“the river’s voice…All the waves and water hastened, suffering, towards goals, many goals, to the waterfall, to the sea, to the current, to the ocean and all goals were reached and each one was succeeded by another. The water changed to vapour and rose, became rain and came down again, became spring, brook and river, changed anew, flowed anew. But the yearning voice had altered. It sill echoed sorrowfully, searchingly but other voices accompanied it, voices of pleasure and sorrow, good and evil voices, laughing and lamenting voices, hundreds of voices, thousands of voices.
They were all interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways. And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life”.
Herman Hesse, “Siddhartha”.
Many of the problems facing the world today are caused not by capitalism but by democracy. We need a new way to organise our societies, we need to think of the planet as one entity. A small boat, although a very beautiful boat, but a boat nonetheless on which all life floats through inhospitable space. We need to create a human society which supports our planet as it supports our life. This new system I call Fluid Pluralism, which is part metaphor and part descriptive. Without water life cannot exist, and water is our most abundant fluid, but fluidity also describes the power flows within this new society. Power forms small hierarchical waves and then these structures dissipate from the base to create new hierarchies. Fluidity is highly adaptable to changing circumstances and does not stagnant into uninventive swamps of rigid aristocratic class or caste nor is it so formless as to occupy every waking hour with the struggle to better oneself, as is the case with equal democratic systems. Fluidity allows the leisure to think deeply about underlying principles and human meaning while encouraging practical innovation by rewarding industry and success.
What we are trying to achieve is the best of aristocracy and the best of egalitarian democracy. You may well say there is nothing good in the rigid hereditary caste system of aristocracy. It subjugates the majority of the population in servitude. And yes this is the worst aspect of aristocracy but there are good aspects. Those masters, the ruling class have an obligation of paternal care for the servants they rely upon. The ruling class also has the leisure to absorb and truly understand not only the world around them but also their inner selves. The ruling class because they do not need to struggle to maintain their authority also adopts a moral creed of nobility which drives their actions, rather than purely putting their human efforts to gain income or prestige. The stability of the aristocracy also encourages craftsman to make things that will last for generations rather than to turn over stock – planned obsolescence. These aspects of aristocracy we would want to capture in our new system of fluid society.
Democracy as we know gives individual liberty to all citizens but this comes at a cost. The constant struggle to maintain ones position, or improve one’s lot means we are never at ease, we are never at leisure. Democracy also raises industry and economics to far greater importance than it deserves, for it is through the income derived from trade and industry that one gains social mobility and protects their status. Egalitarian democracies are statically humming, like a radio out of tune, and this is the cause of much discontent. The greatest examples of these democracies the USA and UK have the highest incidence of bi-polar disorder and depression; this has been treated not with rest and understanding but with industry and trade. We are medicating a whole generation of disaffected.
Democracy naturally leads to inequality (the Pareto effect) but the new industrial aristocracy has none of the virtue of hereditary nobility, they owe their workers nothing which is not contracted for, as they expect no loyalty from their wage slaves, this is the worst of aristocracies and is prevalent in all modern democracies.
We need to capture the best of aristocracy with the liberty and empathetic respect gained from egalitarian democracies.
I suggest we implement a Flow Siphon Flat Payment (FSFP) as the practical catalyst to a global DemoKratia (where money is our vote) of fluid pluralism thus creating a Fluid Society.
What is fluid pluralism?
Fluid pluralism is a way to harmonise our mind, our interactions with others and the natural world we inhabit to create the most dynamic, sustainable and stable society possible. It tempers the distorting effects of power and wealth, the systematic flaws both within us and the societies we create which accumulate power in the hands of a few. It is many differing small hierarchical groups constantly evolving and devolving while maintaining a constant connection between people and our environment based upon our mutual co-dependence and the universal value of life. My life relies upon your life and yours upon mine, altruism not selfishness is our intrinsic self when free.
It tempers our tendency to accumulate power in the hands of the few by constantly siphoning the means of value communication (movement of money) and redistributing it evenly across the whole population. This maintains a dynamic marketplace for ideas and sustains a monetary democracy. It also prevents the distorting effects of power on the mind, and provides a safety net to prevent the fear caused by the constant struggle to survive. Fear, isolation and struggle are the most cancerous manipulations on the living world.
Fluidity encourages leisure and deep eternal thoughts and planning far beyond the immediate distraction. The constant payment allows those among us who wish to follow their own path, and explore the nature of humanity to do so. It also prevents the trap of constant work and competition, which is a zero end game. Another will always work more or harder until we have lost all humanity to purposeless toil.
Fluidity uses our most accepted means of value representation, money, as the quantifier of value choices. Money and its means of exchange becomes a daily demokratia (Demokratia from demos people and kratia power). You support those who support your values, proxying votes to those you trust, and funding ideas you agree with. With the Flat Payment everyone will be given this vote.
This creates a nexus of interconnected nodes of power, not based on nationhood, nor corporate power but on thoughtful understanding of our intrinsic values and the monetary support of those we trust. Some nodes will be rigid and stable others dynamic and ever-changing, the combination of rigidity and dynamism allows the most stable and adaptive system possible. It reflects the chaos and order within the universe, allowing the randomness that life requires.
Fluid pluralism will require a change in our accepted boxes, our frames of existence. We will need to banish the idea of nationhood, of absolutes, of democracy good, totalitarianism bad, of Muslim good, Christianity bad, of capitalism good communism bad, of rationality good emotions bad. Life exists in the in-between not in the absolute. We must learn to experiment, to test, to follow our intuition as much as our reason. We must support many different modes of organisation, for what is good to build a bridge may not be so good to discover truth.
The framework of Fluid pluralism
Money as the quantifier of values.
A means to exchange and tabulate these value choices. The tabulation can be done on any recording device, be it a piece of paper, clay tablet, or computer hard drive, even our own memory. The exchange can be the physical passing of a piece of paper, note, coin, tablet, or the sending of an electronic message via phone or laptop. These systems already exist they are just thoughtlessly used.
A Flow Siphon Flat Payment (FSFP). A small amount of all exchanges 8% for real choices (the buying and selling of goods and services and the support of people we admire), and 0.5% to 0.05% for high turnover gambling (trading on foreign exchange, capital papers, derivatives, games of chance etc.),* is siphoned off and paid back evenly to the entire population at a constant amount (Flat Payment). Approximately $22,000 pa.
*The reason for gambling being siphoned at a lower rate is traders/gamblers turnover money quickly, often the starting money is turned over 10 to 20 or more times a day. This creates great velocity in a closed market that is timid to any siphon. Of course this doe like quality to siphon and taxes is easily subsumed by hubris. This siphon can be easily raised.
A sump is used to collect surpluses from overactive times and used to provide the Flat Payment in more idle times. This stabilises the tendency to boom and bust. This makes the FSFP and sump a real-time money supply regulator replacing and bettering the role of fiscal and monetary policy.
A change in the way we view money. We must see it as our vote, the reflection of our values, and we must use it to support all our values not just our consumer wants. We must give money to those we respect, to those we trust, to those we want to lead us. And we must not support those that are not creating the world we want.
We must allow ourselves leisure to think deeply about what we care about, to understand our humanity. The Flat Payment facilitates this but a change in attitude is also required.
We must accept the responsibility that we may be the only form of intelligent life in the universe.
We must think beyond ourselves to the legacy we leave.
We must talk openly and honestly. We must act together. We must form, organise, and reorganise.
We must accept our freedom comes with co-dependence.
We must allow the individual to disconnect, but understand there is an intrinsic human bond that does not need effort to bind. Our common love and life.
We live on one planet with 7 billion people, soon it will be nine, and each of us has been brought up with different mores and cultural expectations. Can such diversity harmonise into a safe but free, sustainable yet fulfilling society? The only way is to encourage difference, to love the other, to be amazed by those not like you rather than to fear them, to fall in love with the opposite rather than the doppleganger. Inter-marriage is our greatest tool for cultural fusion. We do not wish to make the world grey but to make it more diverse, too blend the gene pool and create anew. As we are created from two differing strands of DNA, one from our mother and one from our father, society will evolve by combining cultural strands, each taking some of the previous to preserve it and adding new components adapted to a new evolving planet. Cultures are never stagnant unless they are forced to be by human command (usually top down), they were all created by people adapting to their environments and by following the insightful thinkers of their time.
With insight, with stability, with freedom, and with fusion we to can harmonise not homogenise the global village.
Flow Siphon… Flat Payment… Demokratia… Fluidity!
David J Campbell
how to create a fluid society
More to come later, watch this space.