Posts Categorized: Democracy

the secret of freedom

“Le secret de la liberté est d’éclairer les hommes, comme celui de la tyrannie et de les retenir dans l’ignorance.” —Maximilien Robespierre (1758 – 1794) Translation: “The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” Is there more ‘fake news’ today than in previous decades, especially… Read more »

taking back our society

Monopolies & the Human Condition “When monopolies succeed, the people fail …”, Henry Demarist Lloyd wrote in March 1881, denouncing the practices of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. Almost a century later, John Kenneth Galbraith warned of the dangers of blindly having faith in our capital market system and the organizations and institutions that support it. “The greater… Read more »

countering fascist thinking

Jason Kottke reviewed an article by the philosopher Umberto Eco and summarized it as 14 features of eternal fascism. “These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to… Read more »

our post-truth moment

post-truth (adjective) Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. —Oxford Dictionaries Social media extend emotion, obsolesce the linearity and logic of print, retrieve oral speech, and when pushed to their limit, reverse into constant outrage. This is the post-truth… Read more »

enabling self-governing teams

“All forms of governance are failing their citizens — dictatorships and communism failed in the last part of the 20th century, and in this century democracies are not meeting citizen expectations. No matter which leaders are chosen, the systems themselves are failing.” – Yaneer Bar-Yam Our communities were not developed for a global economy, our institutions were… Read more »

to retrieve or to extend

It seems that ‘millennials’ in America do not have a lot of confidence in their institutions and markets. According to a 2016 Vox survey, corporate America, governors, and news agencies ranked the lowest. The status quo is not faring well. This is not surprising if we look at the major shift in how we humans… Read more »

hierarchy shift

“it is a battle between those for whom hierarchy and authority reign supreme and those who believe diverse, distributed and democratic approaches are best.” – the-war-between-authority-and-democracy-happening-now/ “Finally, the very definition of conservatism entails conserving something.  This is not an urgent priority for someone who sees reality as improving.  But, if the world is going to… Read more »

reflecting on freedom and democracy

Today marks my 13th anniversary of freelancing. It was a situation I was forced into, getting pushed out of the company where I worked, but I do not regret. The only downside to freelancing, in my experience, is the uncertain financial situation. Perhaps that’s a small price to pay for freedom. I have been traveling… Read more »

a dire shortage of alternative models

The shift from a market-dominated society to a networked society is well on its way. The TIMN [Tribes + Institutions + Markets + Networks] model shows how civilization grew from a collection of tribes, added institutions, and later developed markets, as the dominant form of organization. These aligned with revolutions in communications: from oral, to… Read more »

an unstoppable force for change

I presented the McLuhan media tetrad last week in South Africa. [see ‘a world of pervasive networks’ for background on these laws of media]. Societies change their basic organizing structures when the primary mode of communication changes [T+I+M+N]: from oral, to writing, to print, and now to electric (digital). As we shift our dominant communications… Read more »