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GAIAN DEMOCRACY

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In 2002/3 John Jopling and I wrote

Gaian Democracies:

Redefining Globalisation and People-Power

This site introduces its key ideas and some associated topics

GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY'S ANARCHIST ROOTS

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Roy Madron 2005

Leading the Gaian Revolution: Commonsense for Desperate Times

INTRODUCTION

Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation & People-Power by Roy Madron & John Jopling
Summary


Roy Madron: Biography

Radio Interview with Jane Taylor, from Resonance FM

Email address: rm(at)gaiandemocracy.net

In 2002, David C. Korten (USA), Nicanor Perlas (Phillippines),Vandana Shiva (India) produced 
'A DRAFT MANIFESTO' entitled
GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY: THE PATH AHEAD

 Korten, Shiva and Perlas are certainly not thought of as dedicated anarchists. They would probably indignantly reject the argument I am trying to make. Nonetheless, these quotations show that they share many basic assumptions with anarchist thinkers. They list their main assumptions and proposals as follows:

  • Concentration and centralization of power and wealth are essential organizing principles of elite globalization. Equitable distribution and decentralization of power and wealth are essential organizing principles of global civil society.

  • In societies where love, trust, and sense of connection prevail, we are more likely to find cooperative partnership models of social organization that favor deeply democratic self-organizing processes mediated by an ethical culture that values equality, justice, the creative freedom of the individual, and the willingness of each individual to act with a sense of responsibility for the interests of the whole.

  • The crisis of social and environmental system failure can be resolved only by the decentralization of power and control based on the principles of partnership and community.

  • The articulation of an authentic culture is a spontaneous, self-organizing, and deeply democratic and broadly participatory and commonly unconscious process that flows from the authentic spiritual and social experience of each individual. Culture may also be intentionally fabricated through the influence of skilled propagandists and advertisers - giving rise to an inauthentic culture that almost invariably legitimates the power and privilege of those who sponsor the fabrication.

  • Global civil society is raising the processes of authentic cultural regeneration to the level of conscious awareness and intentional choice.

  • The guiding purpose of global civil society is not to capture power by replacing the present power holders in an inherently violent and unjust system. [added emphasis] Nor is it to advance or impose an ideological agenda. It is to replace the fabricated culture and dominator power relationships of empire with the authentic emergent cultures and power sharing relations of community as the foundation of a new planetary civilization.

  • The moral power of an authentic culture that flows from the authentic spiritual and social experience of people is the ultimate social power - the power of the people - because it is the power to grant to or withhold legitimacy from the ruling institutions of the political and economic spheres.

  • Defending community against empire's political, military, cultural, and economic assault on the rights and sovereignty of people and community' means resisting the institutions and agendas of empire and demanding a rollback of unjust and undemocratic rules and programs that serve elite interests at the expense of community interests.

  • Resistance can be assertive and may involve principled civil disobedience, but it must always adhere to the principles of nonviolent direct action. The discipline of nonviolence underscores community's moral authority and the illegitimacy of the violence of empire and it breaks the cycle of violence that violent resistance - including terrorist violence - perpetuates and legitimates.

  • To create local zones of freedom in which people engage with one another in creating the new relationships, institutions, and authentic cultures of living societies. ‘Freedom zones' (are] ... a local study group... a farmer's market, a school to develop inquiring minds, or a course on voluntary simplicity. It might a socially responsible local business, a community currency scheme, or a holistic health clinic.

  • The goal in the economic sphere is to replace a global suicide economy with local living economies, the goal in the political sphere is to replace the dead democracy of money with living democracies of people. In contrast to the economic sphere, however, the agenda of the new politics is more social and cultural than institutional.

  • A truly democratic government is not supposed to lead. It is supposed to respond to the leadership of "We the people." It can only do so, however, to the extent that civil society fulfils its essential leadership role. [added emphasis]

  • The most accurate answer to the question, "Who is the leader of global civil society?" is, "Every person." [added emphasis]

  • Global Civil Society [is] ‘a manifestation of social energies released by an awakening of human consciousness to possibilities for creating societies that nurture and rejoice in a love of all beings. The energy thus released is flowing toward what writer and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy calls the "Great Turning."'

  • The three dimensions. of the ‘Great Turning' are

  • Resistance: organizing holding actions like the Seattle, Genoa and Dofar anti-WTO protests to slow the destruction.

  • Creating new social and economic structures.

  • Spiritual awakening. Described by Macy as, "...a shift in consciousness that.is actually happening now at a rapid rate ... awakening perceptions and values that are both very new and very ancient, linking back to rivers of ancestral wisdom."


I have quoted at length from the Korten, Perlas, Shiva paper because it is a Manifesto for Global Civil Society. Clearly, many influences and experiences other than anarchism have influenced the authors: J.R. Tolkein and George Lucas to name but two. Nonetheless, the dominant framework for their thinking is classically anarchist.

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NOTE: THE UPDATE OF THIS SITE WILL TAKE UNTIL AUGUST 2008 TO COMPLETE

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Roy Madron 2008

 

GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY'S ANARCHIST ROOTS