The Ideal System of Government

In this post, we simplify the Ideal system of government by David Hume, which can seamlessly integrate with our decentralized economic system from Adam Smith.

The Ideal system of government

by David Hume, simplified by Juan

Here is the ideal form of government:

Every new law must first be debated in the senate [by the executive, like a veto].


The senate:


The Magistrates and Council


The Court of Competitors

Besides these councils or courts, there is another called the court of competitors


The Senate

The senate possesses all the judicative authority of the house of Lords -- all the appeals from the inferior courts.


The Representatives

The representatives have all the authority of the British justices of peace in trials, commitments, etc.

The magistrates name rectors or ministers to all the parishes.


The Militia

The militia is established in imitation of that of Swisserland.8


Justice System

All crimes are tried within the county by the magistrates and a jury.

In wartime, no army officer in the field can have any civil office in the commonwealth.

The capital may be allowed [522] 4 members in the senate.

When they enact any by-law, the greater number of counties or divisions determines the matter.

The first year in every century is set apart for correcting all inequalities, which time may have produced in the representative.

Therefore, in their parochial meetings, will probably choose the best representative:

The nobles in Poland are more than 10,000.


All free governments must consist of 2 councils, a lesser senate and greater people

Divide the people into many separate bodies; and then they may debate with safety, and every inconvenience seems to be prevented.  

There are two things to be guarded against in every senate:

  • its division.

    In foreign politics the interest of the senate cannot be separated from that of the people


    The chief support of the British government is the opposition of interests;

    It is necessary, likewise, to prevent both combination and division in the thousand magistrates.

    The 10,000 are too large a body either to unite or divide, except when they:

    A small commonwealth is the happiest government in the world within itself, because every thing lies under the eye of the rulers:

    Every county-law may be annulled either by the senate or another county because that shows an opposition of interest: In which case no part ought to decide for itself.

    In many governments, the rewards of inferior magistrates arise only from their ambition, vanity, or public spirit.

    This plan of government is practicable as it is seen in and proven by the commonwealth of the United Provinces

    The chief alterations that could be made on the British government are:

    1. The plan of Cromwell’s parliament should be restored, by:
    2. Such a house of Commons would be too weighty for a frail house of Lords, like the present

    This plan of limited monarchy is still liable to three great inconveniencies.

    1. It removes not entirely, though it may soften, the parties of court and country
    2. The king’s personal character must still have great influence on the government.
    3. The sword is in the hands of a single person, who will always neglect to discipline the militia, in order to have a pretence for keeping up a standing army.j

    There is a fallacy:

    The contrary seems probable.

    Aristocracies are better adapted for peace and order

    Should such a government be immortal?