Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation & People-Power by Roy Madron & John Jopling
Roy Madron: Biography
Radio Interview with Jane Taylor, from Resonance FM
Email address: rm(at)gaiandemocracy.net
- Gaian democracies will only become increasingly just and sustainable if their citizens understand, are committed to, and share, a set of purposes and moral and ecological principles.
- Purpose and principles cannot be handed down from above. They must be developed through intensive participative processes.
- Plans, programmes and policies are meaningless unless they have been derived from a shared set of purposes and the principles.
The values of the power-elites ensure that the Global Monetocracy’s purpose is presented as an inevitable fact of life. In Gaian democracies, citizens will arrive at and frequently review their societies' purposes and principles through intensive participative processes. In doing so, they will gain a shared understanding of the relevance of purpose and principles to every aspect of their societies.
Purpose and principles constitute what Dee Hock calls the ‘genetic code’ of a purposeful human system.i They bind the community together. It is against them that all decisions and acts will be judged. Moreover, he says, “A compelling purpose, and powerful beliefs about conduct in pursuit of it, seemed to me infinitely more sensible and robust than mechanical plans, detailed objectives and predetermined outcomes.” We profoundly agree with Dee Hock when he also declares:
“Without a deeply held, commonly shared purpose that gives meaning to their lives; without deeply held, commonly shared, ethical values and beliefs about conduct in pursuit of purpose that all may trust and rely upon, communities steadily disintegrate, and organizations progressively become instruments of tyranny. This isn’t a bunch of platitudes, but a manifesto of what the people in the organization believe in and care about in their gut. And getting there is going to be downright excruciating… What we’re trying to do is build a community. And it’s only when that community has solid agreement on purposes and principles that you can start talking about the concept and structure of the organization.”
Because it can take some time to arrive at a shared understanding of the purposes and principles of the re-configured system, the difficult task of working them out may arouse deep impatience. It is all too easy to by-pass this stage in the re-configuring process in order to commit our valuable time, energy and resources to actually doing something about the host of chronic problems that cry out for urgent attention. The main reasons why this stage is so significant are these:
As we work towards increased understanding and a greater sense of shared purposes and principles, we gain a growing awareness of the web of interdependencies within the system, and between it and its environment - a greater understanding of the way the whole system works, and of our part in it.
In the light of the shared purposes and principles, we are able to tackle the system’s most difficult problems with much more confidence and produce more effective results in a much shorter time, while at the same time learning from the mistakes that will inevitably occur.
Because we are working on a complex adaptive human system of which we are active components, we can never precisely specify the outcome of the re-configuration process. The Indian philosophy of ‘doing work independently of the anticipated outcome’, applies here. But without shared purposes and principles we can never know how well we are doing, and what changes we should make to our strategies.
Without shared purposes and principles there can be no community, no society. With shared purpose, the system comes to life. Shared purpose defines what life means for the system. It provides the inspiration.