But the First Amendment limits the symbolic powers of the state, and in Aretopia I am willing to compromise on that—if we get good government in exchange. Mary was so neat that she really showed me up. Therefore, nearly everyone would do the responsible thing and vote Boring. A monetary cost would be discriminatory and wrong. These are questions our current systems of government were not designed to address, however.
The Court decides values issues, like whether recycling is virtuous, whether immigrants are good or bad people, whether smoking marijuana is degenerate, and. I, for one, do not want people for whom this is the most important issue to have much of a say on electrical grid policy. In elections, many voters choose based on what candidates wear, what they look like, their sex lives, and the outrageous, clueless, and narcissistic things they say. The term can often imply revelation of something better left concealed: Your comment exposes your insensitivity. The Boring voters have, on average, more realistic opinions about boring stuff, so everyone gets better policies. One cannot help suspecting that controversies are engineered deliberately to distract voters from the most important but boring policy issues.
No one knows for sure if you have a 73 status because you recycle dutifully and go to church every week and eat a balanced diet, or because you just bought your status. Here in thought-experiment land, we can fix that! The Court is not a legal tribunal, with cases and lawyers. Not because it is The One Cosmically True Political System. To make you want to vote Values, we need to increase the cost of voting Boring. Many have fought for a concert hall to benefit nostalgic Europhiles oblivious to the boringness of classical music.
Thanks to Joshua Brulé for pointing me at these. It is structured much the same way as the best current governments, but with all the ritual and symbolic aspects stripped out. The people who vote for Values candidates get all the colorful drama and excitement and status-signaling opportunities they want from politics-as-sportsball. A branch of the Court of Virtuous Values, overseen by the annually-elected Lord High Censor, bans one word every month. Scrabble value of B 3 O 1 R 1 I 1 N 1 G 2 N 1 E 1 S 1 S 1 The value of this 10-letter word is 13 points, but it's not an accepted word in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. After that, it has to be re-banned, or else it becomes legal again.
But the more money the Status auction brings in, the lower the tax rate the Boring Bureau could set. That is one reason I made the current post deliberately ridiculous. In Aretopia, those groups often vote Boring, whereas women, the poor, and racial minorities tend to vote Values. Rich people would, of course, all have high National Status. Better educated or better values or better something—but this does not seem very realistic. Political conflict, for many, of meaning, tribal belonging, and personal identity, art, ethics, religion, and psychology. Our governments were designed to deal with highway maintenance.
Consider an annual Status auction. The formula started to get quite complicated. He put up a good show in the chess competition. Some may have two heads and three arms, or fluorescent yellow hair and bright orange skin. It may still be useful for provoking the question: could something else achieve the same goals? During the festivities, everyone must wear the National Dress.
Making democracy safe for the world Although in 2016 it is not working quite as well as we might wish, I believe in democracy. So in year two, they knocked points off for people who smoke. At the same time, because I understand racing - its unpredictability, its mystery, its occasional boringness, its absolute dependence upon history and myth, without which the Derby is just a dozen or so horses running downhill and round a bend - I also know that people won't fall in love with it just because it is offered to them on a plate. The racial majority is sick of the Status preference for minorities. What would make you vote Values? The Values Court decides annually how to award Status.
You are taking it too seriously. His clothes are too showy for my liking. It faces both moral and practical objections. I am unusual in having no particular take on this. If almost everyone voted Values almost all the time, the Bureau would be captured by cranks and trolls. The National Status auction Progressives might want to give a National Status boost to poor people. Most sophisticated people loathe National Togetherness Day, and go on long, cynical, boring rants about how it should be called National Tribal Hatred Day, and why making it mandatory was an outrage.
But there has to be something you give up if you vote Boring—or, equivalently, something else at stake in the Court. Mostly, all it can do is officially pronounce its official opinion. This light shows up the places where I've mended this coat. The question is, how can we restore informed democratic control over pragmatic policy, without restricting suffrage or expecting miraculous improvements in the quality of the electorate? The state or condition of being boring. Perhaps even a small pastry.
Employment law is Boring Bureaucracy, and job interviews are the one time you are not allowed to wear your National Status Symbol. How about young black males? The Aretopian scheme increases democratic influence on the Vogons relative to the status quo. It winds up full of outrageous charismatic buffoons. I have a modest proposal. This is one of many reasons government policies generally reflect their agendas.