A person who is focused on the environment, or on women’s rights, is quickly recognized as leaning left. Likewise, a “patriot” – who stridently supports the military, or attends an evangelical church – is probably oriented toward the right. Liberals and conservatives can be recognized easily by their characteristics.
Similarly, members of the oligarchy – senators, Wall Street bankers, globalist CEOs, and social media monopolists – can also be identified by their qualities. They prefer top-down organizations. They attempt to organize people into silos. And they prefer that information be restricted to a few key people.
So, three poles of the political circle can be recognized easily. But what about citizen empowerment? Which qualities define those whose political views place them far down in the lower quadrants? They have existed throughout human civilization, but can be difficult to recognize in our highly centralized society.
Here are a few characteristics of the circle’s lowest pole ……
QUALITY ONE: TRANSPARENCY
The citizist seeks clarity of all public information, coupled with the right to privacy of individual information. It’s a tendency that sits in direct opposition to the opaque, “classified” approach of the centralist.
QUALITY TWO: INCREMENTALISM
Citizen-based power doesn’t try to build projects on some grand scale …… whether that project is physical or organizational. The bottom pole starts small and makes improvements on the way. Occasionally, it pulls down what’s already there, to replace it with a better structure. Many of the most successful systems across world history were constructed within this methodology.
QUALITY THREE: SIMPLE RULES
A small set of simple rules can lead to the most complex of organisms. This contrasts with top down regulation, where a complicated set of rules attempts to create some simple situation.
QUALITY FOUR: LOCALISM
Citizen empowerment is based on subsidiarity, the principle in which decisions are made at the smallest effective scale. Citizists typically engage at the local level first, where they prefer neighbor-to-neighbor decision-making …… then block-empowered approaches.
QUALITY FIVE: EMERGENCE
You’ll often hear a citizist proclaim that they prefer the free market. (They also offer strident criticism of crony capitalism.) But “the market” is subservient to the deeper principle of emergent self-organization. The process of evolution is nature’s example of emergence, and so is any system that begins small, and builds toward complexity through incremental innovation. This characteristic synthesizes numbers two through four above.
QUALITY SIX: FLUIDITY
This quality parallels the concept of horizontal organization: fluids always flow outward …… toward flatness. It also contrasts sharply with the top down structures of the centralist. When a human organizational structure is fluid, it’s typically quite innovative.
QUALITY SEVEN: FLEXIBILITY
Flexibility allows the citizist to participate concurrently in a variety of organizations, some of whose missions might be mismatched or seemingly contradictory. In addition, citizen-based power is willing to quickly discontinue an organization if its purpose is no longer being served.
These are just a few of many qualities that can be attributed to the citizist. Their comfort with chaos sits in opposition to the high-structured centralizing of the top pole.