When it comes to designing societies and economies, on paper everything can be made to seemingly work but until these things are implemented in the settings we wish to implement them in, we really have no clue how our designs will turn out. While we can supply someone with all the information and techniques available on a subject, such as how to make the perfect piece of pottery while only giving them the resources to make one piece of pottery, the fact of the matter is that the person who has the ability to make the pottery over and over again as many times as they want will most likely produce far better pieces of pottery in the long run due to the simple fact that they can tweak and experiment with their products. While the armchair pottery crafter might have all of the theoretical knowledge and motivation supposedly necessary to create the perfect piece of pottery, undoubtedly the seasoned pottery maker on an assembly line will produce far better pieces without even putting an emphasis on quality. When it comes to designing governmental and economic systems, we are a lot more limited in that there is traditionally no room for experimentation and most of what we can read on the subjects are biased interpretations of what really happened, not factoring in the problem that with fewer cases to study than in other fields, we’re bound to see variables like cultural values and resource bases influence the outcomes much more. What we need to advocate for, in order to apply science to statecraft, is the use of large federal systems that support the widespread autonomy of experimental states, in order to test out new concepts, see what works, and incorporate these policies into the greater nation. The success of the United States partly rests on this model, where different states have been free to try out different policies and serve as testbeds for the rest of the nation’s policymaking, but due to the restrictions placed on what the individual states are capable of doing, these experiments are both restricted in scale and capability. While California has a population that would put it among the European Union’s largest countries, as well as a GDP well on its way to surpassing Germany’s, when its policymakers ran the numbers on a state-run universal healthcare system, the numbers clearly showed the ludicrousness of pursuing such grand projects at the state level in America. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to reengineer the current federal system to accommodate larger varieties of different microstate setups, in order to create a more flexible system for testing out new policies.
While it may seem strange to advocate for micro-states in a socialist article, the fact of the matter is that with more control groups and more experimental groups, we can better transform economics into a hard science. It’d be both unfair and inaccurate to look at the results of what happened in Idaho after a policy was implemented, before deciding on whether that policy was right for a state like Alaska or Hawaii, where the economies and demographics are so different. With micro-states, policies that worked for rural countries under a certain population and income per capita could be applied where they were needed, while policies that benefitted metropolitan areas over a certain population and income per capita could be applied where they were needed. In this way, over time the Surplus State could apply surgical precision to the ways in which it crafted legislation area by area and allow decision makers to not extrapolate the results obtained from the typically limited test pools that modern economists have to work with. In this way, while the Surplus State would be bound to core principles in regards to issues like property rights and material guarantees, it’d be designed to continually improve and adapt to changing material conditions. While this may seem like a orthodox socialist’s worst nightmare, the fact of the matter is that revisionism is entirely necessary across the political spectrum. Leninism didn’t work out, Stalinism didn’t work out, Democratic Socialism hasn’t worked out, and capitalism is breaking down as we speak. If we can’t create a system that runs on gradual reforms and possesses the ability to adapt itself as times change, then we are hopelessly doomed to live in societies that fail to sustain themselves. Countries that resist revisionism, putting ideology before practicality at all costs, like North Korea and Democratic Kampuchea, are in the running as having been the most brutal and impoverished places to live in human history. If a system cannot institute reforms in order to adapt itself, it will inevitably break down over time as it is destroyed either by internal revolt or by other countries as its competitive disadvantages continue to mount in a changing world.
We understand why monarchies are antiquated in the modern world, and in time, everyone will come to see the various different models of capitalisms and subsocialisms in the same light eventually. By creating a federal system that governs thousands of micro-states, across many different economic and cultural regions, we can create a scientific approach to statecraft that supersedes any prior theoretical system bound by overly simplistic principles. Filtering states into categories, before testing out different policies across different categories, would allow us to systematically view how different results emerge across different categories when the same policies are applied to them. Were a policy to work in some areas with the same characteristics and fail in others with seemingly the same characteristics, investigation could be done to uncover the underlying cause for the lack of success in some areas, before a new variable was factored into the system in order for us to better filter the right policies for the right micro-states. Similar to how both smartphones and their constituent components are serialized, the micro-states and their recorded variables in a Surplus Statist society would contain their own serial numbers, in order to better track and understand what could work where. If the variables of a suburban micro-state, based on certain income level, demographic mixture, incarceration rate, and other qualities were each given their own corresponding serial numbers and assigned to categories with similarly valued variables, over time as more experiments were conducted across the federal system, we could identify just based on what categories the micro-state fell into what statistically worked best for it and what didn’t. Over time, the system could doubtlessly grow in depth and breadth of information to factor in the influence of adjacent micro-states based on their own serial numbers, allowing us to predict things like economic trade and interstate relations with an accuracy unparalleled by any preexisting system in history. In a world where statistical information and datasets were so readily available, politics would evolve beyond the primitive at-best-shouting-and-at-worst-shooting contest it is today.
While it may seem silly to you today, the fact of the matter is that such a system, if it were handled responsibly and impartially, could continue to grow in accuracy and productivity until it eclipsed anything else ever conceived. With the more territories incorporated into such a federal system, newer models and variables could be accounted for, thereby making the system even better in the long run. What might seem like a clunky system with enough time and inputs could be gradually economized to solve age-old problems in ways that humanity is presently not capable of solving on our own. The political beliefs of today would come to be recognized as just that: beliefs. While liberating humanity from the pettiness of politicking would be an enormous step forward in of itself, the fact of the matter is that micro-states are also invariably better places to live in than macro-states. On every metric, from qualify of life to GDP per capita to levels of income equality to the responsiveness of government, micro-states trounce their more traditional counterparts at every turn. While we have become accustomed to believing that the grim realities that come with modern macro-states are inescapable, in notions about how some people have to suffer and about how politicians are corrupt no matter where you go, this is not the case with micro-states. It is no coincidence that the only place in which both communism and fascism were peacefully voted in and peacefully voted out was the micro-state of San Marino, a centuries-old country of 60,000 people surrounded on every side by Italy. Given the tens of millions of people that died in the last century to install and dismantle similar regimes in macro-states across the world, it seems almost surreal that micro-states sidestep these problems entirely. With a federal system retooled to not lead but rather coordinate these micro-states, supporting them in their experiments and creating datasets with the information obtained from these studies, we could allow far more representation to far more people than any previous system could ever have dreamed of or have even handled. Creating a sound set of principles for such a federal system to follow, primarily in order to allow it to economically and socially accommodate the varieties of different micro-states under its wings, would do more for the cause of equality and prosperity than any other previous attempt at nation-building in history. Like any predictive activity, it will be hard to conceive of all the problems that would encountered by such a federal system, but through the implementation of enough of these systems and the testing out of different principles, science would settle for us what worked and what did not eventually on the federal level in a fashion similar to how these hypothetical federal systems would test out policies in their own constituent micro-states.