In the article informed consent we looked at decision making, here we’ll look a bit beyond that. People make mistakes, not because they want to, but because things can be difficult. In traditional societies the elder people played a big advisory role because of their experience. To us that makes sense.
EcoGay is not a dictatorship and it’s not a democracy either. Rule by majority vote always ends up wrong, because it invites people to play power games, it favors the more popular people and people who know how to be convincing. EcoGay is ruled by every person, because one person can block any idea or plan but only if he has an objection to the plan based on EcoGay core values or the Permaculture design framework that cannot be answered or solved. That’s called a paramount objection.
This means we need wisdom to be a part of EcoGay. We need the best possible ideas and plans. We need many little projects that together make up the big project. We need all EcoGay residents to feel involved, because their opinion matters. We also need a simple workable organizational structure.
Sociocracy works with circles connecting circles. Every small project is a circle. One person from this circle is a member of the central governing group, which is also a circle. This central circle we call the ‘Wise Men’. The Wise Men are not rulers. It is their job to advise, help and coordinate all activities in the small projects. So the Wise Men come with proposals and ideas and ask the small project circles for their informed consent. If any small project circle has a paramount objection the proposal will go back to the ‘Wise Men’ to adapt the proposal to answer the paramount objection. You can see they really need to be wise men! The small project circle can also make proposals. The ‘wise man’ of that project circle then takes this proposal to the circle of Wise Men.
This structure invites people to think, to develop the best ideas possible, to encourage creativity. It also asks people to realize that even if they do not like a specific idea, they do not have the right to block anyone else doing it unless they can formulate a paramount objection based on the EcoGay core values and Permaculture. Those two things are what every single EcoGay member has agreed to when he became part of the EcoGay project.