Hypothetical party program

© Paul Cooijmans

Introduction

This is a rough version of a hypothetical political party program, aiming for intelligent and righteous ways to rule a country. It is still in progress, in the process of being written.

Education

Children and students are grouped by ability and level of development rather than by age. Education is free up to a certain level, roughly comparable to current primary and secondary education. More advanced levels are free only for who have potential — talent, motivation — in the field in question. The general principle is that education is free up to the individual's developmental ceiling (or as long as the individual advances), and stops when individual advancement stops. This principle guarantees optimal use of talent while it avoids the tremendous waste of money caused by sending untalented young people to school or university for years where they only waste time without learning anything or contributing to society in any way.

Justice

Crime is not tolerated. Prescription of crimes is abolished, and who commits a crime disclaims his rights. Recidivists are permanently removed from society, not so much to punish them as to prevent them from harming good people and to keep them from (further) procreation. The ultimate goal is to reduce crime to virtually zero, by reducing the incidence of genes disposing for crime in the gene pool, and by strict treatment of crime. Crime in modern society has two causes: genes and permissiveness. The battle is fought on both grounds.

Who finds this treatment of crime harsh or oppressive must realize two things: that these measures are taken only against the bad, never against the good; and that these measures will quickly result in a virtually crime-free safe society (not just "secure" but actually safe) wherein law enforcement is barely needed any more. The "harsh" measures are only needed in a brief initial period leading to long-term safety.

Some forms of crime are so obviously malicious that their specific treatment is mentioned here: Perpetrators of violence against innocent always receive corporal punishment, of course in addition to possible imprisonment, close observation after possible release (to prevent them from repeating) and forced compensation of the victim by the culprit, and repetitive committers of violence against innocent are always killed. Hostages-takers, like terrorists, kidnappers, and pirates, are always killed on the spot on first occasion. In the problematic case of suicide attacks (where the culprit can not be punished), the country of origin of the attacker is held responsible and charged for the material damage of the attack, as well as for the casualties at a rate of € 200 000 000 per killed innocent. If the country fails to pay this compensation, action is taken against that country as soon as the amount owed for suicide attacks exceeds five billion euro.

Victims of crime — like robbery or burglary — are allowed to defend themselves in any way they find necessary. There is no restriction of "proportionality" of violence used in defence, as such restriction would imply that the victim must give the culprit the chance to again attack the victim. The responsibility for possible "disproportional" defence violence lies entirely with the culprit against whom that violence is used in defence, as it is the culprit who has given cause for that violence.

A special warning is given against the originally well-meant but refuted idea that crime is caused by social environment, such as poverty, bad youth, "no future", "social defeat", or discrimination. "If we relieve poverty we remove crime as a result" typifies this thinking. But that two things tend to go together does not at all imply that the one causes the other (a common cause being another logical explanation), and the softness on crime that results from this ideology has done tremendous damage to Western society in the past half century. One must wake up to the facts: The root cause of crime lies in genes, and social environment only plays a role insofar permissiveness (letting criminals run free) allows crime to persist.

Finally, judges are required to treat suspects from different societal groups as equal before the law. There are no special privileges for particular groups over others. Concretely, this means the long-standing practice of giving women a lower sentence than men for the same crime must end.

Health

Rules based on current scientific knowledge are formulated (e.g. "Do not smoke"); who lives by the rules receives free health care. Recreational drugs can be legalized under this policy but will of course be addressed in the rules, and one always remains fully responsible for one's deeds, also when under the influence of voluntarily taken recreational drugs, and also when addicted. Organs needed for transplantation can be taken from criminals, starting with those sentenced to death.

Transport

Individual transport of persons is encouraged. Mass transport of persons is discouraged. Working from home is encouraged. Human-powered transport is encouraged, including the development of efficient human-powered vehicles which are as fast as or faster than motor cars over short to medium distances. Long-distance travel is discouraged in favour of long-distance communication. Railroads are replaced by paved roads for individual transport, as that is much more efficient in time and energy than is mass transport. Motorized transport becomes associated with disabled and old people who are unable to use human-powered transport.

Economy

Money is used for buying goods and labour, saving, and as a unit for calculation. Interest, lending, mortgage, hire purchase, "lease", insurance, lotteries, and other ways of "making money with money" are abolished, as those are the root cause of inflation and of unethical inflated income and wealth differences. Income differences must result solely from individual differences in ability and achievement. Money itself can not be a subject of trade. This means one can not possess more money than one has earnt or inherited during one's life. An individual has a basic income throughout life, and by contributing to society one earns additional money.

In principle the capitalist market mechanism is in operation, but with restrictions: One can not trade in money itself (interest is forbidden), and the most basic common needs and services remain in government hands, financed by tax, instead of being exposed to the free market entirely. This concerns for instance health care, education, basic income, energy, mass media and public transport. State monopolies are not required in most cases, but the state versions of these services should be of high quality, unspoiled by the terror of commerce. A sublime example of how commerce can spoil a public service is, of course, commercial television.

The preferred form of tax is tax on consumption, such as V.A.T.

Work

Tasks are mechanized and automated insofar this is more efficient than using human power. What remains is performed by individuals who are paid, depending on the value their work has for society. Paying by time spent on the job (hour wage) is forbidden. The principle is that good work must always be profitable for the worker, and as direct implication unpaid work is forbidden. Private enterprise is allowed, but owners or share holders of an enterprise remain personally accountable for possible debts of the (bankrupt) enterprise. The primary goal of any enterprise must be to make good products or deliver good service, rather than to maximize profit; quality must be measured independently of profit and financial value.

Individuals who work retain their basic income. Income from work is not taxed. There is no obligatory retiring age.

Freedom of speech and copyright

There is absolute freedom of speech for everyone. When publishing or otherwise conveying another's words, it is forbidden to alter them even in the slightest way.

Migration

When population density allows it (so not for quite some time, probably), immigrants may be admitted after being tested or assessed for intelligence, other abilities and important human qualities like honesty and sense of good and bad (conscientiousness, in short). There will be pass levels for admission, and immigration must always remain restricted to a small proportion of the total population size, to prevent the native population from being eventually replaced by immigrants in a de facto ethnic cleansing. Anyone may leave the country if desired.

Also, in periods of population growth one should strive for a balance between procreation and immigration, such that procreation accounts for the majority of the growth. This measure and that in the previous paragraph should suffice to avoid the problems that are known to occur when a country allows unselected mass immigration of people, often of very different ethnicity or race than the own population.

Industrial countries need a population of intelligent, conscientious, ethical people. Such countries must watch for overpopulation, which overstrains the Earth's natural resources and causes tension between people. And while exercising birth control they must watch for unselected mass immigration from non-industrial countries, as that combination is a recipe for disaster and will bring down a country's level of civilization toward a pre-industrial state of affairs. Industrial civilization rests not only on technology but also on human quality, and the migration policy must protect and retain that quality.

Safety

To ensure safety for the good people, repetitive criminals are removed from society and kept from breeding, and there is early (when possible prenatal) scanning for criminal behaviour in children to make sure they do not develop into criminals.

A "no locks needed" situation is striven for. Emphasis on "security" (not to be confused with safety) puts responsibility for crime at the victims, which is very wrong, and will therefore not be. The good will never suffer because of the bad. Soon there will be no need for people to lock their houses or bicycles, because there will be very few criminals.

Euthanasia

Anyone is entitled to a humane painless death when desired.

Parents who find their (grown-up) child to be a dangerous criminal have the right to euthanize their loved one. This relieves pressure on the judicial system and largely resolves the ethical issues with "death penalty" by reducing the need for it. This solution will work because most criminals are relatively young, so their parents are still alive and able to act. It will not work in cases where the parents themselves are of a criminal inclination, so the judicial system remains needed for those cases.

Abortion

Abortion is allowed up to the point where the foetus becomes viable in case of premature birth.

Genetic manipulation and cloning

Genetic manipulation of plants, animals and humans is allowed, as is cloning of animals. Cloning of humans is only allowed in cases of geniuses, for cloning is the only way to retain their precise genetic configuration, which is lost in sexual procreation. Since the assessment of genius can only be made with certainty some time after one's creative life, D.N.A. samples must be taken of highly creative persons and stored until at least a century after their death, so that they can be cloned when it becomes apparent they have been geniuses.

Parliament

A parliament is chosen via weighted elections as meant in Vote weighting. When it becomes possible to measure them, other important human qualities than intelligence too will be used in the weighting process. Naturally, criminals are not allowed to vote.

Developing countries

To help third world countries to develop, knowledge needed to improve their situation is supplied to (groups of) intelligent individuals there. There is no material or financial aid, not only because experience has shown this to be a bottomless pit, but also because these countries typically possess a tremendous wealth in natural resources of their own and only lack the intelligence to use it.

Birth control

To regulate population density and quality, parents may be taxed progressively for having children. The tax is set depending on the need to reduce (or increase) the population; e.g., in an overpopulated situation the tax is relatively high, and the second, third et cetera child are taxed ever higher. The tax is also variable across the intelligence spectrum, to encourage the most able to produce the most offspring. When it becomes possible to measure them, other important human qualities than intelligence too will be considered.

Those inclined to violence and crime are not allowed to procreate. Those of notably higher quality, such as highly creative and conscientious individuals, are especially encouraged to produce much offspring with multiple partners, and to facilitate this in an ethical and practical manner institutions like matchmaking and marriage bureaus and sperm banks are erected, involving the careful selection of both the female and the male participants.

This population policy is also the principle instrument in fighting environmental (ecological) problems, as the root cause of such problems is the current overpopulation.

Pain control

Medical treatment will cause no unnecessary pain; anyone is entitled to pain free treatment (remember though that who commits a crime disclaims his rights).

Religion

Religious and other irrational beliefs are allowed, but it is not allowed to base acts on such beliefs that violate human rights. This implies that religious or cultural discrimination of women, and rites like circumcision, are crimes. Also, organizations of this kind may be taxed just like commercial enterprises.