5.b.8 – Is a collective management of culture possible?

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July 8, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

Is a collective management of culture possible?

Previously we said that the solutions of the root problems must support each other and it seems then logical to try to exploit the structure of the village to build a democratic culture.
At the base of the village there are domestic groups, which characteristic is to be formed from at most a dozen people, who play the role that once belonged to the family clan. In such small groups a single idea can be quickly spread by word of mouth and can also be discussed in a collective meeting; it is certainly possible that even with this system a good idea is rejected, but it will not be a mistake imposed from above and therefore, if the error is discovered, it is possible to correct it in the future by directly intervening.
The purpose of a democratic management of culture, therefore, is not to avoid mistake, but to prevent that these are imposed by a higher authority, deaf and obtuse; how to avoid and correct any oversights is a different problem that we have already addressed, but each solution found will always be useless if the system does not allow us to apply it because it is not up to us to decide.
If we take again the example of running an Internet site devoted to ancient Egypt, any subject concerning the normal cultural management activities (to choose what to talk about, to evaluate the validity and disseminate knowledge) can be collectively carried out within a small group through word of mouth, through appropriate meetings, also virtual on the website, or directly by an individual member recognized as particularly prepared.
If we turn to an entire village dedicated to this work, we’ll still have decisions collectively taken in groups first and then by representatives of the same through the usual procedure. If the village is made up of groups specializing in different areas, then some decisions will be entrusted to a single group according to the related competence, as well as they were before entrusted to a single individual. By the same principle, within each group there may be a further specialization, with leading characters as considered such by the majority.
The same pattern can be repeated with a group of villages or with a set of these groups:
– if we consider a group of ten villages, if for each village we put a limit of one hundred individuals, this could include up to one thousand people
– If we imagine now that these one thousand of people come together in a circle to form a common assembly, we know that this meeting would be unmanageable from a democratic point of view
– we have already solved this problem by bringing together the participants in groups of ten, which held separate assemblies and then send representatives to explain the results obtained
– then we will have one hundred representatives we can bring together with the imagination in a second circle inside the previous one, as if the original thousands of people were trying to approach to discuss better through their representatives
– but a hundred people are still too many, and rightly will meet again in groups of ten to form an assembly for each village; by these assemblies will be elected in total ten representatives, one for each village, which will form a council, this time manageable, in a third imaginary central circle.
In this structure composed of concentric circles, ideas flow toward the center along with the representatives, like water in a funnel, and at each circle a few are discarded, other modified and improved; along the way then the ideas considered more satisfactory are selected by a sort of filter with multiple layers.
This system differs from the classical, i.e. the multi-level pyramid, because the various circles simply collect and select ideas from outside, they do not produce their own to impose them on the levels below. Each inner circle can rather be seen as dependent on those external, because it is obliged to receive and process the ideas imposed by the previous circle and is therefore subject to its authority. Another advantage is that each representative is elected by people who know him personally and can judge and control him; then it is right to represent the circle of representatives surrounded by that of their constituents because they are in fact able to control them by sight as if it were surrounded.
The outer circle can also be seen as a big hug to the internal one, people who send a relative or friend to represent them will be of course willing to provide any assistance, to complement or replace the representative according to the issue to be addressed.
With this concentric system, the best ideas and, when needed, the best people are selected towards the center and from this then radiate outwards, where they’ll produce their effects and stimulate a return wave in a virtuous cycle.
If we consider a set of ten groups of villages, which with little imagination we’ll call tribes, we can keep the pattern simply by adding another circle in the center and the same thing will happen with even larger groups.

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