Some interesting thoughts in some of these posts, and some interesting logic underlying some of them.
One can approach the issue of governance and government from many different perspectives.
Some people acquire abstract information faster than others, and thus tend to travel through levels of abstraction (often called transcendence) faster than others. The amount of time people devote to learning and contemplation has a lot to do with that. So we see around us many different levels of awareness of relationships; and many different interpretive schema or paradigms of understanding.
Back in the days of the old Greek city states (by today’s standards, small town states), it was possible for most people in a town to know most other people, and most people shared a common paradigm of understanding (though even Plato had problems with the lack of awareness of those with the monetary and military and political power).
In those days, the amount of knowledge known was tiny by today’s standards.
Today the amount of knowledge is far beyond the ability of any single human mind to know, beyond even an entire village of human minds.
It is now possible for people using the same language, to have almost no direct referents in common (ie every word used has significant difference in meaning).
That situation is only going to get more so.
So we have people at many different levels of awareness (most still in level 1 awareness where they believe in ideas like true/false, right/wrong, good/evil as real absolutes, and are not yet able to deal with the reality of a world of probabilities devoid of absolutes).
Compounded on these two levels we have an economic system based on market valuation, that is incentivised to produce abundance only to a level that optimises the flow of money, and not beyond to a level that meets all the needs of all the people (at which point there is no money to be made – like oxygen in the air – no one is getting rich from it).
So we have developed institutions that perpetuate money and power, rather than develop and promote individuals with the freedom to self actualise as they see fit.
Very few people are trained to question everything for themselves.
People are trained to trust authority, and not to question (which is in the interests of the institutions – all of them, religious, political, educational, economic, …).
Thus people tend to believe what they are told, and simple trust networks (like the one mentioned in this article) spiral out of control.
To be stable, trust networks must be tested, ongoingly.
Trust networks must have secondary strategies that prevent invasion by cheats (and cheats in this sense can include any invalid information that does not correspond to reality, or that does, in certain contexts, lead to invalid conclusions).
We seem to find ourselves in a reality where the amount of information available, and the ways of organising that information (interpretive schemas or paradigms), and the transcendent paradigms that emerge from contemplation, are all increasing exponentially. Communication between individuals on widely divergent paths becomes more and more difficult, and in some cases the probability of communication (defined as a concept in one mind being replicated in another mind) approaches zero for all practical purposes.
It seems to me that trust networks and tolerance are the only real solution for social cohesion in such a wildly diverse and diversifying reality.
The issues around governance and freedom in an age of such diversity are mathematically and logically profound.
One thing that has become clear to me beyond any reasonable doubt, is that our current global systems based around market economics and nation states are not mathematically stable.
Our personal security seems to be clearly predicated on developing global cooperation, with well developed attendant strategies to prevent cheating, while also enhancing freedom and prosperity for all.
In an age when growing numbers of us have a reasonable expectation of living for thousands, perhaps even millions or billions of years; it is very clear that our old political and economic systems simply do not support that.
It is very clearly in our own, very selfish, very long term, best interests, to ensure the security, prosperity and freedom of everyone – because for most of us, to others of us, we are them.