Democracy is not enough

I had the privilege of being part of a Love Politics Initiative the other weekend. A group of co-conspirators gets together two or three times a year to activate one another in reimagining a different kind of politics. 

One of the people present was a man called Mark Rotherham, who is the closest thing I’ve ever encountered to St Francis of Assisi! At one point in the weekend, he led us in an extraordinary meditation about the inert gas, Argon and I hope that he will do it as a podcast for this blog at some point soon. 
One of the things Mark said during the weekend had a profound effect on me and I have been mulling it over ever since. What he stated was this: “Democracy is not enough. What we need is biocracy.”
We are so intimately connected to every living thing and although we are facing the biggest ecological catastrophe we have ever known as a species on a global level, we are heading straight for it as though we are watching it in slow motion. And yet because we do not think of the ecosystems we live in as having a voice, we do not listen to them or give them a voice at our “democratic” tables. We absolutely have to stop, look and listen. We have to hear the silenced cry of the whales washed up on our European shores, with their bellies full of our plastic waste. We have to listen to the sea birds smothered to death in oil slicks. We have to listen to the melting glaciers and the fallen trees. We must listen to the dance of the bees facing extinction.
We must speak up for those who do not have a voice for themselves. We share this planet together. Human voices are not adequately speaking for those we share this planet with. Human ears are certainly not hearing the earth speaking to us. Democracy has failed the planet. Biocracy may be a saving grace.

2 thoughts on “Democracy is not enough

  1. I like the idea, but I can’t imagine the mechanism by which power is transferred to the protozoa, plankton, sponges, invertebrates, lichen, fungi, lobsters, albatrosses, arachnids etc.
    And if it was, what would they do with us?

    • I agree! Pragmatically it is very difficult to imagine… The problem is that we are so much more interconnected with the non-humans than we ever consider especially within our political discourse…. I don’t have answers but I do somehow hope we might have more urgent and wide reaching conversations about our care of the world how that world is represented in a way that doesn’t minimise the conversation to “what is best for the human species”…..

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