Politicians Should be Monks


It’s generally accepted that money corrupts politics. Even good people go into the game and emerge as maligned versions of themselves. And now that the Citizens United ruling allows large corporations to more openly influence lawmakers, the situation can only deteriorate.

Perhaps the solution is to have politicians become something like a monk.

The pursuit of profit and wealth should be treated like the pursuit of influence over others: not wanting any at all likely indicates a lack of healthy ambition, and wanting too much should disqualify you from public service.

We should isolate our politicians from the material world to a significant degree—immerse them in a secluded compound somewhere, perhaps on a national park, and have them focus completely on their service.


The politicians’ families would remain behind for their term of service. Their families’ lives would be comfortable—upper-middle class—so the politician would have nothing to worry about in that area. Their children’s college would be paid, some basic vacations, etc.

For the duration of their service they would perform a few key activities:

  1. Study of ideal government. Study

  2. Study of the needs of their constituents. Reviewing requests from citizens, determining

  3. Study of history and modern governments. A deep study of the history of government and civil structure, as well as study of all modern systems and their successes and failures.

  4. Regular Empathic Representation (ER) visits to the areas they represent. These would be conducted by deep immersion, i.e. representatives would live the lives of their constituents—experiencing their hardships and sufferings first hand. They’d be steelworkers, gardeners, trash people, etc., for months at a time, living their lifestyle on their wages, in order to experience the lives of those they represent.

  5. Studying the data from their existing policies. Ensure they are 100% knowledgable regarding how their policies are affecting their constituents and the world.

Money and interaction with corporate interests would be taboo—a violation of the core code to serve the people. And violation of such a vow would soil the most sacred office available to humans, i.e. service to others.

More to come.

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