Isopublic is the “rule yourself and no one else” society where all possess the equal right to pursue their greatest well-being. Isopublic is not about “equal opportunity” or “equal outcome,” but equality of being under equal selfdom, i.e. equal self-dominion. In isopublic, you are what you are and what you strive to become so long as you don’t do harm to others in the process.
Isopublic is a new model of nation-state based on the political doctrine of the Trilibrium which states, “equal freedom, equal rule, and equal justice maintained in steady-state equilibrium.”
The principle of equal freedom was first articulated by 17th century English philosopher, John Locke, the father of political individualism and what today is called “classical liberalism.”
In his Two Treatises of Civil Government , Locke argued that the Bible grants no divine authority to kings, contributing to the demise of divine right of kings, and that the only morally legitimate purpose of government is to secure individual person and property.
Then by 19th century English evolutionary philosopher and classical liberal, Herbert Spencer, who argued equal freedom produces the social conditions for optimal human progress in his treatise, Social Statics . It’s Spencer’s vision of equal freedom upon which isopublic is based.
Equal freedom meaning maximum equal freedom in the context of natural scarcity. Meaning that absolute equal freedom is the target, the unattainable ideal, while maximum equal freedom recognizes the need to constrain individual freedom, but only so far as is necessary to have a viable society.
For example, we can’t occupy the same physical space at the same time, thus, there must be a governing principle who has the rightful claim to occupy the space both might want, e.g. the non-aggression principle or non-interference principle. These natural conflicts are to be resolved with moral and legal precepts such that maximum equal freedom is achieved.
What’s on this site
The greatest equal freedom for the greatest well-being of the greatest number.
~ Evolutionary Utilitarianism
The moral philosophy of evolutionary utilitarianism or fittest society principle
The moral philosophy of isopublic is evolutionary utilitarianism meaning the greatest equal freedom of each to exercise their personal evolutionary advantages of tool-use, cognition (e.g. thought, reason, time-awareness, dreaming, etc.), and speech resulting in the greatest well-being of the greatest number.
By fittest society, this refers to greatest equal freedom producing the greatest evolutionary fitness for Homo sapiens in nature, as in survival of the fittest properly understood.
Evolutionary utilitarianism is the moral foundation for the Eudemic Code (see below) which is the system of morality for isopublican civil society, i.e. the Eudemic Society.
Great minds agree on the moral imperative of equal freedom
(even if for different reasons)
John Locke proposed equal freedom as a logical conclusion of natural law and the Christian belief that all are equal in the eyes of God. Not only did Locke denounce divine right of kings as unchristian, but it seems voting as unchristian too (below in bold). Thus, the concept known as “consent of the governed” (written by Thomas Jefferson, a deist, in the Declaration) is unchristian because being governed means to be ruled.
“[Since God has not ordained that anyone have power over others] then man has a natural freedom, … since all that share in the same common nature, faculties and powers, are in nature equal, and ought to partake in the same common rights and privileges, till the manifest appointment of God, who is Lord over all, blessed for ever, can be produced to shew any particular person’s supremacy; or a man’s own consent subjects him to a superiour.” [emphasis added]
~ Christian morality ~
Immanuel Kant proposed equal freedom for all as a logical conclusion of his duty ethics and Categorical Imperative.
“And, as such, this state is in fact a condition of Equality, inasmuch as it is determined by the action and reaction of free-wills limiting one another, according to the universal law of Freedom; and it thus constitutes the Civil State of human Society.”
~ Duty ethics ~
Herbert Spencer proposed equal freedom as the means to producing the greatest happiness–what he rather offhandedly called “rational utilitarianism,” which is evolutionary utilitarianism by another name.
“If we start with an à priori; inquiry into the conditions under which alone the Divine Idea—greatest happiness—can be realized, we find that conformity to the law of equal freedom is the first of them.”
~ Rational utilitarianism ~
Societal prisoner’s dilemma and preventing the “race to the bottom”
The prisoner’s dilemma is a classic example of game theory demonstrating mathematically that cooperation provides the best overall outcome in social exchanges, i.e. a positive-sum outcome with all participants being better off (see graphic below left). Yet, if individuals act in their own rational self-interest, they can maximize their gain by cheating. By cheating the other person, they get the maximum benefit by gaining actual value without giving up any themselves.
The cheating strategy, however, only works if the other party doesn’t cheat–the classic con. But the prisoner’s dilemma shows that if both parties cheat, they’re both worse off than if they’d cooperated and exchanged in good-faith.
On a societal level (see graphic below right), if people can cheat with impunity and most people act in good-faith, the cheaters are highly incentivized to cheat. But if they do, others will too because the cheaters will be the most successful. Game theory suggests that cheating eventually results in an overall worse outcome for everyone including the cheaters, i.e. a societal negative-sum outcome.
If participants can cheat with impunity, thus maximizing their gain at the expense of others, they’re motivated to do so and, with success, motivate others to cheat too. Thus, when cheating is a successful strategy in society, either by the absence or ineffective countermeasures, all are forced to either cheat or exit and society overall suffers, thus, the race to the bottom occurs.
In the societal prisoner’s dilemma, the different transactions indicate a win-win outcome (top-left), win-lose (top-right and bottom-left), and the lose-lose (bottom-right). With the win-win (i.e. positive-sum) outcome, both parties get what they want, i.e. the each give to get what each considers of equal value. With the win-lose outcomes, the winner gains without giving up equal value and the loser loses what they had and what they expected to get. With the lose-lose outcome, not only do both get nothing but, if unchecked, leads to retribution, e.g. gang wars, mob hits, i.e. tit-for-tat violence.
The only way to solve the societal prisoner’s dilemma is to enact proper laws and enforce them. The laws must punish cheaters and the State effectively and consistently prosecute those laws. In plutocracy (as is the United States and every other “democracy” so-called of the West), the rich and their paid-for politicians are also cheaters, i.e. official cheaters. They cheat the People with impunity causing harm to everyone else, i.e. a societal zero-sum outcome.
Under isopublic, cheaters are more effectively prosecuted and punished, and no one gets special treatment.
The Eudemic Code
A complete system of morality for the isopublican civil society, i.e. the Eudemic Society, i.e. We the People.
Note: The Code isn’t intended to be law itself but the standard for judging the morality of civil law and personal choices. The Code is the measure by which all laws of the Tricuria that act or are proposed to act (via nomothesion) on the People are judged.
1ST IMPERATIVE. The People shall possess the unalienable equal Rights of Selfdom, Freedom, and Property.
2ND IMPERATIVE. The People shall not act to cause a nontrivial, nonconsensual, objective 1ST IMPERATIVE violation of another except in rightful defense of oneself and or others.
3RD IMPERATIVE. The Authority shall not act on the People except to dutifully and justly; (1) remedy not prevent a 2ND IMPERATIVE violation, or (2) to fulfill ALLOWANCES OF VITAL NECESSITY.
ALLOWANCES OF VITAL NECESSITY. Only by the Citizens’ Will shall be granted or denied to the Authority express allowances to infringe, no more than justifiably necessary, upon the People’s 1ST IMPERATIVE Rights to perform only those functions vital to the viability of the State.
THE GOLDEN MAXIM. Be egoistic foremost, altruistic as able, and always virtuous.
Click on the link below to download the Code as a pdf.
Eudemic Virtue and the Golden Maxim
Eudemic Virtue means living by the Golden Maxim which expresses the values of acting in one’s self-interest first, helping others as one can, and always striving to be virtuous in either case.
Virtuous meaning a synthesis of the do no harm principle and Aristotle’s virtue ethics repurposed for the equal freedom society, i.e. the Eudemic Society.
It’s important to distinguish Eudemic Virtue from other moralities such as Christian ethics. Thus for example, Christian morality treats adultery as an unqualified sin which would condemn the adulterer to eternal damnation. Eudemic Virtue is concerned with promoting maximum personal well-being in the material world, not in an afterlife. Under Eudemic virtue, adultery isn’t itself immoral per se. To be immoral in the Eudemic sense, one must act to cause ill-being to oneself or others. So for instance, adultery isn’t a Eudemic Vice in-and-of-itself (e.g. an “open marriage” isn’t itself a vice per se), but becomes eudemically wicked when the activity involves breach of contract (e.g. violating a marriage contract), deception, or endangering spousal health (e.g. exposing to an STD) without their informed consent.
There are three conditions of Eudemic Virtue–don’t harm oneself, don’t harm others, and don’t behave such that a virtue becomes a vice (i.e. a virtue in deficiency or excess of Aristotle’s “middle state,” i.e. the Golden Mean). This because a vice increases the risk of violating the first two conditions, i.e. of doing harm to oneself or another.
There are 50 Eudemic Virtues each, if exercised appropriately at all times over a lifetime, is intended to maximize one’s well-being, all things considered. Click on the thumbnail (below) to see a table of Eudemic Virtues and corresponding vices.
Egoism before altruism, but altruism is a moral obligation.
Why say “Golden Maxim”? Isn’t that confusing with the Golden Rule? Maybe, but almost every English speaker uses the term “Golden Rule” and almost none say, “Golden Maxim” instead. Though the two can be synonymous, maxim and rule are different words–with “rule” being more general in usage, and “maxim” meaning a fundamental principle. And the Golden Maxim is more “golden” anyway since it’s far superior to the Golden Rule.
Just war theory in practice
Just war theory is, as interpreted here, the doctrine that a nation goes to war only when attacked or under a direct and credible threat of attack. In this way, the nation is non-interventionist and doesn’t antagonize other nations.
National defense of isopublic is a citizen-militia inspired by the Swiss military. By signing the Compact (i.e. the citizen contract) thus becoming a citizen, the individual (male and female) also becomes a member of the militia. Thus, serving in the militia is consensual, not by conscription.
A citizen-militia is effective for defensive war and ineffective for offensive war. Thus, isopublic would be unable to engage in empire-building or colonialism, i.e. unjust war. The isopublican military has a small cadre of career military.
The militia is vital to maintaining a free society, not only as an alternative to a dangerous standing army, but serves as a “civic religion” that brings the isopublic citizenry together under an umbrella of shared vital national interest. Doing so is necessary in a free society to overcome tribalism and “us and them” mentality that comes with freedom of association and disassociation.
Additionally, the militia improves the character of the People by instilling survival skills, first aid, gun safety, self-reliance, discipline, teamwork, community cohesion, and more.
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton
But Acton got it wrong. All humans are born corrupt by our primal nature–it’s in our genes. Civilization is less than 10,000 years old but Homo sapiens is 100s of thousands of years old with little change in human physiology. Thus, our primal genes still have considerable influence on our behavior.
And possessing political power allows primal human tendencies we call “corruption” to manifest (e.g. cheating, lying, stealing, killing), i.e. politics is something akin to Lord of the Flies in suits. And the more power possessed, the more the primal human is unmoored from our evolved moral sentiments. And as for elections, they attract the most primal humans like moths to a flame—the dark triads who prey upon us.
Even if there are a few angels who walk the Earth, because we can’t know who is until it’s too late, we must take extraordinary precautions against corruption of power. Thus in isopublic, everyone selected to posses political power is to be subjected to democratic methods of accountability and transparency, thus maintaining the integrity of State.
Ending political corruption with democratic measures
Whatever criticisms are leveled at Athenian democracy, political corruption isn’t one. The political authority of isopublic, the Tricuria, is arranged to minimize political corruption through the adoption of numerous conventions of ancient Athenian democracy. These include:
Note: True democracy (i.e. Athenian democracy) means selecting public officials by lottery from the entire body of citizens, thus in the isopublic, all citizens possess an equal chance to hold high office. Electing office holders is oligarchy.
Ending political anacyclosis
Anacyclosis is a classical Greek political theory held by philosophers such as Aristotle and Polybius. The theory proposes that governments are forced to change by first becoming corrupted then by revolution sequentially from monarchy (kingship) to tyranny to aristocracy to oligarchy to democracy then finally ochlacracy (mob rule)–then the cycle repeats.
Anacyclosis doesn’t happen in such explicit terms as the cycle formulation indicates, but we do see a general historical pattern of less corrupt government (i.e. kingship, aristocracy and democracy) change to a truly corrupt form of government (i.e. tyranny, oligarchy and mob rule) then back to less corrupt government usually by violent revolution. Anacyclosis, the cycle of corrupt government and revolution, is very destructive to human well-being–that isopublic could end for good.
Isopublic should be the most Christian-friendly state—
even more than a Christian state, even as a state with no Christians
Christ taught that all humans are God’s children equally, and that only by individual choice and action can one sincerely demonstrate their Christian virtue.
The inescapable conclusion of Locke’s argument is that Christians mustn’t accept or consent to being ruled over by anyone but God. This means that to be ruled over by anyone else, the Christian is unable to truly act by exercising their free will. And if unable to act freely, one is inhibited from acting in accordance with God’s will thereby usurping God and interfering with one’s relationship with God.
It would seem vitally important to a Christian’s salvation that one possess the maximum freedom to act in accordance with his or her conscience to show, through their voluntary choices, that they do sincerely live according to Christ’s teachings and in honor of their Lord. Thus, by voting to be ruled, i.e. consenting to be governed, is acting contrary to the will of God by forsaking personal responsibility.
Thus, the Christian is morally bound to choose to live, as much as possible, under political equal freedom—even if by doing so, the Christian is surrounded by sinners and heretics.
And if Christians must be free of being ruled over (either by force or consent), Christians mustn’t rule over others. Thus, for Christians not to sin against God, they mustn’t accept any political office that involves ruling over others (Christians or unbelievers alike). Thus, running for political office is a sin if that office means acting on the People more than to secure their equal freedom.
Even a theocratic Christian nation would be an affront to God since by forcing others to “act” Christian without sincere belief subverts God’s will also, i.e. to be a true Christian one must be so in their heart. Even to demand the display of the 10 Commandments in public school classrooms or “In God we trust” on the dollar bill, a prayer at political functions, “under God” sworn in political oaths, are acting most unchristian and committing sins. It can be asserted, and is consistent with Locke, that for Christians to be Christian, the only political stance available to them is maximum equal freedom.
What should be important to Christians isn’t for their political authority to be Christian but for it to minimally interfere with Christians being Christian. To understand that the State being truly neutral to Christians, i.e. neither for or against, is the best political arrangement for Christians.
Only by embracing equal freedom and selection of political leadership by sortition (i.e. by lottery thus leaving selection to God) is the Christian able to live in greatest accord with God. Only isopublic offers the Christian that option.
The Christian case for isopublic
- Given, humans possess free will (Genesis 3:6).
- Given, humans possess the faculty of reason (Genesis 3:7).
- Given that to satisfy God, one must act in accordance with Christ’s teachings (Matthew 7:24).
- Given, one must voluntarily and sincerely choose to act in accordance with Christ’s teachings to be saved (Hebrews 4:12).
- Given, all are equal in the eyes of God (Romans 2:11).
- Given, Christians must of necessity possess equal freedom to have the maximum freedom to choose to act in accordance with God’s will (Romans 2:5-7).
- Given, only under law that enacts equal freedom can equal freedom be made manifest.
- Given, isopublic via the Trilibrium doctrine and the Eudemic Code’s 1st Imperative produce the greatest equal freedom under Compact law.
- Thus, does isopublic become the most Christian choice of State.
The above conditions to be a good Christian are reasonably what Locke was striving to elucidate. That equal freedom to Locke entailed equal rights of life, liberty and estate (i.e. property). And given that elections are oligarchic, voting is inherently unchristian. Thus by voting, the Christian consents to political conditions that diminish equal freedom and move them further from God, i.e. by voting for a ruler, Christians consent to put the State between themselves and God. Thus, though being ruled without consent is an unchristian condition, so too is a Christian voting to be ruled, i.e. “consent of the governed” must be considered sinful.
Even though prostitution and adultery are sinful to Christians, it’s a sin for Christians to interfere or prohibit those activities by law using the power of the State. This, because people must voluntarily act in accordance with Christ’s teaching. By forcing abstinence, Christians interfere with people choosing not to be sinful, and thus, with God’s judgment.
Other features of isopublic compatible with Christian values are—the Eudemic Code including the Golden Maxim and the do no harm principle, practice of just war with a citizen-militia only used in defending the nation, a virtuous and laissez-faire Tricuria that doesn’t interfere with Christian practices as long as Christians don’t interfere with non-Christians.
The isopublic permits the People to engage in almost all activities freely so long as they don’t harm others in the doing. Christians should agree since doing harm to others also infringes on their equal freedom to choose to act with Christian virtue.
Isopublic is the most Christian of states because it produces the greatest freedom for individuals to be Christian. The ideal political arrangement for Christians is under the Eudemic Code and isopublic whereby each person has the maximum freedom to choose to live in accordance with Christ with the least interference from the State. Even a theocratic Christian state would itself be unchristian if it means imposing Christian values and not allowing individuals to come to Jesus voluntarily. Even if there’re no Christians in the state, isopublic is still the more Christian state because it affords the greatest opportunity for individuals to be Christian, i.e. its not the number of Christians but the operating principles of state that makes it the more Christian.
Destroying the “One Ring”
We can bring an end to most social conflict and systemic evildoing throughout by bringing an end to the metaphorical “One Ring,” i.e. ending government, i.e. ending the idea of governing society in favor of the self-governing society. What’s even the relevance of “leftwing” and “rightwing,” “liberal” and “conservative” when there’s no government to use to rule over the People? What’s even the meaning of “politics” when there’re no rulers but the People themselves?
Isopublic, a true land of the free and home of the brave
Being free means being courageous and not expecting “Mommy and Daddy” government to solve all one’s problems or make one safe from all that offends. Liberty means taking responsibility for one’s own actions and living in peaceful cooperation with others–even with those one’s challenged to tolerate. And in the isopublic, there’s jail for those who would force others to submit to their will (i.e. intimidate, harass, bully and crybully, or otherwise interfere with the peaceful activities of others), i.e. unable to live by the laissez-faire ethos demanded by isopublic. As long as no one is being harmed, live and leave alone.
To be free, one must have courage. This, because freedom makes one responsible for one’s choices. Personal responsibility means acting with greater care and dutifully, making one more useful to everyone else. Isopublic encourages personal responsibility and by multiplying this value across society and down through subsequent generations, society becomes far more fit in nature.
In addition to courage and responsibility, another important virtue of isopublic is laissez-faire, i.e. “let people do as they will,” meaning we must be willing to accept that not everyone will do as we will. That on an individual basis (i.e. not by group or demographic), if a person does harm to another, the isopublican state is obligated to remedy. That it’s not up to individuals (i.e. not “social justice warriors”) to remedy what they consider to be social wrongs. A sickness today is too many who want everyone else to bend to their will. This mentality leads to constant social conflict and its own brand of societal “race to the bottom.”