The EOS Board has had its first meeting of 2020, and it marks the beginning of a transition process which shall be finished at August of 2020 and will mark the transformation of the EOS into a truly holonic movement, consisting of multiple autonomous local groups. This development will also the abolishment of the global Board and the division of its responsibilities. It should be noted that this does not represent a novelty but rather is adapting form after functionality in a manner which is consistent.
It could be said that the current structure is Ad Hoc-based and arose from 1) the failure of the Terran Technate Consortium to form an umbrella structure with other similar movements within the RBE sphere, and 2) the need to administer and fund projects such as the Biodome. While the Board was intended to work in a specific manner, the de-facto result saw it focus very much on specific projects. Meanwhile, this structure created the impression that the EOS is a centralized, top-down organization with little autonomy for local initiative, which always has been far from the truth. However, what has been closer to the truth is that the Board has more worked like a forum for disseminating and discussing the on-going projects and their development each month, and that without the ability (or need) to set up time tables (except for matters pertaining the website, the organization’s finances and other matters of importance to the organization). Thus, the Board has for all intents and purposes been relegated to the Board Group and to the monthly meetings. This kind of operational structure could be reformed in a manner more consistent with the methodology which has served us best.
A new structure for the 2020’s
The new structure will see the functions of the Board divided into two new organs. Both of these organs will be defined as serving the purposes of the movement, rather than leading it. Coordinator team The coordinator team consists of those members and employees of the EOS who are responsible for the management of the website, the Youtube channel, the pod and other organization communication channels for the movement to utilize, as well as the finances. The CT will be liable before the Holons, represented by the AGMC, and its members can be replaced by the AGMC.
The Annual General Meeting will in the future, as it is now, be the point where the organization’s agenda is set forth. To anchor the decisions within the movement, the organization-wide Board shall be dissolved and its functions transferred to a steering committee elected by the Holons for a one-year mandate, responsible for:
Setting up a budget for the website, the registrar and other organization-wide expenditures.
Planning and executing monthly meetings, extraordinary meetings and of course the Annual General Meetings.
Making decisions regarding complaints, for example from members excluded from individual Holons or from Holons which voice disconcert.
Ensuring that decisions are made in accordance with the Design, the Three Criteria and the Three L Model.
Propose amendments before the movement in the Annual General Meetings.
Holons are autonomous units which may be centred on geographic locations or around projects. Several holons can be subdivisions of one larger holon working on a project. Small holons will have elected task coordinators, whereas larger holons probably will have their own steering committees which will be responsible for overseeing both the coordinators and the progress of the holon at large. The observant reader would have seen the similarity with the structure which will be utilized within the EOS starting from August 2020.
Summary of changes
From August 2020, the Board will be dissolved.
It will be replaced by the Annual General Meeting Committee, where all its members will be elected by individual holons (in the future it might be clusters of holons).
A coordinator team will be appointed by the Annual General Meeting to manage the website, finances and other aspects. These individuals are responsible before the AGMC.
What are your thoughts? Please, don’t be shy and share what you think in the EOS Facebook Group.
Almedalen is a park in the historical town of Visby located on the island of Gotland, Sweden. Since 1968, it has become an annual recurring event that Swedish political and community leaders are converging in Almedalen, where they can interact with media and the public. This was the first year when the EOS would host an event at Almedalen, namely an exhibition area where the public could interact with us and construct their own biodomes. The date: Thursday the 5th of July 2019.
Leading the expedition were Board Members Enrique Lescure and Rickard Strandberg, and another EOS member. They arrived on the shores of Gotland on the night of the 4th of July, and then would spend the next day sightseeing before setting up their tent on the morning of the fifth.
Usually, the Almedalen political week is at its most intensive Tuesday and Wednesday – but this year was characterised by bad weather, especially in terms of rain. Thus, Thursday was sunny and therefore more people frequented the convention area in the old city of Visby (a town displaying beautiful medieval buildings and ruins, a testament to its past as an important Hanseatic port).
We had one final hurdle to put up with before laying out our tent – the wind. It was exceptionally windy the morning of the fifth, and it took nearly one hour to get the party tent stable – we had to anchor it in a pair of public park benches appropriated for the event. This inadvertently turned our spot into a “lounge”, which became a popular destination for weary visitors.
And visitors we got many, all from youths to seniors – many of whom were working within environment or academia. This created room for many interesting discussions. It was apparently a novelty to connect the ecological problems plaguing our planet to the monetary-financial system employed by the current civilization, and a few seniors rather wanted to emphasize population pressure issues. In fact, discussing the structure of the monetary-financial system is so suppressed that it is a mere afterthought in today’s discourse. The only exception was the Positive Money movement, which is striving for the ending of fiat money – a policy which the EOS sees as a first step towards a more sustainable system.
A lot of the youths expressed their admiration for our ideas, and we gave away a number of compendiums outlining the Design in an abridged form. This will hopefully serve to spread our ideas, especially as our closest neighbours were tents belonging to the Public Television and Radio broadcasting company, and we got a chance to speak to a few reporters.
We used the most of our day at Almedalen to spread fliers and ideas. One popular feature was our minidomes, which we constructed and displayed at sight. We also helped members of the public to build their own 1V domes. When the day was over, we deconstructed our domes back into flower sticks, and cleaned the spot, restoring it to its former grey dullness.
Sweden has one of the highest carbon taxes in the world, which has pushed the gasoline price to near $2 per litre. This, coupled with higher unemployment and lower real incomes (as well as high energy prices) has provoked a reaction, mostly from Swedes living in smaller towns. Thus, Bensinupproret 2.0 (the Gas Rebellion) was born, with the singular demand of lowering Swedish carbon taxes, with the arguments that:
Swedish gas taxes are so high that they are damaging the lives of working class people.
Sweden’s impact on global carbon emissions is minuscule.
The taxes on road vehicles are subsidizing the Swedish railways.
The tax is 33% as high as it should be for “compensation for pollution”.
These arguments could seem persuasive, and for a Swedish working family caring about what would happen in 50-100 years is probably of less priority than what will happen the next year, especially for small business owners and seasonal workers, whose margins of income often are very strained. High costs of transport and energy could easily break the economy of a marginal household, and Bensinupproret is for all ends and purposes slightly inspired by the Yellow Vest protests in France.
The problem, however, is that the consensus on the meeting – frequented by the economist Tino Sanandaji, and conservative and liberal politicians – was completely ignoring the environmental factors, especially those pertaining climate matters. Thus, attending the audience, I (Enrique) decided to ask questions whether the participants in the forum envisioned any strategy on how to transition away from a carbon-based economy. This question prompted the interest from a Youtube Channel named Svensk Webbtelevision, which decided to interview yours truly.
It was not a light decision to agree to an interview – I knew that Svensk Webbtelevision is a channel often giving a platform to well-known sceptics and denialists regarding the climate issue, and that most people watching the interview would be hostile to my position no matter what I said.
The interview can be seen here at the five minute mark:
My statement was very clear – we need to conduct a transition towards a sustainable future. While it is true that the impact from Swedish policies is negligible in their practical outcome, they can inspire other states to conduct similar reforms. This is not a matter of Sweden being endowed with extraordinary superpowers, if Austria, Iceland or the Netherlands conducted similar reforms they too might inspire other governments.
I stated that the greatest need was for a transition towards sustainability, that we do not live in a world ideally suited for conducting a transition but that we nevertheless should try – and that we should “dig where we stand”. I also alluded to the need to conduct a transition locally and organize communities to retake their control of the power grid, the food production and the natural resources. Hardly surprising, those watching Svensk Webbtelevision nevertheless disliked what I was saying, mostly because the audience cultivated by that community is predisposed towards not believing in the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change, and because they chose to interpret every statement in the most hostile way possible.
The only thing I regret from the interview is that I more should have emphasized the transition and how local communities themselves can help to redesign the available car pool to reduce the impact from cars, for example by transforming gasoline and diesel cars into hybrid cars. The EOS is not and has never been about the implementation of policies, but of local communities retaking the power over their own destinies, per our ideas of the power of Social Activism.
While Almedalen was a moderate success from our perspective, it is my belief that approaching the public should not only be constrained to conventions and large events, but also to smaller venues and to the public space in general. Now when we have invested in the infrastructure to make this happen, with the purchase of two tents (for the price of one), and valuable experience, we are more ready to strengthen our presence in Umea.
We must also become better at streaming and showcasing our presence, and become more available to the public.
These are the lessons we should learn from Almedalen.
If the Design is proven to be a viable alternative to the current socio-economic system, and therefore is introduced, it would mean nothing less than a complete cultural and social transformation of the human civilization, and a shift of many values once considered essential and hailing back twelve thousand years.
Examples of concepts which would be altered would be ranging from trade and accumulation to inheritance, savings and interest. And these are the three factors we intend to showcase in this article, as we previously have discussed a lot about transactions under a technate, but considerably less about accumulation.
Primarily, the kind of civilization which will appear under the Design will not be characterized by the growing disparities of wealth and the conflation of wealth an influence characteristic of monetary market-based systems. This will not happen by any post-hoc regulations of political or other character, but rather – almost non-intentionally – be a consequence of the very structure of energy units, the currency of the future.
This transformation, if sudden, will be traumatic and cause social unrest. But, if the Design ever would be implemented, these aspects would be of integral character and would represent one of the most tangible and deepest transformations of global human culture ever occurring.
Thus, any implementation would have to be conducted as a gradual shift, and the nature of the transformation would have to be conducted in a manner of dialogue, inclusivity and transparency, to minimise the risk for toxic social strife.
Within the EOS, we are neither driven by passions for social justice, nor by the vice of vindictiveness. We are not deriving the Design from any Marxian tradition – our primary purpose is not to establish social equity, but to ensure that every human being on Earth can live a decent life within the sustainable ecological budget ceiling established by the physical reality of the planetary ecological economy.
Any such implementation undertaken haphazardly, covertly and under stress would certainly constitute a profound risk for a cultural and social collapse which will threaten the structural integrity of the human civilization, and risk ushering in a new dark age. That is why any implementation must happen with clear goals, delineations and democratic participation.
Notwithstanding our lack of socialist credentials, the successful implementation of the Design would lead to several outcomes which would create a more egalitarian and equitable human civilization, where wealth disparities not only would be smaller, but also of structurally fleeting character, making impossible the accumulation of land and wealth which previously has created the entrenched aristocracies of our world.
In return, social safety and prosperity will to a larger extent be derived from the individual share of the planetary resources allotted to each human being, on the virtue of – among other things – being a part of humanity.
Energy units are representing production capacity, not capital value derived from markets.
It is physically impossible to use energy after it already has been converted to work.
Expecting energy units to operate like money is unrealistic.
Energy units are issued for a limited period and are thus susceptible to being deleted and replaced by new energy units issued for a second period.
This will eliminate the concept of trans-period savings.
When used, energy units will cease to exist.
This will eliminate transactional trading.
The intent of these design features are not to eliminate savings and transactions, but to allow energy units to correctly measure production capacity.
If we would say that Energy Accounting was to be introduced, it would have to be introduced gradually – as it is so alien and different from the concepts of economics and human life we have come to expect as natural.
The nature of Energy Units as a currency
The reiteration of this cannot be stressed enough. While Energy Units, as envisioned by the EOS, are a currency, they are not money. There are important structural and philosophical differentiations which must be accounted for, with the structural taking precedence.
The first difference: Money has arisen gradually over three millennia, and represents a social safety net for the individual, indirectly at the expense of other individuals not immediately related. Organic money gave way to metal currency which gave way to fractional reserve banking and debt-based money, while there philosophically exists a perpetuation of an intellectually dishonest way of pretending that money is a law of nature.
As already Technocracy Inc. stated, the philosophical basis of money is the idea that scarcity is always unavoidable because of the limitlessness of human demand, one of the fundamental postulates of Orthodox and Neoclassical Economics. This is hardly surprising given that for the majority of money’s existence within human civilization occurred during a period where most of the work was dependent on raw human muscle power.
The expansion of capital in Europe from the 15th century and onward was driven by the development of credit mechanics, and this would lay the foundation for the first and second industrial revolutions. But these transformations in raw productive power and the transition to extraneous energy sources to supplant muscle power and vastly increase productive capacity also further transformed money into a hybrid system where the laws of scarcity still applies for the vast majority of the population not owning significant amounts of capital, whereas the large institutions and mega-corporations deemed “too big to fail” are existing in a parallel world, one where capital and credit could be attained by a limitless supply of debt, owed by the collective entity of the entire population. Currently, three units of debt are created for every unit of capital in the largest economies of the world.
One frequent criticism from laypersons in regard to Energy Units is that they allegedly represent a more complex system. This I actually disagree with – in comparison to the hybrid systems currently employed, which are reliant on layer upon layer of misconceptions, vagueness, tradition and – arguably – omission of information, Energy Units are an incredibly simple concept.
The Energy Units are issued by the Technate through a process called Energy Accounting, where the entire size of the operational global economy (or at least technate-wide economy) within the limits of the Earth’s carrying capacity are routinely measured. When issued, they are distributed, to holons within the public sector and to all human individuals living within the total area of the Technate. When these entities are allocating their Energy Units, they de-facto allocate production capacity to specific operations. The cost in Energy Units for the production of an item or a service is equal to the cost (in energy terms) to extract the resources, manage the production and compensate for damage incurred on the environment. The cost will also take into account transportation costs and their environmental effects, thus creating incentives for local and greener production.
The Technate is issuing the Energy Units in packages of accounting periods, which are the estimates of the Earth’s production capacity within the planet’s ecological budget ceiling for a limited duration of time (the length of this period could range for x amounts of months or years). When a new accounting period begins, the old accounts – both on the public and private side – are thus reset, for a microsecond to zero and then to the measurement value for the new period. Thus, the specific global pool of Energy Units is for all purposes aimed to be of temporary character. This will, for quite obvious reasons, eliminate savings – thus preventing the long-term accumulation of capital.
Secondly, following the allocation of Energy Units to production and services, by the users (here we both account for human persons and public utilities), the Energy Units are transformed into information input and cease to exist as transferable currency. This means that for all ends and purposes, they cannot be used in the allocation cycle more than once. For obvious reasons, this will be simplified by the virtue of the Energy Units being an electronic currency. This will, also for quite obvious reasons, eliminate trade as we know it.
Why do we want to eliminate savings and trade?
Are we frothing-at-the-mouth anti-capitalists who simply hate success and freedom? Or do we see ourselves as radical revolutionaries fanatically intent to fight to end exploitation and build a new utopian future?
The answer is, neither of these latter postulates are true. We are not driven by any antipathy or sympathy for the capitalistic system, and neither primarily by egalitarianism or anti-hierarchical sentiments. We are, for all ends and purposes, pro-sustainability rather than anti-capitalism.
So, why do savings and exchange-based trade have to go?
The answer, of course, lies in preserving the structural integrity of Energy Units. They are not supposed to be money, and neither to be capital. Each individual specific pool of Energy Units are going to represent a share of the Earth’s renewal capacity, the global ecological budget we can use before we start to ramp up a deficit.
If we imagined that we made Energy Units transferable between entities, the process of tracking them would 1) become far more complex, and 2) they would no longer properly represent production capacity, and thus would be rendered useless in relation to the goal of keeping a global ecological budget ceiling.
If we imagined that we made Energy Units salvageable over extended durations of time exceeding the accounting periods of the Technate, that too would compromise the operative purpose of the entire system, unless we compensated for saved Energy Units by reducing the size of the remainder of the pool, thus making everyone else poorer.
Remember, the Technate represents a system where economic growth will be caused by technological development in terms of finding more efficient ways of managing energy, resources and production – thus while incomes may seem stagnant, at least over the short perspective, a process of continuous deflation will successively lower the costs of economic operations in the long perspective. The global ecological budget ceiling imposes, at least in terms of operations occurring on the planet and with planet-based resources, a limit to the kind of growth which sees areas converted from eco-systems to linear production systems.
Equality and egalitarianism
Especially the abolishment of capital accumulation will have specific effects on the society’s culture for a foreseeable future. Namely, self-perpetuating fortunes will be a thing of the past, and income differences will be vastly reduced. The Pareto distribution pyramid will be broken, meaning that no longer will 20% of the population have exclusive access to 80% of the total economic output. There will no longer be a 1%, and there will no longer be a 0,1%.
The primary social safety net will no longer be savings, but rather the fact that each human being will own a share of the planet’s renewal capacity for every year. What this will mean is that we will have one common bank for all of humanity – planet Earth.
So, maybe it is wrong to state that savings will be abolished – rather they will be transferred. With good stewardship, wise user choices (which under a regime of Energy Accounting will also be economically sensible) and technological progress, the individual accounts will grow for every passing period, thus representing savings which – contrary to our current situation – won’t decrease with spending, but will grow over an individual lifespan.
The model proposed by the EOS is a model of mixed accounts, where each individual human being will have no less than three accounts of Energy Units. These Energy Units will not be quintessentially different in any regard from one another, but will rather represent three distributive methods employed by the Technate.
Basic distribution – each human being will receive a flat income of Energy Units comprising the basic needs of sustenance, housing, nutrition and recreation.
Time-based distribution – every individual should be compensated the following accounting period for their work contribution in the current accounting period.
Reputation-based distribution – the popularity of products and services in the different sequences (operational areas) of the Technate, no matter if the user is an individual, a community or a utility, can be used to distribute a boon to all individuals involved in the creation of said product and service.
With this system, the distribution of Energy Units will not be totally egalitarian no matter education, drive or incentives, and holons committing themselves to effective production and research will “outcompete” those holons which insist on doing a bare minimum of what is required. In short, teams committing themselves to contributing more for the wider community and the users will see their individual incomes rise in relation to those who contribute less.
Yet, despite this inequality of outcome, the system will be far more equitable over time as inequalities cannot sustain themselves longer than one accounting period, creating a greater degree of elasticity and preventing the emergence of a stratified society with a permanent class structure.
The Design (which is the name of a system consisting of the triad of the Technate, the Energy Survey and the Energy Units currency) is a currently untested alternative to the current status quo. Thus, we will encounter challenges and problems when we expose it for field tests. Already now, before we’ve seen it operate, there are some areas where we can identify troubles arising.
Those areas are:
The problem of incentives
The problem of corruption
The problem of bottlenecks
The problem of incentives can easily be formulated like this: “People will commit less to work under your system because they won’t be able to accumulate capital and build fortunes, which will mean that they will commit less in studying.” The extreme variation of this argument builds on the popular conception of human psychology which states that people will not work at all unless they are threatened by the Damocles sword of homelessness, starvation and death hanging over their heads.
One can say that this problem is the one which from our point of view is the least of a problem, at least from a theoretical perspective. The argumentation behind the problem is building on the idea that we need exponential economic growth – which is true under the current, debt-based monetary-financial system. It won’t be true under the Design (if you wonder what I mean, that means you should read the segments of the article prior to this headline again). The Technate is an elastic steady state system, not an exponential growth system.
Moreover, a lot of the economic activities conducted today which are lauded as high-productive work necessary for the well-being of our global economy, are in fact quite damaging for the long-term well-being of the economy. Certainly, a CEO of a company which creates a brand selling St Nick action toys and manage to become a billionaire on that is by all accounts a very accomplished and skilled individual. The question is whether it by any account can be called sustainable to take out that much more plastic from the environment, and facilitate that many more truck transports, and create more energy-demanding factories to push out tens of millions of toys which are fuelled by demand artificially increased through advertising directed at impressionable kids? If that CEO, instead of making that toy-line, had focused their energy on self-gratification through the personal consumption of erotic material online, that otherwise “highly accomplished” individual would have had an arguably less harmful impact on the environment.
Energy Accounting is not designed in order to maximise incentives, but to reduce bad incentives and increase incentives that are more in line with the ecological limits of our living planet. Judging by the values of our current system, it will certainly serve to reduce some incentives – and that in our view is a good thing!
The incentives which drive us to replace ecosystems with monocultures, to continue to spew out compositions which are harmful to the long-term sustainability of our civilization and to extract minerals, metals and wood to make things which people only realise they need after being bombarded with ads, are genuinely destructive for ourselves and built on short-sighted profits where the system is directed by a mass of blind consumers who are being consciously manipulated by actors within the system in order to make them consume more, and thus have a greater impact on the planet inadvertently. The argument that this consumption is needed to produce new capital which would be invested in new “green technologies” has been present since the 1970’s, and despite this our effect on the environment has nothing but increased.
The problem of corruption is far more hypothetical in nature, since it addresses institutions which are not yet established. The line of argument is that human beings best either trust themselves or the established institutions in safe-guarding their wealth, that savings are necessitated by the risk of illness, poverty or accidents. To move the safety-guarantee to having the Earth itself as the bank and the technate as the middle-hand is presenting itself as a horrifying prospect to many human beings.
They fear that with the power vested in the technate would follow totalitarianism and something resembling 21st century stalinism, with “the government” having total control and supervision over every individual.
The fear of the risk of technology being used to monitor the citizenry and keeping it in line is a rational fear, since we have seen the ascent of technological states during the 20th century and how technologies were abused for the purpose of surveillance and propaganda. This fear is even more rational today, given the power vested in a (real or hypothetical) totalitarian state with 5G technology at its disposal, with near complete ability to monitor each individual citizen. It is entirely conceivable to think of the 2050’s in the first world as a period where there not only will be more surveillance but when people will ask for it, only out of the fear of bio-terrorism.
This, however, is not the future we envision. The technate would by necessity need to be a distributed system, meaning that it would consist of millions upon millions of holons – semi-autonomous units. If a holon would somehow be turned corrupted and reported for abuse, its archives would be requested for revision and the rest of the technate can choose to disassociate from that holon – even if that holon is committing coordinating tasks on a more regional or global level. It would simply be replaced by a “clone” which is not yet compromised by corruption or abuse of power. It should be noted that since the advent of industrialism, individual autonomy is a myth, unless for people who either choose to live as self-sufficient hermits in the woods or who somehow produce their own electricity, food, heating and water individually. It could be argued that our model actually would increase individual autonomy by localising production and increasing the competency for resilience in local communities per the transition goals embedded in the Design.
Moreover, the technate is not a government and should not have legislative or executive power. Primarily, it should be considered a conduit for information – a form of 6G if you want to use that term, a global network of interconnected systems aimed at understanding global energy transfers and facilitating the production of goods and services. This functionality will not be carried out by the same institutions which are responsible for issuing and distributing energy units.
In some regards, the technate will compete with national governments, especially as it deprives them of the opportunity to tax their constituents – since the division of public and private “funds” under Energy Accounting is happening prior to the energy units even being distributed, meaning that no citizen any longer would have to file in for tax returns or have their property measured by bureaucrats.
This will also deprive states of another power – the power to utilize economic means to discriminate or repress citizens. No country which would like to be a part of the technate may violate the Three Criteria or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Lastly, it should be stated that the technate – if ever introduced – will be introduced gradually, step by step. Thus, over one to two decades, many thousands of minor changes will gradually be introduced. Certainly, it is inevitable that many errors, both the human factor and technological bugs and flawed codes, will hamper the process during its initiation – especially as we are talking about millions of conscious and procedural adjustments.
The bottleneck problem
Now we have defined one hypothetical problem specific to the Design, namely that the liquidation of energy units at the end of each accounting period will herald a period of mass consumerism – as people with a consumerist mentality would strive to maximize their consumption before the end of the period. One can easily imagine something resembling Black Friday and Christmas rolled into one period of roughly one to two months. The problem this poses for the technate is not one regarding overconsumption – remember the global ecological budget ceiling – but rather one of overload. When people are suddenly binge-ordering the production of items they do not need, individual chains of production can see demand increase well beyond their capacity to comply, and that for reasons of either irrational behaviour or conscious sabotage. People used to the type of unrestrained market economics commonly used today would likely resent some of the changes imposed and will therefore strive to consume items they do not need as a form of protest.
How we could factor in this type of behaviour is ultimately a decision for the holons, but it will likely pose a significant challenge.
The key to understand the Design is that it is a conceptual system, but untested. Therefore, the first goal must be to test it to identify its weaknesses. These tests must ideally run concurrent with one another. If successful, they can be moved on to the next phase, which is to introduce these concepts for the general public. Then, after that, it would have to move on to become a conscious decision to shift away from the current system, which would have to happen in a process which is including the entire population and which is transparent and democratic. This sounds nearly impossible, but we have managed to put ourselves in a situation growing ever more grave.
And here’s the point: While the Design is one conceptual model for a post-capitalist society, the issue is not a matter of the Design vs Capitalism. The Three Criteria for sustainability – a global ecological budget ceiling, a circular economy and a guaranteed income – are features which we believe the human civilization must fulfil within a hundred years’ time. The question is only whether a system resembling the Design would be the optimal way to achieve that. As for the current system, by its very foundations it is driving us to transform the planet into monocultures and further a mass depletion of ecosystems and species.
This, my first article of 2019, will investigate the need for our movement, its goals for the near future and what its purpose is. Despite being a small seed of an organisation, the EOS in our view is a harbinger of the leading ideas and directions of the Third Millennium, as we who inhabit this organisation are not only offering a framework of solutions, but more importantly are guided by focusing on the most important issues for humanity, our planetary civilization and the planet itself.
Moreover, this article will focus on what separates the EOS from any other similar organisation, with which we mean organisations from the green or futuristic progressive environments which postulate new and radically transformative theories about how human resource management should be organised.
This crucial difference is that while the EOS is fervent on upholding the principles outlined in the Three Criteria, the proposed solution – the trinity of the Energy Survey, Energy Accounting and the Technate – are not set in stone and in fact only is a proposed hypothetical model, which we intend to break down in its component parts for the usage of field test runs. We intend to ruthlessly and without any emotional attachment or sentimentality question the foundations of our hypothetical model, expose it to stress and field tests and investigate ways in which for example Energy Accounting potentially could be abused by both users and nodes, as well as vulnerability for different types of attacks.
Only by a vigorous, cool-headed and scientific effort can we hope to transition from the current unsustainable model, towards a model which is more sustainable.
We are not asking for the political mandate to implement The Design. We are not asking for any kind of power, social status or adulations from the public. The only thing we are asking for is the opportunity to run field tests for The Design.
That is all.
The Earth Organisation for Sustainability is established on the basis of fomenting a transition of humanity’s relationship to its home planet.
The foundation of this transition is “the three criteria for a sustainable future”.
These three criteria are for us not negotiable but represent the minimum requirements for a sustainable Earth.
The Design, like the Criteria, is composed of three components – a trinity if that would make it easier remembering.
The main difference is however that the Design is a proposal to achieve the Three Criteria, but not the only potential proposal.
The Design as it looks like today will probably never be implemented in the basic form outlined by the EOS.
Rather, it is a basis for experimental platforms and models intended to approximate practical, scalable and implementable frameworks for solutions in terms of sustainable resource management.
The EOS needs the means and the space to conduct and inspire others to conduct experiments with The Design.
The framework is known as a “proto-technate”, a network of interconnected hubs internally trying on methodologies of energy accounting.
Our goal is to launch a proto-technate and find ways to break down Energy Accounting, to get empirical field test analyses of our model.
What is settled
What is beyond discussion is that currently the emergence of the industrial civilization during the 19th century has presently grown beyond our control, and that the logics of an economic system built on exponential growth has altered not only the composition of land surface and shallow oceanic regions, but is also transforming global planetary systems like climate, currents, rainfall patterns, droughts, soils and aquifers. Humanity is now on the brink of a global tragedy of historical proportions – steering the planet towards a massive loss of biodiversity and an ecological collapse, while being aware of the implications of this on a purely theoretical level.
If we had been happily oblivious of the predicament we’ve caused, it would in some manners have represented a greater tragedy, but then our ignorance would partially have absolved us of the full blunt of responsibility. Right here, and right now, nobody can claim that we are ignorant dunces. The system which we through our individual and collective choices choose to legitimise every day is driving us closer and closer to the edge of an abyss opening before our eyes. And we know it.
That is a settled matter.
And that is the singularly most important issue for our time.
If we continue this current trajectory, and degrade the planet’s ecosystems further, we will initiate not only a loss of biodiversity, but a loss of civilizational complexity. This will mean a worldwide degradation of human dignity. If we disturb the climate, leading to rising sea levels, seven out of eight humans would need to relocate themselves. If we destroy groundwater and soil reserves, producing nutrients will become more complicated and strain more resources. While this adjustment, if it relates to 10-20% of our economic output seems minuscule in relation to the world economy, it should be reminded that we are 7,5 billion people and the number is ticking up.
We can choose what attitudes we want to have in relation to this slow deterioration of our planetary habitability, but its veracity cannot be considered up for debate. It is a fact that we all must have a relationship to. The urgency of the need to adopt a position in relation to this chain of events will most likely only grow. After all, this issue will affect us all – especially those with least power to currently affect the trajectory of history, i.e the majority of the planetary population.
There are basically three paths which are not congruent but which can address this issue.
Strive to maximise economic growth and hope to discover some wunderteknologie which can establish sustainability and solve all our problems.
Strive towards efforts to expand the foothold humanity has in the solar system to try to relieve the Earth with extra-planetary resources.
Strive to scale back our usage of the planet’s renewal capacity and live within the framework of a global ecological budget ceiling.
The EOS is, to a very large degree, advocating that humanity would choose the third path, since it is least reliant on hope and least reliant on techs which we currently do not possess, and which in the first case we don’t even know whether or not they are physically possible to achieve on Earth.
We find that the first two paths advocated are either based on cornucopian super-optimism, or on arguments made in bad faith. Firstly, the relationship between more sneakers, hamburgers and cell-phones sold, and technological innovation, is not necessarily straightforward. Why must investments in innovation necessarily be a fraction of economic growth which is continuing to – on a growing scale – increase the stress on the planet’s environment?
Space, on the other hand, represents other challenges. The types of habitats we need to construct to entertain human life outside of Earth would need to be even less resource intense than sustainable housing on Earth, and would probably initially represent a higher cost in terms of resource usage (from planetary resources).
This does not mean that we shut the door to scientific and technological innovations and space colonisation, only that for us as an organisation our number one priority is and will always be the establishment of sustainability on Earth. Other organisations are basing their outlook on more cornucopian ideals, and they have the liberty to do so. We may be wrong in our focus, but if we are right and they are wrong, then it would be a criminal offence by us to not pursue our path to provide humanity with a wider array of options at the table.
From our point of view, the Three Criteria are – as we use to state – our minimum requirements for a sustainable future for mankind. For sake of repetition, we can mention that they consider the areas of a global ecological budget ceiling, a global circular economy and a social state of the world characterised by a living standard floor below which no human being would need to fall.
There is a delineation between the Three Criteria and the Design. One could say that the former rather than being a part of the Design constitutes an intersect between the Ideology and the Design, anchoring the Design in relationship to goals based around 1) our assessment of the current global situation, 2) our judgement in regards to what values should be the paramount drivers of human civilization on Earth. The Three Criteria are set in stone in relation to the Ideology, but are in no means tied to the particular Design we have proposed as a hypothetical model. This provides us with a flexibility which doesn’t tie our hands to necessarily one particular solution.
The Design – Survey, Accounting and Technate
The Design which we aim to test can be summarised as consisting of the following three components:
The Energy Survey
The Energy Accounting System
The Energy Survey is a continuous process of creating a map of resources, resource usage and ecological system parameters, which can determine the size of the available economy beneath the ecological budget ceiling.
The Energy Accounting System is the process of creating and distributing Energy Units as well as determining the ecological cost of production processes.
The Technate is the virtual infrastructure connecting users, creators and production nodes within the framework of a de-centralised network which is responsible for transmitting impulses which then in real time will be translated into commands.
If that civilization would be comparable to an organism, the Energy Survey is the DNA map of the structure, the Energy Accounting System is the brain stem responsible for governing bodily functions and receiving signals, and the Technate would of course be the brain itself.
This theoretical model of a society has the strength that it is relatively simple as we have approached human civilization not from the point of view of its current development, its economic structures and the power relations which they entail. In short, when we first envisioned the Design, we made the conscious choice – in the words of our former chairperson Dr Andrew Wallace – to “approach the Earth as if was an alien world, where we only took into account the amount of persons living on it and the amount of surface and resources it could sustain us with and still be ecologically sound”.
This approach allows us to not show any inhibition in envisioning the rearrangement of our future without factoring in present and established political institutions. This could be seen as an attempt to undermine the existing order, to foment a violent overthrow of the planetary system of economic management and rush us towards an unknown future dictated by a Utopian vision for a better world.
If we were a political movement, so to say.
Two roads ahead – the Wager of the Millennium
Right now humanity is at a crossroad. It is widely known that we have built our current civilization on unsustainable foundations. If we look at the situation with sobriety, we see that the present debates currently dominating the political spectrum – on the most encompassing level the conflict between pro-globalization and populist nationalism, and on the most superficial level the conflict of identity politics – we can see that the only choice that matters for humanity under our current century and millennium, is and will for a foreseeable future be our relationship to our home planet. Globalists want to make permanent the current doctrine of exponential growth and capital accumulation, whereas the populist-nationalists want to preserve the conditions of the second half of the 20th century, with the working class of the West living in prosperous welfare states shielded from competition by upstarts like China, India and other developing countries. That conflict is not productive and not relating to the painful transition somewhere humanity would have to have.
The only relevant debate is about our relationship to our planet and how our current unsustainability will affect us in the long run. In this regard, the most important conflict is not whether how freely capital, goods and people should flow, but a conflict consisting of two positions, which both affirm the severity of the situation.
Cornucopians, who recognise the direness of the situation, but believe that the current monetary-financial system is fundamentally good and must be preserved, and that adjustments to the system, new technological discoveries and extropian colonisation of the solar system will allow us to continue with business as usual indefinitely. This faction will support continued growth.
Gaians, who view the world from the lens of humanity’s relationship to nature and see the current socio-economic system as fundamentally incompatible with sustainability. While highly divergent in their opinions regarding solutions, or even the possibility of solutions, gaians tend to favour solutions aiming for an end to the compulsion of exponential economic growth and the squirrel wheel.
Of course, the gaian position(s) can in no way currently attract mass appeal. In fact, both populist-nationalists and globalists have reasons to dislike it – the former for the loss of the type of economic standard and the individualist culture which follows it, the latter for delegitimising and undermining the current order of things.
And EOS is, for all extent and purposes, a predominantly gaian organisation, with one big caveat – that is, we accept the cornucopian position that tech has a big role to play in the transition. In fact, the EOS straddles the gaian and cornucopian positions in that we simultaneously stress the paramount importance of a global ecological budget with an emphasis of using new technologies and innovations to reduce our impact while maintaining a good quality of life wherever it is possible. We also have reasons to believe that the development of new technologies are not necessitating by the proliferation of junk production and continued monoculturization of the globe. Our agenda is the survival and improvement of human civilization on Earth.
As for the moment, the globalists are almost to the individual level agreeing that there is a severe environmental crisis – though they single-mindedly tend to focus on the climate and gloss over the way we currently utilise land surface. Yet, they insist that we continue running the current trajectory, stating that only through continued growth can we gain the resources to afford developing new wonder technologies and improve the standard of living to the extent that the public will be motivated to accept a form of transition. Thus, they are predominantly cornucopian as a faction. This is hardly surprising, as the entire legitimacy of their worldview derives from the fundamental benevolence that they ascribe to our current civilization, its monetary-financial systems and institutions, and the perpetuation of its economic, cultural and civilizational tenets. While they do not desire the collapse of the civilization, for them and for much of the world’s population currently invested in the status quo the current civilization represents the epitome of human ingenuity and history. The marvels ushered in by the industrial revolution have, no matter what we think about the issue, been made possible by our current monetary-financial system.
Our current civilization is simply the best, or at least the one with the until now best ability to realise human potential. Yes, there are glaring social problems, but these have existed in every state in every time. And yet, the tragedy is that this – the until now most developed and most dynamic of human cultures – is in the process of destroying the planetary biosphere and usher in its own collapse, while its own citizenry is aware of it happening.
The wager is this: Will this current civilization be able to continue to violate the laws of Thermodynamics and continue on with its compulsion for exponential growth indefinitely until we discover new technologies which will save us from the impending ecological disaster? Or must we transition towards a new civilization where we follow a different set of rules and institute a global ecological budget ceiling and a regime where everything must cost its environmental weight?
The wager is on, and the EOS is betting on the latter. We might be wrong, but we do not believe that and we believe that our perspective is needed.
Building the Proto-technate
The Design consists of a secular trinity of concepts – the Energy Survey, the System of Energy Accounting and then the Technate itself.
The Energy Survey is the process of examining the planetary ecology and its relationship with our planet.
Energy Accounting is the system of creating and distributing and tracking Energy Units, the post-monetary currency which would be used under our hypothesised system.
The Technate, finally, is the institutional system within which these aforementioned systems are administered.
While the Energy Survey and Energy Accounting are interlinked programming systems, the Technate can be described as the hardware or the cellular structure within which these commands take place. There are various hypothetical models of how technates can work and operate, but the standard model is a continental or global mechanism to oversee resource flows and serve as a conduit for information, allocation and distribution of resources.
A proto-technate, on the contrary, is a far more scalable, basic model which does not concern itself with the oversight and management of information regarding global resource usage. Rather, it concerns itself with a few environmental factors, a few resources and a small network of nodes utilising these resources. Neither would the energy units initially be distributed directly to the users, but rather to the production facilities directly involved in the proto-technate.
One could say that while a full-scale technate would involve itself with a population the range of 100 million to 10 billion, a proto-technate would consist of a minimum of two nodes, with a “population” ranging from ten and upward. The structural form would thus correspond rather to a typical eco-village than a planetary civilization.
For an example, let’s say that we possess a wind- or solar park, as well as a factory floor with 3D printers and sensor heaters. In this case, we can get an energy transfer from the power plant to the factory, which would be a one-way transfer, and measured not in terms of money but in energy units, meaning that the factory would not pay money to the park. If we would like to have a loop, the factory can devote some of its production and time to producing spare parts for the power plant.
More nodes, for example nodes producing food, can be added to the network, adding nutrients to the other holons, which in their turn will provide the newcomer with tools and electricity. And so on. This internal relay system will of course not work as Energy Accounting in the full form, but our reason is not primarily to seek an organic transition – at least not initially. Rather, we are striving towards experimentation.
The abovementioned form of model is just one of the many test formats which can be run within the framework of a proto-technate.
The goal is to test launch Energy Accounting, to refine it, morph it into various evolutionary forms, find ways for it to be implemented, scaled, and to let the test of reality put stress on it – to see where it can be improved and where it fails to provide the desired results or would cause unforeseen consequences.
In short, a proto-technate is a hub, consisting of several holons, which aims to work both for its own sake but also to find ways in which to test Energy Accounting. The data will be gathered and analysed by the EOS and with enough experiments we will start seeing trends where factors can be taken into account, adjusted and then used as the basis for more experiments.
Ideally, our model will be applied and tweaked by hundreds of holon clusters, and through numerous failures we will begin touch something resembling a working template for a sustainable socio-economic post-monetary system.
Image by Jonas Dero
The core of it all
The analysis put forth by the EOS is centred around the idea that any form of functional transition must adhere to the Three Criteria, and that we cannot rely on wishful ideas that future technologies we have not yet imagined will magically solve the contradictions of our current growth-based monetary-financial system and its relationship with the planetary biosphere which embeds it. Since our movement do not have any vested interests in the idea of the continuation of the current status quo, we look at the world and the human civilization from the perspective of the Three Criteria rather than political or socio-cultural prisms.
What prevents us from moving forward and attain what today seems unattainable, is that every discussion and therefore every solution is occurring within a framework where our current monetary-financial system is seen as inevitable. While there are thousands of proposed alternatives, none of them can be said to be tangible, since they only exist on a theoretical level as of yet.
While the Design was formed as such a theoretical model, our goal is not political advocacy, nor even traditional advocacy in its own right. We do not recommend the immediate transition from a fiat-based monetary-financial system into a post-monetary system on the global or even national level.
What we say is absolutely necessary for any form of transition from the current unsustainable system to a system that is sustainable in terms of fulfilling the Three Criteria. According to our analysis, this is not attainable within the framework of the current system and its insatiable need for exponential growth. Therefore, we need to explore alternatives, and these alternatives need to be scalable and capable of evolving organically.
When testing the Design and forming variations of it, there need to be control groups capable of making independent and unbiased studies of the processes to identify weaknesses and risks with implementing the Design. Gradually, by the elimination of theoretical models that don’t work, we will approach something that may fulfil the Three Criteria.
The EOS is nearly unique as a movement of its form, calibre and kind, because we do not assume a priori that our alternative post-monetary model, which is untested, unverified and currently not scaled, would solve all problems only if implemented. That is one of the contributing factors to our small size. Yet, those attracted by our message are not those who only want to dream, but those who want to build and who are capable of daring to stare the truth in the eye. In the long term, we are convinced that is a winning strategy.
Do you want to join our journey? Then join our community:
If you are reading this, it could be prudent to be acquainted with the concept of Energy Accounting. To recap it briefly, Energy Accounting is a model of a post-monetary socio-economic system.
It is composed of an on-going Energy Survey which measures the planet’s renewal capacity and thus establishes a Global Ecological Budget Ceiling, a Technate which is administering all allocation, and Energy Units, the new currency which would work as the medium of allocation.
This article will focus on the aforementioned Energy Units, and especially on different strategies on how they can be distributed to a population. The main issue is to find balance between guaranteeing a good quality of life for all human beings, and preserve incentives in relation to the changed circumstances which we would experience during the transition from the decaying Capitalism of the 21st century into a brand new, hypothetical system. While more tests, research projects and simulations are needed, we can still hypothesise about different methodologies of distributing energy units. By defining different methodologies of distributing energy units, we can outline different futures for a sustainable civilization.
Working on a volunteer basis is more complicated than with a construction company. Firstly, our budget is more limited and irregular, especially as the EOS is a small and fledgling but therefore also creative organisation. The early experiences of the Biodome Project have improved both the team spirit and especially our ability to predict irregularities, to not speak of the huge improvement of our logistics. The biodome is now emerging as a beautiful landmark on Alidhem in Umea, not thanks to anything else but the combined will and the emerging culture growing within and around our movement.
Each segment of the construction has been different from the one immediately prior, and thus each step has seen the acquisition of new skills. The construction teams have ranged from large to small depending both on interest, weather and the labour intensity needed to accomplish the goals. Numerous hardships have been endured, the most hilarious and yet potentially wrecking the incident when the dome blew off due to high winds, before the opaque panels on the northern side were put in place. This incident, on June 2018, saw the windows turn into sails, and the dome ascended and crashed on the ground, half-way dislodged from its bed of reutilised tires. Yet, a hastily assembled group of six volunteers led by the team leaders managed not only to restructure the dome on its place, but also to anchor it on the tires, using ropes and screws.
The essential aspects of having a working holon tasked with constructing such a complex building, and have this holon composed of a mixture between EOS members, members from other associations, students and refugees, are:
Ensure to not have a spiked schedule, but to only plan the date for one event in advance.
Ensure that all the tools are available and secured on the working site before the volunteers arrive.
Ensure that the volunteers have water and food. For longer working events, the organisation should also ensure that the volunteers have dinner.
If the group turns larger than five, there should be two working teams tasked with different operations, ideally they should both be under the coordination of a team leader.
If participants for one reason or another are feeling unwell, be kind with them and ask them what troubles them, let them observe.
A good spirit is necessary for a functioning volunteer environment.
The dome itself has under every stage almost grown organically, a beautiful shape unlike anything else in the neighbourhood, and unlike every other greenhouse in Umea. The dome combines the sleek modernism of geodesic domes with traditional architecture and aspects from passive housing, creating a hybrid which has unified the technological with the organic. Against the backdrop of the Alidhem area, this is a striking structure which stands out.
Of course, it will also help the urban gardeners to extend their season. As a student city located in the sub-arctic region, Umea has a short growing season which only partially overlaps with the period that students are present in the city. Alidhem is a low-income area where many students live, and most students are not from Umea itself. A challenge for the urban farmers is the difficulty in thus keeping the students they attract, since the period they can be active (during the semesters, when they aren’t working or having vacation in their hometowns or home countries).
Thus, extending the length of the growing season will strengthen the urban gardeners and also turn Umea into a seed-spreading city, since students from throughout the world will return to their home countries with a knowledge and love of urban gardening in their hearts, and thus can sow seeds, some which may even grow into EOS holons.
The dome is here to stay, but it is but the beginning.
We also would like to extend our thanks to Umea Energi and Gron Ungdom for their support!
Liberal Democracy as a system is – much like the entire western civilization – torn between two mutually opposing forces, namely between its Liberal and Democratic aspects. The founding principle of Democracy is that the people should be vested with political power over the political, economic and social reality of their communities. The principal self-contradiction, which we here imagine occurring in a vacuum (as often is the case with Liberalism), is that the people should have the power to direct the fate of their community, but not to the extent that they can deprive others of their human rights or make arbitrary decisions which would hurt the very community.
It is seldom spoken of, since it would reveal uncomfortable truths, but there is a mutual sense of distrust between the part of the people which we can call the “masses” and those which we can call the “elites”. This mistrust is not merely caused by the emergence of social and alternative media platforms, but by incompatible interests caused both by time preferences, class preferences and differing access to information nodes.
Even more seldom spoken of, but widely understood within elite circles, is that the populace at large is not and will never be ready to shoulder more power than being able to cast their vote twice a decade – a vote which will only decide who will represent them. Those representatives will also overwhelmingly be people filtered by parties, bureaucracies or lobbyists, often with an elite background themselves. Thus, the masses are expected to be represented by individuals who share the background and therefore the sentiments of the elites.
Moreover, the recruitment field of the elite in most western countries is wedged towards those segments which are predisposed towards the outlook of the corporate and financial sectors of society. If our political elites for example where composed of technical engineers, ecologists or programmers, the preferences – for better and worse – would be different.
The fractures between the elites and the masses of the West caused by the emphasis on political globalism is widening, largely because the masses are not willing to pay the short-term prices of the long-term dividends which the elites can see would benefit everyone with economic growth which will raise every boat. While the elites generally choose to scoff at the ignorance of the protectionism and nationalism espoused within the masses, the very same elites tend to believe in endless exponential growth on a finite world – which in itself is an example of wishful thinking.
One of the most democratic countries on Earth, Switzerland, where there are binding referendums on the local, regional and country-wide levels, is also characterised by a conservative cautiousness on the part of the voters. First at the end of the 1970’s the female citizens were given the right to vote for example, and most referendums end with a negative result, reflecting that most Swiss voters evidently are quite pleased with the status quo – which hardly is surprising in one of the arguably most affluent societies on our planet.
This does present a challenge for adherents of globalism worldwide, which can be seen in the resistance and distrust the public shows against Free Trade treaties and supranational institutions like the European Union. In many ways, this resistance, though often founded on a defence of the status quo, could be helpful in terms of slowing down or outright stopping policies which would hasten the progress of the Sixth Mass Extinction.
However, the resistance against unpopular liberalizations are not fundamentally directed by concerns for the civilization’s over-usage of the planetary carrying capacity, but rather driven by fears of having to adjust one’s own lifestyle, especially in Western countries where an entrenched middle class is struggling to not have to struggle and to be able to indefinitely continue live in the temporal Schlaraffenland we have created.
The stark truth is that the Transition – if we would introduce it to a regular Western citizen and they would be made to understand what it entails – would recoil in horror over the profound, deep and radical alterations of their lifestyle which the introduction of this process would bring over their heads. Air travel with passenger planes, to take an obvious example, is a highly popular pastime and has opened the world for most people.
This is not because they are inherently egotistical, but because the foundations which hundreds of millions of middle class people throughout the world have built their lives, hopes and dreams on are constructed on a fundament of unsustainability and therefore they will experience hardships during the Transition, with the fleeting promise of a better future on the other side of the Transition.
Here, we as a movement are facing a dilemma.
The EOS are ardent believers in social sustainability, and a part of social sustainability is based upon the right of authentic self-responsibility of the individual, and of the sovereignty of the community – where Democracy must be an integral, fundamental and consistent cornerstone in the application of power.
On the other hand, we can see that voters in first world countries in general prefer status quo before changes, by looking at the results in most European referendums and at the reactions against governments – whether left or right of centre – which try to initiate widespread reforms which affect large chunks of the population in a negative manner without directly benefitting other parts of the population.
Democracy is one essential aspect not only for channelling the will of the people, but also for building the legitimacy of policies. This means that reform programmes should be open for cancellation based on the desires of the people. Human beings are however not evolved to deal with a Sixth Mass Extinction event, but – like every other animal – subject to concerns about the local and the short-term benefits. It is possible that the hardships of the approaching Extinction Event would make the peoples of the developed countries on Earth more amendable to the Transition even if they may need to carry a heavy burden. But at that point, it may be too late.
It remains our belief that this conflict between the ideals and realities that we face regarding Democracy can only be solved not by elitism and epistocratic or technocratic forms of governance, but through measures which facilitate both the external and internal community-based power of Humanity as a whole, and filters that power through a networked holonic system of governance.
Though we are not a political party, we are undoubtedly a political movement – in the most essential aspect of them all, and that is to stimulate the masses to organise themselves to educate themselves and initiate the Transition towards a sustainable future.
That is what this article is about.
Democracy should primarily be viewed not as instrumental or fundamental, but as an aspect of popular sovereignty.
There is an inherent contradiction between majority power and individual autonomy, Democracy must straddle this contradiction.
A second contradiction is to be found between the local and the central level, between autonomy and efficiency. To not speak of the fact that Democracy tend to be national, whereas the world is global.
Yet another, third, contradiction could be found between the need for complex knowledge to make decisions, and the will of the people.
Globalization has brought all these conflicts to the forefront of the stage of human history.
It will be a mere breeze in comparison to the tempest of the Transition.
Popular Sovereignty is an integral part of social sustainability, and Democracy is an inherent aspect of Sovereignty.
Representative Democracy is ultimately a flawed system which was formed due to technological inadequacy and the vested interests of oligarchic vestiges within the modern industrial nation-state.
It is technologically feasible to establish Direct Democracy in developed countries now, and within a few decades it will be possible to establish a Global Direct Democracy through technological means.
It is questionable whether it is desirable to install a Global Direct Democracy. Democracy is not only a matter of quality but of quantity, and there is a point where your vote turns meaningless, when it’s a mere fraction of a great trickle.
Meaningful Sovereignty must complete Popular Sovereignty, otherwise Popular Sovereignty will self-destruct.
Three principles of democratic governance for the Third Millennium – Enlightened Electorates, Localised Power and Direct Democracy.
The EOS could help pave the road to a better Democracy with less traits of Oligarchy by Social Activism.
Popular Sovereignty and Democracy
Usually, when most people think of Democracy, they think of institutional procedures which allows for representative government through the process of voting. The question, fundamentally, is about power. A human society characterised by specialisation will have control nodes, which would usually not be distributed equally. In a hypothetical society with such characteristics – equal distribution of control nodes – there would be less need for democracy, for in the absence of real or artificial scarcity of resources and access to information, there wouldn’t be much need for government at all, and thence power. When we have specialisation, scarcity and control nodes, for example irrigation systems, military forces, power stations, wells, and food silos, the need for legislation and therefore government arises.
These nodes of control can be utilised for the good of the community, but often they can also be abused to ensure the control of parasitic and kleptocratic elites, which utilise their power over nodes of control to exert dominance over the means of production or over the armed segment of the population in order to perpetuate their own supremacy. In fact, having no laws, regulation or popular control over these nodes – or “keys” if you want to use these words – would virtually guarantee the emergence of some kind of feudal system, at least under conditions where society has grown beyond the size suitable for clannish structures.
Because complex societies rely on specialisation, it has hitherto been impossible to avoid the risk of authoritarianism by eliminating the need of a government, for the simple reason that governance would always emerge within the context of informal balances. Even in a Libertarian or Anarchist society, competition will spawn conflicts, which will birth political factions. The competition might be peaceful, semi-violent or outright violent, but it will eventually lead to the creation of a de-facto government (or several regional governments, if the country in question is breaking apart).
The Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle correctly identified three types of government, Despotic, Oligarchic and Democratic/Popular. Or shortly, should a country be governed by one clan, by an alliance of several dominant clans, or by the whole population, either through a clan system or through an informed citizenry.
Aristotle was also keen enough to differentiate between what he called “virtuous” forms of the abovementioned systems of governance, and “bad” forms. What he termed as “virtuous” was a mixture between altruistic leadership and institutions which supported such forms of leadership and limited the execution of political power in a society.
Armed with this information, we are ready to delineate what we mean by popular sovereignty, namely a state of governance where the control over the vital nodes of a community rest in the hands of the people, namely that the management of security, food, water and energy lies under the direct or indirect control of the human beings residing in the area, and that they are adequately organised in a self-aware citizenry capable of understanding their interests and expressing their own sovereignty.
The problem, already noted by thinkers like Plato and aforementioned Aristotle, of course is that a Democracy unconstrained by any legal and institutional limits can degenerate into anarchy or tyranny. That is a very genuine risk, especially in situations where poverty and social stratification are high, and education is low. In countries where such situations prevail, the elites can point towards the poverty and ignorance of the general population and use it as an argument for the status quo, whether the status quo is a military dictatorship, an oligarchical arrangement between land-owners or an electorally democratic republic where the people may choose between two parties representing the interests of the landed gentry.
The framers of the US Constitution, notably a cluster dominated by wealthy slave-owners, desired the institution of a Republic with limited representative democracy, sub-divided between a legislative, executive and judiciary branch. This construction was meant both as a protection against would-be despots from above, as from populist uprisings from below.
One could imagine another extreme form of democracy, one where “the majority decides everything”, without any respect for traditions, property, privacy or established laws. Such a society, unrestrained by culture, customs, laws or common decency, would quickly deteriorate into something terrifying, and soon move towards authoritarianism or totalitarianism.
Popular sovereignty, in the context of this article, delineates a state or other form of arrangement regarding the use of utilities and resources which everyone within a given geographic area are dependent on. Democracy should – in relation to popular sovereignty – be understood as a contextual toolbox for the expression of Popular sovereignty.
There can arise situations, however, under which a Liberal Democracy institutionally speaking may deliver an acceptable modicum of stability, predictability, legal justice and civil rights, and yet be completely and utterly unable to deliver on Popular sovereignty.
Democracy and globalism
Our planetary human meta-civilization has by historical circumstances come to be organised into territorial states, namely that every country is establishing its own state, with its own civil service (or excuse for it). Every country has its own government, which in the case of democratic countries is supposed to be answerable before an elected legislature which represents the people.
Meanwhile, technology and organisation has since long surpassed the limits of the “nation-state” within which democracies have been developed, and as a result an increasingly globalised economy has emerged from the 1970’s and onward, surpassing and eclipsing the “window of national economic planning” which emerged and dominated following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
Globalization has brought what may be considered many benefits, one of which has been increased economic growth – which is perceived to be the most effective way of allowing populations to move themselves up from poverty. And it is true that poverty overall – despite continued population growth – has been reduced since the 1980’s. This development has been especially clear in China, India and South East Asia, which still taken together contain a majority of the planetary population.
You readers are well aware of the troublesome ecological factors for the global footprint to build human prosperity on a system dependent on exponential growth and on consumerism. That is not the focus of this article, but rather on discussing the implications of policies intended to maximise growth, policies which may be imposed by a purportedly democratic mandate, but which serve to reduce Popular sovereignty.
The needs of globalization and the pressing imperative of squeezing out a few fractions of percentage points of economic growth more has driven country after country to reduce the window where they are capable of exerting economic policies.
The three areas where governance has the power to be utilised for good – or bad – are security, civil rights and resource management. When governments, through the establishment of independent or supranational central banks and through international treaties regulating and constricting the economic policies they may implement, are abdicating the power to exert popular will or interests of the public.
A democratic government which abdicates the control of monetary policy to the banks, and reduces the potential tools it can impose through financial policies will, in regards to economic policies, eventually no longer represent the interests of the people in relation to multinational corporations, but rather the multinational corporations in relation to the people, at least in regard of economic policy. While much of the content in the Bible is up for debate, I think that most readers – religious or secular – would agree that a government cannot serve two masters at once.
Given that, the duck at the heart of the swan pudding is not whether or not these policies in the short or medium term will improve or worsen the situation for the people. Certainly in many countries, especially more impoverished ones, investments have certainly improved the lot of most people. In other countries, the imposition of Neoliberal policies have had disastrous effects on regions and entire social classes. The same can however be said of more etatist regimes. Two of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent time, Zimbabwe and Venezuela, have been caused by the respectively malevolent and incompetent policies of authoritarian governments with centralised state power over the economy. Rather, the issue is whether the control of national economies should be managed from a base of popular sovereignty, or from one which primarily is adjusted to the appeasement of international investors, cosmopolitan financial institutes or multinational corporations.
To illustrate our point, we can put the focus on some concrete examples of policies.
The establishment of independent central banks which are tasked with primarily managing inflation and keeping it at a level where private investors are not threatened.
The establishment of supranational central banks which impose interest rates that render national governments ineffective in terms of conducting their mandate.
International trade treaties which limit the ability of national governments to introduce new legislation (ISDS mechanisms, where corporations are given the right of suing states if state legislation is threatening profitability).
International treaties which introduce binding legislative amendments in regards to intellectual copyright claims.
When states are compelled to privatise natural resources and utilities like fresh water and either willingly or unwillingly abdicate the control of said resources to multi-national corporations.
When states, in order to attract investments to their countries, institute lopsided deals which heavily benefits investors, at the expense of the well-being of the labour force, safety and the environment. One example could be ridiculously low mining taxes, on a fraction of a fraction of one percent annually.
This can be an inopportune thing to write, but the drive by certain factions to have a freer flow of migration waves could have more to do with depreciating the wage market and creating a reserve pool of unemployed which would put stressors on organised labour.
In general terms: policies which are intended to streamline economic and social policies in a manner which would benefit economic growth, damn all other concerns.
Our point is that these policies have two effects. The first effect is that they veer Democracy away from popular sovereignty and strive to limit the ability of the state to manage and regulate the economy, instead opting to put power over the economy and the infrastructure in the hands of organs or treaties which would manage these policy areas in a manner which produces market predictability and supports economic growth.
The second effect is that they produce winners and losers, and most Western countries have seen class differences increase since these forms of policies became implemented, first by governments and then by supranational trade organisations or bilateral treaties. While these policies were pursued by elected governments, they were a matter of debate, but when they are turned haram by not being a part of the democratic sphere anymore, it produces a situation where losers are increasingly unable to address their grievances through democratic means.
This has been written before, but we can see a relationship between de-industrialisation (in the forms of off-shoring, automatisation and rust belts), and the increase in support of tribalist parties (also known as “right-wing populist parties”).
Globalism has thereby suffered as a project by reducing the economic sovereignty and sense of autonomy and control over their communities, and removing the tools to exert economic control, thence removing from the population the means with which to affect their lot in life. Hardly surprising, such policies would inevitably foster tribalist politics.
Democracy and population quantity
Of course, there are several factors where Democracy as a concept can be duly criticised. One of the most overlooked is the factor of the size of the electorate, and its relation to the voice of the ordinary elector – i.e the voter. Proportionally speaking, a town hall participant in a hall with seventy persons is more influential in their ability to project political power, than a voter in an electorate of 7 million voters. Yet again, this voter would – everything else equal – be far more influential in their vote than a voter in an electorate of 70 million. And, to paraphrase Zizek, “and so on and so on”.
Often, the size of an electorate is also having a relationship to the territory which is governed, meaning that a larger population often coincides with a larger territory with more distances to be covered. Usually, the elites of a country would find themselves concentrated in one to three cities, while the population tend to be more dispersed. Notwithstanding Democracy, states and markets tend to work to extract resources from the countryside and reinvest them in infrastructure largely focusing on capital cities.
Even if democratic states often are better at representing smaller constituencies than dictatorships would, we should not forget that when political representatives are sent to parliament often they come to identify themselves more with their fellow parliamentarians than with the constituents originally empowering them with a mandate.
Even with a democracy of immaculate quality, zero corruption and few if any class differences, the size of the electorate will serve to disempower citizens and communities, especially when the interests or prejudices of a majority conflicts with a minority. It is self-evident that the larger the population of a country, the more insignificant smaller groups would be, and the more distant from far-off capitals.
The human mind itself seems to favour smallness, as the most organic and natural of groupings – hunter-gatherer bands – often consist of less than a hundred individuals. From an emotional point of view, Democracy could be seen as an attempt to bridge the gap between meaningful participation and the alienation born out of us forming larger communities than our brains are wired for.
Of course, these problems are well-known and is one of the primary reasons why federalism has arisen as a solution. Nevertheless, even within the framework of federalism – as exemplified by the historical experiences of federations, prior and modern – the centre tend to either collapse or to gradually subvert and overtake the authorities vested into the local and regional entities, always it should be added for perfectly logical and understandable reasons.
Quantifiable factors increase complexity, all other things equal, and thus makes it more difficult for communities to express their sovereignty in the context of larger entities. This would spell badly for the idea of a global federation. One of the risks with such an undertaking is that every single voice will be drowned out completely by the chorus, and that the federation will curb-stomp every single community on the planet.
This discussion is not anymore theoretical, because we would need a global government to weather out the current crisis. And, as you well know, the global population would hardly be ready for such an endeavour, for more reasons than its gargantuan size…
The biggest institutional hurdle which prevents us from moving towards a deeper and more authentic democracy is not the vested interests naturally arising in a representative democratic state, and that is the ability of the electorate itself to meaningfully partake in the process.
There are many institutional ways to improve the autonomy of communities, a few which are widely used, others which are more seldom used. Federalisation, confederalisation, the ability to initiate re-calls of officials, binding referenda, direct democracy, liquid democracy, but these measures arguably would not solve the fundamental challenges without an enlightened electorate.
Of course, there is no switch between black and white – no magic border where we could say that an electorate is fully enlightened, and one where it isn’t. What there is, is a gradual spectrum.
It can be argued that living in a state of existence where there is no common identity for a geographic area, but there are several competing communities based on tribal, ethnic, sectarian, cultural or ideological grounds, would put Democracy in peril as a system. It is questionable whether it would be a good idea to try introducing democratic voting procedures in every place, and I do not write that lightly. South Sudan, the newest member country of the UN, was designed as a democratic republic, yet immediately dissolved into warlordism and ethnic cleansing upon its independence.
For a democratic conduct to be possible, even in the most formulaic sense, it seems that two preconditions have to be fulfilled:
That each individual citizen is respected by society as being in possession of innate rights as a citizen and a human being, and included in a greater whole, to an extent which makes it psychologically very difficult for the idea of exclusion of different groups to be excluded or targeted for elimination on the merits of their differing background or ideology.
That there, to a minimum extent, exists a common identity within the citizenry which makes a civilised discourse possible within the country, and therefore makes democratic politics possible.
Democracy cannot work under a situation where polarisation has hit such levels that supporters of different parties will not even speak to one another, and are seeing the other party as enemies of the people. Neither can Democracy function under a situation where a large segment of the populace is questioning the human rights of elements of the population. For a Democracy to properly work as a system of governance, there must be a basic respect of human rights, and enough inclusion that one can be able to reach compromises. Without that, such a Democracy would quickly deteriorate into Anarchy or Totalitarianism.
Those are well-known facts.
It is also well-known that one of the processes we today witness occurring in the wider Western world is a slow dissolution of the common space, or rather the public understanding of common space. This, coupled with the rise of new and more complex ecological challenges, threatens to create a situation where people are not capable of wielding the democratic tools constitutionally endowed to them.
In a world seemingly descending into the Twilight Zone, where not only alternative facts but alternative cosmologies are on the rise, where the ascent of Nibiru and the Rapture are increasingly seen as explanations equally valid to increasing CO2 emissions, and where a video like There are no trees on Flat Earth can garner a quarter of a million views, it comes into question whether there could be room for democratic discourse.
One of the key assumptions of Western Democracy, which is based on Liberalism (which is highly related to Economics) is that the electorate is composed of rational individuals able to identify and vote in accordance with their interests. This presupposes not only that individuals do not primarily identify as agents of tribal constellations, but also more fundamentally that they are interpreting society in accordance with reality.
Of course, the challenges which the electorates of the world are tasked with responding to are far more daunting than a mere fifty or hundred years ago. Whether an old lady believes the Earth is a disc resting on the back of an elephant doesn’t have bearing on her opinions about the retirement system, as it would her thoughts on global warming or soil depletion. Today, when the population of the Earth must increasingly be engaged in the greatest transition in its entire history, issues about the cosmology of the Universe becomes increasingly important.
If the population finds itself splintered in the face of amounting environmental challenges, the ability to respond adequately to said challenges falters, risking that future generations should suffer because of our inadequacy in terms of information management.
How not to solve a conundrum
The frustration with the rise of alternative cosmologies is understandable, and so is – from the point of view of those managing the affairs of the human civilization – the rise of the populist or far right. The most far reaching proposal to amend the current state of matter has been proposed by the Georgetown academic Jason Brennan, who suggests awarding a greater deal of political power in terms of electoral votes to those who can pass tests showing they possess adequate political knowledge. This proposal is called Epistocracy, and even its creator have with emphasis stated he doesn’t believe current governments have the capability to introduce such a test which would be unbiased and not prone to discrimination. Moreover, Epistocracy would favour voters with university education and therefore higher income percentiles of the population. Certainly, said citizens are more knowledgeable, but the question is whether they could be trusted to vote in the best interests of their less educated counterparts. Arguably, a lot of the development of the last three decades has stimulated the growth of populism not because the ignorance of the uneducated voters, but because globalisation has benefitted white collar labour to a certain extent, while disadvantaging traditional blue collar – at least in the context of the Western World.
Removing the voting rights from these people would remove the last area where they legally can affect their standard of living, and also send the message that their lot in life and the hardships they endure can be cooked down to them having different priorities (one facet of Neoliberal culture is that not being competitive, assertive, or being focused on rearing children and building a family instead of fighting for internships at companies which largely are facilitating the ravaging of the planet is somehow a sign of deficiency of character).
While Epistocracy currently and thankfully is out of the picture as anything else than a theoretical construct, other policies are currently being overtly and covertly instituted to curtail the worst excesses of the current fake news media landscape. When printing presses became widespread during the Late Renaissance, so became widespread censorship and government control over the dissemination of information.
Today, we are seeing attempts by governments and think tanks in the West to make social media regulate their content, targeting especially the manufacturers of conspiracy-related content. This is hardly surprising, given that what ten years ago merely was an irritant and mostly manifesting itself within fringe circles in 2016 dramatically threatened to break itself into the mainstream. Infowars is but the latest media empire to have been clipped from its platforms on Youtube and Facebook.
This process of de-platforming is understandable, but will at the same time lend credence to the claims that the actors targeted for manufacturing fake news and moral panics politically repressed dissidents. Also, it is genuinely dangerous when institutions collude to suppress the free flow of information on the Internet, just like when institutions collude to restrict the freedom of speech in public spaces. Laws instituted to protect the democratic society against the rise of Totalitarians or Far Right Tribalists have proven to not be able on their own to prevent the rise of Totalitarian or Far Right Tribalist regimes. Such laws have actually often ended up the tools of factions they originally were intended to suppress.
Granted, social media actors such as Andrew Anglin and Alex Jones have adamantly attempted to disqualify themselves from being a part of civilised society, especially in terms of bullying, pointing out and attacking private individuals whose privacy have been compromised by their irresponsible activities. Ultimately, these actors may have been so destructively disruptive for society that the cost of clipping them was outweighed by the positive effects of constraining their platforms.
Men like Andrew and Alex are not the problem, and censorship or de-platforming is ultimately a blunt tool, a superficial solution to more deep-seated problems, namely that large segments of the population in today’s abundance of information have managed to make themselves so ignorant that they can be turned into cannon-fodder for opportunistic demagogues and victims of the purveyors of snake oil.
We need to search for deeper, more radical solutions to create a better Global Democracy of tomorrow.
Education as it fundamentally has been designed in the Western World, was originally focused on teaching obedience. The primary purpose of the public school system was to condition the working classes to the thought pattern that 1) there are authorities to which they 2) owe half their waking hours. Of course, there were also progressive thoughts ingrained into this structure, to eliminate illiteracy and give everyone access to reading the classics and comprehending maths. In these regards, schooling has been a success.
Despite the numerous changes in knowledge and content which the Western educational systems have gone through since the 1800’s, the fundamental structure of a classroom, a teacher and subjects is still in play, and has also spread to Television through the format in which documentaries are put forth.
The classroom is not and may not in its fundamental manner of teaching be anything else than a place for reception and for the appeal to authority. The students, who often are not cognitively mature or experienced enough to be able to understand the scientific method, are being taught the subjects by a teacher, who tells the students how to measure 6×6, what a preposition is and during what century Gustavus Adolphus ruled Sweden. This type of teaching ingrains – and inadvertently must ingrain – into the minds of students to take as face value what the teacher is disseminating. The reason for this constitution of learning is that students must memorise the words stated by their teacher and course books because these words in themselves are the keys to successfully manage the regular course tests! The important matter is not whether the words are true or gibberish, or whether they are understood at a rational or even intuitive level, but that they are memorised for purging the day the test’s over.
For those with enough luck or fortitude to continue studying at the University, an arduous journey begins – to unlearn the information management methods conditioned to them by Primary School. Instead of reflectionless passive information storage, students painstakingly have to learn and master the Scientific Method, and not all of them will succeed to ever be able to shake of the authoritarian forced memorisation habits of Primary School.
The question is whether these memorisation habits which are forced upon every student of every generation in every Primary School would have detrimental effects in relation to the individual student’s ability to question, to reason, to think and to read. When the brain is forced to learn to store huge amounts of information while taking that information at face value, one can think of how political propaganda and marketing could find that conditioning useful for partisan and commercial purposes.
Now I am not arguing that people who have not undergone Public School in some ways are better equipped to withstand propaganda. Experience shows that conspiracy theories, rumours and mob violence flourishes where the light of education haven’t reached, in even higher regard. What I am questioning is whether the system of education consisting of conditioning for tests is really the optimal way of teaching students to become source critical citizens who apply scientific and rational reasoning.
Granted, large segments of the population in the United States are today believers in various conspiracy theories, while the federal country still has a system of universal education. The same for most Western countries, where conspiracy-based thinking is spreading, mostly with the rise of social media.
No matter if the current education system has a positive or detrimental effect in terms of developing the critical thinking skills of the citizenry, the need to adapt it to the realities of this century becomes ever more stark. During the 19th century, owning books was a novelty for wealthy urbanites, and museums were built to bring high culture to the uncouth masses.
Today, the problem is largely the opposite, at least in developed countries. What once was an information bottleneck today is an information overload. The ascent of the Internet and especially platforms like Youtube has allowed anyone with a modest budget, know-how and time at their disposal to reach out towards the wider marketplace of ideas and spread their information. This development should actually be applauded, since it has democratised the spreading of knowledge and helped making the spread of information less dependent on government-approval or commercial funding. On the other hand, it has also – as this article previously has covered – led to an information landscape where people choose their sources of information to suit the identity they want to explore, and often after what that titillate their interests, tastes and more than anything fears.
This information is often presented in the style which viewers have gotten used to from newscasts or documentaries, thus confusing the viewers regarding the veracity of the information which they often take at face value.
Regarding how the education system could be improved to match the challenges of our bloated information jungle, these changes would probably need to be installed together with other wide-ranging transformational reforms of the wider way students would be trained to better adapt to the conditions of the future.
Understanding the Scientific Method(ologies): Empiricism, rationalism, falsification and Occam’s Razor are tools which not only make scientific research possible, but which would help the individual categorise information and help to identify unsupported claims and wild assertions.
Understanding causality and the structure of arguments: If the understanding of causality was more widespread within society it would serve to improve political discourse (although probably making it more boring). If the average person was able to identify examples of equivocation, false causalities, ad hominem, strawmen and appeals to authority, not only would the debate be more constrained and thus better for Democracy, but time would be saved.
Understanding biases and one’s own interests and emotions: If each individual was given the cognitive tools to understand the role of their own interests and emotions in relation to their political choices, and to identify where their preferences are based on sentimental or fear-based grounds rather than rational measurements, many of the fundaments for people choosing toxic or non-constructive political alternatives will vanish.
I could list more adjustments, but all other adjustments to the way information is disseminated are hinging on these three, which in our opinion are desperately needed to improve the current situation. With a more dispassionate electorate, equipped with the tools to properly understand the thermodynamic, ecological and economic ramifications not only of their own interests, but the historical context in which our entire civilization has arisen, would be not only necessary to establish a better Democracy, but also to begin the Transition towards a sustainable future.
Building a more perfect Democracy
Some see Democracy as an ends to itself, while others see it as an aspect of the realisation of Liberalism (understood in its 19th century format), namely that Democracy is a pillar of the trinity which also consists of an independent judiciary and the protection of civil liberties (especially amongst them individual property rights). Just as the Ideology of the Third Millennium differs from Liberalism’s, so does our perspectives on Democracy.
We see, like Liberals, Democracy as a means to an end. This goal is dictated by our ideology, which as you well known is defined by Life in itself as the highest value. Life may not have a meaning, but Life creates the opportunitiesfor meaningfulness to emerge. Our goal is for Civilization to be so constituted that each human being can be able to define herself in accordance with her will to live, within the constraints of not harming other human beings or the biosphere which makes Life possible. The human being is a fractal of consciousness anchored in a biological body with the need of nutrition, sleep and meaningful social participation in a context of self-realisation.
This does also tie in with our understanding of Rights as a relational construct which appears whenever human beings or human institutions are interacting with one another or with other organisms. For us, rights are derived from the freedom to pursue Life, rather than property rights (which today equally can be wielded by persons by flesh as by legal persons, i.e corporations).
For these reasons, Rights cannot merely exist as concepts on paper for them to be valid – their long-term sustainability must be upheld by distributed power. This means that meaningful, authentic Rights must be understood as horizontal relationships between the local and the federal levels.
A principle of subsidiarity must underpin power, namely that decisions must be so close to those affected by them as efficiently possible.
The local community should have the sovereign power over local resources, such as mines and other natural resource deposits. This power can be distributed to other actors through contract, but sovereignty should always belong to those primarily affected by the usage of said resources.
Defence should ideally mostly consist of local militias, tied to and administered by local communities (for this to work there must exist a common over-arching identity).
Local communities should not be able to prevent people from moving away from them.
Countries should strive for smallness and de-centralisation to empower the population and prevent the concentration of power into capitols.
During the 21st century, the question is whether we even need the concept of sub-national entities.
Binding referenda is – even when producing results which may not be optimal – a positive feature of popular sovereignty.
In terms of global governance, we seemingly face a dilemma. During this century, humanity would need to unite in order to face the Mass Ecological Collapse Event we’ve created during the previous century. This calls for political and infrastructural globalization and eventually the formation of a world confederation. Such a structure poses huge political risks for humanity. Yet, constructed right, such a confederation could not only help achieving the objectives of creating a sustainable future, but also stabilise the underlying structure.
The foundation for the Global Confederation would be a Constitution, centred around establishing a system of norms and ethics possibly derived from the Three Criteria and from Human Rights, and mostly focusing on limiting the very powers of the confederation.
The Confederation would be focused on coordinating legal aspects of those parts of the Transition which are global in scope, such as for example climate and oceanic issues.
The Technate would, under the model proposed by the EOS, manage the execution of these factors on the ground.
The Global Confederation would have the power to exclude confederated subjects which violate the Constitution.
In case of necessity, such as an asteroid impact or a super-volcano eruption, the Confederation must have the power to remove the authority from confederated subject entities, for a limited duration of time until the emergency is over.
In terms of the structure of government, single term officials which are indirectly elected may avoid the trappings of ambitious individuals and the gridlock and corruption which is marked by Presidentialism. Experience shows that parliamentarian systems are slightly more democratically robust than presidential ones.
This future of governance can probably not be realised during this century in the form vaguely outlined in this article, but we can like everything else try to approximate a system which approaches the concept of popular sovereignty.
Our Ideology calls for a system which is more authentically democratic than most societies approach today, while reality calls for policies which would demand humanity to make stark choices in the face of an impending ecological collapse. The loss of Democracy would spell a risk for humans to exert sovereignty over their own lives, while the diminishment of our biosphere would endanger the lives of billions of people and probably spell the end of most freedoms enjoyed by at least a substantial part of the planet’s population today.
Ultimately, what we can see is that we need to increase our strategy to connect communities and to educate the public about the realities of our current situation. Abolishing Democracy or constricting it by for example appointing a “climate dictator” would be an absolutely last resort-measure, and would have a huge risk at failure as policies not understood, appreciated or made by the masses leap the risk of fomenting a violent reaction.
We need a Transition, but this Transition must be legitimate. It is not a matter of the Earth vs Humanity, it is a matter of making Humanity realise and understand how basic thermodynamic relationships interconnect us with our home planet and our Sun, and how important this is for our survival.
This year’s annual meeting saw the entire board present, as well as four regular members. The meeting was held in the apartment of our Board member Markus Modin. The meeting featured a rather austere set of “fika”, namely plums, bananas, singoalla biscuits and tea.
Enrique Lescure was affirmed as Meeting Chair, whereas Thea Larsson was affirmed as Meeting Secretary and did an excellent job during our meeting. Beneath are listed the topic and the decisions which the Board made:
The Biodome Project
The Board received the report on how the on-going Alidhem Biodome Project is going, learning that 99,9% of the exterior now is completed and that the Holon undertaking construction, led by Rickard Strandberg, is moving on towards the isolation.
The ERCS Project
The ERCS project, under the leadership of Lilium Carlson, is forming its own holon and investigating the possibilities under which this project could be manifested. The Board agrees that this project, which is about improving the ability of our civilization to track and monitor raw materials, food, factories and energy usage, in order to provide a foundation for the Energy Survey, should be of the highest priority. A part of that discussion was whether satellite imaging have a few drawbacks and how to address it.
We also discussed the situation of the new holons forming around us, and how to better help them reach their goals. A part of our discussion was about providing new holons with a roadmap composed of Quests which especially younger people would enjoy.
Funding, Commitment and Social Media
A significant portion of our meeting was devoted to a different form of sustainability, namely our internal sustainability as an organisation, how we should ensure the funding necessary to operate in the future, how to ensure that we continue to engage and activate our community. We agreed to form a podcast within the nearest six months, and also to further integrate our website with our vibrant Facebook and Instagram communities.
At the end, the meeting was much about practicalities, but at the core of it all lies our relentless idealism. The EOS is founded on relentless, uncompromising idealism, the idea that we will beat all and every odds and help bring Humanity together for the not only the greatest Transition during our history, but the most conscious one, one where the Human Race will be able to pull itself up from the brink. At the core of everything we do lies our ideology, based on our conviction that Life is itself a meaning and therefore the highest purpose of our civilization should be to protect Life.
It seemed like May and June, which in North Sweden usually are quite “meh” in terms of warmth, went for a holiday and leaving July in command, with temperatures well above the twenties and a sunny month all the year. In fact, during May 2018, Umea has experienced more concentrated heat than during July of the previous year. The weather has been curious, shifting rapidly. The winds from the north and the east are cold, while those from the opposite directions are warm.
This beautiful, wonderful month has brought several successes for our movement. Firstly, the Biodome structure is now complete and erected on Odontologstraket in Alidhem, Umea. Those passing by have expressed astonishment how the circle of dirt-filled tires transformed into something beautiful while they blinked! The construction itself took a total of three days in consideration. The first load of panels are expected the next week, and then the next phase of construction can be initiated. Both the movement and the people of Alidhem are excited to witness the continued progress.
This project is not only going to help the urban gardeners, it will expand the size and seriousness of their activities, invite more people to participate and become a foundation for the Transition in Alidhem. It will also, no matter what, become a physical manifestation of our movement in the area – a piece of space where the EOS has manifested in physical form.
On the second of June, we are going to celebrate the advent of the summer and the Biodome with a barbeque event where we include the neighbourhood. The link to the event can be found here.
The meeting on the 26th of May was held in the light of our successful conclusion of Phase 2 of the Biodome Project. Our Board Member Rickard Strandberg also had his birthday, so we began the meeting in earnest by congratulating him, he received a birthday gift and thusly became quite happy.
On a practical note, of course we discussed the latest progress on the Biodome project, as well as other issues of importance to our organisation. The Board also made a decision to accept a new Holon in our midst.
We are of course talking about the very talented Chefs of Baham Bohlani, a social company aimed at providing young immigrants from Afghanistan with work experience and a venue to showcase their skills. Their services will also contribute positively to the local ecological Sharing Circle being developed in Umea. Our goal will be to help them with administrative tasks so they can focus on what they’re best at.
We very much welcome our latest members and will work together for a more ecologically and socially sustainable future for peoples everywhere.
The EOS is moving forward on all fronts now, and even greater progress is made outside of Sweden.
For us, Earth Day – instituted in the year 1970 – is one of the most important days on the year. In fact, for us as a movement it is tantamount to the traditional spring festivity, and this year we had chosen to invite representatives from the Djurens Rätt, the largest Swedish Animal Welfare organisation. One person came from them and we had a good opportunity to network.
The event started at 4 PM the 22nd of April with a lecture I had the privilege of holding, and I must say that it was one of my most enjoyable lectures ever. I introduced to the public the foundations of our theories and how to implement them, as well as describing why we hold these positions, stating the obvious factor that the interest-based Fiat System is ultimately and fundamentally unsustainable, and that any critique with the purpose of creating a more sustainable future must touch the issue of how capital presently is generated.
The event also saw my colleague Rickard Strandberg playing two songs on the guitar, which were very well received by the audience. My lecture too was very engaging and the audience often interjected and asked questions, which can be disruptive but is also a sign of engagement.
And what an engagement it was!
Following the lecture and the arrival of three late-comers, we prepared the dinner. Sadly, our chefs had all become ill, but we were capable of retrieving the food and two of the guests had volunteered to stand in for the chefs. Our chef is a young very talented man named Tistou Blomberg, and he had chosen to make Afghan Bolani for the event. It was absolutely delicious, all the guests agreed.
Even hours after the dinner, the guests were involved in passionate discussions about sustainability, intentional communities, positive thinking and other topics, and first at half past ten the last of the guests left the event, all surprised it already was dark outside.
The event happened at Kulturklossen, Alidhem, and was co-arranged with Studiefrämjandet.
We already look forward to the next social event, a barbeque evening in May preliminarily.