People are flawed. People make mistakes. People are corrupt, greedy fartbags who forget their grandmothers’ birthdays and don’t correct against obvious cognitive biases and fallacies like confirmation bias and the sunk cost fallacy, who pick their noses when they don’t think anyone is looking, put their underwear on inside out and then dont notice until that evening, and roll through stop signs while listening to Blank Space by Taylor Swift.
So people are flawed. Thats okay. Hey, even the president poops.
And for some reason we want to- need to- organize ourselves into bundles– societies. And in order for these groups to avoid anarchy they need to organize themselves in a way where people feel protected- this is government.
Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the later negatively by restraining our vices.
~Thomas Paine, Common Sense
Maybe a society of ten or even fifty could coexist without needing an organized government. But as people become more distant- they seem less peoplely, they seem less human. It’s easier for humanity to stomp all over those who we rarely- if ever see and rarely- if ever interact with.
For example, Huckleberry Finn steals things throughout his adventures (By Mark Twain), but when he comes face to face with people who he is hurting or could hurt, he is no longer interested in the theft.
Like Huck Finn, it is easier for us to unleash our vices against people we don’t know. So as larger groups of people get together, more and more vices come out to play, and when more vices come out to play, our happiness starts taking a serious hit. So, according to Thomas Paine, government must come in and help us out.
The problem is, government is necessarily made out of humans. Humans are necessarily flawed.
So then, what is the best way of governing?
How do we minimize human flaws in government?