I am an arm chair philosopher and Information Age guru. As a citizen, I'm pretty alarmed at the state of the world. Never mind the litany of problems becaue we live in a world where, at least for some, there are no facts. In my research, I find the ideas from biology combined with cybernetics and systems science are the key to a way forward. They invented a word, "autopoesis," that describes a kind of system that is "a network of processes that continuously produce and reproduce themselves," and I suggest we need to look at politics and society in the same way. When governments are viewed as such networks, then we can begin to identify species of governments, their vital organs and how they relate at least at a high level. In so called liberal democracies, the interests of capital and ownership are over-represented simply because they own and operate most of the component process networks (corporations and other institutions) that produce the government. They have made the governments slaves of industry just like the rest of us..

I say we need to invent a new system of government that is more egalitarian and visionary than any that has been imagined in the past. I'm proposing a party name that refers to one of the first philosophers. Plato suggested we should be ruled by philosophers, and  what he meant is that we should be ruled by the wisest among us. This begs the question of how to ensure we get the wisest, and brings to mind Diogenes, another Greek wise guy who would go around with a lantern during the day "looking for an honest man." What is wisdom that doesn't include honesty? These are not questions with one singular answer, but neither are they rhetorical. Our future depends on finding the best answers. Plato can be forgiven for suggesting we need a King of philosophers to run things, what we have is the earliest form of the benevolent dictator. Actually, that was the best model of just rule until we started to replace it with something better in the founding of the first modern democracy. Diogenes reminds us that so-called wise-kings can be overtaken by vice and become greedy and drunk with power.

Let the name stand for the search for wisdom, for all the virtues that we may be seekers of, ever restless in our pursuit of truth and beauty. Let it stand also for the place where people of faith and people of science can find common ground in knowing we will never have all the answers. There are always more mysteries ranging from challenging problems well within reach to questions that may never submit to inquiry; problems beyond all possible model or measure.

With sufficient humility we may just be able to solve the most pressing problems. Any fair analysis suggests we are in for a bumpy ride. In moderately optimistic scenarios we are going to go through some serious population growth leading to some inevitable environmental damage. At this point preventing climate change completely probably isn't an option, so in addition to finding the technologies to move to sustainability, we'll need to be highly adaptible. We need to have our best people working on these issues and we needed it yesterday.

The real shame is that we should have the wisdom by now to do much much better. We don't need to be humble about how science and technology have tamed the physical world, but there is a kind of scientism involving a belief in a mechanical, reductionist that is a block to progress. Even the softer sciences have suffered for importing this pseudo-science, but the wisest voices in all the fields remind us that reductionism must be balanced by wholism. That being said, we know enough to be doing a much better job. Some nations do a much better job than others. Would it were true than our nation was exceptional for superiority in just governance and democracy rather than by the arrogance to ignore judgements of any other nations, even our allies and long time friends.

I know it might sound like I'm running for president, but I don't think I would want that. It is a really high stress job unless you are an incompetent boob and just want to look good and make decisions. Yeah, just what the world needs, yet another shoot from the hip president. What disturbs me as a thinking person is that the vision expressed herein isn't that hard to see. Many of us see it, and I think it is likely there are many others with a better temperment than I to articulate it and lead the nation. I know there are many Americans ready and able to take a call to service. First we need to get people activated with a new conversation for democracy, then we need new recruits for every office from dogcatcher to president. I don't want the job, but if we don't have a better choice next time somebody has to do it.

In the beginning  we will have to win an uphill battle to take over the reigns of power of the current system. The two party system is already very broken, so taking them over and/or creating the necessary new parties won't actually be that hard. It is the system that nominates the candidates that needs to be taken over first. Lessig is proposing a legislative solution to this, but I'm not sure how we can do that first when the old institutions still dominate in that space. Crowdsourced activism and emergent open processes to choose leaders and candidates can replace the money primary by routing around. We don't need much money with social media and feet on the ground.

If we can start to get people active and engaged, it will become infectious. Enthusiasm is that way, good ideas can go viral overnight so if this works the hard part will be keeping up. What we don't know well and need to discover is how to channel enthusiasm into effective action. How can we engage as citizens such that leaders emerge? How do we get good people to become public servants? I don't think it is actually that hard to find the people if we get the engagement right. It will become clear when we engage as citizens to find the best candidates that we have many more strong voices for democracy than we thought. We'll be able to pass over those who want office for power. The processes themselves will produce honorable leaders in abundance and we will be able to identify the ones most capable and most likely to represent and govern in the public interest.