Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Preparing for first French exam
Preparing for first French exam by flakaffe on Zooomr

An article about the round-the-clock curfew in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas made me think that perhaps we could require proof that a community is in fact civilized now and then.

The idea comes from Microsoft: when you install Windows, you have thirty days until you must activate the installation in order to prove that the copy of the installation certificate you used was valid. Mere possession of an installation image and a software key which functions cryptographically is not enough; one must submit to the higher authority of the company which provided these.

In a similar way, a governmental entity (Helena-West Helena was created by a 2006 merger) could be challenged to prove that they have the structures to maintain modern norms a society should possess, perhaps by documenting the persons responsible for each function, some statistics on the good and bad aspects of life under their authority, and a cross-section of opinion of the residents subject to the administration. If there are serious shortcomings, then sanctions could be applied up to the point where the government should be dissolved and a new one (or more than one) would take its place. No longer would be sufficient to call yourself a town or a nation and draw up some charter made up of empty promises, actual civic benefit would need to be demonstrated before a regime would be allowed to come into existence.

One could extend this notion to political entities which already exist today, subjecting them to the cleansing light of open scrutiny. But I would not bet on it.


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