VII. Pedia Sapiens: A Genesis Future on Earth and in the Heavens
5. An Organic, Participatory Democracy
There is much literature on the post cold war ascent of human habitation to a relative planetary phase. Compressed by its spherical surface, intensified by open communications, social media, air travel, commerce, and so on, a shift from human to humankind is underway. The malleable concept of Democracy is then debated and defined with little basis or agreement. In regard, The Complementarity of Civilizations section notes how archetypal, bicameral cultures and nationalities are spread across the continents.
Radical Middle Newsletter. www.radicalmiddle.com. An omnibus site by Mark Satin and friends for every aspect of this gathering Third Way solution. From its home page, for example, can be accessed 250 “Radical Middle” websites and supportive statements of over 35 writers and politicians such as Walter Truett Anderson, PM Tony Blair, Marilyn Ferguson and Anthony Giddens.
Abele, Andrea and Bogdan Wojciszke. Communal and Agentic Content: A Dual Perspective Model. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Volume 50, 2014. University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany, and University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland scholars contribute perceptive insights upon these perennial archetypes. Once again a constant reciprocal code of self and others, autonomy and intimacy is proposed. Their erudite distillation is then proposed to replace olden Big Five traits with a Big Two marriage of entity/agency and empathy/community. An integral mutuality of me individual and We grouping is another version. As anthropologist John Terrell writes (search), could we ask for a better instance than liberal and conservative political parties, which beg to be seen as a coincident of opposites. For further avail, an eternal yang and yin is the core basis for Klaas van Egmond’s Sustainable Civilization (2014) recommendations.
We summarize and integrate a large body of research showing that agency and communion constitute two fundamental dimensions of content in social cognition. Agentic content refers to goal-achievement and task functioning (competence, assertiveness, decisiveness), whereas communal content refers to the maintenance of relationships and social functioning (benevolence, trustworthiness, morality). We present a Dual Perspective Model of Agency and Communion (DPM-AC) developed to show that the two dimensions are differently linked to the basic perspectives in social interaction, that is, the actor versus the observer/recipient perspectives. (Abstract excerpt)
Abele, Andrea, et al. Facets of the Fundamental Content Dimensions: Agency with Competence and Assertiveness – Communion with Warmth and Morality. Frontiers in Psychology. November, 2016. A. Abele, University of Erlangen (search 2014), Nicole Hauke, University of Queensland, Kim Peters, University of Strasbourg, Eva Louvet, University of Strasbourg, Aleksandra Szymkow, University of Social Sciences, Warsaw, and Yanping Duan, Hong Kong Baptist University contribute to this overdue shift in psychological studies from olden Big Five personality traits to more distinctive Big Two qualities. Their occasion may be traced to Abele, Oscar Ybarra, et al in the 2000s on to Susan Fiske circa 2018, as its validity gains a growing number of colleagues and usages. But it is so curious that as the titles well states, this ultimate pairing is still not realized to be complementary gender archetypes.
Agency (A) and communion (C) are fundamental content dimensions. We propose a facet model that differentiates A into assertiveness (AA) and competence (AC) and C into warmth (CW) and morality (CM). We tested the model in a cross-cultural study by comparing data from Asia, Australia, Europe, and the USA. Both the two-factor model and the four-factor model showed good fit indices across countries. The findings support the model's validity by positioning the traits within a network of self-construal, values, impression management, and the Big Five personality factors. In all countries, A was related to independent self-construal and to agentic values, and C to interdependent self-construal and communal values. Our research shows that (a) the fundamental dimensions of A and C are stable across cultures; and (b) that the here proposed distinction of facets of A and C is fruitful in analyzing self-perception. (Abstract excerpt)
Albrecht, Glenn. Earth Emotions. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019. This passionate evocation by the Australian environmental philosopher is reviewed more in A Viable Gaia, which we cite here for his proposal of a “symbiotic democracy” based upon and guided by nature’s intrinsic, animate democratic reciprocity of individual and community.
“Sumbiocracy” I define as a form of cooperative rule, determined by the type and totality of mutually beneficial or benign relationships, in a given sociobiological system. Sumbiocracy is a form of government where humans govern for all the reciprocal relationships of the Earth at all scales, from local to global. Organic form (all biodiversity including humans) and organic processes (symbiotically connected ecosystems and Earth systems) are primary in this new form of government. (106)
Alexander, Gary. eGaia: Growing a Peaceful, Sustainable Earth Through Communications. Norfolk, UK: Lighthouse Books, 2002. As a response to environmental devastation, a worldwide network of cooperative communities enhanced by shared electronic resources is described. For a working metaphor, our home planet earth is seen as a living organism just now reaching individual and collective consciousness.
Representation, Bicameralism, Political Equality, and Sortition.
Perspectives on Politics.
A McGill University, Iranian-Canadian political scientist offers another nuance of what “democracy” might mean. The concept is traced all the way to Athens, but none of the myriad versions since anywhere seem workable. Indeed, built-in flaws lead to insular factions and selfish behaviors which do not serve any populace. Yet, as the Abstract alludes, a truly bicameral body whence personal interests are balanced by integral responsibility ought to govern in an egalitarian way. As one reads along, the two sides of an aisle appear as a description of brain hemispheres, with individual agency leavened by contextual empathy. As this binocular decade begins, cities from Santiago and Beirut to Hong Kong and Paris and nations from Australia, Brazil, the UK and especially this USA remain beset by polar forces of every kind. How can it finally dawn that these natural halves are not warring enemies but well complement each other?
The two traditional justifications for bicameralism are that a second legislative chamber serves a legislative-review function (quality legislation) and a balancing function (checking power and protecting minorities). I furnish here a third justification for bicameralism, with one elected chamber and the second selected by lot, as an institutional compromise between contradictory imperatives facing representative democracy. Elections are a mechanism of people’s political agency and accountability, but run counter to equality and impartiality, and are insufficient for satisfactory responsiveness while sortition augurs for equality and impartiality. (Abstract excerpt)
Archibugi, Daniele. The Global Commonwealth of Citizens: Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008. A noted scholar with appointments from Italy to Britain wonders how a novel transnational humanist governance might be sketched in a way so as to guide the historic struggle from conflict, injustice, and poverty to benevolent participatory empowerment. But immersed in a continental mindset, an informing, intrinsic sense of a natural guidance eludes - see, e.g., Ellen LaConte below.
Bokanyi, Eszter, et al. Universal Scaling Laws in Metro Area Election Results. PLoS One. February 28, 2018. Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest and Harvard Medical School systems theorists including Gabor Vattay identify common underlying regularities even for such vicarious social activities. As so many papers across each area of life and mind similarly attest, a grand conclusion is becoming evident. For all this occur, there must exist a separate, independent mathematical domain which impresses and exemplifies itself in kind. In the late 2010s, here is an epochal discovery of a universe to human, ecosmos to culture, genotype and phenotype natural genesis. See also Scaling in Words in Twitter by this team at arXiv:1903.04329.
We explain the anomaly of election results between large cities and rural areas in terms of urban scaling in the 1948–2016 US elections and in the 2016 EU referendum of the UK. The scaling curves are all universal and depend on a single parameter only, and one of the parties always shows superlinear scaling and drives the process, while the sublinear exponent of the other party is merely the consequence of probability conservation. Based on the recently developed model of urban scaling, we give a microscopic model of voter behavior in which we replace diversity characterizing humans in creative aspects with social diversity and tolerance. The model can also predict new political developments such as the fragmentation of the left and the immigration paradox. (Abstract)
Bornstein, David. How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Around the world grass roots activists are combining the latest technologies such as cellphones with innovative monetary and community solutions to improve the quality of life and opportunity of many emerging regions.
Brijder, Robert, et al. Democratic, Existential, and Consensus-based Output Conventions in Stable Computation by Chemical Reaction Networks.. Natural Computing. 17/1, 2018. Reviewed more in systems Chemistry, RB Hasselt University, Belgium, David Doty UC Davis and David Soloveichik UT Austin metaphorically allude to an electoral polarity of aye and nay options as a good way to explain and represent chemical interactions.
Brooks, David. One Nation, Slightly Divisible. The Atlantic. December, 2001. An eye-witness survey of perceived differences between the “red” rural, middle America states and the “blue” big city seacoasts. Although roughly dividing into conservative and liberal, orthodox and “cafeteria” religion, and so on Brooks senses a national unity after all.
Bruns, Axel. Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond. New York: Peter Lang, 2009. Noted more in Mindkind, a Queensland University of Technology computer scientist advises shows how a local neighborhood and planetwide connectivity can empower and foster a true citizens democracy, much beyond infrequent elections.