Category: History and Theory

Understanding the history and theory of both democracy and sociocracy provides a deeper understanding of the principles and practices of what a sociocracy or sociocratic democracy might be, and why. Knowing the intention and development of an idea supports the meaningful application of its principles and practices in everyday life.

Ostrom’s Eight Rules for Successfully Governing a Commons

Elinor Ostrom, 2009 Elinor Ostrom’s Governing the Commons published in 1990 reports decades of research on community sharing. It is not a book, however, that can be recommended to everyone, perhaps not anyone who isn’t interested in a tenured position in a university. I do have it on my bookshelf and I did read it, so I speak from experience. I also had tenure at a University so I recognize the genre. As a presentation of data from… Read More . . . “Ostrom’s Eight Rules for Successfully Governing a Commons”

A Treasonous President

If any other citizen of the United States did what Donald Trump did on 16 July 2018 in the news conference with Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, the FBI would arrest them the moment they returned to American soil. Trump had been briefed just before leaving for Europe where he denied the truth of the briefing and the guilt of 12 Russians indicted for interfering with the 2016 American presidential election. He emphatically took the… Read More . . . “A Treasonous President”

Using Majority Vote to Create Autocracies

Arial view of the Women's March on Washington with hundreds of pink hats. The state of American politics under Donald Trump and his privy Councillor Stephen “Steve” Bannon is a perfect example of using majority vote to create autocracies. Majority vote lends itself to being  divisive. The decisions are always made with yes or no answers. A bill is voted up or down. There are no other options. And once a group is divided into yes’s and no’s, people begin to manipulate others to form a majority so… Read More . . . “Using Majority Vote to Create Autocracies”

When to Use Consent and Consensus Decision-Making?

Graphic drawing of the 5Ws plus H. The Five W's — who, what, where, when, why — are determined by policy and require consent. The 6th W, How, is delegated to the operations leader who implements policy to achieve the purpose of the circle. In sociocracy, consent and consensus decision-making are only used for policy decisions. Policy decisions are those that govern actions and allocation of resources (budget, people, etc.). But this leaves questions for many people—what other decisions are there? The distinction is clearer if you look at policy decisions vs. operations decisions. Operations decisions are the day-to-day moment-to-moment activities that implement policies. Operations decisions are normally made autocratically by the leader or by an individual who has… Read More . . . “When to Use Consent and Consensus Decision-Making?”

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”

Policy and Operations Decisions

A Circle Meeting at Endenburg Elektrotechniek The most viewed pages and the most searched topics on Sociocracy.info continue to be those related to policy and operations decisions. The distinction between policy and operations decisions is not unique to sociocracy, but it is one that many of us don’t understand. Most often we don’t even realize that we are following a policy — it’s just the way things are done. We also don’t recognize a policy decision as distinct from an operations… Read More . . . “Policy and Operations Decisions”