Tuesday, 9 October 2018

More on Localism.

Recently Michael Krieger, the Brazilian entrepreneur and founder of Instagram, wrote a piece titled:-

" It's time to focus on Localism,Decentralisation and Community."

He was writing with regards the USA but his points are just as applicable to us and I have condensed his essay into the seven key points I feel he makes.

1. Most of us are conditioned to believe life is best organised in scale. In other words, we've been convinced it's best to have as many people as possible operating under a single overarching centralised government structure in charge of micromanaging society from the top down. He believes this is outdated, unnatural and increasingly dangerous.

2. In the western world, we tend to justify centralised superstates because they're ostensibly based on democracy but this doesn't hold water for three reasons:-
a. Just looking at the C21st the 'will of the people' is frequently ignored.
b. A one-size fits all solution to problems in a geographically and cultural diverse nation 325 million, tends to make everyone unhappy. (This applies to the UK and especially the EU)
c. When you over centralise power you streamline systemic corruption. All the big money donors have to do is buy-off a few hundred representatives who conveniently all gather in the same place, far from their constituents, to pass legislation which is often written by lobbyists.

3.Centralised power is unaccountable and exceedingly corrupt.

4. Those against 'Localism' often say it is as corrupt as central government but that is because the people's attention is focused on the centre. If REAL decisions are made locally the people would concentrate on local government where corruption is easier to detect.

5. Local improvements need to be made by local people in their communities - eg. Cleaning up empty spaces and creating community gardens is the sort of thing that brings people together, improves quality-of-life, even mental health and is achievable at relatively low costs.

6.Trusting Local governments to raise their own finances locally, rather than central handouts, instantly makes them more accountable and responsible to their communities.   

7. Localism will increasingly become a necessity as central governments struggle to solve and fail to resolve local issues.

As I wrote last week politicians need 'skin in the game' or their decisions increasingly do not reflect the 'will of the people'. Our second demand for 'Real local democracy' takes fully into account the importance, if not necessity, of local government, based on our historic country structure, taking over more and more power currently undertaken, so badly, by Westminster.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The importance of having 'Skin in the game'.

I was recently referred to an interesting article, on the Internet,  about a book which I have not read myself yet, called 'Skin in the game'  by M. Taleb.

The key points from the article were:-

1. An insight as to why societies and economies thrive or fail boils down to  one of scale.

2. Organisations that function well at a small scale (ie.localised) fail when scaled up and centralised ( ie globalised).

3. Both markets and governance function well at a small scale because those making the decisions must absorb the consequences of their actions/choices.

4.The entire point of centralised hierarchies is to buffer top decision-makers from the consequences of their actions and choices.

5.Having 'skin in the game' exposes decision makers to the consequences of their actions.

6. The decisions of political leaders, like going to war, has virtually a zero risk of them being killed.

7. Leaders of highly centralised hierarchies lead cost-free lives enabling them to to pursue disastrous policies.

8. Cheating is easier to get away with the more centralised the organisation or government.

9. Cheaters at the top of the wealth-power pyramid hire slick attorneys to evade consequences or they buy political influence/protection, in effect legalising cheating by those at the top of the pyramid in systemic ways. Small scale governance mostly avoids this as the office holders are more readily made to face the consequences of their decisions.

10. A state issued currency is the perfection of a centralised system which enables governments to avoid the consequences of their policies.

Our second demand for 'Real Local Democracy' recognises all the above and aims to give the basic unit of our counties REAL power including raising taxes and leave the central government to concentrate on the Nation's Home and Foreign Affairs, Defence and the National budget.