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.

Transparency International

How can people participate in decision-making if they don’t have access to information? Can those denied both education and knowledge  of governance in any form be held responsible when they elect corrupt leaders? Transparency is fundamental to accountability and an inclusive society. Reading an article in the New York Times this morning on the lives of two women in Angola, Two Women, Opposite Fortunes, I discovered Transparency International. Transparency International was started in 1993 by… Read More . . . “Transparency International”

People’s Rights Amendment

Today, the Court has enthroned corporations, permitting them not only all kinds of special economic rights but now, amazingly, moving to grant them the same political rights as the people. Constitutional law expert, The movement to reserve the rights ensured by the US Constitution to citizens and stop them from being awarded to corporations is rapidly gaining steam. The legal standing of corporations as people began in 1886, in the famous case Santa Clara County… Read More . . . “People’s Rights Amendment”

Advocating Sociocracy

Lester Frank Ward in Yellowstone National Park with Fossil Tree Trunks, 1887 Public Advocacy By the late-nineteenth century it was clear that the democratic ideal on which the United States had been founded was not producing equal representation even for those allowed to vote. Nor was it providing a rational structure for social or economic leadership—at the local or national levels. Workplaces were autocratic, often brutally so. The government was dominated by politicians who often had their own interests at heart or were ignorant of democratic values.… Read More . . . “Advocating Sociocracy”

Encouraging Self-Organization

Logo for Interaction Institute for Social Change In a workshop I conducted last Sunday, one of the participants asked, “How do you encourage self-organizationSelf-organization, sometimes called spontaneous order, is a ... More?” By some miracle, probably related to my being on every mailing list on anything related to sociocracy and governance, I received in my mailbox a link to an article on the  Interaction Institute for Social Change. You guessed it on  Tips for Encouraging Self-Organization by Curtis Ogden. After some editing… Read More . . . “Encouraging Self-Organization”

Outside Experts on the Board of Directors

Residential communities customarily do not have board of directors members from outside the organization. Corporations normally do, but they may not be chosen by their ability to balance expertise. Non-profit organizationsThe Delibrative Democracy Consortium (DDC)u is an alliance o... More and independent schools often choose board members based on their ability to raise money or influence government or foundation decision-makers. Balanced Expertise Balanced expertise on the board of directors steers the organization from multiple perspectives.… Read More . . . “Outside Experts on the Board of Directors”

Is Voting Meaningless?

Multiple lines of people waiting to vote. This post is not intended to discourage voting. It only addresses the fact that our votes are not as powerful as they are often portrayed by political parties. The peer-to-peer election process is not about voting. It is designed to identify the best available person to do the job. Those with the most reliable information about the job and about the people qualified to do it are responsible for nominating and electing the best person.… Read More . . . “Is Voting Meaningless?”