Once verdicts in personal disputes were determined by combat, trial by ordeal, an individual's decree, or a mob. We have largely given up what was once an accepted status qua. and progressed to to structured trials demonstrates that improvement is possible and that it does not require change in people's nature.

For most of civilization, rule by individuals or small groups in the form of theocracies, royalties, aristocracies, oligopolies, and dictatorships was the rule. For centuries most believed those forms of government were the best we could do. It was argued that despite revolutionary idealistic alternatives, nothing else had, and therefore would, prove practical and sustainable. Yet the US enacted a new system of constitutional democracy, where: “We the people…” were empowered to rule ourselves. It was a change that made the world a better place.

Arthur C. Clark said:

"Every revolutionary idea — in science, politics, art, or whatever — seems  to evoke  three stages of reaction:

               (1) It's completely impossible — don't waste my time                                 (2)  It's possible, but it's not worth doing;
                          (3)  I said it was a good idea all along"                

(The Promise of Space ,1968)

Flying machines, radio, and democratic national government were initially viewed as impossible. Even after Alexander Bell demonstrated the telephone, telegraph companies told him it was not worth doing. Some day, some will say: “I said Tribunocracy was a good idea all along.”

The practice of democracy has changed, proving change is possible. The first stage of democracy was pure democracy where every citizen voted on every issue. In small groups with common interests and problems it remains effective. However, for larger groups such as cities and nations with specialized and complexes issues, every citizen voting on every issue is not feasible. Leveraging and delegating citizen control is required, to provide effective government.

Changing from pure democracy to our present system of representative democracy allowed better government while in theory citizen control was maintained. Here referred to as Second Stage Democracy. Representative democracy leverages voter power by allowing voters to elect the government officials they believe best represent them. Voters also retain some control of elected officials because when their term ends, voters can retain or replace them. It was a change for the better.

Today the majority view our national and state governments more negatively than positively. Many experts doubt our government is capable of making the changes necessary to avoid decline. Joseph Heller was a distinguished author of many books including Catch 22 and Picture This. One of his greatest attributes was his ability to look past accepted platitudes and pretense to see the more fundamental realities of government and society.

Joseph Heller said, voting has become:

“…a ritualistic routine…a delusion…” (maintained by voters whose) “…emotions and ideas are manipulated by our leaders.” (From interview on Bill Moyer’s Journal, December 22, 1998)

He concluded: the US government, like all once great empires having passed their prime, is broken, overly rigid, and incapable of making the changes required to prevent its decline. Tribunocracy was conceived with the hope that it will facilitate a different outcome. The need for better government making better decisions is increasing.

Our democracy is over two hundred years old. It brought improvements, and achieved so much good it has been admired and emulated. However, new challenges confront us. We live on a planet with the resources to be more like heaven than hell, yet in many ways for many people it is not. Starvation, deprivation, injustice, disease, war, and cruelty continue. Nuclear proliferation, WMD, environmental changes, overpopulation, resource depletion, and international terrorism require better responses than the ones we are making. Governmental imprudence now affects more than individual nations, it affects the planet.

We are traveling faster on a steepening ridge-line with the potential for greater improvement on one side and greater disaster on the other. Most of our problems are caused by us, therefore we can solve them and choose our path. Tribunocracy is  a system of democratic self government  that facilitates wiser better informed decision making.

Next:  Existing Deficiencies