35 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Robert David STEELE Vivas
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Here's what is really great about this book:
01) The authors are connected, admired, and conversant with the great minds of Silicon Valley (Eric Schmidt offers a very strong blurb) and even more importantly, this book both represents the best from those minds, and has clearly had as positive effect in getting this particular meme ("intelligent governance") considered.
02) The authors force attention to a fundamental flawed premise in the West, that any form of democracy (even if corrupted beyond recognition) is preferable to any form of dictatorship (the authors refer to China as a mandarinate). As someone who grew up in Singapore and has the deepest admiration for Minister-Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and the professionalism of the Government of Singapore (it employed my step-mother from New Zealand for many years, ultimately as head of the Department of English), I am among the first to suggest that the West falls short, but I would point to Singapore and the Nordics and BENELUX as my preferred alternative, not just hybrid, but rooted in ethical evidence-based decision-making. I would also note that the West has actively supported 40 of 42 dictators for the last fifty years -- integrity is NOT a strong suit for our so-called Western democracies.
03) The book is strongest -- no doubt as the publisher and the authors intended -- in relation to the impact of social networks as feedback loops helpful to governments, whether democratic or mandarinate, that are capable of LISTENING. Chapter 4, "The New Challenges of Governmance," is certainly suitable as a stand-alone assigned reading. The authors are heavily reliant on David Brin (I am a fan of his) but distressingly oblivious to Howard Rheingold, Tom Atlee, Jim Rough, Harrison Owen, and a host of others that have spent -- primed by Stewart Brand -- decades thinking about deliberation and consensus-building. Having said that by way of balance, this chapter strikes me as the heart of the book, and it gets high marks for pointing out that Google and all other options today are not facilitative of deliberative dialog.
The focus on mega-cities is all too short, and I would be very glad to see the authors combine my critical comments on what is missing, with a deeper focus on mega-cities, and do a second book, but this time comparing a city in Brazil, one in China, one in India, and one one in Russia.
Chapter 5, "Intelligent Governance," is naturally central to the book,and the central paragraph may be this one: "In practice this means that decision-making power must be decentralized as much as possible to communities of active citizens in the domains of their competence. In short, it must devolve and involve beyond the old systems of a mass public choosing distant rulers in periodic one-person-one-vote elections where their voice doesn't matter. An `intelligent electorate' is part and parcel of a knowledgeable democracy."
In the absence of specifics (the ten high level threats, the twelve core policy areas) this chapter does not have a chance to really explore how intelligent goverance might work, for example, in relation to managing water across all boundaries. The authors assume that citizens will either be informed (educated), or will drop out and accept not having a voice. This is certainly worthy of greater discussion -- Will Durant and others emphasize that the ONE thing a legitimate government MUST do if it is to be effective is to EDUCATE their population. There is also the matter of collective intelligence, wisdom of the crowds, and dignity -- EVERYONE -- regardless of status or education -- has a vital contribution to make to any self-governance deliberation.
I realize as this point that the book merits a second and third reading -- I am not extracting all of the value on the first go-around. The section on "Scaling Governance" is for me the crux of the matter. The authors try to hard to "rationalize" who should participate where, in part because they do not seem to have an appreciation for Open Space and all the other opens. Certainly I agree with their point that "one size does not fit all," but I also believe that government will scale easily if it is truly transparent, truthful, and committed to trust as the intangible value that optimizes wealth creation.
Chapter 6, "Rebooting California's Dysfunctional Democracy," provides more substance for reflection. The most troubling section of this chapter is the author's focus on tax reform as opposed to tax transformation. I have been a champion of the Automated Payment Transaction (APT) Tax ever since Jim Turner taught be about it, and I am troubled right now that neither the President of the United States of America, nor the Speaker of the House, appear witting of this option, or if they are, their two parties favor the corruption inherent in the tax code (this is how Congress extorts money from special interests) so deeply that they would rather bankrupt the country than give up their one Golden Goose.
Chapter 7, "The G-20," is an eye-opener for me. I never expected to learn that China has offered to fund infrastructure projects in the USA, or to collaborate with the USA on clean energy and low carbon development. I never expected to learn that China has offered to finance California's high-speed train. This chapter humbles me, in part because I have mistakenly avoided reading on G-20, having assumed them to be a dysfunctional vestige of the old era. For me, this chapter "resets" a part of my mind.,
The balance of the book passes through Europe without mentioning Iceland that I can see, touches on the fact that our government processes have not kept pace with advances in science and technology and information technologies, but then glosses over the harder fact that we have created a Tower of Babel with the fragmentation of knowledge to the point that we now award PhDs to people who know everything about nothing and nothing at all about everything else.
There is a middle ground in this book that I find quite irritating, but am hesitant to make too much of. For example, the authors are eloquent in addressing the terrible consequences of the American form of consumerism without limits, but cannot bring themselves to call out the corporations (big tobacco, big sugar, big pharma, mega-agriculture) that have told lies and funded liars for decades, while the US federal, state, and local governments have looked away and tolerated an almost complete lack of ethics within the US business world, and particularly, at Matt Taibbi has documented so well, in the financial sector.
Now here are the three short-falls -- I would be very glad if the publisher encouraged the authors to do a second edition that adds an index after these three short-falls (and the attendant bibliography) are added.
Absolutely recommended at 5 stars, but misses going to the top 10% because as much as it focuses on intelligent governance, and most especially on achieving balance between a nurturing center and relatively autonomous elements of any federation, this book does not discuss three topics I consider essential:
01) The authors are reluctant to take on the absolute of corruption. If there is one thing that the Chinese and US governments share, it is the corruption, the pervasive corruption, that is at its worst under a one party monopoly or a two-party duopoly. Corruption means information pathologies, and information pathologies means that the whole system feedback loops are "dirty." Lies are sand in the gears of any complex delicate system of systems.
02) The authors are too focused on governance as the province of governments, when in fact hybrid forms of governance are emerging in which academic, civil society (including labor and religion), commerce, government of all types and levels, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non-profit-what I call the "eight tribes" work out innovative and efficient ways of addressing challenges that are beyond the capabilities of top-down governments fond of operating on the basis of secrets, lies, and mandate instead of bottom-up buy-in. The author's use of hybrid (governments and social networks) is a corruption of the term best applied when ALL forms of information exploitation (the eight tribes) are deeply engaged in co-creation, co-governance, and co-accountability.
03) The authors offer no strategic analytic model, no whole systems approach to cause and effect, and no mention of true cost economics, which I personally believe is "root" for any governance, hybrid or otherwise, that wishes to be intelligent. The authors do great on process and feedback loops, but they do not offer up a sufficiently complex portrait of the eight tribes, raw information, or sense-making. Social media i 80% NOISE, 20% (at best) SENSE-MAKING. In other words, technology is not a substitute for thinking, and Facebook, Twitter, and Google are inherently NOT intelligent in the professional sense of the word, able to make sense and support decisions.
Evaluated as a provocative long essay in book form, this is a solid five. I myself am working on a proposed presentation to the next annual meeting of the public administration wallahs, and my tentative title is Public Governance in the 21st Century: New Rules, Hybrid Forms, One Constant -- The Public. In that paper, which may become a book but probably not, I contemplate the integration of education, intelligence (decision-support), and research, and bring together three sub-systems: Diversity from cognitive science and collection intelligence; Clarity from Whole Systems; and regulation from ecological or true cost economics. Public governance -- a hybrid of the eight tribes working together on the basis of shared information and a co-equal role in transparent collaborative sense-making, provides the integral holistic Integrity of the Commonwealth.
Below are ten other books that complement this book.
The Tao of Democracy: Using co-intelligence to create a world that works for all
Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series)
Philosophy and the Social Problem: The Annotated Edition
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
Environmental Security and Global Stability: Problems and Responses
The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
The Leadership of Civilization Building: Administrative and civilization theory, Symbolic Dialogue, and Citizen Skills for the 21st Century
Critical Choices. The United Nations, Networks, and the Future of Global Governance
Global Public Policy: Governing Without Government?
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Robert David Steele
INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
John A. Suda
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts
Was ist das?
How's this for provocative?
Red China's dictatorship is more accountable to its citizens than Wall Street is to Americans. The governance system of the People's Republic of China may be the best equipped of any system to handle the challenges of the 21st century. Western-style liberal democracies have both too much and too little democracy.
Authors, Berggruen and Gardels, have written an actually very sober analysis of global governance focusing on the contrast between China's mandarinate and Western liberal democracies, especially that of the United States. They analyze contemporary global politics as being in a new stage of development which they refer to as Globalization 2.0.
That sees the United State's economic and political domination of the rest of the world coming to an end and the world developing into a multipolar one with no single dominating political and economic power and diffusion of economies and industries where geographies and public jurisdictions are becoming irrelevant. Increasing global integration, diversities, and economic diffusions require new political and technical capabilities.
The authors want to see improvement in world governance, primarily in the Western democracies, which are entering into a declining state of poor performance, political paralysis, declining legitimacy, and an increasing influence of participatory media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) which is making "mob rule" of a sort an increasingly crippling factor for good governance.
Unlike some theorists like Francis Fukuyama (The End of Ideology) who believe liberal democracies are the best and highest form of governance, they argue that democracy, faced with crises, is not necessarily self-correcting, nor is capitalism, as clearly proven by recent events.
They provide what they call a conceptual and practical guide to establish an intelligent governance for the 21st century which balances the virtues and best practices of both Western democracies and Eastern Confucianist-based governance systems. Western governments which still have a high level of legitimacy are failing to adapt to the new world pluralism and diversities primarily because they are short-term oriented, dominated by special interests, lack focus as a collective or nation, and are susceptible more than ever to essentially incompetent citizen rule.
China's blend of capitalism and Confucianism (with a touch of communism), on the other hand, has shown exceptional performance, is forward-looking, operates with a collective-national focus, and has an increasing (but still low) level of legitimacy. This is true even though its level of democratic participation is low, levels of corruption high, and attention to social and environmental consequences of growth inadequate.
There is increasing pressure on the Chinese meritocracy (mandarinate) to open up and devolve decision-making authority to more people and evolve into a rights-based society. However, because its performance as a government is so good and advanced it can take its time to adjust to pressures from citizens.
The United States and Western democracies, on the other hand, are not only not performing well but are likely permanently paralyzed by partisan politics and special interest activity leading to crushing governmental debt and irrational policymaking. America is now a "vetocracy" where entrenched special interests protect their own turf and trump any sense of a collective. The participatory media are making politics into a mob-like situation and sooner or later, legitimacy will erode.
Their remedy is to adopt new political structures in government which will stand above the partisanship and individualism which paralyzes it now. These new structures will be manned by prominent, respected Americans who will be isolated somewhat from the citizen mobs. Their positions will be long-term and based on merit and they will be appointed by an elite level of citizens.
The idea is to establish a mechanism for collective-national decision-making, long-term perspectives, planning, and reason-based governance (versus interest-based.) They believe a blend of long-term perspective and the competency of a meritocracy with a modest level of popular participation will provide a 21st-century level quality of governance and legitimacy.
They started to advance this concept in 2010 with the Thinking Long Committee in California. It is not yet more than a mere set of proposals and there is no certainty that it will come into being, much less replace traditional state government. But, it is a practical model of how to improve governmental performance while maintaining democratic legitimacy. Some other informal examples include the Congressional super committees of recent years and the appointment of technocrat (Super) Mario Monti in the EU to oversee the debt crisis there.
They analyze two other systems of governance and believe that each of them need to be reformulated along the lines of the Thinking Long Committee. The European Community and the G-20 structure of nations will benefit from strictures which allow for a meritocracy to rule societies while, at the same time, allowing the masses to have a certain level of political influence on lower levels and with local issues. Ideally, there will be a balanced and accountable meritocracy.
The comparative analysis of East versus West types of governance is very cogent and enlightening. The interest in intelligent government, i.e., which has a "brain" which can reason and make fact-based decisions for the collective is very defensible. The philosophical question is no longer autocracy versus democracy but good versus bad governance.
The thrust of this program, however, is top-down, high-level governance which will be the province of the existing elite? Capitalists? Benevolent mandarins?
That is unclear but the implication is that the lower classes will be mostly excluded except for a particular function of monitoring for accountability via the participatory media. The authors even conceive of weighted voting where some more interested citizens have greater voting influence than mere schmoes.
All of this is highly interesting and on the right track, arguably, to solve the dysfunctional governance in America, at least. However, there are at least two major problems: 1) Even if a benevolent class of enlightened meritocrats were to rule, why would they be expected to control the capitalist class of individuals, private-interested egos, and aggressive businessmen who dominate economics and politics now? Marx has already demonstrated that the political realm is subordinate to the economic one and capitalism deters to no political structure but the one which serves its own capitalist interests.
How is the collective sense to be maintained? There is no good answer to that.
2) Even more problematic is the transition from our traditional institutions to the new system of intelligent governance. How will this happen, especially in the absence of any cultural change of attitude or set of values? Selfishness and individualism are ingrained in the American system. No mere new political structure will survive that environment without having way more cultural and social support.
This is a very interesting and valuable book with good analysis, great insights, and good ideas, but some important holes in the program.