Civilization Bloom, Part III

Organic Emergence of Political Systems

Photo by v2osk on Unsplash

A recap

When I speak of organic emergence, what I mean is the process of a thing coming into being out of its own nature, finding its course through existence through no obedience to external force or pressure, but being allowed to grow and form and change in harmony with its unique state of balance.

The Roots of Organic Emergence

In the first two sections of this series, I outlined two fundamental tenets of organic emergence. The first, an ability to pursue the meeting of our needs through a profound awareness of our feelings. The second, a commitment not to control or dominate, but to pursue one’s own needs and allow natural harmonies to emerge with the needs and actions of others.

What is Politics?

First, it is worth digging into the concept of “politics” further. When most of us imagine politics, we think of elections, issues and politicians. These are some of the trappings of politics as we currently practice it in most parts of the world, but they are not, themselves, politics.

Systems of Organic Emergence

In seeking to build a political system of organic emergence, we must first understand what we mean when we speak of a system. A system is simply a collective pattern of behavior strong enough to condition future behaviors. The conditioning it creates may be conscious or unconscious on the part of the individuals being influenced.

Allowing a System to Emerge Organically

A system that truly fosters organic emergence must itself emerge organically — if the system itself is coerced into being, rigid in character and deterministic in influence, it will be anathema to the organic emergence of those it conditions.

Skin in the Game: Direct Democracy

The most basic component of a political system in which people have the ability to meet their needs is just that: people having the ability to meet their needs. The political system must not only allow for needs to be met, but allow for people to meet them themselves, and have the power to do so.

Eliminating Power Hierarchies: Horizontalism

This brings us to the next facet of a political system of organic emergence: a lack of power hierarchies. Rather than one person or group having decision-making power over others, the locus of power is spread equitably throughout everyone in the community. One person, one vote.

Resisting Rigidity: Norms of Flexibility

Here we get to the third main point of a politics of organic emergence: it is flexible. It is malleable, unfixed, adaptable, and open to re-negotiation.

Allowing Adaptability: Decentralization

Like our very nature of adapting to our surroundings, our politics must be able to adapt to our needs.

Cultivating Diversity: Localization and Plurality

Decentralization means localization. Rather than power, authority, and decision-making abilities concentrated in a singular source that reigns over the land, a diversity of needs can only be met through a diversity of loci of power.

Free Association

Which brings me to another fundamental point of organically emergent politics, already touched on in the previous section on relationships. That point is free association, the ability of individuals to build community, leave community, dissolve community, and re-build community at will.


To tie this back to the original point about how these systems can themselves emerge organically, it comes back to a very simple word: practice.

Conviviologist. Disorderly organizer. Writing for a world where many worlds fit ||

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