An Introduction to General Federalism
I have been asked by many to provide a synopsis of what General Federalism means, or to explain how it works and what it is all about. General Federalism is a set of means and methods for the management of society at large. Said another way, General Federalism is a set of means and methods for the operation of the social contract. Those means and methods are modeled on the scientific method as modified to application in law and economics. General Federalism is not itself a discipline or science but rather deals with facts of Law and Economics and does not concern itself with anything else.
It is not an ideology as it does not take a position on policy, or what kinds of law, equity or norms should exist. It merely outlines a means and methods for managing society with an emphasis on dramatically improving three key areas of essentially universal failure in all States in human history:
1.) The genuine and full establishment of Individual rights; aka, human rights for everyone, everywhere at all times. A subset of all its means and methods are means and methods for defining what those Individual rights are so that this can be done in a repeatable, consistent, predictable and just manner. Thus, the idea is not to create a never-ending list of Individual rights but rather, to devise a means and methods that will identify and define an Individual right even when it was not recognized at the time a nation or State was founded. And those means and methods, and all the others of General Federalism, are fixed as Constitutional instruments.
2.) Durability, or what is more commonly just referred to as stability of the government and society. Neo-liberal western democracies, on average, don’t last more than 50 years. And there is growing evidence that the United States with what was perhaps the best formed neo-liberal framework, will not last much longer either. Something for which confidence in its durability can be reasonably anticipated; and based on circumstances, to the degree possible, repeatable; all based on something more concrete and stable than anything tried before, are the means and methods sought. Part of durability involves proscribing the use of ignorance and superstition in the process of governance itself, but not in wider society.
3.) Real, meaningful economic justice coupled with rapid economic progress seems to be a real case of rocket science for ideologues over the centuries. They have failed miserably to address this problem. It is easy enough to make an economy “fair” or just. And it is easy enough to make one scream in terms of pure performance (total wealth generation without regard to the titled). What is challenging, and what General Federalism provides, is the means and methods to join these two seemingly irreconcilable goals.
In order to achieve these things, it is acknowledged that such a system would have to be global. In other words, one cannot fully address all three items unless a General Federation is established with unlimited jurisdiction. But that doesn’t mean that a considerable improvement in the three above items is not possible for a single nation under General Federation. For these reasons, and because the three issues are so pressing, General Federalists may be inclined to be very forceful and adamant about regime change and global expansion. In such cases it is difficult to say whether the individual harboring such a belief has become ideological or not. Because of this ambiguity it tends to be frowned upon and discouraged.
It is important to understand that most General Federalists you talk to will tell you that ideology is merely a religion with a poverty of the superstitious and most are atheists. But because General Federalism does not espouse ideological views, this is not an “official” principle, means or method of General Federalism itself. It is for most something that follows easily from the means and methods of General Federalism. It is important to note that because General Federalism seeks a general solution for any culture, place or time and because it seeks a solution that approximates the scientific method as closely as possible, The Rule of Law is very central to it. So, most who are familiar with that term may be a bit surprised to see how far this concept is taken in General Federalism; or, stated more accurately, how far the United States currently is from exercising genuine rule of law.
Most General Federalists would therefore argue that the public awareness of the mere fact that ideology is a religion with a poverty of superstition is a key step in the enlightenment of humanity that we have yet to reach; but one that is necessary for any real social progress. And once realized it leads to a rapid attrition in the ranks of the political class who benefit from this confidence trick.
In this sense, most General Federalists see religion as being characteristically ignorant and superstitious. The very same view is held of ideology, but in that case it is viewed as a state of designed ignorance of fact due to a combination of confirmation bias and Type I and Type II errors.
Being an ‘ism’ General Federalism could be called an ideology, and most General Federalists wouldn’t worry about someone insisting on that if that was the only basis of their claim. The point is that the focus of General Federalism is not political. It does not advocate laws under existing systems, policy or social norms or standards. The point is that General Federalism started with a very deliberate and focused effort to remedy the defects in law and economics humanity has faced for over 1000 years using a means and methods that resembles the means and methods of the scientific method as closely as possible. Thus, we can now restate the definition of General Federalism thusly:
General Federalism is a set of means and methods devised with a prejudice for similarity to the means and methods of the scientific method for the execution of the social contract.
One might think then that General Federalism could be likened to something like Socialism. But again, this would be erroneous because it does not espouse any particular theory or conclusion. Its about the process, not the result. In that sense, it espouses nothing more than science itself espouses something.
So, what do those means and methods look like? They are evolving as we discuss and refine them. But essentially, a General Federalist government is similar to a Hamiltonian Federalist system in its hallmark qualities; separation of powers, equal-partition of powers between government and Individuals, if for the one State then for all, limited State sovereignty, etc. This basic foundation was chosen but highly accessorized and modified based on a careful analysis of statistics involving human rights, the failure of “democracies” based on their type of governance and the requirement that the system be effective in and for any culture or cultures.
Most General Federalists would not affiliate with a political party as explained already. But those drawn to General Federalism come from several backgrounds in roughly equal proportions; Roman Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, atheists, progressives, ultra-left, center, right, far right, libertarian and others. This may seem odd to some as regards the politics but like with religion, once one realizes the truth behind the curtain the ideology doesn’t matter any more. And that is what we’ve seen. Having said that, there is a minority of General Federalists I am aware of that are both religious and ideological. It is simply a private matter that General Federalism itself doesn’t care about.
So, in tangible terms what is different is that the political class is much smaller and serves more like a judge giving jury instructions than a government. Statute is written by citizens who participate in the same way juries do in trials. The political class provides the legal assistance and guidance for this process. This makes General Federalism a means and methods reliant upon a small political class and a direct democratic action; that is, direct control by the general population with the kind of guidance and framework necessary to make that practicable. Making such a system practicable was one of the greatest challenges faced and its solution is worth a read.
It also places all ore and energy of valuable consideration in a Public Trust from which it cannot be re-titled; that is, and speaking strictly legally, all citizens have an equal title to the Public Trust. A branch of the government (like the Senate in the United States for example) acts as its Fiduciary. Its powers are checked in the same manner as is expected in a Federalist system. It allows the Fiduciary to influence the overall direction of the economy, to extend The Rule of Law uniformly through employment and to manage natural resources; but its powers to directly influence economic production end with the first valuable consideration of ore and energy. It is an open market, free economic system that utilizes a mathematically more sound, less corruptible and more just form of banking called zero-zero banking.
This scheme is original and thick in law and economics, so it is not an easy read at first. Summaries of how this system works are needed and I’ll try to add them soon. In the meantime, the best summaries are still quite long, but here are two you can find at the top of this page:
Memorandum 26 is here:
And the CFR article on the Memorandum can be found here.
There are other articles on the site as well pertaining to the idea of “public trusts”.
General Federalism is an ongoing project, and is in effect a Request for Comments. All are invited to join the discussion.