Gilbert Mercier writes, in his article, The Illusion of Democracy, about "our current supra-national world order,"
"... unelected global-governance institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, United Nations, World Trade Organization (WTO), and other powerful non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and consortia like the World Economic Forum. These institutions dictate global policies, draft secret treaties such as the trans-pacific partnership agreement (TPP) concerning billions of people, and largely constitute the global elite.
Mercier suggests that these bodies should be run by people who are actually democratically elected. But he also points out that in most of the world there are no real choices for people to vote, that two party systems really offer different flavors of neo-liberal candidates. He writes:
"Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it" wrote Howard Zinn. People worldwide are fed up with their politicians, and they are protesting. Yet, as if most are suffering from a collective Stockholm syndrome, they are not sufficiently pro-active to rid themselves of their abusers by all means necessary. Voting was meant to be a sacrosanct civic duty in a democracy, but it has become the unconscious action of sleepwalkers.
"The elite of corporate global governance have trampled the social contract. People who had gained their freedom during 200 years are everywhere back in chains. Although an increasing number of people realize that a drastic systemic change is imperative, few are willing to admit that nothing short of a global revolution can challenge the entrenched plutocratic world order."
The commenters on the article discuss whether what is needed is a system design or a revolution. That got me thinking.
When it comes to the question of revolution or system re-design, I fall back to my default favorite quote:
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." R. Buckminster Fuller
i recently read Fritjof Capra's book, The Systems View of Life, and interviewed him
, which has "re-designed" a lot of my thinking on bottom-up and change. The system Gilbert Mercier describes-- where non-democratic organizations serving the elites, like World Bank, IMF, and trade pacts are deeply influencing if not running what we live under the illusion of believing to be democratic nations-- is an extreme aspect of the current world-wide system-- an outlier that could be very fragile and disruptable, especially if exposed to emergence (a chaos and systems theory concept) of true bottom-up, grass-roots powered movements like new iterations of Occupy and what Marina Sitrin
has described in several books on Horizontalism and change.
We need to deal with
the narcissistic sociopaths and psychopaths
who have slithered into power positions in church, state and industry and take back the high ground of bottom-up values that embrace the consciousness that we are all connected to each other and to the ecosystem-- that forgetting this, losing connection consciousness is a dangerous pathology which manifests in selfishness, Ayn Randism, Libertarianism and which masquerades as advocacy of freedom.
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We cannot directly fight the power and wealth of the elite's system. The only way we can get rid of it is to facilitate the emergence of a new way, as Buckminster Fuller described-- a way that undermines
and replaces the existing system. I don't think that's a system re-design or a revolution. It's more of a disruptive emergence that comes out of the immense power and energy of a bottom-up grass-roots coming together. I was tempted to use the word up-rising, but as my old friend Swami Beyondananda has set, perhaps we need more of an upWISING. The elites are weak, fragile (as compared to antifragile
) and vulnerable, compared to the full power of all of "us"-- the rest of the souls on this planet. We need to explore new, creative ways of connecting that big "we" together to energize the emergence of a new social, ecosystem force that disrupts and replaces the existing power system. Joseph Nye,
author of Soft Power and The Future of Power, chairman of the North American branch of the Trilateral
, told me in our interview, that the word is going through huge shifts in how power works. One way, he describes, is "Power
Diffusion," which is the shift of power away from all governments... to nongovernmental actors, and that is a lot harder to deal with, because
that is quite new."
Nye goes on to talk about soft power, which is based on attraction, rather than money or force, and discusses how you can't use an army to fight cyber attacks or global warming. He offers a possible solution:
"...we are going to have to learn to use soft power to organize networks of cooperation with others to deal with these kinds of problems; and unfortunately, our vocabulary, the way we think about power, is very old-fashioned. It used to be said that power was determined by whose army wins, but in an information age, power also is determined by whose story wins."
I founded, organized and ran conferences for 15 years-- one was the first conference ever held on the art, science and application of story-- which brought together all the worlds of story-- screenwriting, fiction, news, politics, law, religion, storytelling, psychology, marketing. It started out as a collection of conversation about the blind spot my Storycon conference ended up exploring.
A few people have suggested the idea of putting together a conference to explore what can be done. If a confluence of supporting serendipities made a conference possible, I'd have to strongly consider accepting that bottom-up "call" to that adventure. It would have to come out of a bottom-up conversation of what it should focus on. Some topics to include might be embracing small, bottom-up change, connection consciousness, disruptive activism, soft-power, next generation Occupy, dealing with sociopaths, public banking and alternatives to capitalism, debillionairization, the future of democracy, justice, climate change.
I'm not sure where a meeting could be held, maybe where the space and support emerged-- a college campus, a summer camp, or who knows, maybe that awakened billionaire might fund it in a big city. Or maybe 10,000 or 100,000 people would bottom-up fund it.
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.
He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity scheduled for release May 22, 2019
He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.