Oligarchical-Libertarian-Surveillance States

If you look at all the possible futures of humanity, I think many of the futures with civilizations still existing are going to be oligarchical-libertarian-surveillance states. This is a blend of intelligent leadership, maximal freedom (within limits), and maximum security (in order to reduce extinction risks from omnicidal agents).

  • Oligarchical: rule by the elites. By elites, I mean intellectual elites. Perhaps the optimal way to elect leaders intelligent enough to lead humanity through the threats of the 22nd century is by having random PhD’s vote for whoever they think is best. This is necessary because, unfortunately, the average voter in our current democracies has shown that they do not adequately perceive the greatest problems that humanity faces. For example, Trump was clearly more of an existential threat than any other candidate and he got elected.
  • Libertarian: maximize individual liberty. Free, relatively unregulated markets capitalize on the intelligence of the population to help maximally satisfy each others’ preferences. Liberty is a recipe for economic growth and well-being in the population.
  • Surveillance states. We might eventually need AI-enabled cameras all around the world in order to detect any civilization-threatening actions from omnicidal agents. These AI cameras don’t have to enforce every rule and even be involved in low and medium level crimes. They just need to alert authorities if anyone is trying to build a super-pathogen with CRISPER or build a next-generation nuke in their basement. According to Nick Bostrom’s Vulnerable World Hypothesis, there is some level of technological development where all civilizations are destroyed once they reach it unless they have exited the “semi-anarchic default condition”. If we don’t adopt a surveillance state and just try to maximize liberty, we’ll probably continue to have great economic growth until we become extinct at some point once a dangerous enough technology is invented.

I don’t think this is necessarily the only plausible form of future governance. However, I don’t think things are on track to work out long term under our current system, and I think that this is a more viable system.

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