As a part of the work of Transformations, LLC and Common Era, LLC, the purpose of this article is to transform existing cities around the world into the city-states of the future.
In today’s world, the meaning of “we the people” is the nation-state or reich or etat, whether that be United States of America or any other state.
The idea of a representative state with a limited role in the oiekos (The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay), for example, the American democratic republic – an Athenian-Roman pre-industrial hybrid from 1789-1861, and alternatively, total control of the people by the state also in representation (totalitarianism: former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People’s Republic of China) are two, the democratic United States of America and the other autocratic, variant reproductions of Athenian direct democracy of the times of Socrates and Plato, both republican because of representation by a meritocratic elite, contrary to Thomas Jefferson’s ideology but consistent with Washington and Adams (religious, non-secular alternatives are the Republic of Iran and the parliamentary non-republican monarchies of Europe and Near East).
(Anakin Skywalker’s Very High Midi-Chlorian Count Makes Him A Risky Jedi Apprentice According to Master Yoda Because He Is Already Too Old At 7 Years Of Age For The Republic, Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace By George Lucas)
(Gattaca is another imaginary Republican utopian state )
Athenian polity in 5th and 4th centuries before the common era (B.C.E), in whose Promethean mythology was rooted the scientific technological gnostic modern progressivism of Marxism was, however, unlike the Marxian vision of the state: populations were small, Athens was a city state at the zenith of its power under Pericles before the Peloponnesian War as documented by the historian Thucidydes during the time of Socrates and Plato. Every Athenian had their voice heard directly in the polis or the public square (politics) and served in government while women tended to the household or the oeikos (economics). The farms were tended to, perhaps by both men and women, and men served in politics and military to stave off aggressors such as the perpetually warring Spartans.
Absolute control of the economy by “we the people” (or the Protelariat in opposition to the monarchy or feudal lords) is an idea that was founded by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto (Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) and Das Kapital (Kritik der politischen Ökonomie) in mid-19th century. When this idea is combined with culture or Kultur and race it becomes the National Socialism or Nazism of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf from 1933-1945, culture and race becoming the raison d’etre of the state, totalitarianism without representation – dictatorship or Platonic tyranny.
Karl Marx’s critique of the capitalist mode of production in United States of America since the publication of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in 1776 and the beginning of the American and French states in 1789, and its linkage to social class in the context of the European transition from feudalism to industrialization during the time he lived in the 19th century in Germany and the United Kingdom suffers from a fundamental intellectual flaw: capitalism had become the new normal economic structure and Marx had not captured the structural change of the zeitgeist as well as Immanuel Kant had done a century earlier expounding about Afklaurung or the enlightenment or faith by way of reason – continuing in the tradition of the European renaissance of its antiquity from Pythagoras to Aristotle, beginning with Dante Alighieri in the 13th and 14th centuries – for it is all capitalism independent of the political structure. Marx had therefore, in essence, taken issue with the distribution of capital not capitalism per se.
As societies evolved from city-states to nation-states, at issue in both democratic republics (most of the world today with the exception of constitutional monarchies) and totalitarian states (China) is the ability of much larger population sizes to be able to directly govern themselves: representation then becomes analogous to the polity of the Athenian city-state (the concept was more accurately practiced by the Venetian Doge from about 700 C.E to 1300 C.E).
In politics, people to whom elected representatives are accountable (governance), and in economics the shares-owning public in public limited corporations to whom corporate boards and CEOs are accountable (corporate governance) is equivalent to supporting a pyramid upside down. Unless the pyramid spins like a top it is not stable. It may work in politics (“we the people”) but does not work in economics, given the history of the US economy since the 1920s. Accountability in economics, trickle down or trickle up, is not feasible to achieve when money is supplied by the central bank to few lightly regulated financial institutions, the new John Galts – financial innovators – of Ayn Rand, for it to diffuse through the economy to the original John Galts – real innovators – of Ayn Rand.
The world is running out of new ideas for political-economic structural arrangements in this new century, turbulent in groping in intellectual and the ensuing social darkness. The angst for order and social stability is once again making totalitarianism appealing in this age of advanced technology, unraveling the gains of 100 years of more individual freedoms in both the public square and the household, worldwide.
Small population sizes, about 500,000 men, women and children, the size of city-states within nation-states can be achieved by limiting the territorial boundaries of any one self-governing polity akin to the Venetian Doge.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can indeed make direct, non-partisan democracy, seen as being most desirable by George Washington in his Farewell Address in 1796, feasible in nation-states without the need for representation.
Together, such an Agrarian Jeffersonian state, enabled by many small populations the size of city-states and ICTs for direct democracy, would be no different from possibly how the largely agrarian, and hence, naturally sustainable communal societies of the ancient Indus Valley were constituted in Mohenjodaro, Harappa and Lothal between about 3000 B.C.E and 1500 B.C.E, Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies and province from 1620 to 1789, and kibbutz in Israel after 1946, and of course, the Athens of antiquity.
People in such a society live in a moneyless world and work primarily on the land and in all areas associated with agriculture (production, distribution, and research and technology) in exchange for shelter, food, clothing, health, education, clean air, and clean water and other amenities such as energy and transportation that constitute a high quality modern life. As technology increasingly lessens human involvement in agriculture, leisure to spend time on other pursuits increases besides, of course, the time spent on tending to high technology in agriculture.