COMMUNITY DECISION-MAKING & FAIR SHARING — THE POWER OF MANY – TOGETHER
How can we share power equitably, making decisions as inter-dependent communities of people, with engagement and respect, and for our common interests?
The third of three pamphlets outlines a governance system that is socially equitable and mimics the natural systems of our world.
It starts with the following prologue:
Democracy means people power, or rule by the people for the people. But which of the people rule and for whose benefit?
In the large centralised nation states of our present world, where there is a form of democratic governance, it is one of a few people representing large electorates, who are easily influenced by lobbyists for the rich and socially powerful.
Where the social aims of these large states revolve around material consumption and comfort, and economic activity is controlled by private enterprises for ownership profits, politics becomes subservient to economics and the power of money and wealth or capital.
Social aims and economic activities are, though, defined and directed by laws, standards and regulations that are decided through governance structures and political processes.
Power can be taken by force of arms, intellectual prowess or emotional manipulation, but fundamentally it has to be given, however begrudgingly — orders have to be accepted. It does involve an imbalance, but the needs of all parties do have to be considered in some way to sustain the arrangement.
The tools of power may be superior weapons and extensive surveillance systems, but social power is a matter of belief and imagination. It depends on stories of origins and purpose, and ultimately words can be more powerful than guns.
This basis in imagination allows both great extremes of power and sudden radical alteration.
Can a participatory democracy, based around collaboration and cooperation for the common good, have a governance system that is socially resilient and allows large complex societies to be dynamically stable?
The present crisis of political economy can provide the opportunities, provided we have formed the seeds, to sprout vigorously in the social clearings.
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TO BE A PEOPLE OF OUR PLACE — WELL NOURISHED in BODY, MIND & SPIRIT
What is the character of our place and period, the conditions of our lives as human communities in the present age?
The first of three pamphlets sets the scene about our time and place, and its social conditions, trends and influences.
It starts with the following prologue:
If the water in a glass is half way, it is half full to an optimist and half empty to a pessimist. Or so they say.
But being a pessimist or an optimist is just a state of mind, and is irrelevant to the reality of the situation. When it comes to the crunch, what is important is being realistic.
Whether the level is half way is also not really the point. What matters more is whether the level is rising or falling. It is the direction or trend that is informative, with life being about change and processes not static states.
We live in the present, with the conditions of our time and place, but with imagination we can foresee trends and patterns of change. This allows us to be responsive and proactive, and thereby more capable and creative in the way we live our lives.
If we look at the ‘glasses’ of our time and place, many are reaching empty, while some are overflowing. There are severe imbalances, which have a very destructive potential. Life is all about exchange, and the continual cycling of energy and nutrients through all parts of the whole integrated system. Excessive accumulations and over consumption by some parts at the expense of others is distorting, and brings forth countervailing forces of destructive cleansing and re-balancing.
We respond to our excesses, or we are destroyed.
The present human population and its consumption is clearly an excessive burden on the world and life on planet Earth.
Where are the responses to this excess? Will people respond sufficiently, and say, “Enough.” Or will we suffer a destructive cleansing by the forces of the Earth, with a withdrawal of support from the ecosystems of life?
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There are different processes of change in nature. Some are more gradual and progressive, with small step changes, and others involve radical reformulations or transformations into quite different states or functional arrangements. The dynamic and system implications are very different, and as with much of nature, there tends to be an oscillation between progressive or gradual change and radical or transformative alterations.
When the system driving forces become especially intense, or feedback adjustment measures become overloaded or dysfunctional, then the system may be driven towards a breakdown, which then allows a radically different system to establish.
Are we, in our living systems, in a time of such strong forces and expansionary processes towards a transformative dis-junction and alteration? What then are the processes of transformative change.
TRANSFORMATION — OF BODY, MIND & SPIRIT
Let’s start with the Universe.
The universe exists because there is change, a movement and exchange between entities that are different. Difference drives changes, which generates further differences (in a fractal expansion).
Difference ⇔ Change
Difference involves polarity or distinction, with exchanges between polar opposites. These oppositions, though, become increasingly intertwined as exchange systems develop.
Polarity ⇔ Exchange Systems
Life is a creative development of differences and generator of change. Life comes from connection and exchange developing difference and diversity.
Connection & Exchange ⇔ Life ⇔ Evolving diversity
This dynamic becomes increasingly complexified as connections are made and exchange becomes more and more systemised, with multiple relationships at varying levels, and diverse feedback loops.
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