The Optimization Function of Governments

One of the biggest problems with governing is that there is no consensus about what is the actual thing that government is meant to do.  We can look back at the past and see many many examples of what governments (and government members) should not do.  We see a constant pattern throughout time and space that indicates that cheating, theft, lies, failure to uphold standards of behavior, tyranny, economic mismanagement, and environmental mismanagement, ie, bad government, has tended to lead to catastrophic social, if not environmental, collapse.  The government and governing entities themselves pay a price for their inability or refusal to abide by common sense, pragmatism, and reality.  We also see that society itself, and all people who live in societies, pay a price for the mismanagement of social, political, economic, and environmental capital by the government.  The government and its members are to blame for this mismanagement, chiefly because they are the ones who are directly influencing the policies and choices that are being made, not the general public who elects them in democratic systems.  What then is the role of government in light of these constraints on their ability and interest to accumulate wealth, power, and prestige?

My proposal for such a mathematical and practical function of government is as follows:  The goal of the government and its members, acting within the constraints of what is feasible within this universe, is to maximize societal utility (not profit) while minimizing the costs associated with the production of that social utility given the financial, environmental, physical, psychological, cultural, historical, social, and economic, (the list can go on) constraints that they are faced with.  Social utility is first defined as survival, and followed by health, well-being, and the ability to thrive.  This is taken as an aggregate of all utilities throughout the human species within the range of what is feasible, known, and healthy for the individual.  Excess utility by some leads to negative utility for others (thus, making it possible to create a net loss in spite of one person or group of people reaching a higher utility level).  The goal of the government, from the perspective of its own self-interests, is to maximize these utilities throughout the entire population of the universe within the bounds of financial, environmental, physical, psychological, cultural, historical, social, and economic, (and so on) constraints upon it and its members’ abilities to act.  It borrows from the profit maximization logic of the private, for-profit market and the cost minimization logic from the not-for-profit sector.  The government, in short, when it is acting on behalf of ITSELF and ITS MEMBERS is balancing between costs and benefits that can be empirically derived through the same techniques used in marketing research, psychology, social-psychology, neurology, and sociology.  It’s job is to understand what the needs and desires of the people are and then to, within reason, feasibility, and all other constraints, deliver those needs and wants through the writing, structure, enforcement, and adjudication of written law.  All of these written laws must then be derivatives of the natural laws of society, economy, environmental science, physical science, and technological development, for these are the constraints that bind us all regardless of preference, choice, desire, hope, opinion, belief, or action to make it be otherwise.

A society needs a government to ensure a degree of predictability, order, and justice within the society.  There are no human societies without one or without an otherwise extremely powerful governing ethos that controls, constrains, and regulates their actions, behaviors, choices, and ways of living.  These smaller scale societies, without governments, require these governing ethics from the perspective of providing themselves survivability, health, well-being, and the ability to thrive within the context of their social, psychological, economic, and environmental constraints.  I, for one, do not believe that we have the ability to be perfectly free, if we have freedom to begin with in actuality.  All I would like is for the human species to stop killing itself off through poor, uninformed, and delusional decision-making based on irrelevant or inaccurate readings of information around them.  There is a better way forward for this life and this universe.  I think that I just happen to know it better than many other people, quite frankly.

Prove me wrong humans.  Make better choices with your societies, governments, and own personal selves.  You’re going to die no matter what.  It’s just a question of when and how.

Silly monkeys.

See on Scoop.itIt Comes Undone-Think About It

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