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.
Now occasionally I do make an attempt at 'singing' my own songs . This was the first time I tried to do everything by myself in '89 . The worst drum track in music history !
Really getting tired of all the right wing spiritualist libertarian shills ! Why is it that these people reject that we have a responsibility to care for each other and to create social systems designed to facilitate that endeavour?
Hey, thanks Ambo! Really, I have no regrets. I've lived a very interesting life. Am happy enough that my musical life can now be archived in the digital arena . I've got a ton of music still to go but I need to get my analog 8 track working again as much of my stuff never made it to 2 track masters . It's fun messing around with logic's mastering abilities , though, for the songs that did make it to cassette or HIFI VCR .
The truth is 8 out of 10 artists are never going to make a living at it . I see this as somewhat analogous to the global economic situation today . 8 out of 10 people are not being served by this system and if the system continues to try to serve these other 8 it will, imo, end up in ecological disaster . Capitalism needs to be dismantled and its present form made illegitimate.
An excellent non-conspiratorial documentary:
And for your Super-Tuesday hangover :
OMFG! I am actually in a state of shock ! The end of this video suggests two ways to end the current crisis and they are two ways I have thought of in the last year : 1) the bankers can go from the destroyers of the earth to the saviours by implementing the blank slate solution. One key press and all debt is wiped clean and re-start again ( a global Jubilee) . The new system would implement 2) the elimination of income tax and a new currency backed by gold .
I would add 3) the one house per person initiative . Yes, you can have as big a house as you can afford but you can only own one. One per person . And most of us would probably choose Tiny:)
Under my theology the elites would align themselves with The Right Hand of God again . They could choose to end the age of Anti-Christ!
Hey Andrew, what do you mean by the age of Anti-Christ? i've never heard the idea phrased like that . Oh, cool, good question, kind sir! And an important one, too! You see, the inheritance of Christ on earth ( The Church) in the last 100 years has wed god and mammon . This is obviously delusional but no surprise and really is the continuance of centuries or religious delusion . A 500 year war against aboriginals was Anti-Christ behaviour! The Inquisitions? Same ! The Dark Ages? Same! The blaming the cruxifixction of the Messiah on the jews? Delusion!The subjugation of the female gender? Delusion!The teachings of The Christ co-opted by the state in the 3 and 4th centuries? All the flow of the Left hand of God based on flawed human understanding and choice! So truly, the last 2 millennium have been the age of Anti-Christ ! Which isn't to say that there have never been people who understood the Right Hand Path . But those folks are always shouted down and are a tiny demo-graphic to begin with .
To be fair to the makers of the linked documentary: I don't think there was one word of spiritual metaphysics in it . I've imposed my own idiosyncratic spiritual take onto the films premises . But even in a godless heliocentric universe I still maintain that their solutions are sound ! I do believe the fate of the earth lies in the hands of the central bankers as they are the only ones who could scale the necessary changes needed . Lone recyclers arn't going to do it . The question, then, is can the bankers alter to scale their 1850 way of doing things? Of course , by everything I've seen lately from 2008 and QE, negative interest, and all the rest of their shenanigans I would have to say that they will not change- thereby dooming civilization .
Oh, Ambo, I hurt just watching that skateboarder .
Sorry to hear about your being dissed, Ed !
The Congressional Progressive Caucus is taking the Paris climate talks seriously and has proposed a resolution to meet those suggested goals. The principles of it follow. If you support them then please sign the petition to Congress here.
Charles Ferguson, the Oscar-winning director of Inside Job, explains why Sanders, not Clinton or Trump, is the solution to the oligarchy.
Over at FB IPS Mark Schmanko posted on how the media is slanting the Democratic delegate count by including superdelegates therein, when the latter have not yet casted their votes. It started a conversation with Mark Forman that would perhaps be of interest here.
Me: It's not like lamestream media and the DNC are doing everything in their power to feed Clinton and starve Sanders.
Forman: 200 delegates is almost an insurmountable lead given the proportional nature of the Democratic primary. Obama only won by only about 120 and never trailed by nearly these numbers. He was neck-and-neck or ahead the whole time.
For example, this weekend, even though Sanders won three states, Hillary slightly added to her delegate lead by winning delegate-rich Louisiana on Saturday by a huge margin.
The fact is Bernie is getting absolutely slaughtered in the minority vote - losing African-Americans around 4-to-1ish - which is a major part of the Democratic base. Hillary has won huge victories in every diverse state thus far and is poised for another 10% or even 20% win in Michigan - another diverse, very delegate rich state.
I will also point this out: Were Hillary only winning heavily among whites and the college-educated - as Bernie is - this would be considered deep evidence of her near-fascist status by many on the left. Bernie simply hasn't won one non-overwhelmingly white Democrat state. Where is the outrage on that?
Not a peep. Of course, because those clashing narratives would lead to cognitive dissonance.
Me: Yes Mark Forman, Clinton does have a big delegate lead based on votes, and likely it is insurmountable. But that doesn't answer the question posed by the article: that the superdelegates have not yet voted, so why include them in the delegate count at this time to make Clinton's lead seem even more formidable? Perhaps even to prevent Sanders supporters from voting in the remaining primaries? You don't address the very real issue that both the DNC and the lamestream media are deliberately trying to promote Clinton and block Sanders. Or the whole issue of a corrupt superdelegate system that circumvents democracy. If you can't see that despite voluminous evidence then perhaps it clashes with your narrative and would lead to cognitive dissonance?
Forman: I grant that the media has an agenda and an influence. The place where I question is exactly how much and agenda and how much of an influence. It is a matter of percentage and degree.
From your perspective - and from those I hear - there is a certainty and paranoia about the media which suggests near total control of the process. When you use terms like the "lamestream" media - that is what Sarah Palin also uses that to describe her own Manichean worldview where the evil forces of the media are set out to crush the conservative (white) Christian agenda. Swap out Palin and enter Sanders, and the worldview seems extremely similar.
To me, it is a matter of degrees and proportions. Take for example the two most establishment candidates on the right - Bush and Rubio - those with the most money and general support. They both have summarily crushed in the primaries. Bush - a dynasty choice - is simply out of the race. Rubio is headed there.
When it comes to Clinton, she is the establishment choice. No doubt that comes with some extra media support. But Clinton has also suffered some at the hands of the media - all her scandals etc., many of which are not really there. It is not one way. And she was far much more the establishment choice than Barack Hussein Obama last time and she lost to him. And it was a close race too. If they had a lot of influence, they could have theoretically turned it to her.
Another complicating factor: Bernie was not a Democrat for his whole career. Should he then expect to receive the same kind of warm welcome among elites and the media? I am not saying that is utterly fair, but I am saying that 30 years on the national stage as a Dem will win you some media points - especially being Secretary of State and the wife of an ex-pres.
So I don't deny the media can be corrupt, but I don't know how much them showing the superdelegates numbers or other issues is actually doing to the race. Bernie is still winning among people who would seem like Bernie supporters, and still losing by great margins with people - like AAs - who are likely to distrust the media in any case. Are AAs watching CNN and thinking - yea, that is likely a true report from a white media source? Or are they going to a person they tend to trust (for better or worse reasons) in Clinton?
I might add they went heavy for Obama last time, but was that the media too? Now the media hands them back to Clinton? 80% for Obama last time, now 80% for Clinton. That - though wildly implausible - would be impressive.
Clearly media control is imperfect, and I would suggest weaker than often given credit for.
If we did a pie chart, I think the difference between you and I would probably be that I give 15% of the causative pie chart to "lamestream" media. I think you would give 100% - or 100% to the combined overlords of media, corporations, the oligarchy, the military and the deep state. Whatever you want to add to the idea that consent is simply manufactored as opposed to co-created by individuals, behaviors, and cultures. AQAL basically.
Me: The fact that Sanders is doing as well as he is obviously negates at least some of the media ( and general 'overlord') influence. So no, not 100%. We the people are involved in this movement and it's showing. That you'd suggest that I imagine a 100% vast conspiracy though indicates at the very least some prejudicial hyperbole on your part, trying to make a straw man argument with your own loaded terms like 'overlords.'
And that you try to minimize the influence of the actual deep state (15%) while giving undue power to individuals has long been a valid criticism of the AQAL system itself. I would though give much more influence to manufactured consent (say 70%) than I would to the well-informed individuals on the issues (15%) in this race. The remaining % goes to well-informed but nonetheless well-paid enablers of said consent, like legislators. Just approximate figures.
And then there are the manufacturers of that consent, which are indeed part of an elite cabal as you so mentioned, the 1%. And to whom does this 1% invest their money? It certainly isn't Sanders. But if we are to believe Clinton it doesn't influence her or Obama. But who did Obama appoint to key finance positions? Who caused the financial crisis? How did they get in a position to do so in the first place?
Speaking of the Deep State, I highly recommend reading that book. And before one rails about it being paranoia they should refute the innumerable points of fact therein.
Me: I agree with Wilber in Excerpt A that the "techno-economic base of a society constrains its various probability waves in very strong ways" and "clearly has a profound influence on the types of beliefs, feelings, ideas, and worldviews of men and women" (34-5). He cautions that we need not absolutize this quadrant since it is an AQAL affair, but also that we underestimate this influence at our peril.
In earlier versions of excerpt A he mentioned that the base influenced most people more than anything else but that has been eliminated from the latest version. However, in the same section he discusses how the LR base is always ahead of the LL social consciousness causing a lack of tetra-mesh wherein the latter must catch up over time. So indeed most people's UL, highly influenced by their LL cultural worldview, is not caught up with the new neo-Commons base already well underway. This lends support to the fallacy that there is an equal, one-to-one relationship between up-to-date individuals making informed UL choices about the predominant capitalist base, since their consciousness is still embedded in that base structure. That capitalist structure is itself in its most deficient or dissociative stage, and it, along with the type of correlated consciousness, needs to transform.
So no, individuals alone or collectively are not making 'integral', let alone well-informed, choices about this highly dysfunctional deep state of capitalism. The system does though have highly developed methods of propaganda to manipulate the masses and it works, so we continue to get people voting against their, and our society's, best interests.
Indeed we need folks who can see beyond that system and its influence. Again agreeing with Wilber our best shot at moving to that next wave of consciousness is to first implement the next wave of socio-economic base as exemplified by the neo-Commons. It's already well underway and has moved a lot of the millennials into that ecological consciousness, hence their support of Sanders. But to cling to the old base, even in its conscious capitalistic forms, while surely better than the dysfunctional deep state form, is still inculcating folks in the consciousness that meshes with that base.
- these "where is the outrage" kind of arguments at Forman makes are...outrageous, for lack of a better word.
- John Michael Greer recently pointed out the irony that currently the Republicans have a more democratic process than the Democrats when it comes to selecting the Presidential nominee. In other words, Clinton is being steamrolled in by the powers that be, while on the other hand it is a free for all on the Republican side.
Actually I found the quote I was looking for in Excerpt A:
"Marx was right in that, for most people, the techno-economic base is a major determinant of their consciousness; but he overlooked where the base originally came from: namely, the consciousness of the inventor, which clearly determined the base. In other words, Marx overlooked the AQAL matrix and tended to absolutize the Lower-Right quadrant, an absolutism we needn’t share in order to appreciate his important if partial truths" (39).
I will quibble with the notion of the inventor who alone created the new techno-economic base another time. For now I merely note that (with my emphasis) "for most people, the techno-economic base is a major determinant of their consciousness."