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[COPY] Three models of governance for crises.
reposted from June 6
Three models for governance. Taking seriously Polibius and his advice that the form of government should be determined by the problems needing solutions, hence oscillation between democracy (internal issues such as distribution of rewards) and Monarchy (external issues, such as war or climate.). We should bear in mind the Athenian process of jobs determined for a year by drawing lots. They actually did this. It requires a civic education dispersed enough that any citizen who draw a slot cab perform the duties. This means high education but also simple enough roles.
Decimal Democracy (replacing Representative Democracy). Each person can join with others in small groups mot to exceed ten, (these groups can be local, professional, transient, wide open. Group membership, and hence open slots published on the internet., and they vote on one of their members to represent the other nine. Those reps (in a country of 100million that would be 10 million.) then form groups of ten which then elects a rep giving us one million, and so on each group of ten choosing a rep. Each rep represents only nine others. One million goes to 100 thousand to ten thousand to thousand to 100. This is the governing board which constructs an executive structure. Each rep at that level will have to have ben chosen at each lower level. The process is transparent, each rep knows their ten people and is known by them Each person can leave their group and join any other with an open slot (less than ten)You con imagine the issues and details from this.
Open space. (This method invented by Harrison Owen. I participated with him in a number of examples. The biggest was a group of over 400 working on the Intermodal Transportation Act which mandated coordination across federal agencies. We met for 4 days in Denver.)
The method is to gather, for example, on the morning of the first day (the circle can be one or several days)in a circle.(the Denver example requires two concentric circles.) The leader comes to the center with a microphone and says something like “You all now why we are gathered here. Pick an issue you might want to lead a discussion on. When I say go come up to the mike and announce the task and then post it on the wall in of of time slots (the wall is divided into days and hours and rooms). When I say go sign up on the wall for groups you want to join and go to your first chosen group where the proposer will lead, We will all meet back here at 5 for news and changes.” It is easy to get report outs entered into a computer and printed out daily or at the end.
At the community level this could be done daily where issues to be solved are posted on a wall for all to scan before starting the circle. Interesting that new leadership always emerges and some problems don’t get chosen. The issue then dies. Note that critical issues, like taking out the garbage, do get chosen because there are always a few who will feel fulfilled by doin difficult jobs. There are a lot of details to be decided but this architecture is robust.
I have ben relatively critical of corporations and the idea of hierarchy, but major problems (Polibius) that cu across boundaries require coherent cross border organization. There is mention of the Internet and open participation, but no details are usually given. The model here is full blown treating society (up to and including the whole species and its acknowledged embededness in nature as a single corporation, “the body politic”). In a corporation groups are organized in a hierarchical architecture (these to be decided and show the hard work needing to be done with this model) (the corp refers to an organic body) the ethic is that any issue that emerges should be dealt with forthwith at the level where it emerges, and not reported upward unless resources, (money, time, talent), are required from a higher level, In this way such a society wold not tolerate homelessness or hunger nor climate without organizing to solve the problem. (In my consulting experience at places like IBM, HP and Bell Labs I saw this as the in place ethic taken for granted and leading to quick action. This combined with rethinking the income distribution might be THE adequate system for managing the world.