I’d like to start off 2013 with a positive conversation. In particular, I invite you send in your own personal answer to this question: What kind of world would you like to live in, and how would you like it to operate?
consensus management of economy and ecology watershed (econiche) by watershed (econiche).
With regard to Councils and governance systems, it would be good to consider what population base a council or any governance system should be to best represent its people. New Zealand has a similar size to that of Ireland with a diverse range of interests composed of a few cities, mostly towns (by world scales) and villages of a few thousand.…What is the ideal size of representation in governance?The difference between governance and management is difficult to understand for many people. Governance sets policies and directions and management are supposed to carry them out. Unfortunately, vested interests and lobbyists are often in the middle (or within either bloc) and guide decisions into their own profitable directions.I think in an ideal world, we want/need a system of governance which works toward reflecting the overall wishes and aspirations of its people. Where there are significant differences of opinions, there is a need for consensus building and changes where required (perhaps by wisdom councils on those issues). Perhaps another question to be asked is:How we can set up a governance system which cannot be subverted by those with power and influence?
The key is Unity.-Without it we won’t make it. With it we will do it easily. (Most of our problems are not that complex, in fact most have already been solved.)-Unity won’t be easy. …We must create a demand for it. A lot of people must know that Unity is our priority and understand why…-By now the way humanity has dealt with this issue (unity) is to eliminate the problem (divisions). We get together with like-minded; we exclude anything that creates division; we bypass the difficulty hence we haven’t develop abilities to create unity.-We need a technical science of debate. The goal is not to all agree and like each other but being able to create what we want like if we were one person. This science is possible and applicable because we already have a strong united base. We all (most of us on earth) want love, peace, success etc.-This Science of debate should be applied in local group (physical, in person, not on the internet). Once heterogeneous individuals of a given geographical locality are able to decide together, they become the Authority (because if we are all together who can be against us?) and can then delegate (to create our collective agenda). Multiple experiments will be done everywhere and then through networking groups would exchange ideas and results they got and eventually the technology used to unite locally will be used to unite groups of a regions and so on. Until all humanity is united. It will be a decentralised centralisation.Human nature doesn’t need to change for this strategy to be applied. We already have everything we need.
I missed the second part of your question, Richard… “how would you like it to operate”. That’s the hard part, isn’t it. The how. It looks to me from what people wrote that we are pretty much in synch on the “what.” That leaves two questions… how do you picture the governance, and how do we get from here to there.Since we are visioning, here is my vision: it must be a form of governance where information and feedback flows every which way, freely. (Systems where information is hoarded at the top and mostly only flows down, those are systems with built-in stupidity.) It must also be a form of governance that utilizes evolvement (like nature does) much more than it does command structures and hierarchies (though they can be useful in certain specific — usually acute — circumstances).Like I said, it must be a system that amplifies wisdom. I call it co-governance. Elinor Ostrom wrote much about it regarding the management of commons (such as fisheries). According to her research, this is what you need for successful co-governance of the commons:* clearly defined boundaries* local rules* participation in the collective choice making* effective monitoring* graduated sanctions* cheap and easy conflict resolution* local determination* nestedness (like Russian dolls, where local co-governance units are nested within slightly larger units etc)* reliable info available on short and long term benefits of actions* individuals involved have a long term horizon* gaining a reputation for being a trustworthy reciprocator is important to them* social capital and leadership builds on to previous successes in solving problemsAll this of course depends on real local self-determination. And that falls right back to the problem of power. So in order to have wisdom-based co-governance, we must solve the problem of power as well.
…Lets pick out members of parliament by lottery! This would be all the citizens between a certain age, say 21 and 55. This would then include all ages, all races, all sex genders and even ex prisoners and handicapped people. Just like we pick average citizens for jury duty and expect fairness, so a truly representative government composed of lottery winners would also reflect the actual citizenry.…Second, let’s pick citizens every three years with a complete change happening every nine years. Let me explain. Let’s say you were chosen. The first year, you would go to a special school to actually learn how government works…So, instead of electing politicians with a viewpoint, we would be selecting citizens whose only mandate would be governing for the good of the country and all it’s citizens…
Ordinary citizens as representatives makes more sense than politicians with agendas, but a mandate of ‘governing for the good’ does not give them much in the way of democratic direction. Much better is to have a specific mandate. That is, it makes sense for each community to reach a consensus on policy priorities, and for that consensus to be the mandate of the local representative. With such a mandate, the representative wouldn’t be selected randomly, but rather on the basis of having the trust and respect of the community.
Hi Richard, I read all the concerns of people in your group and would like to offer my 5 cents worth:UTOPIA or OBLIVION
One area in which I am involved is in the creation of a culture of peace. Located in Vancouver, BC, Canada I am part of the Canadian Peace Initiative. We have one goal and that is to lobby the government to create a Department of Peace led by a Cabinet level Minister of Peace. There is a private members bill that was introduced in Nov 2011 by an NDP party MP and cosigned by Liberal and Green party MP’s. We are currently trying to get a second reading on the bill…For more information see:Canada – http://www.departmentofpeace.ca/Global Alliance – http://www.mfp-dop.org/In Peace,Furquan GehlenCo-Chair of Vancouver Chapter, Canadian Peace Initiative
I held my response to see what people were thinking and it is clear we are pretty much unified on the kind of world we want and the council system you propose is the best I’ve seen, sensible and accessible, for governance. I have been studying the system we have and … I think Bernhard Lietaer has identified it (nailed it) which is the positive interest currency system common around the world. …Bernhard has been campaigning on complementary currencies for some time now and I’ve missed the real importance of it until now…
Seems as though everyone agrees that the golden rule is the common desire. Agreed, no need for religious wars at least. One addition might be a new economic model that doesn’t require growth for prosperity.
There is a quote from G. K. Chesterton that I like: Where love is failing, power fills the vacuum. I would like to see a world where feelings and emotions became more important than they are now. This would require more sensitivity to our immediate neighbor, and give more value to how each person was feeling.