I have never liked top down government, believing that people should govern themselves as locally as possible. We recently watched a film by a former British Diplomat, Carne Ross who had an interesting story to tell when he became an 'Accidental Anarchist'.
I don't claim to be a great intellectual thinker or mighty philosopher, but do understand a lot about people.
It is clear to me and lots of others that Capitalism, Fascism, Communism and Modern Democracy just don't work. The rich and powerful have always controlled the world and regardless of whatever political system or ideal we hold dear, this will not change.
Corruption is rife, racism and intolerance are running riot all over the planet. I used to say, "well we voted them in" but now believe this not to be true!
Take a few minutes to watch Lawrence Lessig talk about the American political system. It's a right mess...
The politicians in the UK move ward boundaries to make it more likely for them to gain or retain seats and it seems to me that voter manipulation is endemic throughout the world. The systems are crumbling at an alarming rate.
I really dislike those who complain about something but offer no alternatives. So here goes.
Anarchy is the condition of a society, entity, group of people, or a single person that rejects hierarchy. The word originally meant leaderlessness, but in 1840 Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his treatise What Is Property? to refer to a new political philosophy: anarchism, which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations.
In practical terms, anarchy can refer to the curtailment or abolition of traditional forms of government and institutions. It can also designate a nation (or anywhere on earth that is inhabited) that has no system of government or central rule.
This sounds interesting, people micro-governing themselves based upon local needs, desire and requirements.
Of course the term Anarchy has a bad rep (in the UK anyway) being inextricably linked with Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols. Looking at the lyrics I am not sure he knew the real meaning at the time, but now the politically savvy Lydon may look back in horror.
In my late teens I read quite a bit of Emanuel Kant for the bizarre reason that following an episode of Monty Python featuring 'Bruce's Philosophers Song' I systematically looked them all up!
After reading some of his work I found Kant identified four kinds of government:
I kinda liked the idea of Anarchy...
Recently Suzy and I watched Accidental Anarchist, produced by Hopscotch Films and presented by Carne Ross. It's loosely based on his latest book, The Leaderless Revolution: how ordinary people will take power and change politics in the 21st century.
This really reinforced my thinking about 'bottom up' Government and Anarchism or 'Direct Democracy' to avoid the obvious stereotypes.
Ross is a former British diplomat who resigned in 2004 after giving secret (now public) evidence to a British inquiry into the war.
After leaving the Civil Service he founded the world’s first non-profit diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat, which advises marginalised countries and groups around the world.
He writes and appears regularly in the media, commenting on world affairs and alternate systems of organising our affairs, in particular anarchism.
Ultimately, Carne’s experience from inside government dealing with some of the most difficult of contemporary challenges – climate, terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan – convinced him that government, as currently constituted, is a poor and failing mechanism to deal with the world’s problems. We need to look for alternatives, not least action by us, ourselves.
This is from TEDx where he gives a convincing and impassioned talk...
Direct Democracy is working in areas around the world and could be developed, particularly if you can start in a small country like say, the Isle of Man.
I like the concept, let's do something about it.