“How do you envision humans governing a separate planet?”
Elon Musk answered the above question when speaking at Stanford recently by saying that because a Martian government would be built on a clean foundation, it would probably be something closer to a direct democracy (in which every member votes on laws and policies directly) rather than a representative democracy (like what we find in the Western world today).
In the past, such direct democracy was infeasible. There was no tool or engine by which everyone could vote on everything. Communication was only as fast as a horse and illiteracy was prevalent, so it was rational to have elected representatives voting on behalf of their constituents. The absence of technology and education made it so.
Of course, today this isn’t the case — so Elon gave three intuitive ideas that could apply to a new Martian government (or simply a terrestrial upgrade).
Elon credits Google co-founder Larry Page for this first concept. The idea is that laws be limited in size via a simple mechanism like word count. Currently we have 1,000-page laws which nobody has read. “If you can’t write the law in 1,000 words then it probably shouldn’t be there.… Read More