Many of the world’s existing institutions and social structures are beginning to transform. Across nearly every category, power is moving from the center of the system to the edges.
Under the old paradigm we were working under a “pyramid” shaped societal control structure with the majority of power concentrated at the top. It looked something like this:
—–Top Of Pyramid Of Control—–
Banks and Financial Institutions
Multinational Corps (eg. Energy, Military, Chemical/Pharmaceutical, Media, Manufacturing)
Lobbyists, Special Interest Groups
Education, Legal, Healthcare, Infrastructure
Small Business, Community Organizations
Welfare and Social Assistance Recipients
Nomadic, Indigenous, Subsistence Agriculture
Plants and the Rest of Nature
—–Bottom Of Pyramid Of Control—–
While some may argue that other important groups exert control over society, the ones listed above are the most visible.
Trends Shaping The New Earth
Numerous trends and technologies are gradually moving power from a top down pyramid shaped social structure to a flatter, decentralized, network-based social structure.
What are these trends and technologies that are moving the world toward decentralization?
- Local, organic, community-based agriculture
- Renewable, consumer oriented energy (solar panels, battery tech)
- Peer-to-peer sharing services (Uber, Airbnb)
- Peer-to-peer finance (Digital Currencies, Lending Clubs, Crowdfunding)
- Peer-to-peer work/hiring services (Fiverr, Task Rabbit)
- Alternative health and personal care (Essential Oils, Herbal Remedies, Energy Healing Techniques)
- Peer-to-peer media and publishing (Internet, Social Media)
- Localized Manufacturing/3D Printing
Of course there are many other trends not listed here, but the idea is that individuals, communities, and peer-to-peer networks are the wave of the future.
This new social system is putting pressure on large, established industrial giants. Those of us who are paying attention know that this transformation is happening on the planet right now in slow motion.
One of the most obvious signs that the movement toward a decentralized social structure is gaining steam is demonstrated by the enormous pressure that is currently being exerted on the top of the pyramid power system. Central banks have begun to directly intervene in all kinds of markets, pushing interest rates negative, and purchasing assets outright in order to keep the entire structure together. Without this direct intervention to prop up the banking and financial markets, the entire economy as we know it would stop functioning. This fact is well known and is by no means “conspiracy”.
Another clear sign that times are changing is the breakdown of OPEC and subsequent crash in oil price. At the root of this decline is the emergence of renewable energy as a clearly superior energy source. Most of the new funding related to energy is going in to solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies. For example, Elon Musk talks about electric cars and homes with solar powered roofs. THIS is the type of technology that will move power, both figuratively and literally, from the center to the edges of our social paradigm.
Yet another example of the paradigm shift in motion is the domination of new tech media giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter that are beginning to overshadow established mainstream news outlets. In the very near future, similar systems will be implemented using blockchain technology that will further decentralize our media and empower individual expression, freedom of speech, and fundraising, thus putting even more power into the hands of the individual and local communities.
As our social and business structures become redefined, the old paradigm will gradually (or in some cases, not so gradually) wither and die. We will have to come up with new governance structures and business models to adapt to the reality that things have changed.
As individuals, communities, and globally interconnected peer-to-peer networks gain more power, our current system of government will not be able to fund itself. This is already a substantial problem, but so far, central banks have seen to it that most governments are “too big to fail”. At least for now, central banks can continue to print more money when required.
However, history has shown that once a state depends on central bank intervention for its survival, real economic growth is limited at best, and, at worst, the activity cripples the economy, forcing a financial reset.
A New Vision For Planetary Governance
While far from “perfect”, I have developed a brief outline of what an “awakened” or “conscious” planetary system of governance might look like. While I typically subscribe to voluntaryism as a theoretical model for planetary governance, the following model helps to sketch out what that might actually look like in practice, given where we currently are as a civilization.
My proposal for the future of planetary governance looks something like this:
Nation states are abolished. National borders are opened. Planetary citizens may move about the Earth freely and unobstructed.
Instead of national governments, global governance would be broken down into two levels: regional councils and city-state governance.
Regional councils would manage geographical areas determined not by arbitrary national borders but by natural ecological zones (eg. Amazon Rainforest). I am no expert in this area, but I expect there are many qualified experts who could determine which are the most important ecological zones and divide the world into those zones. I am sure this has already been done, it is just a matter of deciding which zones shall be considered large and cohesive enough to warrant a formal group of representatives (council) to make decisions related to these zones. Regional governance would be in charge of rehabilitating, conserving, and protecting these ecological zones. The individuals running these zones would of course be elected by citizens living in those zones.
City states would be managed similar as they are today, but without the Federal/State/Provincial/County levels of government to deal with. That’s correct, there would be no federal governments or state governments! City states would be free to make their own rules, charge their own taxes and fees, offer their own social services, and run things the way their residents deem fit via democratic voting mechanisms. City states could be any size so even relatively small towns could become sovereign city-states.
The emergence of independently sovereign city-states would create a somewhat competitive yet balanced environment where towns and cities would do their best to serve their citizens and attract more citizens. If cities no longer became desirable, people could freely leave and become a citizen of a different city state.
While I am not personally a fan of living in large cities, the city-state model has already shown great success with cities like Singapore and Hong Kong (albeit with incredible pollution problems but these will be overcome with electric vehicles and other technological advancements). Today’s city-states have developed very user friendly, efficient, and effective levels of service for their residents. The main reason city states like Hong Kong and Singapore work so well is because they are largely unhindered by higher levels of government (federal and state) dictating what they can or should do.
Large cities all over the globe continue to develop and gain in prominence because other people seem to like them, or at least they seem to serve many purposes that people value. Large global cities like London, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto and others seem to have a life of their own. Something like 80% of the world’s population currently live in large cities like these, so what I am proposing, which would greatly empower cities around the world would not require any major changes to the way people are currently living.
In network parlance, city-states would work like “nodes” – densely concentrated centers of power that are spread broadly across the entire network (planet) whereby no single node can exert enough force to greatly influence the network as a whole, but would have a great deal of control over what transpires within its own territory.
Since national borders would no longer exist, we would no longer require federal governments. We would not need military, immigration, border control, social assistance, or any of these federal “services”, although each city-state would have its own security or police force and other institutions.
Any type of governance that citizens demanded could be implemented by city-states. For example, if roads needed to be built, it would be up to the appropriate city states to make agreements to connect their cities by road (or pay to fix an existing one). Smaller cities and towns could also develop on their own roads like any other city state.
City states would only answer to regional-level governance councils whose prime role would be to conserve the environment and ecological resources of the planet (and, in particular, the land surrounding each city-state). Each city state within a given region would have some representation at or within these councils. City states would be able to lease surrounding land for agriculture purposes from the appropriate regional councils but would be encouraged to adopt urban farming and other techniques to produce food for their residents.
One might assume that some city states would be immediately advantaged over others, leading to a rapid influx of new citizens, For example, one might fear that residents of Tijuana, Mexico would flood into San Diego, but, to some degree, this is already the case. While there would probably be temporary upheaval in certain cities, as conditions in a particular city state evolve and change, residents could migrate to other city states and eventually things would balance out. A city state could, in theory, build a wall around their city, but my guess is that more open cities would eventually win out as the “walled garden” theory has proven to eventually fail in any network based system. More people will always prefer a more open system.
With no national system of governance, currency creation and distribution would be managed globally through open source blockchain based currencies like such as Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is already seeing the emergence of thousands of digitally interchangeable currencies, tokens, and assets which can cross borders, peer-to-peer, quickly and cheaply. These currencies and digital assets would effectuate trade globally between global citizens without the need for city-state nor federal oversight.
The beauty of this new style of governance is that it could be feasibly done using today’s existing infrastructure (I don’t believe it to be so far fetched an idea, like a world without any governance whatsoever might be. The model described herein may also be a good stepping stone to whatever future style of governance might emerge thereafter). We already have cohesive municipal governments all over the world, each with their own style of governance. And we have already identified the planet in terms of important ecological zones, so most of the work is already done.
How To Get From Here To There
How would we convince national and state/provincial governments to disband and release their power?
While it may seem impossible for national borders to ever come down, the creation of the EU effectively removed national borders, a feat that would have seemed impossible during WW II only 50 years prior. While I don’t hold the EU as an exemplary model of appropriate governance, it does show us that national borders can become less relevant as time passes (eventhough Mr. Trump might think differently).
At some point, world leaders will realize the game has changed. In reality, right at this moment, all national governments are effectively insolvent and are being propped up by unfettered money creation by their central banks. It is quite possible that some sort of financial bankruptcy event could force this type of change in governance to take place. It would take a ground swell of global inhabitants and cooperation of current nations to ensure this type of transition ran smoothly.
The shift to regional and city-based governance need not be all that dramatic. A lot of what is currently federal and state governance would be moved to either regional or city-state, but generally the overall government structure would be a fraction of the size it is today. Freedom would be greatly increased. War within and between nations would end. Taxes would shrink. Localized governance would be vastly more effective and efficient than bloated nationalism. Ecosystems could be managed and preserved without nationalism getting in the way. This new paradigm would lead us toward the new world of peace and harmony we all deserve and came here to build. Even if these concepts take decades or centuries to evolve they are worth visualizing right now.