Category: In Civic Life

Applying the principles and practices of  sociocratic democracy in civic life is where it may be most comfortable. Democracy is probably valued even when not practiced very well. Majority vote means majority rule, and it promotes competition rather than cooperation. It is in our neighborhood associations, community services, and local governments that we most need to use the sociocratic principles and practices that deepen our democracy.

Carbon Neutral: How to Clean Up Your Patch

Ashton Hayes Welcome Sign In the last ten years, the village of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, England with a population of 936+ has taken on climate change by becoming carbon neutral. So far it has reduced its carbon emissions by 24%. To accomplish this, it adopted apolitical, voluntary self-governance—and combined it with a bit of fun. “We just think everyone should try to clean up their patch. And rather than going out and shouting about it, we just do… Read More . . . “Carbon Neutral: How to Clean Up Your Patch”

Donald Trump, Bullshit Artist, and Sociocracy

Cartoon of a circus barker Could sociocracy have corrected democracy to prevent the election of Donald Trump, bullshit artist and astoundingly unqualified candidate, as the Republican nominee for President of the United States? Americans abroad are pelted with questions about Donald Trump. Is he real? How did he get nominated in a democratic process? Is he evidence of the US abandoning support for equality and freedom around the world? If not, why did 13,681,972 people vote for him? As the… Read More . . . “Donald Trump, Bullshit Artist, and Sociocracy”

Structural Issues in Government

In my neighborhood we have a large email list designed for neighbor to neighbor conversation and requests for help. A frequent request is a phone number for help with city services. The current problem is needing the city to enforce parking regulations when a life may be at risk because a driveway is blocked. The lack of response from city governments reveals structural issues that as in other bureaucracies will be hard to fix. The… Read More . . . “Structural Issues in Government”

Who the NRA Really Speaks For

Photograph of Assault Rifles Gun Control and Sociocracy A shocking opinion piece appeared in the New York Times today, Who the NRA Really Speaks For, by Alan Berlow who writes on gun control and death penalty issues for The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, New York Times Magazine, and other major publications. Perhaps you are better informed but I’m not a close reader of gun control laws and this piece set me back a bit. Berlow explains how ineffective… Read More . . . “Who the NRA Really Speaks For”

Elections by Money

The only way to stop elections by money, the spiral of overwhelming political campaign expenses, seems to be stopping political campaigns. We elect people to do the work of governance, not to prove themselves experts at printing signs, inventing slogans and soundbites, and speaking at campaign financing dinners. Campaigns are a major distraction from quality leadership. They are undemocratic and produce undemocratic governments. Political campaigns are about the rich. What the rich want, what the… Read More . . . “Elections by Money”

Who Stole the American Dream

Crushing Middle-Class  Prosperity The American Dream is of obtaining middle-class prosperity and socio-economic mobility. Hedrick Smith analyzes how it was lost in America. The American middle class in the 1960s was the largest and most prosperous in the world. Now, the disparity between top and bottom is huge. Even the wealthiest 5% are falling behind the super-rich 1% that controls 2/3 of the nation’s wealth—trillions of dollars. The remaining 99% earn the remaining 1/3. America… Read More . . . “Who Stole the American Dream”