New Models of Governance

"We live in a strange world where no one dares to look beyond our current political systems even though its clear that the answers we seek will not be found within the politics of today.". Greta Thunberg

A 2014 poll (source) showed that only 10% of voters now believe that mainstream politicians act in the public interest; a figure that has been in continual decline since the 1940s and has certainly been compounded by a complete failure to address the climate emergency, not to mention the Brexit debacle. A staggering 78% claim that politicians´ principle concern is either themselves, the interests of their financial backers or their particular ideology/party winning/retaining power. In addition, any vote cast for a fringe candidate who does appear to be representing a more ethical value system is a wasted vote under the present "first past the post"; system. The truth is that people have lost confidence in our democratic governance processes. Many feel disenfranchised and this in turn is driving a shift towards extreme right-wing populism, which unscrupulous power-seekers are ever ready to inflame and exploit. With these facts in mind, is the current system able to provide the needed leadership to address pressing concerns of climate change and species extinction, or must we look elsewhere?

Thomas Jefferson said that: "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government." While we may all have varied ideas about how to achieve this, the principle itself is surely not in question. Neither is a broad consensus that the democratic political establishment has somehow lost it. Mind you, we´ve been warned about this before. Aristotle, writing in 3rd century BC Greece, the birthplace of democracy, argued that only matters of the common good are right; matters for the rulers´ good are wrong (source). The ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about democracy. Plato described a 5-fold degeneration of democracy from the ideal of Rule by the Wise, through Rule by the Powerful, and ending in Tyranny (source). For the multitudes who despair at the inaction of government, both local and national, in the face of global catastrophe, maybe that point of tyrannical inaction & indecisiveness has now been reached?

In all ways, bar one, we are now demonstrably part of a One World community. In the fields of communications, transport, economics, environmental awareness & impact, science, to name but a few, we function as a single interdependent global entity; a process in continual evolution over hundreds of years. However, in the field of governance, we remain organised into competitive, separative nation states; in apparent never-ending conflict with each other. And this despite the world changing events of WW2, the release of the horrors of nuclear weapons and the ensuing global commitment to the principles of an international order as set out in the 1948 United Nations declaration of universal human rights: "THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. " Fine words. Maybe the time has come to implement them?

Article 28: Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Part of the reason that this has never been fully implemented is that our current organs of governance operate through closed bureaucracies, distant from the people, which can be a powerful obstacle to the aspirations of the good-willed individual to enact a personal commitment to the spirit of the declaration. A significant proportion of the bureaucratic institution regards ordinary people, those who pay their wages, as a nuisance and as "the enemy". The whole edifice has become so crystallised and rigid, functioning by a process of slow incremental change, that needed radical change has become almost impossible by this route. The United Nations itself, along with national, regional and local governance have all succumbed to this organisational model; itself often, in practice, an instrument of oppression.

Another part of the reason is that we have become habituated to want to join together in naming and identifying a common enemy. Throughout the political discourse, opposing sides have become embroiled and consumed by the hate-filled narrative that we, right or left, leaver or remainer, are not only right and the other side wrong, but actually the other side, human beings just like us, are EVIL; a recipe for global war. However, the good news, and arguably the most encouraging indicator of the momentum for change sweeping through the world, is the ability of independent interest groups, local communities and neighbourhoods to come together to create local regeneration. A revolution from the bottom-up, groups such as the Transition Movement are a "movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world" (source). These two directions of change in governance, towards the Global and the Local, are not contradictory, but rather two mutually-reinforcing complementary aspects of the global transition. Maybe the governance of the future will see self-contained inter-dependent communities and neighbourhoods, assemblies of ordinary people, enacting the spirit of our One World & One Humanity in unique experiments to evolve regenerative development.

Our communities and neighbourhoods couldn´t function without goodwill; the glue that holds us all together. The forces of a new and very different world order are alive & growing within the hearts and minds of every person of goodwill who desires the emergence of a new era of right relationship; with oneself, with each other and with nature. Once the realisation becomes more widely accepted that the current system of governance is simply not able to address the crises of environmental destruction & species extinction, this group can emerge into its historical destiny as the new world government in waiting.

Change Agents

Paul Hawken

Blessed Unrest. The biggest movement in the world that no-one saw coming: the best reason for hope for a meaningful world transition. Short Film: 05.54

Charles Eisenstein

Respected author of "The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible"; we don't need to create other people as enemies in our mind. Short Film: 06.10