Continuing the theme of governance in a mature society, my thoughts have changed little since the writing of my book Acedia; thus, I am mainly quoting from this source, with additional minor commentary as update.
. . . a mature culture would balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the group, not by imposition, but because the educational system would provide the deep support such that members of the culture would want to balance these needs (as per the previous priority). Training would be offered in decision making . . . for comprehensive social change. [Such training would focus on the long-term needs of community, rather than the short-term gains so typical of modern politics.]
A mature culture would also train its members to live the “laws” of experience (we want positive, it is easier to get negative, and negative is better than flatness) and the “laws” of relationship (I can change only what I am connected to, others will change if I change, change requires I stay connected), in ways that emphasize both the powerfulness (to create self) and the powerlessness (to change other) inherent in relationship.
The joy of living expands the individual.
Such a culture would live into the stance that the joy of living is in seeking wisdom, rather than domination. Such a culture would educate its members that each member is truly accountable for whatever he or she thinks, feels, and does, without shame or coercion of self or other—that the truly unacceptable is that of violation (restriction of freedom without permission, beyond public safety). Such education would include education on the pitfalls and traps of being human, challenging both individuals and the cultural systems at various levels to “walk their talk.” This would require the recognition that “therapy” is simply another word for the seeking of wisdom, and thus would be honored as part of the development of every human being and every group.
We need a mature democracy.
. . . a mature culture would develop governance based on wisdom, on statesperson-ship. Our current “two-party” democracy is actually a one-party democracy (Friedman, 2009):
There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today. One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.
I propose that a mature culture would actually be a no-party democracy, with individuals elected on the basis of perceived wisdom, and with interlocking regional governments, up to a world government. Individuals would be elected on the basis of perceived wisdom by appropriate regional groups to form a regional level of government, that government deciding within itself who would be the proposers of legislation and who would be the devil’s advocates. Leadership would be developed within this membership, based on what was required, and might vary with need. Elected members would shift periodically in their assigned tasks, sometimes legislators, sometimes advocates of resistance. Membership on task groups would evolve out of the skill level of the members as needed. If elected for three terms in a row (15 years, for example), these members would become part of a more senior advisory body, for various additional task assignments. If not elected for such a period, support would be provided to allow re-integration back into the regional group. Essentially, the government would function to be a sophisticated cooperative body, attuned to the needs of the populace it served, yet focused on what the populace needed long-term, not as based on election requirements. . . .
To be continued.