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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