Modes of Governance

Action can be chaotic or coherent.
There are two major modes of coherent action by collectives:

  • Leaderless collective actions
  • Governed collective actions

Leaderless Coherent Action

Flocks of birds    FLOCK OF BIRDS

Schools of fish    fish-shoaling-swimming-together

The members of a leaderless society are genetically programmed to act in similar ways. The behaviour of such leaderless collectives has been simulated in computer models with a few simple rules for members: keep a certain distance from your neighbours; match the speed and direction of motion to the motion of your nearest neighbours. Out of such simple common rules results a coherent action of the collective. Animal herds act in a leaderless mode in certain situations. The common purpose of all members of such a collective is to get away quickly from a predator. Lemmings or cattle in a stampede are examples for this mode. Human mobs display leaderless coordinated action as well, when all members of the mob are motivated by a common purpose.

Governed Coherent Action

When the individual members of a society have different, even competing interests, governance is necessary for preventing chaos and for achieving coherent actions of a collective. The over arching guideline for individual and governed collective action is survival, sustainability in the short and in the long term.

Two fundamentally different modes of governance can be defined:

  • The natural mode: using the law of force
  • The enlightened mode: using the force of law

Each mode of governance is described in more detail below.

The Natural Mode of Governance:

In Nature, the law of force determines what is permitted. Internally the strongest, cleverest, or most cunning member of a society conquers privilege and assumes leadership. The leader in a pack of wolves is the alpha male. The clan of up to 50 hyenas is led by the strongest female, the matriarch. It is interesting that a clan of hyenas has a multilevel governance system.  The clan is divided into packs of hyenas. Each pack of some six hyenas is led by a female. Many human societies are governed in the natural mode by dictators using the law of force.  Governance by dictators has shown staying power, because dictators can act quickly and decisively, which is good for survival in a competitive world. To this day, even democratic nations use the law of force in external conflict.

Applying the law of force is only meaningful for the survival of a society, if the force is strong enough to overpower the opponent. Therefore, nations enter into alliances to achieve the military strength required to win a war. However, with the advent of nuclear weapons wars can no longer be won. Mutual destruction is assured; hence the application of the law of force becomes suicidal and meaningless for survival. Therefore, today a change to the enlightened mode of governance by the force of law has become a necessity.

The Enlightened Mode of Governance

In addition to being necessary, global governance by the force of law makes good sense in other ways.  It is cheaper because the expensive, destructive national military forces, whose mandate is to establish the law of force are no longer necessary. A global police force, whose mandate is to enforce the law, guarantees the security of all nations. Global governance by the rule of law is more just, as long as corruption of the system can be prevented.


3 thoughts on “Modes of Governance

  1. Global Federation is so important that we have an obligation to use all our creativity and all our physical force to achieve it. The highest moral obligation. Tom Simunovic, Niagara Falls


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