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  • PAULO FREIRE'S LEARNING PRINCIPLES AS A COMPONENT OF GAIAN DEMOCRACIES
    of the educatees rather than imposing on them the culture of the educators Freire took education out of the classroom and created the culture circle where learners used their own ways of speaking to articulate their shared understanding of how their world came to be like it was and how to act to change their future From being a monologue process education became a process of dialogue in which educatees and educators engaged in mutually respectful learning Through the culture circles process people progressed very quickly in Brazil illiterate adults learned to read and write in 30 hours and in Nicaragua illiteracy was reduced from 40 to 13 in two months i Freire pointed out that the astounding results achieved by the culture circles were a consequence of offering literacy as a tool through which groups rather than individuals could be empowered In culture circles everyone makes good progress not just a few isolated star pupils In 1979 Freire became directly involved in politics and helped to build the Brazilian Workers Party into the highly effective political movement it is today His emphasis on the crucial connection between theory and practice can be seen in the way in which the party s mayors introduce radical initiatives like the Participative Budget From the very poorest to the richest of citizens they are engaged in a group learning process that will transform their understanding of themselves each other their community and the world around them A core component of Freirian theory is that learning begins with action is then shaped by reflection which gives rise to further action Learning is thus a continuous process directed at enhancing the learners capacity to act in the world and change it For Freire whether it is called literacy or learning this is the principal political

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  • SHARED PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES AS A COMPONENT OF GAIAN DEMOCRACIES
    code of a purposeful human system i They bind the community together It is against them that all decisions and acts will be judged Moreover he says A compelling purpose and powerful beliefs about conduct in pursuit of it seemed to me infinitely more sensible and robust than mechanical plans detailed objectives and predetermined outcomes We profoundly agree with Dee Hock when he also declares Without a deeply held commonly shared purpose that gives meaning to their lives without deeply held commonly shared ethical values and beliefs about conduct in pursuit of purpose that all may trust and rely upon communities steadily disintegrate and organizations progressively become instruments of tyranny This isn t a bunch of platitudes but a manifesto of what the people in the organization believe in and care about in their gut And getting there is going to be downright excruciating What we re trying to do is build a community And it s only when that community has solid agreement on purposes and principles that you can start talking about the concept and structure of the organization Because it can take some time to arrive at a shared understanding of the purposes and principles of the re configured system the difficult task of working them out may arouse deep impatience It is all too easy to by pass this stage in the re configuring process in order to commit our valuable time energy and resources to actually doing something about the host of chronic problems that cry out for urgent attention The main reasons why this stage is so significant are these As we work towards increased understanding and a greater sense of shared purposes and principles we gain a growing awareness of the web of interdependencies within the system and between it and its environment

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  • SOFT SYSTEMS CONCEPTS AS A COMPONENT OF GAIAN DEMOCRACIES
    the difference between wicked problems arising from non linear systems complexity and tame problems arising from the characteristics of linear system citizens will be able to think act and learn together successfully Successfully reconfiguring our unjust and unsustainable Global Monetocracy and tackling the wicked problems it has created requires the adoption of a purposeful or systems perspective rather than mechanistic one We have shown two soft systems concepts shared purposes and principles and participatory change processes as separate components of the Gaian democracy paradigm These soft systems concepts can be used to reconfigure any complex human system from a school or a hospital to a government department from a neighbourhood to a city to a whole nation They provide the practical frameworks through which the citizens engaged in participatory change processes keep in close touch with the realities of the system that they and their liberating leaders are trying to improve They build the knowledge and competencies needed for citizens to work creatively on their wicked problems while observing the shared purposes and principles of the system as a whole Through their individual and collective success in reconfiguration processes citizens and their liberating leaders gain in knowledge competence and mutual

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  • GLOBAL MONETOCRACY COMPONENTS
    markets are the product of artifice design and political coercion Laissez faire must be centrally planned regulated markets just happen The free market is not as Right thinkers have claimed a gift of social evolution It is an end product of social engineering and unyielding political will It was feasible in 19 th century England only so long as functioning democratic institutions were lacking vi The key role of the ordinary citizen in representative democracies is to vote at elections But while the choice at elections is increasingly meaningless citizens are still regarded as having had their say as voters The vast majority of ordinary citizens are still excluded from active participation in governmental decision making at all levels Contact with ordinary people is limited to focus groups opinion polls and consultation There is no room for citizen initiative The result inevitably is a largely passive and disillusioned citizenry This has led to mass abstention from the system with over 50 of voters in the USA staying away from the polls Membership of political parties in Europe has plummeted The picture is similar throughout Latin America and Eastern Europe vii Amongst politicians those with the most money and the best connections are especially favoured Moreover the system provides easy access for big business to government through electoral funding lobbying and policy making processes that are specially designed to be business friendly Representative democracy thrives on carefully choreographed displays of adversarialism and inter party competition It legitimises secrecy and censorship It facilitates the manipulation of public opinion Public debate is effectively infantilised The critical link between politicians and the people is now the focus group originally devised for companies to discover how to package products so that they overcome potential customers resistance to them Several decades ago political consultants spotted that elections are won and lost by the largely self interested preferences of the small minority of so called swing voters Swing voters have no party loyalties and it is their votes that swing elections by a few percentage points one way or the other As Robin Cook Leader of the House of Commons and a member of the New Labour elite has said The reason why at election time we chase those 0 25 of the electors who are the crucial swing voters in the crucial target seats is that ultimately they are the only ones whose votes matter viii From their studies of voting patterns electoral strategists have persuaded political leaders that they have to listen to and rapidly satisfy the desires and prejudices of swing voters The consequence is that policy is made on the basis of last month s focus group results and all parties strive to get closest to the swing voters at whatever cost to their principles the loyalty of their traditional supporters or the interests of the community as a whole Once the focus group strategists have identified the messages that are most likely to appeal to swing voters huge sums are spent on advertising targeted at them Candidates in the 2002 congressional and gubernatorial races in the USA spent close to 1 billion for television commercials alone In the UK having won power by using these methods New Labour leader Tony Blair was able to say I have taken from my party everything they thought they believed in What keeps it together is success and power ix Representative democracy has many other flaws Elections which allegedly protect the people from abuse of power are frequently manipulated by those in high office in order to prolong their power And as we saw in the UK following the Falklands War and in the 2002 mid term elections in the USA wars and threats of war favour the party in office It pays today s political leaders to pretend there is a crisis or a threat the nation s prosperity or pride Presidents Bush and Mugabe have proved that it pays to manufacture such a crisis The link here with the manufacture of consent see below is obvious Regular elections also invariably ensure that elected politicians concentrate on producing a stream of uncoordinated policy initiatives to placate the swing voters ignore the long term consequences of their policies and generate ever greater complexity and confusion As we shall see in Chapter 5 the proposition that representative democracy is the only practicable form of democracy in today s world is nonsense It is one of the many myths promoted by the Global Monetocracy for its own protection Theory 3 National sovereignty Nation states have co evolved with representative democracies as the official vehicles and processes whereby our societies are dominated by a wealthy elite The dominance of today s political corporate financial and media elites is in a direct line from the role played by monarchs courtiers landowners bankers and merchants in the 17 th 18 th and 19 th centuries The purpose of the nation state was to enable the elites to sustain their power and privileges through constant territorial and economic expansion x The principle of national sovereignty is inherently conflictual and competitive It cuts across natural diversities of culture and geography It fosters nationalism illusions of moral superiority and dreams of empire At the same time under the cloak of national sovereignty the nation state provides the executive and legislative support required for the monetisation and corporate ownership of the entire human and natural worlds xi As with all the components of the Global Monetocracy it is the way in which they operate together that matters As John Gray has pointed out the global free market works to set sovereign states against one another in a struggle for dwindling natural resources xii The effect is to impel states to become rivals for the control of resources that no democratic institution has the responsibility for conserving In this struggle the already wealthier states inevitably win It is a recipe for ever greater economic and political instability Rich countries can afford to mitigate at least temporarily the penalties that global free markets impose on their citizens In poorer countries the global free market produces fundamentalist plutocracies and works as a catalyst for the disintegration of traditional societies From a systems perspective one of the most serious defects of the principle of national sovereignty and the nation state system is that it has blocked the development of democracy for the human family as a whole Once the elites had chosen to conceive of the human family as a collection of states responsibility for organising the interaction between human societies became the preserve of state governments According Philip Allott Professor of International Public Law at Cambridge University The result was that we came to have an international system which was and is post feudal society set in amber undemocratised unsocialised capable only of generating so called international relations in which so called states act in the name of so called national interests through the exercise of so called power carrying out so called foreign policy conducted by means of so called diplomacy punctuated by medieval entertainments called wars or in the miserable modern euphemism armed conflict This is the essence of the social process of the international non society xiii In other words on the global stage there is no democracy at all Nothing could be better suited to the advancement of the purpose of the Global Monetocracy led by largely uncontrolled trans national corporations operating in a largely unregulated global marketplace The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro highlighted the weakness of state governments faced with strong lobbying by trans national corporations Corporations and their lobby groups easily ensured that any consideration of binding regulation of trans national companies was excluded from the programme endorsed by the so called but misnamed world leaders xiv In the decade since Rio the absence of any global democracy has allowed corporations the political space to manoeuvre themselves into decision making positions on vital global issues The outcome is the current programme for the further commodification and privatisation of nature launched at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development at Johannesburg xv Theory 4 Manufacturing consent During World War One the British government was desperate for the USA to declare war on Germany Stories of atrocities by the Germans or Huns as they were called were fabricated by the British propaganda ministry Belgian babies with their arms torn off speared on bayonets and Belgian and French women raped in their thousands featured prominently in American newspapers This was part of the British High Command s highly successful effort to control the thought of the world xvi Britain s aim was to control the thought of the more intelligent members of the community in the US If they could be persuaded to disseminate British propaganda they might succeed in converting the pacifist USA to wartime hysteria The USA entered the war against Germany in 1917 The strategy had worked brilliantly And it taught every other nation a lesson The lesson was that when state propaganda is supported by the educated classes and when no deviation is permitted it can have a big effect on public opinion The success of Britain s propaganda campaign in WW1 has inspired all the state propagandists down to the present day from Hitler s Goebels to Tony Blair s Alistair Campbell although of course with the spread of radio TV and the cinema the techniques have been constantly refined By the early 1920s propaganda had been re branded as public relations and the lessons learnt from Britain s success in dragging the USA into the first World War gave rise to something much more powerful than mere imitation it spawned a theory In 1922 the young Walter Lippman later to be the most revered of American political journalists saw himself as a theorist of modern democracy In his immensely influential book Public Opinion he argued that public relations amounted to a revolution in the art of democracy and could be used to manufacture consent xvii In other words the new techniques of public relations could be used to persuade the voters to agree to policies that they didn t want The theory of manufacturing consent rested on Lippman s proposition that in a properly functioning democracy there are three distinct classes of citizens First of all there is the specialised class the citizens who take some active role in running general affairs what today we would call the ruling elites or perhaps the Establishment The second class are the decision makers the people who analyse execute make decisions and run things in the political economic and ideological systems in other words the public officials bureaucrats and apparatchiks Then there is what Lippman called the bewildered herd the vast majority of citizens who have been excluded from playing any meaningful role in the government of their society By manufacturing consent through public relations i e propaganda techniques the specialists and decision makers could tame the bewildered herd into acquiescence Today state and corporate public relations is a huge industry Billions of dollars a year are spent in trying to control the public mind And as Noam Chomsky says Propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state xviii Fortunately however we the bewildered herd are never properly tamed When large numbers of us can get together in political campaigns trade unions colleges or churches we sometimes refuse to allow our consent to be manufactured and then our leaders tell us that we are creating a crisis of democracy xix In fact by forcefully but non violently expressing our collective views we are doing what citizens in democracies are supposed to do But in the emasculated version of democracy that has co evolved with the Global Monetocracy over the past four hundred years by expressing our fundamental disagreement with the actions of the Government we are being anti democratic The sooner we are driven or bamboozled back to the apathy obedience and passivity of the bewildered herd the better Here is a recent example of how manufacturing consent works On 6 October 2002 the Washington Post s Ombudsman agreed with readers who had complained that the paper had totally failed to cover the huge anti war rallies in London and Rome and the doubts expressed by four star Army and Marine generals as to the wisdom of attacking Iraq The Post s failure to report opposition to the drive to war justified readers complaints because Whatever one thinks about the wisdom of a new war once it starts it is too late to air arguments that should have been aired before xx Identical methods of manufacturing consent are now used by political parties government bodies and private corporations xxi In the case of business the purpose is to create the consumer demand that the growth economy craves In the case of the political parties and public bodies it is to secure the public s acceptance of their own exclusion The US media analyst Ben Bagdikian sums it all up by saying that the institutional bias of the mass media does not merely protect the corporate system It robs the public of a chance to understand the real world xxii The manufacture of consent is in fundamental opposition to the concept of a learning society Increasingly though the crisis in the theory of manufacturing consent is deepening The old maxim that you can t fool all of the people all of the time is coming home to roost The consequence is that the drive to get across the government s message and keep the bewildered herd under control has become increasingly desperate obvious and counter productive xxiii Theory 5 Command and control leadership The message that hundreds of millions of voters otherwise known as the bewildered herd are given by their political leaders is the same message that generations of employees have been given by their bosses The message is We don t need you to think We need you to do what we tell you If there s any thinking to be done around here we ll do it That in essence is how command and control leadership operates As consultants Dean Anderson and Linda Ackerman Anderson have written Command and control is by far the most common leadership style Most of today s leaders were mentored themselves by command and control managers and the culture of most organizations is still based on command and control norms It is hard to escape this leadership style s historic influence and dominance xxiv Command and control leadership is based on the assumption that people are basically lazy unmotivated and in need of constant supervision They have to be told what to do and how to do it either by specialists or by people who are smarter and or more experienced i e the people who have all the answers Over time the assumptions of command and control leadership become self fulfilling prophecies People become what command and control leaders expect them to be The huge reservoir of intelligence creativity good will and energy that other kinds of leaders can liberate from people is unrecognised and wasted For a very limited period in some very unambiguous situations command and control leadership is permissible and can work well But when it is applied in complex long term open ended situations the results can be disastrous In a fascinating study of its application to environmental and socio economic problems C S Holling and Gary K Meffe of the Department of Zoology University of Florida tell us that attempts to control ecosystems and in socio economic institutions with more control usually result in unforeseen consequences for both natural ecosystems and human welfare in the form of collapsing resources social and economic strife and losses of biological diversity If natural levels of variation in system behaviour are reduced through command and control the system becomes less resilient to external perturbations resulting in crises and surprises xxv And in System Failure Jake Chapman reports the consequences of command and control leaders applying hard systems thinking to the complex situations involved in the delivery of the UK s health services The interventions have unintended consequences The assumptions on which they were based were simply not valid Delivery targets are trumpeted but not met Key people responsible for the delivery of the system s outputs doctors nurses technicians clerks middle managers experience increasing interference and stress Top managers are increasingly impatient punitive and frustrated The system loses flexibility and is increasingly unable to adapt to external changes Acrimony and blame erode trust motivation and initiative xxvi To the people trying to make the system work and in the world outside the system is widely and correctly perceived to be getting worse not better At the same time the politicians and top managers responsible for the initiatives are again correctly perceived to be incompetent and self serving In spite of being inappropriate for the resolution of the hugely complex and unprecedented problems now facing local communities nations regions and the whole human family with very few exceptions command and control leadership is still the basic leadership style of all Western democracies and of much of the corporate world Command and control leadership ensures that the Global Monetocracy continues to respond to the challenges of the 21 st century with the same tame solutions more trade more deregulation wars to control essential supplies competition between states to attract inward investment etc that were responsible for creating the situation we are in It is also fundamentally at odds with the concept of self organising systems One of the key innovations in Gaian democracies will be the replacement of command and control leaders with liberating leaders as described in Chapter 5 Component 3 The elite consensus The elite consensus upholding the values and assumptions of the Monetocracy It is probably no exaggeration to say that the elite consensus determines how the Monetocracy works Its influence seems to be even

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  • GAIAN vs MARTIAN PARADIGM
    wiki Paradigm shift Paradigm shift sometimes known as extraordinary science or revolutionary science is the term first used by Thomas Kuhn in his influential 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science It is in contrast to his idea of normal science It has since become widely applied to many other realms of human experience as well even though Kuhn himself restricted the use of the term to the hard sciences According to Kuhn A paradigm is what members of a scientific community and they alone share The Essential Tension 1997 Unlike a normal scientist Kuhn held a student in the humanities has constantly before him a number of competing and incommensurable solutions to these problems solutions that he must ultimately examine for himself The Structure of Scientific Revolutions A scientist however once a paradigm shift is complete is not allowed the luxury for example of positing the possibility that miasma causes the flu or that ether carries light in the same way that a critic in the Humanities can choose to adopt a 19th century theory of poetics for instance or select Marxism as an explanation of

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