Think about that title for a moment. What if society-at-large had to live under a Masonic government? Yes; general society is probably too big, too chaotic, and just plain not ready for such a thing - but we can muse on the subject for entertainment and discussion purposes.
Though each Grand Jurisdiction has it own Code and/or Constitution, there are some common strands that can be found in each Grand Lodge and Lodge. Most Masons are already at least partially schooled in the executive powers and roles of Grand Masters and Lodge Masters, the legislative powers and roles of the Grand Lodges and members of each Lodge, and the judicial powers of all of the aforementioned. The dry subject of those powers and roles will not be presented here. Rather, let us concentrate on what happens after a resolution has been passed and becomes Masonic law or an approved decision. It is at that point in the process where we can see a huge difference in how Masonic government works when compared to the governments of society-at-large.
To see this difference, let us use a town in the United States as the sample civil government in the following scenario. Please bear in mind that towns have differing styles of government - such as mayor-council, council-mayor, administrator-council, etc - so this scenario may not fit all towns. In our scenario, the voters have just approved a referendum that calls for a new town park to be constructed. The council and mayor are now obligated to make this happen and they do so by first raising the millage rate on property taxes. After all, it costs money to build a park. They then put the town’s public works department on to the task of building the park. A few town employees, with their earth movers, toil away until the park is built and all of the town’s citizens are now able to enjoy the lovely new recreational site – even though only some of the citizen’s (property owners) paid for it and only a few of the citizen’s (public works employees) built it. In fact, when we look back at how people voted in the referendum, we find that the public works employees all voted against it (their work schedule was already overloaded) and many of the property owners did the same (they are tired of paying higher and higher taxes). Most of the citizens that voted for the new park had to neither pay for it nor actually build it.
Let us now turn to the town’s local Masonic Lodge to see how it handles a similar scenario. The Lodge members have just voted to remodel the Lodge’s dining hall. The floor needs new tiling, new paint is needed, and the curtains are in need of replacement. The project is going to cost a bit of money, so the Lodge also votes to raise the dues (taxes) for the upcoming year. The Master of the Lodge then appoints a work committee, made up of the very members that voted to remodel the hall. The committee toils away with paintbrushes and tile glue until a beautiful dining hall is ready to be used by all of the Lodge members. In this scenario, all of the members pay for the project and the very folks that wanted the remodeled hall actually do the work to make it a reality.
Those two scenarios clearly bring to light the vast difference between civil government and Masonic government. The first scenario shows that groups of people can direct other folks to spend money and exert effort, even though they have to do neither while still enjoying the fruits of someone else’s sacrifice. The Masonic scenario shows how, if the group wants something done, all must sacrifice to make it a reality.
If society-at-large had to live under the rules and regulations of Masonic government, it is probably a sure bet that fewer parks would be constructed.