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Micronation

A micronation is a small incorporated government, with citizenship requirements, laws, a charter, a flag, and possibly a currency, postage, a national language and a diplomatic arm -- but without the necessary acknowledgement of the international community of its existence.

Micronations are generally created for artistic, protest, or self-identification reasons, and exist in a fluidity of reality that may change depending on the needs of those in charge. 

Many micronations exist in a virtual sense, having no sovreign land to call "home";  others exist on disputed or created land, such as Sealand, a successful micronation that exists on an abandoned sea platform; others exist on land claimed from an acknowledged sovreign government on fuzzy or disputable interpretations of existing laws.

 

 

Technocracy

A Technocracy is a society governed by people chosen for their technical or scholarly abilities.   This is similar to the Adhocracy of Alvin Toffler, which encourages governments to arrange decisionmakers by abilities rather than election results.    For example, if a government is in financial crisis, people with strong financial educations - regardless of political background - will be given leading decision-making powers.   This is a step above the advisory condition; for example, when NASA needs political action on science and space exploration, they provide their advice to politicans who then make decisions within the political arena.  In a technocacy, NASA would be a decision-making body unto itself.    Decision-making on a truly fact-based and educated basis should result in more effective results, and avoids being swayed by personal and emotional basis as politicians are sometimes subject to.

A drawback of the Technocracy is that those people best educated in the subjects that need political decision-making also have a vested personal interest in the objectives of the decision-making.  For example, if the experts in oil exploration are elevated into politics for the purpose of making decisions regarding oil-well drilling on public lands, the people who are experts likely already have a significant financial interest in the oil companies that would be doing the drilling.   A technocracy runs the risk of bypassing the lobbyist movement, placing lobbyists directly into decision-making positions.  Also, the narrow decision-making view of an expert may be blind to the overarching effects of their decisions, whereas politicians are experienced in framing decision-making for public benefit, rather than the successful results of individual decisions.

 

Utopia

A utopia is an idealized and optimistic view of now a society may be structured to result in the most positive possible experience for its inhabitants.

The word itself was coined by Thomas More for his 18th century utopian novel.   The Greek roots of the word translate, literally, as "nonexistent place".   It is wise to remember this root when considering a utopia's place in the real world.

Utopias, particularly in fiction, magnify or emphasize one or a few particular facets of society for the purpose of more clearly analyzing the society as a whole.   Using a narrow scope and ignoring things outside of a society's control, utopias grow large and broad in the pages of a book.  When applied to the real world, utopias may lack the resources to handle inter-society interactions, natural disasters, financial ruin, and unenthusiastic citizens. 

By analyzing those various facets, though, the larger society may adsorb some utopian ideals without abandoning less utopian concepts.  Most labor-saving technological enhancement has its roots in utopian desire, as do the achievements of the labor movement and the civil rights movement.   Much of today's first-world society originated from the minds of utopian philosophers, even if the utopia itself never left the pages of its book.

 

Commonwealth

The commonwealth is, literally, things that belong to the public. There are specific commonwealths, such as the Commonwealth of Virginia, for whom the commonwealth is a naming convention that doesn't differ from the definition of a 'state' by U.S. laws, or the Commonwealth of Nations, which identify a group of countries with a common connection to British royalty but little else in law.   A commonwealth is a way to describe an association of individuals who agree on how to separate private ownership from what belongs to the larger group to benefit the common good.

Because a commonwealth is often used to describe a sovereign group or entity, there's a tendancy to assign the term its own separate club, as though a "commonwealth" has a fancier set of rules.  This is untrue; the character of a commonwealth is established by its components, and not by the title itself.

As a pormanteau, the "common wealth" would describe public places and property, and is an accurate description of a commonwealth's purpose.  The words themselves are the English translation of the Latin term Res Publica, the source of the word "Republic".   "Res" is a general word meaning "things", as in a tangible or real object; "Publica" refers to the public.   Res Publica therefore literally describes the "public's things".  This is translated more directly in French, which calls republican ideals the "chose public", with "chose" being another general word meaning "thing" or "stuff".   Owning "stuff", of course, means an asset, which brings us back to describing the "common wealth", those things which are owned communally for the benefit of all.

Now, both "res publica" and "chose public" are generally translated as "public affairs", because government owns more than purely physical things, such as treaties and armies and laws and debts.    This definition applies best to modern interpretations of a commonwealth's purpose and scope.  It is a term interchangeable for most states and nations for whom the public is a focus of governmental interests.

What further makes a "commonwealth" a far more general term is that it does not inherently identify a form of government.   Governments established for the "public good" tend to be lumped together as exclusive to democracies, but utopian communism easily fits within the description of a commonwealth in their communal ownership of a significant portion of property for the benefit of, and at the behest of, the public good.  Also, in the case of the Commonwealth of Nations, that commonwealth descibed the organization of nations, and not necessarily the government structure of any of the member nations.  The UN, NATO, Warsaw Pact, EU, and other international associations fall under the broad umbrella of a commonwealth of sovereign countries.   The United States of America, being a republic composed of democratic states, could be considered a commonwealth of commonwealths.

 

 

Charles Fourier

Charles Fourier was the 18th century philosopher who invented the concept of Fourierism, which condenses a city down to its component parts, eliminating useless redundancy, and offering ownership and willingness to profit to its citizens entirely.

 
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