Although it discards totalitarian political structure and legal procedure, our proposed form of government is based on historically proven legal mechanisms. With the clarity of legal procedure it avoids the vague nonsense that often passes for political philosophy. Much of the political structure of Juristopia is based on highly evolved common law mechanisms such as property and contract, but these are used in the same basic manner as in the common law, rather than as misleading analogies or mere labels. Nor is there any hand-waving about how "the market" will magically produce efficient law. An efficient market is an outcome, not a cause, of good law. Some kinds of legal competition are good and some are pathological: Juristopia encourages the former and strongly discourages the latter.
Juristopia borrows from a number of historical political and legal systems, ranging from the modern constitutional administrative state to the monarcho-franchise system of late medieval England. Important design themes of Juristopia include separation and decentralization of powers. Its central design theme is the replacement of most delegation relationships (i.e. principle-agent or boss-employee) in politics with property and peer contract relationships. In its radical unbundling of power it satisfies many of the ideals of green libertarianism, minarchism and even anarcho-capitalism, yet it retains and even enhances the valuable functionality of modern government, such as environmental protection and defense. It strongly encourages the healthy legal competition that occurs before any dispute has arisen, such as choice of law and choice of forum, but severely discourages the unhealthy forum shopping that occurs after an injury has already taken place. It thus provides both default jurisdictions and the ability of parties to opt out of them, for future disputes between themselves, by contract.
The main innovations of Juristopia are (1) to revive a kind of jurisdiction that was once a strong bulwark against totalitarianism, namely jurisdictions held as property rather than by delegation, and (2) to combine these with the recently more common bulwarks against totalitarianism, especially separation of powers and a Bill of Rights defining limits on the exercise of franchise powers against individuals.
The result might be called, to borrow some computer science lingo, a microkernel government. A microkernel in a computer is a small program that contains only the most essential functions needed to manage a large number of other programs called "servers" that are conceptually independent of each other. Similarly, our governmental microkernel provides only the miniminum procedural functionality needed to handle franchises, a wide variety of which in turn handle the substantive law. Many of the advantages listed by Wikipedia for microkernel programs point up analogous advantages of microkernel government:
* "security: it is more secure as more operations are done in user mode than in kernel mode" -- similarly, the failure of one governmental function is much less likely to spill over into other functions or to cause general political failure. And since a small franchise requires fewer powers than a large government, any abuses of its powers are likely to be far less severe.
* "reliability: a simpler kernel design and functionality typically results in a more reliable operating system" -- similarly, the compartmentalization produced by property rather than delegation relationships increases the reliability of each function.
* "flexibility: new features can be added and unnecessary ones can be removed. This makes it suitable for both large and small systems" -- similarly, to add or remove a governmental function requires merely defining and funding a new franchise, or for a jury to defund it.
* "portability: most of the processor-specific code is in the microkernel, which makes it easier to port the kernel to a new platform" -- similarly, our new form of government can be applied in a wide variety of contexts -- as a new commercial jurisdiction, as the basis for an online game, or to augment or replace a traditional government.
As a final note, although decentralization is a key feature, this decentralization is generally one of subject matter rather than territory. Territory is far less important in Juristopia than it is in most of today's governments. Its federalism and localism takes the form of unbundling jurisdiction by subject matter rather than by territory. It is expected that franchises will operate over large territories and even globally. The physical boundaries of its jurisdiction will depend on its function and won't necessarily bear any relationship to the boundaries of other franchises. Indeed, Juristopia goes much farther than most forms of government in unbundling territory from government, thereby reducing the legal transaction costs of operating in multiple territories and increasing the healthy forms of legal competition.
(BTW, please let me know which spelling you prefer: :-)