Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation and People-Power (Schumacher Briefings)
In the midst of the prosperity and affluence of Western ‘democracies’ there is a pervasive sadness and sense of impotence about the future of our societies, of humanity and of the natural world.
Like millions of people, we have come to the conclusion that today’s globalisation is fundamentally unjust and unsustainable. Like them we want to make a useful contribution to changing this unjust and unsustainable system of globalisation into a just and sustainable one.
But we believe that to bring about such a fundamental change in an enormous and complex system we first have to understand its main characteristics as a system.
The more we understand about systems, the better we will be at learning how to create the democracies that will enable our societies to become more just and sustainable. Systems thinking has been successfully applied in many fields; it is now high time that this approach was applied to government and politics.
Concern about what is happening in the world is usually voiced in terms of environmental issues or social justice—sometimes both.
At the risk of overgeneralising, environmental issues could be seen as concerned with the relationships between human societies and the larger systems of which they are part, whereas social issues are concerned with the relationships between human societies and their many sub-systems.
It is not just a question of a better system of control; what is needed is a better system of government.
Through the unrelenting destruction of local cultures, lifestyles, knowledge and communities, we are witnessing the steady erosion of humanity’s cultural diversity, flexibility and capacity for self-sufficiency.
If we are correct in saying that the Global Monetocracy as a whole is responsible for what is happening, it follows that it is the Global Monetocracy as a whole that must be reconfigured.
The defining component of any purposeful human system is its purpose. The purpose of the economic system promoted by all Western governments is never debated.
In our judgement, the true purpose of the Global Monetocracy is that of money growth in order to maintain the current debt-based money system.
In systems-thinking terms, the growth imperative imposed by the debt-money system is a positive feedback mechanism—a vicious spiral.
The purpose of the Global Monetocracy explains why, for example:
• Our governments have persistently ignored all the evidence of the adverse effects of economic growth, including the repeated warnings of scientists over the last forty years.
• Our governments continue to claim that economic growth is the only viable strategy for tackling the world’s horrific agenda of problems that have—in large part—been caused by the self-same economic growth.
Traditional representative democracies are designed to minimise public involvement in government, and to enable the dominant elite to remain continuously in control.
The vast majority of ordinary citizens are still excluded from active participation in governmental decision-making at all levels.
The proposition that representative democracy is the only practicable form of democracy in today’s world is nonsense. It is one of the many myths promoted by the Global Monetocracy for its own protection.
Nation-states have co-evolved with representative democracies. The purpose of the nation-state was to enable the elites to sustain their power and privileges through constant territorial and economic expansion.
From a systems perspective, one of the most serious defects of the principle of national sovereignty and the nation-state system is that it has blocked the development of democracy for the human family as a whole.
In the last half-century, transnational corporate globalisation has replaced imperialism and colonialism as the mechanism for delivering global economic growth.
Environmental, human-rights and community campaigners have succeeded in making some small inroads into particular aspects of their operations.
But overall, unless the whole Global Monetocracy system is reconfigured, calls to change, or even to abolish, one or more of these instruments will not have a lasting impact on the Global Monetocracy as a whole.
‘Ownership’ of the Global Monetocracy rests with an international elite who effectively control both the corporations and the governments. Their purpose is economic growth for their own benefit
The corporation is the ideal legal structure for implementing the Global Monetocracy’s purpose.
A vast web of financial institutions provides the machinery that enables people to make money out of money and, crucially, enables the global leadership cadre to exercise the power of money over the real economies of the real world.
The Global Monetocracy as a whole is also locked into its purpose of economic growth; and the culture of command-and-control pervades government throughout the system.
We can see why people have lost faith in ‘democracy’.
Politicians are held in low esteem. A complete failure of democracy is staring us in the face.
In the resulting vacuum, the sway of ‘market forces’ inevitably increases.
Clearly, as long as a substantial proportion of citizens are politically inactive, they present no threat to the Global Monetocracy.
The truth is that, vitally important as it is, social defence can never be a substitute for fundamental political change. Somehow, the two strands have to be integrated into a coherent, multi-faceted global strategy—and that can only happen within a systems perspective.
The complex, adaptive, self-organising system we call ‘humanity’ is being driven by Global Monetocracy.
Unless we act ‘humanity’ will soon meet the same fate as any other system in a vicious downward sprial mode.
It is widely recognised that our industrial and economic systems must be reconfigured to work with natural systems, instead of treating them as an inexhaustible resource.
The Global Monetocracy is dominated by its purpose of economic growth in order to maintain the debt-money system.
It is the controlling imperative for all political and business leaders. As long as the Global Monetocracy remains in being, there is no way round it. And, at the moment, there is no political route out of it.
Put very simply, we have to change the way we think. Fundamental change in any purposeful human system starts to happen when a significant number of people within that system begin to think differently.
The shift in thinking that precedes fundamental change is already happening in every sphere outside the closed mind-sets of the Global Monetocracy.
The combination of a new vision and a new kind of democracy is what is needed to revive popular commitment to active citizenship.