What do you do when GAWKI's a goner?

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(This post is borrowed from another forum.) Suppose it's May or June 2000, and it's clear that GAWKI (Government As We Know It) is a goner. Nobody's heard from the IRS since January; D.C. is uninhabitable because all the essential services failed; everyone's mostly in survival mode, and no one's willing to fork over any taxes because the future's uncertain. All politicians' names are mud. State and large city governments also can't run without taxes; there's no TV or newspapers (intermittent power and no more newsprint); no cars or planes operating because no gasoline. A few independent radio stations can be heard in some local areas; they have their own means of generating power a few hours a day. Ham radio is the principal means of long-distance communication. There's no immediate need for a national defense; other countries are just as bad off as we are, or worse. But rumor has it that an invasion is coming sometime--either from the south through Mexico, or from across the ocean, or wherever. Here's the question: what do you urge those around you to do? a) Let's stick with the Constitution, and hold elections as scheduled in November. It's the best system we've got. (Do you start collecting taxes again? Which ones, and how?) b) We need to call a new Constitutional convention. The old document still has lots of good stuff, but after 200 years we know a few things, and can improve on it. Let the convention address all the problems, and propose a new solution, just as they did in Philadelphia in 1789. (Who attends? Are all former elected officials, their appointees, and their lobbyists automatically disqualified?) c) Forget national government! Stick with organizing local governments that work. Then, once we have those up and running, we can talk about maybe some regional conventions (are the old state borders meaningless?), and only many years later should we even consider a national convention, and only if a majority (2/3? 3/4?) want it. Organize and combine local militias to deal with defense as necessary (a la 1776? 1861? How do you equip and pay them, or are they volunteer?) d) Forget all government! Let everyone take care of their own families and friends, and let the local free market determine how local needs are satisfied. (What do you do about preparing for defense? Let the people in the south--or the west or east coast, as the case may be--worry about it?) e) Or? (Make your own assumptions, and propose your own alternative(s) . . .)

-- Ben Franklin (bnjfranklin@usa.net), October 10, 1999


Oh come on now, we didn't build all those shiny hydrogen bombs for nothing you know. If anything is going to work in the USA then you can bet the farm that it'll be them. If there is ever a chance of the United States getting invaded then it's just a matter of time before we all wake up in a mushroom cloud. Remember, In for a penny in for a pound.

-- (x.@@.x), October 10, 1999.

Ben, the answer to your question might be provided by renting 'The Postman". Although this movie was not a big success it provides a look at what might come to pass should our government become inoperable.

-- Truth (at@the.ready), October 10, 1999.

Ben Franklin,

The following are posted for your consideration:

Economic Government Group

Specifically check out A HREF="http://www.economic.net/grid/index.html">The Grid at EGG's site.

Also check out the Free Nation Foundation

We believe it is time for a new experiment - I hope you, and others, will consider joining us.


-- Mr. X (misterx@xxx.xxx), October 10, 1999.

The Grid

-- Mr. X (misterx@xxx.xxx), October 10, 1999.

Why in the world would someone want to invade this madhouse?

-- no talking please (breadlines@soupkitchen.gov), October 10, 1999.

Why would anyone want to invade ...: Lots of land and resources, and lots of cattle, both human and bovine, to work or eat.

-- A (A@AisA.com), October 10, 1999.

I don't think there is any doubt that we are BOUND to continue using the Constitution and the other documents. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. This form of government worked well enough pre-electricity/pre-computer.

-- ..- (dit@dot.dash), October 10, 1999.

I appreciate the references to "The Postman", and to the Free Nation Foundation and Economic Government websites. The latter contain a great deal of theoretical discussions of how people could be rationally persuaded to replace the institutions of representative government mostly with private-sector, market-driven firms and operations.

However, under the assumptions listed, there will not *be* much of a private sector functioning, at least on more than a neighborhood level. Will there be firms surviving Y2K who could hire, train and equip private security guards to defend the border? I doubt it, but even if there were, how would the mechanisms be put back into place to collect taxes with which to pay them?


That was the real nature of this thread. It seems inevitable that if GAWKI fails, we will find ourselves in a condition much like it was in the Colonies before the Articles of Confederation were adopted: lots of scattered local governments exercising local authority, imposing their own barriers and obstacles to free commerce; churches and religious communities having a large influence on social behavior (in some areas, at least); and generally a free-for-all in unregulated commercial matters. (That's not to disapprove of such a state of affairs, but only to ask: if we go back there again, can we prevent the eventual emergence of what Mark Twain called "the finest government money can buy"? How?)

If there were a new Constitutional convention, the people coming to it would inevitably be of a far different education and temperament than they were in 1789. Some would espouse libertarian doctrine, and augment the old anti-federalist argument against a strong national government with proposals to have many governmental functions carried out by the private sector. Others would be insisting that the 1789 Constitution remain largely unchanged. Still others would be pushing a liberal agenda, with cradle-to-grave security for all. The purpose of putting the hypothetical (and providing a little juice in the nature of a hypothetical impending invasion) was to see just how far apart we all are in agreeing on what it would take to keep what portions (or all?) of this country together, what core values are still important, and how they could be implemented in a world that required a major rebuild from near scratch.

-- Ben Franklin (bnjfranklin@usa.net), October 10, 1999.

Sorry--the Constitutional Convention came together in Philadelphia in 1787, not 1789. (The Constitution was proposed to the States that same year, and was ratified by the required minimum by September 1789. My old namesake would not be proud of me for getting his date wrong.

-- Ben Franklin (bnjfranklin@usa.net), October 10, 1999.

The collapse of government isn't going to be just in our country and isn't going to happen as soon as the ball drops.Compounded systamatic failures will lead to to world chaos.The poeple of the world will be begging for someone to take control and help them in their time of crises.A leader will emerge that will astound the population with his wisdom and charisma.Each man will be assigned a worth based on his value to society.The assigned worth will be recorded on his person and transactions will be conducted on a cashless (including gold and silver)basis.Without the standard form of identification,purchases and debits will be impossible.Fiat money,gold and silver will be worthless as they will not be accepted as a form of value or worth and can not be exchanged for neccessities or wants.Y2K is only the tip of the iceberg."A bag of gold will buy a piece of bread".

-- Because (God_said_it@nd_I_believe_it.com), October 10, 1999.

Did you know that the system of asigning monetary value to a man's worth to society is a very old Saxon/Viking concept? Under that system, crime was "evaluated" by asigning monetary "damages" due to the victim (or surviving clansmen) according to the particular crime (injury to mind, body or physical freedom,) and the victim's station in society. If you're looking at some Biblical prophesy, we've already been there.

-- marsh (armstrng@sisqtel.net), October 11, 1999.

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