Playing with Dragons

Playing with Dragons

Why we choose the burden of outdated power structures

The modern age opened with the advent of modern science and a deliberative effort to demonstrate truth with examination of evidence. Modern democratic processes emerged from this break with feudal history. Today, we are living in post-modern times—the period after modern breakthroughs became the general foundation on which new discoveries were then made.

Philosophers, architects, literary theorists, painters and politicians, will all define post-modern in different ways, but what we can say is that we have emerged from modernity into a time when legitimacy is not inherited or seized, but rather developed through decentralized processes of discussion, coordination, and responsible accountable governance. Today’s most recognized monarchies own their legitimacy only because they support and sustain democratic political systems that carry out the acts of government in parallel to their position as historically founded national leaders.

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The Emerging Empowerment Economy

The Emerging Empowerment Economy

All the building we have to do…

For many years, the engineers of the United States have warned that infrastructure urgently needs trillions of dollars in routine maintenance, and trillions more in updates and upgrades. Infrastructure is the shared framework on which we build a thriving economy. Businesses of all sizes are able to compete for market value, in part because the quality of transport, electrification, and communications infrastructure is of world-leading quality.

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The Politics of Exigency

The Politics of Exigency

Fierce Urgency & Democracy Rooted in Deep Principle

Exigency is an immediate state of pervasive intense demand on our attention. “Exigent circumstances” are considered to be both emergent and critical enough to override one’s normal free will and moral decision-making. Under extreme pressures, the argument goes, one is less able to “live up to” the best of what we expect of ourselves and each other. This leaves one with less agency, less sovereignty, and less capability for doing anything other than tending to whatever actions will allow for survival in the face of a threat. In that sense, whether we know it or not, “exigent circumstances” are by far the most commonly used excuse for deviating from what would normally be considered acceptable or ethical behavior.

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Beyond Feudalism: Shared Sovereignty, Human Dignity & Open Information

Beyond Feudalism: Shared Sovereignty, Human Dignity & Open Information

There is a tension between the feudal system and modernity, which is most usefully illustrated by the differences in how feudalism and democracy treat knowledge. In the feudal system, where powerful landlords control access to resources and consume the political space, general scientific, historical, and technical knowledge is jealously guarded and is shared with working people only in order to achieve a specific objective of the ruling class. Knowledge is used to guarantee lifelong indenture and the perpetuation of rigidly determined power structures.

Democracy, by contrast, requires that all people have routine access to high-precision, traceable, tested knowledge of all kinds. Modern societies, those born amid the collapse of feudal regimes of various epochs, enter into modernity by committing in one way or another to the idea that knowledge is a universal right and that people should be able to access it, rework it according to tested truth and lived experience, and assist in the ongoing work of expanding the wider pool of human intelligence. Continue reading “Beyond Feudalism: Shared Sovereignty, Human Dignity & Open Information”