SuperCompetent Democracies Prologue Gaian Democracies
Dissolving Neoliberalism, Managerialism and Elitism
This book proposes that our societies will have to become 'Super-Competent Democracies' in order to learn how to manage the immensely complex challenges and threats that we are facing.
The purpose of the book is to explain why and howSuper-Competent Democracies have to emerge so that our societies can become increasingly just and increasingly sustainable.
The world we live in and depend upon is immensely complex and so are the problems, the threats and the challenges that we face. Because they are complex, they cannot be solved with the lavish application of technological ingenuity and human resources as we can with 'simple' problems such as building a bridge or 'complicated' problems such as putting a man on the moon.
As David Snowden and Mary E.Boon said in A leader's framework for decision making, (Harvard Business Review: November 2000)
Complex problems involve large numbers of interacting elements
The interactions are nonlinear, and minor changes can produce disproportionately major consequences.
The system is dynamic, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and solutions can’t be imposed; rather, they arise from the circumstances.
They emphasise that tackling complex problems requires "A deep understanding of context, the ability to embrace complexity and paradox, and a willingness to flexibly change leadership style." Indeed by treating complex problems as if they were simple or complicated leads to the emergence of disastrously chaotic outcomes, of which there are multitudes of florid examples at every level from the local to the global. By contrast, by applying ensembles of 'Super-Competencies' complex problems can be dissolved, as the great management cybernetician Stafford Beer says in 'Decision and Control'. (1966)
All of the 'Super-Competencies' we can use to dissolve the complex ecological, economic, social and political challenges and threats we are facing have been tried and tested and rigorously evaluated over the past fifty years or so.
However, while learning how to dissolve those problems, we will also have to dissolve three great ideological obstacles to their implementation: Neoliberalism, Managerialism and Elitism. The anti-human, anti-nature and anti-democratic systems that have been created by these three ideologies are herding the whole of the human family, and much of the natural world to the brink of chaos and extinction.
Why and how these ideologies combine to present a lethal danger to the future of the human family and the natural systems on which we depend is detailed in the first half of the book.
The why and how of Super-Competent Democracies will be detailed in the second half.
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