Sunday 15 May 2011

Frying small fish for lunch

nationcrafting icon, small fish

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tze
compared governing a nation
to frying small fish for lunch.

Too much poking and lunch is ruined.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Introduction: beyond left and right

This blog is not a manifesto, aiming to get you to vote for one party or the other at the next elections.

I am not trying to convert anyone, not looking to sell you any brand of pre-formatted, new and improved politics. I'm just someone who enjoys thinking and writing about the ways in which humans create, discover and interact with the world of objects and ideas, through design on the one hand, through politics, philosophy and economics on the other. This blog, and nationcrafting generally, is the result of the very juxtaposition of these seemingly incompatible subjects.

This blog is political, but it is not about politics. Neither "left wing" nor "right wing" politics are advocated in it. In fact, one of the very few certainties I have is that advocates of both "wings" are equally responsible for limiting themselves to a political framework that has itself failed to provide anything but the most immoral, ill-conceived and ultimately destructive solutions to the problems individuals face all over the world. Individuals who - searching for peace, prosperity, liberty and happiness - end up finding war, misery, arbitrary restraint and frustration.

This blog is, instead, an invitation to look at the nation's framework itself which most of us take almost for granted, and to ask the following questions:

1. If we had a blank canvas to start a new nation from scratch how would we go about designing it?

2. How could we design it so that it isn't just good now, but would contain within itself the seeds of its own evolution?

3. What would we simply do away with, leaving to others what they do best and focusing on our own irreplaceable qualities?

4. How could it best interface with its users, providing the best user experience?

Having looked at a hypothetical new nation's design properties, we can then ask ourselves what sort of properties a worldwide framework would have in which new nation prototypes can be created, thus bringing them and the solutions they offer to the citizens that buy into them, to the "market of nations" that is the international community, which is currently represented by some 250 states.

Economists study the framework itself - competitive markets - in which suppliers of goods and services, each with different design philosophies and corporate ethics, compete with each other to bring to the market an immense variety of different designs in such things as cars, phones, houses and hats.

In much the same way, I invite you to study the framework in which a wide variety of suppliers bring to the market different nation designs. The experience will shed new light on the current functioning of government, individuals' relationship with it and, hopefully, highlight opportunities for improvement.

So, let's take a walk...