Infinite Governance

James Carse, in his profound book "Finite and Infinite Games," describes two kinds of games. Finite games we win by ending. Infinite games we win by continuing to play.


When we treat life as a finite game we destroy it. When we treat life as an infinite game we participate in an upward flow of increasing virtue and wellbeing. You know you're playing an infinite game with an infinite goal when the journey has become the destination, when you thoroughly enjoy the process of getting more of whatever it is you're after. There are so many infinite games: learning, solving puzzles, experiencing varieties of joy, planting seeds, making people laugh, making life better, etc.


Since the future is more undetermined than determined, it's more accurate and helpful to describe what kind of government we might create than what kind of government will exist, by 2040.


The government of 2040 could be one that facilitates each individual discovering and playing their preferred infinite game and discovering and playing new infinite games when they so choose.


How might such a government operate? It would be minimally intrusive. It would be maximally trusting while being realistic. It would protect diversity of all kinds against coercive homogenization.


How could this be accomplished? The most difficult step is the first one: considering our lives and the role of governance in this frame. It is difficult because doing so immediately reveals that life is an intrinsic joy and opens us to sharing that kind of life with everyone. Many people running governments seem to have a kind of death wish such that their winning whatever game they're playing requires others losing, a hallmark of finite games. So first we ought to discover an infinite game for ourselves and encourage others to do the same.