Saturday, November 10, 2012

The rule of 10


After the recent landslide victory of Obama in the presidential campaign of 2012, I reflected on why we keep having to either choose the lesser of two evils or vote our conscience and watch the worse of two evils win.
Our representative form of government is derived historically, I believe, from the rule of 10s found in the Bible.  Moses appointed rulers of 10s who would appoint rulers of 100, who would in turn appoint rulers of 1000 and so on.  It was a bottom-up hierarchical form of management that makes so much more sense to me than what we have.
One must remember that our founding fathers had a bi-cameral house that was originally designed to represent the people at large and the states.  This was sabotaged by the 15th amendment which caused Senators to no longer be appointed by legislatures ( a second-tier form of representation ) but instead became popularly elected.  This significantly transformed our government closer to a straight democracy and away from a proper republic.
Over time the congressional districts have enlarged while the numbers of representatives of the house and senate have stayed the same, causing the ratio of representative/voter to diminish to as little as 1 in 200000.  This creates a mob/class type of order where TV and marketing techniques rule and where the voter has very little real choice.
I wonder how good our leaders would be if they had to emerge from votes from representatives several orders removed from the people?  To a child raised in our "democratic" schools, this may seem like a reduction of the direct input of the people - but is direct popular rule really what we want?  Power corrupts so spreading the power around makes sense.  But placing power equally on unequal shoulders is inviting the fool to rule equally with the wise and influential.
I found out awhile back that our historical townships and precincts apparently came from the rule of 10.  Precincts represented collections of 10 families while townships were groups of 10 precincts.  This aspect of our self-governance has been totally lost and forgotten.
If I represent only 10 people, each of them will have a significant input and influence on my votes going up the line.  If my representative only has 10 people to answer to, he can easily spare time to listen to my thoughts.  Even with short terms of office, a multi-level rule of the rule of 10 form of representation would have a built in lag time of many terms, creating stability while allowing short terms to allow for flexibility, accountability and rapid feedback.
More local decisions could be made by the lower orders of representatives which reuses the simple and existing system to accomplish multiple tasks in government.
Term limits wouldn't be needed and in fact would allow really gifted leaders to stay in place longer and create senior leaders with many years of leadership experience.
The rule of 10 also trains leaders as they go up levels of representation.  Initial responsibilities are small and grow with a proven track record.
Such a system, when combined with juries where appropriate would seem to me, far superior to our existing system of representation.
Another random idea from the mind of an idealistic dreamer.

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