U T O P I A
Principle 0.0) This Utopia is based on a full abolition of the 'might is right' abusive normativity.
Principle 0.1) Anybody who is tolerant of all other tolerant peoples can be part of this Utopia.
Principle 0.2) Everybody has the right to self-determine. As regards whatever characteristics, including in which order one prioritizes one's characteristics. There is zero role for any 'gatekeeper profession' to do things like 'legally or medically gender people'.
Note 0.1) Concerning self-determination, for instance, a person can identify as primarily a Geek and secondarily as Gay. Or primarily as a Goth and secondarily as Trans*. This is a significant pillar once we get on to 'legally protected' and 'freedom to find a counsellor trained in what one views as one's own needs.
Note 0.2) Nobody can be obliged to serve in the military or in any profession, institution or activity that they view as abusive.
Note 0.3) Refusing to 'play games' like politics or rhetoric does not leave one open here to being easily attackable by those who don't refrain from such things.
Note 0.4) Political decisions only affect the part of the population that consents to being affected by them. Rhetoric only applies to consensual participants in that rhetoric. This means that politics or rhetoric cannot be used to marginalize anybody, including in particular Conscientious Objectors to politics and/or to rhetoric.
Note 0.5) Ad hominem attacks are forbidden by law. Bullying, stalking, wrecking, and finding unrelated reasons to countersue are forbidden by law as well. This system of law is based on understanding how each of these operate. So as to properly and comprehensively serve to detect and confront any such perpetrators. Ensure they can never contact again anyone who states no-contact with a such. And deter their re-offending against others.
Part I Home and Work
Principle 1.1) Having a home building is a right, as is relocating to other parts of the state within six months of filing notice.
Principle 1.2) Universal Basic Income (UBI) in slight excess of the Living Wage is a right.
Principle 1.3) There is a Salary Cap: nobody can earn more than 10 times the UBI.
Note 1.3.1) All jobs pay between a slight excess on the UBI and 10 times the UBI. So if one wants or needs more than the UBI, they apply for a job. Those who are fine with the UBI, however, are left to their own devices.
Note 1.3.2) This model on the one hand maintains capitalistic drive: working always gets one more than not working. While on the other hand limiting wealth ratios so that there are no plutocrats.
Note 1.3.3) One cannot sell, or elsewise lose, one's UBI house. This model clearly solves homelessness. In the event of having an income supporting a larger house, one can move out of an UBI house
Note 1.3.4) It also protects vocationalism: a hitherto mildly successful artist, say, can choose to be an artist on UBI. This removes problems like homelessess being caused by vocationalism. Or by ethical antivocationalism (e.g. refusing work for insufficiently green companies, refusing to work for a boss, etc...) Neither of these now leaves one with insufficient options to have no living; the minimum it may leave one with is UBI.
Note 1.3.5) Students are to have UBI accommodation at their university of choice by Right of Relocation. University education is free. So nothing stops people from being students for any degree-length periods of their life, o r longer ones part-time, and/or majoring in multiple subjects. The only barriers to each citizen having a PhD are whether they can produce sufficiently innovative and rigorous research on the one hand. And whether they're willing to remain on (slightly more than) UBI for the duration of a PhD (4 years full time, or longer part-time) on the other hand. Students being on UBI means that 'being cut off by one's parents' is no longer a 'life or death threat' or a 'cause of homelessness'. Which can be the case in the current world for numerous young people coming out as LGBT*, or as Survivors of childhood domestic violence.
Note 1.3.6) UBI is obtained without having to do any bureaucracy, so abureacratic people are not left without UBI. (Quite a few Homeless People are homeless because they are Conscientious Objectors to bureaucracy.) UBI is automatically accorded; getting a job automatically cancels UBI, or part-cancels it for part-time work. Leaving a job automatically starts UBI, unless one already has a new job. Getting this to work with minimum effort on part of employers and the society, and no effort at all on part of the recipient citizens, is to be an example of good practical use of modern computer power.
Note 1.3.7) UBI is to be a minimum standard of pension for retired folk. This means, straight away, that UBI abolishes minimum age of retirement. At any point in one's life, a person is free to go into retirement. They may on occasion return to the workplace. This permits, for instance, long term recovery from serious conditions. This includes recovery from the effects of domestic violence and workplace bullying (+ this is an additive list +).
Note 1.3.8) Because leaving a job does not leave one without income, co-workers or bosses cannot rely on fear of this to cause a mistreated employee to remain silent. In other words, UBI disempowers workplace bullies, by taking away their 'power over life and death'. Leaving a job can, at worst, lessen one's income from 10 UBI to the one UBI.
Note 1.3.9) Principle 1's Right of Relocation permits changing jobs, as well as moving away from cities where one is being mistreated or threatened.
Anybody citing domestic violence, organized crime, or workplace bullying (list open to additions) seeping into their residential life is entitled to spend the up to 6 months period before relocation at a third address, basically a safehouse refuge.
Each geographical area is to maintain a minimum surplus of UBI housing. This covers both relocation and having enough safehouses.
Note 1.3.10) This Utopia cannot cover more than a certain percentage of the world. This is to ensure that individuals who won't curb abusive actions have somewhere else they can live. It is possible to live in another land with UBI but with less guarantees of abusive action. By which removal from the utopia does not compromise the remaining rights of those who aren't tolerant of other people, the difference being the extent to which Principles 0.0 and 0.1 hold.
Note 1.3.11) Automation, computers, AI... mean that a society's productive number of jobs supported is often smaller than its work-eligible non-retired adult populace. This is not a life or death problem if there is UBI. It is also permissive of early retirement, and of spending a larger proportion of one's life doing university courses. Doing university courses can be set up to include a fairly large fraction of longer-term, indirectly, or potentially productive output. It certainly has a parallel in doing multiple training apprenticeships in non-academic matters. By this, some citizens master multiple of those rather than holding multiple degrees. Both vocationally and academically, one benefit is a far more genuine scope for cross-fertilizing and interdisciplinarity.
Note 1.3.11) Both socially and materially valuable jobs are accorded higher pay. It is no longer possible, for instance, for a footballer or CEO to be paid many times the amount that a prime minister or life-saving specialist doctor is paid. The top end of evey profession that is one or both of materially and socially valuable is guaranteed to paid the full 10 UBI. Nothing stops companies or sports clubs from offering their top end 10 UBI as well. This may somewhat rebalance the local populace's aspirations; being relatively rich is no longer disjoint from having a publically helpful job. Being at the top end of many different careers is likely to be similarly financially rewarding, so one can choose on other grounds, such as what one is best at, or what one wants to do with one's life. One outcome of this is more job satisfaction.
A reasonable starting ratio is that doing grad school would amount to earning 2 UBI and doing research past PhD level earns 3 UBI. Technical expertise that takes a similar amount of time to acrue is equivalent in pay. Most jobs in careers with progression would expect 1 or 2 UBI salary increases per decade if the person does progress. This is scaled so that one goes from slightly above 1 UBI for a school-leaver through to 10 UBI by retirement age in the event of having merited promotion at every turn. A society with somewhat more education or training as a knock-on effect of automation, computing and AI advances can probably manage to increase minimum standards in education. For instance lowering class sizes, and ensuring that secondary school teachers have at least Master's level education. It could also guarantee that both university instructors and vocational trainers have a much higher level of expertise than those they teach (in the ballpark of 6 to 12 years more experience minimum). So e.g. graduate students would no longer teach undergraduates here, though they might serve as part-time secondary school teaching trainees instead.
Note 1.3.12) The Utopia will be needing to provide cutting-edge innovation in programming, AI, and medicine, as well as internal redesigning of politics, administration, law, counselling etc. Creating conditions under which people aren't particularly financially punished for having multiple degrees, thinking interdisciplinarily and so on, are likely to lead to these needs being sustained. One can argue that this model allows additionally for widespread insights through permitting talented theoreticians to flourish, in a similar manner to some subset of the city-states of Ancient Greece.
Part II. Temporary Volunteer-to-Serve substitute for career politics (and career bureaucracy, etc.)
Principle 2.1) In fact, in an 'any might is wrong' Utopia, there is no role whatsoever for any professions to have any kind of gatekeeper attributes.
Principle 2.2) To Serve Some things that in our world are 'professions', such as 'politician' are here replaced by volunteers to serve who have had, say, 20 years of work experience in a non-administrative professsion. Then take an oath of consent to being removed from office if they malpractise, and cannot serve for more than 5 years total in public office.
Note 2.2.1) These people represent their constituents, all their constituents and nobody but their constituents. This is achieved by abolishing political parties, bribes, 'trading favours' or 'threatening other volunteers to serve'. It is a stronger form of No Conflict of Interest than our current world possesses.
This is to get rid of the Action-Agent problem.
Note 2.2.2) Head of department being a temporary service in academia is a small-scale model for 'taking time out to administrate'.
Principle 2.3) Citizens are free to represent themselves for those tasks that aren't of potential sensitivity or danger of infringement toward other citizens. A working point of view for this is that this says 'people's republic' as opposed to 'elected classes' and that it amounts to 'any citizen can be a socrep'.
Principle 2.4) In Utopia, banks are strictly savings banks. Investment banking is outlawed, as is usuary. Genuine needs for usuary don't exist, e.g. a proportion of income can only be spent on essential foods. A proportion of UBI can only be spent on childrens' needs and comforts. It is not possible to leave oneself or one's children with insufficient food or clothing by having an addiction (whether of a substance, or of gambling, or of some luxury). This resembles laws preventing more than X percent of one's income being used for mortgages.
Principle 2.5) Bureaucratic complexity is wasteful and to be avoided. This stops some people being shut out by bureaucratic complexity. It is done hand in hand with bureaucratic and administration jobs being done for 5 years max by people with already 20 years of work experience elsewhere. Aside from doing bureaucracy, these people are to balance out necessary changes in bureaucracy by figuring out how to keep each kind of bureaucracy simple and transparent.
Principle 2.6) Utopia's Press is essentially to be the opposite of reality TV, i.e. not prying into people's lives. On the one hand, this Utopia does not condone ad hominem attacks. On the other hand, since volunteers for political and administration are only around for 5 years, their private lives and individual characters are irrelevant. Evidence of malfeasance can be given, impersonally, and leads to dismissal from office if a court of law says so. This means there is no longer room for 'scandal' about people in office, and 'no need' for public unrest to depose any of them. Consequently, the large majority of people are not put off public office for reasons of past history or 'not being thick skinned enough'. So needing to change those in public office evey 5 years does not hit upon a shortage of post holders.
Principle 2.7) Articles in no way have to be about the personal experiences of the writer or interviewee. Nor may members of the press twist articles into being such. This allows for Closeted people to participate in suitably anonymized interviews about matters that they are OK with which are not then twisted or laden with identificatory or outing information. Interviewees always see and consent to such articles prior to their publication; press dealing with them aren't allowed to pressure people into accepting articles, or in shrugging off requirements to omit information or reshape articles.
Note 2.7.1) One would not expect that high a proportion of press articles to be of this kind, maybe around the size of the 'opinion section' in familiar press.
Principle 2.8) Anonymous articles are actually anonymous in Utopia.
Note 2.7.2) This is as opposed to familiar student press having some editor know a name to associate with each anonymous article. The pretext for this is 'plagiarism', but the reality is having somebody to pass the buck to if the article were to 'cause someone to sue'. This is one of the main reasons why the many hundreds of Avoidant Survivors and Closet-Trans* people at each university don't - indeed can't, out of not being safe enough with it - write `anonymous' pieces in the student press about how such as they are badly left out, unnecessarily mistreated, have great plights the public is not aware of etc.
Principle 2.9) Utopia strives to be self-sufficient in terms of both resources and defense. Utopia is anti-monopolistic, thus not seeking global monopolies on any resources or products. For these matters to function, Utopia is anticipated to be quite large as a proportion of populace and of geographical area. We are talking on the scale of population and landmass in the ballpark of North America, Western Europe, Russia or China. If this were not the case, Utopia could be cut off by trade embargos or invaded militatily.
Note 2.9.1) This creates an imbalance with the known scale of success of Ancient Greek states. This imbalance is of roughly four orders of magnitude. This is to be resolved by factorization. I.e. the populace is a city-state population number of city-state populations, such as 15000 units of 15000 people. This factorization minimizes the number of levels in the system, removing bureaucracy and careerism.
Note 2.9.2) For some purposes, this means around as many members of parliament as in the entirety of Western Europe. Governing experience suggests retaining order 30 regional parliaments of order 500 representatives each, with some inter-circulation for whole-Utopia decision-making. It is safisfying to see that, at least on average, Western Europe retains the city-state population size as the ratio of people to MPs. Population increases have, in some other parts of the world, over-diluted this ratio. By this, only a tiny proportion of people know, or can plausibly meet up with, their MP.
Part III: Utopia's Laws
Citizens may on occasion have disagreements, or feel, or indeed be, prejudiced by the actions of other citizens.
Principle 3.1) Law is to be based on cooperation to establish a freely agreed-upon shared truth. This is as opposed to being a 'competition' about 'winning' cases.
Principle 3.2) Lawyers are always to be state-provided, state-funded and of very closely matched 'strength'. This is as opposed to advantaging oneself in quarrels by having 'more wealth'.
Note 3.1) One thus cannot profit from wealth to obtain better lawyers. Nor connections, nor affiliations.
Note 3.2) Appeals cover unfair outcomes. Citizens can however no longer respond to disputed fines or convictions by making sure to outspend their opponents in appeals court retrial lawyers.
Principle 3.3) There is not necessarily a `party to blame'. Multiple parties can be at fault, and no parties may be at fault.
Principle 3.4) There is no place for aggressive cross-examination. In particular, exploiting weaknesses in opposing counsel, accused, accuser, witnesses... are prohibited. For these might amount to attacks on Closeted versions of protected characteristics.
Witnesses etc reveal what they are comfortable to reveal. They can be logically questioned but not threatened into revealing things or pressured into slipping up as regards not staying within what they are comfortable with revealing. Any information obtained in this manner is inadmissible in parallel to information obtained under torture in some current-world courts. Witnesses can exgige that nobody hears their responses until they have edited them with any other information that has been mislaid being fully destroyed.
The idea then is that a witness asking for protection in this manner answers cross-examining in a separate room with nobody to hear. They can stop the flow of incoming cross-examination to alleviate any perceived pressure. Cross-examining can take longer here, since answers may take ten minutes to appear. There may be a need for confidential security experts advising people being cross-examined who wish for such, to point out unintended security flaws in responses. Cases will no longer rest on which side can pressure a mistake out of a witness. It will rather be based on the net sum of what all summoned persons are willing to disclose.
Principle 3.5) The Closeted can only be accommodated by a justice system that scraps double jeopardy.
Whenever a key member of a case is willing to Come Out, if this substantially changes the nature of the case, then the case can be retried. This would not be expected to happen often. It might e.g. cover cases in which the accuser is blackmailing the accused with Outing threats to refrain from revealing things that would likely cause the case to go the other way. It might also cover cases in which the answer to key questions is such as 'because in the previous trial, I couldn't say that as it would Out me as Trans*, or as having some major mental health issue. For sure, attempting to discredit accused, accuser, witnesses... on grounds such as mental health would not occur in Utopia's justice system. Such would, rather, constitute hate crimes of ableism, closetophobia, and so on.
So double jeopardy is to be replaced by multiple jeopardy, with multiplicity one more than the number of voluntary changes in Outness of sufficient relevance to the case.
Principle 3.6) Witnesses do not need to convince anybody that they need the witness protection program.
Witnesses have the right to not feature in a trial if WPP would be necessary yet personal circumstances prevent uprooting one's life.
This includes in the case of distinctive world-stage performers, whose further work under another name would immediately be spotted as being them resurfacing.
This includes the case also of the person being highly dependent on a support group.
This includes when uprooting would need to be on a larger scale than immediate family family, covering e.g. communes and Poly clans.
Utopia fully understands whatever non-normative elements a potential witness states to be important as being important, without 'having to convince' anybody.
Principle 3.7) Trial by Jury can be a type of normative imposition. Meaning that people with legal-but-unconventional sex lives or social lives may not get fair trials. This is due to being outside of what much of the public, and thus jurors drawn from the public, understand, agree with, empathize with, or think from, or within, the perspective of. Of course, once Utopia is attained, both normativity implicitly having some kind of monopoly and people rejecting alternatives to it out of hand (regardless of whether they ascribe to any such) will remove at least part of this obstacle. By which, it could be thought of as a transient obstacle: until Utopia is attained, at least, there is a normativity issue with trial by jury.
A temporary measure for dealing with this would be to screen prospective jury, both for bigotry and for non-deliberate lacks of awareness. To better guarantee that jury will not side with the 'more normative side' in a legal dispute, or display bigotry or lack of awareness. Not only as regards its effect on outcome, but also to increase minority confidence in the fairness and dignity afforded during legal proceedings.
Principle 3.8) Precedent is a type of normative imposition. In Utopia this ceases being central to the law. This ends pressure to replicate odd verdicts. It ends abusive arguments that 'if we allow one, we'd have to allow all' by which cases of particular merit can be admitted without consequence for cases without such merit. It also cuts down on one way that 'better lawyers win', or of 'lawyers with more paralegals or better AI or better proficiency with AI winning on that basis. This also ends precedents cited today resting on others from 50 years back, then 100 years, then 200 years... by which they were made in such contexts as DV being legal, workhouses being legal, slavery being legal etc. While precedent may play a part within Utopia's laws, this argument means that precedent dating back to before Utopia had such a legal system would not be valid. Precedent might also have an expiry date placed on it. Therebywhich changes in Utopia's laws and governance would at least eventually naturally phase out precedents ingraining normativities from prior to those changes.
Part IV: Utopia's Families
Principle 4.1) If two people with UBI houses want to move in together, they can file for a joint 2-UBI house, which they would be guaranteed to get within 6 months of doing so.
Similar extensions apply when a partnership have children.
Note 4.1) UBI houses will probably have detachable walls to allow for one UBI block of housing to contain a wide variety of family sizes. The AI software would optimize moving which free walls where most quickly meets that city-state's housing change applications.
Principle 4.2) Partnerships can be marriages, civil partnerships, Ace Cuddlebuddy arrangements, BDSM Collarings, or any other kind of meaningful, stable, long-term and long-term relationship. All such are viewed as equal in the law, and cannot be discriminated against in the press. All are equally protected by law from associated hate speach and acts of hatred.
This is the Universal Declaration of Equal Rights for Asexuals and Kink People.
Principle 4.3) More than two people can do the above if they can assert and substantiate comparable cohabitation to marriage.
This is the Universal Declaration of Equal Rights for Poly People.
Note 4.2) An m-parent n-child Poly Family can have an income of between m + n UBI and 10m + n UBI.
Note 4.3) `Equal in the law' includes everything that a participant considers sexual indeed being equally sexual. 'No' and 'I do Not Consent' applies to whatever anyone involved wishes as regards their own body, mind, emotions, clothes, or fetish-related items.
This is the Freedom from Discrimination against Non-Normative Survivors Act
Principle 4.4) The minumum age for moving to one's own apartment is 16 for school-leavers. This coincides with the lower age of self-responsibility. It's not yet clear the extent to which there will be redistribution of attributes between the lower and upper ages of self-responsibility.
Principle 4.5) Age of Consent would not be changed in Utopia from what it was immediately prieviously. It is acceptable for sexually alternative people to have to wait two years longer to be able to Consent in those ways. This is seen as an opportunity to educate oneself rather than as some kind of hindrance.
Principle 4.6) Freedom of partners to separate, divorce or elsewise dissolve whatever kind of union is entire. This is provided free of charge by Utopia. And, in the event of being crimeless, is always to be settled without allocation of blame.
Note 4.4) Compense for criminal damages aside, there is no notion of compensation or of 'continue to live in the lifestyle one was accustomed to' in Utopia. This is replaced by every adult and dependent child involved being guaranteed a minimum of 1 UBI, alongside UBI housing.
Note 4.5) In event of separation, shared possessions are distributed equably.
This is based on each person involved drawing up a priority list in terms of which possessions to materially keep. With any possessions of oversized value tipping the 50-50 split by more than 5% being subjected to a balancing payment so as to attain 50-50.
Note that by UBI housing arrangements, 'keeping the house' ceases to be such an item, insofar as nobody is left homeless. By which overwhelmingly large items cease to be a common matter in cases of dissolution of partnership. If dissolution means neither can afford to keep the original house, that is now a matter of tough luck in terms of personal attachement to the house. Both get to live in a place of half the previous value until if and when they have another partner with whom to share buying and running costs for a larger house.
Former partners fighting each other over the particular composition of each's half of formerly shared property is not part of Utopia. For instance, if both priority lists started with the same item, it would be decided by a coin toss or equivalent. People know this may happen with anything purchased as a shared item, or anything given to their partnership as a shared gift. One of the major benefits of this approach is that no party in a dissolved partnership loses most of their shared, and personal, wealth to divorce lawyer payments.
Part V Utopia's counselling services
* coming soon *
Will be stated in this webpage's next update. Watch this space
* coming soon *
Part VI Utopia and the environment
See here for Easter 2019 and earlier CakeFaerie News...