Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Future of Democracy (Part 2): It is an evolutionary vital space that provides an identity to the members

The Ethics of Democracy

The reach of one’s globalization is defined by the limit of the pronoun “WE”…

The ethics of democracy is what introduces democratic behavior into the habits of a community.

It has to be considered that there exist no democracies in environments that are not driven by democratic habits.

This ethics is integrated by:

  1. Conceptual democracy, which drives towards building a strong social capital.
  2. Systemic democracy, which sustains the effectiveness of democratic actions.
  3. People driven democracy, which is based on the efficacy of the participants.

The Ontogenetic Map of the Ethics of Democracy

The purpose of conceptual democracy is to live is an evolutionary vital space that provides an identity to the members.

The Ethics of DemocracyThis vital space is implicit in the archetype of a culture or institution. It is materialized in the social capital of a culture that empowers the relationships among the members building a growing synergy of actions.

It implies an alternation of the leadership in order to ensure that the institutional aspects prevail over personal beliefs and that the democracy does not degrade into authoritarianism or an anarchic authoritarianism.

The Maximal Strategy

The maximal strategy is based on a systemic democratic approach, which needs, at a first stage, the true commitment with consensus.

This requires that the environment have the necessary culture to develop a functional consensus that is not driven by manipulation.

After there is a true trend towards consensus, the effectiveness of actions needs to be promoted. This implies that democracy needs to have qualified “politicians” and an adequate organization of the State in order to provide the required effectiveness of actions.

The lack of effectiveness is what generates democratic alternation, but when the lack of effectiveness is structural, the culture evolves towards an anarchic authoritarianism.

Systemic democracy is sustained by the development of catalytic trade-offs that allow ensuring consensus while accelerating processes to empower effectiveness.

These trade-offs are the catalyst of the ethics of democracy. The building of catalytic trade-offs is the core activity of politicians, which requires having the knowledge of what is happening in an environment and what is possible to be achieved.

When the catalyst has been installed consensus becomes meaningful and the systemic democracy works and evolves.

The Minimum Strategy

The minimum strategy is supported by the efficacy of people to manage the evolution conflicts that are implicit in democracy. It begins with the acceptance of the need to deal with evolution conflicts in order to manage the adaptation process.

Once this has been accepted, the minimum strategy is based on the efficacy of people, which includes both the leaders and the participants.

“Efficacy” in a culture implies the functionality of the concept of “work”, the concept of “knowledge” and the concept of “justice” in order to foster equal opportunities for all.

This unavoidably generates evolution conflicts. These evolution conflicts, which are complementation conflicts, naturally generate collateral involution and power conflicts. This requires making entropy inhibiting trade-offs in order to avoid that the culture degrade into an environment where zero-sum confrontations prevail.

The adaptiveness of conceptual democracy has been assured when the evolution conflicts can be managed, and the ethics provides the rules for an evolutionary democracy.

Types and Levels of Ethics of Democracy

The Ethics of DemocracyFive levels of democracy can be conceptually defined:

  1. Individualistic democracy
  2. Belonging group-based democracy
  3. Elite-based democracy
  4. Integration-based democracy
  5. Adaptive democracy

First Level: Individualistic democracy

Individualistic democracy is based on the satisfaction of the materialistic needs of the participants. This democracy is individual leaders driven, because people do not rely on institutions. It is implicitly a submissive democracy, where the consensus exists when the materialistic needs are satisfied and, when not, individualists become opposers. Submissiveness is complemented with dominant attitudes where the individual needs of participants prevail over the common good.

Second Level: Belonging group-based democracy

The second level includes the first level, which implies that the individual needs are covered, but based on the limits established by the rules of the groups where individuals belong. This is the case, for example, of multi-minorities democracies where the consensus is based on the differentiated characteristics of each group. This level of democracy implies an adherence based democracy and the existence of the needs of individuals to belong to a group in order to participate and have a place in the community.

Third Level: Elite-based democracy

The third level includes the second level but includes the acceptance of reference groups, which lead a society. This elite-based democracy allows expanding the boundaries of the belonging group and is materialized in a debate-based democracy.

The core of the functionality of this level of ethics is that the different elite groups be within the limits of the evolution conflicts required to develop democracy but that the distance between the positions of such groups be narrow enough to avoid the annulment of each other in case of democratic alternation.

The existence of elites ensures the necessary stability given by an accepted establishment.

Fourth Level: Integration-based democracy

The fourth level includes the third level but also includes institutionalization as a driver towards evolution. The integration-based democracy implies an institutionalization that structures the integration. Institutions filter the incompatibilities and permit a smooth evolution towards effective consensus. This level is the most mature level of democracy and requires a fully functional justice in order to avoid that people behave beyond the limits of a democratic system. The institutions need to have transcendent goals in order to make this level work adequately

Fifth Level: Adaptive democracy

Adaptive democracy implies the integration of the four preceding levels according to the context of the members and the situation. It is a way to manage democracy fostering all its levels based on the archetypes of the individuals and institutions within the archetype of the country. It makes the different levels compatible in order to achieve the goals implicit in the archetype of the culture.

The Double Ethics of Countries and Institutions

Countries and institutions need to have two different ethical approaches in order to expand.

  1. A cooperative ethics to deal with domestic relationships.
  2. A competitive ethics to deal with third parties.

1) Cooperation, the Driver of Democracy

It has to be considered that democracy is a social system for adapted environments. All environments have adapted and over-adapted aspects, but the prevalence of adaptation is a condition for the evolution of democratic environments. Over-adaptation drives naturally towards dominance, submission and opposition, which hinder the existence of a democratic context.

The driver of a democratic system is the existence of cooperation among the members of the society, culture or institution.

Cooperation building is the driver of democracy. This implies that cooperation is basic to build an evolutionary democratic environment.

2) Competition is the Driver of the Relationships with the Environment

While cooperation is the driver for domestic activities, competition is the driver for those activities that countries or institutions develop beyond the boundaries of their entity. This needs to be understood in order to accept that all countries and institutions have two different ethics.

A cooperative ethics is used to deal with the domestic aspects and, on the other hand, a competitive ethics drives the external aspects. This is basic to allow the expansion of the wellbeing of cultures and needs to be accepted in order understand that democracy is not a magic solution for universal problems.

International relations become expansive when they are managed within the limits of sustainable globalization, which allows integrating the interests of the parts involved.

Peter Belohlavek

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in using the unicist logical approach in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems. It has an academic arm and a business arm.