GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION: The dynamics of a democratic world


Richard Moore

(C) 2004 Richard K. Moore



* Introduction

Up until this point, this book has been addressed to readers
in today's untransformed cultures, particularly those in the
industrialized West. Part I was primarily an historical
analysis, focusing on the role of elites and the dynamics of
hierarchy, imperialism, growth, and capitalism. Special
attention was devoted to exposing the sham of liberal
democracy, and showing how it functions, by design, as an
effective mechanism of elite domination. The objective of Part
I was to make it clear that our current societal systems are
leading us inevitably to disaster, and that relief cannot be
found by attempting to reform those inherently flawed systems.
The central conclusion of this investigation was stated as a
Transformational Imperative, identifying We the People as
being the only conceivable agent of social transformation.
That was followed by the development of a Harmonization
Imperative: for We the People to come into existence, we must
first find a way to overcome the factionalism that keeps us
divided and facilitates rule by elites.

Part II was an exploration of the potential of harmonization
as a means of transforming our cultures and enabling We the
People to wake up. I developed a scenario of how a
harmonization movement might develop, based on awakened
communities and networking, and the kinds of obstacles it
would be likely to encounter. That scenario was not intended
to be a detailed prediction or recommendation, but rather a
rough map of what I see as a plausible route. We can compare
the scenario to a satellite photo of mountainous terrain: from
such a photo we can identify the main passes through the
mountains, but we can't really know what the terrain is like
until we get there--"The map is not the territory." Again,
this material has been addressed to readers in today's
hierarchical societies, in the hope that some might be
inspired to pursue what appears to be a promising route to
social transformation.

Part III is intended for a moment in the future, that moment
when the movement achieves victory. We the People have woken
up all over the world, and we have just succeeded in bringing
the world's elites into our harmonization circle. In
accomplishing this victory, we have learned to make plans and
take action together and to develop effective strategies. Now
with everyone on board, We the People of the world are ready
to take on the responsibility of transforming our societies
and our global economy. At this special moment of victory
everyone in the world is unified in a common spirit, as we
have seen historically whenever tyrants have been overthrown.
People celebrate and dance in the streets, and everyone is
embraced as a brother or sister.

Everyone, for the moment at least, is reading from the same
page, is full of hope for the future, and has a spirit of
trust toward humanity in general. We have been unified up to
this point by our common struggle, but that's now over. Now
begins a much more difficult task, with many trade-offs to be
made, and we will need a new organizing principle. Presumably
our first step will be to arrange a global council, to
establish a basic system of world order. By using
harmonization, with back-and-forth exchange between the global
council and ad hoc local councils and networks-- and in our
current spirit of cooperation--we can expect to converge on a
universally acceptable global charter. What elites
accomplished at Bretton Woods, we too can accomplish.

This rest of this chapter is my advance contribution to the
dialog of this future global council. I will be developing,
from a systems perspective, a proposal for a global charter
for a democratic and sustainable global society. My starting
point is to identify a minimal set of  'enabling qualities'
for our new society:

      - genuinely democratic
      - peaceful
      - stable
      - economically efficient
      - sustainable
      - can deal effectively with issues at all levels up to the global

If even one of these qualities is lacking in our new society,
then I suggest we will have serious problems sooner or later.
But if we can be sure our society will exhibit these qualities
as it operates, then we will be enabled to carry on with the
business of running and transforming our societies. We will be
able to set our agendas at all levels democratically, pursue
them efficiently in peace, and plan our futures with an
expectation of stability. That's all we need from a charter;
the rest will be up to us, We the People, as creative and
responsible citizens working together.

The list of qualities is not itself a charter. It makes little
sense to proclaim, for example, "Thou shalt be stable". That
states a desirable outcome, but it says nothing about how to
achieve it, nor how compliance would be measured. What our
charter needs to be about is a set of system constraints
(charter provisions), which are well defined and achievable,
and which can be expected to lead to system dynamics which
exhibit the qualities we are seeking. In case this seems
confusing, here's a simple example. You don't want your child
to be injured in traffic: that's a 'quality' that you want to
see realized. What you tell your child is: "Look both ways and
cross with the light." That's a system constraint. If your
child constrains its behavior in that way whenever it crosses
the street (microcosm), then 'not being injured in traffic' is
likely to characterize that child's life (macrocosm). But if
you tell your child directly, "Don't get injured", that
conveys little useful information.

Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" presented an entirely
analogous exercise in systems analysis. Smith identified a
small number of constraints (eg., each buyer and seller is
small compared to the market size), and then demonstrated, by
examples and logic, that compliance with those constraints in
the microcosm would cause everyone's economic self interest to
lead toward the common good in the macrocosm. His model has
proven to be accurate in those competitive sub-markets (eg.,
PC peripherals) where his constraints largely apply. His model
has no relevance to a capitalist economy generally, which is
designed to facilitate the concentration of wealth into a few

Similarly we seek a charter, with a small number of primary
provisions, that will ensure that as people pursue their own
self interest in their local microcosm, the global society
will exhibit our minimal enabling qualities in the macrocosm.

* A global charter: the primary provisions

The first constraint I would like to introduce has to do with
harmonization. If we can ensure that harmonization processes
will be used to develop agendas and to resolve conflicts in
our society, then that will go a long way toward facilitating
our enabling qualities. Harmonization facilitates democracy by
allowing every voice to be heard and taken into account. It
facilitates peace by providing a way to resolve conflicts to
everyone's benefit. It facilitates stability by inhibiting the
emergence of factional strife. It facilitates "dealing
effectively with issues" by providing a tool, the
harmonization session, which is designed for that express

What I offered in the previous paragraph was a rationale for
considering harmonization as a system constraint. But the
suitability of a constraint is not established by such a
rationale, no matter how persuasive it might seem. The test of
a constraint comes later, as we consider what its consequences
are likely to be in conjunction with the other constraints.

Before stating the first constraint in the language of a
provision, I'd like to bring in the principle of localism, in
the context of democracy. To begin with, let me suggest that
genuine democracy can exist among a group of people only if
every one of their individual voices is able to participate in
the policy decisions of that group. I for one will not be at
all happy if I don't get my two cents in. Who doesn't feel the
same way? Who has nothing to contribute? Who has no unique
concerns? Who doesn't care how their community is run?

If every voice is to be heard, then there would seem to be a
limit to how large a democratic group of people can be. How
can every voice be heard, for example, in a city of ten
million people? I don't know what this size limit is, but I'm
sure we'll know by the time we're considering charter
provisions. If I had to guess now, I'd say the limit is
somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 citizens. By a process of
iteration, and participant rotation, such a group of people
can converge via harmonization on a shared  sense of We the
People, in which everyone's concerns are represented. I
suggest that if we want a democratic society, we would be well
advised to build it on a foundation of political units, or
'communities', each of which is small enough to enable an
inclusive, participatory, democratic process.

A 'community' might be a neighborhood in a town or city, or it
might be a rural village--presumably it would be some
existing, traditional unit of society. The boundaries of
communities will presumably be determined by the people
involved, and the sizes of different communities might vary
considerably, both in area and population. The only
requirement, from the perspective of democracy, is that a
community be small enough that everyone can participate
effectively in the community's affairs. Thus at the community
level it is possible to achieve genuine participatory
democracy--a democracy without factions, without
representation, and with no need for elected authorities. We
the People of a community can think and speak for ourselves,
with a sensible and coherent voice, and with every individual
voice included in the process.

If every individual voice needs to be heard, then we will have
some challenges to face when it comes to dealing with global
issues democratically and effectively. It turns out that those
challenges become easier to deal with if we can assume our
society is based on democratic communities as the lowest-level
political entity. More about that in the next section.

With these rationales as an introduction, permit me to offer
my first three provisions:

      Provision 1 (Communities): Communities are to be established,
      in which every person will be included on the basis of their
      primary residence, and which are small enough to enable an
      inclusive democratic process.
      Provision 2 (Harmonization): Communities are to set their
      policies by a process of inclusive democratic harmonization,
      and by similar processes a harmonious relationship is to be
      maintained among communities as they interact and collaborate
      with one another.
      Provision 3 (Local sovereignty): Presuming it abides by all
      the provisions of this charter, each community has the
      sovereign right to manage its internal affairs, and its
      external relationships, as it sees fit--without interference
      by the rest of society. However, if the actions or inactions
      of a community raise legitimate concerns in another community,
      those concerns are to be resolved as per Provision 2

If these provisions are followed, then we could expect to have
genuine democracy at the local level, and we could expect
effective and peaceful collaboration among neighboring
communities. Provision 3 (Local sovereignty) has an economic
rationale in addition to the obvious democratic rationale. Not
only does this provision ensure that the management of the
community's resources will serve the needs of the people in
the community, but it facilitates economic efficiency. The
feedback loops are small at the local level, the consequences
of policies are visible to everyone, and effective corrective
measures can be taken promptly whenever they are needed. The
people of such a sovereign community, when working in harmony,
have both the motivation and the means to manage the community
wisely and with a view to the long term. They can make better
decisions about how to use and preserve their local commons
than can some remote regulatory agency. In a society made up
of such democratic communities we could expect a proliferation
of creative initiatives and a renaissance of civic culture.

In order for a community to be able to manage its own affairs,
it will need to have dominion over its own local resources. If
the land and resources in a community are controlled by
absentee owners, for example, then the community won't have
the resources it needs to pursue its own survival and
prosperity, and its sovereignty would be meaningless.
Furthermore, if people or entities are permitted to accumulate
property on a wide-scale basis, then they could establish
economic empires and democracy generally would be undermined.
Due to these considerations, permit me to offer my fourth
charter provision:

      Provision 4 (Local ownership): All real property in a
      community--land, structures, and natural resources--are to
      remain under the exclusive control and ownership of residents
      of that community, of associations of such residents, or of
      the community as a whole, subject to compliance with the other
      provisions of this charter. No mortgage or lien is valid or
      enforceable against any real property in a community by any
      non-resident person or entity.

This provision gives communities a maximum degree of control
over their own destinies. With the benefit of short feedback
loops, and the ability to adjust policies when needed, we
could expect the grassroots of our new society to operate with
a reasonable degree of efficiency and effectiveness. It would
be in each citizen's and community's self interest to make the
most of what it has, to reuse and recycle on a systematic
basis, to minimize waste, to make appropriate use of
resources, and to generally follow sensible economic
practices. Furthermore, it would be in each community's self
interest to actively collaborate with its neighboring
communities,  and with networks of communities, in achieving
the benefits of scale for large projects such as
infrastructure development and regional resource management.

A society cannot remain stable if its economic practices are
unsustainable. Unsustainable practices on the part of any
community would endanger that community's future and would be
ultimately destabilizing for the surrounding society. Based on
self-interest, we could expect sovereign communities to
voluntarily employ sustainable practices. Nonetheless, we must
acknowledge that some communities might unwisely choose to
pursue short-term convenience by over-exploiting their own
resources. Not out of paternalism to such a community, but in
order to ensure the stability of society generally, such an
unwise pursuit cannot be permitted. In this regard, permit me
to suggest three related provisions:

      Provision 5 (Sustainability): While ownership of land and
      natural resources resides within each community, as per
      Provision 4 (Local ownership), the sustained productivity of
      those lands and resources is an asset held in trust by the
      community on behalf of society generally and future
      generations. All use, exploitation, or development of such
      land and resources must be carried out in such a way as to
      sustain and improve the overall productivity of that land and
      resources in perpetuity.
      Provision 6 (Non-renewable resource): Non-renewable resources,
      such as minerals and fossil fuels, are a special case and are
      considered to be jointly owned by the community in which they
      reside and by society generally. Policies regarding extraction
      and use of such resources must be determined in a context in
      which the overall best interest of society in the long term
      can be harmonized with the legitimate prerogatives of local
      ownership and autonomy.
      Provision 7 (Global commons): Resources which are not found
      within a community, such as those in wilderness areas or the
      high seas, are to be under the ownership and control of global
      society generally, and are to be managed according the
      sustainability constraints of Provision 5 and 6.

These seven provisions define the fundamental operating
constraints for our new society. Harmonization helps ensure
that local affairs will be run democratically, that conflicts
can be resolved satisfactorily, and that effective and
creative policies can be developed within communities and
among neighboring communities. Local sovereignty, together
with the sustainability requirements, facilitates sound and
efficient economic practices and inhibits the emergence of
economic empires or hierarchical political structures. In
addition, local sovereignty can be expected to encourage
diversity and experimentation, as various communities around
the world find creative ways to deal with their own unique
problems and opportunities. Communities could be expected to
learn from one another, and successful initiatives to be
adapted for use elsewhere. In this way a culture of localism
and harmonization can be expected to lead to a global cultural
renaissance--in the realms of art, economics, appropriate
technologies, and even the human spirit itself.

In order to deal with unusual emergencies, and in order to
make amendments our global charter, we will need to have a
formula for assembling future global councils. There are
probably many different formulas that would do the job, and
I'll offer one as an example. Basically, my proposal would be
to assemble two intermediate levels of councils, local and
regional, leading up to the global council. A local council
would be made up of delegations from each of 60 local
communities, and a regional council would be made up
delegations from each of 60 local councils.

Each community would first reach consensus on the issues of
the day, and then select a delegation of three people to
represent that consensus at its local council. Each local
council would then reach consensus on the issues and select a
3-person delegation to represent that consensus at its
regional council. Regional councils would repeat the same
process, and send a 3-person delegation to the global council.
If significant issues come up at any level that have not been
discussed at lower levels, or if the lower-level perspectives
are in conflict and cannot be harmonized, then those issues
would be kicked back down to the next lower level councils for
further discussion. This process would iterate until a
harmonized consensus can be reached at the global level.

If we assume that our average community population is about
three thousand, and that the global population is about six
billion, then we would have about two million communities
worldwide. There would be about 33,000 local councils, and
about 550 regional councils, each involving 180 delegates. The
global council itself would include about 1,600 delegates from
the regional councils. Each council would break down into
smaller groups, and would employ a process of iteration and
participant rotation in order to reach an eventual harmonized

Such a multi-level, iterative process would take some time to
converge on a global consensus, perhaps several weeks or
perhaps a month or two. In case that might seem cumbersome, we
need to remember that a global council is not like a world
government, rather it is more like an international treaty
conference. The council process is not employed to legislate
every-day issues, but rather to consider amendments to the
global charter and to deal with unusual problems or conflicts
that might arise and which defy resolution by the normal
process of voluntary harmonization among communities.

Permit me to put these ideas in the form of a charter provision:

      Provision 8 (Councils): If problems or conflicts arise which
      cannot be otherwise resolved by the provisions of this
      charter, then any community can call for a global council to
      be assembled. Each community will send three delegates to a
      council of sixty local communities; each local council will
      send three delegates to a council of sixty localities in the
      region; and each regional council will send three delegates to
      a global council. Council sessions at all levels will employ
      democratic harmonization processes, as per Provision 2
      (Harmonization). Delegates from each level will be selected
      after a harmonized consensus has been reached at that level,
      and they will be selected by a process of nomination and
      majority vote. No delegation will include more than one
      representative from the same lower level constituency.
      Delegations are empowered only to represent the consensus
      which has been reached in the council that selected them.
      Issues which cannot be harmonized by any council will be
      referred back to lower-level councils for further
      consideration. The global council will continue until the
      problematic issues have been resolved

Delegates at all levels would be ordinary citizens, taking
time off from their normal occupations. There would be no role
in our new society for any kind of professional politicians. A
global council would be an exciting affair for citizens to
participate in. Those who were selected to attend  at the
global level would be, for the duration, living in a temporary
community of fellow citizens from around the world, all acting
as equals as they discuss the issues of the day. Delegates at
lower level councils would be likely to return home after
their initial session, only to reassemble if issues were
referred back down for further consideration. Each day reports
of sessions at all levels would be sent out to their
constituencies so that everyone can track the proceedings.

We could expect a great deal of inherent system stability in a
culture based on harmonization.  'Running smoothly' can be
expected to be the norm. This is true because harmonization
tends to nip potential conflicts in the bud. When problems
first arise, they can be addressed right away, in whatever
context or level they arise. Once harmonization is
established, that serves as a kind of stabilizing
flywheel--the atmosphere of collaboration and mutual trust
makes it easier to deal with problems when they do arise. If
problems are not allowed to fester and grow, then there is
little reason for initiatives to arise which threaten social
stability. Thus the need for global councils would not be
expected to arise very often.

I have been giving rationales for these provisions, but we
will need to look more deeply into their likely consequences
before we can have confidence that they would lead to a
society with the desirable enabling qualities outlined in the
opening section of this chapter. In order to take that deeper
look, we will want to consider a number of scenarios. We will
want to look at how large scale problems can be dealt with,
how the global commons can be managed, and how potential
aggressors can be brought under control without creating a
centralized military force--which itself could become a
vehicle for the seizure of power by some ambitious individual
or clique.

* The maintenance of peace and harmony

In a world in which everyone's concerns are taken into
account, and where societies everywhere cooperate and trade
with one another for mutual benefit, there would seem to be
little motivation for any group or society to pursue a path of
aggression. But there are pessimistic scenarios which deserve
consideration, such as that of some charismatic leader (eg., a
Genghis Khan) who convinces his followers to go on the
warpath.  We cannot be sure that harmonization provides a
secure defense against all such anomalies. We need a Plan B in
case something goes wrong.

At this point, I must reiterate that global transformation can
only be possible when a culture of harmonization has spread to
the whole globe. We can't begin transforming the world if some
nation like China or the USA, for example, stays outside the
process and retains its elite leadership and its nuclear
weapons. In any scenario of transformation or transition, we
must assume that everyone everywhere will be cooperating from
the outset and will be participating in the harmonization
process. Before we can talk about maintaining peace, we must
assume that an initial state of global peace and cooperation
characterizes the transitional period.

With that proviso, we can assume that all weapons of mass
destruction, and all major weapons systems generally, will be
dismantled or recycled during the transitional period, along
with the related manufacturing facilities. A peaceful and
democratic world has no need of such weapons, and their
continued existence would pose an extreme potential danger to
social stability and safety. The first step toward global
peace would be universal disarmament. As part of this
arrangement, all facilities in all societies would always be
open to inspection by any visitors who cared to investigate
them. A democratic and peaceful society has nothing to hide.

But, considering again our need for a Plan B, I suggest that
disarmament should not be total. If there were no weapons or
any kind of militias, for example, then it would be possible
for a rogue society to secretly produce a small arsenal and
begin a path of conquest against its defenseless neighbors. We
should be able to ensure, by inspections, that no big weapons
systems are secretly developed, but at the very low end of
weaponry (rifles, grenades, hand-held rockets, etc.)
inspections might not always be effective. We can't expect to
regularly search everyone's basement, nor would that be
compatible with a democratic society.

Rather than no weapons at all, I think a more stable
arrangement would be to designate a certain level of low-scale
military technology, and then encourage every society to
maintain that level of deterrent capability. As in the Swiss
system, it might be desirable for most able-bodied people to
go through a military training program, so they'd know how to
handle weapons and operate effectively in a militia unit. The
idea would be to have ready-reserve militia units, that
exercise regularly, and which can mobilize if a deterrent
capability is ever required. The designated level of military
technology would emphasize defense over offense. Perhaps there
would be anti-tank rockets, but no tanks; ground-to-air
missiles, but no military aircraft, torpedo boats but no
destroyers, etc. The objective would be to make it difficult
for a rogue to obtain an effective offensive capability, while
ensuring that societies will have an adequate defensive
capability if a rogue somehow succeeds in assembling a secret
arsenal. Any attempt to build a military in excess of the
designated levels would be considered an act of aggression
against neighboring societal units, and an early response by
them would minimize violence and enable the underlying
conflicts to be resolved before they get out of hand.

In keeping with a society based on harmonization and localism,
militia units would be community-based and under the
democratic control of each community. Just as there are no
centralized political governments, there would be no
centralized military commands. Nonetheless, there would
probably need to be larger-scale military exercises, so that
militias would know how to cooperate in the face of a strong
rogue aggressor.

The dynamics of defense in such a system would be similar to
the dynamics of the human immune system. If a rogue emerges,
then surrounding militias can voluntarily and coherently
combine forces to surround the rogue with overwhelming
numbers--minimizing combat and ensuring a quick resolution.
This would be much like antibodies swarming to overwhelm and
isolate an invading organism. When the rogue has been
disarmed, the militias can go back home to their regular jobs,
and a process of reconciliation and harmonization can begin in
order to resolve the source of aggression, and restore peace
and stability.

Permit me to put these ideas in the form of charter provision:

      Provision 9 (Militias): Each community shall maintain a
      well-trained, ready-reserve militia unit for the purpose of
      maintaining the peace. The level of armaments available to
      this militia shall be strictly limited to that specified in
      this charter. If any community, or group of communities,
      attempts to acquire armaments which exceed those
      specifications, or initiates actual aggression against other
      communities, then surrounding communities are authorized and
      encouraged to mobilize their militias and collaborate
      voluntarily to contain and disarm the aggressing forces.
      Simultaneously, regional councils shall be assembled in the
      vicinity of the disturbance with the purpose of investigating
      and resolving the source of the aggression. When the conflict
      has been resolved, militia units shall return to their
      communities and resume their reserve status.

A common view, particularly in liberal circles, is that the
best way to achieve world peace is to establish a strong and
benign world government. Everything I've been saying in this
book can be interpreted as an attempt to refute that
perspective. As I've repeated many times, centralization and
hierarchy have their own inherent dynamics, and such
structures will never stay benign in the long run. If
positions of power exist, someone will exploit them sooner or
later. Power corrupts, it's that simple. If there is a world
government with a military force, then a coup is always a
possibility--and a formidable danger to global stability. In
the previous section, I argued that centralized government is
not necessary or desirable from the perspective of day-to-day
governance. In this section, I've been attempting to show that
peace can be maintained without any centralized military
command. Defensive forces can form themselves when needed, on
whatever scale is needed, and they can go back home when the
emergency is dealt with. With no central military command at
any level, the danger posed by military coups is minimized.

In a culture of harmonization, it seems unlikely that
aggression would occur or that militias would need to be
mobilized. In order to reduce this likelihood still further,
let us consider what kind of circumstances might lead to the
emergence of an aggressor. Clearly we would prefer to nip such
any such development in the bud before it led to actual
aggression. It seems to me that a scenario of potential
aggressiveness could only occur if some locality or region
begins to engage is some kind of secret activity, including
perhaps the development of armaments in excess of the
prescribed levels. In order to prevent the emergence of secret
activity, and to keep our societies as open as possible, we
would be well advised to address the issue of secrecy
directly. In a democratic society there should be no need for
secrecy, apart from the right of citizens to privacy in their
personal lives. Permit me to propose one feasible way to
address this issue. This proposal is based on the idea of a
guest exchange program.

Suppose that each year each community sends off three citizens
to live as guests elsewhere for the year, and in turn accepts
three guests. Actually, a 'guest' might not be a single
citizen, but might be a couple or a family. The three selected
guest contingents would go to three different randomly
selected locations throughout the world, with provision made
for location preferences. Guests would  participate as equals
in the host community's harmonization process, and they would
be able to observe everything going on in their host
community, as can any citizen. If the guests are able to
function in consensus effectively in that community, then we
can assume the community is pretty much in line with
acceptable global norms.

By such a mechanism, secret programs would be inhibited and
any kind of brewing dissatisfaction would come to the
attention of the rest of society. In addition to this negative
function--preventing conflicts from arising--such a guest
program would serve many positive functions as well. It would
facilitate mutual understanding among societies, and encourage
the cross-pollenization of ideas and skills. Guests would be
provided with employment, or with educational opportunities,
depending on their age, skills, and interests. They would be
expected to contribute to their host communities, and be
responsible citizens, just as they would in their own home
communities. I've suggested that three guests be included in
this program in order to ensure that sufficient
cross-pollenization occurs among societies. But in fact, such
a program might be very popular, and communities might choose
both to send off and to accept a larger number of guest
contingents on a voluntary basis. Permit me to put these ideas
in the form of a charter provision:

      Provision 10 (Cultural exchanges): In order to encourage
      cross-cultural exchange among communities, and to maintain
      open societies, a guest-exchange program shall be organized
      worldwide each year. Each community shall select at least
      three guest contingents to contribute to this program, and in
      turn will accept at least three guest contingents. A
      contingent will consist of an individual, a couple, or a
      family. Each contingent will reside in its host community for
      one year, and the destination of contingents will be
      determined partly randomly, and partly by preference of the
      members of the contingent. Guests shall enjoy the same status,
      and assume similar responsibilities, as permanent local

* The management of large-scale projects and operations

The avoidance of centralized and hierarchical structures is of
fundamental importance if democracy is to be maintained in our
new society. In the preceding sections I have attempted to
show how governance and peace-keeping can be achieved without
centralized governments or centralized military commands. The
avoidance of centralized economic entities is equally
important to the maintenance of democracy. If any person or
clique is able to accumulate excessive wealth, or to control a
very large economic operation, they could very easily leverage
that economic power into political power. Abundant evidence
for this fact can be found throughout history and particularly
since the advent of monopoly capitalism.

And yet, we cannot escape the realities of the industrial
revolution. We cannot afford to ignore the advantages of
mass-production, the economies of scale, and the benefits of
technology--if we want to survive and prosper. We do not want
to throw the baby-of-efficiency out with the
corporate-bath-water. We need, however to apply these tools
toward the benefit of our families and our communities, rather
than devote them to the accumulation of wealth by a few.  In a
democratic society we can expect to use the tools in that way.
And we need to use these tools within the constraints of
economic sustainability, and with due respect for the
environment which provides us with sustenance. In a society
where resources are controlled locally and democratically, we
will have every motivation to use those resources wisely and
with an eye toward improving the quality of life in our
communities in the long run. We also need to use these tools
in such a way that they do not end up controlling us. We do
not want to create production systems which, like
corporations, take on a life of their own and end up
dominating society. Industrialism without hierarchy is the nut
that needs to be cracked.

I do not mean to over-emphasize the importance of industrial
methods. There is also much room for returning to small-scale
ways of doing things, which in many situations can be more
efficient than mass-scale approaches. Local production for
local consumption, and low-technology agriculture, are in many
contexts exactly the 'appropriate technologies'. Yet even in
those contexts, things like high-efficiency turbine
generators, solar cells, personal computer systems, and
satellite communications can offer much complementary benefit.
At least in the large, modern societies, industrial
methods--used appropriately--certainly have a role to play.

We need benefits of scale, but how much scale do we need? I
suggest that the largest operating entity we really need is a
single-site facility--on the scale of a single factory, a
regional airport, or a seaport. We might be talking about a
massive factory or other facility, employing thousands of
workers, and covering many acres. But it can be locally owned,
controlled democratically, and it can be autonomous from other
economic entities. Larger, multi-site entities--such as the
modern large corporation--do not add significantly more real
economic efficiency. They do however facilitate centralized
control and the building of monopolies. An autonomous factory
can seek the best vendors on a competitive basis, and choose
its markets and distribution channels according to free-market
principles. No single factory, even if massive, is going to
dominate its sector of the larger economy. By limiting scale
in this way, Adam Smith's constraints can be maintained, and
his "invisible hand" can be expected to lead to overall
economic benefit in the macrocosm.

Our Provision 4  (Local ownership)requires that ownership of
real property remain within its local community. In the case
of privately owned enterprises, I suggest that this provision
must be rigorously adhered to. If any private, presumably
for-profit entity, is permitted to grow beyond strict limits,
we may encourage the emergence another J.D. Rockefeller or
J.P. Morgan who will be clever enough to leverage his success
formula into an economic empire. Human nature, if anything, is
infinitely creative in the pursuit of goals, whether
beneficial or not. For our large endeavors, such as a regional
factory or seaport, we need a more democratic and inherently
socially responsible kind of enterprise.

There are probably many entity structures that would suit our
purposes here, and as usual I'll offer one common-sense
proposal just to demonstrate feasibility. I suggest that a
larger-than-community enterprise be organized as a joint-
venture partnership among a group of communities, who mutually
agree to assume specified obligations in regard to funding,
providing land and access, and otherwise contributing to the
enterprise. These same collaborating communities would receive
specified rewards (eg., a specified share of profits, or a
guarantee of employment availability) from the operation of
the enterprise.

The group of participating communities should include any
communities whose residents are intending to be workers in the
factory, as the workers and their communities are also
stakeholders in the enterprise. The enterprise would be
overseen by a board of directors, including representation
from all partner communities, and other communities and groups
which have a stakeholder interest. The board would not be a
fixed body (beware power cliques) but would be constituted by
rotating representatives from the stakeholder communities.The
primary mission of the board would be to maintain harmony
between the interests of the stakeholders (including the
workers) and the operational requirements of the enterprise,
within the provisions of our global charter. The actions of
the board would be fully transparent, indeed videos of board
meetings could be made available to stakeholders.

The existence of such a joint-venture entity would not be
destabilizing to the local political environment because all
affected communities would be represented on the board and
included fully in the policy-setting process. Furthermore, any
such single facility--even a very large one--would be only one
small player in the wider marketplace. If we allow enterprises
to be larger than a community--but limit such enterprises to a
single site of operations--then we can expect continued
political stability, along with the continued guidance of
Smith's invisible hand, and we would be able to achieve the
scale of operation necessary to support a complex economy--
on a site by site basis.

There would be no 'personhood' or 'limited liability'
associated with such a joint-venture enterprise. The
communities involved in the enterprise would need to assume
collective responsibility for the consequences of the
enterprise, foreseen or unforeseen, according to an agreed
formula--just as if the communities had caused those
consequences in the absence of any enterprise. The enterprise
is a mechanism to enable effective collaboration, not a means
of escaping responsibility for actions and decisions. An
enterprise, once established, has no inherent right to
continue existing. At any time the stakeholder communities can
agree, through their board, to disband the operation,
reconstitute its management, or convert the facility to some
other purpose--always within the provisions of our global

I cannot attempt here to comprehensively consider the full
range of economic empire-building strategies, and seek a way
to prevent each. When the time comes, better minds than mine
will be working on the problem. Our main safeguards are the
democratic process and local sovereignty. If some operator
becomes a problem, people can respond to the actual situation
and take remedial action at the grassroots level, or councils
can be organized at higher levels. Within the scope of the
limited examples we have considered, permit me to suggest an
appropriate charter provision:

      Provision 11 (Collective entities): Enterprises or agencies
      which exceed the scope or territory of a single community are
      to be undertaken as joint-venture partnerships involving all
      affected stakeholder communities. Equity ownership in, and
      liens and mortgages against such entities are limited to
      residents of the stakeholder communities and the communities
      themselves. Stakeholder communities shall include at a minimum
      all communities whose territory is affected, over whose
      territory access will be required, who will be contributing
      resources or manpower, or who might be environmentally or
      economically affected by the entity's operations. Any
      liabilities or debts incurred by such an entity, if they
      cannot be covered out of its operating budget, become
      liabilities and debts of the stakeholders, according to an
      agreed formula. Policy in such enterprises is to be set by a
      rotating board, including representation from all
      stakeholders, and by means of harmonization processes.

As Noam Chomsky and others have pointed out, the American
Constitution over-emphasizes property rights in comparison to
personal rights and social justice. Whereas the Bill of Rights
merely promises 'no harm' as regards civil liberties, the
Constitution overall includes much more active provisions when
it comes to guaranteeing the rights of property. In a society
which has does not restrict its cultural values to greed and
wealth accumulation, we can expect that property rights might
in some cases need to compromise with other considerations. In
particular, the enforceability of contracts may need to be
limited in certain circumstances.

To be more specific, we cannot let contracts among business
entities undermine local sovereignty. To some extent our
latest provision addresses this issue with the phrase, "liens
and mortgages against such enterprises are limited to
residents of the stakeholder communities and the communities
themselves". As regards contracts, suppose that our local
factory fails to deliver on a contract, and a significant
economic penalty has been agreed to. If the factory enterprise
cannot afford to cover the penalty, then I suggest the
stakeholders need to have the freedom to either meet the
obligation or defer it. This can be seen as a kind of
bankruptcy protection, but one generous to the debtor.
Admittedly, the hypothetical purchaser under the contract may
suffer unfair economic hardship, particularly if advance
payments have been made--but strict enforcement might
compromise local sovereignty and economic viability. If a
community is forced to devote a fraction of its productivity
to repaying an external debt, that is tantamount to a mortgage
on the community, and would be contrary to Provision 4 (Local

This situation is not really as troublesome as it might at
first appear. It does not mean that business relationships
would be unstable and unpredictable. What it does mean is that
reliability and reputation would be a strong element in
business relationships. Relationships among vendors and buyers
would tend to be oriented around trust bonds, and in the long
run this would be more stabilizing than a punitive system of
contract enforcement. And if an enterprise did stumble, it
would be in everyone's best long-term interest to allow that
entity to reorganize itself and become again a contributor to
the regional economy and an employer. Or if the enterprise is
not worth continuing, then the communities' sovereignty over
their real property should not be compromised. They should
have the right to recycle the facilities and equipment to the
benefit of the stakeholders.

In light of these considerations, permit me to amend Provision
4 as follows:

      Provision 4 (Local ownership, amended): All real property in a
      community--land, structures, and natural resources--are to
      remain under the exclusive control and ownership of residents
      of that community, of associations of such residents, or of
      the community as a whole, subject to compliance with the other
      provisions of this charter. No mortgage or lien is valid or
      enforceable against any real property in a community by any
      non-resident person or entity. The repayment of debts and
      other obligations, owed by a community or resident to an
      external person or entity, cannot be enforced without the
      agreement of the debtor community, as per Provision 2
      (Harmonization) and Provision 3 (Local sovereignty).

* The management of the global commons

In this final section of the current chapter, I will dispense
with proposing further charter provisions. I've probably gone
overboard as it is with my amateur legalese, but that seemed
like the clearest way to summarize and refer to the desired
system constraints. What I'll try to do here is explore how we
might democratically handle our global-scale problems,
efficiently and effectively. As an example, let's consider the
management of the high seas.

To begin with, there is the question of territorial waters,
which presumably would require language in Provision 1
(Communities). Local stewardship of coastal waters, within
some kind of specified boundaries, makes economic and
ecological sense by the same arguments offered earlier
regarding local sovereignty generally. Coastal communities
would be motivated by self-interest to wisely manage their
fishing stocks and other marine resources, and they would be 
bound by our sustainability provisions. Coastal communities
would have primary responsibility for ensuring adequate safety
facilities (foghorns, rescue craft, or whatever) in support of
coastal shipping, just as they would need to provide safe
passage for land traffic and visitors. Neighboring coastal
communities, and economically-involved non-coastal communities
would naturally collaborate in establishing entities, as per
Provision 11 (Collective entities), to provide things like
ports and warehousing, harbor-master services, rescue
helicopters, patrol craft, etc. Local control of territorial
waters can be expected to work out satisfactorily, with
considerable variety in local usage patterns.

For the high seas we need a more systematic approach. We need
to set sensible global policies in order to help restore
fishing stocks to acceptable levels of viability and
productivity. We need to have sound policies which seek to
maximize overall marine productivity, within the constraints
of sustainability and ecological integrity. If we harvest too
much, we reduce net productivity. If we harvest too little, we
are contributing unnecessarily to world hunger and adding
stress to land-based food production.

I don't believe this kind of policy-making would be
particularly problematic. At the level of basic policy
guidelines, and the specification of goals and objectives,
this would be the responsibility of a global council devoted
to that purpose, as per Provision 8 (Councils). A team could
be assembled by such a council, with appropriate scientific
and citizen representation, to draw up more detailed policies,
for review, modification, and eventual amendment and
endorsement by a subsequent global council.

As regards compliance-monitoring, policing, satellite tracking
of shipping traffic, rescue services, and other such
operational issues, I suggest that we would want to establish
various co-operating but separate agencies to deal with
various tasks, as per Provision 11 (Collective entities).
These agencies would be special in that their "stakeholder
communities" would include the whole global society. Clearly,
every stakeholder could not be directly represented on the
board of such an agency. Care would need to be taken to ensure
that every class of stakeholder is represented, and that
rotation be used to diversify participation over time. And it
goes without saying, under our charter, that the performance
of such agencies remains always under the scrutiny of all
affected communities and enterprises. If an agency's
performance is inadequate, or if the agency starts getting
carried away with its own importance, councils can be
assembled at whatever level is appropriate, and the problems
can be addressed.

Presumably our local-militia concept can be extended to
maintaining order and preventing piracy or aggression on the
high seas. Earlier I estimated there would be about 550
regional councils. Perhaps each region could be responsible
for providing and supporting one armed vessel, with an
emphasis on defensive armaments, to participate in a
co-operative global navy. Under normal circumstances, the
assignments of these vessels would be coordinated by one of
our high-seas agencies, something like a 'high seas safety
agency'. The vessels would carry out routine patrols, be
available to deal with rescues or emergencies, and participate
in the monitoring processes, such as measuring fish stocks or
inspecting cargoes.

If any kind of aggressor scenario arises, either on the high
seas or in a coastal area where our vessels might be needed
for support, then I suggest that we stick with the principles
of Provision 9 (Militias). Our 'high seas safety agency' would
be available as a collective resource, and a communication
switchboard, but it would not become the Lord Admiralty of a
Global Naval Force. When it comes to anything like a combat
scenario, each vessel remains under the democratic control of
the region which provided the ship and the crew. Collaboration
in the face of aggression would be determined by each crew and
its home region, based on their interpretation of the alleged
aggressive events. But there is no reason to expect that the
vessels in the region of a genuine rogue would fail to respond
when needed. They would expect the same support from their
naval colleagues if their own home port or their own shipping
were under some kind of attack. By maintaining the autonomy of
individual vessels, we protect against a 'high seas safety
agency' which seeks unilaterally to mask an aggressive
invasion under the rhetoric of 'restoring order'. Once again,
we want to avoid centralized military commands and the
possibility of coups by power-seeking individuals or cliques.

* System review

In the Introduction to this chapter I put forward these 'enabling qualities' for
our new society: 

      - genuinely democratic
      - peaceful
      - stable
      - economically efficient
      - sustainable
      - can deal effectively with issues at all levels up to the global

Throughout the chapter I have indicated how the each of the
proposed charter provisions can be expected to contribute to
the realization of these qualities. We've looked at a few
representative scenarios dealing with issues that might arise
at each level, from local to the global, and we've found, I
hope you will agree, plausible approaches to dealing with
those issues--approaches which are viable within the context
of the identified provisions, and which are consistent with
our enabling qualities.

As in the previous chapter, I am not attempting to offer a
comprehensive final recipe. Just as that chapter endeavored to
show a satellite photo of a promising pass through the
mountains, so this chapter has endeavored to show a satellite
map of a plausible democratic global system. Again, the map is
not the territory, and the real terrain will surely bring
surprises. My hope in preparing this early set of proposals is
to encourage us to take a broad view of the solutions
available to us, and to encourage us to keep always in mind
the whole-system dynamics we would set in motion by our
adopted global charter.



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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland
    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
      suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the
      Reichstag fire."  
      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in ourselves - not gods, ideologies, leaders, or programs.
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