Posts tagged ‘Democracy’

December 11, 2011

Scarcity the driving force behind Politics and the birth of the Technocrat Politician (Credited to the thinker who asked us the question “do we really need the politician”)

Scarcity refers to the tension between our limited resources and our unlimited wants and needs. On an individual level, resources include time, money and skill, while on a country level, limited resources include natural resources, capital, labour force, technology and information.
Because all of our resources are limited in comparison to all of our wants and needs, individuals and nations have to make decisions regarding what goods and services they can pay for and which ones they must forgo.

Whatever, the form of governance societies tolerate, they in practice have “assigned” the decision making to groups that “persuade” them they know exactly what these much needed resources are and that they have the means of acquiring them on the nations’ behalf.

Economics (macroeconomics to be accurate), in turn, aims, in theory, to “study” why these groups make these decisions and how they could allocate resources more efficiently.

The ways these groups employ to persuade nations that they can utilise Economics to provide these resources and the art of justifying their failure to fulfil their promises (by blaming all but themselves) is what we call Politics.

Recently we witness a reluctant power transfer from politicians to technocrats, in two counties under “siege” from the Markets, Greece and Italy. The degree of power transition in both cases was different with Italy going all the way to assign technocrats in all key positions. In both cases, they called the whole structure “transitional government” and in both cases, it was the “influence” groups from abroad that imposed the change. Are there any conclusions we can draw? Is what we experience the end of the politician, as we knew them thus far?

If the experiment succeeds, would that mean that nations would start developing a new way of thinking?

If the actual need of the nations today is to manage their economy, why do they need the “middle man” and not combine the two forms into one.

However, before you start thinking yes this is rational, ask yourself, what actually are these “influence” groups that forced the change, are they not “The Markets”?

Moreover, we know from the above, that scarcity in a way drives “economic” growth. It is doing so by increasing the pressure on societies to come up with solutions, which can satisfy both their needs and wants. However, what exactly is the scarcity that drives this specific change the solution of which is the technocrat?

The profound answer is economic growth (or rather the lack of it and the consequent attempt of debt renewal), which though is a cyclical notion. Remember we started with the notion that it is scarcity that creates growth and consequently, if the growth was not materialised means that there was no scarcity in the first place.

Are we in a dead end?   The apparent puzzle is similar to what a two dimensional men has when find itself within four connected into a square lines on a piece of paper and he wants to escape.

Luckily, we do know that there are more then two dimensions so I wonder why do we insist to simulate the two dimensional men.

We know that the universal problem of all nations is debt. We know that what created the problem in the first place is the economic framework within which we operate. We tried to give solutions to perceived scarcities by means of it and we failed.

Let us do the right thing this time around. Let us go beyond the “two dimensional” economic framework, jump on the “third axis” into the socioeconomic one where scarcity can be analysed holistically,  .

There the politician 2.0, takes a different form and so does the technocrat. In there, we can decide what mandate to give them and if we need them both?

However, do remember in the socioeconomic environment the definition of the technocrat goes far beyond the economist. The scarcity we are faced with is the lack of institutional entrepreneurism mainly (that is why the “system” is trying to produce them i.e. occupy movement) and there is where the emphasis should be given, in a more organised way though.

December 9, 2011

The Politician 2.0 and an introduction to post-Democracy

We established in the previous blog ( that the politician as an institution needs to change and together with it, the institutions of the political party and public administration.

Where can we start the change?

Inevitably, we need to evaluate  the probable “futures” we can see, compare these with today’s reality and plan a phased transition from today to the future vision, with the minimum of “allergic” reactions, ideally. Equally important is to agree on the fact that no one solution can fit all, as different nations will start from different systems and institutional forms that support them currently so probably localisation of the principals will be needed.

So, “back to the future” and let us see how our vision of post-Democracy could be defined.

Based on current trends and having excluded several incompatible scenarios we can see it as:

  • A framework allowing  the country’s and the global interests to coexists at least as equal partners
  • An environment whereby political parties are groups of thinkers or citizens-members, an evolution of a think tank in combination with an evolved political party, that will never get into power
  • Whereby politics and public administration are two distinctly different things
  •  An environment where policy making is a process of careful impact analysis on the socioeconomic level within a globalised framework
  • A socioeconomic environment whereby election circles do not exist but instead
  • A process where legislation and policies are approved by the means of a fully electronic process driven by common grounds between the interested non political parties (instead of a majority) and based on impact analysis on both the environmental and social aspects
  • An environment where public administration is run in the background funded by a central independent body that is responsible for the country’s fiscal policies, the socioeconomic analysis needed for decision-making and the allocation of funds
  • A framework where the citizen rules
  • A framework where the economy and the social coexist as equal partners
  • An environment whereby public services/resources  are distributed equally to all
  • An environment that rewards the citizens according to their contribution to society
  • A framework within which taxation forms are related to social and environmental contributions
  • A system where the politician is used only as a representative of the state in global institutions, as foreign policy leaders, diplomats, ambassadors, institutional entrepreneur, and social lobbyists for new policies and maybe as political philosophers if they are up to it

So, how Democracy 1.1 can look like, what the first step can be to start the journey, from where we are, to where we would like to be?

We believe that societies are currently mature enough to:

  • Break the connection between a political party and the country’s  governance
  • Eliminate party vote in favour of the elected individual
  • Separate the politician from the party during elections and vote him on his political manifesto, personal integrity and capability with all of them graded in the vote. When elected they can group into political fractions if they wish
  • Reduce the amount of elected politicians
  • Progress with (or start if not in place yet) the separation between Politics and Public Administration by assigning Undersecretaries and restructure the Public Administration Structure according to real needs
  • Enhance the public consultation principal, by presenting the recommendations of all parties in it as the baseline, for all legislations
  • Give gradually-increased  gravity to public consultation into regulations affecting the majority of the citizens and national policies
  • Transfer to an independent body, away from political groups, the country’s fiscal policy, the socioeconomic analysis needed for decision-making and the allocation of public funds.
  • Reduce the central governance and move responsibility to the periphery
  • Plan for the transition away from Parliaments
  • Change taxation of individuals and enterprises to reflect social and environmental impact
  • Eliminate corruption and crime by introducing the electronic only currency (see relevant articles on the subject)

Then sit back and enjoy!

The Gaianomy think-tank

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