Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
For an introduction to this expanding meta-thread see Integral Anti-Capitalism pt I. We continue here because we have, hilariously, exceeded this website's capacity...
I agree that holacracy should be singled out for special investigation. The provocative notion that we are dramatically over-emphasizing the need for "conscious leadership" pertains very pertinently to this discussion. Robertson, like ourselves, is pointing to the fact that business (organizations) which integrally improve the interiors and cultural
spirit of their participants are still predisposed to certain outcomes as a result of their actual structural habits of communication and their specific decision-making protocols.
His notion of a constantly self-correcting dynamic organization drawing upon the capacity of individuals to act as tension-sensors relative to the "evolutionary purpose" of the organization is compelling and admirable.
More important is simply that he is making a stand and making an attempt to construct a protocol (constitution). I am not fully versed in the 4.0 version of the holacracy constitution but we should get deeper into some of these proposals.
Given the level of your current knowledge of their protocols, what would you want to change or add in order to ethically and functionally empower this approach even more?
I’m not yet familiar enough with holacracy to know it might need. So for now I’ll ask questions. From p. 8 there was a blog post on ownership and the model might (but not necessarily) include outside capital investors. I asked:
“One question immediately pops up on outside investors. Are there limits on the amount of outside capital investment? What if their investment is such that without it the company could not financially survive? And/or depends on it for start-up? Then such investment would control the company, like it or not. If you don't do what I say I'm taking my ball and going home. No ball, no ballgame. Not the same as a mortgage or loan company.”
Granted why such investors are included on the Board there are other stake-holders to balance their input. But are there rules about which outside individuals or companies can invest? Do they have to have similar values like triple bottom lines instead of just profit for their investors? Can a Goldman Sachs provide start-up capital? Or Romeny’s ex-firm, Bain? Just wondering, so perhaps it’s time for those out there more familiar with the system to engage us?
I appreciate your inquiry about the potential influence of outside investors in holacratic systems. Perhaps they have a good protocol for that. Or perhaps not. In general, all "smart groups" need to comprehend and anticipate the distortion influence that donors and enablers wield. The psychology of human nature shows that we may believe ourselves to be quite sturdy and impartial while we are really bending in the breeze.
One of the concerns I had while perusing the holacracy constitution was about the voting procedure for filling roles. There are many parts of their approach which impress. In particular I would like to make not of the necessity to place constraints upon discussion. When the mention of a concern is met with the mention of counter-concerns then the intelligence and practical efficacy of discussions drops dramatically. A highly suspicious mind might even supposed that the human hive is encouraged to engage in the constant casual usage of dysfunctional conversation. So their use of controlled phases in both operational and hiring decisions is admirable. However, their actual voting protocol seems (to my naive glance) to be based on a model of transparent majority. A sophisticated "show of hands".
So this may be an area in which holacratic principles can be expanded to include a more thorough use of "secret ballot" and "averaged ranking".
The former often seems like a show of bad faith and an invitation to covert dangers... but these are considerably outweighed by the liberation of individual intelligence from any conscious or unconscious concerns about the social consequences of their input.
The latter evades a primitive "first past the post" approach in which our intelligence is functionally limited to a yes/no determination about each candidate relative to other candidates.
Another thing I admire about holacracy is that it represents a functional procedure and culture in which participants would appear to become better participants by participating. Their capacity and ethical commitment to the good of the organization through its evolving protocols should be an increasing trend. Any smart group needs to be arranged so that even people who try to distort the results will find their capacity and will to do this reducing over time. Replaced by the inspirational efficacy of the group.
This brings me to another issue relative to voting, both in political and economic groups. That is the relative absence of specific instructions about how to translated ones feelings into a vote-mark. This is almost completely unaddressed in terms of popular elections. To discuss it even seems insidious to some people who fear coercion (and/or wish to maintain the current material power structures).
Protocols should have at least a clear suggestion about how to locate both "gut" and "intellectual" data within ourselves and convert that into a numerical value which can be contributed to a group decision. A lack of clarification at this critical junction may act as an invisible source of drag upon an otherwise very functional group organism.
It might even be possible to define an "integral-level organizational set up" for business or politics by simply compiling a list of areas in which intelligence and capacity are distorted. We might recall that most of Wilber's philosophy has emerged in levels correlated to his discovery of "fallacies" or "basic errors". Integral proposals about business and society could be all over the map unless there is a reasonable set of constraints that make sure they fall in the most lucrative zone.
So other than the potential influence of outside "helpers" and "donors" what other sources of distortion or inhibition do you see going mostly unaddressed in otherwise progressive groups?
My next question of holacracy is who came up with it? It seems to be the pet project of Brian Robertson, his own brainchild. I'm wondering if that is so of if it was a community or P2P project? I mean, the structure of holacracy itself calls for distributed decision-making but was the creation of holacracy itself derived from this process or mostly dictated by Robertson? I've yet to find an answer at the site so I posed this question to them via contact info. I'll provide the response if/when received. I think the answer is pivotal in determining if this thing called holacracy arose from its own medicine.
I look forward that answer if it is forthcoming. The notion of self-arising systems is something which haunts the periphery of these discussions. My fantasy is that we can devise a group protocol which so reliably and simply exceeds the cognitive capacity of the individual participants that it would be foolish to predetermine the purpose and nature of the group. Collectively we could a better job of determining what kind of a collective we should be. "Smartgroups" of this kind could then spread through the world in a very radical social uprising. How possible that is remains uncertain...
As I understand holacracy, the different companies making use of it are assumed to engage in their own mutational modifications of the "constitution". So even if Brian wrote the whole thing out in his bathtub it still retains an open source quality. The answer to whether its current forms are or are not the result of distributed decision-making is almost certainly: sort of.
One of the reasons the holacracy approach is so amenable to business organization is that it seems to depend upon the functional axis of a specified purpose. The aim is somewhat pregiven -- our job is to sell widgets or maximize share-holder profit, etc. His use of the metaphor of the sensors on an airplane derives from a mechanism that is assumed to be designed for a well-known purpose.
My question would be whether or not this "aim" is a necessarily functional element in generating enhanced organizational capacity? Or whether it is simply an artifact of the need to make these systems serve a relatively conventional marketplace task?
Your suggestion of a smart group that arises creatively from a continually evolving set of parameters seems to be the intent and practice of holacracy. As to the organizational purpose of Holacracy One, it seems to have multiple bottom lines including but not limited to profit. For example, see this post in the comments where I noted that the top to bottom pay ratio is 3 to 1, and quoted some of those multiple purposes:
"With Holacracy at play, the game is entirely different: with the decentralization of authority, the separation of people and role, and the dynamic evolution of those roles, we end up with a situation that looks more like free agents going about their work with no central planning. There might not even be a single person who knows about everything you do."
This sounds much more like the sort of emerging P2P organizational structure discussed throughout this thread. And also of significance in the post following this article where The Integral Center of Boulder has "voluntarily relinquished their rights to control their company as owners. Instead, they have ceded authority to a purpose-centered governance process called Holacracy, a model that distributes authority across the organization and gives primary power to the organization itself."
These are indeed advances over the kind of conscious capitalism promoted and AQALly packaged for sale at I-I.
This is an interesting moment. Apparently Amazon.com is experimenting with a version of holacracy as well. It clearly represents a theoretical advance over the typical kind of conscious capitalism which combines advanced sentiments with a potentially dangerous and uninspected ideological allegiance to more primitive routines of social organization and wealth production. Yet we cannot know the results of the experiment in advance.
I have tremendous optimism about emergent p2p organizational structures. Experimentation is utterly necessary and should be strongly encouraged. I am also very hopeful that advances can be made in terms of quantification. This is very central in my thinking lately.
It seems that experimental protocols for advances social organization systems suffer from the lack of a quantifiable evaluation of their respective degrees of "collective intelligence". Most people are drawn to such possibilities by ethical and aesthetic criteria which do no necessarily persuade the world. So I would love to see experimentation supplemented by the attempt to devise a metric for estimating the intelligence of a social organization protocol.
Along similar lines, my "tetrabucks" type notions represent the possibility/necessity to structure our currency at a level that correlates to advanced P2P organizational structures and post-pluralistic consciousness.
The potential of an evil holacracy has hardly been broached. If it works -- it works. Other than simply the tendency of less complex people not to use more complex systems, and the tendency of more complex systems to complexify their participants, there needs to be some inter-organizational structures which incline all organizations int he direction of broad human well-being. It is my assertion that as long as primary areas of value remain outside monetization the actions of groups trying to utilize official social credits will constantly become unstable.
So I am imagining a line leading from pathological capitalism to standard capitalism to conscious capitalism to trans-capitalist network organizations to such organizations bound together by a integrated set of metrics for determining the intelligence of groups and splicing together (at least) four broad domains of human value.
Along these lines -- how will we decide whether holacratic integral business is working better?
As to how we determine whether alternative economic paradigms are 'working,' I'd suggest that even by the standards of typical business democratic workplaces like co-ops are successful. If by that we mean the organization runs smoothly, has low employee turnover, high employee satisfaction, makes a profit or surplus over operating costs, and other such typical measures. Plus they fulfill their stated purposes as expressed in theRochdale principles, like community education, cooperation, democratic control, etc.
I'd say the same applies to holacracy. They also have to accomplish the usual business parameters like above but also meet stated principles like in their constitution. Given Robertson's business acumen I'm sure at the site he has precise and measurable indices to track such progress, though I didn't try to find them as yet.
My view would say that GS1 is not sustainable in 2015 ( neoliberal corporatism today) , that a move to GS2 would be marginally better but won't realize or concede limits to growth and natural law ( thermodynamic reality) , so it will fail, also; that a GS3 mindset would recognize that 10 billion people would have to live in a much simpler fashion under various types of ecological economy ( consider my 2 spiritual protocols).
Here is a link to a deeply confused U.N. :
Putting aside that they are still greatly confused about the shape of the earth( perhaps it's time for a new logo) the U.N. is in denial about limits to growth and ecological carrying capacity . I believe the earth could possible sustain 10 billion but in no way like what we are used to. And we won't mention who the U.N. will appoint as custodians of our atmosphere ( Goldman-Sachs) ! The C.T's are going bonkers:)
Anyway, my view is that Trudeau, the U.N., Goldman-Sachs etc., will usher in the final collapse bubble that will be the end of GS2 and at that point integral bunkers are our best bet for some time to come . I have a unique view of why this may happen so i consider the myths of a golden age after that collapse as somewhat possible, but my integrally minded brain always concedes a high level of fallibility .
At least some evidence that the financial/corporate method of dealing with Co2 pollution is a money making scam that will lead to the aforementioned final meltdown of GS2 ( what comes after is anybodies guess).
See this article for the details on the International Monetary Fund study, then ask: Who wants unions and who wants to destroy them? An excerpt:
Review of Inventing the Future by Steven Shivaro at this link. Excerpts:
"Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams [...] pick up the tools of capitalist modernity, and detour them to liberatory ends. [...] They argue for a future-oriented left politics, 'at ease with a modernity of abstraction, complexity, globality, and technology.' They suggest that we should seek, not to restrain, but rather to 'unleash latent productive forces.'"
"The authors start the book by offering a (mostly) comradely critique of the left’s recent predilection for 'horizontalist' modes of organization, for privileging local concerns over global ones, for avoiding any explicit list of demands, and for direct democracy and spontaneous direct action. [...] But Srnicek and Williams argue that these tactics 'do not scale.' They may work well enough in particular instances, but they are not of much help when it comes to building a larger and longer-enduring oppositional movement, one that could actually work towards changing our basic conditions of life. [...] Local and horizontal political tactics are incomplete in themselves; they need to be supplemented by more global, or universal, modes of action and concern."
"Srnicek and Williams turn to the positive project of spelling out an alternative. [...] They suggest, first of all, that the left needs to reclaim the mantle of modernism (the attitude) and modernity (the process) that it held for much of the twentieth century. This means, among other things, embracing and detourning new technologies, and finding a new sort of universalism that includes all the many local needs and forms of struggle, bringing them together without erasing their concrete particulars."
"The greatest strength of Inventing the Future, to my mind, is that it does indeed turn our attention towards the future, instead of the past. A big problem for the left today is that we have too long been stuck in the backward-looking, defensive project of trying to rescue whatever might be left of the mid-twentieth-century welfare state. While it is perfectly reasonable to lament our loss of the safety net that was provided by mid-twentieth-century social democracy, the restoration of those benefits is not enough to fuel a radical economic and political program."
See this article, which offers another choice to the capitalistic Ubers that have coopted tech which can be used from another, healthier perspective. See it for many more details than the following short excerpts:
"Uber signifies a new era in tech entrepreneurship. Its leaders express an explicit ideology of domination and limitless, global ambition. In fact, the global tech sector may be one of the most powerful stateless actors on the world stage today. And Death Star platforms are the tech sector’s avant garde. [...] They wrap themselves in the cloak of technological progress, free market inevitability, and even common good. As a result, cities allow them to break their laws with surprising frequency (Uber and Airbnb are simply illegal in most cities). Weak city governments either drink the Kool-Aid or struggle to contain them."
"The central premise of platform cooperativism is that those who create the most value for the platforms— providers like drivers and hosts—should own and control the platforms. [...] These examples represent three common developmental patterns for platform coops. First, there are legally-defined cooperative versions of sharing economy platforms like Loconomics. Second are hybrids like Enspiral Network, which aren’t legally cooperatives but operate on similar principles leveraging digital technology. Then there’s the most scalable option: blockchain-based platform coops like Lazooz. They leverage the same technology Bitcoin uses —a distributed digital ledger—to coordinate, govern, and compensate platform work on a democratic basis."
See the article for "five things platform coops must do to beat Death Stars platforms."
A good article from the techno-capitalists:
Another billion cars on the road by 2050 and the a priori assertion that is not possible to ask humanity to modify their consumption behaviours. Ahhh, gotta love these capitalists. It's funny how we've asked people to stop smoking but can't ask people to stop driving .
Here is a link from Resilience that may explain why the capitalists won't ask people to stop consuming as it will kill their mirage:
I appreciate how the writer didn't demonize the debt economy/currency as C.T.'s tend do to. But more importantly the writer shows the complete un-sustainability of 18th century financial systems that need to be abandoned now. We are clearly in the deficient rational . One of the commenters has it right on the money when he says, he who panics first panics best ! He also mentions the very real possibility of mass genocide if things do spiral out of control . This is why I am so adamant about a two economy solution for a few generations . Eco-welfare is a much better option than killing 6 billion .
Here are some links to new currency models :
The thing with Eisenstein: he is right in explaining what I call finance under the right hand protocols . But he is mistaken that this type of economy can be implemented through a thousand points of light . The implementation of healthy finance has to be systemic on masse . One country at a time ! Go Iceland ! Go Scotland ( Adam Smith is cheering!) . If Greece only had the balls! Of course , the bankers in N.A. made legal over the last 100 years every imagined financial crime so this will be the last place for change . Yes, you heard right! Making crime legal is morally repugnant !
More on homelessness :
Hyper-inflated housing under fiat currency systems ( a way of manufacturing consent ) always comes along with wage stagnation ( disproportionate income compared to shelter costs for the majority) , and exponential rises in the homeless population where humans are discarded like garbage and blamed for their own life circumstance . Salt Lake City proves that this not need be the case (although those folks are still in dire need of solving their air pollution problems). I think countries have a kind of inverted worldview when they tolerate this situation while claiming at the same time care for the atmosphere.
Contradictions abound! Hedges on the TPP:
At the same time the U.N. is bringing all the nations from the four corners of the earth ( their use of language) to talk about carbon pollution . No doubt the solution will be handed over to Goldman-Sachs . The timing of these two events couldn't be more coincidental and incongruent . Slap!Bang!Kaboom! My brain can no longer handle the degree of cognitive dissonance!
This on G.A.I.N.:
This is close to the idea of a National Dividend, as also promoted by Milton Friedman. Social Credit, printing money and giving it to the people to spend it into circulation, also has the practical effect of a ‘Basic Income’.
On principal, all profits acquired by exploiting the Commons, including Land, should be returned to its owners, the People. If people want to call that a Basic Income, that’s grand.
From this site run by what I would call a sheep in the Christian tradition . A very interesting comments section:
So that bolded statement is what i've been intuitively arguing for. I call it a non-debt Global Commons Currency that could work side by side to fiat currency . This site does have a lot of nuance on the currency issue and well worth reading , IMO. Come to your own conclusions on what's good and what's not so good on this most important fundamental issue facing humanity today.
From David Bollier's blog - looks like it could be a worthwhile book to read.
An important new book offering a vision of commons-based law has just arrived! The Ecology of Law: Toward a Legal System in Tune with Nature and ..., argues that we need to reconceptualize law itself and formally recognize commoning if we are going to address our many environmental problems.
The book is the work of two of the more venturesome minds in science and law – Fritjof Capra and Ugo Mattei, respectively. Capra is a physicist and systems thinker who first gained international attention in 1975 with his book The Tao of Physics, which drew linkages between modern physics and Eastern mysticism. Mattei is a well-known legal theorist of the commons, international law scholar and commons activist in Italy who teaches at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and at the University of Turin. He is also deputy mayor of Chieri in the northern region of Italy...
Brilliant! This is the solution to my criticism of the enlightenments ethos of the individual. i should think any society past Wilber's orange has to implement laws like this and, The Global Commons Currency, which would be tied to ecological education and living for a few generations. Do you have a best guess about who could implement these types of laws? The state? Individual law firms?
A few thoughts from real currencies site:
-he, like, myself, finds some equation between Taoism and Christianity. He then goes on to definitively define the Tao as an ocean of non-personal consciousness ( Kenny does the same thing) . What I do on the other hand is enact what the Tao says- and that is not to try and name the Tao . I've always maintained that I don't know what god is . I find the metaphor of the right and left hand protocols useful though; the Tao says god is immanent, too. Granted, push come to shove, I would speculate that those two ways of being have real ontological status which is of course unprovable .
-there is a meme going around that Hitler created a highly spiritualized non-debt currency to finance his rise to power . From what i've researched nothing could be further from the truth . It is one of the more fascinating questions of the last century, though, how they went from desolation to world power in ten years .