Author Topic: THE RULES = Separation of Powers  (Read 1728 times)

Offline nomteticus

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THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« on: March 10, 2010, 08:40:37 PM »
 OK, I just wrote the same thing in another post, but I am writing a new topic because it's a new idea (I think). We know there are rules, but we're not sure what they are. The rules imply that the island has some sort of Constitution, that describes the structure of the "political system", and the relationship between its parts. If you view Jacob, MIB and the Others as a political system analogy, it makes sense to think that the rules describe the separation of powers. The constitution has this basic principle: the purpose of this arrangement is to "protect the island", just like the purpose of any state is to protect its people. The powers invested in order to do that are the following:


1. Jacob is the legislative power (aka Parliament, Congress etc). He sets the general rules and guidelines that all must follow, and he can't be judged or challenged (read: killed) as he has imunity. A one party Congress may seem bizarre, but most totalitarian systems had a general assembly, so it's not that far fetched. Richard is also part of the legislative power, as his purpose is to name the Prime Minister, with Jacob's consent and following the strange Dalai Lama rules. Jacob(via Richard) has the power to name and dissolve the executive (as some Parliaments do in Europe). Like any parliament, he is elected, but not periodically, just when he dies, the island (the people?) chooses one of the candidates, by means of natural selection (survivor takes all). So the remaining candidate takes all of the Congressional seats for as long as he lives (twisted democracy, but still).

2. The Others are the executive power (aka The Government). The Prime Minister (The President in USA), elected with the help of Richard, builds his cabinet of Ministers (Ellie had Widmore, Ben had Tom - external affairs, Ethan, Juliet - Health etc). They have to follow the general guidelines set by the legislative, but they may choose their own path of acheiving the main goal of protecting the island. Widmore (probably) chose to purge Dharma, Ben chose the 'save the babies' path and adopted a hostile "hawk" attitude towards the 815 survivors etc. The legislative can relieve the Prime Minister of his role, just like Widmore got the boot by Richard. Before a new Prime Minister is selected, Richard takes over the leadership role, just like in some European Countries the leader of the Senate takes over the President's role.

3. Smokey is the judiciary power. He can judge members of the executive and people outside the political system, and they accept him as such (Ben was going to be judged). He cannot judge the legislative since they have immunity, but neither can the legislative (Jacob) touch the judiciary.

Now this system was all going fine, until corruption arised both in the Executive and in the Judiciary. Smokey used a former Prime Minister to turn against his own party, lifting Jacob's immunity (by means of dagger :) ) so that the Judiciary can judge him (by means of boot in fire). Therefore, the legislative was dissolved (The President can dissolve the Parliament in some countries), and the people (The island) must choose a new Congress from the candidates. But since MIB is corrupt, he tries to create anarchy by gradually making the candidates change their mind about participating, and that's when the spirit of the island (the people?) warns him that he broke the rules. But since he is the judiciary, who will judge him? Who watches the watchmen? That's the question of Season 6, and we will probably find out.

Some of these comparisons may seem forced, and some of it is speculative, but they do shed some light on the possible nature of the RULES. What do you think?

« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 08:42:39 PM by nomteticus »

Offline thebeann

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 09:08:41 PM »
Nah, I think it's more like "Jacob is good, MIB is evil."

Or maybe more yin/yang, positive/negative. Didn't anyone see that episode of Xena where Xena has to restore Aphrodite's and Ares's powers with the golden apples she stole from the Norse Gods, thereby restoring balance to the universe?

Yeah, I think it's like that.

Offline Optimus J

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 05:33:43 AM »
For me looks like a valid parallel. But in my mind is much more loose than a government system.
Looks more like a bet or dare.
Jacob gives the rules of the dare, Smokey tries to win inside the rules to prove Jacob's thoughts wrong, and the Others are the stupid persons that follow the gang leader, Jacob, just because he is supposedly the most awesome kid in school/street, and are ordered to watch Smokey, following seemly arbitrary rules, that only Jacob and Smokey really understand.

Offline bfth

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 10:35:59 AM »
Right or wrong, you've certainly got an interesting theory going.

Offline BobBX542

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 12:35:15 PM »
OK, I just wrote the same thing in another post...Some of these comparisons may seem forced, and some of it is speculative, but they do shed some light on the possible nature of the RULES. What do you think?



I dig it Nometicus. I wish it explained a little bit more of the end game, but the system you have set up here deffinitely does make logical sense. I do kind of agree with Bean too though, you seem to missing a sense of good/evil in there, because despite however many times I see it or hear it, there is no way to convince me that there isn't a good/bad thing going on.

Nah, I think it's more like "Jacob is good, MIB is evil."

Or maybe more yin/yang, positive/negative. Didn't anyone see that episode of Xena where Xena has to restore Aphrodite's and Ares's powers with the golden apples she stole from the Norse Gods, thereby restoring balance to the universe?

Yeah, I think it's like that.

Holy crap, I think I actually do remember that. Wasn't Ares's trapped underground or something and she was completely insane??

Offline nomteticus

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 11:51:47 PM »
Well, the good would be the correct functioning of the system, and the evil would be corruption. And Widmore, Ben, MIB became corrupted after a while, but while they were acting as parts of the system they couldn't have been described as evil. Assuming you follow the functionalist view.
But then again, if you take the Marxian inspired conflict view, the system is evil, therefore what MIB does is good, and he does speak of freeing the people and so on. Viva la revolucion!
What I'm saying is, good and evil are relative to the powerholder. I'm really hoping that the writers show us the relativity of it all at the end and not just settle for another Biblical black and white story.

Offline BobBX542

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2010, 11:58:52 PM »
Okay, gotya, but I don't think, after 6 years that the end game should be a simple allegory about corrupt government.

Offline nomteticus

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2010, 06:01:59 PM »
If the island is a metaphor for power (like the ring in LOTR), than how can MIB be the bad guy? He wants nothing more to do with the island or manipulating people. He is doing his last manipulations in order to become free and free everyone in the process. While from the functionalist perspective he can be assimilated to a corrupt head judge, the conflict perspective shows him as an anarchist, freedom fighter, liberator, etc.

The egiptians (or whatever) fell in love with the island's power. They became extinct.
The US military wanted to use the island for testing the most destructive type of power ever invented. They were wiped out.
Dharma wanted to use the island's power, presumably to save the world. They were purged after miserably failing.
The Others were enjoying the Island's power under the pretext of protecting it. They are no more.
Jacob wanted to use the island as some sort of experiment to socially engineer progress. He died a pathetic death.

MIB had the power to judge and kill everyone on the island except Jacob. He chose to renounce his gift so he can lead a normal life. [unless he is lying of course]

If MIB is not the hero (from all we currently know), I don't know who is.

Offline CaseyMac

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2010, 06:30:20 PM »
To the original post:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

Clearly, I'm just kidding. I just like that quote lately.

I really like the connection you are making. I don't know if the writers are intentionally making a statement about government, however, the power struggle for control that we are watching unfold right now on the island has some very strong similarities to the power struggles in world governments.

Frankly, I could see this post being one of those user-contributed posts for the main site. It's a very cool, well thought out idea.

On a side note, I'm still having a hard time accepting the theory that MIB is the "hero". He is just screaming "villian" to me. Sometimes the devil can make a tempting offer, but the cost is usually very high.

Offline BobBX542

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Re: THE RULES = Separation of Powers
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2010, 10:16:34 PM »
The main reason I am sticking to Jacob good, MIB bad is because of years of TV and movie watching. Something tells me that the being that has the ability to transmogrify himself into an invincible killing machine saying that he "just wants to go home" isn't anything other than ominous. I highly, highly doubt that if he gets off the island he is simply going to find himself a nice little out of the way spot and retire from the killing people business.