Inclusion & Gestalt Politics


#21

Information Post #1

Gestalt Politics

Before I begin explaining what I mean about Gestalt Politics, I would first like to apologise for my recent absence from the forum.This was not due to pique or ignorance, but to the fact that my sister has recently passed and , therefore , as most people will understand, I have had to readjust my priorities for a little while.

Le me also request that since I have a lot of ground to cover, and it will take several posts to expand upon the basic premise, that it would be preferable if these “ Information Posts” were not replied to or critiqued until the last post is made, otherwise we are likely to digress into other areas which will only confuse the issue and result in a much longer explanation.If that is acceptable, let us on with the motley.

To begin with we must understand what Gestalt Politics is not.
We can examine Jean Jaques Rosseau’s definition of political systems to gain an overview of the existing Party System.

Rosseau defines three basic Political systems

A/ Aristocracy
B/ Democracy
C/ Monarchy

Each of these , as defined by Rosseau has distinct differences in approach to government , but in practice I perceive too many similarities to accept that the differences between them are in any degree other than superficial. That is, the distinctions between them are illusion. I am sure that when Rosseau proposed them his belief in their validity as distinct systems was sincere.In politics, however, theory and practice are often opposites.

Roseau attempts to differentiate between three types of Government
1/ Aristocracy
2/ Democracy
3/ Monarchy

These can be further re-defined with sub-classifications relative to the experiences of modern history, such as for example Democratic Republicanism, Fascism, Communism, Elected Monarchy ,etc, but all of these are superficial mutations around a central premise which, of itself has never had any true or valid foundation. So we will try to keep it simple by looking at the original three .

Aristocracy as defined by Rosseau is established when less than half of the citizens have legal power and influence.When one person alone has such power , by elective decree or supposed Divine Right, we have a Monarchy. Where most if not all citizens have an equal right and power to establish and alter the laws of the land we have a Democracy.

Rosseau , however, rejects Democracy as valid on the grounds that -

“there has never been a true democracy, and there never will be.”

While I agree in part with that statement up to …

there has never been a true Democracy, I do not accept that there never will be.

The purpose of Gestalt Politics is to establish a true Democracy in fact as opposed to fiction. To be more accurate, however, an alternate or interchangeable term might be Monarchic Socialism.That is, a true Democracy can never be established by eliminating class or social distinction for many reasons both practical and moral. What can be established providing the political will is first established is an integral synthesis of the whole, which by necessity must be recognised as being equally dependent on the sum of it’s parts.

The first premise therefore of Gestalt politics is not to establish the alternate Elite’s vision of “ equality “, but to restructure society to establish “ A New Equilibrium “

P.S.This first post is a bit short, please bear with me on this. My own health is not all it could be at present, so the first few posts may be short, but I hope they will be found informative.

End of Post #1


#22

I knwo you said not to reply @Billie, and I won’t to the substance, but I just wanted to offer my condolences on your sister’s passing - I hope you are doing as ok as you can be.

I look forward to the future posts, but don’t put your health in peril - we can wait!


#23

Thank you for the kind words and the condolences.
They are very much appreciated.


#24

Information Post#2

The evolution of politics may be said to mirror the evolution of consciousness.
From the absolute Rule of the Monarch , through to group - control of Aristocracy and eventually to the collective control of Democracy, there is an underlying drive towards greater freedom of choice and collective control .Individuals, however, have three fundamental responses to change, they either embrace it wholeheartedly with rose-tinted spectacles, reject it entirely through fear of the unknown, or adopt a” let’s wait and see” approach till enough factors are perceived to present a clearer perspective of what changes are needed and which are counter-productive to any real growth.

Throughout this process of potential evolution there is always an attempt by those in power to accumulate even more power through deception and establish only superficial changes.Examples of this are where a Government claims politics is too removed from the people, and so another body of government is inrtoduced, such as the retrograde steps of forcing District councils to become subordinate to County Councils, and reacting to complaints that they also are too far removed from the people by establishing Area Councils. All of this in the pretense of listening and of creating REAL change, when the powers that be are only in reality strengthening their grip. Next comes the “ Union of Nation-States “ subordinate to the rule of the more powerful. From the U.K. to the U.S.A., the U.S.S.R. the European Union ,and if this process of Political Party gluttony is allowed to continue to Global Government, whether it be via the creation of Planet America, Planet China or Planet Russia.

No doubt, I will be accused , by some, of “ Xenophobia “ here, but putting labels on individuals or groups of people because you do not like what they are saying is irrational and absurd. Definition is a question of viewpoint and accuracy of definition is dependent upon knowledge not emotion.Isil is one case in point, they have been labelled “ Jihadists “ , when they are nothing of the sort. Jihad is , as stated in Allah’s teachings a personal and individual struggle of the Spirit attempting to overcome the animal nature of man. Isil embraces that animal nature and does not practice true Islam. The distinction is significant because only 12-14% of the Koran is composed of the teachings of Allah, while the 86-88% remaining are the words of Mohhamed.Correctly speaking , Isil, are Mohhamedans and not Moslems, and should be recognised as such.The power of the media to distort the truth is very underestimated, in this respect, but the refusal to promote the distinction has promoted the false-belief that Isil speaks for the majority of “ Moslems”.

When Political Parties re-invent themselves or embrace a similar process of reinventing the political spectrum , very often, all that is invented is a new media-landscape- the World according to Merkel, Trump , Putin, Thatcher or Blair. This does not mirror reality but instead masks the truth. All that is established here are new rules of combat. The reality remains one of Divide & Conquer as the two conflicting forces of established order and ( theoretical ) progressive change wrestle for dominance.Hardly surprising then if Joe Public is both disillusioned and disenchanted.

Nonetheless, there is always some growth towards change, the proliferation of alternate political Parties , including SomethingNew is indicative of that, as is the argument for “ Proportional Representation”

So, where to from here, is Proportional representation really the way to go?
I personally perceive it to be problematic in it’s present form and in a sense only marginally different from the present system.I will expand upon that in the next post.


#25

Information Post 3

Proportional representation in theory has a lot to commend it but it does not truly represent Vox Populus. Party representation still controls policy and restricts free voting rights to Politicians.

Placing this in perspective , what actually happens when the populace vote apparently in favour of a political party that has promised them the earth?A government is formed which the people once more apparently have given a mandate to govern and implement certain promises .In reality the public have only given power to a group of people who may keep their promises and who may not keep their promises.This is the big lie of the Party Political system, that if you vote for Party No 1 you are guaranteed the policy’s you want will be implemented. But that is seldom, if ever, the case.

A Party gains power by promising something people want, however this does not mean the promise will be kept, for although a specific promise is made, and the party members appear to support that policy, very often many people in the party are not in favour of the policy in question for reasons of either ideaology or self-interest. These party members pay lip service to the Party line only until the Party is elected.
We have seen what happens when politicians do not get behind their leader - the labour party in chaos is the result. It is not necessarily that people don’t want a labour government. It is simply that they don’t know what a labour Party so divided actually want’s themselves.These reasons are why, even with a large majority there is no guarantee the promised Policy will ever come to fruition.The public have effectively been fooled into believing “ A deal is a deal”.
It, isn’t.

Those who have paid only lip-service to the proposition now have the option of voting with the opposition to ensure the Policy in question is never implemented. In short, what the public have voted for in their naivety is for another vote to be held on a policy they have already chosen. They are in effect voting for another set of voters to totally ignore what they originally voted in favour of.
I also emphasized one Policy, for , I believe it is often the case that the electorate do not want all of the Party’s policy’s but only one or two. From the public perspective , they can always vote certain policies they don’t want out again at the next election, by voting for the other Party.This is of course if the opposition has not inconveniently decided to keep them, and if they use the promise of eliminating said policies which may not be the case.

One must also consider the fact that no-one other than the extremist is ever wholly right-or left wing. That is a media-myth which sell sensationalist newspapers, but it is not fact. I, for example have Socialist economic convictions but right-wing views on other issues.The current system, based on “ right” or “ left ” ideaologies is a caucus-race, where the the only interruption to the Party’s chasing each-other’s tail is an occasional turn on the see-saw to decide which Party is going to promise what to become leaders in the race.There is no clear intent to serve the public but only to rule them.I think perhaps, I could be forgiven for suggesting that the current Party system, could be likened to a conspiracy of professional inadequacy.

Does proportional representation make this better or worse?
Where the choice of Policies is limited to economic affairs and not social, it may indeed be far worse. A Party in favour of Proportional Representation may just as easily be tempted by the promise of power at the expense of Integrity.Herein lies an interesting quandary, who does the a third, fourth or fifth party form an alliance with? Will it be the Party with the biggest share of votes, or the Party which will best serve the public interest ,which for the sake of illustration we will say is the Party most in opposition to the former?

Consider the Con-dem alliance as the case in point.
Most people, including the press ,and the members of the Liberal Democratic Party themselves expected Clegg to form an alliance with labour.Much to the nation’s shock, it didn’t happen.Even Proportional representation can’t overcome the politics of “ Ego”.

So Proportional Representation is no promise of universal suffrage and so is no more democratic than a two-party system.What then ?

Gestalt Politics aims at including as many individuals in the voting system as possible via Collective Representation.I will cover what I mean by that in the next post.


#26

Information Post 4

As the foregoing suggests , in the past few decades there has been a gradual but irreversible change in the political spectrum not only within Europe and Great Britain but throughout the world in general. All of the world’s major populations have in one way or another tried to insist that the voices of ordinary people be heard. Each nations leaders or would-be leaders have reacted in different ways in an attempt to either silence or answer that voice. Some like, Erdogan and Putin have attempted to manipulate that voice in order to promote scape-goat politics and consolidate one-party dictatorship. Others have reacted seemingly with an intention to listen while also attempting to “ re-invent “ their Political strategies to re-construct an already failed and discredited Parliamentary system.

None, however, to date, have accepted that the only way to create a true and Direct Democracy is by the unconditional abolition of the elitist-controlled Parliamentary Democracy which is concerned only with the Party’s rise to power and consolidation of that power in the hands on unelected minorities, by whatever name. In the years ahead there are ,for each of us, only two choices, either stay silent and let the elites and pseudo-aristrocracies continue to shape the future or alternately,for the populations of each Nation to remove the elites from most of the decision making process, and eventually for a Unity of Populations to shape the future of the greater world, and not a Global Government of those previously mentioned elites.

My view of Gestalt Politics is founded on the premise that the Population as a whole must have as much say as possible in the political decision making process at every level.
That is only possible where they can vote directly on every single policy and where no policy can be legally implemented without majority consent.This covers every area of law from Civil to Corporate and Criminal. This, however is not enough to ensure meaningful and purposeful change for their are higher moral issues involved here on both a National and International level. It must, therefore be recognized that International Law in itself can only have meaning and purpose if it is seen to reflect the genuine will of each National population.
In other words, there can be no establishment of Universal Suffrage where “ National Identity “ ceases to retain significance. Internationalism is not an alternative to Nationalism , it is an expansion but only where both are seen as essential to the maintenance of a balanced world view.

This principle of controlled expansion ( and hence inclusion ) is the one thing that has been missing in the Political sphere since the establishment of bigger and more exclusive Parliaments and councils as a political reaction to two World Wars.The European project, the United Nations, the U.S.S.R., the Russian Federation , etc have only contributed to greater division and consolidation of power in the hands of the shadowy elites who themselves were responsible for the two World wars we have miraculously survived.This situation will continue unless the Party political system is confined to history once and for all.

As suggested there has been movement towards this but it has been perfunctory at best . Proportional Representation is one example of that. What exactly is it?
Is it creating more Political Parties to… in theory , offer the electorate more voting options or is it an unacknowledged though essential component in both Devolution and the deconstruction of a failed Parliamentary system? I veer towards the latter. I find it fascinating that the political Parties which were so against National Devolution and/or Independence are the same Parties which promote Proportional Representation.

This failure to acknowledge the fundamental relationship between Devolution and Proportional Representation is at the very heart of the apparent chaos in the political world as a whole. It is evident in the U.S.A., in ” China”*, The former U.S.S.R. , the would-be alternative to the U.S.S.R,…the Russian Federation, and in the illegally enforced European Union.
Let us be clear about the latter the E.U. was illegally enforced. France rejected the E.U. twice and the people’s voice was ignored, as did other European Nations who were granted a referendum, and when things didn’t go their own way the European Parliament ruled to have no further referendums and enforce the imposition of the E.U. on the peoples of Europe against their will.

This in itself mirrors the chaos Politicians obsessed with the search for power absolute have imposed upon the people for centuries. Whether we are talking about the attempt of Hitler to recreate a Greater Germany, the U.S.S.R, the elites establishment of the United Kingdom, the French appropriation of Armenia, China’s appropriation of Tibet,etc, it doesn’t matter, the principle is still the same, - you can’t enforce Unity!

It is for that reason that National Identity is so important in the interplay of International Politics, but how do we define National Identity? Again the key is in the analysis of those two words “ Proportional Representation”.Academics and Politicians would both have it that National Identity is a product of a National Culture. That may be partially true in a Nation with one ethnic group, but even then there are conflicting religious rivalries which threaten any true political cohesion.
Why, though, would this be the case if National Identity was exclusive to cultural belief? If this were true ,would not the minority religious belief become subordinate to the predominant cultural belief over time? The answer is no ,for where there are opposing views of morality only force can eradicate , or appear to eradicate, the minority belief. Culture then can’t be the sole focus of Identity.
From a personal perspective,I identify as both Scottish and British. If I regarded myself as simply Scottish I would support Independence, which I do not, and nor do the majority of Scots.
I embrace the Scottish Identity in terms of my Celtic heritage and culture, but that is only part of my Identity, my Cultural Identity. I regard myself as British because both the Celtic Nations and England which make up Great Britain ( NOT the U.K. ) share a common sense of morality, belief in democracy, fair -play , standing up for the underdog, etc.
Despite our differences there is more that unites us than divides us.

That is not, however, I believe to be the case in Europe, nor will it be till the Importance of Individual Devolved Parliaments are reestablished and they in turn make a serious effort to reconnect to their National Communities.

The foundation of Gestalt Politics then is to recognize that balance can only be established via voluntary interaction between open-Governments and open-Communities with both the power and opportunity to influence policies at all levels. Through establishing a basis for open-Government and open- Communities to work together we can build a progressive future based on common, achievable goals . My next post will cover how to try and establish this relationship, and cover the basics for establishing a basic foundation in more depth.

I apologise that this post was not as informative as initially intended.
I will rectify that in the next one.


#27

Information Post 5

The ultimate goal of Gestalt Politics is to ensure the maximum voting rights not only in terms of the population but also in regard to individual policies on both local and National levels - with some essential exceptions where minority views on moral or security issues impinge on the safety and/or rights of both the collective and the individual citizen. We can look at the importance of this later.

To achieve this goal, it is required to eliminate the Ideaology of the Party-elite, which can’t be done without eliminating the Political Party from the equation.
The first policy then is to phase out the Political Party by redefining and restructuring the parliamentary system.

One way to achieve this is to replace the House Of Commons with a House of Independent Representatives, and the House of Lords with a National Citizens Council. The latter being a means by which citizens could challenge proposals or existing policies and laws seen to be detrimental to the welfare of groups or sections of society which could potentially be disadvantaged by them.

SomethingNew* - in theory - is ideally positioned to establish a working Gestalt, the only potential barrier being a Manifesto which is not necisarily conducive to promoting wider social inclusion.This is not because it is SomethingNew’s manifesto, as such, just that it is a Manifesto. The problem being that the public do not vote for Manifesto’s. Very often, in a Party voting system they vote as much against a Party as for another. Who is to say which is which?

Under the existing system people often are asked only to vote for the lesser evil. Of course, the new Parties are trying to change that. I am not questioning the sincerity of their convictions, only pointing out that all Party beliefs are not public beliefs, all Party “ Visions “ are not Universal Visions.

In the latter regard the Public’s universal “Vision” is no different today than it has been for thousands of years. To establish a society where those who rule do not in fact rule but serve the will of the electorate - wherever possible as agreed by universal and legally ratified decree.

The first principle then is that
“ Those who rule must serve “ , a view which is also hinted at but only vaguely understood in the Social Contract where Rosseau recognises that the Monarchy are the people, and the Monarch is not Vox Populis.From this it can be inferred that in a true Democratic or Social Monarchy the “ Ruling “ Monarch can have no voice in the political sphere but is duty bound to serve the will of the Monarchy or National Gestalt itself. It is a question of social duty and obligation. This principle of Noblese Oblige is recognised when Queen Elizabeth herself has acknowledged

“ With great privilege comes great responsibility “ or, as Christ put it,

“ Let he who would be great among you become - as a servant under task work “

The usurpation of the Monarch’s power by Parliamentarians has not established the Social Democracy or Commonwealth that Cromwell promised to deliver.
Like all Party promises it was used by power-seekers to establish the pseudo-Aristocracy that continues to rule today. At this point , I think it important to view this situation in perspective. British Parliament was founded on treason - not democracy, and was motivated by the will to power and manipulated by the greed of those hungry for that power.

To establish a true system of Social Democracy then requires first the establishment not of a theoretical Social Contract but one that is legally binding on all Parties. To this end the elected Independant Representatives would , although permitted to suggest policies for review , would have no power to promote or initiate those policies without direct consent.

Some publicly selected Independents would then be directly elected to Ministerial Positions either as a consequence of their acceptance of specific policies relevant to the position or other evidence that they were the right person for the job, an example of this would be a directly elected Chancellor of the Exchequer , chosen by public vote and not by Party committee or Ideaology.
Remaining Independent politicians would form a non-ministerial group , the purpose of which would be to review policy-proposals suggested by their own constituents for wider public appraisal and debate , but would have no power to promote them ( or dismiss out of hand ) twithout their being voted on by the public.

Gestalt Politics then involves the establishment of a directly elected House of Independent Ministers and a Policy Voting system in which the Citizens themselves have direct involvement to replace the Political Party voting system. This should be seen to have certain advantages to all sections of society but also for some it may be seen that they may be specifically disadvantaged. I believe the positives would far outweigh the negatives, and that solutions to most problems can be found where there is a will to find them.

The Policy Voting system would be established with direct interaction of M.P.s with their local and National electorate, and those locally elected M.P.s spending of necessity far more time in their constituencies than in Parliament.
The costs of more local involvement would be balanced by the reduced costs of a National parliament, as, for one thing, there would be no opposition Party there being no Ideaology to oppose.

There is an added advantage to this , in that, where there is no Political party there is also no opportunity for revolution, and/or political coups.

The current system is rife with corruption and serves only the vested interests of those with direct access to Parliament, vie Gestalt Politics that situation is intended to be reversed as much as possible.That, unfortunately also brings into question the concept of the “ Manifesto” .
Where said manifesto may be seen to be serving the interests or views of an alternative elite or minority, no matter how well meaning, it may only create greater resentment and mistrust from the public.which, of course means no votes for the New guys who do not seem to be offering anything new.Of course if said manifesto was itself presented as a proposal for public consultation and open to change by the public themselves, and that principle was legally binding on the Party and all it’s members, that is, where no single aspect of the manifesto may be deemed “ Mandatory “ without collective consent, then it ceases to be a problem. Therefore, I would suggest that the Manifesto could be used in itself to promote a Policy Voting system. I was not digressing by mentioning the Manifesto or dissing it.
How and in what way this could be used to promote SomethingNew I can cover in depth later. All I would ask , at present is for people to consider the advantages and/or disadvantages that could arise from that proposition, and that personal preferences do not prejudice the analysis.
As I have pointed out, previously, I am a very firm Brexiteer and I feel there is no other way for either Britain or Europe to go forward and help to establish a fairer and better world. I would be more than a little disappointed and dismayed if Brexit were not to go ahead, nonetheless, providing I knew it to be the consequence of the collective will of the British people, I would, no matter how I felt, reluctantly, but willingly, accept it.

The system I am discussing here can only work where all parties and all social groups come together for the common good putting collective need before minority want. It does demand both a greater transparency and a more active involvement of the citizenry, but also of Politicians motives. Such a system does not support personal ambition before duty. In that regard , I would also suggest that were such a system to be implemented , Politicians would be paid on “ results” and would not automatically receive a full salary .
If Productivity -bonuses are good enough for the working man , they are good enough for Politicians too.

The latter point is an example of the type of policy that the public would be asked to vote upon.

Well, that’s something to be going on with for the moment.


#28

Very interesting posts, thank you @Billie

I think the main issue with your idea is this:

Most people I know could not care less about politics, or how the country is run, as long as their lives are relatively comfortable. Even getting these people to vote once every four years is a challenge, it would nigh on impossible to get them to vote every few weeks or days!

Another issue is how far most people think ahead. There is a Terry Pratchett quote:

“The IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters.”

which whilst tongue in cheek has some relevance here. I believe that if all policies were put forward by the general publicwe would see nothing on climate change, etc.

There are probably other things to think about, but they are my top two.

J


#29

@James,
I appreciate what you are saying but I think you are overlooking certain factors , the Independance referendum in Scotland for one, the Scottish Devolution referendum and, of course the Brexit referendum and likewise the current numbers of young people who are voting at this election.When people are presented with the opportunity to create a real change then they come out to vote in high numbers- the referendums have proven that.How many more would have voted in each case if there were extra means and ways presented to them to encourage them to vote?
For example, why can they only vote on one day?

This and other factors I have carefully considered before I put the principle forward.
Please bear in mind that this subject was initially aimed as forming part of a book on the need for Political Change and the Analysis and methods of how to establish that change. When you expressed an interest in Gestalt politics you invited me to distill the essence of what would take up several hundreds of pages in a few posts.
You are for one thing presuming wrongly that I am expecting people to vote every four weeks or so.I have not got to the point of explaining the process I am considering.I am aware of the practical difficulties involved but can’t explain everything at once.
Policies, for example, would only need presenting every 12 months or so at most on a National level, indeed they could not practically be collected and weighed in the balance any quicker and there are ways to collect votes without the expense of referendums.

Up until the past few years I would agree that most people appear not to care about politics, but that is a situation that is rapidly changing.You appear to be looking at things from a a very narrow focus. If you really believe most people would not make the effort to vote then why exactly are you promoting SomethingNew as a potential catalyst for change, if you don’t believe people will embrace it?
I believe that the reason many people have not voted in the past is because they don’t believe Politicians will keep their promises on Policies, not because they didn’t want to. Prior to the Suffragettes, women didn’t vote at all- they had to be encouraged . male politicians of the Victorian age believed - or at least claimed to - that Women were just not interested in voting.They were wrong, and I believe you are also wrong.

Political Parties like the Greens emerged from the "General Public " as did the Lib-dems and before that the SDP.
There is likewise a mistake in your reasoning here.
You say people don’t care how the country is run as long as their lives are relatively comfortable.
Even before the Tories one-sided austerity measures , many people’s lives ,particularly in the North were and remain distinctly uncomfortable.
The comfort-zone you are referring to may be a reality where you come from but not from my perspective.I believe very strongly that if people can be persuaded that Voting will have real results which will improve their lives and the lives of their children, and not be simply a waste of time then they will vote.Even today’s prisoners are fighting for the right to vote.

I find the Terry Pratchett quote a little out of place here.Exactly how far ahead are you yourself thinking?
Of course there is the necessity to establish a carefully organized outreach program over a period of years which would involve a lot of work and effort by different groups of people , under a suitable umbrella-organisation but I was aiming at the Election after this one not the one coming up.Of course SomethingNew has to get itself recognized but what exactly do you expect Something New to achieve on June 8’th other than a nodding acknowledgement of existence?
I am aiming at the long game.I do actually have a plan, and I would like the opportunity to unfold it.
If I am wasting my time let me know and I won’t bother.


#30

You’re quite right @Billie I made an assumption about how the voting would work, sorry!

I am still very much unconvinced that this solves the problems you laid out, but I am willing to be convinced - I look forward to more info. Sorry for replying too soon, I had thought that you had finished.

J


#31

@James
the fault lies with me in not " joining up the dots ".
there is a lot more to this than suggested in the posts to date and I appear to perhaps be leap-frogging ahead .
I think we are both distracted at present for different reasons and nether of us is communicating at our best.
You should concentrate on the Election for now as I think these posts may be a slight distraction .
I am therefore going to leave any further communication on this till after the election is over.

This will give me more time for reflection also. Thank you for your patience and good luck to all.


#32

@billie certainly getting complex ideas across is never a simple process. Feel free to keep writing here, but you might be interested in putting those thoughts together using Leanpub: https://leanpub.com/help. It’s a way of fashioning them into a book form (which I think you were wanting to do) and getting feedback from early readers as you go along. Happy to help, we use it to publish the manifesto ebooks.

I’m enjoying these posts, but I need to think properly about it before commenting back - probably after the election when my head’s clearer :slight_smile: