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Contemporary myths governing the relationships of governance and civil society?


Governing Civilization through Civilizing Governance: global challenge for a turbulent future (Part #3)


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Figure 1: Relationships of governance and civil society?
Prevailing "myths"?
Emergent "reality"?
stable dynamic (turbulent)
linear development non-linear development (complex)
distinct, well-bounded diffuse, porous
concrete (globalization) virtual (globalization)
objective / explicit reality subjective / implicit / tacit reality
factual, evidence-based reality image-dependent, faith-based reality
geo-politically containable issue dynamics subject to global geo-political issue dynamics
non-disruptive (predictable) surprises disruptive (unpredictable) surprises (Black Swan)
probability of long-term evolution probability of system collapse
culture independent culture dependent
preference/bias independent preference/bias dependent
personality independent personality dependent
manageable information flows information overload/underuse
adequate attention quality/time for governance inadequate attention quality/time for governance
transparent "due processes" non-transparent "undue processes" (classified, secret)
corruption-free processes corruption-endemic processes
insensitivity to unforeseen feedback hypersensitivity to unforeseen feedback
reliable allies / opponents unreliable allies / surprising friendships
slowly changing allegiances rapidly shifting allegiances
dependable/reliable actors/agents unreliable (rogue) agents/actors
tradition-dependent viability change-dependent viability
reliability of "tried and tested" methods urgent need for "new thinking"
reliable, non-problematic technologies unreliable, problematic technologies
reliable resources unreliable resources
sustainable initiatives/processes unsustainable initiatives/processes
capacity to elicit relevant feedback on complex issues questionable capacity to elicit relevant feedback
capacity to deliver on commitments questionable capacity to deliver on commitments
negligible cognitive gap between governors and governed challenging cognitive gap between governors and governed
"typewriter" knowledge mindset "web-related" knowledge mindset
cognitively unchallenged cognitively challenged
reliance on duly certified authorities reliance on practice, experience and capacity
well-defined (chain of) responsibility plausibly deniable (network) of responsibility

Governance might be considered to be significantly challenged by a "myth" that democratic processes do "work" -- especially given widespread claims of vote rigging, even in the most "democratic" societies. It is in this context that popular feedback processes have been rendered suspect -- as exemplified by scandals regarding BBC participative phone-ins. What is presented as popular participation and feedback by millions, notably to their representatives and to overburdened international institutions, might be understood as having a probability of success analogous to that of national lotteries -- credible only to the "mathematically challenged".

How is democracy to be expected to work elsewhere, given the importance attached to provisions for armed militias in the Second Amendment, seen as essential to the coherence of the US Constitution -- and given the challenge to democracy by armed militias elsewhere (Arming Civil Society Worldwide, 2003)


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