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.
In a workshop I conducted last Sunday, one of the participants asked, “How do you encourage self-organization?” 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 and additions, here are some ideas:
Encouraging Self… Read More . . . “Encouraging Self-Organization” 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 organizations and independent schools often choose board members based on their ability to raise money or influence government or foundation decision-makers.
Balanced expertise on the board of directors steers the organization from multiple perspectives. Balance can be achieved with experts on larger community… Read More . . . “Outside Experts on the Board of Directors” In the early twentieth century, education was believed to be the best way to ensure a democratic society. Protecting a democratic society, even one controlled by the majority, requires an education policy that ensures access to the information and critical thinking skills sufficient to understand how to participate intelligently in local and national government and civic affairs. The freedom to choose is limited by the ability to understand.
Similarly, we need a democratic transportation policy.… Read More . . . “” 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?” The purpose of leadership and decision-making structures in sociocracy is to build the maximum power for everyone. And to balance that power with harmony and fairness. It is the responsibility of each person in a sociocratic organization to develop their own power and to use it to optimize the work of the organization.
In physics, power is the rate at which work is performed or energy converted.
As people, we have personal power, the ability… Read More . . . “What Is Power?” Power over is not always about forcing, coercing, pressuring, manipulating etc. It can be as engaging as power with. In terms lazy subordination and undeveloped personal power, power over can be an engaged relationship between the autocrat and the subordinate. Some people want to be dominated and to do so is engaging them, even if it is codependence. With the possible exception of physical force, as in terrorists on a plane, power over is a… Read More . . . “Positive Power Over”