Forms of Government
What is the best form of government for the human race? A review of the systems of government reveals a wide range currently in use across our planet. The classical forms of government are:
- Autocracy – rule by one. One person holds all the power and often come into power without the consent of the people. Decision making and getting things done is quick and easy, but the law of the land is down to the views of the one ruler. In theocracies the ruler is appointed by “God“. Iran, Islam, the Roman Catholic church and Tibetan administration with the Dalai Llama are all examples of theocracies.
- Democracy – based on a constitution where the people elect a leader for a short term. There are several types of democracies. Direct democracies are quite rare, where all the people are involved in all the decision making (eg by referendums). It takes a long time to get anything done in this type of government. Most democracies are actually the representative democracy type which are also known as republics. The USA type of democracy is a presidential republic.
- Monarchy – is the traditional king/queen type of rule. There are only a few absolute monarchies left in the world, like Brunei, Qatar, Oman and Saudia Arabia. Most are constitutional monarchies like the UK, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Belgium, etc. Absolute monarchs have absolute power, whereas constitutional monarchies have a separate elected government and the monarch is more like a symbol of national unity.
- Oligarchy – have a few rulers who gain power through wealth and influence. They are not elected by the people and generally act in their own interests rather than looking after the nation. Oligarchies were more prevalent in the past. In the current times the wealthy oligarch’s may influence behind the scenes giving rise to the conspiracy theory claims of the secret government.
In the diagram above, the colour keys are:
- Blue = presidential republics will full presidential system.
- Yellow = presidential republics with a semi-presidential system.
- Green = parliamentary republics with an executive president.
- Orange = parliamentary republics with a ceremonial president and a separate head of government.
- Red = constitutional monarchy with separate head of government.
- Magenta = constitutional monarchy but royalty still hold significant power.
- Purple = absolute monarchy.
- Brown = dominant political party writes the constitution.
- Dark green = military dictatorship.
- Grey = transitional government.
- Light grey = no government.
Which is the best?
So which type of government is the best? Plato advocated the Aristocracy – autocratic rule by a benevolent dictator, one who is also a philosopher king. Plato’s five regimes were Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy and Tyranny. (A Timocracy is where property owners participate in government; an Aristocracy is where a few people rule ideally benevolently, and a Tyrany is an Autocracy where the rules is oppressive).
Democracy does not rate highly. Why do we entrust the uneducated majority of the people to elect someone as their leader? Surely it is better that the nations leader should be the most highly educated and highly qualified person fit for the position. Unfortunately, in today’s world it is hard to find such people qualified to lead. As noted in the discussion elsewhere on Clare W Graves vMemes, the range of people in the world’s population with different values means that a multi-party government comprising representatives from each vMeme group are able to provide a representative voice in a constitutional representative democracy. It isn’t ideal, but it is better than risking a tyrant replacing a good autocratic leader and bringing the country to ruin. Aristocracies and Monarchies place too much power in the hands of too few who can easily misuse that power. Democracies tend to work best in the world today because it is a little easier to deal with leaders who turn bad. The vast majority of the world’s nations are presidential republics, parliamentary republics, parliamentary constitutional monarchies or constitutional monarchies, with a few absolute monarchies and republics where only one party has the right to govern. There are a few nations in a mess, including Libya, Thailand, Venezuela, Kosova, Somaliland and South Ossetia.
Government role in the spiritual development of their citizens
Should the Government of each nation be doing more to encourage the spiritual development of their citizens? There is a degree of supply versus demand here, and whilst it is good that the government stays out of religions the government has an important role in providing for the physical, emotional and mental health and well-being of its citizens. There is, however, always a threat to Government by over-educating the masses. When the people realise what is going on, they vote for a different party!
I have clearly stated that our spiritual health is closely related to how well we are using our higher brain functions. Just as we have Universities that provide training in predominantly mental disciplines, so there could equally be an extension of services aimed specifically at the higher brain functions? Nobody is currently doing this, so to answer the question I just posed – yes: Government should be doing more!
The nations’ governments could be doing more than they currently are. It would not be a big investment, but it would be a long-term investment; much longer than the 3 to 7 years required for a University degree. Any current nation doing this would be breaking new ground. The specifics of how and what would be offered will require some work. Initially it may be nothing more than web sites with educational and informational material. Currently, anyone wishing to develop themselves spiritually are on their own.