Timothy Wilken, MD
How will we make decisions in a synergic future? In today’s world 2002, it is assumed without question that majority rule democracy is the best way to organize humanity. To even offer a criticism of majority rule democracy is to invite an immediate and often emotional charged attack on oneself. We are quickly asked to choose between majority rule democracy or the dictatorships of communism/fascism. We are quickly reminded that if we don’t like it here in a majority ruled democracy, we are free to leave.
Majority rule democracy is clearly a major advance over the adversary systems of dictatorships—the rule by one, or oliarchies—the rule by the few.
Majority rule democracy in its purest form was found in the Ancient Greek city-states and Early Roman Republic, these were direct democracies in which all citizens could speak and vote in assemblies. This was possible because of the small size of the city-states almost never more than 10,000 citizens. However, even these Ancient democracys did not presuppose equality of all individuals; the majority of the populace, notably slaves and women, had no political rights at all. So even here the majority really did not rule.
In modern representative democracies we find the majority rule mechanism used to select our representatives, to make decisions within committees and to make decisions within the legislative bodies, however careful analysis reveals we really have rule by the few.
In the United States, we elect one president, 100 Senators and 435 Congressman. This is one President for ~271 million Americans. There are two Senators for each state. Senatorial representation would vary from one Senator for ~16 million Californians down to one Senator for ~350,000 Delawarians. The members of the first House of Representatives were elected on the basis of 1 representative for every 30,000 inhabitants, but at least 1 for each state. At present the size of the House is fixed at 435 members, elected on the basis of 1 representative for about 500,000 inhabitants. Our representatives do not even know us. If any Congressman met with 10 of his constituents every day for 365 days a year, it would take over 137 years for him just to meet all of them. And Congressmen are only elected for two year terms. If our Congressman don’t even know us how can they represent us?
Both houses facilitate business by the committee system, and each has a fixed number of permanent committees, called standing committees, the chief function of which is considering and preparing legislation.
As the United States grew in population and in influence in world affairs, the volume and complexity of the matters arising inCongress also increased. Due consideration to all matters submitted to the Congress could not be given in open debate on the floor of the Senate and House. As a result, the standing committees of the Congress became the arbiters of the fate of practically all legislation. There are 22 standing committees in the House and 16 standing committees in the Senate. Even though majority rule is used to make decisions in these committees once the decision is made the results are imposed on ~271,000,000 Americans.
Recently, the American people have attempted to exert their will by making use of ballot initiatives. Almost always if these initiatives are not popular with the Few that Rule, they are quickly dismantled. In November of 1996, the majority of Californians voted for Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action, Proposition 215, which legalized medical use of marijuana, and Proposition 187, which denied legal benefits to illegal immigrants. By January of 1997, all three were hung up in the courts or in a jurisdictional squabble with the federal government. None was close to being enforced. By May of 1998, Proposition 215, the Marijuanna for Medical Use Initiative which passed by a 56% majority throughout the state and by an 80% majority in San Francisco has all but been dismantled by the Few who Rule. They had succeeded in closing the majority of the medical marijuanna clinics which had opened throughout the state, and were pressing criminal charges against many of those involved in the clinics. Obviously, the majority does not rule in California. This fact is not lost on the electorate.More more citizens have realized that voting in our representative democracy does not make any difference. For despite the fact that our American Goverment is more and more intrusive in our lives, we are less and less interested in pretending that our voting makes any real difference.
Voter turnout has been declining steadily since 1960. And as reported in the Wall Street Journal for November 9, 2000:
“Overall voter turnout for this week’s election barely budged despite nearly $1 billion of campaign television advertisements and the closest presidential contest in decades.
“About 50.7% of the nation’s 200 million eligible voters cast ballots this week, marginally greater than the rock-bottom level seen in 1996, but significantly lower than the 1992 level, said Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. Four years ago, only 49% of those qualified to vote actually did so, the lowest turnout since 1924. By contrast, some 55% of the electorate went to the polls in 1992’s close race between Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush.”
Seeking Synergic Government
However, even if we had direct democracies using majority rule, it would not be a synergic form of govenment. In fact, if we use the criteria of prohibition of loss, majority rule democracy is not even a neutral form of government. In majority rule democracy, the minority often loses. As Andrew J. Galambos writes:
“The word Democracy comes from the Greek words which mean “rule of the people.” However, the practice of Democracy can be no better than the understanding of the concept of “rule of the people.” Over the past 2,000 years, most people have come to accept without question or reservation the idea that Democracy means the ability of the people to choose their mode of social organization by means of majority vote.
“The political concept of Democracy arose as a consequence of counting yeas and nays on particular issues and than selecting the men who would decide how issues were to be resolved. Whichever man could muster the choice of more persons than his opposition could muster became the dominant person for the society. This was and is nothing more than an application of the old dictum, might makes right.
“This concept of Democracy (which prevails to this day) relies upon the ability of the winning political leaders to count upon the support of more people than their losing opponents. However, this concept does nothing to ensure the protection of the property, hence, the freedom of those who may disagree. Furthermore, those who may be in the majority with respect to a given issue or political candidate will eventually find themselves in the minority with respect to other issues or candidates. In the long run, therefore, everyone loses. This concept of Democracy eventually breaks down and leads to a destruction of freedom.”
Rule by the Majority
In today’s “FREE” world all political decisions are made using majority rule democracy. The the group deciding may be small—a committee faced with solving some particular problem, or large—the entire voting electorate of a nation choosing a President. Regardless of the size of the group deciding, decision is made when one faction within the group achieves a simple majority. That faction wins the minority faction loses. Majority rule consensus requires only a simple majority to force the minority—the losing voters to accept the position of the majority—the winning voters. There is no need to gain the agreement of all of the members.There is no need to prevent the minority from losing.
Majority rule democracy of which the committee is the most common example is filled with political intrigue and back room deals to obtain majority concensus and defeat the minority. This often results in the dark art of politics which makes strange bedfellows. Even when the majority wins they are not assured of the cooperation of the minority. Often the minority may only support the elected plan half-heartedly, or even seek to sabotage the plan they didn’t vote for since they feel they are losing anyway.
Compared to dictatorship—the rule by one, or olioarchy—the rule by a few, majority rule democracy—the rule by most is clearly a much fairer way. It should come as no surprise then that majority rule democracy is so attractive to Institutional Neutrality since fairness is one of Neutrality’s highest values.
While it should now be clear to the reader that Neutral political-economic systems are better for humanity then Adversary political-economic systems. Representative democracy’s Rule by the Few is also better for humanity then a dictatorship’s rule of by one. But the advantages that Neutrality and majority ruled Representative democracy have over Adversary dictatorships does not mean there is nothing better for Humanity
Unanimous Rule Democracy
Synergic consensus is a much more powerful mechanism of decision making than the majority rule of present day democracy.
Synergic consensus occurs when a group of humans sitting in heterarchy negotiate to reach a decision in which they all win and in which no one loses. In a synergic heterarchy, all members sit on the same level as “equals”. No one has more authority than anyone else. Every one has equal responsibility and equal authority within the heterarchy. The assignment for the heterarchy is to find a plan of action so that all members win. It is the collective responsibility of the entire heterarchy to find this “best” solution. Anyone can propose a plan to accomplish the needs of the group. All problems related to accomplishing the needs would be discussed at length within the heterarchy.
The proposed action for solving a problem is examined by all members of the heterarchy. Anyone can suggest a modification, or even an alternative action to solve the problem. All members of the heterarchy serve as information sources for each other. The heterarchy continues in discussion until a plan of action is found that will work for everyone. When all are in agreement and only then can the plan be implemented. The plan insures that all members of the synergic heterarchy win. All members are required to veto any plan where they or anyone else would lose. But all vetoes are immediately followed by renegotiation to modify the plan so the loss can be eliminated.
All members of a synergic heterarchy are equal. They share equal responsibility for the actions chosen by the group. They share equal authority in the process of choosing those actions. When individuals work together in synergic relationship to a accomplish a common goal. They are considered as a single system.
When individuals work together in synergic relationship, new abilities, skills, talents, etc., emerge as a part of that relationship, that are not there when the individuals work separately. The individuals working in synergic group are more efficient, more productive, more creative, and more intelligent, than they are when working separately. The result of their synergy is that they create “more” together than they could create apart. This wealth that produced by “working together” was called the CoOperator’s surplus by synergic scientist Edward Haskell.
When individuals work together in synergic relationship, they equally contribute to the synergic emergents, and will share equally in the Co-Operators’ surplus. Haskell’s “Co-Operators Surplus” is property and it is owned equally by all who synergized within the synergic group to create it.
What happens in a synergic group when finding a win is impossible?
Synergic science realizes and accepts there will be times and situations where loss is unavoidable. When this occurs synergic mechanism dictates that the group accept reality and focus on minimizing the loss, and then share the loss equally. In synergy, we are one. In synergy are equal. In synergy we strive to win together. But if we are forced to lose, then we will lose together—this means we will share equally in the loss.
1) In synergy, I am ONE with my associates.
2) In synergy, I am MORE with my asscociates than by myself.
3) In synergy, I am EQUAL to all my associates.
4) In synergy when we WIN, I will win MORE with my associates than by myself and I will share equally in the GAINS.
5) In synergy, when we LOSE, I will lose LESS with my associates than by myself and I will share equally in the LOSSES.
6) In synergy, we will win together or lose together, but we are TOGETHER.
Is Unanimous Rule Democracy Feasible?
Synergic consensus is unanimous consensus. I can hear the objections now. “That’s impossible, you will never get everyone in the group to agree.” “Decisions will never get made.” “It is hard enough to get a majority to agree.”
A Japanese business heterarchy is slower at making decisions than a single manager in an American business hierarcy. It takes longer for a group of individuals to discuss, negotiate, and come to agreement than it takes for a single American manager to decide all by himself. If the speed of making decisions is the only criteria for choosing a mechanism of decision making then the dictatorship—the rule by one is the clear standout.
However, humanity has moved beyond dictatorships for reasons of fairness and justice. Majority rule democracy is not a rapid decision making process. Individuals within a group deciding—whether the group is a small committee or a large nation choosing a President—are seeking to gain the majority of support. This takes time—sometimes a lot of time. Our national elections often take place over an entire year. The focus is on lining up votes—working deals—in a word—politics. This process is anything but rapid. If all decisions in American businesses were made by majority rule, decision making would probably be even slower than in Japanese companies using heterarchical consensus.
Synergic consensus is not availability to humanity today. We do not yet know how fast it will be at making decisions. But, I predict that unanimous rule democracy will prove faster than majority rule democracy. Synergic consensus elimates conflict. Recall conflict is the stuggle to avoid loss. Conflict is at the very heart of majority rule democracy. The focus of synergic consensus is very different. The entire group knows from the outset that they cannot lose. They are focused on choosing a plan of action that serves the needs of all the members in the group—to choose a plan of action that causes no one to lose. The synergic veto is not invoked capriciously. The only basis for synergic veto is to prevent someone from losing. This is a mechanism to eliminate loss—to choose the very best plan of action for everyone. This may well speed up the process of decison making. In any event regardless of the speed of decision, implimentation will be rapid. There is no conflict. This is a major advantage over majority rule democracy.
Life Utilizes Synergic Consensus
Today, mind and brain scientists have made enormous progress in understanding how the human brain works. There has been many surprises in these recent advances. But the biggest shocker is that the brain doesn’t decide what to do. Decision making is not controlled centrally in the brain. The mind-brain appears to act as a coordination and consensus system for meeting all the needs of the cells, tissues, and organs of the body. The brain doesn’t decide to eat. The cells of the body decide to eat, the brain coordinates their activity and carries out the consensus will.
Our human brain stores the gathered information from the body’s sensing of its environment, the brain presents opportunities for action reflective of both the sensing of environment and the needs and goals of the 40,000,000,000 cells it serves. The brain is not the leader of the body, it is the follower of the body. It is a system that matches needs of the body with its sensing of opportunities to meet these needs by action within the environment. The brain is a ‘synergic government’ that truly serves its constituents—the cells, tissues, and organs that make up the human body. The body is governed by a unanimous rule democracy that has survived millions of years.
The apparent ‘I’ is not real. It is really a ‘we’. We humans have mistaken the self-organization of synergic consensus for the directed organization of an ego decider.
If the human body can using unanimous rule democracy and synergic consensus can organize and coordinate the actions of 40,000,000,000 cells so totally that we identify the whole organism as a single idividual, then we humans should be able to use these same mechanisms to organize our species and solve our human problems.
Well if majority rule democracy is obsolete and no longer the best system of human government, what other things do we believe that are equally wrong?
To be continued…
References and Acknowledgements:
Barbara Hubbard originally coined the term Synocracy to refer to a not yet defined future system of “rule by the people” in a co-Operative society.
< http://www.peaceroom.org/ >
Andrew J. Galambos, Thrust for Freedom #7 —What is True Democracy?, Free Enterprise Institute, 1963