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.
The idea of a sociocracy began with French philosopher and sociologist Auguste Comte. Sociology was a new science, the study of people in social groups. The root word for both sociology and sociocracy is the Latin, socius, which means a friend, an ally. People who know each other and are members of the same group or society.
The suffix -ology means “the study of” as in archeology, psychology, etc. The suffix –ocracy refers… Read More . . . “Origins of Sociocracy”
Collaborative, collective, and cooperative are words often used interchangeably. When I hear them I wonder which one the speaker or writer means. I use them interchangeably too, sort of giving equal time to all of them. I have a preference for cooperative because it seems to have fewer political overtones than collective, and collaborative reminds me of clabber. It sticks in my throat.
The Problem with Dictionaries
The dictionary definitions of these three words don’t… Read More . . . “Collaborative Collective Cooperative”
This is the standard definition of consensus used since the 1960s and 1970s, and probably before. It was published in 1981 in United Judgement: The Handbook of Consensus Decision Making by the Center for Conflict Resolution.
The goal of consensus is a decision that is consented to by all members. Of course, full consent does not mean that everyone must be completely satisfied with the final outcome—in fact, total satisfaction is rare. The decision must… Read More . . . “Definition of Consensus Decision-Making”
Some successful cohousing meal programs require participation by either cooking, preparing, or cleaning once every few weeks. (No one is required to eat.) But other communities that require participation in meal support still have meals infrequently.
A successful program averages 3-4 meals a week and their success is often attributed to organization and leadership. This statement is typical of those programs:
We have a “meals boss” role, the Scheduler. Meals usually a major reason for… Read More . . . “Cohousing Meal Programs and Leadership”
Laird Schaub’s blog is Community and Consensus. In his Monday 18 August 2014 post, “Critique of Sociocracy,” he presents his “reservations” which are deep and well-stated. Some are quite justified and others misunderstandings. Just like anything else, it’s easy to get the wrong information. This is the second of several posts addressing the points I think are valid and those that are at least partly in error.
One of Laird Schaub’s criticisms of… Read More . . . “Addressing Emotions: Laird Schaub on Sociocracy”
Laird Schaub helped found and has been living in Sandhill Farm, an intentional, income sharing community in Rutledge, Missouri since 1974. His community is very small, less than 10 adults, but his experience is very broad. He has been doing training and consulting in governance and consensus decision-making since 1987. He gives several workshops on decision-making, facilitation, proposal writing, delegation, etc., at the annual Cohousing Association Conferences. He is the Executive Secretary and Development Coordinator… Read More . . . “Consent vs Consensus : Laird Schaub on Sociocracy”
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This site is a resource on sociocracy and democracy and the ways they support each other. It examines the principles and practices and the ways in which together they could better achieve their objectives. How would things get done in a sociocratic democracy?
New Edition of We the People
Updated and expanded second edition is now available in paper and digital versions—and in Spanish and Portuguese translations.