What comes next in governing organizations?

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright September 2018


What will be our next new government forms? What will be the hot, new, post-democracy, post-liberal governing structures that will mesh well with our modern times and technologies?

Technology is changing how we live. And one of the areas getting changed is how our governments work, as in, the organization of our governing institutions. What changes can we expect in these over, say, the next fifty years?


In the Stone Age environment tribalism makes sense as a good form of government. In the Agricultural Age environment monarchy makes sense as a good form of government. Monarchy deals well with the well-known issues that face Agricultural Age communities. When the Industrial Age burst upon the scene it brought lots of new and strange challenges to the communities that were embracing it -- factories and workers in addition to fields and peasants. These new issues needed lots of talk and experimenting to find good solutions. It was the democratic form of government that provided a better venue for this than monarchy did. This is why it got embraced first in North America and then in Western Europe.

The Challenge

Nowadays, in the first quarter of the twenty first century, times and technologies have changed again. We now have things such as smartphones, big data and artificial intelligence which can reveal more about a community's condition and how a community is thinking. And these are changing how community goals are accomplished. Is it time to change our political structure again?

If so, what will be the hot, new, post-democracy, post-liberal governing structures that will mesh well with our modern times and technologies? Perhaps we will begin to find out over the next decade.

As an example: is getting a bunch of politicians in the same room still an efficient way to create new laws? This is how a legislature currently meets and does its business. What format can replace this so that legislating gets more efficient and effective?

Where First?

Change is coming. We will see these changes first in those communities that are embracing these new technologies to the fullest, and are not being complacent about their politics and governing structures. These will be communities that have a compelling Big Vision and feel strongly motivated to achieve it.

A science fiction example: Suppose we open up commerce to Mars the way Columbus and those following him opened up commerce to the New World. Suppose the population on Mars grows to thirty million people. What kinds of human organizations will these Mars colonists support? How will the organizations be structured compared to organizations with similar functions operating on Earth? The structuring will be different, and in this they will resemble the North Americans of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who were mixing Industrial Revolution with taming a wilderness, and having a stimulating time doing so. They came up with lots of different ways of structuring human organizations -- democracy being just one example.


As our technology changes our human organizations change as well. What future changes will come about and where they will happen will be surprises. But those places that are most enthusiastically embracing new technologies will also be the places that most enthusiastically embrace changes to our human organizations.


This essay was inspired by reading this 13 Sep 18 Economist article, A manifesto for renewing liberalism -- Success turned liberals into a complacent elite. They need to rekindle their desire for radicalism, which talks about their worry that liberalism is getting complacent.

From the article, "LIBERALISM made the modern world, but the modern world is turning against it. ...

For The Economist this is profoundly worrying. We were created 175 years ago to campaign for liberalism—not the leftish “progressivism” of American university campuses or the rightish “ultraliberalism” conjured up by the French commentariat, but a universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform."



--The End--