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Transition to benevolent anarchyViews: 491
Mar 15, 2010 3:21 amTransition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
Today governments share a common status - perpetual existence. Now the members may change with elections, or coup d'état, or revolution, but the change assumes a perpetual government scenario.

What if we changed that assumption? What if we established our governments for a set period of time with a set agenda, a list of goals or objectives, to accomplish on behalf of the governed? When the time was up, we would either extend the government for another set length of time to complete the goals or objectives, set a new government to deal with a new set of goals and objectives, or allow the government to disband because our goals and objectives were met and we had no new ones.

It may not be as far fetched as it first sounds. I am working on a few very limited cooperatives that are single purpose driven and are dissolved once that purpose is achieved. The cooperatives are groups of citizens with a common goal and an opportunity to all gain from working together to achieve it. Once the goal is achieved, there is no further reason for the particular cooperative to continue, although there may be reasons to form new cooperatives along the same lines for new common goals.

As long as the cooperation is beneficial, it exists. Well defined, voluntary, mutually agreeable, or of the people, by the people, for the people. Without a common need, a peaceful state of anarchy reigns.

Even better, there are no campaigns, no lies, no unfulfilled promises. Everyone who joins knows the what and the when and at what personal cost. If enough people aren't interested, it never gets created.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 15, 2010 11:10 amre: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

James Booth
.
I like it.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Mar 15, 2010 4:03 pmre: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Matthew Hartstein
It seems to me this would work for small groups not large countries or even cities and states.

Private Reply to Matthew Hartstein

Mar 15, 2010 5:51 pmre: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Thomas Holford
"Benevolent anarchy" is an oxymoronic contradiction.

The essence of anarchy is: every man for himself, and there is no higher ethical or moral consideration.

In a true "anarchy" no one is going to sit still for deep philosphical ruminations on what is the meaning of "benevolent". If I want your thing, I'll just slit your throat and take it.

Back to the drawing board.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Mar 15, 2010 6:19 pmre: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
A vision of a small community, recently de-annexed from the town over decisions made by that town's council which created great cost with no benefit. The effort to de-annex came only after electing a new council and mayor, and discovering there was no way of reversing the prior council's action.

Let's call this community Anarchy, Texas. The 200 homes, farms, and ranches that make it includes had been rural until a nearby city began efforts to annex them into the city with a plan for changing the rural area into housing developments and shopping malls. The community residents requested annexation into their neighbor to the north, a small town. The action was made, and the city lost all rights to ever threaten them again. When that small town's council struck a bad deal with a developer on its own, the community mobilized again, leading to its current state.

For Anarchy, they govern best who govern least. The first step is defining the role of mayor. A mayor, or some similar office, is necessary to interact with other government agencies at the local, state, and federal level. However, in Anarchy the job carries no inherent authority. The mayor is only the authorized signature, and only when the residents authorize the signing. Since it carries no power or authority, the role is fulfilled by lottery with every resident eligible to vote subject to serving a year as mayor.

No council exists, and no departments, on a perpetual basis. Instead, community actions are initiated by proposal from one or more citizens to accomplish a common goal or meet a common need. The proposal is an online one. It is first refined by participation of all interested citizens. The proposal then becomes a cooperative, with a predetermined life time and a well defined purpose. Costs are identified, and participants commit to a share of these costs. Action is taken, a common goal accomplished, and the cooperative ceases to exist.

In some cases, the action will impact all residents regardless, and for this there are two additional requirements. First, a majority of the citizens must agree and form the cooperative. Second, inability to pay is a legitimate reason for a citizen to opt out. In such cases, the objective can still be met with those wishing it to take on a larger share of the cost, by adjusting the length for meeting the cost, or by adjusting the scope of the project.

Along the way, certain common practices will be challenged. For example, road assessment by frontage penalizes those with larger frontage. Yet the road use is fairly equal among all citizens. Likewise, water and sewage is related to population rather than lot size, yet it is the lot size that traditionally determines a household's share of cost. In Anarchy, such discrepancies are dealt with as people to people rather than government rules.

Those traditional city offices and departments that have dubious value are no longer accepted. Each function, each initiative, must first have obvious merit to exist at all, and must show value to be renewed, on a regular basis. This lack of duration also demands citizen participation, a fundamental requirement for democracy. Community becomes more than a geographical designation. It becomes a way of life.

Rules and regulations may be established, but again with a requirement for citizen approval and only for limited time spans. The rules and regulations are open to public debate on both a regular and ongoing basis.

The advances is communications plays a large role in allowing Anarchy's unique experiment in self governance to occur. Instead of scheduled meetings, the virtual town council meeting never ceases. Persuasion is the right of each citizen for or against any community action, and only when action is agreed to does action occur. Even then, ongoing debate and persuasion continues since any action must be renewed to continue.
_____

Will Anarchy ever be formed? The jury is still out, and those who led the charge and sought the elected offices to reach our current state may not be in favor of such a fully democratic system.

Can it work on a larger scale, even if it does come to pass in Anarchy? I believe it can. Most county activities are really local issues impacted by rules of authority. This means the debate will often become a focus only to those in the particular location. The ability to act swiftly is sacrificed initially, but this impacts both the good and the bad actions county governments take. The "common good" is quite often not as common or as good as we would like to think, and is too often good for a limited few only.

Moving up to the state level, we see the same problems and the same opportunities presented by such a limited approach to governance.

Remember that current forms of government were formed when participation was limited by time and location. These limits have been radically changed over the past 20 years. Is it time to evolve to take advantage of these changes?

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 15, 2010 6:39 pmre: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
Those who approach life as "every man for himself" do so under any government or lack there of. However, the ability to do greater harm seems a characteristic from those who hold such beliefs also taking advantage of being in government.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 15, 2010 7:46 pmre: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

James Booth
.
"It seems to me this would work for small groups not large countries or
even cities and states."

Perhaps only because it has not been effectively attempted ... ?

Like products and services, a "mode of organizing" begins as an idea.

If implemented, it either works or it does not.

If it works in a small group, it may work in a larger group.

It may work for a town, county-wide or state-wide

... and if so might work nation-wide - in time.

We know only by putting it to the test.

Trying it, improving on it, growing it.

Doing that much sets an example.

Much of what we learn comes from following good examples others demonstrate.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Mar 15, 2010 8:09 pmre: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Thomas Holford
Ken Hilving sayeth:

> For Anarchy, they govern best who govern least. The first step is defining the role of mayor. A mayor, or some similar office, is necessary to interact with other government agencies at the local, state, and federal level. However, in Anarchy the job carries no inherent authority. The mayor is only the authorized signature, and only when the residents authorize the signing. Since it carries no power or authority, the role is fulfilled by lottery with every resident eligible to vote subject to serving a year as mayor.


This smacks of some of the "radical egalitarianism" of the sixties.

I recall a news story many years ago where a small group of anti-nuclear activistists passionately committed to egalitarianism were plotting to demonstrate against a nuclear power plant. Their social compact demanded that there be consensus about every activity of the group. It took them thirty days to discuss and debate every nuance of when, how, where, and why they would do a demonstration before they could reach a consensus.

I'm sure they were very pleased with themselves, but if you're trying to accomplish "societal change", at the rate of one group decision every thirty days for a group of twelve people, well, you're probably not going to get there.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Mar 15, 2010 8:17 pmre: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

James Booth
.
"If I want your thing, I'll just slit your throat and take it."

In my view, that line speaks to the core of misperceptions about *anarchy*.

A "society" devoid of "order" or established *authority* (authoritarian control) is not necessarily devoid of *core values*.

A person may *think* "I'll just slit your throat and take it"

- yet even in an anarchical setting, that person may have been raised to understand that such action will lead to loss of one's own *Life, Liberty and / or pursuit of Happiness*

It may very well be the majority of individuals raised in a particular "anarchical" setting have been raised to understand there are certain limits on individual behaviour - REGARDLESS there being no "sheriff" about, when it is clear that if "mob rule" says your behaviour (stealing, killing, etc.) is not in the "best interest" of community you stand to forfeit any continued Right to act; ie. you may lose your hand (or some other body part), or your life.

NOT because there is any *written law* but because the community "polices" itself for its own survival - the same as any family or collective or "loosely affiliated" group does.


Webster includes within defining "anarchy":

"a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government"

... thus designating anarchy as "an impractical scheme for social improvement"

Impractical in the sense no individual has *complete* freedom
- including, "freedom" to steal, kill, etc.

A society "perfectly" devoid of order is as much "impractical" and imaginary as the idea of having complete freedom.


The bottom line here is that prohibitions against such behaviour toward other individuals has been "set in stone" by religions and cultures - most of which pre-date Christianity - going as far back in human history as one can dig.

There IS a *natural* order of "things" no matter how humans pretend to set themselves apart from Nature.

Rather than *fear* relative anarchy, know instead that people generally want to live, they want to act independently to the greatest degree possible, and they want to accumulate "stuff" which appeals to them.

Generally speaking, that is what every one of us wants in life basically, and that is the SAME as "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

It is basic to our existence, in our genes, and we can "hold" each other to that easily.

It is THE non-verbal "contract" we have with all other individuals, and sure, one or another will be dopey enough to "take a different path"

... but only so long as he is allowed to breathe the same air as the rest of us.

Otherwise, mothers would not try to defend their babies, and none of us would be here even to talk about any of this.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Mar 16, 2010 12:30 amre: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Thomas Holford
James Booth sayeth:

> A society "perfectly" devoid of order is as much "impractical" and imaginary as the idea of having complete freedom.


Enough said.

Q.E.D.




T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Mar 16, 2010 2:54 amre: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
We'll miss whatever constructive thoughts you might have shared, Thomas. We will press on without you regardless.
_____

This is more than a discussion. I am part of the community I am calling "Anarchy" and we are in transition. We succeeded in the de-annexation, and have no incorporated community standing in the eyes of Texas.

The next move is ours, and I am proposing this benevolent anarchy concept to the community. We were placed in jeopardy under a mayor and town council form of government. It may have been their poor judgement, or it may have been a case of "every man for himself", but we have left that issue behind us.

Now we managed for years without any government, living in relative harmony without government. We had no police force, only a county sheriff and his deputies who dealt more with loose livestock than crime. Our roads were county roads, a happy circumstance we lost when we chose to join the neighboring town. The county will take over road maintenance if we first bring them up to the county defined level of repair. We are on septic systems, and get our power and water from cooperatives rather than government offices. The school district lines have not changed for us in 40 years, as these are independent of city borders.

While we are independent, and we are safe from being swallowed by either the city to the south or the town to the north, we may still be at risk from growing cities to the east and west. If we are to hold onto our community as is, we will have to incorporate.

We all chose to live where we do except for a few families who have roots going back to the 1800's. It was their parents and grandparents who opened up the land we live on to create our community some 40 years ago.

We have, in fact, been living primarily under a benevolent anarchy all along. So this effort is to formalize the system as we incorporate, and to modernize the process to better leverage cooperative opportunities.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 16, 2010 9:22 amre: re: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

John Stephen Veitch
Hello Kenneth

If I can go back to the original post:
The first two paras:
If the rules establishing "government" are properly formed it should be possible to choose different people by voting and to change not only the people but also the policy.

I recognize that in national elections in the USA, two party control of the process, excludes proper debate and buries many issues both parties choose never to talk about. Politics operates inside a "box" the two major parties have defined for themselves and to retain power unto themselves.

Add to that the need to finance the political process, at massively excessive cost, and the process is for sale to the highest bidders. Both parties prostitute themselves to the powerful and the wealthy. As James has complained recently.

I don't know how that plays out in city politics. I have heard that in New York, because of the two party process, effectively three people run the city. All politicians in both parties have to toe the party line, or they will lose support from the party leadership, and be removed.

So there may be elections, and the people may change, but it's possible that the real power is unaffected.

***

The idea of "limited companies" is very old. The original Limited Incorporations insured the cargo and ships on sea voyages. One expedition at a time. When the seafarers returned the profits were shared and the losses compensated, and the incorporation dissolved.

However, it was costly and time consuming to keep reforming corporations for events the occurred in a repeating manner, and so some of these groups became "permanent" and evolved into shipping companies and marine insurance companies for instance.

I expect that the limited objective cooperatives you imagine will evolve in a similar manner. Some of them will become standing committees.

***

Further on in the discussion both Matthew Hartstein and Thomas Holford make relevant comments. Then Kenneth outlines at length how he imagines his little community might become self managing.

James Booth responds with "suck it and see." It will either work or it will break down. Either way the community will eventually be better off.

Thomas Holford, makes the very relevant point about the pain and effort needed to achieve consensus. Green parties around the world have been working on this one for many years. They have documents that outline the process. Essentially everyone agrees before they join that consensus is desirable and the nobody has the right for personal reasons to prevent the group from reaching an agreed position.

The process works like this. There is discussion, and a policy position is developed. There is more discussion. Those who have objections are asked to be very explicit about what they object to. Efforts are made to meet those objections. Consensus is tested.

Those who object are then asked to rewrite the policy (or clauses in the policy) as they choose, and bring that text to the meeting, for approval by consensus. (Usually this process fails, and the objectors recognise that the position they hold cannot be won.)

Then they go back to whatever has been generally agreed. Consensus is tested again. This time those who objected originally, now accept the outcome. However if they don't the "dirty and crude method" of voting can always be used.

***

In my view most people don't want to be bothered with all this community life decision making. There are two ways to deal with that.

1. You have a rule book with lots of written rules. When you need a decision you read the book. "The rule of law" applies.

2. You have a group of people who are interested in community issues who specialise in this work. Elected officers. Employed town officials. They make decisions firstly on how to apply the existing rules, and secondly on the drafting of new rules.

That's pretty much what happens in the communities I know.

***

I'm concerned Kenneth that in your small community, without the underpinning of rule sets and permanent officials; that some ruthless land owner will suddenly arrive in your district. He'll buy one farm, then another, and a third. Then he'll announce that he's going to establish a private University on his land.

Buildings start to go up and he's building something "big". So you form one of your Limited Corporations, to oversee the development. There are concerns about roads and sewerage and power supply, and a sudden influx of young people with no roots in your district.

I could get a LOT worse. This is going to be a Muslim Religious School, with 500 live in pupils and 220 staff. Suddenly, the freedom you wanted for yourself is being used against you, and there may be very little you can do about it.

John Stephen Veitch; The Network Ambassador
Open Future Limited - http://www.openfuture.co.nz/
Innovation Network - http://veech-network.ryze.com/
Building an Open Future - http://openfuture-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to John Stephen Veitch

Mar 16, 2010 2:08 pmre: re: re: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
Why do we have government of elected officials at all? Was there ever any reasonable need to go this route? Does the requirement still remain? I argue that the need was real, it was a question of time and travel, but that modern communications has eliminated the need.

As soon as we recognize the need for elected officials has ended and change our approach to governance, we address the issues of party systems, election corruption, and behind the scenes influence peddling.

The objective has not changed significantly. We are still seeking the common good. The requirements, however, change and with that the problems the former requirements created.

What about standing committees, offices, departments, and other traditionally perpetual government roles? Benevolent anarchy addresses these. Each committee, office, department, or other traditionally perpetual government role is now established only when there is a community recognition of need, and only to address that need, and only for a set duration. Instead of becoming a perpetual function, each must be renewed on a recurring basis.

In effect, power is returned to the governed - of the people and by the people. That is real change in power.

What of laws, rules and regulations, building codes and zoning codes, acceptable use rules, and the like? Benevolent anarchy does not eliminate these. What it does is require each rule and regulation to be reconfirmed as appropriate and of value on a regular basis, and opens up the opportunity for each citizen to challenge this and to persuade the community of the need to change. It moves these aspects of governance from being clubs to being tools.

What are the barriers to such an approach? The first, of course, is perception. The idea of no standing government officials to make demands of or place blame on will scare some people. Change is always difficult to accept. On the other hand, our community is coming off of a case where elected officials made decisions that were detrimental to us, and where the reasons for such decisions remains hidden because records were either not kept, lost, or intentionally hidden from the citizens. Prior to this we were a de facto benevolent anarchy, but without any visible structure. For our community, the change is minor.
_____

The cost and time of "limited companies" was a process aspect. Starting from scratch each time required and requires a great deal of research and effort. However, the process is replicable, which makes it an excellent candidate for automation. My solution is simple - the online form available to each citizen to initiate a proposed "limited company" to address a community need they feel exists. A defined approach to debate. A consistent method of renewal by vote.
_____

Consensus is indeed hard to achieve. Yet a great many of our current laws, regulations, and programs fail even to reach majority support. In many cases, this isn't relevant. A small subset of the governed community is impacted, that subset is for it, and the rest of the community sees little or no impact. Under benevolent anarchy, a subset of the community will be able to act on their special interest once they have sufficient support within their group. Consensus will not be needed.

Keep in mind that benevolent anarchy has already addressed the perpetual issue, so even when an action is taken it has limited long term implications. This is a key difference from traditional government where power and authority is moved from citizens to a group of elected officials empowered to "act on their behalf" between elections.
_____

In Texas, we already have early voting in place of one scheduled day. At some point, a person can decide they know their position on the ballot issues, and choose to vote rather than wait for more discussion.

Now the one day voting practice and now the early voting opportunity are based on the need to confirm an individual is authorized to vote (voter registration) and only votes once. As long as the voting process does this, the specifics are a matter of procedure. The procedure also must assure the vote is secret - no one has to fear that how they voted will make them a target of retribution.

Special elections are allowed, provided they meet the same criteria, if a community chooses.

This opens up the opportunity of continual self governance versus an election day mindset. It may prove useful with a benevolent anarchy method of governance.
_____

Very little community governance is necessary. Most of the time, we live our lives without thinking about government at all. Our contact with government is issue driven, typically because of an immediate need like a hole in the road or because of a government action imposed on us like notification of some new assessment or violation of some new regulation.

Benevolent anarchy allows each of us to raise our issues, and reduces the chance of having some action imposed on us. The proposed new development, the requested change in zoning codes, are no longer presented only to a small group of elected officials. Attending the public portion of council meetings is no longer the method of keeping abreast of possible dramatic changes. Closed sessions are no longer possible. All of these occur as community discussions, without the restrictions of time and place.

Will this protect us against the developer who buys up our neighbor's ranch? There is no assurance of this, but current government certainly did not protect us either. Will it protect us from deals made behind closed doors between elected officials and developers? Most certainly. We may choose poorly, but at least the choice will have been ours to make.






Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 16, 2010 3:55 pmre: re: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Thomas Holford
Ken Hilving sayeth:

> We have, in fact, been living primarily under a benevolent anarchy all along. So this effort is to formalize the system as we incorporate . . .

Can't get my mind around the concept of a "formalized, incorporated system of anarchy."

How can you tell if it's working or not? Is it when people adhere to the formalized system, or when they don't adhere to the formalized system?

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Mar 16, 2010 4:45 pmre: re: re: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
;-D

Gee, if it isn't being used, it is the absence of unnecessary government, and if it is being used, it is a better form of democracy, of the people, by the people, for the people. Self governance.

Sorta means its working in either case, doesn't it?

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 16, 2010 6:40 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Thomas Holford
Ken Hilving sayeth:

> Sorta means its working in either case, doesn't it?

In mathematics terms, this describes an independent variable.

Which means it is probably not a lever on the equation you're trying to solve.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Mar 17, 2010 12:22 amre: re: re: re: re: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Reg Charie
In the blind world of data processing the one eyed IT technician is King.

Reg

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Mar 17, 2010 3:09 amBarriers to transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
Perhaps the first barrier to creating a benevolent anarchy form of government is the legal barrier.

Texas has a number of state codes regarding local governments. (source http://law.justia.com/texas/codes/lg.html)

TITLE 2. ORGANIZATION OF MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 5. TYPES OF MUNICIPALITIES IN GENERAL
CHAPTER 6. TYPE A GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 7. TYPE B GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 8. TYPE C GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 9. HOME-RULE MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 21. GENERAL PROVISIONS AFFECTING GOVERNING BODY OF MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 22. ALDERMANIC FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN TYPE A GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 23. ALDERMANIC FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN TYPE B GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 24. COMMISSION FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 25. CITY MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL-LAW MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 26. FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN HOME-RULE MUNICIPALITY
CHAPTER 51. GENERAL POWERS OF MUNICIPALITIES
CHAPTER 52. ADOPTION OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES
CHAPTER 53. CODE OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES
CHAPTER 54. ENFORCEMENT OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES

These rules all share a common aspect - representation by elected officials. Finding a way to meet the state code while preserving the intent of a benevolent anarchy will be a challenge. The alternative - changing the state law - will surely be a larger challenge.
_____

The same site has information on all 50 US states. The US members here might find the laws that determine just how much freedom their local community has of interest.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 17, 2010 4:19 amre: Barriers to transition to benevolent anarchy#

Thomas Holford
Ken Hilving sayeth:

> Perhaps the first barrier to creating a benevolent anarchy form of government is the legal barrier.

> Texas has a number of state codes regarding local governments. (source http://law.justia.com/texas/codes/lg.html)

> TITLE 2. ORGANIZATION OF MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT


Kind of interesting.

I have to confess that in the past I have more or less advocated what you are proposing to do.

My frame of reference was a bit different. In passionate exchanges with advocates of socialism in its various guises, I have proposed to them from time to time the possibility of "privatizing socialism".

The problem with conventional socialism is that everyone in society is coerced into paying for and receiving the blessings and restrictions of socialism whether they are welcomed or not.

It would make more sense as well as making a greater number of people happier and fulfilled if the broad constitutional charter of society were libertarian, allowing the greatest individual freedom and the most minimal powers for government.

Those people who appreciated the maximum freedom would live happily ever after in a low tax, low government society.

Those people who wanted to live under socialism, could apply for a charter from the libertarian government and set up their own voluntary private socialist society, enroll members, tax themselves to their eyeballs and offer all sorts of lavish and extravagant benefits, as well as rules and regulations constraining every aspect of their lives. They, too, could live happily ever after in their idyllic private socialist community.

So, it strikes me that your effort to establish a "benevolent anarchy" is ultimately consistent with my previously held notion of "privatizing socialism". I guess I never considered that it would serve just as well to "privatize benevolent anarchy".

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Mar 17, 2010 2:54 pmre: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Matthew Hartstein
One other point that should be made is that the problem with democratically elected governments arise when the people who have the right to vote for their representatives become apathetic. A problem that I believe is prevalent in the United States, which when combined with a semmingly alarming lack of understanding with how our system of government is meant to work can lead to dysfunctional governments.

Private Reply to Matthew Hartstein

Mar 17, 2010 3:15 pmre: re: Barriers to transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
Funny how so much debate comes from those in "violent agreement" on subject.

Taking the shared approach a step further, we might argue that our common objection is to "everyone in society is coerced into paying for and receiving the blessings and restrictions of" whatever "whether they are welcomed or not." Like you, I don't mind other people taking other approaches. I mind when those approaches are imposed on me.

I see benevolent anarchy as an evolutionary step, rather than revolutionary. We have outgrown in many locations the constraints of time and travel that representative government models (elected officials) solved. From a purely practical perspective, regular review of objectives and requirements identifies the opportunities to improve. New solutions based on the new objectives and requirements keeps the solutions current.

There may be an issue with speed of action. I believe that a community vote approach can address this with a time frame (vote by date) and a choice of for/against/don't care to determine an action. Since the action is well defined and limited, the harm down by a poor action is reduced.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 17, 2010 3:43 pmre: re: Transition to benevolent anarchy#

Ken Hilving
Apathy might be the problem, but couldn't it be a symptom instead?

If I don't believe my perspective is going to be heard, my questions answered, or my preferences respected, is my lack of participation one of apathy or one of recognition?

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

Perhaps what we call apathy of the voter is instead an attempt to find serenity because "representative" government can never be truly representative because of the authority we give away to our representatives?

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Mar 19, 2010 3:06 pmTransition to benevolent anarchy - power abuse#

Ken Hilving
In another thread John Veitch talks about the ancient practice of favor and obligation, and how those in power use and abuse it. http://www.ryze.com/postdisplay.php?confid=546&messageid=3477573

I believe the benevolent anarchy approach will mitigate some of the abuse aspects of this. The power and authority to offer favors and establish obligations would remain with the citizens. This significantly dilutes the ability of any one individual to concentrate power or authority, at least via the elected official route.

The value of obligations and reciprocity remains. However, it occurs at the lowest levels

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

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