The Northridge Incident
Note by the Author
An attempt to describe Multigovernment concepts in a readable form.
I did not answer him for a few seconds. I squinted my eyes toward him but did not recognize him. "Yes," I returned.
"You don't know me, but it's very important that we talk."
"I haven't much time. I work in the daytime and go to school at night. I need some sleep."
He went on as though he didn't hear me. "I am from another planet out of your universe. I have a message for the inhabitants of the earth."
My impression at this time was that he was being initiated for a fraternity.
"Come with me, please."
He gestured toward a large, circular, light-producing object that at that moment lighted up in the field. My impression then was that it was an elaborate joke to play. He must have had a lot of help from the Theatre Arts Department; the object was not there when the class started three hours ago.
Distance and depth have a way of playing tricks, and as we approached
the illuminated object, I saw it was bigger than I had originally
supposed. It must have been when I saw the men looking out the windows that
I realized it was indeed a space ship, and the man I was talking to was a
legitimate passenger. This realization became a little frightening to me,
so I stopped.
"Don't be afraid," the man said, "we won't hurt you."
"I am not afraid of being hurt," I said. "I am a bit apprehensive about something I know nothing about."
"We have important information to give you concerning your world's present political system. We must insert a new ideology or civilization because, as you know, this system will be destroyed."
I have always been annoyed at the inadequate political, social and economic state of the world. The thought of something better intrigued me. The fascination of his introduced subject matter seemed to overpower what fear or apprehension I had.
We entered the space ship by a ramp that dropped down from the side
of the ship. When in the upper position, the ramp was part of the
exterior of the ship. There were steps on the ramp, and as we entered
a room that looked like about a quarter of the ship, it was more like an
office ante-room than a space vehicle interior. I sat down in the last remaining
I felt a slight jerking, but it wasn't until I looked out of the windows that I realized we were soaring away from the earth.
"What's this important information you have for the earth? Are you some kind of intergalaxy CIA or something?"
"No," he answered. "The system of government that infects your planet will destroy your civilization if something is not done to change it. We selected you to convey this message to the world."
"We have selected you for three reasons: number one, you are still a college student and responsive to new ideas; number two, because of your age, your children are all grown and you can devote full time to the changing of the system."
"Full time?" I exclaimed.
"Please let me continue," he went on. "And number three, you are a natural rebel, an agitator, and your psychological profile indicates that you can handle the assignment."
"Psychological profile!" I almost shouted. "I have a mania about my privacy," and at this point I was angered.
"Calm down, Mr. Day," he said patiently.
"How did you get a profile on me? Do you have access to the university records? What makes you think I will accept this so-called assignment? If you have been isolated from this planet for so many years, how can you speak English? Where do you come from, and who are you?"
"Take it easy, take it easy," he said. "We are now approaching the mother ship."
I saw out of the window a larger ship. The side of it opened
and a hole appeared. The smaller ship entered the cavity formed by the
opening and it seemed to fit snugly. The door that dropped down earlier
from the smaller ship dropped down again. This time it opened to
a room inside the larger ship. There were several chairs with adjustable
writing boards, and a few men (apparently observers or witnesses or something)
took the chairs in the back of the room and one chair was left for me. I
sat down and adjusted the writing board.
I glanced around the room. It was kind of eggshell-coloured. It reminded me of a cross between an Army Intelligence debriefing room and a college seminar classroom. As soon as I was seated, the man doing the talking left the room and another man entered. He sat in a chair without a writing board about fifteen feet in front of and facing me.
He was dressed differently from the others; he had on a brown form-fitting outfit with large pockets at hip length. His clothes looked like a modified jumpsuit. "Ah," I thought to myself, "a space man that looks like a space man."
"Good evening, Le Grand," he said. "My name is Dr. Peel."
This was the first time that my first name was used and the first time that anyone introduced himself.
"We are short of time. Let's get down to business."
"What's this assignment?" I asked.
"Perhaps 'assignment' was a bad choice of words. Let me tell you what we want you to do."
"To save your planet from almost sure destruction, we would like to outline a superior political system. You must take this basic structural form of government we will explain to you and introduce it into your literature and do whatever you can by way of teaching and lectures and, hopefully, curtail this disaster."
"Are you going to check on me for progress or reports, or something?" I remarked sarcastically.
"No," he said seriously. "This will be our last visit with you. Technically, we can't return until a few generations have passed."
"You'll return generations later?" I asked. "You mean, you live longer than we do?"
"Yes, our life-span is much longer. We must confine our discussion to political matters. It will be sufficient to say at this point, however, that there are other intelligences in the galaxy and other men with the same kind of bodies that you have. Each planet is at a different stage of development. The problem with your development is that something went wrong with your political growth and you advanced in the wrong direction."
"You said the political system will destroy itself. How will this be done?"
"What do you think could destroy your civilization?"
"The hydrogen bomb, or some other sophisticated war weapons," I guessed.
"Now remember, we are talking about political matters."
"In that case, it would be one country attacking another," I said.
"There are now 143 nations with sovereignty in the UN. Five of these have the hydrogen weapon. You have known from your own American experience that a head of state can become unstable. If just one of the leaders of these 143 countries gets access to the hydrogen bomb and uses it, it would cause a chain reaction that would destroy civilization. For instance, if Cuba or one of the small countries in Central America drops a bomb on the United States, it would be disastrous."
"You want to do away with countries? You want to get rid of nationalism?"
"Not exactly," Dr. Peel said. "Let's start at the beginning. Let's call this new governmental system 'Multigovernment.' It seems to best fit the word structure of your language. Now, to understand this system as you hear it the first time, you must erase from your mind the structure of your own American government and the structure of other governments you have studied in comparative government courses. We have the advantage to compare governments on different planets, and the outline we give you will be the synthesis of those governments that have worked best for other planets. Please be sympathetic and receptive to these new concepts that we present to you now, and trust us that it is a far superior system than you have."
"Okay, I am ready," I said as I put my notebook in place.
"Now the basic government is a geographical democracy. There are four prerequisites for this government. They are:
(1) it must be a pure democracy in nature,
(2) it must perform only the necessary governmental functions,
(3) its boundaries must be flexible, and
(4) it must have one government to each geographical area.
"All right, let's take the items one at a time. The first is that the geographical democracy must be a democracy. We see if a government is governing because it occupies land mass. That means that the people who live in the area covered by the government must belong to the government whether they like it or not. That means they must have maximum input into the system. Therefore, all compulsory governments must be democracies."
I said, "Democracies have too many basic weaknesses. Personally, I most strenuously object to the majority telling me what kind of government I am to have."
"Many others feel the same way," Dr. Peel said. "That brings us to item two; that is, only necessary government functions must be performed by the basic governmental unit or geographical democracy. By necessary government functions, we usually mean only fire and police protection."
"Good grief," I broke in. "Your basic governmental unit would be comparable to our city government, and our city governments handle such necessary things as parks, playgrounds, golf courses, garbage pickup, museums, and so on."
"These 'necessary things' are not as necessary as people think they are," Dr. Peel said. "Most of them can be taken care of by other organizations or governments or individuals. We would like you and other writers who write on Multigovernment in the future to substantiate this and other positions that we present to you. We must go on. We haven't much time.
"The third item," he continued, "is that the boundaries must be flexible. You must change your boundaries when the need arises."
"The reason the present boundaries are inflexible today is the difficulty of administrative changes along with the question of power," I said.
"That is why fire and police protection are the only services for the basic unit."
"If they are flexible, who is to decide where the boundaries are going to be?" I asked.
"The people," he said, as though I should know. "Your history is full of ridiculous boundary disputes and wars, when the answer is so obvious. Without question, without rebuttal, without discussion, when a boundary dispute arises, it must be voted on by the people living within the disputed boundaries. The people should have the opportunity to vote to be associated with any of the connected areas or to be a unit unto themselves."
"All right, I understand. When I get back home, I will give this some thought," I said.
"Now, for the last item of the prerequisites for geographical democracies," Dr. Peel went on. "There must be only one government for each area."
"You couldn't mean one government over the whole globe. We just talked about boundaries."
"No, no, no," Dr. Peel appeared annoyed at me. "There will be local units spaced all over the earth as we discussed before. They will be placed, taking into account the population (its density), economic conditions, special geographical considerations, and the moods of the people. We can assume that those living in large metropolitan areas will have the tendency to gather together into one geographical democracy. We call these city-states, the ones out in the rural farming and forest areas are called territorial governments. These are the two classes of geographical democracies. These local units usually evolved from cities and the counties of your phase of historical development. You understand now this important point, that this local unit government, or geographical democracies as we call them, will be replacing the city, the county, the state, and the federal governments."
"The federal government?" I emphasized the word "federal."
"Yes, the federal government," Dr. Peel repeated.
"Wait a minute," I said. "I believe and always believed that the federal government is a useless hunk of bureaucratic waste. But to do away with it completely would mean that I would be an anti-nationalist, or an internationalist. I am a good American, I spent eight years in the military service, I am patriotic and all that. I am a rebel, an agitator, and the other things the gentleman said, but I am not going to give my family the burden of having a traitor in the family." At this point, I was upset and willing to call the whole deal off.
"Hear me out," Dr. Peel broke in. "Nationalism is a feeling of belonging. You do not have the expertise in psychology to understand nor do we have the time to explain, but this nationalism - or the feeling of being part of something - can easily be transferred to choice governments, where the individual has the opportunity to be associated with, and governed by, people of like nature, background, and similar thinking. Nationalism, as you know it, is simply gathering together people living in the same geographical area. Under this new choice government system, nationalism would be even more pronounced and precious for those types of people who need it."
"Choice governments," I asked, "what in the world are they?"
"The big problem is that they are not in the world," he quipped. "Let's get into choice governments. If only the necessary functions are taken care of by geographical democracies, then for those who want, need, or would appreciate more government functions, who do you think would perform them?"
"Choice governments, I suppose," I said.
"That is right. All of the people must belong to the local unit. From that point on, they can choose from among the thousands of governments that exist, the exact government (or governments, in some cases), or no government at all. This free choice of governments is a right of all citizens."
"Wait a minute. You said there was only one government for each land area. Where are these choice governments going to be?"
"They exist without land mass," Dr. Peel said. "Which brings up a new point that your planet has made a mistake about."
"What is that?" I asked.
"Your earth's leaders and theorists have made a very important wrong assumption. Remember, JUST BECAUSE SOME GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS MUST HAVE A GEOGRAPHICAL BASE, ALL GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS DO NOT HAVE TO. This point, now, if you can grasp the concept, concludes that we can separate those functions (usually of a protective nature) that are tied to land mass, from those functions (usually human wants) that have nothing to do with land mass. This separation can give the individual the right to choose the human functions he wants, which is, in effect, choosing his own government. Let me restate that."
"I get it," I said.
He began restating anyway. "Your planet has been concerned with keeping the power elite in power, thereby continuing the status quo. To satisfy the establishment and their leaders, your theorists built their political theory around a vague and useless strange agreement called 'social contract theory.' Neither the theorists nor the leaders took into account human needs, desires and wants, so they built government structure oriented toward keeping themselves in power. We would like to suggest strongly that you replace the ridiculous 'social contract theory' with the 'individual contract theory,'
which, in effect, states that beyond the basic protective functions
of the basic geographical democracy, each individual makes his own
contract with his own government. Each individual has a right to
choose his own government no matter where he lives, just as he has
a right to choose his own lifestyle, religion, insurance company,
make of car, etc., etc."
"Let me understand what you are saying," I said. "If this Multigovernment was in effect at this present time, you mean I could belong to any government I wanted, still I living in the same place I now do? I could be a communist, a nazi, a socialist, and my neighbor would have the same choice?"
"Yes, these governments coexist simultaneously within the same land area. Remember now, land area or land mass is not a criteria for government," he said.
"What if I wanted to join another government while I was a member of the present one? In other words, if I changed my mind about the merits of my government, could I change governments?"
"Yes," he said.
"If you know so much about me, you will know that I am a libertarian, basically a conservative. I do not like government interfering in my business or interrupting my privacy. What about me, if I don't want any government at all?"
"You join no government at all, and you will be subject only to a geographical democracy," he answered.
"There was a time in my life," I continued, "when the church I belonged to was the most important thing in my life. If this happens again, would I be able to belong to my church?"
"Yes. Not only will you be able to belong to it, but if it was the most important organization in your life, you might belong to a church government or a theocracy."
"If there was no existing government that lived up to my idea of government, what would I do?"
"You could get together with people of like mind and create your own government," Dr. Peel answered. "Or there is another possibility. You could use the services of several governments if they agreed."
"What about my children if the government I belonged to didn't have any school system?"
"If the government you belong to doesn't have a school system, you can choose among the many private parochial and standard schools that are available."
"You have competing school districts as you have competing governments?" I asked.
"Yes, that is the crux of the system. Freedom and choice."
"Doesn't this make for a complicated mix-up and extra work?"
"No. Think about it for a while. A lot less problems than we have now. If you are a free agent, the only government that will have account for you and collect taxes is the geographical democracy. If you belong to only one government, you would have to pay taxes only to the two governments: the one of your choice and the geographical democracy. That would include almost all the people. As it is now, you must belong to city, county, state, federal, and whatever special district or school district that the power elite wants to assess."
"I can see one underlying weakness of the system," I said.
"What is that?" Dr. Peel responded.
"What would happen if one of the choice governments got enough power and wanted to take over a few other choice governments?"
"They would be checked by the integrated force of the judicial republic," he answered. "Now I know you are expecting me to ask what is the integrated force of the judicial republic." "Let's take the judicial republic," Dr. Peel went on. "This is the echelon above the geographical democracy notwithstanding the choice governments."
"Hold it," I said. "You said there were no governments you are expected to owe allegiance to except your choice government and the geographical democracies. Now you are giving me this judicial republic."
"The judicial republic is not a government; that is, it doesn't govern. It is a court system with enforcement power."
"Where does this integrated force come from? Are they a standing volunteer army?" I asked.
"No," he said. "They are recruited from the peace forces of the geographical democracies we talked about earlier. When there is a need for enforcement action, the judicial republic, under a court order, calls up the police forces of the local units that are not involved in the dispute to maintain order. When order is restored, or the need for mobilization is over, they return to their respective local units."
"Okay," I said. "Let's get back to this judicial republic you were talking about."
"Judicial republic is a system of courts. It starts with the local unit and pyramids up to different plateaus, the division of which is based on workload, type of cases, or value of cases. When it reaches what we call in most planets, the upper supreme court, they have the final say."
"How many people are there in the upper supreme court?" I queried.
"Usually three; in some planets there are more."
"Then these three people rule the world."
"No," he said emphatically. "Please understand it is a court function. They make judgments on actions, issues, and questions. They do not govern."
"Somebody has got to govern!" I almost shouted.
"No, that is another mistake your earth has made. At that level, no governing is necessary."
I staggered for a minute in thought. This concept crushed my chest like a hammer, but then I realized that he was right!
"We must get on, Mr. Day. You can look at your notes later."
"All right, all right. Let me clear my head. There are now federal and international functions of government that must still go on. I can see that if the entire world is Multigovernment, there would be no need for a defence department. What about a defence department and a state department for other planets, and what about minting currency and distributing it, what about the postal system? I could go on and on."
"This concept is new to you, Mr. Day, but like the functions of the other governments (city, state, and county), they are not absolutely necessary. Defence is unnecessary between planets. Because of logistics, planets are too far apart to make invasion possible. The state department is unnecessary, obviously. The post office department is turned over to private industry and cooperatives. Now for the currency, welfare, and departments that have an ongoing nature. The judicial republic creates administrative districts and departments to administer these functions."
"They would be governments in and of themselves," I said.
"Yes, some observers refer to them as governments. They create districts for a specific problem or production. When the need for their services is over, then the district is discontinued. But the departments are of a continuous nature. They are reviewed yearly by the judicial republic (the judges). The departments adjust their personnel and operations to fit the findings of these reviews.
"It's almost time to leave now. Let me recap in a nutshell the overall theory of Multigovernment. Please remember that specific operating procedures and policies must be adjusted to particular locations, economic social conditions, and the moods of the people.
"The presumption of Multigovernment and the basis of its structure is that each individual must have the largest latitude humanly possible in either subjecting himself to a Multigovernment of his own choice or to be free. Also, that governments are to be oriented to serve man, not governed to serve the elite.
"The doctrine of Multigovernment is that there be at the geographical base a unit of limited powers called a geographical democracy. This geographical democracy covers the entire globe and is subdivided to best serve the inhabitants. There will be a judicial republic that has a court system from the base of the local government and reaches to a supreme court. These courts are charged with the responsibility of fair and honest judgment and the maintenance of the doctrine of Multigovernment. Any person born into this system will belong to the geographical democracy and be subject to the judgments of the judicial republic, but beyond that, he is absolutely free to choose."
When the session was over, I approached Dr. Peel, thinking perhaps
a handshake or some customary parting gesture was in order. But Dr.
Peel faded away. The messenger suggested it was time to leave.
We reversed the entrance procedure. As we were returning to earth, in the satellite, my mind was pulsating between the technical aspects of the flight and the political philosophy. I finally broke the silence.
"How am I, one man, going to get across to the entire world this 'Multigovernment'?"
"Your first job will be to get down on paper the basic concepts of this philosophy. Then work out a system of government based on the basic philosophy best suited to your time and planet."
"Is that all?"
"No. You must spend the rest of your life doing basically two things: One, write, lecture, and teach the basic concepts of Multigovernment; and two, use what resources you have and what talents you can muster to publicize and advertise this superior system of government."
"What do you mean, the remainder of my life?" I exclaimed. "I have other plans."
"Think about it seriously. It would take one hydrogen bomb from one well-meaning, misguided dictator, and your planet would experience the biggest holocaust in history, and civilization as you know it would be destroyed."
"It is a big responsibility."
"As proven by other planets, when you get started, intelligent people will see the situation realistically and embrace your alternative and help you in two ways. One, by writing literature supporting the theory of Multigovernment, and two, by providing leadership in the movement designed to bring about Multigovernment."
By that time the plane had landed.
"I have a million more questions," I said.
"You have had enough information on the political system. If you are curious about the technical aspects of the flight and our civilization as others have been, it is not our mission nor do we have time to explain."
The door opened and the messenger directed me to it.
"Good luck, Mr. Day."
I was deposited on the grass where I was picked up, and I watched the airship take off with its one main light and watched the light as it got smaller and smaller as it soared through the sky.
It finally lit up the night about as much as the stars for about half a minute, then it disappeared from sight.
The next day's local paper read, "UFO SIGHTED ON NORTHRIDGE CAMPUS."