Essay from a Kosmos Reader

Horizontal Governance

Life is a gift that exceeds our ability to appreciate it fully.
What is the best thing we can do with this monumental gift we call life?
How can we avoid wasting the small amount of precious time allotted to us?

We live within a field of possibilities, yet right now the challenges are monumental, and the stakes enormous. Yet, what may be the truest aphorism of all—”to err, is to be human”—points to the extreme degree of difficulty involved in asking the right questions, making the right decisions, and coming to the wisest conclusions. The poor decisions of humanity have added up to the crises we face today, including the real possibilities of totalitarianism—and extinction. How can we begin to make the right choices now, as individuals and humanity?

We make many of the same mistakes over and over again, like planting monoculture crops, harvesting wood in a non-regenerative manner, creating dry zones, depleting habitats and species—there are so many examples—but one that is overlooked and has had fatal consequences is top-down governance. Why hasn’t humanity resolved the problems we have had for millennia—poverty, war, oppression—and evolved into a utopia?

We can’t wait for permission from a centralized authority to save ourselves. The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic suggests as much. Then again, is humanity actually capable of saving itself, of self-organizing, and removing the forces of corruption?

I would like to suggest that as long as we are governed in a vertical manner, we will be under the control of corporatocracies. Instead of changing the faces of those who govern, or more accurately of those who control, we should restructure government from vertical to horizontal. Government that is truly by and for the people, requiring citizen participation, the liberation of the feminine—decentralized, bottom-up, ecological, and bioregional.

This 7 minute animation we recently completed, explains horizontal governing:

We live in between the microscopic and macroscopic. Uncertainty is our condition and must be embraced as it makes possible, infinite possibilities, and is never going away. To put us on the right track once or before the lockdown is over, I believe it is essential that we create a giant network of millions if not billions of like-minded people and organizations who wish for humanity to go in a direction that benefits everyone, saves us from extinction, and values freedom, justice, peace, and abundance for all. A world where love is the bottom-line. This is not just wishful thinking, this is doable. And yet, it is a choice.

About Tom Osher

Tom Osher is founder of a mostly Latino, artist eco-community, He has been a producer, entrepreneur, and creative movement teacher.

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