Posts Tagged ‘sociocracy’

About the Cooperative

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

erup-laki-vulcanoOn 8 June 1783 the Laki Volcano in Iceland erupted. During 9 months the volcano produced an estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide.

This amount was ten-times more than the amount that now comes from all of western European industrial sources in a year.

The Explosion of the Laki Vulcano triggered the Explosion of the French Revolution.

The cloud of sulfur dioxide in combination with a very strong El-Niño Cycle brought Extreme Weather Conditions for several years all over Europe. A huge amount of cattle and crops were destroyed causing extreme faminine and poverty.

french_revolutionThe great French revolution of 1789-1799 involved the most massive popular struggles that had yet been seen in history.

Rooted in popular hatred of an oppressive monarchy, the revolution rose on the backs of the masses of poor people in Paris who united under the banner of ‘liberty, equality and community’.

Liberty is no more than an empty shell when one class of men is allowed to condemn another to starvation without any measures being taken against them. And Equality is also an empty shell when the rich, by exercising their economic monopolies, have the power of life or death over other members of the Community” (The Red Priest, Jaques Roux).

The term “socialism” appeared in print in England in 1827. Five years later, the term was used for the first time in a French publication.

Socialism is a product of the Industrial revolution in England and the French Revolution.

One of the creations of the Socialistic Movement is the Cooperative. A Cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. A Cooperative is the embodiment of the primary goals of the Revolution Liberty, Equality and Community.

rochdale_pioneersIn 1844 a group of 28 artisans working in the cotton mills in the town of Rochdale, in the north of England established the first modern co-operative business, the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society.

The weavers faced miserable working conditions and low wages, and they could not afford the high prices of food and household goods. They decided that by pooling their scarce resources and working together they could access basic goods at a lower price. Initially, there were only four items for sale: flour, oatmeal, sugar and butter.

The Pioneers decided it was time shoppers were treated with honesty, openness and respect, that they should be able to share in the profits that their custom contributed to and that they should have a democratic right to have a say in the business.

Every customer of the shop became a member and so had a true stake in the business. At first the co-op was open for only two nights a week, but within three months, business had grown so much that it was open five days a week. Within ten years there were over 1,000 co-operative societies in the United Kingdom.

RaiffeisenWilhelm Raiffeisen founded the first cooperative lending bank, a credit union, in 1864.

In 1867 Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch, a German liberal politician, obtained passage of a Prussian Law protecting Cooperative Associations. The Credit Unions evolved into a system of Cooperative Banking and Cooperative Insurance.

What Happened?

The explosion of the Laki Vulcano triggered the French Revolution. The slogan of this revolution, liberty, equality and community, has inspired many other revolutions all over the world until today.

The French Revolution was a revolution of the Underclass. It failed in the sense that the Calvinistic Bourgeoisie, the Middle Class, the owners of the Small and Medium sized Companies, took over the power from the Aristocracy.

The Bourgeoisie took advantage of the poor, mostly unemployed, Underclass to create a new system of Dominance, the Capitalistic system. In this system the poor slaves were forced to do productive work in the factories. The capitalistic elite invented new (The Consumer, Mass Media) systems to prohibit a new revolution.

russian revolutionIn the other countries (China, Russia, Cuba …) the revolutions of the underclass also failed. The old pattern of mass manipulation by a small elite always returns.

At this moment we see a new System of Dominance emerging. It is the fusion of Capitalism and Fascism, The Big Brother State.

The Big Brother State is using Mass Manipulation strategies in combination with Computer Technology (Pattern Recognition) and Mind Control.

The only successful Social and Socialistic System that emerged out of the French Revolution is the Cooperation.

This system has improved itself by introducing new structures based on Second Order Cybernetics (The Spiraling Organization) and new ways to create shared collaborative decisions (The Consent Principle, Sociocracy).

When Cooperations are too big the burocrats take over control. The Active members of the cooperative change into Voters. The old pattern of mass manipulation by a small elite always returns. Succesfull cooperations have to be based on a Human and a Local Scale.

What to Do?

The big burocratic corporations are unable to sustain in a huge crisis. The cooperative banks were never able to start highly risky financial gambling games. The principles of Rochdale prevent this.

At this moment the cooperative (now called a community) is on its return. Internet technology is created to support the cooperative. Cooperatives on a human scale (!) can be connected into big powerfull global networks.

I believe the French Revolution has finally reached its goal.

Arise, wretched of the earth
Arise, convicts of hunger
Reason thunders in its volcano
This is the eruption of the end
Of the past let us wipe the slate clean
Masses, slaves, arise, arise
The world is about to change its foundation
We are nothing, let us be all
This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race

(The Internationale)


The history of Socialism by Friedrich Engels

About Third Order Cybernetics

About Calvinism

About Sociocracy and the Consent Principle

About the Invisible Fascist State

About Neo-Capitalism and Fascism

About Sociocracy

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Kees Boeke was the teacher of the children of Queen Juliana. In 1945 just after the end of the Second World he wrote a document in Dutch with the title “What have we learned and where to go“?

At the end of his analysis he comes to the conclusion that the main problem was Democracy. Before the Second World War the Democratic System was unable to solve the problems in Society. Members of Parliament were constantly discussing and blocking each others proposals snnothing really happened.

In this document he evaluates the period 1930-1945. It is impossible to translate the whole document in English. His analysis is impressive and sad to say very applicable to our current situation.

Kees Boeke proposed a new system called Sociocracy. Sociocracy is based on the practices of the Quakers. Just like the Quakers Kees Boeke believed that when people are inspired by the Holy Ghost or The Inner Light they will be guided to a state of “consent”.

His idea is to create “circles” of about 150 people and to close these circles in higher order circles when a decision has a big impact. Every circle has to take into account the higher good of the whole of all circles.

Kees Boeke formulated the basic Rules of Sociocracy.

1. The interests of all members must be considered, the individual bowing to the interests of the whole.

2. No action can be taken if there are no solutions found that everyone can accept.

3. All members must be ready to act according to these unanimous decisions.

Later the ideas of Kees Boeke were taken over by one of his pupils Gerard Endenburg. He applied sociocracy in his factories. Endenburg combined cybernetics and sociocracy.

He formulated new rules:

1. Consent governs policy decision-making. Consent means there are no argued and paramount objections to a proposed decision.

2. Circles are the primary governance unit. Circles are semi-autonomous and self-organizing. Within their domain, they make policy decisions; set aims; delegate the functions of leading, doing, and measuring to their own members; and maintain their own memory system and program of ongoing development.

3. Circles are connected by a double-link consisting of the functional leader elected by the next higher circle, and two or more representatives elected by the circle, all of whom participate fully in both circles.

4. People are elected to functions and tasks by consent after open discussion.

Sociocracy became a big success and has spread all over the world. It is, in my opinion, the best approach to solve the immense problems of our current time.


About Autarky

About Cooperation

About the Cooperative

About Cybernetics

About Resonance