Democracy and Beyond
As the threats to people and planet spiral exponentially and we face the destruction of life as we know it, it is clear that we need a radically new governing system that puts the healing and rehabilitation of our interconnected world as the collective priority. The health of people and planet has been ruthlessly compromised by our current governance systems based on ideas of separateness, hierarchy, privilege and domination that abuse human and planetary resources for the benefit of a few.
It is time to articulate a new governance system – an interconnected, coherent system of local and global eco-governance for the well-being of all.
What would such a radically new system look like? How can we reverse the global disease and destruction and offer hope for a flourishing future? How can we extricate ourselves from the grips of the mainstream mindset and those that have hijacked the political, legal and financial resources of most governments? How can we reclaim the power of governance for the benefit of the whole?
In the face of vast global crises, people are uniting across boundaries to protest current systems and articulate alternatives. When the environment is diseased and dying, people across the world suffer and die. The immensity of global threats confront us now more than ever with our shared destiny. We can no longer believe that we can export our violence and pollution and remain immune to the consequences.
Wherever there is privilege, oppression and imbalance there will be disease. Where all feel safety, hope and the ability to contribute their talents to a better world for all, there will be peace and vitality. Coming together beyond self-interest to collective wellness is the only way forward.
People across the world are saying a collective NO to the current system. Now we need to articulate a compelling alternative to mobilize a collective YES. With a powerful and pragmatic vision, social media and a range of existing technologies, we can together overthrow unjust laws, redistribute resources and implement healthy practices in a way that best serves the healing of the planet and a thriving future for all.
While many examples in the coming chapters are taken from the United States, the patterns addressed are similar in democracies throughout the world. At the time of writing, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have emerged as the presidential candidates of the Republican and Democratic parties in the highly controversial 2016 US presidential campaign. In almost farcical fashion, the campaign provides a powerful and frightening mirror of global trends and of the culmination of many of the driving forces prevalent in democratic society. It underscores the corruption, dangers and absurdities embedded in the system and signifies the inevitable death of democracy as we have come to think about it.
To articulate a new form of governance it is essential that we first deconstruct the wide range of assumptions that drive our existing democratic and non-democratic societies. We must distil the wisdom from the suffering and devastation, and integrate the lessons into a new system - a system based on a mindset that cultivates life and puts the planet and all its inhabitants first.
As we witness the current systems implode from within, leaders from all walks of life are rising to offer new pathways.
As daunting as the task may seem, the ideas, information, technology and people are in place to make it happen. What we need now is to co-create a compelling vision and coherent process for the radical uncompromising healing and flourishing of life on the planet.