Next Steps for Activists and Everyone Who Cares
I will not play tug o' war.
I'd rather play hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
and everyone grins,
and everyone cuddles,
and everyone wins.
~ Shel Silverstein
We can keep waiting for and working for our special issue to attract everyone, and fail.
Or, we can organize large scale the same way we organize small scale: deciding, acting and staying together, and succeed at the most important thing, ever.
What if we governed ourselves and our world as if we were all a huge, healthy group of friends? So far, such Utopian schemes have always seemed dreamy and futile. We instinctually fear them, like a shark fin coming at us.
But humanity has new means. Now, finally, we have the means to build and maintain a just and sustainable life for millions of generations to come. We await our own maturity, just steps away.
If humanity and the biosphere are to thrive, we concerned people must now behave like the Super Power we could be, using massive, ongoing, non-violent, loving action.
he next step, is learning to act together in huge numbers.
We must organize as many of us as possible into a well-directed, ongoing movement. Bigger than any movement ever.
Via representatives, we must start deciding together what will work, and start doing it with large enough numbers to quickly test ideas and improve on them. We must manage the movement, and then the world, like a healthy mom runs a family.
And once we start, we must never stop.
Humans live in a network of relationships that circles the planet and interweaves us all. We are each connected to planetary society like a brain cell, each linked to thousands of others.
But the human body politic lies freezing, half-conscious in an icy gutter. Parts of the body, parts of the brain and the heart, YELL at rest of the body to WAKE UP AND GET UP!
We all share the goal of living well. We have yet to coordinate and work together for this goal. But we could.
Sociocracy is the best way to self govern. It's what we already do instinctively in small numbers, cooperating as one living, self-governing organism.
Sociocracy is a formalization of the ways people in healthy groups and networks get along and get things done. Some of us have experienced it in larger numbers, and it's beautiful, like falling in love, making us feeling intensely well, safe and powerful.
Sociocracy enables us to think together, combining the power of our collective experience and intelligence. Sociocracy gives groups of friends, representatives, communities, movements, everyone, a process for planning and acting together, fairly and deliciously.
What solutions will we develop when we're 6.8 billion times smarter?
WE'RE SCARED, BUT WE STILL DECLARE A LOVE WAR!
Planning a revolution, even a love revolution scares us. We fear repression, retaliation, poverty, violence, assassination. Of course we do. It's happened so many times before.
But, sociocracy, common sense and kindness require that everyone's objections must be respected, even the objections of the powerful, rich oppressors who scare us. No one really need fear this kind of revolution. It's just non-violence and love. For everyone.
No one may be abused or neglected, not even Dick Cheney. He's like our abused, angry, half-crazy, stoned 13 year old kid with a gun. Our son. We must offer him so much happiness and love that he'll eagerly toss us the keys to the armies.
This movement is non-violent, love-based and will make everyone happier and safer. Everyone wants to be attacked and defeated in a love war.
Even the most brutal, rich, powerful corporate criminal wants this r-evolution to succeed.
We are organizing the world for everyone: a big healthy tribe, family, village, with no throw-away people, including the persecutors whom the present law would prosecute.
We must publicly, legally, honestly, convincingly commit to amnesty for everyone and reconciliation amongst everyone: doing everything with the full consent of all sane adults!
Everyone must be cared for and included.
We must make it clear from the start that no one will violently or forcefully take the rich folks' guns or money. Everyone's reasonable objections and proposals will be respected.
Everyone will choose this because it will make them happier, even the 1,057 people on earth who are billionaires and might have to forgo their 17th yacht.
How? I repeat, because it's so seemingly far-fetched an idea: We will make the rich and powerful an offer they can't refuse! We will produce a plan so sweet, safe and sure that the hyper-rich and powerful won't want to kill or imprison us -- they will embrace and support us. They will enthusiastically offer up some percentage of their massive wealth and power because they will gain a world in which they can relax, travel and be healthy -- no terrorism, war, kidnapping, toxins, carcinogens or sickening beggars.
We can call it a momocracy: the 13 year old son, the mentally ill, the destructive people will occasionally have to be therapeutically, lovingly restrained. But, like children, and like all of us, that's what they most deeply want and need anyway.
Of course, we internalize the oppressor. We become like our rapist and our scary parent. We fight against and among ourselves. This has been a most discouraging reality of mass movement history. But, sociocracy makes us very interested in the resistant ones among and inside us. It's like the one friend in the group who's allergic to everything in the restaurant the rest of us all prefer. He's a friend. We will find a way to meet his needs too.
Next Step Together, using sociocracy, embraces resistance. Loves it. We want to hear all the objections. Join this effort if you are ready to cooperate, to win, for a (social) change. When you come, bring all your edges. We want the whole catastrophe! Everyone has equivalent power and we have to work it out.
We want total, tentative commitment! We will start when there are enough of us to efficiently win our first Love Battle.
Some won't agree to act with us, and we will figure out how to meet their needs as well as we possibly can. It's not that complicated to act like a loving group of friends.
Let's create an overwhelming love attack from a GIGANTIC, SMART, FUN social justice movement, like a mother lovingly embracing her wailing child. What's needed is so many people organized for justice that resistance is futile and silly, like resisting mommy love, like resisting a future for the human race, like resisting the chance to stop abusing your child, like resisting growing up.
We are talking about something quite logical, familiar and simple but on a massive scale:
- Natural: like getting along, like organizing a picnic, or disarming a drugged-out teenager who's insane with rage.
- Beautiful: an elegant process that all of humanity will understand and embrace.
- Viral: quickly uniting humanity, easy, fair and exactly what we're ready for.
We are close to it. Very close.
- You already know the essentials of sociocracy, though the word is probably new. Another term for it is Dynamic Governance. It's mainly consent. It's the way you make decisions with those you know and trust. You don't ignore your friends and family. You compromise. You care. You experiment. You create. You get'er done! It adopts age-old methods of governing healthy, small groups of people, so that any number of people may self-govern.
- In sociocracy we keep steering roughly forward, trying out many new ideas, quickly letting go of failed attempts, never struggling for perfection.
- Decisions are made by everyone affected by the decision.
- Everyone involved has equivalent power -- or, really, as close to equivalence as we can negotiate and get consent for.
- We commit to truth and to holding no secrets. We do everything publicly, openly, transparently.
- We decide only in small groups -- circles -- where personal needs get met best.
- A Circle can only make a decision by consent. Consent does not mean that everybody agrees wholeheartedly on a proposal, just that everybody can live with it for a prescribed, limited period.
- Sociocracy is different from consensus in many ways, including that it works well with large numbers of people who don't know one another.
- Sociocracy is different from majority-rules democracy. The process satisfies minorities instead of outvoting and ignoring them until they want revenge! Everybody wins.
- Read more at Wikipedia
- Watch this: 18 Second Movie
- MEET with 3 or more friends, your Friend Circle.
- DECIDE: by CONSENTING to, OBJECTING to and MAKING proposals
- First DECIDE who you'd like to be your Representatives -- one or two people.
- Reps MAY JOIN Next Step Together (NST)
- DECIDE on people at the local, regional, national and global levels who best represent your group and CONSIDER ASKING them to JOIN Next Step Together.
- DO NOT necessarily elect your circle's leader or visionary to be your Rep. A representative SERVES the group. It's more work than honor. PICK people with available time (or buy their time) who are good with details, listen well and remember accurately what everyone else thinks.
- BE CAUTIOUS about electing those who dominate discussions or volunteer for the job.
- TRY this brilliant election method, it works wonders
- With the guidance Governance Alive, the Next Step Together staff helps coordinate Representative circles.
- NST provides meeting and decision-making guidelines and helps with any issues that circles encounter.
- NST keeps everyone informed about where the decision-making process is.
- Eight people is a good circle size. Four to twelve works.
- Consider choosing local people for your Friend Circle: friends, family -- people who understand each other. Meet in person with folks you know and trust; it makes communication easier.
- Circles may also meet by phone, or online. Distant and less-connected members may add expertise or perspective.
- Representatives who register at Next Step Together connect to a Regional Circle of Representatives, who consent on their own Reps.
- Regional Circles, Continental Circles and Global Circles connect everyone, discuss proposals and objections, and consent.
- Proposals and objections (decisions) must all come from at least four people.
- Proposals and objections must be both important and reasoned. If they are not, circles set them aside or improve them.
- Reaching consent means only that everybody can live with a decision, not that it's perfect.
- Keep the process moving. Few decisions will be everyone's first choice. Decisions must have a sunset date, may be changed anytime by consent, and must be reconsidered whenever there's an important, reasoned objection.