Forum Post: Social Sector Deregulation: Tackling the core belief that is keeping society from evolving to the next level
Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 19, 2013, 7:10 p.m. EST by alldone
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
There is a strong premonition or foreboding of change in the air. Conspiracy groups are buzzing with all sorts of theories. Christian groups are preparing for Armageddon. Financial gurus are buying up gold, the end-of-the-world folk are provisioning their bunkers, while the Occupiers want something to happen today, but can’t quite articulate what that something should be.
So what is really going on?
Change is coming but it has more to do with evolution of society than revolution or the end of the world. Humanity is on the brink of a major social transformation which is being held back by a belief system which no longer works.
What is this belief system? It is the belief that power should flow top-down vertically creating a pyramid shaped society.
If you believe in democracy then you subscribe to this belief system. Every time you vote you reaffirm and reinforce this system by handing power over to this or that group.
If you feel a little affronted by this seeming criticism of democracy you are experiencing the pull of this belief system, maybe even a bit of cognitive dissonance.
What is wrong with power flowing top down? Two things.
Firstly, it concentrates power at the top and whenever power concentrates it corrupts people. Even the most well-intentioned politicians soon learn that their main job is not to change society but to get re-elected, thereby handing power over to the lobbyists and the spin doctors.
And no amount of oversight and transparency can ever prevent such corruption otherwise there would be an exception to the rule that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no such exception.
Secondly, the shape and nature of human society is completely dependent on the flow of power. When power flows top-down society shapes itself in a similar hierarchical fashion.
In a top-down, vertical society everyone tries to climb the power ladder by whatever means possible because the more power you have, the greater your freedom. This, in turn, shapes and defines attitudes, behaviours, ambitions and even interpersonal relationships.
The most toxic aspect of a top-down society is that by equating power with freedom it creates the zero-sum, dog-eat-dog environment that characterizes modern society.
So what is the alternative?
The alternative is to change the flow of power from vertical top-down to horizontal peer-to-peer. This will lead to the creation of a completely new type of society, which remarkably now beckons.
And we already have a template for changing the flow of power in the idea of a self-regulating market, despite the setback of the GFC. (The idea of power flow gives a new insight into the underlying cause of the GFC.)
While deregulation and privatization is anathema to many people, but this need only be the case outside the confines of a self-regulating society as the economist Karl Polanyi warned in his book, The Great Transformation, back in the 1950s. He wrote:
"To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment, indeed, even of the amount and use of purchasing power, would result in the demolition of society... Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, perversion, crime and starvation.
Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighbourhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed."
What Polanyi was alluding to was the existence of two value systems governing the two key forms of capital – financial and social. Financial capital can be roughly defined as value gained through trading and social capital through performing “good deeds.”
Value systems guide behaviour and when we look at the value systems that guide financial and social capital we can see that they almost diametrically opposed. The defining value of financial capital is self-interest, whereas the defining value of social capital is selflessness.
Before the advent of the self-regulating market trading was a subset of social relations. However, with the advent of the self-regulating market this changed because it created a mismatch in the flow of power.
In the self-regulating market power flows peer-to-peer horizontally, while in the social sector it flows top-down, but only when some law is broken. This mismatch placed the market outside social relations and the result is as Polanyi predicted with the GFC being just the latest repercussion.
We can do one of two things.
We can re-regulate the market but this would be a retrograde step because the self-regulating market is far more efficient at allocating capital and resources than any command and control system or some half-way option.
The better alternative is to change the direction of the flow of power in the social sector from top-down vertical to peer-to-peer horizontal to match the flow of power in the financial sector.
This would be the better alternative because it is the next logical step in the historical trend of devolving power.
This trend has been going on for centuries casting aside divine right of kings and queens, separating church and state to protect us from the god fanatics, exposing false doctrines like communism and socialism, which promise to devolve power but never do, and by deposing dictators and tyrants of all colours and persuasions.
How do we deregulate the social sector? In the same way that the financial sector was deregulated by creating currencies and indices that measure and monitor social capital.
This is critically important because what we measure we value, what we value affects how behave and how behave is who we are. The lack of social capital metrics and the abundance of financial capital metrics has created a toxic environment where everything is valued only in terms of money.
This is all about to change with the creation of ThankUbank - the world’s first SOCIAL CAPITAL bank. ThankUbank is an online service that measures and promotes societal health (social capital) by tracking levels of gratitude, the currency of social capital.
ThankUbank makes social sector deregulation possible.
The immediate benefit of social sector deregulation will be the reinvigoration of the socialization process that promotes positive behaviour that results in positive outcomes like fairness and decency.
This, in turn, will trigger a process of societal change not from without but from within, which will gradually transform all social institutions and bring the market within the bounds of social relations once again.
Importantly, social sector deregulation by creating a common ground for all sides of politics will eventually lead to the demise of politics as we know it, which should also please the anarchists.
As power increasingly starts to flow peer-to-peer horizontally it will start to flatten society from the existing pyramid shape. This will reaffirm what philosophers and theologians have been teaching since the earliest of time - happiness and freedom are not a function of power and wealth but of our relations with others.
Most importantly, to achieve this outcome we don’t have to protest or demonstrate. We don’t have to lobby politicians, beg big business or wait for some guru or saviour to make it happen. All this was necessary when power resided elsewhere. Technology has put power in our hands and all we have to do is start using this power to make a world of difference.
Check out the FAQ for details, in particular the concept of Social Sector Deregulation as the template for going beyond democracy.
How you can help make a world of difference in four simple steps.
- Join ThankUbank
- Start using ThankUbank to thank people and organizations.
- Get the word out #SocialSectorDeregulation
- Reprint this article
http://www.thankubank.com (main site)
http://www.thankubank.com/faq/ (Comprehensive FAQ)