In 2002/3 John Jopling and I wrote
Redefining Globalisation and People-PowerThis site introduces its key ideas and some associated topics
LEADING THE GAIAN REVOLUTION: Common Sense for Desperate Times
Leading the Gaian Revolution: Commonsense for Desperate Times
Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation & People-Power by Roy Madron & John Jopling
You never change things by fighting the existing reality...
to change something...build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER
The people who are trying to make the world worse, never take a day off. Why should I?
A revolution that is not more technically proficient and more effective than the regime it supplants is lost
I can´t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I´m frightened of the old ones.
In every part of the Global Monetocracy there are thoughtful, able and experienced people who have achieved leadership roles, or are being groomed for them.
Over the past few years, many of them have come to realise that the system they serve is herding the human family towards disaster.
They desperately want to do something to bring about some kind of a fundamental change, but they cannot do so until they can change their ways of thinking. Their mind-sets give them no choice but to carry on with what they are doing, even though they know it will have such dire consequences.
Facing such a seemingly intractable puzzle, they become increasingly disillusioned, unhappy and frustrated. Potentially, however, these people could become the key defectors from the old paradigm and provide the 'Liberating Leadership' that will be needed to achieve the global Gaian Revolution.
No matter what we do in the next few decades, global temperatures will rise by an average of about 2° Centigrade by 2060. That temperature rise is certain to cause widespread disruption and dislocation in every society. Just how much misery there will be, and how the human family as a whole deals with it, will depend on how soon and how completely the Global Monetocracy gives way to a global network of just and sustaininable Gaian Democracies.
Leading the Gaian Revolution: Common Sense for Desperate Times aims to persuade you tha you can help to co-create part of that network of Gaian Democracies through which the human family can survive the lethal dangers that it is now facing.
Gaia, Gaia Theory and Gaian Democracy
Gaia is the original Greek word for the Earth. Words like 'geography' and 'geology'' are derived from it. The Gaia Theory states that
The evolution of organisms and their material environment proceeds as a single tight-coupled process from which self-regulation of the environment at a habitable state appears as an emergent phenomenon.i
The theory was was developed by the English scientist, James Lovelock and his colleague, Lynn Margulis, while working on NASA's mission to Mars in the late 1960s. It demonstrates that every living thing on Earth, including all of humanity, is dependent on the continued viability and stability of a complex, self-organising web of Gaian systems. The Gaian systems make our continued existence possible.
All the world's leading scientists agree that the impact of human activity on the Gaian systems is making them more and more unstable. Gaia is systemically unable to support the continuing expansion of industrial activity that has been gathering pace since the mid-1700s. Knowing what we now know, we have to transform our societies so that they are capable of learning how to co-evolve for many thousands of years as complex, adaptive, viable parts of the total Gaian system.
Establishing and maintaining symbiotic relationships with Gaian Systems is at the heart of the Gaian Democracy paradigm. As John Jopling and I said in 2003ii;
The characteristics of Gaia as a system, and of human beings and human societies as sub-systems of Gaia are deeply significant in relation to democracy. The capacity of Gaian systems to self-organise is the key to their capacity for survival and adaptation. Our democratic systems need to be configured so as to aim towards achieving ordered relationships between the self-organised actions of the members of a particular democratic system, the democracy of which they are a part, and the Gaian system to which we all belong.
What business are Gaian Revolutionaries in?
We have to be in the business of bringing about a global political revolution. The revolution will begin to take shape when popular and respected men and women in many countries publicly challenge the business-as-usual paradigm and propose a radically different alternative. They will offer detailed explanations of why the business-as-usual paradigm is not a viable basis for government in the 21st Century and argue for replacing it with more effective and democratic forms of government based on very different ways of thinking.
In short, they will be making the case for replacing what in 2003 John Jopling and I called the Global Monetocracies with a global network of Gaian Democracies. As part of the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, a leading neo-conservative theorist, Robert Kagan, wrote a paper entitled "POWER AND WEAKNESS" for the influential journal Policy Review.iii Kagan's paper persuaded me that the Monetocracies should be labelled 'Neo-Martian' rather than simply 'Global', because they behave more like inhuman invaders of the earth than fully-human beings.
The Neo-Martians: Invaders not Inhabitants
Dr. Kagan gleefully had proposed that the values, perspectives, aims and strategies of President G.W. Bush's administration were 'from Mars', while those of leading European politicians and government were 'from Venus'. He drew his Martian analogy from Dr. John Gray's pop-psychology, classic "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus."iv
In Kagan's paper, those who questioned the right of a US government to over-ride international law, ignore the United Nations and scrap collective agreements were from Venus, i.e. soft, caring and feminised. By being ruthless and indifferent to the needs, the rights and the opinions of others, the US power-elites were showing that they were from Mars, of course.
To buttress his argument, Kagan helpfully pointed out that the USA´s imperial Martians were merely following the example of British, French and Spanish Martians in earlier times. However, in linking the Martian nature of the USA's global insatiability with that of earlier Martians, Dr. Kagan was also laying bare the basic values. aims, myths and operational strategies of the elites who have been herding the human family towards species suicide for the past four or five hundred years.
From his extreme neo-conservative perspective, Dr. Kagan could not see that a better analogy for Washington's Martians and their European predecessors was not the ancient Greek God of War, but the inhuman invaders who arrived from another planet in H.G. Wells' novella and the many radio dramas and films it inspired, The War of the Worlds!!
As a gesture to Dr. Kagan's amour-propre, however, and to reflect the more wide-ranging application I shall be making of his analogy, I have modified MARTIAN to NEO-MARTIAN.
Over the centuries, whatever their nationality, Dr. Kagan's Martians (my Neo-Martians) have acted with more-or-less the same pitiless indifference to the health of the human and the natural worlds, as did the H.G. Wells' Martians in The War of the Worlds. Since the mid-1600s, at the latest, their aims and basic operational strategies have remained the same.
They have used their political and economic power to turn everything within their reach into money in one form or another. Under their leadership, our corporate, financial, military and political elites have increasingly behaved not as inhabitants of Gaia, but as invaders from outer-space: i.e. The Neo-Martians.
A Great Change
In 1992, 1,670 eminent and honoured scientists, including 110 of the 138 living winners of Nobel prizes for science, issued this warning.v
We are fast approaching many of the Earth's limits. Current economic practices which damage the environment cannot continue. Our massive tampering could trigger unpredictable collapse of critical biological systems, which are only partly understood. A great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided, and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated."
Note those words. A great change is needed if vast human mise is to be avoided, and ... this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated. Since 1992, a torrent of reports from the WWF, the InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change, NASA, the Apollo-Gaia project, governments, even , have all backed up the warning given in 1992, and many others from earlier years. As yet, however, there is no sign of a great change happening, and business-as-usual is still the order of the day.
The Neo-Martian Paradigm.
Another name for a great change is a revolution. Revolutions in science are called 'paradigm shifts'. They happen when an obsolete 'paradigm', gives way to a radically different paradigm. In the light of new knowledge and increasing failures, an ensemble of formerly unquestioned theories, concepts, technologies, training regimes, methodologies and problem-definitions, no longer make sense. New theories and concepts begin to add up to a new paradigm that allows practitioners to re-define the puzzles that had defeated the old paradigm, and open up an array of techniques, insights and opportunities that formerly had been - literally - unthinkable.
The Neo-Martian business-as-usual paradigm is based on the work of such powerful thinkers as Plato, Machiavelli, Locke, Newton, Smith, Du Pont, the Federalists, Clausewitz, Marx, Spencer, Weber, Nietzche, Ortega y Gasset, Pareto, Schumpeter, Warburg, F.W. Taylor, Lippman, Keynes, Kennan, Ayn Rand, Carl Schmidt, Andrew Marshall, Frederich von Hayek and Milton Friedman.
As long as this obsolete paradigm shapes the way our leaders think about the dangers we face, the great change is impossible.Instead, we are stuck with a global system that Naomi Klein labels Disaster Capitalismvi, and John Dunn says is 'a single great system of wrong choicesviiand that I call The Neo-Martian Monetocracies.
The Gaian Democracy Paradigm
The Gaian Democracies Paradigmviii offers a practical kit of concepts and methodologies with which our societies can think, work and learn their way out of the dangers that threaten their futures. It is underpinned by the practical applications of Soft-Systems Theory, Complexity Theory and Gaia Theory: hundreds of case-studies, involving millions of people. It draws on the work of many innovators in democracy, systems science, leadership and economics. They include Kleisthenes, Stafford Beer, Horst Rittel, Peter Checkland, Joseph Tainter, W. Edwards Deming, Peter Senge, Ricardo Semler, Dee Hock, Richard David Hames, John Seddon, Joe Trippi and Paulo Freire, Guy Routh, Steve Keen and Richard Douthwaite.
The Gaian Revolution will require
so as to
How and where will the Gaian Revolution begin?
Revolutions begin with conversations between small groups of people, who have read one or more books that have enabled them to see the world in a new and hopeful way. The aim of this book and its successors is to start many thousands of such conversations, in many different countries and many different languages.
i James Lovelock, HOMAGE TO GAIA, OUP, Oxford, 2001
ii Roy Madron and John Jopling GAIAN DEMOCRACIES: REDEFINING GLOBALISATION AND PEOPLE-POWER. Schumacher Briefing #9. Green Books 2003
iii Robert Kagan: POWER AND WEAKNESS. Policy Review. June 2002
iv Dr. John Gray: MEN ARE FROM MARS AND WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS.
vi Naomi Klein THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM. Allen Lane 2007
vii John Dunn: THE CUNNING OF UNREASON. Polity Press, London 2000
viii Roy Madron and John Jopling GAIAN DEMOCRACIES: REDEFINING GLOBALISATION AND PEOPLE-POWER. Schumacher Briefing #9. Green Books 2003
• GAIAN SYSTEMS • LIBERATING LEADERSHIP • PARTICIPATORY SYSTEMS CHANGE • PAULO FREIRE'S LEARNING PRINCIPLES • SHARED PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES • SOFT SYSTEMS •
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Roy Madron 2008
LEADING THE GAIAN REVOLUTION: Common Sense for Desperate Times