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November 6, 2019 / Congau

An Ideal State

What is the best political system? Theorists have probably pondered on the question since the dawn of civilization and from the ancient Greeks to our day political ideals have been drawn up and fit into neat and symmetrical principles. But now, at the end of history as some call it, the death of ideology has been proclaimed. Some procedures seem to work decently, bringing some success and fairness, and since nothing appears to be strikingly more attractive, what we have must be the best.

Existence is a proof that something works, and for many non-existence means that it is unrealistic. It’s difficult to argue against it and easy to dismiss the dreamer.

So, what is the best political system? For the sober present-day Westerner, the question has thus been conveniently settled. We live in the best system that has ever been! (Sure, we could make slight contrasts between the systems of various countries and give a preference to one other than our own, but those minor distinctions become irrelevant in the big picture.)

But who can really believe that this is it? that not only is this the best that has been seen, but that nothing better could ever come about, or could even be imaginable? We keep wishing for a better world, but somehow the system that runs and dominates the political universe only needs a few adjustments to reach perfection? No, that sounds rather unlikely.

Then, what would be the best political system? An unbiased answer would require that we look away from what is too well known, what is near and present, and use our unbounded imagination. The ideal is anywhere and whenever. What would be possible at another time and place is not restricted by what happens to exist at the moment.

The best system could be anything a theorist might have worked out or dreamed up. Take your pick.

But did you ask what is possible? Only what exists is possible until something else exists.

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