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How would you build and organize a nation?


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Events in Libya are moving quickly, and Gaddafi may soon be out, which means that the nation will experience an economic and political transitional, rebuilding era. If you had the means and the power in a situation such as Libya's, what sort of sociopolitical and economic system would you implement in a nation? For example, would you implement a representative republic or a democratic parliamentary system, or would you declare a dictatorship? What you prefer the American system, or one used by another nation? What about the economy? Would you favor a capitalist system, anarchist collectives, or a socialist state? Would you favor a social laissez-faire system, or would you emphasize social norms?

Any and all ideas would make for an interesting discussion, and all opinions are welcome.

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This sounds like a game of Civilization. I do not know enough about Libya's current system on a day-to-day basis to really make an informed decision. But, if the ultimate goal is an American-style system, you would want to take babysteps.

Civilization was the game I had in mind. :-)

As a note, this fictional nation, call it "RVAbrendanstan," if you wish, could be anywhere. It does not have to be Libya, though it could be, if you choose.

As a question, do you think an American style system is a one size solution? For example, I do not know if private resource development is preferable over nationalized resources, developed by the state.

---------- Post added August-22nd-2011 at 03:16 PM ----------

Shoot all the lawyers?

Well, someone has to write the laws. LOL.But hey, I know it seems like an easy solution!

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Well, we are far from perfect, and due to our current state, it's tough to argue we are the 'superior system.' However, our citizenry is one of the most 'free' in the world. That alone draws folks over on a global scale. We are still learning, though.

We have socialist aspects to this country (various utilities, services upkeep, proposed healthcare...), and think the mix works well. Of course, this depends on the size of the nation. I look at the empire of China and its 1+ billion and think to myself, "Could the country sustain itself on a completely free market system?"

The problem with giving power of services and resources to the government lies in the people of which it's comprised. Who's to say that power won't be abused? Anything can look good on paper, but, if Baculusopolis just led a rebellion to oust their merciless leader, the thirst for freedom will be deep. Some will be more thirsty than others. It's a fine line.

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I'd have two strategies.

1) Make a big deal with the west. This could be oil, trade in general, whatever, but the deal would be big enough to make future leaders take pause before undoing what are hopefully strong ties to Europe and the US. The idea, for Libya, would be to make deals with people who can infuse economic vitality into their nation. Unfortunately, China is also an option here.

2) If I'm building a nation, I do with one major condition...no individual gets too much power. Let the people choose their path through elections. Term limit everyone.

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The parliamentary system is probably the "fairest" democratic system and thus is the safest for countries coming out of tyranny. The problem with the US system is that it's two easy for one or two blocs to dominate. And in the Middle East, that's extremely dangerous.

The US system works here because of the states. In a country where the divides are by ethnicity or class or religion, that doesn't really work.

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As an American, I'll admit up front I'm coming into this exercise with that bias. Our system has many flaws, but it has more or less survived intact for over 200 years. So I'm going to implement what I think are the best features and try to mix them with the culture and history of the region and my limited knowledge of Libya.

-The government would be a constitutionally based federal republic. Law will be king, no man is above it, but the people will have a mechanism for change.

-I like our 3 separate branches of power, and would implement that over there. This is an especially crucial step after deposing a dictator who's been in charge for decades. Separate but equal branches of power may not always work, but it's worlds better than 1 man being judge, jury, and executioner. In this regard I would change it from an American-style democracy to a European-style parliament where multiple parties can be represented and must work together. I think America's 2 party, winner-take-all style for Congress is and has always been a huge weakness for us.

-Most of our amendments would be in their constitution, but especially the following (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html):

-1st-8th: I believe these are fundamental to a free society. Freedom of and from religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition, freedom to own firearms for personal protection and for protection from the gov't (this may seem far fetched to Americans, but if you're just fought a dictator for freedom this seemingly unnecessary promise can mean the world), freedom of your property being yours (3rd and 4th), civil liberties for a fair and speedy trial, freedom from fear of torture, etc.

-a neater, more modified version of 13-15 and 19: Equal treatment for women and minorities, along with freedom of religion, would be a huge and important step in this part of the world. We need less Saudi Arabias and Irans, more progressive and open societies.

-Others are unnecessary (conflicting 18th and 21st), some can be easily eliminated with a 1st draft of a constitution (election of senators, voting age at 18, term limits, etc.).

-The new government should be in charge of the vast oil reserves. This may seem shocking coming from a conservative, but I also live in reality. If a new government with conflicting factions has the power over their most valuable resource, then I feel the country will be a lot better off than immediately selling off oil contracts to rich western nations so that Libya can continue to be exploited. Now, if after a while the government decides to sell off contracts and just collect tax revenue instead of having total control, at least it will (in theory, anyway) have to be good enough to be agreed upon by several competing factions, each with their own constituency/interest in mind. This would also give the new government a great source of income from which it can start rebuilding and modernizing infrastructure for its people.

-For the rest of the economy, I'd prefer some form of capitalist-socialist hybrid that allows for free markets while giving the government enough control to attempt its best to prevent corruption and monopolies.

Other than these, I'll admit to not knowing enough about Libya's situation over the last half decade to go into any more specifics. I just happen to believe that what I've written above gives any society its best chance to survive initially and thrive later.

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Interesting responses, especially from the more detailed ones from RVAbrendan and GhostofSparta, whose lengthy post had some tweaks to our American system which I greatly agreed with. I believe our American system, with some tweaks (such as a parliamentary system), some splashes of innate progressivism, a free market/socialist hybrid, and some resource nationalization, would be a sound foundation for a new nation. As far as Libya is concerned, some of the people on the NTC (National Transitional Council) are actually American or western educated, and there is an ongoing debate between which approach to undertake -- an American or European one? It's a fascinating discussion for me, and it reminds me of an exercise I had in a 9th grade American history course, where the students were asked to write their ideal American Constitution.

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