Today, we are in a place where we are awakening to, and confronting, a horrible monster that has existed as the brains of humanity for the past 6,000 or so years. We have identified Wall Street Capitalism as that monster. In the past we have primarily pointed at our political systems such as Middle Ages Feudalism or dictatorial Kingships.
During these 6,000 or so years, we of European and Middle Eastern descent have focused on dominating the Earth by invading indigenous peoples across the globe to gain control of virgin forests and lands. What happened to the Aborigines in Australia and the Native Americans in America was what also happened to the Irish, Scottish, British, etc in Europe. In turn, these countries became the new Rome.
War wasn't the only weapon that was used to control and dominate cultures. Brainwashing has also been a very successful technique. Today, a good deal of the brainwashing has been done via corporate media for the sake of corporate profit. Our kids are mesmerized with video games operating as objects of entertainment saturated with dramatic displays of sexuality and violence. First, these are two words that should never be associated. Second, the goal of mainstream media, alongside standardized education, is to make a population of non-thinking, obedient, and easily manipulated scapegoats that are easily herded into paths that are corporate and government approved.
Yet, as the Occupy Movements tell, we may have been stomped upon, but many of us are at a point where we are ripping the USDA stamp of approval off our skin and reclaiming our native spirit. And, we are doing a lot to make things different this time. For example, the Occupy Movement is using consensus decision making instead of having a singular leader at the helm. While the likes of Martin Luther King and Ghandi are admired and attended to by the Occupiers, there doesn't seem to be a central leader.
Of course, one may emerge, but let's hope not. We don't need to run the risk of another egocentric leader at the helm to take us back into the same pattern we have been stuck in for several thousand years. The Hitlers and Hitler want-to-be need to be a thing of the past.
As such, it is important during this time that we research and develop a system that empowers the populace. The Occupy Movement has gotten off to a great start with Consensus Decision Making. And, we need to go deeper to determine ways in which the general population can be empowered. Any member of any group, society or nation should have the sense that his or her voice matters.
Perhaps that voice needs to be in an arena that the member is passionate about. For example, I am passionate about education, child development and empowerment of people. I am also passionate about the evolution of thinking and belief systems. As such, I may be of benefit to the culture in outlining how our current belief system works to our benefit and how it hurts. And, knowing how it hurts, perhaps I can be of benefit to a group working towards building an alternative to the current system.
The Native Americans were really good with this. What we considered chiefs, generally the leaders of warriors, were not chiefs of the tribe as a whole. Indeed, leadership in a tribe was diversified according to talents and passions. Thus you could have a woman elder to whom young mothers look up to in parenting and educating their child.
Of course with major decisions affecting the entire tribe or community, it is probably best that everybody be given a voice in making a decision. This is where the practice in most Occupy tribes is that of consensus. In consensus, not everyone has to agree with a decision. Rather a decision is tried and constantly evaluated by the group for effectiveness. If the decision needs "tweaking," it gets tweaked. If it needs to be dumped and another decision tried, then it it is dumped and another decision is made.
In practice, the process is highly organic in that decisions tend to unfold very much in the same fashion as ideas unfold from our minds. Again, in working groups, people should be placed where their talents and passions lie. However, when it comes to basic living, the entire village may need to be involved since everyone is affected. For example, should we pack up our tents and move down to the bottom of the hill should be a decision made by everyone.
At the same time, we must realize that no process is perfect, just as no person is perfect. Not being perfect is just how Nature is perfect. Mistakes, mishaps and so on can often be learning experiences that help us to evolve. As such, no decision should be made that is written in concrete. The decision must be organic in that it is continually evolving in line with the needs of the community. When it ceases to work, it needs to be scrapped and the process begun again.
Many will try to tell you these ways of decision making are not effective. Don't go there. They are effective when utilized correctly. However, especially in the start-up times, we can expect our conditioning to get the best of us. For example, our arrogance may make us want to be the leader of a decision and not as a participant in the decision making process (or vice versa, we may want a leader to make a decision for us). Yet, we must let go and allow ourselves to be a cell in the "group mind" and not "THE group mind" nor as just an observer of the group process.
Some may say this process is not effective. But, the fact is, when YOU make a decision, there is no part of your body that isn't involved at least in potential. For example, how many times do we say, "I should have trusted my gut" or "I should have listened to my heart?" In other words, consensus decision making is just plain natural. Even in the forests, there is an interaction between plants, animals, atmosphere, waters, and so on that is making that forest work. This kind of interaction happens on the planet Herself. As such, James Lovelock's Gaia (Earth) Hypothesis states (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis):
flickr image by superk8nyc
The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.
1 | 2