Open-source government – politics without the corruption?

In an open letter explaining why he’s quitting the hedge fund business, Andrew Lahde makes an interesting comment regarding a way of changing the American governmental system with a view to making it less corrupt – model it on the Linux development process. [via SlashDot] [image by Tony the Misfit]

Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man’s interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft’s near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.

I think most of us can agree on the latter point, but I’m not sure about Ladhe’s idea of making the rewards of government service more attractive at baseline… but if it actually resulted in people who genuinely wanted to make a difference to the world (rather than just their bank balances) taking the reins of government, it’d be no bad thing.

Of course, how much respect you have for the political philosophy of a just-cashed-out hedge fund manager who made a fortune from the sub-prime crisis probably depends on how close to meeting your own monthly budget you are right now…

4 thoughts on “Open-source government – politics without the corruption?”

  1. Linux is a wonderful thing that the world is certainly better off having. This is probably a fine way to generate changes to the way government works, but I wouldn’t want to see government start to actually operate in the Linux development model. I think its closest governmental analogy is a benevolent dictatorship.

    Now, I think government could be successful if it adopted Scrum-like small self-organizing teams.

  2. A simple idea, require all laws passed to be focused on a single issue. This would stop all the pork being stuffed into the bills and make sure that laws actually have something to do with what they are called, Also a candidates record would be much clearer based on the vote record.

  3. You know, something about this comment smacks of the arrogance
    I often encounter in finance types – they are certain that the
    “best and brightest” are in their industry, and certainly not in
    relatively lower-paying jobs like education, medicine, or government.

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