend to look at how the proxy candidates voted and why, and to override or selectively eliminate each proxy if they disagree with the justifications supplied. Voting closes Sunday at midnight UTC and an email/text will sent to each voter with the result and an announcement of the next weekend's proposal(s).
If a voter has the time and inclination to do the research and consideration necessary to cast a direct vote and wants to make themselves available as a proxy to other voters they'll have at least 10 days to do so (the proposals will be put up at the latest the Monday the week prior to the General Vote). These early voters will have access to the information in the proposal and to comments provided by any proxies who have voted before them, but will be reminded to vote carefully: Other voters will be relying on these decisions and votes cannot be changed once they have been cast.
The distinguishing characteristic of The System is the way voters are matched to their proxies/delegates/representatives. Unlike other systems, this system is specifically designed to maximize the chances that the vote recorded for an individual is most likely to be the same vote that voter would cast if they had the time, experience, and motivation to properly research an issue prior to casting a direct vote (i.e., casting a "correct vote", as defined in Ha & Lau 2015 and Milic 2012). It will do this by matching the voter based on relatively invariant personality characteristics such as the Five Factor Model (aka the Big 5 personality traits) along with other measures of personality, political orientation, and possibly even their past votes if a voter has cast a sufficient number of direct votes. Although there isn't any direct research to support the viability of this design yet, there is considerable research that these traits have high predictive value for things like political orientation and party affiliation (for a review see Gerber, Huber, Doherty, & Dowling 2011), which in turn is at least somewhat predictive of positions on specific issues (indeed, by bypassing parties and the commonly used yet relatively crude measures of political orientation as intermediates we may find that the predictive power of the statistical match is far greater).
The System also differs significantly from other systems in that these calculations are done automatically and by statistical analysis rather than relying on human's rather horrible ability to pick their own proxies. For example, Kling, Kunegis, Hartmann, Strohmaier, & Staab 2015 looked at the operation of the LiquidFeedback system as it was used by the German Pirate Party and found that when votes cast prior to delegation were compared, the votes of voter-selected delegates only correlated 0.6 with the votes cast by the voters themselves. Yet there was a 0.5 correlation among voters chosen at random, which means that manually selecting delegates is not significantly better than using random sampling (albeit without the flaws in lottocracy/demarchy/sortition, all of which have at least the same fatal flaw exhibited by the judicial jury selection process: Anybody who wants to get out of serving can almost certainly do so, leaving only the least capable (or most authoritarian) to render the decision, which is exactly the opposite of what you want when making public policy decisions). This inability to choose appropriate proxies is undoubtedly due to the fact that people use inappropriate characteristics to select their representatives (name familiarity, friendliness/extraversion (who you'd most like to have a beer with!), recommendations of other non-representative individuals, etc.) just as they do in our existing misrepresentative democracies.
Kling et al. also found several other serious flaws in the operation of the LiquidFeedback delegation system, including inadequate utilization (less than 15% of participants ever used this feature), dead ends (voters delegating to a person who didn't cast a vote), and a significant effect of what they called "supervoters", individuals who somehow managed to amass hundreds of proxies and were therefore granted the ability to act as oligarchs, subjecting them to the same sorts of corrupting influences that currently plague our existing misrepresentative democracies. By automatically recalculating proxy matches for each vote, The System will solve all of these problems, and achieve vastly better representation to boot. Further improvement will result from providing the voter with multiple proxies (5 in the current version) whose votes are averaged, reducing the effects of outliers, some of which could be individuals who are attempting to game the system by providing fake personality profiles.
Automatic proxy matching also solves what is undoubtedly the biggest problem of both LiquidFeedback and our existing systems: Low voter turnout. In the Pirate Party LiquidFeedback runs most decisions were made with only 20% of the members casting a vote. In the US 2016 general election only about 40% of the population voted. Even the Swiss system, currently the most widely used direct democracy system in the world, generally has turnouts below 50% of registered voters. But once established, every vote in The System will have near 100% turnout, ensuring that the opinions of the all of the population, most of whom are not represented at all in our currently elections, will be taken into account when making public policy decisions. The vast majority of these newly-represented voters will be Neurotypical and so far less likely to be aggressive, discriminatory, or authoritarian (i.e., SDAP) in their voting preferences.
After voting, each voter will be given the ability to write a comment (or even a whole dissertation) on why they voted the way they did, or to choose posts that they found most influential in making their decision. To prevent these voters from attempting to game the system by suppressing the opinions of or explicitly attacking the other side, they will only be allowed to contribute to their side of the argument (i.e., if they voted "no" they'll only be able to post in the column of reasons to vote against a proposal, or to choose the posts from that column that they found influential). Other voters will be able to use this information to make their own decision, or to evaluate the quality of their matched proxies, an instinctive ability every human has from a young age even when they have little personal expertise in a domain (e.g., see Keil 2010). This maximizes the information each direct voter will have access to, while preventing the same type of trolling behavior that has become endemic in all other social media: Unlike them The System is designed to allow The People to make decisions, not to collect eyeballs to sell to advertisers. The best social engineering techniques can therefore be used to ensure a civil and efficient debate rather than just using the system to stir up emotions to attract marketable attention.
Other key features of The System will be:
The proxy system will address most of the problems raised in Hibbing's 2002 Stealth Democracy which showed that although people greatly dislike our current systems and yet don't want to be involved in all of the low-level details of running a government, they do want to be able to ensure that the people they chose to represent them are not capable of exploiting those positions for their own personal gain. Most people also do want to retain the ability to vote directly on those few issues that are important to them.
The results of all votes would be available at closing so that The People can check that their vote had been recorded and that there was no ballot-box stuffing, just as is the practice for representatives in representative-based government. After each vote, they will also get an text/email showing what vote was recorded for them along with the vote totals. This virtually eliminates the possibility of fraud because any tampering would be instantly detectable by anyone who even glanced at their phone. It also vastly simplifies the infrastructure: No need for fingerprints or other exotic authorization methods, no need for The System to be able to verify individuals using their financial information (i.e., recording credit card or bank account or other information useful for identity thieves), and no need for armies of system administrators to monitor and protect the system from attack. Indeed, it may not even be necessary to validate any sort of voter ID at all so long as citizenship rolls are properly maintained: If someone else votes using your name/ID, it's your own fault, and this alone should provide a proper incentive to make sure that every person at least signs up with the system and does at list a minimal monitoring of the votes cast on their behalf. If the system does at some point get hacked, large numbers of users will find out about it and the only negative consequence will be that a vote or two may have to be redone.
Although this is different from the secret ballot system used in most representative democracies, the choice between support for proxies and making fraud straightforward to detect versus the possibility of making vote buying and voter intimidation easier is a clear one. Indeed, by making the latter easier to detect (e.g., via statistical analysis of voting patterns and comparisons with the personality inventories) public voting would seem to be the best of both words in a technologically advanced civilization.
This type of open voting is not unfamiliar to most people: Caucuses used in primaries in many states work this way, as do most votes held in meetings in most organizations. Most people do not even have any reluctance to share their voting preferences with others (e.g., Gerber, Huber, Doherty, & Dowling 2012). Kling et al. (private communication) received virtually no reports of reluctance to cast a direct vote in LiquidFeedback as a result of it having open votes. It has also been shown that the individuals who are most insistent that a secret balloting system be used are the very people who are the least informed on the issues and so would most benefit from having their votes cast by a representative proxy instead of directly (Gerber, Huber, Doherty, Dowling & Hill 2013).
Screen names will be used primarily in The System, but it should be possible for people to match screen names to real-world names with some effort. Not only does this allow independent inspectors to check up on the voting process, but prevents the system from being held hostage by a hacker who manages to break into the main database. Social engineering tools should be sufficient to keep the screen-name/real-name information from being used inappropriately (e.g., someone including this information in one of their posts in an attempt to influence or intimidate another user would receive some sort of censure).
It is a common criticism of direct democracy systems that the large number of decisions that (at least supposedly) need to be made by government effectively prohibit individual participation in making them. But if you actually look at the number of substantive decisions made at the local, state, and national levels you'll find the number is already quite manageable: A weekly vote on 1 or 2 proposals would be sufficient (although a lot of bridges and post offices will probably end up with boring and utilitarian names, nor is there any chance there will be over 60 votes to repeal Obamacare like the US congress has). For each proposal an individual would at most have to read a few concise and well-written statements in favor of the proposal, and equally concise and well-written statements opposed. Of course, if they needed more information prior to voting they could read the proposal itself along with every comment (in ratings order) about it that anyone else had written (and there will be a lot of that information available because instead of whining about the way things are on Facebook or some other forum, people will instead express their opinion in a place where it actually matters!). Making a full evaluation and casting a direct vote should only take an hour or so a week for most people, and once people learn to trust the proxy-matching system the vast majority of them will only spend a few seconds a week monitoring the system.
It is also frequently observed (including by the Founding Fathers of the United States) that direct democracy can't work because The People are not up to the job (too stupid, too apathetic, too prone to mob effects, etc.). Many evolutionary psychologists would extend this assessment to human performance in large-scale political systems in general: Humans simply don't have the evolution-tuned hardware to perform well in that environment (Geher, Carmen, Guitar, Gangemi, Aydin, & Shimkus 2016, Petersen & Aarøe 2012). But these criticisms assume The People are unaugmented by technology. The Systemwill be designed and engineered to improve human decisionmaking ability by providing exactly the information needed and in a directly usable form. It will facilitate voters making decisions rationally using only this information instead of relying on lower-level processes, biases, or prejudice. It will provide an environment that behaves and feels more like a small-scale society even though it is designed to scale to accommodate the entire global population. It will amplify collective power while minimizing mob effects and therefore will allow us to function far more efficiently and competently than we are able to now in any current political system.
Yes, this means that issues affecting the Globality will at first be decided primarily by people living outside of Localities that have adopted the current Matchism Code. There are two reasons why this is not only necessary, but optimal. The first is that statutes and policies in the Code will eventually apply to all human beings and so all human beings should have a say in how they are defined. Allowing the first few adopters of Matchism to define these laws and policies is a recipe for disaster since they may implement culture, language, or location-specific policies that might indirectly (or even directly) harm individuals in pre-Matchist nations. This could in turn cause unacceptable delays in the adoption of Matchism by those nations.
Secondly, the first few adopters will likely lack the financial and organizational resources to implement Matchism on their own. All The People will need to pool their efforts to ensure that these early adopters are successful so that we will all eventually be able to live in Matchist Localities.
Also, while Matchism is generally compatible with any true democracy, it is fundamentally incompatible with the existence of any authoritarian regime. The research on SDO and RWA clearly shows that as long as any authoritarian regime exists in the world, no one is safe. While many westerners seem fascinated and sometimes even obsessed with the Chinese citizens' failure to fight their government's efforts to restrict dissent and access to information ("Don't those people value freedom?") this is the equivalent of worrying about the fleas on a rabid dog. The real problem is that any government, even a highly authoritarian government, works adequately during an interval of plentiful resources. It's when an era of resource scarcity returns that authoritarian governments turn to aggression, either against outsiders or even against their own people, to maintain their grip on power.
Only by eliminating all sources of external threat is it possible to control the activation level of Authoritarians in one's own country. Replacing all SDAP-led governments (and this includes most representative democracies) with Matchism must therefore be a high priority. The most efficient way to do that is by having these citizens living under SDAP rule participate in the Globality to the greatest extent possible until the Matchish grow to critical mass in that country.
This also means that Matchism is not suitable as a cult or government for a commune-like small-scale society that must rely on external support or a self-selected population: Matchism either works for all of us or it works for none of us.
Note that there is no provision for Locality-count input, i.e. as is the requirement in the US Senate (Electoral College) or for Swiss cantons in national referendums. Allowing this encourages splitting up Localities into smaller units, reducing their efficiency. Localities should be competing for citizens to grow to the largest size possible, not provide individuals with an incentive to do the opposite. Locality-count voting also encourages efficiency-killing hostage-taking behavior (i.e., tribalism, an authoritarian mindset and tactic). If there is a need to protect Localities from tyranny-of-the-majority issues, it should be sufficient to move responsibility for some decisions (e.g., on resource extraction policies) further into the local domain.
Next: On Representative Democracy
One key to the success of The System is framing the debate to reveal the distinction between true democracy and representative democracy. Once the former has been accepted as the better option, adoption of the key feature of Matchism is inevitable because crowd-sourcing is the only way to establish direct (true) democracy. The implementation of Matchism then ceases to be a political problem (which are somewhere between hard and impossible to solve) and becomes merely an engineering problem (which are somewhere between quick and timeconsuming to solve).
Although it should not be necessary to describe in detail the fundamental flaws in the design of representative government, as everyone has seen countless examples of its failures, here are the most important points to make, noting that The System suffers from none of these flaws:
But if low RWA individuals are so capable, why not just design a way to choose our representatives exclusively from this pool? Although Altemeyer's Global Change Game experiment is pretty good evidence that we'd be a lot better off if we took this route, there are a number of insurmountable problems with it.
A common criticism of direct democracy systems is that they would degenerate into "mob rule". But what is "mob rule"? The common conception, and fear, of groups is not that they would devolve into anarchy, but rather the opposite, that leaders, particularly demagogues, will emerge that will cause the "mob" to act with malice toward whatever target the leaders specify. But if we've learned anything about SDAPs it should be clear that "mob rule" is a euphemism for "SDAP rule", with the Authoritarian followers taking their marching orders from their Social Dominator or Psychopathic leaders. Dilute the "mob" by changing the composition to 50-75% Neurotypicals, who typically just stay home when the torches-and-pitchforks crowd are roaming the streets, and the group's behavior will fundamentally change.
Even so, direct democracy is not a cure-all: Sure, The People will make mistakes and make bad law, The System will get hacked into and votes will be invalidated, or a group of Authoritarians will conspire to game the system into passing a law that discriminates against some group they see as a threat (maybe Neurotypicals!). Don't Panic! Remember, your opinion never really mattered in the old system (especially if you weren't wealthy or a high-level participant in a special interest group, in which case even if it was a properly recorded vote it probably didn't matter at all!). And even under Matchism even changing lots of votes probably won't make a difference because proposals will be designed to achieve large supermajority approval. But if fraud does occur, remember that, unlike representative government which has proven to be extremely resistant to revisiting bad or even illegal decisions made in the past, The System is designed to make it quick and easy to undo the damage: Bad decisions will be reversed soon after they are discovered, in most cases probably within weeks, and long before implementation even starts.
Although this next version of direct democracy (The System) will be highly dependent on technology, it also includes specific policies designed to increase the reliability of the technology it depends on. Far more people die every time there is a storm and the power goes out than will be ever be put at serious risk under a complete implementation of Matchism.
An example of how this might work:
This is how it works now in most places, with one notable addition: The requirement that The People will have access to all the information they need to ensure that these services will be efficiently and effectively provided. Combined with the direct ability to remove problematic managers and other employees this ensures government accountability to a level not seen in any previous government design. This feature may also be increasingly necessary as a compensation for the continued decline in independent journalism.
Again, the purpose of government is to ensure cooperation (regulation), not to provide services, and to do so as efficiently as possible. As such, it should be expected that most government services other than regulatory functions will be contracted out rather provided by municipal employees. This includes police and fire services. Don't like the way the police are treating The People? No need for (largely ineffective) rioting in the streets, just vote to cancel the contract and have your Manager find a different company that has a better reputation. The new company can then choose to hire any employees from the old firm they want, and let the rest look for jobs in other areas (or in other industries).
The Judicial branch at each level shall consist of a Supreme Court of five judges with three alternates specified by the Executive Branch.
Judges and alternates are approval-rated using The System, just as for Managers. If a Supreme Court judge maintains a net-negative margin for a one-month period, they are immediately replaced by the top-rated alternate, and a new alternate named by the Manager at that level. Alternates also, on a case-by-case basis, fill in for judges who become unavailable on a temporary basis due to illness, etc.
The System will also allow "write-in" candidates: If a majority of The People specify an individual this way they will be removed immediately. This feature is sorely lacking in existing government systems. Even when a non-elected government manager (e.g., cabinet member, Supreme Court judge, etc.) is demonstrably incompetent, The People have no effective means of removing that individual from a position. This leads to frequent ineffective or even disastrous results as the US has seen in recent years with many regulatory agencies (e.g., the SEC, FEMA, EPA. etc.). No corporation or military force could work this way. How is it permissible that government managers can hire their relatives or cronies without giving The People any control at all over the situation other than resorting to ineffective protests?
Besides the power of The People, which is unlimited, there are two other major sources of political power in Matchism. Both of these have equivalents in existing organizations, but will be far more important components in Matchist government and so the design of the systems around them warrant very close attention. The first is the role of Moderator, which while ostensibly primarily that of "traffic cop", could in many cases have major impacts on the freedom of individuals and even public policy in general through the use (or misuse) of flagging and other acts (topic or thread deletion or reorganization, etc.). The second is that of Manager, a position that will wield comparable power to current executive-branch heads (governors and the president in the US, albeit presumably with much more restricted "executive order" power than these offices currently have access to). A system that balances this power with close supervision by The People without allowing them to end up micromanaging their employees is key to Matchism's success.
Although the Globality Manager would necessarily have a primary office, the Globality infrastructure must be distributed among the Localities such that a disaster (or attack) in one of them would not unduly disrupt operations. Indeed the office of the Globality Manager might rotate among multiple Localities at the preference of that Manager to ensure that this redundancy is fully functional.
The Globality would also be the ultimate insurer and backup for the public infrastructure in every Locality: It should be possible to run any Locality from a physical location in any other, or from Globality offices if no nearby Locality office is suitable.
Next: The Law
In civil law countries, the law is largely or entirely encoded in the statutes, which were voted on by the citizens of those countries or their representatives. Understanding and using the law is therefore relatively straightforward, and there is relatively little use of appeals courts except in cases where obvious mistakes have been made. Common law, on the other hand, as is used in most English-speaking countries, is partly contained in the statutes but large components of which are contained in a long history of court cases where judges attempt to "fix" ambiguities in the law by specifying the reasoning they used in rendering their decisions. This massive hidden trove of information is virtually impenetrable by untrained individuals, and even lawyers' ability to use it is highly dependent on their level of skill and the amount of resources (i.e., billable hours) that they are able to expend. This is a system virtually designed to be unfair to all but the wealthiest individuals.
As such, a reasonable summary is that civil law is written by The People for the People, whereas common law is written by lawyers and primarily benefits other lawyers and the rich and powerful. This problem is particularly acute in the US, where the most troublesome ambiguities end up being considered by a Supreme Court which is made up of political appointees, some of whom are authoritarian ideologues. These SDAPs then presume to "divine" ridiculous things like the intent of the original authors of the Constitution, nevermind that the framers of the US Constitution had repeatedly admitted in their own supporting documentation (The Federalist Papers) that they were aware that there were serious flaws in their work. Unfortunately the framers made a serious social engineering miscalculation by assuming that future generations would follow the recommendation to fix these errors rather than attempt to enshrine them:
"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." -- Thomas Jefferson
The vast majority of the Law (and Building Codes) should be standardized at the Globality level, with small (a few pages) addenda covering Locality preferences in some details of the Laws (e.g., noise enforcement hours, pet regulations, parking regulations, etc.) and Building Codes (e.g., hurricane and earthquake protection, etc.). Current practice has resulted in a hodge-podge of overlapping and in many cases inconsistent or even incompatible rules at the national/state/county/local levels. Differences in "home rule" administration result in inconsistent enforcement, and in many cases even awareness, of laws depending on exactly on to whom and in what exact location the rule might apply. This leads to injustice and vast amounts of wasted time and resources as paid-by-the-hour lawyers debate the issues.
Worse, due to the scarcity (or indeed complete absence of) qualified social engineers, the clarity and effectiveness of laws vary tremendously between jurisdictions. The fact that the legal code is impenetrable to the average citizen means they would be hard pressed to figure out for themselves what rules apply in a given situation, placing them at the mercy of bureaucrats or law enforcement agents who usually don't have a good grasp of the law(s) themselves. The end results of all of this are frequent incidences of gross injustice, lawsuits, and insurmountable problems with legitimacy and enforceability.
It is a consistent finding in research that compliance with the law has relatively little to do with the risk of being caught or of any resulting punishment, and yet these findings are not widely known and frequently misunderstood and so are not included in the design of our legal systems. People obey laws primarily as a result of their perceived legitimacy and the procedural justice through which they are enforced (see Tyler 2006 Why People Obey The Law, the afterward (summary) of which can be found as a PDF here).
The connection between the legal system and current practice of managing licenses is weak and inconsistent. For example, there is no guarantee that doctors found to have committed malpractice will even have their licenses reviewed, let alone suspended or revoked, because the two systems are independent. Indeed, even criminal acts are not directly tied to the licensing system in most cases and the victim usually needs to make a special effort to trigger a review. This makes no sense: Efficient regulation of Credentials requires that all three systems be formally interconnected, with well specified consequences to Credentials when civil and/or criminal judgments are entered. If a corporation has committed negligent acts that rise to the level of criminality the business credentials of all of the principals must be revoked. This would require that the corporation be sold and reorganized with the goal of removing all of the people responsible for those acts of negligence.
Together these upgrades should reduce the size (and financial burden on the economy) of the legal system to a small fraction of what it is now, especially in the US, and greatly improve both the justice provided to People and their acceptance of and compliance with the Law.
This means adoption of the SI (metric) system, for one thing. But it goes far beyond that in the requirement for standardization in product packaging, building codes (and building materials), and a wide variety of other areas which are currently managed by a motley assortment of government agencies, professional organizations, and even private companies. Many of these are run for-profit, which means they are practically designed to restrict The People's ability to participate in the standard development process, abdicating this responsibility to the very businesses that are to be regulated (a case of the foxes guarding the henhouses). And because these organizations frequently charge exorbitant prices for written copies of the standards themselves, The People are often prevented from even being able to determine if the products or services they purchase comply with the relevant standards. It will take a long time (decades) for this to all get fixed, but if we don't start, we'll never finish.
Most "government regulation" actually consists of defining standards and then ensuring that they are followed. Rather than relying on bureaucrats and the above-mentioned "independent" organizations to define these standards and armies of government inspectors to enforce them, The People need to be the prime mover in both of these phases. Consider the infamous "hot coffee" lawsuit (Liebeck v. McDonald's), where the plaintiff claimed that she was burned by excessively hot coffee and was awarded almost $3 million USD by a jury. How would this situation be different under Matchism?
First of all, what is the ideal temperature for serving coffee, and why is this number not already a widely known standard? What is the appropriate tradeoff between best experience and consumer safety? Should the coffee industry decide this? Individual restaurant managers? Some bureaucrat in the food safety division of a local/county/state/federal government? Of course not: The coffee consumers should decide this, based on their own experience and the advice of scientists (e.g., Brown and Diller claim it's 58C/136 F, which is substantially below what most chain restaurants provide). After the standard is debated and then voted on and approved, restaurants would be expected to serve their coffee at that temperature. If they serve it significantly lower or (especially) significantly higher without an appropriate disclaimer/warning, they would be subject to fines and their owners subject to loss of their Credentials for repeated offenses.
Does the government then hire an army of inspectors to run around and check the coffee temperature at every restaurant weekly to ensure compliance? That's essentially how most food safety systems currently work (or more commonly fail to work), and exactly why so many people have developed such an aversion to government regulation: It is frequently seen more often to be a power trip by politicians and bureaucrats than an effort to ensure that a quality product is provided. Instead, under Matchism The People will enforce their laws: Any individual can claim, based on experience (e.g., sticking a cooking thermometer in their coffee), that a standard is being violated. Inspectors will then verify the claim and then split the fine imposed among all those who reported the violation. The penalties being well defined and vastly more reliably enforced than under the current system, business owners who currently are inclined to gamble on compliance (particularly the extremely rare incidence of high punitive damages which most business owners probably rationally completely disregard when making decisions) will be far more likely to take care to ensure that their products and services comply with the relevant standards.
This system works with everything from beverage temperature to food poisoning, the latter of which costs tens of billions of dollars in lost work and medical costs in the US alone despite the government spending billions of dollars a year on "inspections". But think about the last time you got sick from something you ate: Did you even bother to report it? Would you even know how and where to report it if you were somehow altruistically motivated to expend the time and effort necessary to do so? Were you even sure of the source of the problem? Ever hear of anyone you know getting compensation for a restaurant or store selling them unsafe food? The answer to all these questions for nearly everyone is "no". But if we truly want safe food, and safe products in general, we need to change the way they are produced and delivered to us. We can start by implementing a reporting system that provides an incentive other than altruism to report a problem. The information collected can be then be used to accurately identify the problem and any fines imposed used to reward those individuals who helped discover it.
Back to the hot coffee example: If the coffee was at the standard temperature Ms. Liebecks would have no case to file. If it was not, there would be no need for the kind of expensive (and frequently inconclusive) expert witness testimony that makes up the majority of time and expense in most civil trials because all damages would clearly be the responsibility of the vendor. A lawsuit would only be necessary to establish the value of the damages if there were any question about comparative negligence.
In many cases and in many industries the most likely source of information about failure to comply with standards will come from whistleblowers, individuals who risk their jobs and in many cases their careers when they chose to expose the malpractice of their employers. Matchism and good social engineering practice requires that these individuals receive compensation commensurate with the risks they are taking (i.e., most or all of the fines collected should be passed on to those who provided the information required to initiate the process).
Next: Land and Natural Resources
Although it may seem radical, as a practical matter there is very little difference between this design and current practice. There are already a great many restrictions on the use of land individuals may "own", including zoning, covenants, land use and building codes, and environmental regulations. Individuals can be easily deprived of "their" land by seizure due to unpaid taxes or other liens, or even via methods entirely outside their control such as using eminent domain for public works projects or to eliminate blight.
This design is primarily an improvement in the honesty of how the system currently actually works, but does have some additional advantages. Firstly, it emphasizes the obligation of all The People to ensure that these resources are not abused or exploited. Although the immediate effect of this will most likely be higher commodity prices for products that come from public land as The People raise resource extraction rates to reflect their interests, this increase will be offset by a corresponding decrease in the tax rates elsewhere.
Secondly, it moves authority for approving significant changes to The People, who may decide that it is better to leave some resources (e.g., oil and gas) in the ground as an investment in the future rather than having wells drilled in their neighborhoods, even if that means higher short-term prices for those commodities. Current practice almost always favors the rights of the extractors over the rights of The People.
Finally, it ensures that The People will regularly review the use of the resources and can more easily change these uses if doing so aids in achieving the Goals: Individuals are far less likely to resist these types of conversions if their conception of their rights to the land only extends to its use. This denies that they have some special right to the land because they "bought" it, or are squatting on it, or merely that their ancestors lived on it at one time. This will greatly reduce the emotional content of the process of conversion of the land to eliminate blight, reassignments to more productive use, or remove it from use entirely (e.g., in flood or other hazard zones) by converting it to Parkland. Most property "owners" will be unaffected by this change: Only those who misuse the land or hold it for speculation or to deprive The People of its productive use will have their plans put at risk.
Here there be dragons: Property taxes are a nightmare in the US, with most counties using seemingly arbitrary systems for setting property values and levy rates. Furthermore even calculating the required income will prove to be extremely difficult because county financing is so dependent on local sales tax rates, state subsidies (particularly for transportation and education), and the exact fees charged for services (which vary wildly between counties). Along with the difficulty in determining the required income, there are also vast areas of inefficiency (if not outright corruption) in the way these funds have been spent because The People have very little awareness of (and no supervision over) individual budget items at this level.
Secondly, all existing national public debt and significant amounts of union and corporate pension debt will have to be refinanced as Locality debt as part of the implementation process. This will also tend to increase land lease rates which will in turn increase mortgage PITI (Payment Including Taxes and Interest, which would actually become "PILI") and rents.
Finally, the issue of land lease rates for religious organizations, educational institutions, etc. must be addressed as there are very different policies in different areas. Not requiring any payment from them at all is obviously unfair and impractical (they use public services, including fire and police protection, and so should pay for them). But because they do provide benefits to the community it would seem reasonable to charge different types of organizations at different rates from commercial and residential real estate, just as those two currently differ.
This will all have to be designed, and may result in significantly different rates than property owners are paying now, but once the first few Localities have been established and have a budget track record of a few years it will be straightforward to apply the acquired templates to all future Localities (modulo the large number of lawsuits and criminal prosecutions that will be triggered by having independent auditors go through the previous government's books).
Note that land lease rates do include the value of the improvements to the land, but that there is no provision for taxes on personal or business property. These sorts of taxes are widely abused via loopholes and underreporting and are a nightmare to compute even for those who choose to pay them because they have to factor in things like the current very complicated basis/depreciation calculations. By replacing income tax with a sales tax there is no need for that timeconsuming, inefficient, and dishonest system anymore (e.g., even calling it "depreciation" is frequently a misnomer because, for example, the structure of a building generally doesn't actually depreciate: It's value may actually increase in the interval between when it is bought and sold. This requires that capital gains (income tax) be paid to recapture this, rendering many what should be routine investment decisions extremely difficult to make).
Current systems for property assessment are fundamentally flawed and corrosive to civilization because they usually pit the government against The People. Individuals want taxes as low as possible and so attempt to get the lowest assessment possible whereas the government seeks to maximize revenue. Eminent domain foreclosures become an expensive nightmare of legal proceedings because the value of a property is never agreed upon. A bit of social engineering would solve both of these problems efficiently and fairly: Add a dynamic so that The People are in competition to establish these things. For example, any eminent domain compensation could be tied at the last assessed value + 20%. If a developer wants to knock down a housing subdivision and put in a shopping mall (or vice versa), they would prepare a proposal, using the value + 20% number to establish viability, and then get it approved by a vote of The People. There would be no haggling over price of each property because there would be an implied consent that the value was accurate by virtue of the land lease having been paid based on that value. There would be no issues of corruption or favoritism by elected officials because they would not be involved in the decision. The displaced individuals or companies would take their 20% bonus (perhaps split 50/50 between owner and renter for rental property) and use it to relocate and likely upgrade. The developer would get a quick and inexpensive decision, and no unnecessary delays in completing the project. The People would get the new infrastructure they believe they need with a minimum of delay and legal expense. The only losers in this system would be those who believe that their individual needs outweigh the agreed-upon policies of The People, i.e., individuals who are indulging a deprecated Clination.
Since there will be consequences to the global sales tax system from shifting to a wholly land lease local system, the two systems must be designed together (e.g., by not imposing the taxes on mortgage interest and rents (as proposed for the FairTax) to account for land lease rates that will end up being higher than current property taxes in some areas where sales taxes are also used to fund local governments and where public debts are high).
The use of the word "incalculable" is not an attempt to use mysticism as a justification; it's merely a statement of fact. For example the proposal that it's important to save the rainforest because there may be undiscovered organisms there that may contain a cure for some human disease is an incredibly superficial analysis. An analogous situation may be chaos theory as it applies to weather, as in the old saw about a butterfly flapping its wings in China causing a hurricane in Florida six months later: The direct effect is not what it's important to consider, it's the ultimate result.
In the case of species extinction, it's not just that a particular species butterfly goes extinct; it's that the species might have been the inspiration for the greatest work of art that human beings will ever create. It's not that some species of tree goes extinct, but what if apple trees had gone extinct and having an apple fall on his head was somehow a crucial component to Newton deriving his theory of gravity? And it's not that only one or two people might be saved by an antibiotic discovered in the rainforest, but what if one of those people was to be the next Mozart and the other the next Einstein? And while each of those examples is highly unlikely individually, they represent only a single additional level of interaction. Multiply the probabilities of all possible interactions throughout millennia of interaction, and we are virtually guaranteed to find enormous costs in that matrix somewhere. And this presupposes that we even have a valid valuation function to use to determine the costs: We have no idea how a future, more culturally advanced, civilization will even value any of these things and therefore how they would value the preservation of species or habitat.
As such, until we know, and have gained the power to control, exactly what we're doing, allowing even a single species to go extinct is an unforgivable act and must be prevented regardless of the cost to the human economy. Our current civilization is the moral and engineering equivalent of a toddler, bashing around breaking things when we have no idea of the value of anything. Like children we are completely oblivious to the majority of the damage we cause.
Certainly we know that at this point there is already far too little Parkland for many species to even continue to survive, especially in areas that are suitable for agriculture and resource extraction, so the focus now must be acquiring and restoring Parkland, not just limiting the degradation of existing land. Part of this process will necessarily be the establishment of specific targets for the human population of the earth and then putting social engineering policies in place to ensure that we reach these goals.
This is not a blanket endorsement of any spiritual form of environmentalism: As the dominant species on this planet it is our right to decide what to do with it, including the fates of all the other species on it (although we might quibble about the fate of existing individuals of other species). If we collectively and rationally decide that the species "variola" (smallpox) is just not worth preserving, we have the moral right to eradicate it. The same applies to mosquitos, the passenger pigeon, or giant pandas. But the elimination of a species is something that must be decided rationally and consciously, not just as an accidental side effect of the behavior of a few humans who might benefit from the acts that caused the extinction. Indeed, if we decide that we want the planet a few degrees warmer or are merely willing to accept that in exchange for a more comfortable lifestyle in the short term, we have the right to put all the carbon in the ground into the air. We just have to be sure that this is something we have collectively decided on, and that we have prepared for any consequences (i.e., the fate of those hundreds of millions of people living near a rising sea level must be a part of the plan).
This rule also applies to our own existence as a species: If we are given the opportunity to implement some technology that would allow each of us to live the life our dreams at the cost that our species goes extinct after the current generation, this is a decision we have the moral right to make. We owe no obligation to those who have not been (or may never be) born. It is our obligation to choose wisely and collectively, however.
This provision of The Code relies on the Clination Appreciation for Nature. If humans didn't have that, the most appropriate civilization would (at least eventually) be one where all arable land on earth was used for agriculture and the rest used to house the maximum human population that could be supported (assuming no "anti-overcrowding" Clination, of course). There would be no need to maintain "wild" areas, particularly if the experience of these could be simulated and preserved via technology (e.g., DNA samples of all species stored digitally and visuals/sounds/smells or even complete organisms or habitats recreated for entertainment or research purposes). But this is not how humans are: A strong desire to explore uninhabited areas and see unrestricted wildlife is built into our genes and probably what led to our colonization of even those areas that are generally unsuitable to support us. So the question then becomes where to put the balancing point between the wild and the human-occupied areas.
Which again brings us to some issues with Libertarianism and Utilitarianism vs. Matchism. Axiomatic rules about individual or collective benefit run into serious problems with the issue of population control. Is the greater good having more people with less freedom? Certainly by strict Utilitarianism this must be the case. It would seem to be the case with Libertarianism, at least to the extent that "freedom" includes complete reproductive freedom. But imagine a world with only a few thousand people in it. There would be no need for any of those pesky rules that Libertarians rail against: No building codes, no pre-emptive anti-pollution or land use regulations, and vastly fewer behavioral restrictions. The ecosystem could easily absorb any assault this small of a group could inflict on it. This scenario provides much more freedom individually than a highly populated world. A population at the carrying capacity of the planet, on the other hand, would require a wide range of freedom-restricting rules, including the restricting the very reproductive freedom that brought it to that point.
While Libertarians might insist that there's a big difference between preemptively restricting freedom and only restricting it after a serious problem arises, even stating the issue like this make it clear that this is just an endorsement of bad engineering practices rather than any sort of philosophical benefit. Our individual freedoms are already cripplingly restricted compared to that "thousand person earth" and they propose leaving the decision up to the individuals or market forces even though that promises only more of the same, or worse? Why is the freedom to reproduce indiscriminately so much more important than the freedom from the onerous regulations a dense population required or access to wild space that humans instinctively prefer to have? Matchism, being dependent on human nature and level of technology, is free from both the axiomatic and the engineering problems that those philosophies must deal with. It does not require any specific population goal or method of achieving that goal, only that one be established and the appropriate social engineering techniques be used to achieve it. These goals and practices will be defined and accepted by The People rather than by philosophers or ideologues.
Localities have a vested interest in reduction or inconsistent management of Parkland because conversion to Parkland and/or elimination of productive use of the land reduces their income and so increases the taxes that everyone else must pay. The much greater income at the Global level will also make purchases of Parkland much easier to arrange.
Next: Competition, Corporations, and Monopolies
To maximize competition and efficiency, information technology must be applied in all spheres of human endeavor. For example almost all corporations should be public, with control and information on revenues and share values available to all The People. This rule will apply to even the smallest businesses, providing them access to capital and experience that they would otherwise lack and yet simultaneously constraining founders from running the business solely for their individual benefit.
Technology and simplification of the tax and legal system can greatly reduce the burden of forming and running a public corporation, allowing even sole proprietors to avail themselves of this protection and opportunity for growth. It also gets around the "family farm" red herring that authoritarians and other conservatives use as an argument against inheritance taxes: If it's big enough to be worth passing on to your children, it's big enough to be publicly incorporated so that it will survive the founder's death. Being a public corporation also allows for investors in a good business to provide capital to expand it, and for investors in an unprofitable business to merge it with a more successful business to at least improve economies of scale. The exact time and scale of going public will vary depending on the specific business, but it should be expected that business that are more than 5 years old, have annual gross revenue of more than one million USD, or have more than 10 employees (full or part time) should be public corporations.
Corporations will be organized exactly like the government, with individuals (shareholders) using The System to choose the company executives and make other policy decisions. No more supposedly-independent Boards who are overpaid to provide what is generally ineffective and unnecessary "advice" and which have the corrupt bias to overcompensate executives who may someday be in a position to return the favor. This problem affects non-profits as well, and is harder to solve for them because there are no shareholders available to check up on their operation. Elimination of income taxes eliminates the main need for non-profits. To facilitate the transition, the organizational structure of these organizations could be modified such that "donations" will be converted to shares in the company, and those shares used to determine voting rights. More on this later in the section On Charity.
Corruption from corporate lobbying is an insurmountable flaw in representative democracies, but is still an issue in a direct democracy. The System itself will be relatively resistant to direct influence from it because only individuals will be contributing (corporations are not people, and so cannot even create accounts). It will also have a robust spam flagging capability to prevent individuals from becoming mere shills for the corporations. Still, it can be expected that corporations will still try to hire or otherwise encourage the most erudite individuals to create or endorse proposals that would benefit them. This is not always a bad thing, and individual freedom requires that it be allowed. But The People have a right to any information that they might find useful in deciding whether or not to back any particular proposal. Therefore any compensation to individuals from corporations must be disclosed in their Credentials.
The best weapon against the corrupting influence of corporate lobbying or vote buying on The People directly is information: All advertising must include sufficient information in it for The People to determine who paid for it. This brings social engineering into play by providing individuals with the capability to reject a questionable source of information or even organizing a backlash against the corporation(s) that are attempting to influence them. Courses on "Advertising Analysis" must be included as part of the education in psychology every student receives so that can recognize the techniques being used in any particular advertisement or other propaganda (i.e., the 5 classes of behavioral engineering). This will make everyone less susceptible to ads that exploit tribalism, susceptibility to fearmongering, and/or other maladaptive traits in humans. If statements in any particular ad are proven to be false by an independent organization, the penalty could be requiring the offender to pay to run a retraction/correction in the same time/place as the original ad. We may even want to put some of these things into the criminal code: Although we have special laws to protect children and the elderly from being exploited by unscrupulous individuals, why do we allow corporations (and SDAP candidates for President) to run advertising campaigns designed to instill fear in the general population with the goal of manipulating them into behaving in ways that are against their own best interests?
Corporations will pay sales tax on the items they use, but not on products and materials they resell. Sales tax rates can be adjusted to encourage investment in particular industries or types of equipment (e.g., to improve energy or water use efficiency, encourage investment in manufacturing capacity, etc.). Since there would be no income tax, there would be no need for to keep track of depreciation or file corporate returns, liberating large amounts of capital and labor that can then be put to productive use instead. Simplifying and regularizing contracts will do the same for resources expended on the constant need for lawyers to customize and enforce them. For example, The People will define a Standard Sales Contract that includes terms that all sales contracts should have (e.g., loser pays attorney fees limited to some percentage of the damages, severability of clauses, etc.) which will be added to all sales contracts by inclusion (e.g., "This contract includes terms of Standard Sales Contract version 1.2"). In most cases, this will mean that the only thing that will differ between contracts will be the price and product/service description, eliminating the need for an attorney to produce the contract (for one party) or review it for suitability (the other party). It will also better protect both buyer and seller by eliminating "the battle of the forms" (where RFP/invoice/delivery documents have incompatible clauses), the possibility of accidentally omitting an important clause or making a modification that renders it ineffective, or having the party writing the contract try to slip something non-standard into it in an attempt to give them an unfair advantage over the other party.
Regulated (or in many cases unregulated) monopolies in the US have resulted in poor performance, poor quality, and high costs for the consumer. Particularly problematic areas include electricity generation and distribution, TV/cable, and high speed internet access, which is simply unavailable in large areas of the country and relatively slow and very costly in most others. The obvious solution is for The People to own the distribution infrastructure and for them to contract directly with producers. Unfortunately despite its obvious advantages there are few places where this has been tried, primarily due to lack of political will or the corrupting influences of these monopolies themselves. The one notable exception is Texas' "Power To Choose" system through which consumers can save about 30% over what electricity costs from regulated monopolies, but which comes with its own problems because the distribution infrastructure is not actually owned by The People and that there are no incentives to switch away from coal-fired power plants (i.e., no carbon tax which could be used to fund subsidies for solar or wind power).
An even worse situation exists with US railroads which are incredibly poorly managed and waste most of their vast potential because there is no opportunity for competition. Amtrak (the national passenger rail system) has an on-time record of less than 50% for most routes, due primarily to delays from the poorly managed and maintained freight system it shares infrastructure with. These delays are often hours long in western states, rendering the system unusable for business travel. But because the freight companies own the rails, there is no incentive for them to increase reliability or allow competitors (or even non-competing passenger rail service) to build additional infrastructure to provide better service (e.g., using the existing rights-of-way to build a high-speed rail line parallel to the freight lines). High-speed passenger rail service requires less than half the energy per person per mile travelled as airline service and this energy can be generated carbon-free from renewable or nuclear power, something that is impractical with air travel.
The freight component of the US rail system is unfortunately also very poorly managed, and many companies finding it more cost effective to actually unpack shipping containers into over-the-road trucks and drive products to their distribution centers, despite this consuming more than three times the fuel and incurring vastly higher personnel and public safety costs. Inadequate inspection and maintenance schedules results in thousands of derailments every year, causing billions of dollars in damages to products and devastating and often fatal consequences to surrounding areas. We would not tolerate this frequency of failure in the airline industry, why do we tolerate it from the railroads?
Rather than rely on 100-year old diesel locomotive technology, train cars should be self-powered (electric) and autonomous, using separate engines only when necessary for climbing grades (and feeding that energy back into the electric grid on downgrades). When a train arrives at a city, it should disassemble itself with each car driving to the siding it is directed to, with individual cars supporting the more efficient end-loading the way over-the-road trucks do. The rights-of-way and the rails should be owned by The People, and the moving parts owned by private companies who would bid for use of the infrastructure, providing a strong incentive for them to use that infrastructure as efficiently as possible. This transition will never happen with the US's current monopoly-based rail and representative-based political systems, but would be straightforward to implement through the will of The People in a Matchist system.
Next: Patents and Copyright
This pretty much rules out all software and business model patents, and indeed all the obvious, useless, or even completely unworkable ideas that make up the bulk of the things the US PTO has granted patents for. The major purpose of these patents currently is to stifle innovation or as a tool for the legal system to use to impose parasitic loads on the competition (or even potential competition) which of course provides no benefits at all to The People. Although a convincing case can be made to abolish all patent and copyright protection (e.g. see Boldrin & Levine, 2010), doing so could have devastating effects on industries such as drug manufacture and many forms of entertainment. The Matchist way will be to take small steps toward the goal of maximizing innovation, assessing impact as we go.
Acquiring a patent should require a working model or at least an engineering diagram and specification that would allow a craftsman to build a working model without additional support from the inventor. The patent would only be valid for a short period (e.g., 5 years, exclusive of any government-required safety and efficacy testing) unless an actual product using it had become commercially available, after which it could be renewed for an additional period (10 years?). The patent agreement must include specific requirements on license fees and restrictions to prevent monopolistic abuse of the patent. The restrictions on design patents and copyright should be much lower, and in most cases where form follows function will actually provide better protection than a patent on an invention would. Copyright protection should only last long enough to recoup the cost of developing the original work (10 years?) whereas trademarks could be renewed as long as a corporation continues to use them.
Next: Research and Development
Rather than being determined by politicians, who frequently don’t understand the science and may have a vested interest in seeking approval for projects that will benefit the districts they represent rather than The People as a whole, The People will vote on the total budget and the allocation for each research area. Yes, this will probably mean that there will be far less money for expensive supercolliders and manned exploration of space and far more for research on aging and weight control. But if that’s what The People want, that’s what they should get.
To the extent that unions are required to ensure workplace safety and other working conditions, the Globality's workplace safety regulations and enforcement should instead be expanded to ensure this. When unions exist primarily as a tool to raise wages, they are a corruption of market forces and so are unfair to workers in similar jobs in other companies or industries. For example why should workers who make cars be paid a different rate than workers who make toasters, merely because there are more of them or because they have more Authoritarians or more persuasive Social Dominators in their ranks who are willing to use the threat of violence (economic or otherwise) to achieve an unfair enrichment? If workers in a given job type are chronically underpaid, financial, social, or behavioral engineering tools should be brought to bear on this issue (e.g., increasing the Standard Income, creating a "Special Standard Income" for that group, or establishing tax penalties or incentives to allow corporations to pay them more, etc.)
As discussed in the Pleistocene Thought Experiment, human religious Clinations evolved primarily as a warfare and political organizing tool (see Wade's 2009 The Faith Instinct for a more complete explanation), a tool that SDAPs are particularly willing and able to use. In addition to this problem there are many other reasons why it is in the interest of The People to discourage organized religion. It's a huge waste of resources, for one thing, with a core of able-bodied employees (monks, priests, clergy, etc.) that are essentially a parasitic load on civilization because they provide little actual benefit to The People (certainly any claims that their amateur social engineering is providing any stability or moral guidance to anyone are without merit, and they're lucky if the most accurate description of them is that they are ineffective because they very often cause actual harm).
Religion also encourages compartmentalization, the tendency for individuals to decide that the rules in one context simply do not apply in others. This leads to all sorts of immoral and irrational behavior (e.g., aggression and violence, discrimination against outsiders, and gambling and other risk taking), to the detriment of both the individual and The People. It also encourages immoral and unethical behavior by providing a means of excusing or justifying it (e.g., "cheap grace" and tithing, which at its core is nothing more than an exchange of money for forgiveness or blessing).
The "be fruitful and multiply" edict that Mormons and Catholics use to encourage large families also falls into this category because it places the needs of those particular religions over the needs of the species and even the needs of the individuals affected (it's also of course an extremely cynical ploy: If you can't convert them, at least try to crowd them out!) Indeed, this philosophy alone may offset any positive effects these types of organizations may provide because they may be destabilizing society by increasing the frequency of eras of scarce resources. The risks here are profound, as Calhoun found in his experiments on overpopulation in rats in which he discovered the behavioral sink. While Calhoun's experiments would be considered unethical to run now even on rats (let alone people), we for some reason allow organized religions to run this experiment on the entire planet. Worse, Calhoun at least ensured that all his rats were fed, a guarantee we humans can't make. What is the equivalent of an ethics committee whose job it is to investigate this sort of thing and protect the safety and well-being of the subjects? Neurotypicals now need to step up and perform this duty.
Another great "benefit" claimed by organized religion is that the promise of a comfortable afterlife makes suffering in this life easier to bear. And by making suffering easier to bear, it increases social stability (i.e., functions as Marx's "opiate of the masses" which discourages the underclasses from fomenting revolution). While these may indeed be actual benefits, it would seem to be far better to address the core issue, the need to reduce suffering by increasing living standards and the level of individual freedom and independence, rather than merely trying to cover up suffering with a smoke screen.
The primary means of discouraging religious belief will of course be education, since this is already by far the most effective tool at achieving this (i.e., there is a strong negative correlation between years of schooling and the practice of religion). Consumer protection laws will also be useful: Want to claim services you provide will ensure good fortune, the protection of God, or a comfortable place in the afterlife? You need to be able to prove it, just like any other business would.
Social cues that it is OK not to be religious will also greatly decrease publicly professed belief, a tendency that will accelerate as it affects the environment in which children are raised: Attendance of services is much higher among adults with children, and that attendance is highly correlated with the religious beliefs of their children. Religious expression dies out rapidly if the parents stop practicing and a child with two non-practicing parents has less than a 5% chance of becoming devoutly religious.
Note that this provision of The Code only applies to hierarchically-organized religions: There is no inherent conflict between Matchism and individual spirituality or most folk religions. It is primarily the hierarchical organization of this behavior that poses a threat to The People because that allows Social Dominators and psychopaths to gain power and use that power to manipulate their followers. Indeed, Matchism is, at its core, actually compatible with individual religious belief and expression because religion is a Clination and that's the raw material that Matchism is designed to work with. We might even envision a Matchist religion specially designed to match the needs of that minority that has particularly strong Clinations in this area. This would provide them the experience they crave without the risk to themselves or The People associated with hierarchically-organized religions.
If this seems to be merely opportunistic or hypocritical, again see Wade 2009, which describes how all popular organized religions are the results of exactly this kind of social engineering. Matchism only proposes to do religion better than previous amateur social engineers. It would produce the "one true religion" by examining all religions and extracting the strongest and most common themes. Each existing religion could then be seen as a window onto the "greater truth". Since they all conflict with each other it should be obvious that each of them has at least part of the structure of this "greater truth" wrong, perhaps explained as the result of an imperfect translation by various prophets during the development of these religions. By combining these insights a clearer picture, if not of the "greater truth" then at least of our religious Clinations, will emerge.
What would a Matchist religion look like? Based on the most common features in other religions, which give us clues as to what the innate needs and tendencies of humans are, it would probably focus primarily on an afterlife (ancestor worship, heaven, reincarnation, ghosts, etc.) with a secondary focus on multiple benevolent gods (as found in Hinduism, Chinese Folk Religion, and as expressed by the various saints and angels found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). This would also support coopting existing local festivals, another universal tactic used in all hierarchically organized religions, which would provide that the "feeling of belonging" the religiously-inclined minority of the population particularly need.
Food taboos would also seem to be a necessary component of a Matchist religion, since they are a component of nearly every other religion. The forsaken food(s) should be common enough to cause some inconvenience to individuals and so be a costly signal, but not so much as to cause them to contemplate changing religions. A likely target is meat: Most cultures already have taboos against eating carnivores and primates, and prohibitions against various herbivores (especially pork and beef) are common. Matchism might do them one better by prohibiting eating any mammals, while continuing to allow eating fish and birds.
A Matchist religion should be primarily an oral tradition. This provides benefits that religions based on written texts cannot offer, and prevents the most common of their failure modes:
A series of conversions guides must be produced that will show how each existing religion is compatible with Matchism. This will support a gradual transition from an existing religion, to the Matchism-compatible subset of that religion, to the introduction of compatible features from other religions, to a full Matchist religion. A Matchist religion must spread primarily by proselytizing and cooption rather than by conquest, harassment, accelerated reproduction, or government imposition (one or more of these techniques being used by every existing organized religion). Use of entheogenic drugs in specifically designed rituals could greatly accelerate the conversion process.
What a Matchist religion should not have is a strong set of written doctrines that promote intolerance and lend themselves to SDAP abuse, particularly with respect to science as a source of truth. The purpose of a Matchist religion is to provide minimal support for that minority of people (maybe 25%, and highly correlated with Authoritarianism) who need it without impacting the 25% who outright reject all organized religion and the 50% (mostly Neurotypical) who are more flexible in their sources of truth and inspiration. It would be analogous to making relatively weak and safe drugs like caffeine and nicotine easily available to meet the stimulation needs of The People without requiring them to break the law or risk taking amphetamines or other more dangerous drugs. It is necessary that a Matchist religion be attractive to Neurotypicals, however: Just as is the case with The System, the key to prevent SDAP-led radicalism is to have the majority of the voting population in a Matchist religion be Neurotypical.
Matchism itself offers social support for the decision to use a Matchist-derived system of morality instead of one produced by SDAP amateur social engineers. For example, Matchism should allow for white lies to be told about attendance at services (which fully half of those who claim to be religious do, despite the irony of breaking the moral code to make it seem like you are following it): These lies, like gossip, are going to happen regardless, so rather than make hypocrites out of everyone, Matchists must integrate this behavior into the design of the system.
The Credential for gambling should be a relatively difficult one to get, including at least college level statistics and business management (i.e., you have to be able to show that you understand how to set the odds such that "the house always wins" before you're judged to be competent enough to give your money to them). This of course also means no state-sanctioned lotteries. Although no one wants to see casinos spring up on every street corner, it should be distasteful to anyone who values free enterprise, or freedom in general, to pass mere behavioral engineering laws in an attempt to prevent it. Think of it a check on our educational system: When casinos die out, we’ll know that we have an educational system that works.
Next: Children and Families
This is not all that different from current practice in developed nations: Abused or neglected children are routinely removed from their homes and placed elsewhere. Children who are denied medical care based on their parent's religious beliefs are generally provided that care by The State over the parent's objections. This is the same thing, we're just setting the bar a bit higher, and planning to prevent the abuse or poor upbringing of children rather than waiting for it to happen and then attempt the sometimes-impossible repair of the damage after it has already been done. After all, a parent only has to live with their mistakes for 18 years, the rest of us have to live with them our entire lives.
Early intervention is key: If at the time of delivery the parent(s) can't show they have the necessary Credentials and income (e.g., they have received welfare or wage support within the previous year) or if there are other factors that would put the child's development at risk, the child doesn't go home with them. Single parent households would warrant particularly close scrutiny. For example Herring 2012 reports on a wide range of studies that shows that children in step-families are at vastly greater risk via the "Cinderella effect" (e.g., the risk of being murdered by a stepfather is over 100 times as high as by a biological father).
There are also countless studies that have shown that not only do the poor have significantly deficient childrearing practices but that the life of a welfare mother is an extremely hard one for both the mother and for the children (for differences in childrearing ability see Lareau's 2003 Unequal Childhoods, for more on the effects of environment on IQ see Nisbett's 2009 Intelligence and How to Get It, and for more on the life of a welfare mother see Hays' 2004 Flat Broke With Children). A child raised in a low SES family is more than 5 times as likely to suffer abuse or neglect as a child raised in a higher SES family, and this is in addition to the 8-fold increased risk from being raised in a single-parent or step-parent family (Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect by the US DHHS).
Requiring (or even allowing) an impoverished individual to raise children is not only an unfair burden on that individual, it promotes the archaic concept of children as property. What matters most is what is best for the child, and anyone who claims that a biological relationship is what is most important at the very least doesn't understand the psychology of the matter and at worst is a proponent of a kind of prejudice: At its core the concept that biology is what is important is exactly the same primitive and authoritarian thought process on which racism is based, and the "parent as owner" concept is akin to slavery.
But what about culture? Would children born in one culture and raised in another be a form of racism or anti-culturism? Is doing what is best for the individual worth the resulting cost to some cultures, the resulting reduction in diversity being to the detriment of everyone? Another thought experiment might help us answer that: Suppose you are just about to be born. Knowing what you know now, where would you choose to arrive? Would it be OK to assign you to a family and location randomly anywhere in the world? If offered the choice between being raised in single parent household living at the poverty level or living in an affluent two-parent household, which would you choose? Is your culture/religion/socioeconomic class so important to you that you would insist on being randomly assigned a position somewhere similar? Is your resentment of the upper class so entrenched that you would refuse to be assigned to a wealthy family even if that meant foregoing the benefits of being raised in an environment like that (better education, more personal freedom and power, a longer and most likely happier life)? Would you insist that you are so special just the way you are that you would refuse any changes in your upbringing that might result in your beliefs being different from what they are now? Unless you can honestly say that you'd be OK with whatever choice fate makes for you, it is clearly immoral to insist that we as a people require every newborn to face this type of random assignment (credits to Rawls 1999 for the concept of "The veil of ignorance").
This design has the additional benefit of a strong social engineering bias toward preventing pregnancies in women who become pregnant for selfish reasons (i.e., their own need to have a long-term relationship, which is an astoundingly common justification) which will help control population at the lowest socioeconomic classes and break the cycle of poverty: Women are much less likely to have children if there is a significant risk of those children being turned over to be raised by more capable parents if it can be determined that the biological parents lack the skills, finances, motivation, or emotional temperament to raise them optimally. As to whether wider access to education and birth control would achieve the same result, it clearly doesn't because more than half of all pregnancies are unintended in the US. Although the rate is correlated with income, a full 25% of pregnancies are unintended even in women with the highest income levels, despite the fact that they are more educated and would have easy access to birth control. Again, why should children be forced to live in environments where they are unwanted and/or would not have access to the resources they need to achieve their potential just because of an accident of biology? Do we force people to live with club feet and cleft palates because those biological accidents were somehow "God's will"?
Although various incomplete implementations of this type of policy have been attempted in the past, these primarily have been secretive exercises where little or no attempt was actually made to ensure that the children were placed in households where they'd have the best chance of succeeding. In fact many of these children ended up in institutions or even adopted out into situations closely resembling slavery. One example is the Magdalene Laundries and associated industrial "schools". Another is Australia's Aboriginal Protection Act, a racially-motivated policy that resulted in the systematic removal of mixed-race children from Aboriginal families with the stated goal of protecting them from discrimination, unfortunately transferring many of these children not into stable families but instead into orphanages or internment camps where they fared no better. It is also notable that the popular term for that policy was "Stolen Generations", the very name being an attempt to promote the concept of children as property and to characterize the process of removing them not as an offense against the children, but against their parents.
This proposal is related to the issue of licensing of parents (for a review see Tittle 2004), but there are significant differences. The education that all parents should have, including information about prenatal care, child development, and parenting techniques must be included as part of the Standard Adult Credential set. The primary difference in Matchism is that an assessment of the quality of the home environment will be made for all children, rather than only for adopted children as we do now. And rather than the rigmarole that we currently put adoptive parents through (in most cases including an invasive home visit), Match-homing will only require a simple Credential check to detect any criminal or mental health issues, and an assessment of financial health. The research has shown this to be a sufficient measure of the quality of the home environment (it's not about any absolute measure of wealth, but people who know how to manage their money and their lives will know (or learn) how to raise children, and those who don't, won't).
We should have zero concern that this system will not provide great benefits to the children, both in their odds of success in life, but also in their level of happiness in childhood. As for their odds of success in life, countless studies have shown that Socio-Economic Status (SES) during childhood has a high correlation with a wide range of success-related factors, including incidence of criminal activity, mental illness (particularly depression), stable marriages, out-of-wedlock births, income, and IQ. In fact, a study in France (Capron & Duyme 1989) showed that the effect of environment on IQ is comparable as that of genetics in adopted children. In that study there were four conditions, children born to high or low SES adopted at birth by low or high SES parents, SES being assessed by years of schooling and occupation. The (unstated) assumption is that the SES of the birth mothers is highly correlated with their genetics, a prediction that seems to be borne out in the IQ scores measured at age 14.
The authors found that the average IQ in the low SES children raised by high SES parents was 12 points higher than if a low birth SES child was raised by low SES parents (mean IQ scores were 104 vs 92 for the two groups). Although the IQ scores in the two high birth SES categories were higher (120 and 108), the IQ-increasing effect of the adopted environment was the same. Murray 2002 has shown that a shift in IQ this large alone has enormous effects in how successful a person is as an adult, halving the rate of out-of-wedlock birth, and increasing income and marriage stability by as much as 25%. And this is only one of the benefits that high SES parents bring to children: Perhaps even more importantly they additionally learn attitudes and habits that greatly improve their odds of success in life as Lareau and Nisbett (above) have documented.
This shows that the problems in society that are being caused by the hypothetical "corruption of our genes" that the eugenics movement sought to eliminate can be largely addressed without forced abortions or sterilization or any other invasive process. It really is just as simple as deciding that we must raise all children in a high-SES environment. And doing this should objectively require no "sacrifice" at all from low SES mothers: If a mother truly loved her children, doing something that would drastically increase their odds of having a happy and successful life would seem to be an easy decision for her to make. Indeed, making the decision that her own selfish desires are more important than the welfare of the child would seem to be the very definition of being an unsuitable mother.
As for the happiness of these Match-homed children, studies of adopted children usually show that they are closer to their parents than biological children are, a result that is not surprising: Adopted families all specifically volunteered for that role whereas there are countless examples of biological and step-parent families where one or even both parents were thrust into the role rather than explicitly choosing it. By providing an automatic and permanent response to any abuse or neglect, this system would also replace the foster care system which has proven to be a disaster for the children involved: In some studies high school graduation rates for foster kids are as low as 25%, vs. 50% for homeless kids, and around 60% for the poor. In affluent neighborhoods, however, graduation rates are usually well over 90%, which is a clear sign that those kids are better prepared for life than if they were raised by less skilled or financially competent parents. Note that even the most optimistic school-retention programs, which usually rely heavily on the benefits of self-selected samples for their advertised success rates, cannot promise a 50% overall improvement in graduation rates (for poor kids) let alone a nearly 400% improvement (for foster kids). And yet this component of Matchism virtually guarantees it. All we have to do in exchange is dial-back our instinctive prejudices a little.
To minimize the shock from the adoption process, both for the child and the biological parent, a visitation policy should be included in the design of the system if the child is more than a year or two old. They would become an extended family. We should think of this process as just an extension of the common practice of having others raise our children, whether that be via day-care, boarding school, hiring a full-time nanny, or the many examples of people in less-developed or war torn countries sending their children abroad to provide them with their best chance of success. Maybe think of this design as "nannies for the poor" or maybe "middle class boarding school", where the upper classes are shouldering the burden of childrearing for those who are not able to do that work themselves.
As for where the adoptive parents will come from, this is unlikely to even be a problem. Adoption, especially of infants, is a grueling process that often takes years, and that's with a system that does not even seek out adoptive parents. Many, if not most, existing foster parents would be thrilled to have an infant because they would generally come without the preexisting damage that children from homes where they have suffered abuse or neglect usually have. And they would come without the threat, or option, of removal that plague current foster systems because these possibilities work strongly to prevent the all-important parent-child bond from forming. But the best source will be 40-50 year old parents who have already successfully raised a family. Due to rapidly declining birth rates, especially in higher SES families, many of these parents will be denied the opportunity to become grandparents. This system can provide them with something even better.
The highest honor The People can bestow upon an individual is to be chosen to raise a Match-homed child, although in the more difficult cases they should also be compensated for the time they will invest to do so. Net cost for these stipends will still be far less than institutional or foster care (not even counting the vast costs incurred by the damaged individuals those systems produce) or the close supervision that is required for parents whose qualifications are in doubt.
As for whether current attempts at intensive early childhood education is a viable alternative to Match-homing, the research shows that it is not. While undoubtedly helpful, any benefits from these programs (most notably the US Head Start system) quickly fade during the subsequent school years. It may be that these programs are simply a poor match for the instinctive tendencies of human children who are probably actually designed to adopt the attitudes and value systems of their parents rather than those strangers attempt to imprint on them. Which may also explain why our school systems are such ineffective sources of education in this domain (see Gatto's 2006 The Underground History of American Education).
Unfortunately SES is only one of the variables that has a large impact on an individual's potential for success. A similar effect can be found as the result of being raised in a large family. For example Blake's 1992 Family Size and Achievement exhaustively shows that being raised in a family with more than 6 children has a negative effect on IQ and an individual's chances of success about as large as being raised in a low SES environment. While many people romanticize large families, subjecting children to an environment where they have a large number of siblings can only be seen by Matchists as a deliberate act of child abuse and ought to be strongly discouraged. It is also clearly a display of selfish indulgence at the expense of the environment (and by extension The People as a whole).
Both of these effect sizes dwarf the those of the most common interventions proposed for low SES mothers or households: The effect size of maternal nutrition, maternal smoking, and lead exposure (at least that below the level of acute toxicity) are on the order of 3 IQ points. The effects of SES and family size are around four times as large. One can only conclude that we're waste a lot of time, effort, and money trying to deal with those other issues when we could have four times the effect with this relatively simple and inexpensive intervention. We just need to decide to put the welfare of children above the "property rights" of their parents.
Although this is one of the more controversial components of Matchism, it is a nevertheless a necessary component because it enables several of Matchism's other tenets, including the fundamental rule that the choices one individual makes cannot have a significant negative impact on other individuals. Allowing parents to choose to raise a child when they lack sufficient resources (education, motivation, finances, etc.) would be the equivalent of deciding that this principle does not apply to young individuals. This component is also necessary to make the income redistribution system in Matchism fair: Unlike becoming unemployed or disabled or reaching retirement age, the decision to raise a child is, again, a choice, and it is therefore fundamentally unfair to allow some people to explicitly choose to place a significant burden on The People merely to satisfy their own desires. It is in the best interest of the child, and by extension The People, that we abandon what is, at its core, just a cultural tradition, albeit a tradition originally derived from an instinctive behavior.
Another thought experiment, this one from McIntire 1973 in Tittle's 2004 Should Parents Be Licensed may help us gain some perspective on the issue of how our existing moral codes have this one all wrong:
Supermarket Scenario: A mother and daughter enter a supermarket. An accident occurs when the daughter pulls the wrong orange from the pile and thirty-seven oranges are given their freedom. The mother grabs the daughter, shakes her vigorously, and slaps her.
What is your reaction? Do you ignore the incident? Do you consider it a family squabble and none of your business? Or do you go over and advise the mother not to hit her child. If the mother rejects your advice, do you physically restrain her? If she persists, do you call the police? Think about your answers for a moment.
Now let's change one detail: The girl was not that mother's daughter. Do you feel different? Would you act differently? Why? Do "real" parents have the right to abuse their children because they "own" them? Now let's change another detail. Suppose the daughter is 25 years old and yelled "Help me! Help me!" Calling the police sounded silly in the first scenario. How does it sound with a mere change in the age of the victim?
The inescapable conclusion from this scenario is that our current moral codes incorrectly consider children to be possessions, and that the preferences of the parents completely overwhelm any rights the child may have. This is exactly the same argument used to justify slavery, and exactly why we need to build The Code based on rational analysis rather than relying on our instinctive (and obviously obsolete) moral codes.
Because children are, from conception, the responsibility of The People, The People have the final say on what happens to them. That is, neither individual freedom nor the right to privacy extends to the gestation, delivery, or rearing of a child. Whether to allow, deny, or require an abortion will be decided by statutes designed by The People. Leaving this to the courts, as the US has done, is inefficient and unfair. Instead, the law must define what happens when a three month old fetus is determined to have an uncorrectable genetic defect, or is being carried by a woman with a serious drug addiction. Note that this is the only exception to the bodily integrity Clination used in Health Care.
It is a common conception in the law that there are actually (at least) three parties to every human relationship. The most direct instantiation of that are laws governing criminal conspiracy, where the two individuals involved may not be harming each other or even committing a crime yet nevertheless The People have an interest in controlling their behavior as the third party to the relationship. Although this relationship is frequently abused, as in the case of laws preventing sodomy or miscegenation where the state claims offence even where the two individuals involved were in a consensual relationship there is no compelling evidence is harmful to The People, there are some cases where The People’s rights in a party to the relationship override the privacy rights of the two individuals involved.
For example, Credentials could be used to provide individuals with protection from being victimized in relationships by certain types of individuals. In some jurisdictions a step toward this type of protection has been provided by making sex offender registries publicly available. But that is a very weak protection because it relies on criminal convictions whereas many (probably most) individuals who will commit these crimes have never been convicted (in some cases because they have never committed the crime before, in others simply because they've never been caught). And it does nothing to protect people from a wide variety of other types of abusive relationships, including with people who are prone to domestic violence, or who end up in relationships with people of the wrong sexual orientation (in most cases as a result of their partner’s attempt to appear to be heterosexual when in fact they are not).
To address these issues there should be a "Relationship" Credential which would be acquired with the Standard Adult set. It would include some education (basic relationship psychology), a check to ensure the individual had not been convicted of domestic violence, but would also require a brain scan to distinguish sexual orientation (a procedure no more an invasion of privacy than is a heart scan done as part of a yearly physical). If the scan comes back "heterosexual" or "homosexual", no problem, and the individual would get the Credential and their scan results would be given to them and no copy retained by the scanner. If the scan comes back "pedophile", or some other classification that would compromise the security or freedom of any potential partner of that individual, no Credential would be granted. Similarly, a conviction for domestic abuse would also result in that Credential being revoked until remedial work had been done to ensure that individual had learned to control their tendencies to be violent.
With this system in place, not only could all individuals protect themselves (and their families) from entering into problematic relationships with non-Credentialed individuals (especially hiring a non-Credentialed individual as a teacher, sports-team coach, or clergy-member), but because sharing their scans would become a conventional part of premarital counselling, many surprises (and disappointments) would also be prevented, all while having negligible impact on the freedoms of unaffected individuals.
Genetically-based inheritance is the the single largest source of inequality in modern civilization. How could it possibly be fair that the children of wealthy families not only receive benefits in education and experience over their entire development that are unavailable to children from poor families, but also are simply given large sums of money and property as a guaranteed side effect of the randomness of where they happened to be born? This custom would never survive a Veil of Ignorance experiment: At some round in the experiment the player with the most money receives a bonus equal to that amount and everyone else has to pay (as taxes) a fixed proportion of their own wealth to enable this transfer! There is also no more pure expression of Replism: The whole reason for having a Clination for this is so that your genes can improve their odds of propagation.
According to Piketty's 2014 Capital in the Twenty First Century approximately 50% of all capital in the world passes through inheritance, with an average turnover interval of approximately 30 years. This is equal to a substantial fraction of government revenue in most countries, and may even be sufficient to entirely finance a government of an optimum size in some Localities.
Instead of inheritance and inheritance taxes (often called an "estate tax" or even a "death tax"), it must be presumed that an individual's assets will revert at death to The People, who will auction them off and use the revenue to reduce other taxes on The People. It is not a "tax", but merely a reimbursement for the value that individual received from the infrastructure provided to them by The People. That a wealthy individual was able to leverage this asset more efficiently than others does not absolve them of the obligation they incurred: They benefited, as all of us do, from all sorts of infrastructure from roads and bridges to clean air and water to an educated workforce. The time of death would be the best time to compensate The People for this. Rather than a tax, maybe call it the Infrastructure Reimbursement Payment (IRP).
The IRP would be collected via auctions where all non-liquid assets of the deceased will be sold as a lot (the final value may actually be negative if, for example, the deceased was underwater in a mortgage or auto loan). The auction winner would gain not only all the assets, but legal authority over the deceased's financial records and obligations. This will enable them to investigate and undo any asset hiding and perform any services required to execute a will (subject to the per person limit, of course). This of course means that things like trusts and living wills would not be legally enforceable.
Collecting payment at death is not only the most inherently fair and moral method (according to our Clinations, as demonstrated in the various veil of ignorance experiments), it is also the most economically efficient. Unlike income taxes and the wealth tax as proposed by Piketty and others, the IRP takes into account the value of individuals with those skills necessary to generate capital and encourages them to utilize this skill to the greatest extent possible. This is maximally efficient because capital generation skill benefits not just that individual, but all of The People who have their standard of living and quality of life improved by the availability of the products or services the wealthy individual was able to provide (modulo any gaming of the system, as discussed in the section on Competition, Corporations, and Monopolies, of course). Rather than having the wealthy invest their time in attempts at hiding their income or wealth or discouraging them from continuing to produce additional capital (which are the ultimate effect of high income tax rates), they must be allowed to utilize the tool that is capital to the best of their ability, only being taxed for their actual consumption.
Abolishing inheritance also brings competition to bear on the need to preserve any infrastructure that was used to produce that wealth and ensure that The People continue to benefit from it. As was described in Children and Families, just as there should be no presumption that a biological relationship provides the best environment for children, the same applies to capital. Indeed even the ancient Chinese were aware of the inherent design flaw in a inheritance-based system (the folk expression is "Wealth does not pass three generations", the first acquires it, the second utilizes it (but does not grow it), and the third simply squanders it). Selling these assets at auction will ensure that they will be utilized most efficiently because of the incentive that investing capital in them will provide. Waste and inefficiency is the primary enemy of capital and of The People, and eliminating it by ensuring that all assets are properly valued and utilized should therefore be a high priority.
At first many individuals would object to the idea of just transferring their assets into the government's general fund, so it should be possible to earmark their assets to go to particular projects via a will. Even so, charitable and religious organizations will become much more powerful under Matchism because of this influx of money. As such, it will be necessary to regulate transparency in the financial statements of these organizations to ensure that the money is being spent as the donors intended. The net result in most cases will be a reduction in the need for government expenditures in the domains these non-profits serve, which in turn will provide the required reduction in tax rates for the rest of The People.
These rules must be applied to religious organizations because they will continue to receive assets from SDAPs and other conservatives for the foreseeable future. In fact, given that the Authoritarian instincts are to support their relatives to the almost total exclusion of any "outsiders" (i.e., you can't get any more ingroup than a nuclear family), the only viable substitute for many of them will be the option to donate their assets to a religious organization. This will therefore be a requirement of the initial Matchist implementation to prevent rebellion. Many of these religious organizations will soon have more money than they know what to do with. No worries: Although some will spend that windfall on lavish buildings and other frivolity, at least revenue from that construction will flow back to the local economy and increase land values (and the resulting land-lease rates). With poverty having been wiped out via other features of Matchism, most of them will not find sufficient charity work to be done locally and will have to expand their focus to improving conditions in the Third World. Which of course is common-cause with Matchism.
The prohibition on inheritance necessarily rules out using life insurance to skirt these rules. It is necessary, however, that we ensure that the deceased's children and surviving spouse will be cared for until the children are financially self-supporting. Therefore:
Note that this clause also means that Matchism makes no accommodation for those who believe that they have a right to the land based on their ancestry. Leases for land in "Reservations" or other accommodations for past injustices, along with any outstanding funds due, will be transferred to individuals or corporations as the affected individuals prefer, the reservation established initially as a separate Locality, then turned over to be run by The People as any other Locality would be. To allow otherwise is a form of institutional racism, the idea that someone is entitled (or condemned) to some special treatment merely because of their genetic makeup.
Next: Health Care
There is no point in arguing the "fundamental human right" aspect of this as it has already been decided: Show up at any hospital emergency room in any city in the world with a serious injury, and you will be treated regardless of health insurance or even citizenship. The issues with addiction and mental illness are even more clear cut: Besides the "humane treatment is a requirement" justification, it makes better financial sense to treat people before they commit crimes or become wholly dependent on The People. Otherwise we not only incur the cost of treating the original condition, but also the additional cost of institutionalization. This being the case, all that's really left is to figure out the most efficient way to provide for these things.
The concept of Natural Monopoly also applies anywhere The People have decided that a product or service is a fundamental human right, such as health care, pensions, and income protection. It cannot be expected that competition from capitalist forces will form naturally in these areas and so it must be managed by The People. Competition is nevertheless still necessary, and so current practices of establishing large government bureaucracies to perform the work or attempt to calculate and then dictate payment rates (a la the US Medicare reimbursement system) should not be acceptable. Instead, social engineering techniques must be used to design systems that provides the efficiency gained from competition while still guaranteeing a standard level of service. For example, administration of benefits can be sent out for competitive bidding on a Locality level, and contracts for medical services can be bid on in areas where competition can naturally be found. The resulting reimbursement rates would be the same for those services used in areas where competition available.
Yes, this means that in areas with a sufficient number of doctors an individual may have to see different doctors for different types of services or pay a differential if they prefer to see some particular doctor. For example, if one network/group of doctors determines that they can do annual physicals more cheaply than the competition, that group's bid will define the reimbursement rate for that service, with the individual given the choice of using a doctor in that network with only the normal (nominal) co-pay or paying the difference between the standard reimbursement rate and the rate being charged by their doctor of choice. This will of course require complete portability of medical records, but that is a necessary feature of any advanced health care system and so is not an unreasonable requirement. Management and disclosure of services and reimbursement rates must be done publicly to support competition as much as possible. If an individual knows the medical code for a treatment they need, perhaps determined by reviewing their own medical records, they should be able to use The System to find the practitioners near them that offer this service and the cost they'd pay to use each of them. The System will also be used to review the service received to ensure quality and consistency between vendors (including the ability to calculate and publish treatment success rates) and for fraud detection: Individuals must be able to review their medical records and services that have been billed in their name and flag them for outside review, for which they might receive a bounty if there are discrepancies.
Social engineering will play a large role in designing this system to maximize its quality and efficiency. For example, co-pays must be required for most services, and should be set high enough to discourage waste but not so high as to discourage proper use of the system to address small problems before they become big ones. There must be an emphasis on preventative care, possibly including financial incentives to ensure healthy habits (e.g., possibly tied into the GSF (Defense and Disaster Relief) service requirement).
This directive also applies to children, for whom health care decisions, including vaccination schedules, circumcision (male or female), and any other medical treatments shall be governed by statutes defined by The People. As specified in the provisions of the Code in Children and Families, children are not the possessions of their parents and so allowing parents to make decisions that are against the best interests of the children (e.g., Female Genital Mutilation) and denial of vaccinations or other medical care) is unfair to those children. They must therefore be regulated by The People.
Next: Standard (Minimum) Wage
Note that the proposals for pensions and welfare depend on this one, and it will also apply to compensation for running The System. Setting the Standard Income will require all the People's input, and they must each keep in mind that they themselves may be living on it at some point. It will definitely need to be higher than current poverty levels, where unexpected home or vehicle repairs can mean having to cut back on necessities like food. But a certain frugalness should be required: Standard Income earners shouldn't be able to afford new luxury cars and 5 star hotels. They should, however be able to afford to drive a safe and reliable vehicle if that is a necessity in their Locality and to travel one or two weeks out of the year or engage in other recreational activities.
It should be assumed that technological progress and population reduction will gradually reduce the need for the SIS and eventually eliminate it entirely except as a temporary emergency measure when disaster (economic or otherwise) strikes. The Matchist emphasis on improving efficiency and generation will reduce energy costs, more efficient land-use policies will reduce costs of agricultural products, and reduced populations will lower the costs of living space by reducing competition for that resource.
Instead of imposing a minimum wage, the actual rate an employer will pay per hour for labor will depend on market conditions and the Goal unemployment rate. If the actual unemployment rate is below the Goal, the SIS for those jobs that pay less than the SI will decrease, and vice versa. In areas and industries with a high level of churn the resulting variable subsidy will not require any significant changes to current practice. In other areas, employers will need to learn to pay attention to the unemployment and subsidy rates because periodically (quarterly?) the subsidy, and therefore possibly their overhead, may change. There should also be some social engineering incentives provided to the individual to encourage changing jobs or relocating if the subsidy is lower in some other job they are qualified to do (e.g., by paying them a percentage of the difference as a signing bonus, or funding their relocation).
The SIS will apply to all jobs, full or part time, and makes no allowance for "tips" or "training wages" or other customs or practices that may affect a worker's take home pay. If an individual believes that the training they are essentially paying for with a reduced income is worth that cost, or that they'll be able to make up the difference in tips, they'll accept a job that pays less what the SIS assumes as a baseline. But because SIS is managed such that it governs the unemployment rate, if they don't believe they are being paid what they are worth, they will be inspired to take advantage of the low unemployment rate and change jobs. If there is full employment the SIS will decrease to zero, meaning there will be no government imposed cost on businesses or on The People through taxes to support this system.
To prevent widespread fraud that offering the SIS to the self-employed would allow, the SIS will only be available through public corporations. Smaller and newer companies, sole proprietors, and independent contractors will continue to operate much as they do now, with complete flexibility on wage rates, payment arrangements, and working hours. Although they will be freed from burdensome income taxes, withholding from wages, and other reporting, they will have more trouble attracting low-skill employees who will obviously gravitate towards larger companies that can provide them with increased wages via the SIS system. Note that this design also completely eliminates the "independent contractor" and "part time" loopholes that many corporations use to get around minimum wage and other benefit requirements (and the resulting enforcement bureaucracy attempting to prevent that): By offering a significant direct benefit to the wage earners, a benefit that doesn't even actually cost the corporation anything to provide (other than paperwork that is less than what they do now to process income tax withholdings), there will be no need to even worry about the classification issue anymore.
The SI and SIS are in lieu of the FairTax "prebate", the US's Earned Income Tax Credits (EIC) and because it also factors in percentage disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is a vast simplification over these programs and a design that brings market forces (competition) to bear: If a Locality has a high unemployment rate, SIS will be higher and employers will therefore have an incentive to create work in that area. Conversely, individuals in high SIS Localities will have an incentive to relocate to a Locality with a lower unemployment rate because they would receive signing bonuses and moving assistance from the GRF when doing so. Together these two features will significantly reduce overall unemployment rates and the resulting SIS costs to The People.
The SI will therefore also affect Locality population which introduces an additional corrective influence on it: If the SI is set too low in a given Locality, individuals will find it preferable to live someplace less expensive. Vacancy rates for rentals and properties for sale will therefore increase, which will push down rents and property values, providing a correction to the too-low SI. But the migration out would also cause unemployment to decrease and so employers will start to have to pay more employees at rates above the SI to retain them. So employers and property owners have an incentive to set the SI value higher. But if it is set too high, population in a Locality will increase which will in turn increase unemployment and therefore the SIS which will lead to higher taxes on everyone. To prevent Localities from gaming the system, the ratio of SIS payments to revenue from sales taxes collected in each Locality should also be factored into the SI calculation. Collecting the cost of living information and setting the SI again will be a key part of living under Matchism, and a process that every individual has a high motivation to attend to in order to ensure that it is done right.
Economies of scale require that the pension system be administered globally, to be derived from global revenues. Allowing corporations, unions, or other organizations to manage pensions is fundamentally unfair because the amount an individual receives is highly dependent on accidents of circumstance.
The eligibility age for pension will be determined on an individual basis such that the individual will be able to spend 20% of their estimated life span be spent in retirement if they so choose (if you're wondering if this estimate can actually be reliably made, ask an insurance actuary: It's a business and a science). There should be no forced retirement age, however, and the pension must be paid starting at this age regardless of work status.
Pensions will be the same for all individuals, the Standard Income defined for the Locality in which the individual worked (weighted averaged if there are multiple). Individuals should be expected to supplement this amount with individual savings or other assets, or by continuing to work if they prefer a higher standard of living. This design has the additional benefit that pensioners will be highly motivated to ensure that the Standard Income level is set correctly for each Locality, and will play an active role in both local and global governments where their combined experience will be a great asset to The People.
Note that there may be dragons here too: Many private and union pensions are underfunded and/or have overpromised benefits, some of them criminally so, especially when declining populations (which are inevitable under any scenario) are taken into account. When these assets are folded into the Globality for distribution, land-lease rates for a new Locality will need to be adjusted such that this debt can eventually be repaid.
The Standard Income Subsidy should eliminate the need for these "Globality Corps" jobs in nearly all cases, but in large-scale disruptive events (natural disasters, plant closings, war, etc.) additional work may need to be identified, and the individual retrained or relocated to do that work (e.g., possibly including additional military training or deployment). This should not be make-work or busy-work: Even unskilled labor brings great mental-health benefits to those without any work at all, and it furthermore discourages malingering and denies SDAPs one of their favorite tools for cutting benefits to those who need them most: Experiments have shown that even animals and toddlers have a concept of fairness in compensation, and if we do not make welfare recipients work for their income not even the most generous of us will be able to resist the temptation to introduce suffering into their lives by cutting their benefits. A strong desire to punish free-riders is a Clination even for Neurotypicals and so one of those things that we cannot override by just making a rule about it.
Combined with the removal of the financial burden of children from those who can't afford to take care of them (the Standard Income would be enough for an individual to live comfortably on, but not enough to raise a child on without inflicting deprivation on that child), it should be expected that all other forms of welfare, including workers compensation, unemployment insurance, child support, housing assistance, food stamps, etc., and the massive bureaucracies that have grown up to support them, will be discontinued. Besides shrinking the size of government and the taxes needed to support it, it will be far easier to prevent fraud and other abuse of the system with this “single payer” design: By requiring that everyone work and that any wage subsidy payments go through public corporations it will be possible for individuals at many levels to detect malfeasance. For example, any shareholder in a Corporation would be aware of any discrepancies between gross revenue, sales tax payments, and overhead.
For this to work, disability classification policies needs to be reworked from our current systems, and this is a job for competition/capitalism. If a worker is 90% disabled an employer should be highly motivated to hire them since they would only have to pay 10% of the normal salary. But if hiring that person was associated with high overhead (e.g., if they had to supply expensive equipment or office space for them, or hire additional people to manage them or compensate for them if their disability resulted not just in slow performance, but in unreliable performance), it would still not be economically viable to hire them. The problem is that our current disability classifications are based around the type of the disability and possibly the specific jobs that the individual was previously trained for, rather than how they would be able to perform if retrained for a position where their disability had less of an impact. As such, the disability classification process should instead involve input of The People in general and corporations in particular. The People should provide for any retraining (as an extension of the provisions of The Code specified in the sections on Education and Health Care), but a system of evaluation and bidding from corporations should be put in place such that the disabled individual can actually be retrained for a job that is matches their remaining abilities and the needs of employers. And if a 90% disabled individual can’t adequately perform in any capital-intensive environment, or is unreliable rather than just slow, grouping them with 10 other 90% disabled individuals in some system like The Mechanical Turk and averaging their output would be one possible solution.
Again, the key result is not only providing for the needs of the individuals and the employers, but more importantly that SDAPs are provided the reassurance they need to understand that the disabled are a functioning part of their ingroup and not just a parasitic burden free-riding on the rest of us.
Next: On Charity
Libertarians and fiscal conservatives frequently profess that if government welfare programs are shut down or never created, individuals and private organizations will step in to make up the difference. Unfortunately this argument is completely bereft of any experimental support, and thousands of years of starvation and poverty render it an illogical (and of course heartless) proposal. Even in times when the Church had the power to coerce tithing there was never enough to even feed all of The People, let alone provide them with a safe and dignified standard of living. The US welfare system budget is nearly 10 times that of charitable giving for social welfare, and although much of that government funding is undoubtedly inefficiently utilized it is also the case that the US welfare system currently provides far less for the poor than is required for them to live that safe and dignified existence. There is no practical way to increase the level of charitable giving by the order of magnitude or more required to achieve the proper goal in this area.
The primary cause of this problem is that, although (most of) our hearts may be in the right places, we no longer have access to the kinds of information that our Pleistocene ancestors used to govern their band. Back then, in our band of thirty or so, we could clearly see who needed assistance. We also knew that every member of our band was making equitable contributions to provide that assistance. If they weren't, we would collectively take action to remedy these problems.
Today, however, we lack first-hand information on both of these things: 20 million children in the US are living below the poverty level, most of whom know what it's like to have trouble sleeping because they've had to go bed hungry, yet few of us know any of them as individuals making it very difficult for us to take specific action to fix this problem. From the opposite end, our insistence on privacy, particularly with respect to our financial situation, renders it impossible for us to impose the kind of social pressures that would ensure that the other members of our band contribute equitably to the welfare of those who need it. Indeed, being able to hide our own financial situation and contributions enables each of us to shirk on our responsibilities without fear of reprisal: In that sense, our insistence on privacy enables our own immoral and unnatural behavior.
But even in cases where sufficient information is available, counting on altruism to ensure adequate income for charities is also hopeless because human beings lack an an "altruism" Clination, and every proposed example of this kind of altruism can dismissed as having failed to account for the effects of the long arm of reciprocity (i.e., each is really an example of reciprocal altruism, which is not altruism at all but merely a delayed-payment barter system). For example:
Unfortunately even reciprocal altruism is apparently not a sufficiently strong force in most people to ensure adequate funding for charity, and the conditioning or other social engineering required to make it so would come with formidable costs. One could make the argument that Matchism is compatible with the idea that guilt is a useful Clination that should be put to use to address these issues. For example, we could reduce privacy to expose free-riders, and increase donations by increasing exposure to the need (e.g., lots more of those ads with pictures of starving children and abused animals). The problem is the distribution of this Clination, which like SDAP characteristics is not an equal-strength component in every individual: No amount of loss of privacy or exposure to heart-rending advertising will cause a psychopath or high SDO to contribute their fair share.
Charity is also by its very nature unfair because people who can be made to feel guilty end up contributing far more, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of their income, than those who are resistant to this type of manipulation and so are able to free-ride. Libertarians would argue that the great benefit of these types of contributions is that they are made "by choice" and so not coercive, but this logic only displays a stunning ignorance of human nature, where social pressures can be a far more powerful force than any government could muster short of threatening violence.
Such charity is frequently unfair on the receiving end as well, with people who are more closely aligned with the giver's "tribe" (i.e., church, political affiliation, race, locality of residence, etc.) gaining preferential treatment over those who differ. A charity-based welfare system also fails to guarantee adequate care for the recipients, which is ultimately the purpose of charity: By making charity about the psychological benefits for the givers rather than about the actual needs of the recipients, a charity-based welfare system perpetuates the misconception that care for the poor or disabled is an optional practice. This misconception in turn allows those who give to charity a justification for calling for reduced government spending on welfare, turning what should be a selfless act into an immoral attack on those who need, indeed by our Clinations actually deserve, our assistance.
Charity as a means to achieve social welfare is also very inefficient when compared with proposals in Matchism such as the Standard Income. Although third-party assessments of charities do generally claim that they are 80-90% efficient on average (i.e., the claim being that charities only waste 10-20% of their income on fundraising and management overhead), these measures ignore the most fundamental inefficiencies in charities which arise from the fact that there are minimal incentives to ensure maximal efficiency of workers or utilization of other resources. Indeed there is apparently not even any objective measure for these things. A capitalist system, on the other hand, ensures that maximal efficiency will be achieved from each dollar spent because companies that mismanage their resources will be out-competed and driven out of business by those who can more efficiently manage them. If a non-profit hires too many workers or does not competitively shop for operating space or other needed resources, there are no consequences until the level of inefficiency reaches an egregious level that can be seen from outside the organization and then someone undertakes a separate altruistic act to try to do something about it. Corporations do not have that luxury, and will ensure that every dollar paid into the system through the Standard Income Supplement or other funding will be utilized with maximal efficiency (e.g., even if they're only paying 10% of the salary of a 90% disabled employee, they're going to make sure that even that 10% is well spent and if they don't some other more efficiently-managed company will come along and put them out of business).
These effectiveness ratings for charities also don't account for the significant government subsidies many of these charities also receive. From lower property tax rates to direct government grants (in the US, more than 1/3 of non-profit funding comes directly from the government), charities are not held to any efficiency standard or constraints, and receive massive amounts of funding from The People without any direct supervision of the process by The People. And of course charities are important customers of lobbyists, perpetuating and expanding that abuse of the Will of The People.
Finally, when compared with commercial organizations, charities are relatively unimaginative in their approaches, and may not even be working on the right problems or trying to solve them the right way. While surely most managers and employees of charities want to be efficient, there's a big difference between wanting to be efficient and needing to be efficient like a corporation working in a competitive environment would have to be.
So a Matchist system must avoid this systemic inequality and these ineffective and in many cases even delusional practices by explicitly making support for all The People (and the environment, and animals, and everything else charities support) the responsibility of all of The People. The People will collectively decide what percentage of tax income to contribute to these projects, then allocate those funds among the proposed projects as they see fit.
The SI is the best competing program for social-welfare charities, and increased funding for basic Research and Development should be sufficient to displace charity income for the second-largest class of charities (those targeting dread diseases). The allocation of funds will be managed by The System in a manner similar to crowdfunding where specific projects will be funded and then monitored by The People rather than having these decisions made by politicians, government bureaucrats, or the governing boards of private charities.
For example, rather than having the Humane Society be a part of the government or funded through "blank check" donations from individuals (or indeed from the government), the organization would submit a proposal to The System saying they need X dollars to rescue Y dogs, spay/neuter and adopt out Z percent of them, and maintain conditions in their facility to some specified standard. It will then be possible to evaluate the competitiveness of that proposal by comparing it with that organizations results from previous years and with comparable organizations in other Localities. If some other organization, especially one with a track record in a neighboring Locality, can improve on these numbers they would submit a competing proposal. The People will then choose which organization to fund, just as if they were hiring a contractor to build or repair their home or for any other service they require.
All individuals will therefore be educated to be bilingual (at least). Globality and Locality communication with individuals will be primarily in Matchish and secondarily in the existing language(s) of the Locality. All communication between Localities with different native languages will be in Matchish.
Learning Matchish will be by far the most difficult and time-consuming part of the transition to Matchism for most people, even though it will be designed to be far easier to master than any other language has ever been. The goal should be to have fluent English speakers functional in Matchish within a few weeks, and fluent in both spoken and written forms within a year, with a similar timeframe for those with little or no experience with English but a talent for languages and/or a mastery of several others.
In addition to the difficulty issue, there are the issues of cultural pride and aesthetics to address. The former can reasonably be dismissed as being just another manifestation of tribalism, which, by the time Matchism has been approved by a Locality, must have been generally acknowledged to be a bad thing. Aesthetics is more difficult, since Matchish will probably feel like using baby-talk or pidgin/creole/Ebonics at first. This of course is not coincidental since those types of simplifications are exactly what English needs to make it easier to learn and more efficient to use. At first there won't be any quotes from poetry or literature, witticisms, or even clichés for people to use in their everyday speech to dress it up as they do now. But like current languages, Matchish will soon acquire these things, and because it is a new language it holds the unique promise that it becomes even better over time.
It will bear constant repeating that language is just a technology, a tool we use to accomplish a particular task. It is not a defining characteristic of who we are any more than trying to continue doing your accounting work on a 16-bit computer running MSDOS would be. Existing natural languages are not only primitive, poorly designed things, but they even lack any upgrade path now that this has become necessary to implement a governing system capable of spanning existing national boundaries.
Although it will take a lot of work from a lot of people to develop this language, we can reasonably predict that features of the new language will include:
Note that Esperanto, Interlingua, and other previously-designed languages are non-starters for the role of Matchish: Not only were they designed using inadequate resources and prior to most of these requirements even being determined, but they each also lack some of the required structural features. A key component of the development process will be actually measuring the preferences and capabilities of native speakers of other languages rather than relying on rules of thumb or other seat-of-the-pants engineering heuristics. So, rather than just ruling out all r/l distinctions in deference to native speakers of Japanese as most other auxlangs have, we will actually measure their capabilities and make phoneme and vocabulary decisions based on this empirical evidence. For example, r/l production ability varies in native Japanese speakers depending on phoneme position in a word (e.g., collect/correct is much more difficult than right/light). It probably also varies by the vowels that precede or follow and by the exact quality of the rhotic (r-sound), and if it turns out that Japanese (and indeed speakers of all other languages) can produce and understand that sound better if spoken the way Swedish or German or Arabic speakers would, then that may become the standard pronunciation. The vocabulary selection will proceed in parallel with the phoneme selection to both maximize the range of available terms and ensure that the language contains the terms that not only most efficiently convey information but will also ensure that the output will be the language that the world's population prefers. This proposal has many benefits:
Acknowledging a bias toward English in the design of Matchish is intentional, and anyone who objects should consider this: If we don't implement Matchish now, within a few hundred years everyone will be speaking English. Given that a common language is a requirement for a global civilization and that English already has a vast head start in most key fields (e.g., business, science, and foreign relations) there is no way to prevent this from eventually coming to pass other than designing something better than English that is still easy for English-speakers to learn. This is one-time opportunity with a relatively small window of viability: Once English becomes the most commonly used language, something that will occur within decades, it will be impossible to ever displace it. Failure to design and implement Matchish now means subjecting not only the current population of earth to the hell that is learning English as a second language, but also saddling all future generations with the handicap of its poor design. If nothing else, we must do it for the school kids of the future who will thank us for sparing them uncounted hours in the tedious study of spelling and grammar.
The standards, and the testing used to measure progress against them, must be owned and controlled by The People. Rather than hours or days-long testing done infrequently, which because it does not provide any feedback to the students provides absolutely no value to them, testing should be done at the unit level (every week or two). Students could take a 10 minute/10 question quiz in The System, with the results presented to them immediately so that they can take any remedial action necessary. To ensure breadth of coverage and discourage "teaching to the test", each student would receive a different set of questions, drawn randomly from a set of hundreds or thousands of examples for that unit. This allow provides an efficient means for assessing the effectiveness of a teacher or a school: You don't need to measure each item in each student, instead you can statistically aggregate over all the students to ensure that all the material has been covered.
The questions could be prepared by curriculum developers, teachers, or even the students themselves. Statistics on each question would be maintained separately (test/retest reliability, internal correlations, etc.) so that effective questions can be retained and bad ones eliminated. Ultimately a Credential would be issued based on a larger "final exam" using these same questions that would demonstrate mastery of each unit required for that Credential.
Free education shall be provided from infancy through graduate school. The People shall, however, retain the right to apply social engineering to equalize the number of degrees granted in each field to the number of job openings in that field. If you really want a bachelor's degree in architecture you'll retain the right to get one, but if substantial numbers of architecture majors are ending up unemployed or in jobs that don't require that degree (as it turns out there are) then The People may not be willing to pay for yours.
All schools shall be accredited by the Globality (via The People's use of The System) based on curriculum and student performance. All schools will receive per-student compensation at a rate fixed by the Locality. Localities may retain public school systems or outsource some or all of this responsibility to private-sector schools, but may not compensate public systems differently than private-sector schools. Competition is the essential for optimum performance and continued improvement. To facilitate this, the distinction between private for-profit, private non-profit, and government-run schools should be erased to the greatest degree possible, with the same regulations, tax rates, and accreditation policies applied to all.
The Globality assessment method should assume no fixed grade-level system and students should progress based on their performance. A Standard Progress metric will be adopted that allows parents, schools, and the students themselves to assess how they are progressing toward the Credential goal(s) (e.g., as a percentage of mastery in a subject). Compensation for the schools should be tied to this progress: Payment would be contingent on Standard Progress. Payment should also be proportional to each student's learning rate, with rapidly advancing students coming with a lower compensation than slower students. This will incentivize schools to ensure each student's time is utilized as efficiently as possible, and ensure that adequate funds are available to pay for the more intensive help that some students require.
This proportionality in payment will also address the phenomenon of cherry-picking that currently makes it impossible to compare private and charter schools with public schools, to the detriment of anyone that can't really afford these higher-priced and/or higher-commitment options: The fact that more competent people graduate from Harvard tells us very little about Harvard as an educational institution. Mainly what it tells us is that Harvard is able to cherry-pick the best students for admission. To really evaluate it as an educational institution one would have to compare incoming SAT scores with GRE scores at graduation. This is something no one has done, and even if they had, the results would be inconclusive because there is no mandate that requires college graduates to take the GRE. But Harvard's 4-year graduation rate isn't even in the top 25 of US schools and given the quality of their incoming students, one would expect that most of them should be able to earn a degree in significantly less time than that. Offsetting tuition by student ability will provide a much-needed incentive to ensure that selective schools shift their emphasis toward their ability to educate instead of relying on their ability to cherry-pick their students.
Students must remain in school until certain Credentials are acquired, including those for basic Matchish and local language, Matchism (i.e., political science, economics and finance, psychology and social engineering, and the law), and the underlying STEM fields. Schools will compete with each other not only on test scores, but also on how quickly they can bring their students up to Credential level, at which point those students will be released either into the workforce or to the next stage of their education (see Gatto's 2006 Underground History of American Education for an elaborate description of why this is not only more efficient, but also more humane than our current systems which in this respect function more like prisons than optimal learning environments).
To facilitate high-quality decisionmaking in public policy, psychology must become a part of the core curriculum, including not only full exploration of the many types of imperfections in human thought, both experimentally (normal) and clinically derived, but also their diagnosis and treatment (including both self-diagnosis and recognition of symptoms in others). It must also include instruction in child development and parenting. Necessarily this means that subjects that will be de-emphasized include "social studies" (which inappropriately tends to concentrate on non-essential fields including sociology, history, geography, and anthropology), literature, and language study other than the language of the Locality.
Math and "hard" science curricula should shift emphasis from highly specialized and theoretical topics that few individuals will make use of in their adult life and toward topics that are more likely to be required for them to make good personal and public policy decisions. For example, rather than teaching geometry and calculus, which even few scientists and engineers ever use in their careers, the math curriculum should focus on statistics, and particularly how human judgment and decisionmaking frequently conflicts with what pure statistics would tell us to do. These skills are useful in nearly all professional fields and all aspects of personal decisionmaking. The science curriculum, instead of focusing on basic physics and chemistry should instead choose examples from the domains of technology, engineering, public health, and economics. A basic understanding of all of these things is required to make good decisions both individually and in public policy.
It would also seem a good opportunity to redesign the way history is taught. Although it's been said that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it, this is clearly not the case because historians have been writing and teaching history for thousands of years and yet there has been little or no reduction in the incidences of SDAPs victimizing their fellow human beings. Nor unfortunately have historians even made any significant contribution to the identification of this fact. So let's stop trying to teach names and dates throughout grade school, very little of which is apparently retained by most students nor has been demonstrated to provide much benefit even for those rare few who do retain some of it. Indeed, by heavily emphasizing the history of their own people, teaching history is actually a great way to propagate nationalism, which is exactly the opposite of what an advanced civilization should be doing. Instead history should be taught as part of the psychology curriculum, perhaps in a year-long high-school-level course on "The History of Authoritarianism". In that course, topics such as feudalism, slavery, genocide, imperialism, and pretty much any war you pick would be covered with the goal of identifying which tools SDAPs used to get the Neurotypicals to go along with them. That means that another educational benefit of implementing Matchism now is that it will also save the kids of the future from uncounted additional hours of having to learn the history of what happened between now and then. We can either add additional wars, political intrigues, and economic disasters to their plate, or give them a long blank space filled with nothing but boring, rational, bureaucratic decisions.
Finally, there is the issue of education, and the educational environment, as a tool for behavioral engineering and conditioning. As described in Gatto 2006, there is substantial pressure on educational institutions not just to teach kids how to learn (which is really the fundamental purpose of an educational system) but rather to try to infuse them with things like moral values and social conditioning. As discussed previously, this is simply a waste of time because that is not how these things are imprinted (i.e., we must instead rely on the home environment for this, because if it isn't done right there, there is no way to fix it anyplace else. Hence the Match-homing proposal). Nevertheless the religious right calls for religious displays and prayer in school, and the left resist "vouchers" or any other means of directing public funds to private (particularly religious) organizations in favor of the unified cultural education the public schools are supposed to provide. But these disagreements should prove very useful to the Matchish because they are iron-clad evidence that both groups are devout believers in the concept of social engineering even though they are total amateurs at it and so are simply not qualified to make the determination of when, where, and how to apply it. Any debate on these issues should therefore start with an assessment of the social engineering qualifications of the people proposing to have it.
Next: Defense and Disaster Relief
Current military technology is overwhelmingly oriented toward offensive weaponry. Which is ironic (or maybe even hypocritical) considering the SDAPs have sold it to us as "national defense". Conversion to a true defensive force will not only save The People the vast majority of the expense for this capability, but would eliminate the possibility of wars of adventure and opportunity (which is nearly all of them, when you think about it). The concept of "Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" is stereotypical of authoritarian immorality, where any suffering or death in an outgroup is a reasonable tradeoff for protecting the ingroup from any sort of deprivation.
Seems like every time there's a storm anywhere the electricity goes out, putting people's lives at risk. It would likely become completely unavailable for the duration of any war. Our electrical grid reliability must be massively increased by burying power lines, making redundant connections, making it possible to share electrical power generated by PV/wind/cogeneration/hybrid automobile systems in emergency situations, and including resilient principles in the design of residential and commercial buildings (i.e., they don't go pitch black or freeze or otherwise become uninhabitable when the electric or gas supply goes out).
Cell phone reliability in these events could also be vastly improved by including a phone-to-phone store and forward architecture in them such that even when a cell tower goes out email and SMS messages could still be sent and received by phones in the dark area.
Far too many humans still die in wars, which means social engineering tools must be brought to bear on the problem. As a leaderless society, wars will be fought by the Matchish using a completely different goal: Recognizing that no government that follows the direction of the Neurotypicals which make up the majority of the population will declare a war of aggression against another nation, all wars will be determined to be illegitimate acts of the leaders of a nation. As such, the primary target of military action shall be officials and employees of the national government (i.e., every individual who continues to work for that government, from the President down to the local tax collector, will be considered a legitimate target). This should provide a major disincentive to choosing a Matchish Locality as a target for aggression, and severely impair the functioning of that government should the SDAPs in charge fail to appreciate that fact (see also the Matchish War Scenario).
Why don't our national constitutions specify things like this? Why do we leave these kinds of decisions up to whatever some leadership SDAP decides is acceptable based on their mood at the time?
Sometimes the nature of a disaster requires that individuals be relocated, or that the necessary infrastructure be relocated to them. The GRF will manage both of these alternatives. If the need is definitely temporary, the GRF will arrange to move the infrastructure to The People, whether it be electrical generators, water treatment plants, or temporary housing. If the previous infrastructure cannot be repaired or replaced quickly enough, or physical security cannot be guaranteed (as in the case of refugees from war), moving them to another location to provide that infrastructure is the preferred option. So, for example, in the case of plant shutdowns or other cases of large-scale unemployment (the availability of gainful employment being a necessary part of the infrastructure), the GRF will provide for the relocation of individuals in either small or large groups as necessary and as dictated by the availability of infrastructure support in other areas.
Next: Immigration and Refugees
Because Matchism will provide The People with uniquely peaceful and prosperous communities, Matchish Localities will be in high demand as destinations for immigrants and refugees. As has been shown with immigration into most countries, and especially the US, those who emigrate to seek a better life are typically the most capable individuals and have the best chance of succeeding under Matchism. Therefore migration into the Globality shall be encouraged to the greatest extent possible without overburdening any Locality. The GRF will facilitate this process, especially in cases where large numbers of individuals arrive as the result of natural or human-caused disasters in their country of origin.
The ability to assimilate is a key factor in the success of immigrants. Acquiring the Standard Adult Set of Credentials should therefore be a requirement to become a citizen in a Matchist Locality. To facilitate this it essential that the educational and testing systems used to acquire them be made available globally so that potential immigrants (or refugees) can prepare in advance. It is important for existing residents of a Locality to keep in mind that in many cases immigration into a Locality will be temporary: As individuals are trained to use Matchism and The System there will naturally be a strong desire to make these available in their country of origin where friends or family members will in most cases continue to reside, and to return once Matchism has been adopted there. Facilitating immigration will therefore be a primary marketing tool for Matchism.
Next: Crime and Punishment
The criminal and penal codes, as they exist in all countries but especially in the US, are undoubtedly the poorest examples of behavioral engineering ever foisted on The People. The purpose of these codes should be to ensure the safety of The People by ensuring that other individuals don't infringe on their freedoms, and do so as cost effectively as possible. Instead, because they were primarily designed and are managed by SDAPs, the system currently functions as a primitive screening tool, simply removing large numbers of individuals from the population and housing them at large expense in facilities that might as well have been designed to increase recidivism (for comparison purposes, recidivism rates in the US are about 60%. In Norway they're about 20%. But just imagine what would happen if Apple or Ford released a product with even a 20% failure rate). And unfortunately this suits SDAPs just fine because marginalizing and punishing, aggressively and violently if possible, any individual they can is just their raison d'etre (Duckitt 2009). Until we can remove SDAPs from positions of responsibility in this matter, the system will never work properly.
The first step in redesigning the system is to expunge from the criminal code drug use, sodomy, and any other activity judged to be criminal based on "moral" justifications, particularly if these are derived from religious prohibitions. Only activities that can be shown to pose a direct threat to individual freedom or security can be allowed into the criminal code, and all proposed laws and punishments must be subject to a rigorous scrutiny of their legitimacy (again, see Tyler's Why People Obey The Law). This also rules out laws and policies that attempt to punish selectively based on the assumed motivations for committing crimes, "hate crime" laws being the most common of these: While it is useful to collect statistics (to facilitate social engineering) and to assess individuals to determine if their treatment should include behavioral engineering to correct racial/cultural prejudice, the duration and type of "punishment" imposed has little or no deterrent effect on these behaviors so sentencing itself should not be dependent on this determination.
Secondly we must design the new system with the recognition that there is no sharp dividing line between anti-social behavior caused by mental illness and that caused by criminal intent (nor indeed between either of those things and Neurotypical, let alone SDAP, behavior). Once that recognition is made, the concepts of prison and punishment can be cast aside and replaced with the idea that what is required is "treatment", whether for addiction (which is the cause of most nuisance crimes including panhandling, loitering, disorderly conduct, sleeping in public, etc.), or a more severe mental illness, or merely the fact that an individual (even a psychopath) has been inadequately socialized. Until the necessary corrective technology has been developed maximum security prisons will still be required to permanently house the most dangerous and incorrigible of these individuals, but even this will be but a small fraction of their current populations.
The penal code must be rewritten to ensure that rehabilitation and thereby reducing recidivism rates are the primary goals, with victim restitution being a high secondary priority. To provide the essential benefits of competition, these facilities shall be run by "Treatment Corporations" (TCs), with bonuses and penalties specified contractually and by statute for their effectiveness (e.g., there should be significant bonuses for turning out an individual with a steady well-paying job (enabling them to pay restitution) one year from release, and a penalty if an individual reoffends in that period). Removing the offender from the environment that lead to their crime will be a primary tool in this process, so the rehabilitation facility, any half-way houses, and any parole must be in a different Locality than the one where the crime was committed. Cost for continuing treatment of any mental illness, as always, will be borne by The People as part of the health care system. This treatment will both benefit the individual and reduce recidivism.
To ensure proper compensation for the Corporation and proper treatment and facilities for the individual undergoing rehabilitation, individual cases should be sent out for bid. The most difficult cases will therefore command the highest premiums. These corporations will (and indeed should) supply work for their inmates, working and living conditions to be inspected and regulated just as they would be in any other industry. There would be a variety of incentives to ensure proper work ethic, including payment (which could be saved, or paid as victim compensation), or perhaps tying release not to calendar time but to hours worked or credentials acquired.
Trials will be conducted on-line through The The System to ensure that "a jury of one's peers" includes people from all walks of life and from all Localities (provided of course that they speak the language used in the trial). The US system of jury selection is horribly inefficient, calling vastly larger numbers of people in for examination than would be needed for the trial and then requiring the selected jury to put their lives on hold for the duration of the trial. This provides a huge incentive for potential jurors to try to game the system by creating scheduling conflicts or devising other reasons why they cannot serve on a jury (having an advanced degree being pretty much a guaranteed get-out-of-jury-duty-free card). The result is that juries consist largely of the very people who are least competent to make the required sophisticated judgments.
As discussed in the section on Managers, in most Localities the police force will be privatized to provide the benefits of accountability and cost effectiveness that municipal-employee-based systems lack. The new system should also provide for a much higher level of integration with outside service providers (private security, private investigators, bounty hunters, repossessors, towing services, the above-mentioned TCs which will act as parole officers, etc.) than is currently available. This will enable them to work with each other to provide enforcement rather than in opposition to each other as is frequently the case in current systems. For example, current local-based police forces usually can't be bothered to pursue fugitives across locality boundaries or investigate crimes (such as identity and credit card theft) that originate outside their jurisdictions, and federal-level action generally is not triggered unless public safety or large sums of money are involved. When Locality police are able to exchange information with other private corporations which can operate across Locality boundaries but are compensated by victims (individuals/banks/retailers/etc.) it will greatly improve overall enforcement and so decrease the incidence of these types of crime.
Although correlation between SDAP and organized criminal activity has not been shown yet, there is a high correlation between the behaviors common to both groups. Whether it be a street gang, drug cartel, or the mafia itself, if you were putting an organization like this together, wouldn't you seek out as many Authoritarians, with their unflinching loyalty, relativistic moral code, and willingness to die for the group? If this relationship is shown to be causal, The People should make special efforts to identify at-risk individuals and begin treatment for any criminal or anti-social behavior starting from a very young age. As is the case with the general criminal element but which may particularly apply to Authoritarians who are particularly responsive to social cues, removing the individual from the environment where the crime was committed would be an important tool in reducing recidivism.
Note that there are a lot of things that have the force of law in many countries that are not specified in this section (e.g., the US Miranda warning) as these should be specified in the penal code rather than in the Matchism Code itself.
Next: Our Diversions
One of the major human needs that is satisfied by organized religion is for fellowship. This need can be met instead by encouraging individuals to pursue activities in other areas. Public investment in the required infrastructure (parks, sports fields, recreation centers, and publicly accessible meeting and hobbyist areas) must therefore be encouraged.
To the extent that people value art and music, under Matchism these will be funded directly in proportion to that value. No need to beg for charity, lobby for largess from the government, and no need to be disappointed if your pledge drive does not gather what you'd expect: If The People decide that 5% of our tax revenue should go to the arts, exactly that amount will be spent, which exactly matches what The People want and therefore exactly what the recipients should expect. The fact that they will use The System to approve grants and public art installations may cramp some artists' style, but again, The People have a right to expect that the money they spend will provide the value they seek.
To the extent competitive team sports are a sublimation of tribalism, interLocality competition is to be encouraged. There are concerns with the effects of sports involving violence, however, which may actually increase societal violence (e.g., Sipes 1973, Stemple 2006, and Goldstein 1999)
Next: On Matchish Exceptionalism
Matchism is designed to be the next phase of human political, economic, social, and cultural evolution. As such, its purpose is to replace all existing political, economic, social, and cultural systems. Which brings up the question, what about people living under those older systems that don't want to change? Does Matchism require the elimination and replacement of those systems which the philosophy of Matchism explicitly defines to be obsolete?
The short answer is "no", the reason being derived from the freedom of those individuals who prefer to follow the old ways or indeed are incapable of adopting the new ones. We have the same sort of obligation to care for these individuals as we do to take care of our children or the disabled, to provide them with the best standard of living and chances for future success that we can.
But this is not any sort of admission that there is equal validity or equal rights for cultures, or that the Matchish have any obligation to preserve those cultures. Study them, sure. Tolerate them to the greatest extent possible without putting the Matchish at risk, definitely. But when (and it is a question of when, not if) the majority of the people in any culture or living in any area qualified to form a Locality decide to throw their fates in with the rest of the Matchish, there can be no consideration of the effect this will have on the old culture during the transition. Allowance of cultural diversity is a crutch, a temporary measure designed to improve the quality of life of individuals during the transition to Matchism, not an end in itself.
How can we be sure that adoption of Matchism represents progress and not just an arbitrary turn in the road and especially not a turn that leads to a dead-end, such as ended up being the case with Communism? The guarantee comes from the Goals, establishment of which is an integral step in the process of adopting Matchism. If we make more progress toward the Goals under Matchism than we do under our existing systems (none of which has even made the breakthrough of requiring a statement of their Goals yet), that is all the proof we need that Matchism is forward progress and so is the inevitable replacement for those previous systems.
There is another reason why transition to Matchism is required, and that relates back to the relationship between our technological development and our moral codes. As technological advancement enables evolution of our moral codes (as described in Our Internal Moral Codes concerning prisons as an alternative to murder, and the development of drug and behavioral therapy as the alternative to incarcerating the mentally ill), we are morally obligated to use that technology to facilitate the evolution of our moral codes. We can't uninvent electricity or the computer or cell phones and so must instead use them to facilitate the next step in our moral evolution. At least in the US we haven't seen much progress in this area since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, which means we have experienced 50 years of stagnation. In other parts of the world Democracy continued to develop for some time after that, but this process has slowed and even reversed course in recent decades. It's time to get moving forward again.
Next: Value of Life
The single most important public policy decision The People must make is to establish the Value Of Life (VOL), or more specifically the value of a quality year of human life. A great many things depend on this number, including health-care policies, safety and environmental regulations, compensation due for death or disability, speed limits and other traffic laws, and even the size and type of military a country will maintain. Unfortunately in most governments elected officials fear to enter this domain, preferring instead to turn the job over to amateur-social-engineer bureaucrats. The result is inconsistent policy where each department of the government uses a different number and the range of values is huge. This makes it impossible to develop a coherent policy and leads to consistently adversarial relationship between The People, the government, and corporations that must comply with these policies. In many cases, notably in the areas of the military and national security, no number has even been defined and so budgeting is determined without any cost/benefit analysis at all.
The US and international medical standard for the value of a human life is around $50,000 USD per year. With an 80 year life span, this works out to about 4 million dollars for the value of a young child's life. Median age in the US is about 37, however, which results in a value of just over 2 million dollars for the median US citizen. Most regulatory policies in the US, however, use a number about four times that when evaluating the cost/benefit ratio of regulation. Why?
Some other questions that must be answered as part of the process of setting this number:
Increasing the VOL generally means increasing the cost of living or decreasing the standard of living. Higher value means more expensive medical care, more expensive products (safer and less harmful to the environment), more regulation (and more government overhead), lower speed limits, more expensive military equipment to reduce casualties and ensure success in any military operation, and decreased freedom for anything that might put other lives at risk (smoking, owning weapons, etc.) Lower values have the opposite effects, but come with and increased risk that you or your friends or your family might fall victim to one of these things.
Here are some examples of how the VOL would be applied. In many cases this is already done, albeit with values that have not been approved by The People or indeed are not even known to them. There is therefore no point in arguing whether we can vote on something like this under any naïve justification of the form “You can’t put a price on human life”: These decisions are made with or without our participation, we might as well make the values match us:
If you think about it, it's actually kind of astounding that we don't ever set goals for our government. How do we ever expect to achieve something, even something as basic as "good government", if we don't ever even define exactly what it is we want? While specific Goals are not part of Matchism, the process by which this set of Goals is defined (i.e. as a component of The System) must be. The specific set of Goals provided at the bottom of this page is merely a placeholder that shows the format of what the actual Goals of The People could look like.
In many cases, the Goal setting process will be a negotiation with the Managers: The people will propose a goal, e.g., "Decrease vehicle fatalities by 5%" to which the Manager will respond "to achieve this, we'll need to spend $X on highway improvements and add $Y to the cost of each car for improved safety equipment" at which point The People may say "OK, do that" or "What benefit will we get if we just do the road upgrades?". Once a target and cost is agreed upon, it becomes a standard which will be used to assess the performance of the Manager in the following years.
There will be separate list of Goals for the Globality and each Locality, though presumably the Locality lists will be short because the majority of local goals will be achieved via the initial Implementation Agreement.
The Goals section will also include the current Local and Global budgets, a list of priorities, and several other measures such that The People can specify what they believe the government should be doing. The Managers at each level should pull this data from The People each budget interval (quarterly?) when preparing the budget and project list for the next interval to adjust the priorities for recurring items (one-off or new items approved in The System will be included automatically).
An individuals Goals settings will also be used to find matching proxies, and the following sections are in the form that will be presented to each voter in The System.
Please rate the importance of each of these potential functions of government on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is not at all important and 7 is the highest priority.
This section concerns your perceptions of the balance of power you experience. Be sure to consider all sources of influence (people, money, ability to tax, laws/regulations/policies, threat of violence, etc.) and its effect on all types of freedom and behavior (economic, political, social, etc.). Note that in some cases the power doesn't originate in a group/entity itself, but is exercised on its behalf. For example, if you believe that there is too much regulation of the way corporations operate you might conclude that government and/or environmentalists have too much power and corporations not enough. If you think immigrants (undocumented or otherwise) are taking the jobs away from natives you probably consider that they and the corporations that hire them have too much power (freedom) and that the government and individuals in your country have too little power to control them.
Rate from "way too little" through "about right" to "way too much".
What is the value that should be used for a quality year of human life? See the section on Value of Life for more information.
(default is $50K USD)
What is the monthly income that would enable a single person to live a safe and dignified existence in your Locality?
A common reference point that may be useful in determining this is to use the industry standard that no more than 30% of income should be spent on housing (sometimes expressed in the rental market as annual income should be more than 40 times monthly rent). This figure is what mortgage companies and landlords most commonly use as a cutoff for approval. If you want to try this, find the least expensive housing that would be acceptable for you (e.g., on craigslist.org) that is within reasonable commuting distance of where you work (or your current home if you're retired or self-employed). Divide the rent of multiple bedroom units by the number of bedrooms (assuming you'd find it acceptable to have housemates if you were living on the SI). Divide that number by 0.3 to get an estimate of the SI in your Locality.
For comparison purposes, you'll probably find that the number you get is far larger than any current policy or subsidy. For example, US Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which works out to $1210.75 per month (multiply by 167. Note that your state or Locality may set a different number). Poverty level is defined to be $11,770 per year, which works out to $981 per month. Qualifications for food stamps and other subsidies are available up to 130% of the poverty rate, or $1275 per month. Average Social Security retirement benefit is $1,284.51, disability benefit $1,165.24.
What is the percentage of unemployment that should trigger government intervention? The "Frictional Rate" is the minimum practical rate (usually around 3%) that accounts for the short periods of time unemployed between jobs due to layoffs, individuals completing, quitting, or getting fired from a job without having new one lined up, etc.
What is the ideal number of human beings living on earth:
These types of goals would be prepared by Locality and Globality Managers and approved by The People.
Clinations, the human behavioral preferences and tendencies that our provided by our genes, are the fundamental building blocks of all cultural, religious, and political systems. This list of Clinations should be considered to be analogous to engineering specifications used in other domains, like a component in an electrical circuit being 10K Ohm resistor with a 5% tolerance, or an engineered beam that with deflect 1/360th of its length when X amount of force is applied to the center of it. These "components" of human behavior can be used to design a system that will allow defining The Goals of The People and identifying or creating provisions for the Matchism Code that help us to achieve them. It is important to remember that they are neither inherently "good" nor "bad": Those are labels that are (or will be) derived later as they are used to develop a moral code, which can only happen after we decide which are compatible with code provisions that help us achieve our Goals, and which are holding us back.
After each mode there are a pair of numbers that represent an estimate of the utility of this component as part of any provision of The Code designed to achieve the sample Goals, the first number being it's positive value, the second its negative. Because there is as yet no complete engineering discipline that shows us how to create these provisions, this list, like the list presented in the Goals section, are merely educated guesses at this point. Although the intention is that these numbers are a measure exclusively of the general compatibility between the Clinations and modern (and future) civilization, they no doubt also include some contribution from the moral code of the culture in which they were written (WEIRD, male and SDAP-dominated, etc.): It is extremely difficult to even perceive this influence from inside the culture itself, let alone apply the appropriate correction for it. The list must be refined based on careful analysis of the experimental data, in some cases augmented by public debate, surveys, and voting.
This list is sorted from most useful down to most harmful when expressed in modern civilization. For example, consider the deprecation of racism, an aspect of the tribalism Clination: A million years ago, this Clination was necessary and useful because it improved the fitness of bands of humans that had it by allowing them to out-compete neighboring bands. Even as late as the early 1800s it generally improved fitness of groups that were able to use it to justify and facilitate enslaving and exploiting humans of different races/nationalities/etc. But it was gradually deprecated as knowledge and technology developed and spread (e.g., people's experience with free blacks as neighbors, the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin (which was dependent on technologies like high literacy levels, magazine and book printing, logistics, etc.), the talking points of the abolitionists, etc.). As a result of the Clination being deprecated it became immoral ("bad") to express racist beliefs, beliefs that were the foundation of slavery.
The second major aspect of the tribalism Clination, nationalism, is currently going through a similar process of deprecation. The knowledge that facilitates this being spread by new forms of technology (affordable air travel, the Internet (particularly via content sites such as Netflix that show what life and people are like in other countries), foreign worker visa programs, etc.). As this process continues, expressions of nationalism, particularly those that imply that citizens of foreign countries are not entitled to the same considerations as citizens of one's own country, will start to be considered immoral or "bad". What Matchism does is facilitate this t + 1 moral development (as described in Our Internal Moral Codes) by explicitly identifying problematic Clinations, systematically evaluating them both analytically and in consultation with The People, and then developing provisions for The Code that will leverage the "good" Clinations to help suppress the "bad". When The People are ready to "increment morality" they will vote to approve those new provisions.
Any of these Clinations can be accentuated or suppressed through behavioral engineering. But there are costs associated with changing any expression of a natural Clination, including direct costs to The People for education or other conditioning, and indirect costs including increasing the level of stress on each individual and compensating for any failure of the conditioning to work. Matchism is the process of engineering a balance between these two factors.
Most humans like a good puzzle and will invest a lot of time and effort in solving one for the mere enjoyment they get from the process. This instinctive behavior extends to all of science, and is the basis of philosophy, a search for "truth". It is the driver of progress in technology, which is the process that has brought us our relatively high standard of living and promises continued gains in the future.
A certain amount of tolerance for incomplete solutions, particularly in government and economic policies must be developed, however. Too often people insist on definite solutions, and will prefer a definite but wrong solution to one that is incomplete or calls for experimentation. The "truth" in many of these arenas is unfortunately beyond our ability to determine and we must learn to be satisfied with defining the appropriate process rather than insisting on having "the answer".
The only negatives to this mode are that it is unevenly distributed: Not everyone likes puzzles, or has the training or temperament to engage in debate. An alternative method of participation, such as the ability to designate proxies, must be provided to them instead.
Humans, and in fact most higher mammals, have an instinctive sense of fair treatment. We also have a robust egalitarian streak. Both of these things will be highly useful when designing a new society, but that doesn't spare us the obligation to properly design a system to fit the parameters. Welfare payments provided to able-bodied adults clearly don't meet the standard, and in fact people are actually willing to sacrifice their own well-being to ensure that this kind of thing doesn't occur (the seminal experiments in this area being described in Fehr & Gachter 2002 and 2005, but a more complete (and interesting) cross-cultural survey of these issues can be found in Henrich, Heine & Norenzayan 2010 p9 and Figure 4. Keep in mind as you read the rest of that article that The Matchish will be "WEIRD" by their classification).
It has been theorized that our egalitarian Clinations evolved specifically to deal with threat from SDAPs. For example, in the modelling done by Gavrilets 2012, evolution of cooperative response in opposition to acts of bullies was shown to benefit all of the members of the band, and so may have been selected for by evolution. Unfortunately modern civilization in most cases has deprived us of that kind of direct application: When was the last time you and your neighbors worked together to effectively and reliably prevent a CEO or government representative from taking actions that caused you harm? A hundred thousand years ago you'd have had no trouble at all achieving that kind of result. Now you're lucky if you can get one of these "leaders" to acknowledge your concern, let alone being able to force them to take any action to address it.
Note that egalitarianism does not mean equality of outcome: Humans are completely comfortable with fairly significant inequalities in outcome, and because that is required for the Clination of Competition to be effective, there should be limited constraints on outcomes (i.e., no need to even consider burdening the highly talented to make them "equal" to the less talented as described in various "leveling" proposals, as satirized in the story Harrison_Bergeron). But providing equality of opportunity is a key instinctive disposition and it will be a very important characteristic of The Code. From providing children with their best opportunity for success to eliminating inherently unfair cultural traditions (inheritance, subjugation of women, caste systems, etc.) many changes will be required in current practices.
There are no negatives to this Clination, but it does require particularly adept engineering to utilize properly (e.g., as discussed in Welfare and On Charity). One of the most commonly used aspects of this Clination is "altrusitic punishment", where an individual will sacrifice some their own well being to ensure that free-riding and other types of "gaming the system" are sufficiently discouraged. This improves equality all around, and therefore makes society stronger and more stable. Unfortunately the most common implementation of this are prisons and the death penalty (our replacements for our Pleistocene ancestors' options of banishment or murder). Although these were in one sense "matches" to our natures, they are not a match for our current level of technology, as discussed in Crime and Punishment.
Humans love cool new things. It's instinctive, and something that Matchism delivers in bulk, although some marketing is going to be required to properly classify voting systems, social customs, and a new language as "technology" in people's minds.
There are two negatives to this Clination, the first being that many people lack the foundation to appreciate the latest technology and may have only mastered previous generations of technology. The second negative is cost, both in terms of time and money: Not everyone has the resources to take advantage of the latest technology, especially in a pre-Matchist society, so allowances have to be made during the transition.
Humans, like all animals, are naturally competitive, both with each other and with their environment. It's what drives both evolution and the capitalist economic system. Harnessing these instincts in developing new domains (such as education, child rearing, and prisons) will greatly increase the level of progress in these domains.
The downsides of competition are well known, including much duplication of effort in mature industries and the need to provide support to the losers to help them transition (welfare, wage support, unemployment insurance, etc.)
Although often coopted by religions, the Neurotypical tendency to be hopeful for the future and to have faith in their Clinations and their technology will be key factors in the success of Matchism. This Clination is therefore a primary antidote to suffering: If one has faith in the fundamental fairness of the system and hope for the future it reduces suffering or at least makes it easier to bear. Lack of this faith or hope leads to despair, depression, and dysfunction.
Humans have an instinctive appreciation for nature, especially unspoiled and unoccupied land, perhaps because exploring and then moving into these lands greatly increased our chances of survival by reducing the threat from our former neighbors. Access to nature has enormous benefits for mental health and stress reduction, both of which are requirements of a just and productive civilization.
There are no downsides to this mode other than the need to reduce population to achieve it, the process of which could potentially reduce technological progress due to the reduced availability of mental resources. In the short term it might also reduce revenue available to supply the Standard Income (an inevitable reduction in any scenario because the resource-extraction Ponzi scheme our current civilization is based on is unsustainable).
Based on anthropological studies and a wide range of experiments in communal living it should be clear that monogamy (or at least serial monogamy) is the default relationship mode for humans. People live longer, happier, and more financially stable lives if they are married. That research and the massive experiment we're currently running on single parenthood has also convincingly shown that a two-parent nuclear family is also the optimum structure for raising children. Although there may be some costs associated with promoting this Clination (relationship and parenting education, premarital and family counseling, tax and other financial subsidies to encourage marriage and two-parent households, etc.), they are small compared with the costs to society if there were to be any decrease in these things.
The major downside of this Clination is that it is highly correlated with tendencies Replism: The preference for policies that promote the transmission of genes (an insistence on preserving the custom of Inheritance being Exhibit A).
Yes, we can take advantage of human's natural tendencies toward slacking off! Laziness is a large part of the motivation of our love of technology: New things do things better and easier than old ones (or, at least that's the hope and promise). If we design our new government to make things easier, people will like it and use it more.
A corollary of this Clination is our innate preference for efficiency. It's derived from laziness because anything wasted is likely to need to be replaced in the future, requiring additional effort be expended. Whether it's a long wait at the Department of Motor Vehicles, a bloated welfare bureaucracy that consumes as much resources as it ends up delivering to those in need, or a defense-department procurement that pays $600 for a toilet seat when a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) equivalent sells for a couple percent of that, we all instinctively hate waste, and any government that doesn't minimize it.
Of course, there is that downside of laziness of stuff just not getting done...
All humans have an innate ability to detect when they're not feeling right and to make changes necessary to bring their mood back into equilibrium. There are a wide variety of options that they have to achieve this, from eating "comfort" foods, to playing games or chatting with others, to escaping into another word via books or movies. Some people have trained themselves to use more intensive therapies such as meditation or long-distance running. But sometimes it takes even more than that and people must resort to technological (i.e., external) tools to address the issue, whether it's a cup of coffee to get started in the morning, or a beer to relax when you get off work. But sometimes and for some individuals it takes even more than that, which calls for an engineered system of education, professional support, and specially designed drugs to achieve mood stabilization. See more on this last option in the section drug use in the List of Credentials.
While there is some risk of abuse, this can be minimized through the use of technology to ensure that more serious problems are identified and professionally treated. It is not a downside that amateur social engineers (e.g., religious prophets) got this one wrong, though it will be a slog to convince modern day fundamentalists of this.
Gossip is information. Although many fear that the purpose of gossip is primarily to harm other people, its true evolutionary purpose is to provide information on other individuals. This information improves your own chances of success by enabling you to minimize relationships with selfish or otherwise problematic individuals.
It can also be used as a tool to prevent those people from engaging in harmful (immoral) behavior. It supports this in two ways. Purpose One is to provide the group with the information necessary to identify psychopaths and other incorrigible individuals who could then be banished or executed. Secondly it provided a deterrent to individuals to discourage them from lying or cheating, lest Purpose One be exercised against them. Although the first use is much restricted in modern civilization (although we can still isolate problematic individuals), the second purpose is still viable because our instinctive fear of Purpose One is still sufficient in most cases to allow Purpose Two to remain effective.
The key to gossip working, however, is that we insist on radical transparency in our public interactions: If an individual or corporation lies or cheats or commits other acts that The People have decided are immoral or otherwise unacceptable, these acts must be attributable to these individuals or corporations and they must suffer the consequences. The current craze for privacy and anonymity does far less to encourage truthful expression than to eliminate these consequences for engaging in anti-social behavior.
Why do we crave privacy? Because it increased the survival of our genes back in the EEA. How did it do this? By providing a way to "game the system" (i.e., our bandmates) by allowing us to hide things that might be of value to us (i.e, resources we then don't have to share) or that might expose weakness that might be used to justify killing or banishing us (sexual deviancy, abuse of others, cowardice, laziness, etc.). But this means that our desire for privacy is like our own little bit of psychopathy, a drive that conflicts with the needs of the system (society) but confers benefits to individuals who can profit from it. Now that we understand that this is what is going on, we must consider privacy to be merely a luxury. We ought to afford it people to the greatest extent possible because of their instinctive preference to have it, but when a tradeoff must be made between enabling everyone to have privacy and allowing individuals to use privacy and anonymity to hide commission of harmful (immoral) acts, access to information must always take precedence.
There is of course a fine line between gossip and bullying. But, again, gossip itself is the solution to ensuring the proper balance: By exposing the behavior of the bully, the same gossip system being used by a bully to harass an individual would be used to bring social pressures to bear on the bully. A predefined set of Deprecated Clinations also provides moral direction in this area where most other moral codes have none: Bullying an individual based on perceived flaws in their appearance or mental health is not just "mean" or "antisocial", it is explicitly "immoral" because it is an indulgence of a Deprecated Clination.
A secondary motivation for the desire for privacy is the instinctive desire to reduce the likelihood of envy (e.g., the Evil Eye superstition is a result of this instinct). An individual being envied can be subjected to acts of hostility from the rest of the community, who may try to acquire that individual's resources directly by theft, or kill or banish them to prevent them from using those resources to acquire power. While this was a valid concern in the Pleistocene, the rule of law now prevents these things. Which means the desire for privacy can be deprecated in a Matchist civilization because it is no longer needed, and access to information is the more useful policy.
Control over our reproduction is without a doubt the single most important advancement in human history. Previous advancements, including the development of agriculture and other technology and social systems merely increased the environment's carrying capacity, delaying the inevitable resumption of hostilities toward competing populations. Birth control is the only advancement that provides a permanent solution to the problem and an escape from the Malthusian trap. It is the advancement that will allow civilization to actually become successful when judged by the standards we define for it. Reproduction is necessary for the continuation of the species, but all decisions on reproduction must be made without regard to our instinctive drive toward it.
Derived from fear of shortage, behavior that we attribute to the emotional states of Greed, Gluttony, Jealousy, Envy, and Guarding are instinctual but no longer necessary in an era where resources are efficiently managed. While it may not be possible to suppress the underlying emotion (i.e., it's not a sin to "covet" your neighbor's wife), the resulting behaviors can effectively be controlled through education and other social engineering. Envy is particularly important to address because if it's impact on public policy. Fortunately the Veil of Ignorance has been shown to be a particularly useful tool for ensuring that public policy decisions reflect our underlying Clination for egalitarianism rather than being an instantaneous assessment of our gut feelings of envy. For example Beckman, Formby, Smith, & Zheng 2002 found that approvals of unequal income distributions is near Pareto optimality if these decisions are made behind the veil of ignorance, but show large skews if made from a position of knowledge of one's current social position.
There is some positive value to this mode, as preparing for times of scarce resources is both an individual and collective benefit.
As a countermeasure to persecution, our instinctive need to appear normal had great survival value in an era before disease and mental illness were actually treatable. In the Pleistocene any display of weakness could have triggered banishment or execution to ensure the survival of the band. Now, this instinct is a danger not only to the individual, who may refuse treatment until their condition becomes much worse, but a danger to The People as a whole when individuals who have hidden their disability cause disruption or greatly increased costs (e.g., mass murder and/or long term medical care or incarceration). Openly sharing ones mental state and accepting honest feedback is not a part of any current culture, but must be an integral part of the next one. Part of this process will be education concerning the prevalence of mental illness: Everyone who has been depressed, fallen in love, had that religious feeling of "awe", or experienced blind rage as a result of something that has happened to them has been mentally ill. Our current conceptions of mental illness is generally categorical (either you have it or you don't) whereas in fact it is much more a matter of degree and of duration.
There is one minimally positive aspect of this Clination: Nobody likes a whiner.
Humans have instinctive biases that come into play when they are forced to make decisions, especially when they involve low-probability events. For example, they reliably overestimate both the odds of winning while gambling and the odds of catastrophic events such as plane crashes. Many of these biases had significant survival value in an era of scarce resources and low information but lead to suboptimal or even bad decisions in the modern world (frequenting casinos and choosing private over public transportation, respectively, for the above examples). Most of these biases can be reduced through education, but our current education systems make little or no effort to do so.
Defending the land you grew up on, even to the death, would have a very high survival value for our ancestors. Indeed, our attachment to the land often takes on a religious quality, especially in those areas where ancestor worship is still common. Unfortunately in an era of regulated real estate transactions these instinctive behaviors are not only obsolete, but highly destructive. For example, it should be not only possible, but completely obvious that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict could be resolved in a matter of months by simply having one group develop a plan to buy the other out (in phases (perhaps by neighborhood), which would provide the sellers sufficient capital to emigrate and have a comfortable life someplace else). Not insisting on or even seriously contemplating this option makes us all complicit in a system that values Deprecated Instincts over civilized behavior.
Nevertheless Matchism offers a solution to this problem and all other land-based conflicts: By removing SDAP-led national governments from the equation and allowing all local populations to govern their own affairs, there will be no more need for border wars or property disputes. The vote of The People will govern the former and the (Globality) rule of law the latter.
As discussed in the Pleistocene Thought Experiment, human inclinations toward religious belief may have evolved as a means of control and to facilitate aggressive behavior when fear or moral concerns would tend to leave an individual with insufficient internal motivation. Although many will argue that religion also offers a means of sublimation of these instinctive behaviors, there is no possible resolution to the issue of consistency and compartmentalization: Religious expression requires compartmentalization because all religions are not only internally inconsistent, but frequently conflict with modern concepts of morality (for example, as the founding documents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam allow slavery yet aggressively condemn any sort of homosexuality). A good example of this being the passage of Proposition 8 in California, where large numbers of religious blacks conspired to deprive another group of individuals (homosexuals) of their civil rights, all with the "blessing" and encouragement of their religious leaders. This type of immoral behavior is not specific to any particular faith: even Buddhists will become violent when organized and led by SDAPS, so all organized religious expression must be deprecated.
Although religious leaders often seek to deprecate the problematic clauses in their governing documents, in some cases even invoking irrational (and cynical) justifications like "divine revelation", the end result is still just an example of social or even just behavioral engineering by leaders who lack the necessary qualifications to do it properly. Rather than allow these feeble attempts to revise obsolete documents to continue, it is clearly safer and more efficient for The People to derive the moral code they imprint on children from science, reason, and those instinctive preferences that have been determined to be compatible with the civilization we are creating.
Our survival used to be highly dependent on the quality of the individuals around us. We therefore instinctively seek out means of assessing that quality, physical appearance being highly correlated with fitness in an environment of scarce resources. But this technique is obsolete in an environment of managed resources because physical appearance is no longer an accurate means of assessing quality. The underlying instinct must therefore be deprecated because it results in prejudice, and behavior should always be governed by objective measures rather than prejudice.
Probably the best means of achieving this is via methods already in common use: Don't use your real picture in your profile or attach it to your resume.
A system of government that relies on Neurotypical behavior from a large majority to compensate for the authoritarian behavior of the minority SDAPs must cultivate an independent spirit among its citizens. The conformity Clination evolved because independent action would be a significant risk to a tribe that depended on collective action, particularly during warfare. Now, however, diversity of opinion is an indisputable benefit in an era of managed resources and globally-collective decisionmaking because it enables more and better solutions to be evaluated and then implemented. Likewise blind allegiance to leaders too had great benefits in an era of constant warfare, but only leads to SDAP-instigated disruption a more advanced civilization.
These Clinations can still prove useful in some contexts, however, such as when The People, after adequate debate, have established a rule and need people to follow it, or have identified (e.g., through gossip) an individual or corporation that warrants collective censure.
Allowing (let alone encouraging) individual "leaders" to emerge as a means of imprinting moral codes and moral behavior is relatively ineffective. Kohlberg 1984 and many others have shown that's just not how imprinting or modeling works. Hero worship also usually requires compartmentalization because all humans have flaws, particularly when judged from the perspective of our ever-evolving moral codes. Finally hero worship is also a primary tool used by SDAPs to rally other SDAPs around causes that work against Neurotypical needs and desires. And of course only allowing hero worship of Neurotypical heroes (are there Neurotypical heroes?) won't work because our Clination toward fairness would require that SDAP heroes be included in the canon as well.
As such all shrines ("memorials"), holidays, and popular references to public figures as models of moral or other behavior should be discouraged. Whether or not fictional superheroes are a problem remains to be seen, but the presumption should probably be that they do for boys' feelings of inadequacy what supermodels do for girls. Maybe instead of asking kids who their heroes are we should ask them who they want to be like when they grow up, and then work on our own issues if they don't answer "You!".
An "eye for an eye" seems to be built into our genes, and murder or maiming was a standard Pleistocene method for dealing with problematic individuals. This instinct continues today even in the US, where proponents of the death penalty favor it even when it can be shown (as in Radelet & Akers 1996) that there is no deterrent or economic value to the policy (Carlsmith 2005). There are now better ways of dealing with social problems in a modern civilization, so these instinctive behaviors must be identified and suppressed now that we have technology that renders them obsolete.
In an environment of scarcity, allowing individuals who cannot contribute more than they require to survive puts all members of the band at risk. So we developed instinctive behaviors to identify such individuals and arrange for their demise. These instincts are not only no longer necessary, but obsolete because a person with a serious injury or weakness can frequently be rehabilitated or at least accommodated. This is a possibility our ancestors, and therefore our instincts, never had to account for.
The evolution of blushing, which is one of the few behaviors that we humans have little or no control over, was only necessary because we have become so adept at misrepresenting ourselves to others. Deception and manipulation are the instinctive behaviors that blushing developed to assist the group in controlling (Boehm's 2012 Moral Origins). Unfortunately blushing is a much less effective tool in an era where electronic communication has largely replaced face to face interaction. Controlling these deprecated instincts now will require better access to information (e.g., gossip) to identify the perpetrators, forms of censure that operates properly without access to physiological responses, and increased moral education in the form of teaching people how to use these systems and how they will be used against them if they attempt to deceive or manipulate people.
Note that this deprecation does not apply to "white lies", which are told as a form of social lubricant. Telling someone you can't go to the movies with them because you're busy when in fact it's because you don't want to go should not be considered a moral offense (though you do of course need to be careful that the gossip doesn't come back to damage your reputation). This is just how human social interaction works and although it's probably a good idea to minimize this type of lying, it's too deeply ingrained, and in fact may even be necessary for individual welfare, to make suppressing it a viable goal.
The evolution of the human species has provided us a wide range of built-in shortcuts to speed and simplify our decisionmaking. They are incredibly useful when avoiding death by predator and other common risks in the Pleistocene. Unfortunately most of these heuristics are subject to biases and fallacies that make them unsuitable for situations where accuracy is more important than speed, such as when formulating public policy (For a review see Hastie's 2009 Rational Choice in an Uncertain World)
Among the most common and pernicious objections to the proposals in this Clination has to be the kinds of base rate and sampling errors embodied in statements of the form "I grew up in a poor (or large) family and now I'm a millionaire, so there's no need to do anything to prevent that". We see these kinds of errors in a wide range of public policy debates, especially when Libertarians get involved, such as "We never wore bike helmets when we were kids and we turned out OK", "My family grew up in a house with lead-based paint/plumbing and none of us ever murdered anyone", or "I grew up downwind of the Nevada Test Site and I never got cancer from those above-ground nuclear tests". Although the faulty reasoning should be made clear from that sequence of examples, to spell it out, the fact that it's you telling us these things is worse than useless to the rest of us: If you were one of the ones killed or grievously harmed you wouldn't be here talking about it! Add to that the fact that millionaire might have become a billionaire with the extra 12 points of IQ being raised in a middle class family would have provided them. So, when debating public policy issues on The System, as a general rule, personal experience is something we need to religiously avoid sharing, and part of the training for using The System will include learning to avoid citing posts that rely on this to spare the rest of us from having to read and then ignore them.
But is this an exception to the Matchist philosophy of taking people as they come and integrating them into the system regardless of their flaws? There is an important distinction to be made here: While we can't prevent people from relying on heuristics or indeed indulging their other harmful Clinations when voting, we can ensure that the information provided to them that they are expected to use when making their decisions is as free from these types of flaws as we collectively can make it. Training for The System can facilitate this by instructing people to recognize and then not cite posts demonstrating heuristic, biased, and other irrational behavior.
Heuristic decisionmaking does have utility when making everyday decisions (e.g., whether it's worth the risk to take a shortcut through that dark alley), but this list of Clinations and their rankings was produced as engineering specifications for designing a system for making public policy decisions, not personal choices.
The evolutionary purpose of moral codes is to provide for the survival of the group. Group harmony was requirement for group survival so a strong instinctive drive to impose a common moral code on all members of the group evolved along with the facility. But this instinctive behavior is now obsolete and rather than improving the odds of survival of groups, it puts all of us at risk. Getting all bent out of shape because someone in your community chooses to drink alcohol, marry someone of the same sex, or eat dog meat must therefore be deprecated.
Note that this does not prohibit imposing laws and policies on those whose moral codes still contain obsolete provisions, particularly those that call for depriving equal rights to some segment of the population. But it's crucial that these laws and policies be derived objectively and rationally rather than merely being a reflection of the moral codes of the majority of the population.
The key to the rise of authoritarian leaders and the resulting commission of acts of aggression and violence is fear. Deliberate attempts to instill fear in a population, especially with the goal of manipulating them into action, must be met with scorn and ridicule. A good example of this is the dynamic between Fox News and "fake news" outlets such as Comedy Central and The Onion, the latter groups should be praised as an essential component in the advancement of civilization. When (hopefully short-lived) eras of resource shortage return, these sources of "reality checks" may play a critical role in the very survival of our species by working to reduce the activation level of authoritarians.
As a general rule, therefore, Matchists should probably consider avoiding "instantaneous" news sources, and especially cable or radio news and talk shows. Written news, because at least it has gone through two levels of filtering (the writer and the editor) is far more likely to include necessary information without being needlessly inflammatory, especially those with three or more levels of processing such as weekly newsmagazines or written opinion columns. The purpose of keeping up with the news is to be informed enough to support good decisionmaking. Emphasizing the emotional or entertainment aspects of it is an indulgence we should regard as being as hazardous to the health of our society as speeding or smoking or any other dangerous (albeit stimulating) activity.
The only potential upside to this mode is when there is an actual threat. A negligible probability in a global government, but potentially protective with respect to countries without any Matchist followers in them due to the lack of information available about the internal state of those countries.
By far the most dangerous Clination is our inherent need to classify individuals as being either in-group or out-group, with the in-group being provided with our protection and other benefits, and the out-group being deprived of these things and perhaps even being made a target for violent aggression. Derived from an instinctive (and completely rational) fear of strangers, it has been elevated to the level of compulsion in some individuals (primarily authoritarians, of course) and to the level of religious directive in some groups, making it impossible to even examine it rationally, let alone modify it if a rational examination finds it wanting.
While this instinct had tremendous survival value in an environment of small bands competing for scarce resources, it now only ensures unnecessary and constant suffering and indeed threatens the very survival of our species. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate this instinct, it may be possible to sublimate it by changing the criteria used to make the divisions. Relying on superficial or impermanent features would be one approach. So, instead of dividing based on race or religion or native language, divide based on current location (especially useful for sports teams), interests (golfers vs. Goths), restructure as corporate competition, or maybe group by an individual's position on a particular political issue. And as Stenner 2005 found, the discovery (or perhaps even the possibility) of extraterrestrial life would make it much easier to consider all members of our species as in-group.
Maybe think of it this way: A SDAP born in North Korea but raised in the US will still tend to rise to a position of power and authority, just as they would in their birth country. And a Neurotypical born in the US but raised in North Korea will have to deal with SDAPs making policy to keep themselves in power and exploit any handy Neurotypicals, just as they do in the US. Which means that even though their languages and cultures are completely different, if you look at their political beliefs and the roles they end up playing in society, a Neurotypical in the US has more in common with a Neurotypical in North Korea than a SDAP in their own country.
Displays of patriotism or nationalism should be met with the same shunning behavior that we have only relatively recently started to use for displays of racism (e.g., the use of racial or ethnic slurs). The same instinct underlies both classes of behaviors and so they should be treated with the same disdain. They are the tools that SDAPs use to keep themselves in power by instilling fear of the outgroup in the population they are attempting to control.
There are no compensating advantages to this mode, as the increased performance the potential competition could bring can be much more efficiently arranged under a single global government than when nations have an incentive to cheat by using governments to subsidize certain players or industries. And it's important to make a distinction between behaviors that favor the ingroup (the Egalitarian Clination) and those that seek to harm the outgroup. While they are highly correlated in many individuals and environments, they are listed separately here because it is possible to selectively operate on them with behavioral engineering: It is possible to encourage paying special attention to the ingroup without necessarily causing prejudice against any outgroup.
Back to our chemical engineering analogy, nationalism is like methanol in your moonshine. That is, this kind of brewing mistake is common among amateur chemical engineers (moonshiners) and it makes their customers sick, or in some cases permanently blinds them. In the case of nationalism/tribalism/racism promoted by our amateur social engineer SDAPs, however, it's usually people other than those who are poisoned who are the victims.
Next: Tax Rates
These rates shall be reviewed and approved by The People on a yearly basis, based on input from their Global Manager. Note that all of the amounts shown here are just examples at this point, with the exact rates to be calculated once an entire budget has been produced and the necessary revenue determined. In any case, the effective rates will be much lower than under any other political/economic system because of massive decreases in military spending, eliminating the fraud and overall high-overhead/low-efficiency and low compliance rates that are characteristic of existing taxation systems, and the benefits of introducing competition into a large number of areas where it currently does not operate effectively.
Also note that the process of setting tax rates is completely open and transparent and approved by The People. There is no risk of special interests (or their lobbyists and resulting corruption of representatives) having any undue influence on the process. Indeed, these groups will probably find that investments even in propaganda will backfire on them as The People will tend to retaliate against such attempts at manipulation (a form of social engineering). Therefore we are free to implement a system free of the serious flaws in the FairTax proposal that are required to prevent exploitation by a corrupt representative form of government, including lack of adjustability by product/service type, and having to religiously adhere to the "new = taxed" and "old = untaxed" dogma which would decimate the homebuilding industry.
In a high-efficiency system, the overall tax rate doesn’t even need to be computed with a high degree of precision. In a representative democracy any extra income will be used to line politicians’ pockets (or those of their contractor friends and relatives), or wasted via setting up an unneeded bureaucracy in the representatives’ home district. In a Matchist government that extra income will be used to improve the infrastructure. The process of building, and having access to, this improved infrastructure will stimulate the economy, which in turn will enable a reduction in taxes. Anti-tax movements such as the US TEA party, which seeks to reduce government waste by restricting government income (a blunt tool if there ever was one) will find much less to complain about under Matchism because at least they will be getting something for their money.
Unless otherwise specified, the Global sales tax rate shall be 15%, tax to be applied on products, labor, and services.
Tax on alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other recreational drugs shall be 25%.
Tax on new vehicles shall be set at (purchase price) ^ 0.28.
Tax on used vehicles shall be set at 5%.
Tax on cash withdrawals shall be 5%.
Tax on gambling bets shall be 2%.
Tax on stock, bond, and commodity purchases shall be 2%, to be applied when an individual or corporation initially buys into an individual product or fund.
Tax on real estate purchases shall be 5%.
Tax on energy shall be (5 + progressive-carbon)%. The "progressive carbon" component would be something of the form X * (Y ^ Z) where X is dollars per kg of carbon released, Y would be the years the program had been in place, and Z the required rate of increase. The goal would be to have renewables taxed at 5%, low-carbon fuels like natural gas at something like 7%, and high carbon fuels like coal at something like 10% the first year, with the latter predictably increasing to something like 30% over 20 years and progressively higher after that.
Tax on durable manufacturing, building, energy generation, and energy efficiency products and services shall be 5%.
Tax on food items shall be 5%.
Next: List of Credentials
This is a proposed list of the Credentials for Matchism 1.0. This list will require continuous refinement by The People.
This would include credentials required to function as an adult citizen. This includes basic use of The System and education in the fields that it requires (law, economics, etc.), psychology (including mood regulation and diagnosing mental illness), and personal finance. Because it will also apply to immigrants it will also require familiarity with the core Matchism Code for that Locality, ensuring that the important local customs will not be disregarded as the result of mere ignorance or neglect.
As specified in the Codes in Children and Families, The System will require a much more organized and engineered approach to childrearing. In addition to such Credentials a fundamental restructuring of child support systems will be required including the elimination of orphanages and most foster home care in favor of permanent placements/adoption. To encourage the participation of all suitable parents and ensure the best outcomes for the children, The People will provide sliding-scale compensation to the parents for their services. For example a Neurotypical infant adopted by a Level 1 Credentialed parent would come with minimal compensation, a 12 year old with mental or developmental disorders adopted by a Level 3 parent would come with a high rate of compensation (i.e., comparable to what institutionalizing that child would cost).
Unfortunately research on this issue has been restricted by SDAPs in the US for decades, to the point that it is difficult to know exactly what the appropriate policies will be. This is a classic example of why our (non) representative legislators are not qualified to be social engineers: Back to the chemical engineering analogy, we've basically prevented any actual engineering from being done by preventing the collection of the information needed to make any assessment of the quality of the process. It's as if our lawmakers want to prevent us from even discovering if there is any methanol or other poisons in our alcoholic beverages!
Public safety and defense preparedness (GSF) will be the main emphases for Matchist Credentials in firearms. Although it may or may not be necessary to register weapons themselves, the Credentialing process itself will support intervention as necessary. For example, if an individual has a Level 2 Credential, and their situation changes (a child or mentally ill person becomes part of the household), the Credential may be reduced to Level 1, requiring that any firearms they own be stored off site (e.g., they'll get an email requiring that they log into The System and confirm that this has been done). This will be in lieu of systems based on restricting access to particular types of weapons. Education and hands-on training are key components of the Credential. For example, to qualify for a Level 2 Credential an individual must have demonstrated that they know that a gun in the home is more likely to be used to injure or kill a guest or occupant of that home than to be successfully used against an intruder.
Licensing for building contractors is poorly regulated, varying greatly between jurisdictions and with little enforcement or public input into the process. It is also inconvenient for customers to verify this information and so frequently it just doesn't get done. On the high end, Professional Engineer (PE) time is very expensive and those engineers unnecessarily overqualified for most of the work they do, resulting in a majority of buildings having little or no professional engineering work put into them at all.
Licensing in these fields is currently typically managed by independent Boards made up of other practitioners in those fields. They are not overseen by The People, or in many cases even by any government agency. As such, they have an inherent conflict of interest: They are designed more to ensure the success of the organization and its practitioner members than doing what is best for The People. These existing systems can be used as a starting point for Matchist implementations, but the actual credentialing process must be managed by The System and overseen by The People.
It is an innate human characteristic to self-medicate for mood stabilization and to enjoy recreational drugs (including alcohol). Incarcerating individuals who are no danger to themselves or others because they to use such substances is barbaric. Doing so when it causes powerful unregulated criminal organizations to develop to supply these substances and strongly encourages the users to commit illegal acts to be able to afford them is just stupid.
The primary issue with drugs is that most drug abuse is a side effect of self-medicating an untreated mental illness, most commonly a mood disorder. You can't have an effective drug policy until you have an effective mental health system, and you can't have either when irrational SDAPs are allowed to define the policies based on their instinctive preference to discriminate and punish over actually solving problems or preventing them from developing in the first place. That is, SDAPs instinctively prefer a system that puts users of illegal drugs and individuals convicted of DUI in jail rather than spending far less money on anything that would prevent these crimes in the first place.
The second major issue with drugs is impairment while driving, operating machinery, etc. Again, technology and social engineering are the best solutions (e.g., self-driving cars, testing level of impairment prior to allowing operation of the machine, etc.), and they also highlight how deeply flawed our current behavioral and social engineering practices are: How does it make sense to only restrict an individual's right to drive when they're convicted of DUI? Driving isn't their problem, drug use is! Expecting them to make the correct decision not to drive when their thinking is already impaired by drug or alcohol use is lunacy, and of course largely ineffective. Instead, the public Credential system would prevent an abuser from even buying or possessing the drugs that caused the problem in the first place (e.g., a scanner at the bar or checkout stand does the Credential check and then payment with a wave of your smart card, or perhaps even an RFID tag imbedded in your hand). Of course a little social engineering will also be necessary: Buy a drug for a non-Credentialed individual makes you liable for anything they do while under the influence (i.e., we'll probably see a lot more BYOB parties).
In addition to these Credentials, technology, education, and social engineering can be applied to minimize or eliminate the dangers of these substances to both the individual and The People. For example, drugs can be developed that have reduced addictive properties and other side effects. MAST is included in the list below as a placeholder for a whole class of mood-stabilizing and enhancing drugs that can be developed once Puritanical restrictions on research in this area are removed. So instead of having to take large doses of prescription painkillers in order to achieve mood stabilization (a practice that has become epidemic in the US) much smaller doses of much safer psychoactive narcotics would be available instead. Providing education on mood stabilization as part of the Standard Adult Set (i.e., when to self-medicate vs. when to seek professional help) will also greatly reduce drug abuse.
Regulating the prices of drugs, directly or via tax rates, will allow social engineering pressures to direct individuals away from particularly dangerous drugs and toward safer alternatives. It will also greatly reduce the risk and incidence of drug overdose: Why would someone risk taking a drug of unknown strength or composition that's more expensive when they could buy something cheaper that they know will provide them with the benefits they need with little or no risk and fewer side effects? Controlling dosages by combining the drugs with food or beverages could be used, as could adding adulterants that would make small doses have the desired effects but large (dangerous) doses would reduce the effect or cause discomfort.
To protect customers, employees, suppliers, landlords, and investors of a business, and to ensure efficient use of government employees and resources.
Next: Similarity To Other "Isms"
It will undoubtedly be pointed out that Matchism is in many ways closer to forms of government individuals living under representative democracies have rejected or indeed waged war against on principle. Although there are good points to be made to support this, overall, Matchism does not fall into any of these categories so much as it represents a synthesis of the best ideas from each of them, a syncretic political system.
Specifically, Matchism superficially most closely resemble communism. Many of the fundamental concepts, such as common ownership of the land and resources, prohibition of inheritance, and government by people working in small groups (i.e., soviets, as in the original design by the Bolsheviks) could have been drawn directly from the works of Marx and Lenin. In the case of Matchism, however, they were actually derived independently from common source material, and noting that a key tenant of Matchism, the prohibition on inheritance, although proposed by Marx in the Communist Manifesto, was one of the few key ideas that was not included in the Soviet implementation of it (probably because it conflicted with Lenin's preference for a hierarchical organization). The communist maxim "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a good rough description of the Standard Income, the requirement that the unemployed and disabled work (for the State if necessary) to secure this income, and a consumption and no-inheritance based tax system. One might even note that the vast majority of the Matchist economy will consist of public companies, shares of which will all be owned by individuals, which means even the requirement of "public ownership of the means of production" will be satisfied.
Still, the differences between Matchism and communism, at least so far as it has ever actually been implemented, are far larger and more significant than these similarities. Most notably is that Matchism requires a robust and competitive capitalist economic system at the highest level, which is the antithesis of the planned economies of traditional communism (collectivization, the botched implementation of which was the single greatest failure of the Soviets and communist Chinese, resulting in millions of deaths due to starvation and disease). This competitive economic system is required because communism, like utilitarianism, is a poor match for human Clinations.
But the biggest difference is that Lenin's design was for a dictatorship, where a few SDAPs (his "Vanguard of the Revolution") would wield unlimited power. This proved the most disastrous component of the Soviet design, since it stifled criticism and therefore innovation and so retarded the development of the people living under this rule by decades or more. And of course Mao was most likely a psychopath, for whom staying in power was the only thing that really mattered, his "communism" being more like a hobby, the dabblings of the ultimate amateur social engineer.
Many liberals, progressives, and anarchists will make the opposite complaint: Turning the economy over to untaxed corporations and individuals will virtually ensure an unequal distribution of power and wealth. Matchism also requires a seamless path between developed and undeveloped Localities. They will fear that these policies will bring back the worst of 19th century capitalism: Robber barons, who dominated railroads and other heavy industries in the US in the late 1800s, and carpet baggers, which invaded the South after the US civil war, snatching up war-torn resources at cut-rate prices.
The risk of robber barons arising is minimal, based primarily on the specific prohibition on monopolies (and especially natural monopolies) found in Matchism. Although "robber baron" behavior will tend to arise in all corporations, the prohibitions on inheritance, requirement of shareholder empowerment, and inability to corrupt leaders into passing laws that favor them will prevent them from becoming the overarching problem they have been in the past (and frequently are even today).
The possibility of "carpet baggers" taking over a newly-added Locality is a more serious issue and must be a carefully regulated part of the Locality-creation process. Because there can be no protective tariffs between Localities, nor any regulation of the movement of the People, if the standard of living is lower in a new Locality than in the Globality as a whole, there will be a natural influx of capital into a new Locality and migration of the people out. The primary means of control will be the multi-year Implementation Agreement, which must be approved by both the Globality and the new Locality. It will govern all aspects of conversion, and must include specific investment and emigration targets and policies and a staged elimination of protective tariffs.
Also of concern to liberals and progressives will be that Matchism makes no allowance for "affirmative action" or other reparatory reverse-discrimination policies. These will have to be phased out as part of the Implementation Agreement, which could possibly include any last-ditch efforts to render them unnecessary.
Matchism seemingly resembles dictatorships in its high reliance on powerful Managers at both the Global and Local levels. It cannot be disputed that a "benevolent dictatorship" is by far the most efficient form of government, and when it eventually comes to pass that computer and software technology develops to the level we can create one, we ought to try this. Until that time, however, it should be clear that no human being is suitable for that role and so we must ensure that our dictator-equivalent (i.e. Manager) only possesses the ability to execute the laws rather than create them or confirm that they comply with Matchism and the tenets of social engineering. This is one area where the framers of the US constitution got it right: Separating these three powers is key to preventing a real dictatorship (or other tyranny) from developing. Unfortunately, they badly botched the definition of the process of selecting the executive: It's nearly incoherent, and not at all descriptive of the way presidents are selected today. Voting on a President as a type of popularity contest is about the worst way to select a good executive, since it almost completely ignores the crucial issue of their management skills and experience.
There are certain proposals in Matchism that resemble those made by libertarians and some fiscal conservatives especially the requirement of a robust capitalist economy, but also on the need to reduce the size of government and especially expenditures on national defense. There is also much overlap on libertarian prescriptions for individual freedoms, particularly with respect to drug use. But each of these freedoms come restrictions (i.e., the Credentialing system) that libertarians may find objectionable as being "coercive". Which of course is a bogus objection, because "coercion" is defined as persuading an individual to do something by threat of force. Requiring an individual to choose between having the freedom to drive a car and the freedom to not take the driving test is not coercion because it lacks this key characteristic (i.e., there is no threat of force directing you either way). The same applies with all other proper social engineering tools: For example, putting a higher tax on cigarettes isn't coercive because there is no threat involved, and as long as the cost is in proportion to the actual costs assumed by The People (i.e., the purely practical matter of the higher projected cost of the additional health care, disability payments, and janitorial and fire protection services that will be required by a smoker), it is objectively fair. If the taxes are higher than that, they tread into the area of class 3 or 4 behavioral engineering, which while still not coercive may be considered unfair by some because they rely on the relatively weaker moral justification.
Libertarians also tend to be fond of the concept of "land ownership" rather than only ownership of improvements to the land. As explained in Land and Natural Resources, however, this is an outdated concept that only leads to dishonest, illogical, and inefficient policies.
Finally, libertarians and fiscal conservatives are more generally comfortable with high levels of inequality than our evolutionary ancestors would have been: There were no libertarians in Pleistocene-era bands because those who would have been "alpha males" and denied resources to others would have been exiled or executed by the group. Nor would those in the group with libertarian sympathies refrain from participating in this process due to their ideology (hey, better him than me!). Worse, as shown in the section On Charity, libertarian and fiscal conservative preference for charity over State-guaranteed welfare is shown to be inherently inefficient and unfair (i.e., unworkable). As such, pure libertarianism, Ayn Rand's objectivism, and radical fiscal conservatism are fundamentally incompatible with Neurotypical human nature to the point of being inherently amoral.
The fact that these philosophies don't account for the strong egalitarian Clination in neurotypicals also means that they are also fundamentally incompatible with any sort of direct democracy: If you give power to the broad middle of society, they will instinctively institute some sort of wealth redistribution to provide a floor standard of living (at least). While the form of government these philosophies are compatible with is always left inexplicably vague, dictatorship and oligarchy would seem to be the only two options. Oh, there might be some handwaving about anarcho-syndicalism or anarcho-primitivism (if we could reduce the world's population by 99.99% or more) as options, but neither of these are stable forms of government as long as SDAPs exist: The strongest of them will inevitably overwhelm even the lower-performing SDAPs in other syndicates/locations, devolving the society into a dictatorship. Given what we've learned about dictatorships, oligarchy, in the form of a "representative government", would seem to be the only viable form of government for objectivism/libertarianism/strong fiscal conservativism. And of course even this only works to the extent that it would be SDAP-led, since only they have significantly lower levels of the egalitarian Clination necessary to prevent a wealth-redistribution policy from arising. That is, to the extent that it is not really "representative" at all.
Matchism's proposed drastic reduction in population and emphasis on rebuilding nature through the expansion of wild land (Parklands) resembles the philosophies of Green Anarchy and Primitivism. And the compatibility actually goes much deeper than that: The System at its core is a way to implement the Pleistocene-era egalitarian decision-making process that many Anarchists promote, although it does so by using technology rather than eliminating it. By allowing each person to have direct control over the process of establishing government policy it is a way to provide not only the practical benefits of restraining SDAPs the same way our Pleistocene-era ancestors did, it also directly addresses the issues of alienation, apathy, social stratification, and coercion that plague our current civilization and that are the primary motivators of Anarchists.
But anarchists, particularly anarcho-syndicalists, like communists, will strongly object to Matchism's reliance on corporations for the bulk of economic activity. These movements' focus, to the point of obsession, on the dangers of "capital" and corporations belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of capital and of the corporations that require and generate it. These things are just tools, being more akin to electricity and power tools than to "evil magic". Like money, too much electricity in the hands of one person leads to disaster, and there have probably been millions of injuries and maimings as the result of our reliance on power tools which are indeed quite dangerous if improperly used or maintained. But no serious utopian would even consider proposing a civilization that rejected the use of electricity because of the dangers it poses humans. The problem with capital is merely that we haven't yet mastered the political technology to properly and safely utilize it. The Matchism System will allow us to harness the great power and efficiency of capital while simultaneously minimizing the danger it presented to earlier poorly designed and maintained political systems.
The insistence on equality all around, and the rejection of the concept that the government should run by powerful leaders (who are almost always men) might strike one as being derivative of feminism. There is some common cause, and in fact Matchism may have identified a fundamental flaw in the radical feminist strategy: It is not all humans that should be the targets of their efforts, it is primarily the SDAPs who are their adversaries. This being the case, implementation of Matchism will enable major advances in feminism, the SI will eliminate wage discrimination at least at the low end of the economic scale, and an equivalent to the US ERA comes for free. Nevertheless, Matchism is certainly not an endorsement of the proposal of electing or promoting women into positions of power in an effort to provide balance and equality: Authoritarianism is not a sex-linked trait, and so one might even say "Behind every great Authoritarian man there is an Authoritarian woman working to marginalize herself and any other identifiable outsider".
Although the prescription for combining a robust capitalist economy with a robust social welfare system might be reminiscent of "Third Way" political movements, there is a vast difference in philosophy and proposed implementation: "Third Way" politics is highly hierarchical and assumes (indeed seems to be designed to ensure) that the same types of wealthy and powerful individuals who exercise almost complete control over our current political and economic systems will remain in power. The same is true of most socialist and even populist movements: Although they might claim to be "of the people and for the people", because they do not deal with the SDAP issue at all they may actually end up being worse for The People in general than pure conservative or liberal philosophies because they coopt the good and accentuate the bad aspects of these philosophies (i.e., the only thing worse than a corrupt two-party system is a corrupt single party system).
As for The System being an oligarchy, this is probably a fair description (or criticism, if you prefer). Until such time as our machines are powerful enough to eliminate all the drudgery from human existence, thereby allowing each individual the free time to fully contribute to The System, we are going to have to rely on some subset of the population to do most of the heavy lifting required to run a government. Since this is what we do now in all representative democracies, one can't really criticize Matchism as just another way for the rich and powerful to exploit everyone else unless you can also prove that it is worse in this respect than any other system. Given what we now know about SDAPs, and how Matchism systematically constrains their biases towards prejudice and aggression, proving something like that is going to be a tough row to hoe.
What Matchism hopefully resembles least is the type of hierarchical government where the "chosen people" get complete control over both the economy and the private lives of all of The People. Proponents of this type of system are sometimes called "Social Conservatives", but of course that is in most cases just a euphemism for "Authoritarians". Although Matchism's capitalistic features would seem to be compatible with their general economic inclinations, in fact with Social Conservatives Capitalism isn't considered a necessity, but merely a tool that can be used (or misused) as needed to achieve their real goal, which is SDAP domination over The People, freedom to impose their religious beliefs on others, and the facilitation of increasing their own wealth (as was demonstrated in Altemeyer's Global Change Game experiments in which Authoritarian players put more than twice as much money in their own pockets as the Neurotypicals did).
Always keep in mind that our current hierarchical governments are a relatively recent invention, evolutionarily speaking. Human beings and their direct ancestors lived primarily in egalitarian groups for millions of years and so that is the environment we have evolved to function best in. Only with the advent of agriculture and a resource-sharing system that relied on storage did the even older (and more primitive) hierarchical form of organization reassert itself. Given the technology available up until very recently that was indeed the best form of government we could hope for. But now we finally have the ability to implement something better.
Next: Similarity to Utopias and Dystopias
From Plato's Republic to The Giver, the most striking aspect of novels about Utopias and Dystopias is that they (nearly?) all assume authoritarian and hierarchical government. Indeed the very word "Utopia" is from a 16th century novel where Thomas More proposes a generally democratic and egalitarian society, but with "Princes" who are "elected" for life. Most of the rest propose systems where individual citizens are highly controlled and deprived of access to any ideas or information that The State deems unsuitable but there is an elite group or individual who has access to all the "old ways", usually in the form of books or other original documents.
Perhaps the most surprising (and therefore disappointing) of these utopian novels is BF Skinner's Walden Two. Although he claimed to be proposing an almost completely egalitarian economic system built on sound scientific principles, all political power in Walden Two is held by a group of 6 "Planners" who make and enforce the rules without any specific accountability to the "citizens". Rather than being elected, outgoing Planners are replaced by a vote of the remaining Planners, perhaps the ultimate expression of cronyism. Skinner's proposal for how to prevent corruption that would seem inevitable in such a system is to wave his hands and insist that the economic system lacks any means of producing "wealth", so there are no spoils to be divided. Left unanswered is the question of how the community could grow without capital to invest, or how it could survive any interval of scarce resources without any provision for savings or other reserves, which of course would be subject to exploitation by the (predictably SDAP) Planners. This sort of denial of the need for and utility of capital (usually disparaged as "wealth") is shared by a number of other utopian proposals, most notably in Bellamy's 1888 best-selling novel Looking Backward, which proposes that not only is there no personal wealth, but also that somehow people lose their instinctive attraction to beautiful and shiny things (he ridiculously claims that no one would want anything made out of silver or gold because they'd be too much trouble to keep clean).
Since these so-called Utopian proposals do not deal with the key fact that it is SDAPs who are most likely to assume the leadership roles in hierarchical governments, nor do they specify any sort of compensation for SDAPs inherent tendency toward bias and aggression, it would seem that the authors of these proposals have built their fantasy worlds on sand. If anyone tried to implement them as described, they would quickly discover that there are important characteristics of human behavior that the authors did not take into account in their designs. Of course if a dystopia is what you're creating, a hierarchical and SDAP-led oligarchy is a very good starting point.
The Divergent Trilogy clearly demonstrates this blind spot: While the five "factions" defined (Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Amity, and Candor) are loosely (and unfortunately inaccurately) based on personality types, in real humans the imagined conflict between Dauntless and Erudite over which is more fit to rule would never occur because a sixth faction "SDAP" would form to claim exactly those individuals who were most interested the issue. The SDAP manifesto would be something like:
Another common theme in Utopian/Dystopian novels is the breakdown of the family, with children being raised either in a boarding-school type environment (e.g., Brave New World and Walden Two) or at least conditioned to resist bonding to their parents and to turn on them if the parents engage in any activity prohibited by the State (e.g., The Giver and 1984). Although Matchism does not honor the concept that a biological link between parents and children is necessary (or even useful), a familial bond has been shown to be essential to proper human development. And it was of course a primary relationship in the lives of our Pleistocene ancestors.
A final common theme in Utopian/Dystopian novels is behavioral conditioning (i.e., behavioral engineering or as Skinner sometimes refers to it "cultural engineering") of the population. It played a particularly large role in Brave New World where conditioning of the population is a nearly continuous process. This again makes it important to distinguish the coercive class 3 and 4 behavioral engineering, where the goal is to change the organism to fit the environment (or indeed to help create that environment), from the class 1 and 2 types of social engineering proposed for Matchism, where the goal will usually be to change the environment such that it functions adequately with the individuals as they come to it. Perhaps the best real-world example of this type of distinction is Temple Grandin's work with livestock handling systems as described in her 2006 book Animals in Translation: Many of the designs used prior to her work resulted in the animals being severely stressed or injured, were of low efficiency, and required a great deal of human input (including very common use of cattle prods, a particularly brutal class 3 behavioral engineering tool). But her understanding of the natural fears and dispositions of the livestock enabled her to design systems that operated far more efficiently and with greatly reduced stress to the animals and minimal need for human intervention. Grandin did not propose to change the animals, but instead to change the environment to better suit them.
This relates back to Our Internal Moral Codes: Similar to the descriptions there, Haidt's 2013 The Righteous Mind makes the analogy that our emotional and moral systems are like elephants, and our cognitive systems are like riders on those elephants. The riders have relatively little control over those powerful and evolutionarily ancient systems, especially when an immediate reaction is called for (e.g., when the proverbial mouse runs across your path). Matchism would extend this analogy in three ways. First, not everyone's elephant is prone to tearing up our vegetable gardens (which is actually a common problem in areas where wild elephants roam), the analogy here being that SDAPs are particularly dangerous in this respect: Although Haidt does discuss the difference between progressives and conservatives, he completely misses the fact that it is SDAPs, and in particular Authoritarians, that are the source of the biggest and most dangerous problems in modern civilization.
Secondly, he neglects to discuss the fact that our elephants do receive training (conditioning) that affects their behavior, and the better the training, the better the behavior. The Matchism equivalent of that is the prescription for t + 1 moral progressivism. It may not help our elephants, but our children's elephants will be better behaved than ours.
Finally, even if our full-grown elephants can no longer be trained, techniques such as those used by Temple Grandin can be used to keep them out of those gardens. We might put up fences and maybe electrify them, or plant things alongside our vegetables that elephants really dislike. Or we might plant sacrificial vegetation outside our gardens which will keep those elephants distracted. The Matchish equivalents of those things will be found in The System. We may never be able to prevent vigorous and endless arguments about politics or religion from spontaneously arising in bars, when the inlaws are visiting, or even in city council meetings, but we can provide an environment where the elephants are otherwise distracted such that the riders can engage in some rational decisionmaking, and we can do so without changing or harming those elephants.
Next: Bibles and Constitutions
There are several fundamental differences between this manifesto and the constitution it contains from most other documents that aim to provide direction on "how to govern" or "how to live". The most important of these is that it is primarily concerned with defining process rather than merely providing a detailed set of rules. While most constitutions include provisions for amendment, the requirements are generally onerous and are seldom met. For example, the US Constitution has only been amended 17 times in 225 years, an average of once every 13 years. Passing an amendment regarding abortion, gun rights, or equal rights for women or gays is a practical impossibility even though the majority of US citizens would support a binding clarification of our collective preferences in these areas. Matchism in contrast requires that the Goals and the List of Credentials be reapproved by all of The People on a regular basis (yearly). This is required due to Matchism's accommodation for the fact that these things, and even our moral codes, are shifting continuously and so hard-wiring the policies that are built on them is just a poor engineering practice.
This Matchism manifesto is also far less specific about individual behavior when compared with the governing documents of all organized religions and most constitutions and political treatises. Detailed specifications about how people treat others and what they should eat and how they should dress are not only ineffective, but in many cases counterproductive because they detract from the legitimacy of the parts of the document that are important and useful. The ubiquity of this practice does provide us with one insight, however: A view into the mindset of an authoritarian. It probably wouldn't even occur to a Neurotypical to specify that you shouldn't wear wool-blend clothes (as in Dueteronomy 22:11) or any of the other bizarrely specific requirements found in the Bible, the Koran, and even non-religious political treatises such as the Artheshastra and The Analects of Confucius. But this is exactly the kind of thing one would expect from an Authoritarian. Remember that according to Altemeyer 2006, "conventionality" is one of the three characteristics of authoritarians (the other two being prejudice and aggression): Having everyone dress alike and act alike is their preference, and following edicts like these becomes a requirement if authoritarian leaders are given the power to enforce them.
Finally this manifesto replaces the anecdotal backstories and historical references found in most other policy documents with an underpinning of the best available science. Story-based preludes are far too subject to interpretation and so cannot be part of any engineering specification. People are free to make up their own stories or reasons for approving any particular element of Matchism, but this part of the process is not necessary for the resulting policy to be valid and enforceable and so should not be recorded in The Code itself. Religious documents are rife with these kinds of opportunities for misinterpretation/reinterpretation, but perhaps the most notable, perhaps even egregious, example is the second amendment of the US constitution:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The problem here of course is that the first half of the sentence introduces an unnecessary ambiguity into the sentence (i.e., if there is no militia, making the first clause false, does that mean the second part is also false?). There are several lessons to be learned from this example of botched social engineering:
Next: The Opposition
Matchism will be opposed by many individuals and groups, and most of them will have good reason for doing so: By distributing power among all of The People Matchism reduces the power available to those who currently hold it. Matchism is not a consensus or consent-based decisionmaking philosophy, however, so the majority will rule. When the majority of The People (neurotypicals) make the decision to switch to Matchism and then use The System to implement it, those who currently wield power will just have to accept this new way of doing things.
Matchism will generally be opposed by authoritarians and other conservatives. Worse, they will most likely attempt to marginalize anyone who expresses an interest in Matchism, probably by accusing them of treason or sedition. Please pay no attention: This just what they do. Matchism can only be adopted by majority vote of The People, a vote that will simultaneously invalidate any existing government. Therefore, although it is a subtlety that authoritarians may fail to grasp due to their generally weak ability to apply logic in the realm of moral decisionmaking, this proposal is explicitly only to develop a system capable of replacing our current governments, and not an actual plot to do so.
There are several other features of Matchism that will make it possible to circumvent opposition from conservatives:
Matchism will generally be opposed by the wealthy and powerful, who will use a variety of arguments against it, most of which will boil down to some derivative of "divine right", the concept that the wealthy and powerful have been chosen by God for that role. It has been used by monarchies since the dawn of civilization as a tool to keep the Neurotypicals from overthrowing them: To act against those in power is to commit blasphemy and risk retribution from God. Any such act can also therefore be punished by the rulers themselves with the implication that they are just doing God's will. The modern form of "divine right" is that the wealthy and powerful somehow deserve their status because they worked harder or smarter or are somehow imbued with genes from their successful ancestors that render them especially qualified to hold these positions. Of course none of these claims have any scientific evidence to support them, and in most cases the wealth and power actually accrued to them via luck or indeed directly via inheritance of capital, or at least "social capital" (business contacts, legacy admission to universities, etc.). On average they are doing no better with their inherited money and power than would someone else chosen at random, at least someone raised in the same high-SES environment (this process as described in Gladwell's Outliers). So, not only did they not earn these things, but by working to preserve or extend their power they are effectively depriving everyone else of its use. All this being the case, it is not unreasonable to expect them to do a certain amount of belt tightening as part of the process if necessary.
As for the characterization that the wealthy and powerful have gamed the system to acquire these things, it's not just them, most of us are doing the same thing, or planning to. The classic example is that in the US both Social Security and Medicare have been sold to the American People as some sort of insurance or forced savings programs and yet pay out far more in benefits than they take in. Both systems are relying on deficit spending and increases in population to compensate for this fact, an unsustainable practice (indeed if populations ever start to decrease the entire Ponzi scheme will collapse in relatively short order). Under this framework seniors have therefore been stealing from the young (including future generations), and most middle-aged people (which of course includes most of the wealthy and powerful) are assuming that they will be able to do the same. It was simply dishonest behavioral engineering (i.e., incompetent social engineering) to have sold Social Security this way because it doesn't work like that either in theory or in practice. Fixing this will require restructuring the systems and re-educating the population as to their purpose (establishing a floor income) and how they actually funded (directly through tax income rather than as "savings" or "insurance" programs).
A similar situation exists with respect to national debts, the practice of "borrowing" money to finance expenditures that we can't afford. Clearly we have no intention of ever paying these debts back or we would have arranged a payment schedule and stuck to it. Since we haven't, national debt can only be considered theft from our descendants. The wealthy and powerful, and indeed the middle class, may object to being required to set up a payment plan to have to repay this money (i.e., their taxes are going to go up), but it is not reasonable to just pretend this problem doesn't exist and go on not solving it. Note that this is not a "balanced budget" amendment or other superficial attempt at a fix: At times it may be necessary to allow deficit spending to compensate for economic slowdowns. But in the long term, budget surpluses that result in debt being repaid must be one of the Goals.
But both of the preceding are small-potatoes examples compared with the far more important issue of resource extraction and consumption: A large percentage of the wealth and power in the world today has been derived from the rapid extraction and consumption of non-renewable resources (some aspects of this "consumption", such as species and habitat loss and impending climate change being merely collateral damage in this process). As such, it represents unfair and selfish enrichment, if not outright theft, of those resources from future generations, who will necessarily be relatively impoverished for not having access to them. The finite limits of these resources will also eventually lead to social and economic instability as we reach them: Raising today's living standard by sacrificing tomorrow's has been a very effective social stabilization technique (The People are far less likely to insist on revolutionary change when their bellies are full) but when those resources start to run short so too will the social stability they have provided.
A common argument will be that by distributing power and wealth more evenly that the wealthy and powerful will necessarily have less of it. While this may be true for power, which is a relative quantity, for wealth itself this assumes that civilization is a zero-sum game (i.e., for every winner there must be a loser), an assertion which has been proven to be false. Indeed by removing the parasitic load of "national defense" and most of the enormous waste from government corruption and inefficiency, Matchism allows for everyone, including the currently wealthy and powerful, to gain wealth with only a small number of SDAPs having to give up some of their power: Yes, it is possible for everyone to win or to at least come out far ahead of where they'd be if we don't implement Matchism.
Matchism will also generally be opposed by special interest groups who have worked out sophisticated methods of gaming our existing systems, particularly churches, charities and non-profits, unions, lobbyists, and any organization that engages in rent-seeking behavior. This opposition should be of little consequence, however, the theory being that if individuals are required to vote as individuals rather than as components of political parties or other "tribes", and if they are presented exactly the information they need to make optimal decisions, that they will put aside their biases and prejudices and vote more rationally than they are able to now.
You can think of Matchism as a major software upgrade. Call it "Civilization 3.0" (1.0 being monarchies, 2.0 being representative democracies). While we can't change the hardware we're using (i.e., we human beings with our EEA brains), it is certainly possible to upgrade the software (political/economic/cultural systems). And as anyone who has developed software can tell you, after several years of making small improvements and fixing bugs in an application, it always starts to become unstable. Even small changes to add a feature or fix a bug cause new bugs to appear in seemingly random locations. The application gets slower and slower with each new revision, and it is impossible to even consider making the large changes required to substantially add to the feature set. What has to be done at that point is a complete rewrite, taking into account everything that has been learned about how people use the application and how the old version supported (or failed to support) that use and designing a whole new architecture to do it more efficiently and reliably.
For those unfamiliar with software development, perhaps a more familiar analogy is old buildings. Say you've got a multistory brick building, built in the late 1800s. It was not designed to be earthquake safe, and so a lot of bolts and steel have been added to reinforce it, much of it being visible. The electrical and plumbing systems all had to be replaced when they stopped working over the years and most of that work is visible too, with pipes and wires running all over the place, and much of the original moldings and tile work having been destroyed or patched in the process. The building is cold in the winter and hot in the summer because there is no practical way to add insulation or seal air leaks without completely rebuilding the interior.
Now the heating system is failing and your contractor says that it's unsafe and must be replaced (this being analogous to what Matchism has to say about SDAPs). Worse, because the new system would require major changes to the structure to install, building code will require that the rest of the structure be upgraded to code, meaning the addition of fire sprinklers and other improvements that will bring the total cost to somewhere near the value of the entire building. What do you do: Ignore the problem and keep using the old system and hope no one dies? Continue to patch the old building, throwing good money after bad? Or do you just tear it down and replace it with a new, modern, comfortable, energy-efficient building?
Fortunately, Matchism is more like software than a building: We can build it and test it in parallel while we continue to use our existing system. Then when it's ready, and we're sure we've got all the major bugs fixed, we just press a button and the old system will instantly be replaced with the new and better one. And while one should always have some skepticism that a major overhaul like this will be trouble free, it is reasonable to have a certain amount of faith that this process will go a lot smoother than any government project has: For every failure like the US “Obamacare” website or billion-dollar defense department weapon system boondoggle, there is a successful open source project that shows that even large scale projects are possible with relatively modest numbers of people and resources. As a project in which every human being has a stake, and can actually participate in the design and testing and funding of, The System should not suffer for lack of resources. And after all, who do you trust more to do a good job, the kinds of people who brought you smartphones and social media, or the people who brought you the Viet Nam and Iraq wars, massive budget deficits, and tax and legal systems that they themselves don’t even understand?
Parts of the Matchism Manifesto are going to be tough sledding for most people. They require operating out in the rarified air of Stage 6 of Kohlberg's stages of moral development, something that is not easy for anyone, and beyond the capability of many. Matchism doesn't just challenge your assumptions, it exposes the defects in the very framework of your moral codes. Reading it might make someone uncomfortable, it might scream "crackpot" or "danger", it might just seem boring or nonsensical. One does not become a convert to Matchism overnight unless their moral code is somewhat unhinged to start with.
But upon further reflection, if they can be persuaded to make an effort to see beyond their conditioning or are challenged by others to do so, they'll hopefully begin to see how it all hangs together. Some of the proposals that at first seem radical or just unworkable will come to seem merely difficult to implement, and yet may actually be necessary if we are to survive as a species and advance as a civilization. Fortunately most people won't need to review all the underlying research and accept the most challenging of the conclusions in Matchism because they'll be able to use the fruits of it, including the upcoming Internet-based decision-making system, with minimal investment in time and mental effort because others (maybe you?) will do the harder work of validating the underlying research for them.
If you've managed to read this far and have even the slightest inclination to think that Matchism may in fact be a better design than anything we've got now and that it stands even a small chance of succeeding, it would seem that you are now morally obligated to support it. Even if it is a no-cost, low-effort expression of qualified support, it is still necessary to make some public statement (e.g., "I think Matchism could work"). If a more robust faith is generated, here are some Talking Points to help you spread the word. But keep in mind that to do nothing is to repeat the mistakes of Neurotypicals throughout history: Standing by silently while the SDAPs commit acts of brutality against our fellow human beings in the name of protecting us.
Next: Implementation Schedule
The implementation of Matchism should proceed as follows (many of these steps can proceed in parallel):
The US is actually not a good candidate for first adopter. Per capita public debt is relatively high (twice what it is in Scandinavian countries), as are under-funded pensions and other "hidden" debt. Religious fundamentalists make up too high a percentage of the population, and there is that unholy alliance between the 1% and the poor and undereducated Authoritarians that will oppose it (Remember, the social engineering countermeasures to the corrupting influence of Corporate political advertising won't come into effect until after Matchism is adopted). Mix in groups like lawyers, the military-industrial complex, and family-dynasty corporations that stand to lose the majority of their wealth and power as direct result of Matchist policies, and it becomes clear that the US will get dragged into adopting Matchism only when Neurotypicals react to continued failures in US policy that Plan Localities don't seem to suffer. US citizens might also have to become willing to tolerate having their benefits cut or taxes increased to enable them to pay back the massive debt they have accrued (increased efficiency will reduce taxes a great deal later on, but the piper must be paid first). And should certain "blue" states try to secede from the US and adopt Matchism independently, it is likely that the "red" states would take action to prevent it (ironic as that would be, of course).
But there are far worse candidates, including any other country with a large fundamentalist population, which, probably not coincidentally, are apt to be those countries that lack the traditions and infrastructure to ensure a highly educated population and also the Internet infrastructure necessary to implement The System. Should the population of one of these countries decide to adopt Matchism, perhaps after a coup d'etat, it would put the entire proposal at serious risk. Having the Globality include Credentialed individuals from outside the Locality will certainly help, but it would still take a huge amount of money and effort to start with an undeveloped and war-torn country.
Other poor candidates for early adopters are India and China, even though their rampant corruption and systemically-enforced socioeconomic stratification will make the people of these nations among those who will benefit the most from the adoption of Matchism. Unfortunately this very socioeconomic stratification is the thing that makes them poor early candidates for implementation: A little freedom is a dangerous thing and granting a large amount of it to a large population that is not accustomed to it would most likely cause social instability and in turn threaten the viability of Matchism. They will be good candidates for early implementation of The System, particularly at local levels, however.
Therefore, the best candidates for first-adopter and other early adopters are northern-European countries and Commonwealth countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada), all of which boast high levels of education, robust Internet infrastructure, a tradition of democracy and progressivism, and low to moderate debt levels (One check on this list is the Good Country Index). After a few of them have shown Matchism to be viable, picking up some of the more developed countries in SE Asia (e.g., South Korea, Japan (although Japan's public debt ratio is extremely high and so conversion will be more difficult for them), Taiwan, Singapore) and southern and eastern European countries with a history of Authoritarian problems (particularly including Russia) will be a logical progression. Picking up Localities from developed areas emerging from civil wars (particularly major cities in northern Africa) should always be an option.
Along with their contribution of effort toward running a global government, The Matchish should provide a financial incentive to encourage/compensate early adopters. For example there could be a global voluntary 1% Matchish sales tax to build a pool of money to be used by these early adopters. Businesses would compete for loyalty by offering this option to their customers, and would collect the money, convert it to GEM, and then forward it to a trust fund. Each nation that converts would get, say, 1/2 of the available funds. With global input for years prior to an implementation, and a small country being the first implementer, that first set of Matchish Localities would be able to do major infrastructure upgrades with the available funding, providing them a major incentive to adopt earlier rather than later.
An issue that will most likely come up that should influence the order and rate of acceptance of Localities from countries currently classified as "Third World" is how infrastructure funding from the Globality will be apportioned. There will come a time when The People will have to choose between approving funding for a high speed rail system between two developed Localities, or putting this money into a new water treatment plant for a new Locality where the residents lack basic sanitation. By utilitarian philosophy the latter would be the clear choice, but this again is how Matchism differs from utilitarian philosophy.
It bears repeating that Matchism is not a plot to overthrow the government, let alone do so violently. In fact the design of Matchism is to limit the power of the very people most likely to resort to violence to achieve their goals. Until a majority of the citizens in some Locality vote to implement Matchism, there are no Matchist individuals or Matchish people, and so there can be no basis for any charges of sedition or treason. Any attempt to suppress discussion of Matchism is therefore nothing but a run-of-the-mill violation of basic human rights (assembly, free speech, etc.)
Nevertheless, history has shown that any time a minority can be identified, SDAPs will endeavor to discriminate against them. In recognition of this, the implementation plan for Matchism should include specific countermeasures to limit SDAP ability to do this, and protect and compensate anyone who has suffered from discrimination and a result of their Matchist orientation. This may be as simple as supplementing their income by allowing them to work in The System, but may involve more specific action against the SDAPs involved. Matchism is by nature a peaceful philosophy, but it is by no means a pacifist philosophy: Aggression and even violence from SDAPs can by countered by aggression and violence if social engineering shows that this type of response will have a deterrent value rather than cause an escalation of a conflict.
Next: Matchish War Scenario
A scenario: Suppose the people of Taiwan vote to convert to Matchism a few years after the first adopter and then begin implementation of it. Many of The New People would already have training on Matchism and Matchism's military tactics, and would immediately begin training the rest of the population. The government of China, which has publicly claimed that an act of independence like this could be taken as an act of war, may after some period of (failed) negotiations attempt to occupy Taiwan. With a small Locality force and little immediate backup from the rest of the Matchish, the aggressor could achieve this relatively quickly and easily and with minimal cost in human lives or property damage. Unfortunately, running the country would prove to be far more difficult: With no leadership to replace, the actual government would remain Matchish and the occupying force would find it extremely difficult to change or implement any policies.
Guerilla attacks would be commonplace and impossible to stop. For example, suppose as part of the proposed peer-to-peer cell phone system upgrade a targeting app could be installed such that any cell phone could be used to call out the location of an occupying force leadership target (be it by GPS, pointing it out on a map, or taking a photo and having the phone determine the location by matching it up with street view and aerial photography). A companion mortar-aiming app would allow any other citizen within range to hit that target. Or perhaps a micro-drone targeting app could be used to deliver a bomb to that location instead of the usual pizza or package from an ecommerce company. These would be huge advances over the current "drones and IEDs" technologies, and would render an occupied country ungovernable and yet with minimal risk to the civilian population.
But it gets worse: Because every official or employee of the occupying government would be a target of the Matchish the world over, they would have to shut down all of their embassies and recall all of their officials to prevent them from becoming targets. But they wouldn't be safe at home either: Because among the Matchish would be a significant number of their own countrymen, each of whom would be duty-bound to take action and some of whom would not hesitate to take on the role of assassin if given the opportunity (and perhaps a substantial bounty). It might take no more than a handful of highly publicized assassinations to cause widespread defections and unrest, and a few dozen of them would surely cause mass panic and political instability.
This scenario does bring up another important issue: What would the US military's response to this sequence of events be? Although as self-proclaimed "Policemen of the World" they have pledged to protect Taiwan in the past, would they intervene on behalf of a Matchish Taiwan? The expectation should be, based on Authoritarian behavior in the past, that they would not: As soon as the Matchish become a distinguishable group within the US, these Authoritarians will attempt to marginalize them as traitors, just as they have any other group that they can separate out from the herd (e.g., in the 1940s with Japanese internment, and in the 1950s with communist sympathizers). And what better way to do this than to attempt to drive a wedge between them and the unconverted Neurotypicals over the issue of war? Indeed, the Authoritarians in the US government might even encourage the Chinese government to take this sort of action: They would prefer the world to be black and white and to portray the issue as good vs evil and us vs them and to have an actual enemy rather than having to make one up. Supporting any Matchish Locality would put them in the very uncomfortable position of having to support a group in a foreign country that they consider to be committing treason in their own.
Not that the US military's response in this scenario is of any practical significance: It is not out of fear of the Taiwanese or even the US military that the government of China does not invade Taiwan, it is more the fear that their relationships with other nations, and indeed their own people, would be sufficiently damaged by such an act that their own country could become unstable. Why risk losing their own positions of power when there is so little to gain? And note that all of these issues exist even with respect to all of the countries in the UN as well: Not only are they unlikely to be able to make any difference militarily, the Authoritarian leaderships of those countries would also likely refuse to do anything to support a group that they see as a threat in their own country.
Bottom line: The military viability of any Matchish conversion may depend more on the activism of the Matchish in other nations (specifically the ability to override the Authoritarians in those nations) than in anything intrinsic to the new Locality.
This scenario also gives some insight in to how the military will be organized and budgeted. As primarily offensive tools, the Marines will cease to exist entirely, as would all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons systems. The Navy will be reduced to at most a small defensive submarine fleet, with a logistical section that will develop policies and plans for commandeering and coordinating the use of pleasure, fishing, and merchant fleets in time of war or natural disaster. The Air Force would be relegated to surveillance, and even that primarily or even exclusively with drones, but would also have a logistical section that would enable use of civilian aircraft as needed (and as with the Navy, they might also have specification power over civilian equipment, for example requiring airdrop capability be built into cargo planes). An Army (the Global Security Force or GSF), composed of citizen soldiers and their professional leaders will make up the vast majority of the military.
Matchish weapons systems would consist primarily of small and portable devices, probably nothing larger than could be hidden in a garage and towed behind a pickup truck, such as small drones or cruise missiles, and other low-cost, low-yield, and high-accuracy systems. Design and tactics for these would be crowdsourced to avoid the big problem the US has with its current weapons systems: Despite having spent billions of dollars on their development and production, the era of 3D printers and crowd-sourced designs and tactics has rendered many, if not most, of them obsolete.
The result would be a resistance force far more formidable than any the US faced in their "adventures" in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Those resulted in small wins in relative kill ratios (US soldiers to enemy combatants), but if you look at collateral damage (civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure) or absolute numbers of US killed or wounded they can only be considered major disasters. And those are supposedly cases where the civilian population was on the US's side: An occupation of a country with a well trained and equipped and highly motivated citizen guerilla army would be unimaginably more costly. Not even counting the antiwar movement an action like this would generate among Neurotypicals in the aggressor country: Now that we know what's really been going on with SDAPs, any war of aggression against a Matchish Locality would spawn an antiwar movement that would make the antiwar protests of the Vietnam era look like Veteran's Day parades.
As to the objection that relying on a deterrent-to-occupation defensive force could lead instead to atrocities like the Nanking Massacre or the firebombing of Dresden (during WWII), one must also keep in mind that social engineering is a part of the process of deterring wars. The very discussion here that the only viable means of subduing a Matchish Locality would be to totally destroy it means that any proposal by a potential aggressor to attempt this would necessarily mark them as a madman and therefore almost certainly cause them to be removed from power before a single shot was fired (sort of a psychological version of the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction).
Next: Crowdfunding Campaign
The purpose of this campaign would be to allow people to contribute toward implementation of The System and Matchism in general. Noting that no existing government or company has any financial incentive to develop something like this, and that most actually have vested interests that will cause them to work against the project, it can only be developed either by volunteers or by grass-roots level funding by The People. Due to the scale of the project, and the need for large computing and communication resources, it is not reasonable to assume the strictly-volunteer route will be practical. Therefore crowd-funding is the most viable option.
To encourage The People to provide funding, Matchism Foundation, a nonprofit, will be incorporated to manage the process. Matchism Foundation will stipulate to the following policies:
All employees of the startup will agree to be paid the Standard Wage as a test case for its viability.
The System implementation will be Open Source and built solely on other Open Source tools.
Except as allowed by popular vote, public interviews by the Matchish will be limited and conducted in writing. No individual compensation will be accepted for these interviews, although donations to Matchism Foundation may be negotiated.
The System will necessarily be engineered such that it can assume the role of many other types of social media platform, but because it will be an open source project will not face the same design constraints as platforms run by private companies. For example, they need space to sell ads (or whatever) whereas The System, being publicly funded, does not. But the potential is far greater than that: Today's corporate systems must be designed to prevent access to information that could be used by competitors or to bypass whatever revenue-generating features those companies require. The System will not have those constraints and so could very easily (and very quickly) gain break-out features that will allow it to displace any or all of those alternative platforms.
Besides System infrastructure, Matchism Foundation will organize and fund basic research into the linguistics and design of Matchish, research into SDAP, and establish the foundations of social engineering as an academic and professional field. Unfortunately the very existence of Matchism is going to make that doing research on SDAPs more difficult: By popularizing the concepts covered in The Authoritarians and other research it will become increasingly difficult to even do the initial screening necessary for classification of individuals. As they begin to realize they are being targeted and marginalized, SDAPs will attempt to hide their true natures by attempting to fake their answers on the tests (lying being something that SDAPs are particularly comfortable with doing when they believe they are under threat). Fortunately the work to date in this area is solid and so we don’t need (and indeed can’t wait) for it to be brought up to date with the current generation of leaders.
Some possible areas of research include:
Demographics of SDAP: How does it vary by location (nationality), education level, race, religion, socioeconomic class, occupation, criminal conviction rate, experience serving in a leadership role, etc.
Behaviors of SDAP: Besides biases toward organized religion and prejudice, are there other behaviors common in this group that perhaps can be explained as responses to evolutionary pressures? For example, is the bias toward large families (and therefore against birth control and social engineering for population control) inherent in SDAP, or is it instead a result of the viral nature of religion? Is their rejection of science and rationalism merely a side effect of the fact that they’re just not very good at it, or is there a more fundamental process at work?
Origins of SDAP: relative contribution of nature vs nurture, effect of specific experiences, course of development, etc. Can the negative effects of these conditions be reduced with specific types of education or treatment, and if at what age must intervention start?
Social Engineering foundations: Relative responsiveness of SDAPs to peer pressure, monetary incentives, reward vs punishment, etc.
If you'd like to discuss any of the ideas in this document please join the matchism forum at www.matchism.org/forum.
Note that the matchism philosophy section, although it will sometimes resemble the free-for-all discussions you've probably seen on Facebook, Reddit, or the opinion pages of your local paper, has some key differences:
I probably started working on this project as a child. I've always been fascinated by technology and how it works, and spent many hours taking broken things apart, trying to understand how they work, fixing them, and then putting them back together. From a very early age it was also clear to me that politics and government were broken, the Vietnam War and the Cold War being two major influences on me, since both reached their peaks when I was in elementary school.
But these problems always seemed intractable to me and so I never made any effort to do anything about any of them. I suppose I was keeping a mental inventory of "bugs" and design flaws in the system, however, as this is just an occupational hazard of being a software engineer (which is the career I eventually settled on, near the end of my undergraduate education). And my list was probably more specific than most people’s because so many of my family members were psychologists and much of my undergraduate training was in psychology which provided me an appreciation for the great many flaws in human cognition (although my undergraduate degree ended up being in Math/CIS, I eventually went back to school and graduated with a PhD in Cognitive (Experimental) Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder).
If anyone had told me 30 years ago that my eventual career goal would end up being political philosopher or even revolutionary activist, I would have told them they were crazy. And I would have been in a position to be pretty sure about that because my undergraduate degree was from the University of California at Santa Cruz: I had a lot of contact with people who were so inclined and knew that I was about as different from most of them as I could possibly be.
But then many years later I happened to buy a condo in a complex that, unbeknownst to me at the time, was in deep financial and organizational trouble. Since figuring how things were broken and doing what I can to fix them is just in my nature, I set out on that path again. What I discovered was pretty horrifying: Not only had the complex been mismanaged for its entire 40 year existence and had millions of dollars in accumulated deferred maintenance, but the Board was stuffed with people who were not only incompetent, but seemed to take an almost perverse pride in the fact that they were the ultimate authorities: Right or wrong, their opinions and decisions were the ones that mattered. They also apparently had no qualms about committing irrational or even unethical acts including the willful hiding and misrepresentation of information to protect their authority, which is how my pre-purchase due diligence failed to discover these problems.
And no sooner had I managed to "persuade" many of these people to resign and let somebody new take a crack at it, but a whole new crop of the same sorts of people stepped up to take their place. They seemed almost pathologically resistant to accepting ideas that conflicted with their existing prejudices, and when I was eventually elected to serve on the Board on a platform of "and now for something completely different", they took it as their first task to vote to remove me. Although during this process I eventually did stumble into a design for a system that would allow the other Owners, most of whom were as frustrated by this situation as I was, to wrest control from the Board and run the place a little more rationally, I quickly discovered that there was no technological support for actually implementing it.
About two years after that Association went pear shaped I eventually realized that it was a lost cause and so took action to extract myself from that situation. Afterwards, having a little time to reflect, I started reading (or rereading) the important works in politics and economics in an attempt to gain some perspective on these issues. As part of that research I happened upon Bob Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians and as I was reading it had a “Well, there’s your trouble” epiphany: The research on authoritarianism held the keys to understanding not just how our representative-based political systems led to the failure of that HOA, but to many or most of the failings of our governments in general. Within a few weeks of reading his book, I became aware that the description that I'd heard from many authors of how they came to write their books was based on fact: Somehow this document had formed inside of me and I really had no choice but to write it all down.
Matchism: Philosophy for creating social, economic, and political systems that will provide for human needs in ways that maximize stability and efficiency because they are designed to be compatible with human nature and the available level of technology.
Matchist: A proponent of Matchism
Matchish: the people who work to implement matchism, and a new spoken and written language for them
Clination: A Defining characteristic or Operating Mode of humans, a combination of their instincts, Imprinted Moral codes, and any culture norms that influence their dispositions and behavior.
Matchism Provisions: Description of a social or cultural policy/law/rule/custom/mechanism that provides for Human individual or collective needs, making efficient use of available Clinations and any technology needed to implement it
Matchism Code: The current list of Matchism Provisions that have been approved by The People.
Matchable Clination: Clination that is compatible with one or more provisions of The Matchism Code.
Deprecated Clination: Clination that is incompatible with the Goals of Matchism
Altemeyer, B. 2006. The Authoritarians.
Bartels, D. & Pizarro, D. 2011. The mismeasure of morals: Antisocial personality traits predict utilitarian responses to moral dilemmas. Cognition, 121, 154-161.
Black, E. 2003. War against the weak: Eugenics and America’s campaign to Create a Master Race.
Boehm, C. 2012. Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame.
Boldrin, M., & Levine, D (2010) Against Intellectual Monopoly.
Capron, C. & Duyme, M. (1989) Assessment of effects of socio-economic status on IQ in a full cross-fostering study. Nature, 340, 552-554.
Cochran, G. Hardy, J., & Harpending, H. 2006. Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence. Journal of Biosocial Science 38 659-693
Corning, P. 2005. Holistic Darwinism.
Davies, A. 2009. Human development and the optimum size of government. Journal of Socio-Economics, 38, 326-330.
Duckitt, J. (2009). Punishment attitudes: their social and psychological bases. In Oswald, M.E.,Bieneck, S. & Hupfeld-Heinemann, J. (Ed.), Social Psychology of Punishment of Crime (pp. 75-92). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Dutton, K. 2012. The Wisdom of Psychopaths.
Ellsworth, P. C., & Ross, L. 1983. Public opinion and capital punishment: A close examination of the views of abolitionists and retentionists.
Questions? Comments? Please contact:
Scott Raney, PhD
Previous discussions of some of the concepts behind Matchism can be found in the mailing list archives of the Metagovernment project.