VIII. Earth Earns: An Open Participatory Earthropocene to Ecosmocene CoCreativity
4. A Complementary Genocracy: me + We = US
Madron, Roy and John Jopling. Gaian Democracies. Devon, UK: Green Books, 2003. The book is a Schumacher Society Briefing subtitled: Redefining Globalization and People-Power. The dominant Global Monetocracy is locked in a terminal spiral of destroying people and consuming the earth. A radical alternative based on the organic principles of complex interconnected systems such as shared purposes, ecological sustainability, networking, full participation, and an openness to change. A companion website is the Worldwide Democracy Network: www.wwdemocracy.org.
Maner, Jon. Dominance and Prestige: A Tale of Two Hierarchies. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 26/6, 2017. A Florida State University psychologist contributes to a growing perception that dual but often oppositional social styles are in wide existence. Within these title terms, the “Dominance” mode is narcissist, aggressive, uses coercive, intimidates, rules by fear, while Prestige favors agreement, relations, empathy, respect, and so on. Examples are given as Dani warriors in New Guinea and Donald Trump, or Tsimane communities in Bolivia and Martin Luther King. See also his 2016 chapter Dominance and Prestige: Dual Strategies for Social Hierarchies in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 54), and a 2019 paper A Dual Model of Leadership and Hierarchy by Mark Van Vugt and Jennifer Smith, below.
Dominance and prestige represent evolved strategies used to navigate social hierarchies. Dominance is a strategy through which people gain and maintain social rank by using coercion, intimidation, and power. Prestige people gain and maintain social rank by displaying valued knowledge and skills and earning respect. The current article synthesizes recent research about differences between dominance- versus prestige-oriented individuals, including personality traits and emotions, strategic behaviors in social interactions, leadership mores, and physiological correlates of both behaviors. The article also reviews effects that dominance versus prestige has on the functioning and well-being of social groups. (Abstract)
Miller, Noam, et al. Both Information and Social Cohesion Determine Collective Decisions in Animal Groups.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Early Edition, March, 2013. Also noted in Cooperative Societies, with Simon Garnier, Andrew Hartnett, and Iain Couzin, Princeton University behavioral biologists provide sophisticated quantifications of democratic Me and We reciprocities, a natural complementarity principle, that well serves both creature and community. See also Ed Yong and other 2013 entries in Cooperative Societies for many more examples.
During consensus decision making, individuals in groups balance personal information (based on their own past experiences) with social information (based on the behavior of other individuals), allowing the group to reach a single collective choice. Previous studies of consensus decision making processes have focused on the informational aspects of behavioral choice, assuming that individuals make choices based solely on their likelihood of being beneficial (e.g., rewarded). However, decisions by both humans and nonhuman animals systematically violate such expectations. Here we experimentally disassociate cohesion-based decisions from information-based decisions using a three-choice paradigm and demonstrate that both factors are crucial to understanding the collective decision making of schooling fish. Balancing of personal information and social cues by individuals in key frontal positions in the group is shown to be essential for such group-level capabilities. Our results demonstrate the importance of integrating informational with other social considerations when explaining the collective capabilities of group-living animals. (Abstract excerpts)
Mooney, Chris. The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science - and Reality. New York: Wiley, 2012. A journalist builds an engaging argument that our oppositional political parties split along characteristic personality types. Conservative Republicans are fixated to maintain familiar certainty, while liberal Democrats aeem more open to novelty and change. We add that quantified support can be found in the journal Political Psychology, e.g., see Carney, et al herein. As the A Complementary Brain and Thought Process section documents, these traits quite match typical left and right cerebral hemisphere attributes. And of course which track obvious gender modes, male Me and feminine We. But in an American culture so left dominated it seems cognitively impossible to admit this glaring fact (nor climate change, phony wars, etc.). If we ever might, their gridlock standoff would be seen as fundamentally flawed, begging to be scrapped for a 21st century salutary reciprocity of both complements – as bipartisan inquiry panels necessarily achieve.
From climate change to evolution, the rejection of mainstream science among Republicans is growing, as is the denial of expert consensus on the economy, American history, foreign policy and much more. Why won't Republicans accept things that most experts agree on? Why are they constantly fighting against the facts? Science writer Chris Mooney explores brain scans, polls, and psychology experiments to explain why conservatives today believe more wrong things; appear more likely than Democrats to oppose new ideas and less likely to change their beliefs in the face of new facts; and sometimes respond to compelling evidence by doubling down on their current beliefs. (Publisher)
Noveck, Beth Simone. Wiki Government. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2009. We quote the author’s extensive vitae to make the point this work goes beyond an academic treatise. President Barack Obama has in fact choose Dr. Noveck to lead his Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform group so as to put these concepts into practical reality. There is a distinction to be made between prior modes of participation, mainly a yearly vote, and real, daily involvement in issues and their solution. Because of the public’s higher access to and degree of knowledge due to the Internet, both through text and visualization, in such a “collaborative” democracy persons and groups can make a significant contribution, and can electronically weigh in all year long.
Beth Simone Noveck is the McClatchy Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University. She is a Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School. Noveck teaches in the areas of intellectual property and innovation law and policy, constitutional law, e-democracy and e-government. Previously a telecommunications and Internet lawyer practicing in New York, Prof. Noveck graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor in Social Studies and Master of Arts in Comparative Literature. She earned a J.D. from Yale Law School … and a doctorate in Political Science and German Studies at the University of Innsbruck.
Petit, Patrick, ed. Earth Capitalism: Creating a New Civilization through a Responsible Market Economy. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2011. . A volume in the Goi Peace Foundation’s (Toyko) Initiative for Creating a New Civilization, which is a good example of abiding, non-western visions for a better world. An Introduction by its president Hiroo Saionji calls for a “Four S” program: Sustainability, Systems, Science, and Spirituality. For more instance, economist Hiroshi Tasaka agrees that markets left to their own profit devices are a passing stage unto an “empathy capitalism,” a “direct democracy,” rightly founded on Living Systems. We quote from his chapter on how societies progress, or ought to, by a yin and yang "dialectic."
Dialectic: In Western philosophy, dialectic began in Greece with Socrates and was systematized by Georg Hegel, the German idealist philosopher. Also, Karl Marx used this philosophy in his theory of social change and jean-Paul Sartre discussed its tenets in the context of Existentialism. In Eastern philosophy as well, dialectic has been dealt with at a profound level by Buddhist, Taoist, Esoteric Buddhist, Zen and other thinkers. Dialectic offers two laws in particular that are extremely helpful when foreseeing the future of capitalist societies: the “law of development through spiral process” and the “law of development through interpenetration of opposing objects.” (Tasaka, 23)
Piketty, Thomas. Long Life Participatory Socialism. Noema Magazine. November 10, 2021. This essay by the French historian is somewhat a synopsis of his latest work A Brief History of Equality (Harvard University Press, 2022) which proposes scopes out a viable, egalitarian resolve between these personal and polity aspects. We also note that this central position is just what the complexity sciences are finding everywhere as nature’s optimum self-organized criticality between more and less relative order. We also cite as a social version of the Patterns in Autism paper by Bernard Crespi (search). How obvious this perennial Golden Mean ought to be, while nations (autistic America) are torn apart as these complements battle each other.
I used to believe socialism was a failed idea. But then capitalism went too far. Now, I believe we need a socialism that is decentralized, federal and democratic, ecological, multiracial and feminist. (TP)
Purdy, Jedediah. After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015. Reviewed more in the Anthropocene section, a Duke University professor of law seeks to identify and scope a suitable democratic abidance.
Rihani, Samir. Complex Systems Theory and Development Practice. London: Zed Books, 2002. A new conceptual model is proposed for effective social policy, especially for emerging regions, based on an innate self-organizing complexity. The linear Newtonian paradigm is no longer adequate and its use explains why so many current programs do not work. Human societies are in fact dynamic, nonlinear systems whose component members need to be empowered, interconnected and supported by workable legal canons.
The Complexity argument is straightforward: the stimulating layer of self-organized Complexity that lies between deathly order and wasteful chaos could only emerge if people were free to interact and capable of interacting, and if their interactions were facilitated by appropriate rules that command popular support. (11)
Satin, Mark. Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2004. The activist lawyer provides a vigorous exposition of how to breakthrough from the right/left, either/or gridlock that confounds us. Four guiding principles are cited: maximize choices for all, give everyone one a fair start, maximize human potential, help the developing world. Based on these inclusive concepts, many practical examples are presented.
Seeley, Thomas. Honeybee Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. The Cornell University entomologist draws on a lifetime of clever field studies to lucidly explain how these social insects are so successful in locating and maintaining their home hives. I heard Tom Seeley talk on Collective Intelligence in Honey Bees at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Sept. 15, 2017 where he cited these five attributes: a common goal and mission, hive members have diverse information, this is freely shared, debate goes on but toward the objective, and via quorum sensing an aggregate, unbiased solution is reached. The buzz before and after was about how much political governments could benefit from such natural wisdom of agree instead of argue. It also points out how bereft we are of any common, Earthly human sapiens identity and purpose.
Shih, Chih-Yu. Collective Democracy. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1999. A scholarly and realistic study that China is indeed moving toward “democracy” but from its tradition of collective, village culture. A Western style individualist version, one size fits all, is simply not appropriate for their historic milieu. As a comment, rather than a single, enforced definition, “democratic” societies need to be situated in their bilateral Eastern and Western modes.
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