If I ruled the world:|
- As I am no lover of micromanagement, in general, populations would still be self-governing by democracy, except where I over-rode them. Anyone doing anything, at all, to impede other people's voting would face serious criminal consequences. (Even if I didn't just make voting compulsory, anyone who didn't vote would be asked why not, in order to help ensure that no voter interference was taking place unreported.)
- Any politician who disgusted me enough would be barred from office, and indeed, from political activity. If all this came true tomorrow, Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne, Simon Crean, and Rick Santorum, among others, would be seeking new lines of occupation.
- Prostitution would be legal, but oh-so-heavily regulated, including mandatory, thorough investigation of every prostitute (background checks, interviews by qualified counselors) to ensure that no, really, they consented to this. (Also, thorough health checks and general OHS enforcement. And the age of consent for prostitution would be 21, minimum.)
Unlicensed prostitution would incur heavy criminal penalties for the person purchasing the services. The treatment of the prostitutes would vary depending on their circumstances, but in most cases would incur no penalty, as such, so much as a social services intervention.
- The criminal justice system would not have detention as its central means of "punishment". Petty thieves, for example, would be remanded for assessment by psychologists and social workers, to determine, and correct, the causes of their thieving. (For example, someone who stole because they felt they had no other way to survive would receive counselling and job skills training, and assistance in setting themselves up for a more stable life.)
- Education would be considered one of the most important priorities of any government that didn't want to be dismissed by me, with all its members thereafter banned from politics.
Primary school education would focus on establishing genuine proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic, streamed according to level of ability. Students who did not pass these subjects would not be permitted to advance in grade until they had been thoroughly assessed for learning disabilities.
The rest of their time in school - and I might well extend the school day until something like 5pm - would be spent on learning at least one musical instrument, learning the basic techniques of a range of arts and crafts, and periods designated to reading books of the student's own choice - with library staff assistance, if required, to look for something the child will enjoy reading.
Physical education will remain in place, but the emphasis will very much be on things that will be fun. Students will be encouraged to try different things until they find a sport they enjoy; by the time they're leaving for high school, every student should be a regular participant in a sport they enjoy, unless pure physical disability prevents this. (It doesn't have to be a team sport. Martial arts, for example, will be an acceptable choice.)
Vocational training can come later in life. The purpose of education, once the fundamental skills are in place, is to equip people to occupy their leisure time. No-one in the Utopia of Sami will spend their free time, as an adult, getting drunk every weekend because they don't have anything better to do.
In high school, required subjects will include logic, critical thinking, and linguistics. People should know how to think. Core subjects will now be Literature, Mathematics, Science, Critical Thinking, and History; outside of these subjects, students will be required to continue at least one sport, and at least one art; music, creative writing, painting, pottery, calligraphy, woodwork, making models, they can choose, but they have to have one.
After that, they can go to university, or to a vocational college, or to work, as their choices and aptitudes determine. But everyone should finish high school able to read and write, to know what they think and why they think it, to entertain themselves and occupy their free time in ways that they themselves find rewarding, and to know what kind of healthy physical activity they can enjoy enough to maintain.
I may make more posts on this topic, a sort of How I Think Things Should Be theme.|
If I Ruled The World, the criminal justice system would be very, very different.
Convicted criminals would either be incarcerated, if deemed to pose an ongoing risk to the community, or allowed to remain at home, subject to attendance at their required activities; failure to attend, inability to attend from home, or subsequent criminal behaviour of any kind would result in incarceration.
Required activities for non-incarcerated criminals would be community service and counselling. Community service would be set according to the crime committed.
Counselling would be assigned by a panel of experts after examination of the crime and the criminal, both in type and amount. This would include psychotherapy, vocational training, education, job-finding assistance, or whatever else the panel considered required for this person to become a healthy and productive member of society.
All of this would be organised on the principle that if someone commits a crime, there is something wrong in their lives that caused them to be in the position where that seemed like the best option available to them, and that is what needs to be corrected.
If imprisoned, well. Prison inmates will find life is far from dull, but is thoroughly regulated. Going to prison *will* be a somewhat unpleasant experience, but not not not in any way cruel.
In prison, counselling will be extensive, in all relevant areas, and ongoing, accompanied by daily classes - everything from basic literacy and numeracy through to high school graduate level, including compulsory courses in elementary moral philosophy and ethics.
Recreation will also be regulated. While each prisoner will have periods in his or her schedule in which to choose their own activity - which can be reading a book, playing video games, working out, playing board games, or playing sport, or anything else they want to do that won't be harmful to themselves or others - much of their recreational time, of which there will be plenty, will be scheduled.
Scheduled recreation will include solitary and group activities. There will be sports, both training and competitive games between teams of inmates. If sufficient inmates favour a given sport, there can even be leagues and competition. There will be board and computer games - and there can be leagues and competition in those, too. Competition is healthy, pride and aggression are natural human impulses, and learning to channel those energies in a safe and positive way will be important.
There will be a well-stocked library of fiction and non-fiction.
One of the life skills that a prisoner will be learning is how to have fun and occupy leisure time in a healthy way that's enjoyable for them and not harmful to others, as opposed to, say, getting drunk and making trouble.
Prisoners with substance abuse problems will have programs that include rehab, addiction treatment, and assistance in developing long-term strategies to stay clean. Post-release, they will be provided with access to ongoing support in this.
Parole will be available only to those prisoners who have "graduated" from all elements of this course in personal improvement.