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Mother Pelican
A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability

Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2015
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
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Paradigm Junction Project - The New Story

Don Chisholm


This article was originally published in
Paradigm Junction, 15 December 2014
as part of
Paradigm Junction: Life 50 Years After Paradigm Change

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION


This is the third article in a series on forthcoming paradigm changes by the same author. The first article was a Synopsis of the Paradigm Junction Project. The second article provided a tabulation of Themes and Terminology. The "new story" is about abandoning the parasitic growth paradigm in favor of a post-growth Gaia-centric paradigm.

THE NEW STORY

Abandonment of the parasitic Paradigm of Growth
Toward a Post-Growth Gaia-centric Paradigm
~Goal~
Governance by Natural Processes (GNP)
Autonomous Interdependent Regional Global Networks that:
blend Science, Nature, Human-Nature
into a dynamic viable sociopolitical economy
that can serve human-kind today,
while preserving our natural world
for future generations to experience
the joy of life within nature.

For some readers Paradigm Junction is presented simply as an interesting view of our potential future if appropriate changes to the way we govern are implemented very soon. For some, the envisioned society might read like science fiction. However, it is also a call to action for the growing numbers of individuals who accept that the BAU (Business As Usual) model of growth-driven geopolitical leads us deeper into ecological disaster. But to many cognizant observers The New Story is about the possibility of developing a viable alternative. How or whether it will ever be implemented is less important than building the model – now, while we still have a functioning technological world to support vital energy flows and high speed communications systems.

It is impossible to legislate for the future.
All we can do is vaguely guess
its essential tendencies and clear the way for it.

Those words by anarchist Peter Kropotkin [R1] suggested that if steering of the future is to be considered it will be through a very loose-linkage approach. Perhaps the idea of, Build it and they will come!, as in the Field of Dreams story [Wiki], should be seen as a viable approach to influencing civilization’s current course into the future. That it is essential that we build it was highlighted recently in a talk by George Monbiot [Wiki]. He spent considerable time on points that illustrate the insanity of today’s governance and toward the end he highlighted that, Protest is nothing without a positive model. It is the task of the PJP team to create that positive model. [R2]

Key points raised in the Synopsis are these:

1: The Human-Predicament, sometimes referred to as, The Problematique, is the result of excess growth in human population numbers, and in resource throughput per capita – we note that this is distributed very unequally, largely as a result of monetary inequity.

2: Unless growth in human-activity is reversed very soon we will enter tipping points, and into irreversible collapse of the world’s life-supporting ecology: To simply stabilize growth is not enough, because gross human-activity is now far in excess of Earth’s ability to replenish vital Gaian resources. Some say it is now too late for recovery: But we must not be dissuaded from preparing to implement planned solutions as opportunities arise.

3: Because of an interlocking, self-reinforcing circle of issues, the human-predicament cannot be changed from within. A few major elements of the existing corporate/economic/political system must be either changed or significantly altered in order to develop a viable system of dynamic governance capable of regulating human-activity. However, only minor changes are needed for the majority of legal and social structures of today, especially at the local government level and for most people: However, where GNP is implemented, human happiness levels should significant improve.

4: All proposed governance changes in procedures and processes used in the envisioned world of 050APC (50 years After Paradigm Change) are based on processes and procedures that have been in use for many decades: In the PJProposal we intend to simply use them in a different application – nothing new needed.

5: The next stage is to gather specialist to participate in final design, and then to document the responsibilities and procedures need for each department of the United Regions (UR). And then to begin a public relations blitz in a worldwide outreach.

No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it.
We need to see the world anew
.
-- Albert Einstein --

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something,
build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete
.
-- Buckminster Fuller --

If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds,
people with a new vision. It will not be saved
by people with the old vision but new programs
.
-- Daniel Quinn, The Story of B --
..... but also this ....
To every complex question there is a simple answer: and it is wrong…
-- H.L. Mencken --

The header lines at the beginning of each chapter need a brief explanation. As with any human engineering project, there needs to be a goal. The Goal of Paradigm Junction (PJ) is to design and implement a global system of Governance by Natural Processes (GNP). This form of governance functions as a dynamic system that will: blend Science, Nature and Human-Nature into a dynamic viable sociopolitical economy that can serve human-kind today, while preserving our natural world for future generations to experience the joy of life within nature.

The header words spell out the basic required elements of any human-made dynamic system: This chapter explains that the regulatory and control systems proposed in GNP follow basic principles as do the elements of a biological plant or animal. They consist of multiple semi-autonomous body parts functioning independently and together in a symbiotic relationship that together comprise the whole living animal or plant. The outcome is greater than the sum of the parts. This is nature’s template for Governance by Natural Processes (GNP).

An early example of a human management system using this template was implemented by a Japanese car manufacturer as proposed by American scientist Edward Deming [Wiki]. A few decades after WWII, Japanese car manufacturers were known to produce poor quality cars. Deming’s system of process and people management was adopted, and soon Japanese cars moved to top spot in quality in the mid-price range. Also, the workers were happier now, with greater autonomy within their specific teams. Quality Assurance (QA) is the general label for such systems. The same basic template is used by most transnational corporations. It is also used by some government departments such as the US Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA. The FAA establishes the QA standards and requirements for all commercial and private aviation companies that manufacture, fly, or maintain aircraft. The same basic system is used by the aviation branches in National Governments throughout the world. This involves millions of people, and it works rather well. As an example of complexity made routine – any basic component unit, on any certified aircraft, can be traced back through each of its manufacturing process steps, to who did what and when, or to have recorded any maintenance procedure along the way and back into the aircraft. In crash investigations, this chain of data is often followed back to a fatal flaw. As in any dynamic system, to meet the goal of aircraft safety, measurements must be made to ensure compliance to the system specifications. This measurement is referred to as auditing and when deviations from the system are found feedback corrects their errant elements.

The Paradigm Junction Project draft plan is to follow this same template for development and implementation of procedures for a shadow government. It will need to be capable of implementation in one or two regions of the world at a time, in those regions where the people and their leaders both see and acknowledge the apparent insanity of BAU: And they agree to improve their likelihood of well-being by complying with the GNP standards within a sane form of governance.

The opening figure in The Wheelhouse, chapter shows the main United Regions (UR) sections in four balloons. Each of these governing sections has a separate department with specific responsibilities. The first responsibility of the PJ-SOS team will be to develop a hierarchy of documents, perhaps three or four each. The top section document will simply spell out what its sub-tier document needs to do. And so on down the line toward needed detail. The very top UR document will establish just what the UR does, and how it will be done, and state its most basic core purpose, such as:

The UR will create the conditions for, and the operational framework for, an integrated global government: A government by the regions of the world; To serve the needs of both the people and the natural world.

A key part of these conditions will be to develop a means of communicating in ways that convey essential meaning between the various departments of UR. The difficulty of conveying full meaning across the diverse specialty areas of knowledge was stated by the renowned cosmologist Carl Sagan who wrote:

We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That’s clearly a prescription for disaster!

While Sagan’s quote refers only to science and technology, the same applies to most specialty areas including: the creation of money; the inner world of economics; dynamic systems, or the inner elements of human-nature such as denial, apathy self-interest, short-term thinking, altruism, etc. Perhaps the best approach for this issue is to use a form of Dialogic Design Science (DDS) developed by The Institute for 21st Century Agoras.

Professor Lester Malbrath provided early inspiration for this project in his 1989 book titled: Envisioning a Sustainable Society. His closing paragraph

Our common journey promises to be challenging and exciting even though difficult. It will be much easier and more likely successful if we face it optimistically with a deep understanding of the pace and character of social transformation. Those given the gift of understanding will become the conscious mind of the biocommunity, a global mind, that will guide and hasten the transformation. Those who understand what is happening to our world are not free to shrink from this responsibility.

Below is a list of sections of PJ in the order they are posted (or printed) along with a brief comment on their content and purpose. Since many readers will likely be quite familiar with some of the areas discussed, but not so much with others, readers are encouraged to pick and choose which section to read first, or perhaps browse for overview and move on. The internet version of this manual is posted in pdf format which works somewhat like the html format of normal web pages. PDF is more suitable for this document for a variety of reasons including being print-ready.

SECTION ONE

1a: Index & Glossary:

Index: The index lists the chapter titles with a link to that chapter’s web address.

Revision Control: This page maintains the chapter revision record, as needed in a living document to keep track of revision change and date. This is a Quality Assurance system requirement.

Glossary of Terms: Since this manual delves into a wide variety of subject areas there may be a few expressions that are unfamiliar to some readers. When these are used within the chapter text, further definition can be found in the Glossary as noted by the bracketed [GL]. The listing is in alphabetical order. Readers are encouraged to brows the glossary before getting into the main text.

There is a link back to the Index & Glossary at the beginning and end of each chapter.

1b: Synopsis:

There is a summary of Synopsis at the top of this section.

1d: The New Story: Overview and Layout:

[You are here]

1e: Biography of the writer:

Some readers may be interested in the career experiences that contributed to the development of the Paradigm Junction Project.

SECTION TWO

2a: Triad of Human Interests:

The opening graphic illustrated the big picture, the energy flows that bring Gaia to life along with a thumbnail description of James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis. The bottom left corner deals with human nature and characteristics that sometimes cause us to act against our best interest. Bottom right deals with the tools, the abstract-realities (GL), that are human mental creations such as governments, or their founding constitutions, religions, banks, hospitals or sports teams etc. There is an explanation that we sometimes fall into the trap of being guided by these tools long after they have become obsolete – they have become a belief system that has addictive characteristics. We collectively seem to forget these abstract-realities are just tools that we have created to perform a task. Throughout the text of PJ, these abstract realities are referred to as AbRealities.

2b: Dynamic Systems:

A basic understanding of dynamic systems, sometimes called cybernetics, is essential to understand details of the processes involved in the envisioned sustainable society in Section Four. This section hopes to take any mystery out of dynamics because the concepts are simple and we all use one or another form of dynamic system every day. As explained above, Governance by Natural Processes (GNP), is a form of dynamic system.

SECTION THREE

3a: Paradigm Flaws - Money Corporations Politics (MCP):

Each of these: Money, Corporations, Politics, are AbRealities. In today’s world they are not only obsolete but have become toxic as today’s principal guidance tools driving toward infinite growth in human-activity. Money is also a key regulator of many personal decisions. This is a significant component of the human-predicament. This brief chapter gives a few insights into why this has happened and the reasons many wise people have tried to change the monetary system and failed. For those who find the data hard to believe, the MCP Appendix provides greater depth.

3b: Paradigm Flaws - Other - :

While MCP had its own short section, here we list here a few other categories of destabilizing issues that we have grown so familiar with that they go unnoticed, they have become normalized. Some of these are common phenomena that historically have developed as a prelude to economic bubble & burst. A huge and growing rich/poor gap is one example.

SECTION FOUR

4a: Envisioning A – Those Who Envision:

This is an introduction to the tool of envisioning, giving examples of people and organizations who use this technique to portray a possible future. In the case of an idea for a revolutionary new type of aircraft, the designer would sketch an image of what it might look like. In the case of a relatively revolutionary change to our social/economic/political structure, the backcast is used to present the envisioned conditions. In this case it is the system that might exist 50 years After Paradigm Change, or the acronym, 050APC.

4b: Envisioning B – Society of 050APC:

Here we give some details of the social and political scene 50 years after paradigm change. The chapter starts out with a generic list of goals for all of humanity, for individuals, and the reasons for the essential levels of government that individuals chose in order to administer their essential sociopolitical world. The structures provide equitable and systemically viable regulation to control human-activity. Fig. 5 gives a visual view of hierarchy of governance levels needed to operate this viable global community. The basic community level suggested in GNP focuses on localization (highly autonomous regional governments). The suggested governing infrastructure is designed to make each region of the world totally responsible for the well-being of its own ecology, industry, wealth, and to dynamically groom its human population and per capita resource throughput accordingly. Each region will be in cooperative competition with all other regions of the world, in a chaordic relationship. As pointed out by psychologist Jonathan Haidt, [Wiki] “The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation— a force for construction or destruction”. Fig. 5 is followed by rather brief overview explanatory dialogue with greater detail provided in the following chapters.

4c: Envisioning C – UN Wheelhouse:

This chapter opens with Fig. 6 showing future regulatory control from the divisions within the United Regions as a vastly changed United Nation. Delegates from regions of the world select those who create the regulatory controls of the UR. This chapter illustrates how these various UR departments exchange data from the Regions for regulatory controls designed to ensure that human-activity is guided toward the optimum rate of needed change, under existing circumstances. The chapter continues with details on how it all works – including the Bank Of Gaia. This bank issues Gaia$ and regulates the world’s money, money flows, and its level in circulation. Flows and quantity of Gaia$ are the key tools that regulate human activity. This controlled and transparent monetary system also prevents corruption, inflation, and other such destabilizing warts as we see today. The level of commerce and trade are regulated by economics. Economics 050APC is based on real science as opposed to its current pseudo name, the dismal science.

4d: Envisioning D – Looking back at the junction:

Here the backcast discusses events that had happened shortly before and after paradigm change. The creation of $Gaia (Gaia dollars) is discussed, also the emergence of integration of the new system as it begins to supplant the fragmenting chaos of the old. Since these processes will begin while human activity is far in excess of a sustainable level, an inherited debt (a temporary loan against the next generation’s well-being) is incurred. It is needed to ensure the system has enough $Gaia for system commerce to function during the transition toward human carrying capacity (CC) [GL] at some point in the future. Like a mortgage, the system goal is reached when the mortgage is paid off.

After operating the regulatory systems in manual mode at the beginning, eventually the dynamic engine begins to automatically determine optimum regulatory control for each region based on feedback information from reports on The State of Gaia and The State of Human well-being, including happiness.

4e: Envisioning E – Dynamic flows:

This is a fairly technical discussion, going into details about the wealth factors that determine the overall wealth of each Region of the world (at least those Regions that chose to participate in GNP). In PJ, wealth is as described by Riane Eisler in The Real Wealth of Nations:

Real wealth is a measurement of a robust ecology
and the general health and happiness of the people.

A package of wealth factors form the basis of the commodity-based monetary system. With this system, the well-being of Gaia (the state of the world), of humans, and our needed infrastructure. including corporations and energy flows. Since goods, services and infrastructure all require energy, money can simply be described as access to energy.

No longer will money be created from nothing, and yet be still able to give access to our depleting natural system: This will correct many other warts in today’s fiat money system, such as political corruption.

The concept of per capita dynamics is explained in conjunction with wealth factors, providing incentives to Regions to groom their populations to match their Regions’ total wealth. Individual and local self-interest becomes a key incentive and feedback ingredient.

SECTION FIVE

5a: Are we ready to enact?:

After a speech by Winston Churchill, this brief ending makes an appeal for individuals and organizations to support the concept of GNP and for a few individuals to begin to collectively improve this overall manual and to select others to begin the work of documenting the needed details of governance within the new paradigm. Each department of the UR will need a basic operations document to start with. And we will see how the future unfolds.

5b: Chapter & Verse:

Here are a few quotes and poems gathered over the years. When between sections or while ruminating on this presentation it might be useful to browse some of these wise words.

SECTION SIX

6a: Appendix – Long Journey into today:

This is a short essay that gathers the central message from writers who have provided glimpses of the nature of past cultures, long before CE (Common Era). It then moves into past millennia and how the dominator culture emerged, leading to today’s conflict between culture, economics and against Gaia, the source of life.

6b: Appendix – MCP Long:

This appendix is a supplement to chapter 3a, on Money Corporations Politics.

6c: Graphic of human/Gaia Interactions:

Two block diagrams show the primary elements of humans and our interactions with the Gaian systems. Fig. 3 shows the lines of dynamic control now that leave us in a runaway mode (e.g. when feedback and or regulation break-down). Fig. 4 shows the same blocks but after paradigm change when the lines of regulatory control will now guide human activity toward a viable goal.

References

R1 The Anarchist, Irving Louis Herewitz,1964

R2 This is the transcript of George Monbiot's SPERI Annual Lecture, hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing the death of both the theory and the practice of neoliberal capitalism. This is the doctrine which holds that the market can resolve almost all social, economic and political problems. It holds that people are best served, and their prosperity is best advanced, by the minimum of intervention and spending by the state. It contends that we can maximise the general social interest through the pursuit of self-interest.

Snip to the end:

“So you say to me, “Well what do we do instead? You produce these arguments against trying to save nature by pricing it, by financialisation, by monetisation. What do you do instead?”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is no mystery. It is the same answer that it has always been. The same answer that it always will be. The one thing we just cannot be bothered to get off our bottoms to do, which is the only thing that works. Mobilisation.

It is the only thing that has worked, the only thing that can work. Everything else is a fudge and a substitute and an excuse for not doing that thing that works. And that applies to attempts to monetise and financialise nature as much as it does to all the other issues we are failing to tackle. Thank you.

…. Full text at The Guardian, 24 July 2014.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Don Chisholm is a Director of the Gaia Preservation Coalition. He is a retired Engineering Technologist whose career path dealt with dynamic systems, maintenance, design, management and quality assurance auditing, generally related to the aviation industry. The past thirty years have been spent studying human behaviours, energy, and other areas related to the human predicament. For his complete biography and contact information, click here.


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