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With a certain frequency I am being asked to revise PhD studies as a totally independent and more or less unbiased provider of critical feedback. When I started to experiment with new ways of viewing society, human behavior and sustainable progress I came to defining Sustainocracy. This I did at first within the scope of transforming the old society into a new one. However, when I got into more profound analysis of the secrets of life and evolutionary patterns in nature, I could see it all coming back in economies and the development of states too. Sustainocracy became not just a transformative practicality but also a holistic approach to ever changing realities in which growth, competition, adaptation and harmony are logical components that surround us all the time but also occur to us all the time.
A recent study of a friend determined that “the democratic State” is capable of self reflection but incapable of transforming itself. The theory of an effective state has been described by many, starting with Plato in ancient Greek development of the early Democracy. The practical reality shows however how ineffectively the concept of “State” evolves by reacting just to circumstances without challenging its own self. “We don’t want vision” our Dutch prime minister reflected recently in an interview “Vision is costly and risky”. The lack of transformative capabilities of a State, that a business does show to have if equipped with the right leadership and need, has to do with the democracy itself, the ancient perceived territorial power, the organization of the state as sole producers and keepers of local laws (Rights? Justice?) and the way people behave when in power. The consequence today is that “the state” becomes impossible to manage, full of contradictions and subcultures, bureaucracy and exponentially expensive. The only way governance and the state seem to be able to react to the need of transformative change is when demolished by chaos and war, interestingly enough caused by this incapacity of change of the State itself.
The modern issue we find is that we are in the process of redefining the meaning of “State”. In the globalization of economic interests no state has full governance over its own territory or population anymore. Natural resources, human migrations, finances, climate changes, transactions, productivity, logistics, interests, etc are all mingled into a patchwork of stressful relationships. These cause many local consequences that need to be addresses by the local communities (global issues, local solutions) but can hardly be influenced or transformed by the local governmental reality. Meetings of G20, G7 and whatever G only show differences and the only commonality being their own individual lack of government stability. It is all a show case of territorial power without content or remains of a foundation. They can try to determine economic growth processes but they cannot divert local crises that occur as a consequence. Stress is building up in the world due to the incapability of the concept of government to transform itself, just like my friend’s paper suggested. The world does not need to change, governance needs to transform. And it is.
I am a happy outsider. I see those governments still act as if they were each Julius Caesar sitting over a territory, playing with the boundaries and determining the rules within their confinements interacting with their own senates that carry “knifes under their robes”. They act as if they are monopolistic leaders over a community when interacting with others while at home they live in chaos and crumbling authority. Their state is no state anymore, it is a legal authority that governs open boundaries and local taxes, reacting to problems rather than facilitating progress and calling out for economic growths to be able to finance their deficits. A new reality is becoming active while the old falls apart. This new reality has has little to do with States, or their governance, accept maybe the blockage of progress it currently exerts over the new reality to which it is locally blind and deaf.
The “new state” is a cooperative, not a local monopoly. The purpose of the territorial cooperation is to create wellness for its residents, not through transaction driven interaction with other countries. To do so responsibility has to be taken together. A “State” 3.0 is a territorial confinement in which 4 key specialized parties interact based on equality, authority and trust and with sustainable human wellness and progress as common purpose. Issues like health, safety, self sufficiency, wellness, food, water, etc are a common responsibility, not a commercial infrastructure accessible to the one that can afford it. It is all accessible to the ones that make it happen, together. Involved in this cooperative are these 4: local government from a common resources and basic territorial regulations perspective, entrepreneurship in terms of creativity and innovation, science for knowledge development, application and education and the local population for the local productivity, cohesion and culture.
This new state than develops a territorial identity of progress and combined content power. It is not about the soil but the human productivity and interaction. In essence this already evolves this way but still is being blocked by the old structures of dominant power, financial dependencies on global economies and lacking true authority due to lack of connecting or commitment to progress, just to power. It is not just government that needs to let go, the other three pillars need to learn how to take responsibility too, rather than avoiding it. We see then a historically huge process of transformation going on where inability of government to change is compensated by the modern and growing ability of the surroundings to gradually demand space and a new relationship. We have a long way to go still and a lot of stress. Meanwhile many people in power in each of the four fragments that shape the “State of Tomorrow” learn that they gain in authority when they let go of power and connect to others to establish a purpose driven regional cooperative. They learn how to behave both in the specialized executive fragment and the transformative cooperative. The more they dare to let go the stronger the community gets.
Precedents here in Holland (and specifically Eindhoven) have a name (AiREAS, GroZ, VE2RS, STIR, etc) as they address specific issues. They are considered by all participants as experiments into a new reality. The entire new way of addressing local responsibilities and growth in a territorial cooperative I have called Sustainocracy as it also redefines democracies. Through all the difficulties around the world we are not just witnessing the “Transformation of States”, we are making it happen together!