Gaian Democracy's key components are shown as the ´petals ´of ´the flower´ on the left. The flower-like diagram symbolises a quasi-biological paradigm of democracy, one that will enable our societies to learn how to collaborate with the Gaian Systems on which the human family depends for its very survival,
The links in the Footer provide a summary of each component.
From the early-1970s, John Jopling had combined his career as a barrister with environmental activism. He had set up and run a number of environmental NGOs and events. In 2002, he won the Schumacher Society's annual award for his work on environmental issues, through the Sustainable London Trust and the Dublin-based FEASTA, a foundation for the study of the economics of sustainability.
My own background as a consultant in the management of change and community communications had included spells as an adviser to the UK Green Party's Executive Committee, after many years as a Labour Party activist.
By the end of the 1990s, John was asking himself why he and millions of other environmental activists had made so little real impact on government policies and corporate regulation in over thirty years of unremitting effort.
As the New Labour clique took over the British Labour Party and Tony Blair swept to power in 1997, I could see that within a decade or so, millions of former Labour voters would be politically homeless. New Labour's commitment to Thatcherite economic policies, its pandering to big business and the right-wing media, meant that both the UK and the US electorates were now stuck with major parties that were committed to more or less identical political agendas. Both New Deal Democrats in the USA and former Labour voters had been disenfranchised by their parties' betrayal of their basic values and visions.
The Iraq War was the last straw for many, but without a viable alternative political party with a radically different agenda for the 21st Century to vote for, they were powerless. Their views could safely be ignored by the predominantly neo-liberal political classes in the UK and the USA. Voters in all the major industrial societies faced more or less the same non-choices at the ballot-box.
It seemed as if the triumph of neo-liberalism was more or less total, and yet...
In 2002, John and I could also see that something was happening in Latin America that could be very important to the future of democracy. The growth of popular social movements throughout the region, and the democratic innovations such as Participative Budgets that were being run by the Brazilian Workers Party in dozens of cities, showed that the struggle to create 21st Century Democracies was being taken with passionate seriousness in the USA´s backyard.
We went to the 2002 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to share our ideas about global democracy with others who were speaking on that topic. To our surprise, we found that our proposals for a new paradigm of democracy had hardly anything in common with the concepts of global democracy that were being advocated by representatives of a non-governmental movement calling itself Global Civil Society.
That experience led us to understand that the concepts and methodologies of the systems-based model of democracy that we were working on, were very unwelcome to the representatives of Global Civil Society. They were - and still are - angry with the disastrous effects of triumphant neo-liberalism, but in spite of their anger, they promote a model of global democracy that poses no threat to the unjust and unsustainable global regime that had put Bush and Blair in office. Global Civil Society opposes forming political parties or popular movements, they oppose contesting elections, and above all, they oppose taking political power. They seem not to see that without dynamic political opponents, offering voters a viable model of a just and sustainable future, our societies are locked into a model of development that, as the Bolivian President Evo Morales says, destroys the planet and dismembers human societies.
The fundamental purpose of the political-economic system that Morales rightly condemns, is to maintain, at all costs, the global debt-money system. The debt-money system forces everyone in the world to pay the interest on the money that the banks, not national governments, put into circulation. Governments produce the notes and coins in our pockets. But the trillions of dollars, euros, pounds, yen and pesos that flow through billions of different bank accounts every day have been loaned into circulation by banks. This is why the banks make such obscene profits. But, far worse than that, it is a blindly self-replicating system that forces our societies into a suicidal scramble for ever-higher economic growth with increasingly disastrous impacts on both the natural world and human family.
After three centuries in relentless pursuit of its basic purpose, we are now in thrall to the complex, adaptive, unjust and unsustainable system that is best called `The Global Monetocracy´
Purpose: Maintaining constant economic growth in order to sustain the Debt-Money System.
Shared Operational Theories.
Neo-Liberal Free-Market Economics
Command and Control Leadership
Representative Democracy based on the election of Parliaments and Congresses
The Manufacturing of Consent to policies that serve the interests of the elites.
The Elite Consensus, upholding the values and assumptions underpinning the The Global Monetocracy
The Global Leadership Cadre, covering politics, business, finance, academia and the media.
The Partnership between Big Business and Government, with Government as the junior partner
An Armoury of Operational Instruments
Trans-national Corporate Capitalism, owning and controlling the entire financial system, defining work, entertainment, transport, consumerist culture, taking over all public services, industrialised agriculture and fishing, taking over the commons, political corruption, corporate control of global mass media.
Financial and Legal Instruments, debt-money, reserve currencies, property law, corporate law and patent law
National Policies and State Agencies, interest rates, tax systems, trade liberalisation, free movement of capital across state boundaries, arms sales, corporate welfare, privatisation of public services, export guarantees, tied aid, limiting workers’ rights, de-regulation, ‘competition’, sustainable development, national ‘security’, Treasury and Defence ministries and foreign services
International Agencies and Treaties, IM.F., World Bank, World Trade Organisation, EU, World Economic Forum, North American Free Trade Area.
Opinion Manipulation, Official propaganda and corporate public relations, political campaigns and elections, advertising, “bogey-men”, state security apparatus, education, selective news coverage, free-market foundations and think-tanks.
The key components of the Gaian Democracy model are outlined in the 'flower' above and linked in the Footer below. As 'an ensemble', they offer an alternative political-economic-ecological system with which the Global Monetocracy would be totally re-configured and the worst of the calamities confronting the human family overcome.
Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation and People-Power received many compliments but many of its admirers wanted to know, "How are you going to set about the virtually impossible task of replacing the the Global Monetocracies with Gaian Democracies?"
You can see how I answer that question in the Introduction to Leading the Gaian Revolution: Common Sense for Desperate Times.
The publication of Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation and People-Power in 2003, coincided with the invasion of Iraq by the so-called coalition led by the USA and the UK. That event seemed to crystalise the anger that New Labour and the Bush oiligarchs had aroused in millions of citizens they had disenfranchised in the UK and the USA.
Since 2000, there has been an explosion of hundreds of radical political Blogs and Websites. Through them the people of the USA, in particular, have been able to share their concern and revulsion at Bush's domestic policies, the horrors of Iraq War, the lies and betrayals, Abu Graibh, Guantanamo, the legalisation of torture, New Orleans, the spinelessness of the Bush-Democrats in Congress and of the sycophantic journalists in the Mainstream Media. The voices opposing the militarisation of the USA's government, economy, business and education are growing ever louder. Polls consistently show that over 80% of US Citizens believe that their country is heading in the wrong direction.
Within the The Global Monetocracy's ruling elites, however, there are still powerful voices calling for the USA to pursue full-spectrum dominance over every other nation on Earth.
There are now millions of people in the USA, the UK and Europe who have come to believe that the political parties and governments they have trusted in the past are really operating against their interests. Their difficulty is that when it comes to elections, they still have to choose between - as someone put it - 'the evil of two lessers' and lack a viable alernative political home.In the UK, the New Labour project is in deep crisis and shows no signs of being able or willing to learn from its mistakes. The relentless growth of the Chinese and Indian economies is shifting the balance of economic power to the East. The re-assertion of Russia's regional ambitions by President Putin and his oiligarchs are a further challenge to traditional assumptions of political-economic hegemony by the West.
As for Latin America, the pace of political change has been incredible. True, the revelations of endemic corruption, and the business-friendly policies being pursued by the notionally-leftist Brazilian government of President Luiz da Silva have been a bitter disappointment to many of the millions who voted for the Workers'Party in 2002 and 2006. In Venezuela, in spite of being heavily criticized by many of his supporters for trying to make some very unwise constitutional changes, President Hugo Chavez and his social programmes and the concept of a Bolivarian Revolution continue to enjoy a high-level popular support. Bolivia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Nicaragua have all elected left-ist governments that are firmly opposed to neo-liberal economic agendas and reject every attempt by the USA to re-impose its control over their countries'economic and social policies. The once-mighty IMF's Loan Portfolio has shrunk from $96 Billion in 2004 to $20 Billion today of which only 3% is outstanding in Latin America.
Thus the new popular awareness that I had envisaged in 1997 has come to pass more or less on cue, not only in the UK, but to an astonishing extent in the USA, the Englsh-speaking world, Europe and Latin America as well. Now, there are the millions of voters in the so called ´liberal democracies´ who are struggling to find, or even work out how to create, viable 21st century political movements that would enable their societies to respond effectively to the desperate times that lie ahead.
Leading the way, are the people in Latin America who already have dynamic social and political movements through which they are determined to throw off the yoke of the Global Monetocracy and bring about something they are calling '21st Century Socialism'. Precisely what 21st Century Socialism should mean, is still unclear. There is certainly very little enthusiasm for the totalitarian versions of Marxist socialism that failed so abysmally in the 20th Century. More positively, it is clear that many of advocates of 21st Century Socialism, believe that successfully transforming their societies depends on embedding their social, political and economic systems within a sustainable relationships with the land and the natural world (i.e. the Gaian Systems) on which their very existence depends.
Leading the Gaian Revolution: Commonsense for Desperate Times is intended to provide a basis for purposeful dialogue for all of those who aim to replace the Global Monetocracy with just and sustainable societies.