Posted by: Tony Shannon | January 31, 2018

Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth

Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth

My life as a student then became one as a medical student, then a doctor, then an emergency physician. For many years I was learning lots about important stuff like biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology , cardiology etc etc. Given how much knowledge there is the world it is easy to fill ones brain with any matter of subject areas.

Then working as a doctor, I became interested in /frustrated by stuff like the “clinical process” or the science of process improvement, and also the information and technology aspects of life at the clinical frontline. So I began to learn beyond Medicine, about Management and Information Technology. Which led onto work towards a shift in the healthIT market towards an open platform.

Yet once you lift your head up and look around you can’t help but noticing you are but one individual, one person, working away within a broader economy, a rich society, with a household to look after and if you lucky a commons to enjoy/partake in. So you get drawn into why change is hard, and drawn reluctantly towards the hard facts that politics and economics, for instance , are two more fields you need to better understand. So you read and read some more. You read a range of wide materials and patterns start to emerge in those fields too. Then you find a book and a writer who does a great job of summarising those key fields nicely in a great book such as “Doughnut Economics: 7 ways to think like a 21st Century Economist“.

You wonder if a great book is a single viewpoint and you keep reading and you find its not alone. Increasingly, slowly, steadily you find a growing number of views and voices that point to a new way of politics and a new way of economics , of healthcare, of education , of steering technology and towards changing the world.

This latest find , from the Next System project is written by a Gar Alperovitz and the Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth is a powerful interconnected set of essays that rewrite the way the world is working. It is by no means an attempt to change the world from the top down, by imposing change on anyone. Yet is clearly and powerfully illuminates a set of component themes, thoughts and tactics that will reframe the way you see the world around you.

For now I will simply commend this work as another gem ( for a small donation I have a beautiful copy of the essays in book form) that I have no doubt will stand the test of time.

To whet your appetite, from the introduction;

Our time demands we meet the challenges inherent in an era of deepening despair and accelerating crises—political, ecological, and economic—that is also potentially the prehistory of transformative and fundamental systemic change. This requires a serious discussion of practical new economic efforts and organizing strategies as well as the steady development of both power and ideas that can help us move through and beyond the current emergency. The approach and model outlined here—the Pluralist Commonwealth—offers a trajectory and pattern for wide-ranging institutional change towards real democracy over the long haul, guided by a transformative vision beyond both corporate capitalism and traditional state socialism.







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