Nature of Politics

fullcircle principles

The term politics might be vastly misleading - what i really want to address here is the nature of governance: the question of the fundamental mechanisms of how humans organize decision making, rewards and sanctions, distribution of power and managing shared assets.

If you plan to invest than 18:12 minutes into YouTube this year, then it should be by watching the Rules for Rulers - It describes the essence of centralized modes of governance better than anything else i am aware of.

This essence is best described as the dynamics between the source and distribution of wealth. The more centralized wealth creation is, the easier it can be controlled and the more likely the outcome will be an autocratic system. The more distributed wealth creation is, the higher the probability for a democratic system.

While this might sound like a commonplace, in combination with the "Nature of Money" this creates a second seal for the multipolar trap we find ourselves in because financial capital in its current implementation has the inbuilt tendency for concentration of (financial) wealth and thereby acts as a driver towards more autocratic systems.

Our current configuration of democracy as implemented in most democracies at this point, caters to this by entrapping its actors into a short term marketing-cycle while also producing a small cast of people who hold concentrated political power.

This turns into a system that promotes a race to the bottom of candid evaluation and expression of what is and what needs to be done. Or, said differently, those politicians who speak the hard and complex truth (of the moment) will likely not be re-elected.

Also, it is very easy to attack the system as a bad faith actor since the participants of the political class are well known and easily addressable.

These flaws could be addressed pretty easily. However, they require a courageous actor within the system. One like Jane Davidson who created the "Future Generation Wellbeing Act" in Ireland, essentially forcing political decisions to be aligned with the wellbeing of future generations. This is not new. The oldest participatory democratic system in the world, the Haudenosaunee Confederation practices this as the "Seventh Generation Principle".

The other flaw could easily be addressed by what David van Reybrouck writes in "Against Elections". The core idea is that a democracy modeled after the ideas of ancient Athens, Florence or Venice could solve the problem of "addressability" of politicians by making the participation in politics a random act embedded in a strong institutional structure. Yes, you read that right - assembling citizens into political structures based on randomness instead of votes was the foundation of some of the most powerful and successful city-states in human history.

Forward looking democracies are experimenting with this. One really impressive example comes from Mongolia where 669 randomly selected citizens deliberated on constitutional amendments in 2019. I had a conversation with Larry Lessig, one of the observers who reported how impressed he was at the depth of the conversation, capacity for listening and collaboration of the people.

Another, more fundamental direction to look at, is the work done by Radical Exchange, the g0v movement or Democracy Earth just to name a few. Whichever way is the one pointing into the most promising future is not entirely clear. What is entirely clear, however: the current mode of politics is deeply broken, but the building blocks to fix it, might already all be here, tested and tried.

fullcircle principle three: the equal distribution of wealth and power to all citizens must be the foundation of a truly life-serving governance for humanity, moving forward.

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