Demons and Democracy

It’s Constantin here, reaching out to you with February’s entry of Founders Perspectives. Care to discuss freedom and liberty that just might be slipping away? Or our solutions for open and informed society? Keep reading!

Democracy is in grave danger!

Coming from a very liberal background, I grew up with the belief that freedom is the most precious thing that we have. But we need to keep fighting for it, otherwise it slips away. Currently, democracy is in a very difficult situation and it’s getting worse. We are at a cross-road – we must do something NOW, because the path we chose right now, might very well determine the path of society for several decades to come.

How did we get here?

There are many things that contribute to the situation we have at the moment. The most important reason is that the governments cannot solve the problems anymore. A lot of people feel left behind: we hear how rich the rich are and how richer they get by the minute. There are a lot of people out there who don’t feel included. Hence, they’re looking for somebody who promises change, which is the case within populist and extremist parties. Their messages are simple; people can easily understand and hold on to.

Furthermore, our governments cannot solve the problems because the world has dramatically changed, but the way our governments work – has not. We can say that our governments are still operating analog in digital world – they need an update. The most important characteristic of this change is complexity.

Interconnected and complex

More and more things are interconnected due to technology and digitalisation. More and more things come together that used to be seperate. And when that happens, everything changes. When we put things together, they start having entirely different characteristics from the elements that they have.

For example, take water – it consists of hydrogen and oxygen. Once put them together, we get water, which is wet, behaves in certain way, we can wash with it, drink or swim in it. Take hydrogen and oxygen separately. You won’t find these characteristics: they’re not wet, they don’t move like water, you can neither drink it nor swim in it. But just by looking at different elements we cannot tell what the entire system will be like.

The same with society: everything is interconnected. Now the systems are complex, hence they change entirely. They change the way they behave, they’re non linear, their properties change, their nature really changes and the laws they follow also change.

Complexity – embrace or reduce?

We hear it all the time: let’s reduce complexity – keep it simple. But that’s exactly wrong. We need to learn to embrace complexity to use it and to harness it for the good of society. Because higher abilities generally only come from higher complexity.

We can learn to embrace complexity from the two complexity sciences – systems science and cybernetics. Systems science is the science of (w)holes – of looking at things and systems in their interconnections that in complex systems are much more relevant than individual elements. Systems science looks at systems and questions within their context, within their entire environment.

Cybernetics is what I call the science that makes everything work. It’s the science of the steering of an incomplex systems. The word Cybernetics comes from a greek word, which means steersman, the person at the helm of a boat. That person doesn’t really care why the current is going, where it’s flowing, they don’t care why the wind is blowing, they just use these factors to get to the destination.

Let’s see it work in practice

Some time ago, we held an event with 150 representatives from youth organisations from all across Europe and beyond that.  We used such a cybernetic method that can interlink all these people communication wise in cybernetically optimal way. It’s entirely free of hierarchy, every person can contribute the same way to the topic they discuss. Participants also set their agenda, there’s nothing predetermined beforehand. This method can provide a setting in which all the knowledge is shared between these people, in which they create a common understanding for their perspectives. After 4 days, besides a constitution we also reached a consensus among people and a strong drive for change.

Lastly,

there are tools and methods that we have, that can readily be available. However, it requires new kind of thinking, a new kind of looking at the world. Are you ready to act now and stand up for democracy and freedom?

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