I love this type of thinking. Going radical, questioning the deepest and longest-held assumptions. It’s a really important point you make at the beginning, about what it means when it becomes common for people to be unsatisfied with free and democratic transfers of power.
I tried to check out your FAQs on the website, but it wasn’t working for me. I hope I’m not bringing up something that you’ve already discussed in print, but I am curious to know what you think about a couple possible issues.
It does seem to me that TDG depends too heavily on the assumption that representatives will be moral and just, and will always act with the best interests of their constituents at heart. If that were true in America today, our system would work too. One reason the checks and balances in the Constitution were so brilliant originally was that the Founders designed a system that could remain politically and socially stable even if bad actors managed to gain power.
The idea of an advisory board doesn’t seem to go far enough in this direction. Any good-hearted person can fail to recognize their own biases. Maybe a moral leader gets elected, and appoints a board of advisors from among his or her own group of friends and colleagues, and they all share the same unrecognized biases. They end up carrying out a lot of undemocratic actions that discriminate against a certain group, and never realize they’re doing anything wrong. Maybe their law enforcement policies target racial minorities unfairly, or maybe they have a public health policy that infringes on a certain group’s religious rights. There’s no other check on their power except term limits, which don’t prevent the discrimination fast enough, and don’t provide recompense later on.
So I don’t see a strong enough system of checks and balances yet, although there would be ways to strengthen yours. Another concern would be that even though political parties are expressly outlawed, there would be no way to prevent factions from forming within each tier of government. Especially in the higher tiers, with more power at stake. I’d expect factions to form immediately in any elected body that has to go on to elect its own leader — the same way people start forming factions immediately on a competition show like Big Brother or Survivor. If 250 neighborhoods each elect a leader, and then those leaders have to come together and elect a single leader to serve on the next tier, those 250 people are going to organize informally behind different candidates. There would also be informal organization and alliances across tiers, between elected officials with similar goals for their regions. Environmentalists in one tier will align with an environmentalist faction on the next tier, and so forth. This is what always happens in Congress, when the parties have to elect minority or majority leaders from within their own ranks. There are informal factions, and different candidates vying for support behind the scenes. I don’t see how to prevent those alliances from developing into de facto political parties.
This is more of a neutral question and not a critique, but I’m also curious to know how TDG would handle the non-executive functions of government, and the executive functions that aren’t carried out by the elected officials. It seems like TDG combines the legislative and executive functions into one. That can still be democratic, though it requires more checks and balances. But where do the judges come from? And who staffs all the government agencies? Are they all appointed by the elected leaders? There’s no reason why they couldn’t be, but it seems like it could devolve into a huge bureaucratic mess if every tier has wide authority to create its own agencies as it sees fit. It’s bad enough in America where you might have different city and county building codes, and state regulation above that. But imagine if you had to satisfy 12 tiers’ worth of agencies in order to get something built on your own property.