The downturn and loss of faith in our bureaucratic and political system is because it is designed for smaller and less complex population than ours. We have decreasing illusion that law enforcement will catch any and all criminals and hence that it is a credible system. Same goes for government-initiated disaster management. Construction of public spaces, land management or management of national security: we are tiring of depending on a system that is rarely satisfactory.
Our current government system is that it consists of a chosen few that we entrust with extensive power to control all of us. That is what communities address. Startups thrive on a combination of independence from government and large corporation on the one hand, and simple daily task-manager on the other. And that is what communities are about: cutting complex task into simple ones that anyone who is interested can do and finding an interested group of people to do them with.
Commuities are not an economic concept, although you do save money if you do certain menial tasks yourself with a group supported by a free app instead of outsourcing to an organisation with paid staff to do these things. Communities are about shaking off the excess bagage that government and large corporations with their clunky and so-called efficient so called service have become.
In the process we are demythifying the concept that there is a government that is essentially good and there are companies that essentially do what we want them to do because we pay them to. We decreasingly see ourselves as individuals in charge of our lives that only need to look inside our hearts and souls to find inspiration. We are exchanging that for defining the quality of our lives by the quality of our relationships: personal, professional and even artificial such as in a blockchain. We are increasingly defined by our position in the community.
The emphasis on relationships is the key to modern enforcement: being part of a community gives you priviledges and leaders most of all, while being excommunicated leads to loss and threat. It means you will have to depend on second-rate, impersonal and uncaring government solutions like judges and official healthcare. No, we can be blessed if we are part of a community that looks out for each other, that keeps us in check and understands why sometimes the rules need to be bent to make things work.
The reason this is a big deal is that it is consistent with a system that can handle great size and complexity without any loss of quality. It doesn’t matter how large the city population is if every street has some people that sweep it every so often. If every burrough recruits residing medical enthusiasts to have a chat with those who fall ill. And if a few alert citizens are wary of unwanted visitors and unacceptable behavior. This system does not replace government or expertise, but it coordinates it. It also lifts the quality of the most basic services because we are better at doing them ourselves.
This hypothesis lies at the heart of an emerging world order shaping our system of health care, justice, economy and the way we co-exist. Are you with me or are you in a different community? What’s yours like?