Plato's "Republic" is a platonic ideal of a platonic society exclusively designed for (inextant) platonic citizens. Marxist Communism and innumerable utopian movements in the modern era have all relied on an epiphanical modification of both motive and behavior which has proven difficult to implement. These attempts have certainly been inspired by the numerous examples of goodwill and sincere altruism. These fragile qualities cannot be relied upon exclusively to drive civilization. Some humans lack altruism altogether. Most humans have it but lack the discipline to overcome their selfish motives. Society cannot rely on altruism for its survival. Rather, altruism must rely on society for its survival.
Altruism spent on tasks which could be fulfilled within a market-driven framework is altruism wasted.
Modern antitrust practices rely on corporations to police their own growth in the interests of the society. Modern welfare institutions rely on welfare recipients to relinquish their benefits out of some altruistic compulsion when they no longer must rely on them. Modern corporations are expected to provide a living wage, safe conditions, and job security to their employees even when the market pressures them to do otherwise. All of this is an inexcusable waste of altruism which could be more efficiently and consistently remedied with a contract-driven framework of incentives, rewards, and penalties.
The Wikitopian ParadigmEdit
The progress of humanity has been driven exclusively by the rational observation of the material world and the steady expansion of trade networks. The retardation of human progress has been exclusively the fault of the enslavement of the human body and mind to the centralized institutions of church and state.
No sooner did one man trust another with his protection and representation than did the latter subjugate the former. No sooner did one man trust another with his belief system than did the latter subjugate the former. The church and state, from medicine men and warlords through priests and presidents, have been institutions of viral self-replication.
Absolute physical and mental subjugation of man to a centralized institution of self-replication is absolute despotism. Men free to interact with one another in an open forum will naturally develop a trade market and a system of protecting themselves from fraud, theft, and coercion. Men free to share their rational observations with one another in an open forum will naturally develop a body of knowledge and an agreed-upon system of testing this body of knowledge.
Wikitopian Historical ProgressionEdit
The American Revolution is perhaps the most clear example of progress within the Wikitopian Paradigm. Rather than being abolished, the new state was extensively modified, effectively hybridized with the Wikitopian Paradigm. The enfranchisement of the citizens, however limited and circuitous, domesticated the institution. The separation of church and state neutered the institution. Similar developments in England, inspired by the success of the American model, resulted in the conception of the Anglo-American domination of virtually every aspect of human progress which continues through the present.
The two World Wars of the 20th Century exemplified the disinterest of free societies to shed blood, the viral nature of despotic government, and the indomitable combination of the market and the scientific body of knowledge. Equally important are America's failures through the 20th century. America's bureaucratic law enforcement and military have been defeated repeatedly by decentralized "guerilla" enemies. The Vietnam War, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terrorism have all succeeded by decentralizing, hybridizing with the Wikitopian Paradigm not deliberately, but out of necessity.
The collective will of the people, the community's ability to free and rational self-determination, has failed to progress beyond the hybrid form of the democratic republic. The unfortunate result is that the collective will of the people has become less able to defend itself against the progressive dangers of centrally-controlled science (military weaponry) and distributed threats (environmental pollution, Al Qaeda, and spam).
If the necessary reforms don't occur, then society's fate will be sealed by the gradual accumulation of military technology, environmental pollution, and mind viruses which utilize decentralized methods of subjugation and terror. However domesticated, docile, and well-intentioned modern government institutions may be, they are inadequate and inefficient. The number of democratic republics rose from virtually none a century ago to ubiquity, peacefully. The spread of direct democracy will be more rapid and more peaceful.