Why we need more decentralization

The unprecedented amount of knowledge in the world today, combined with the ease of spreading that knowledge, carries with it the possibility of a revolution in how we are governed.

The true potential of self-government, where power returns to local communities, families, and individuals, is more possible today than it has been ever before.

And yet, the corporatist elite is doing everything to move in the opposite direction.

Around the world and right here at home we see politicians doing everything they can to centralize power in their hands. One size fits all solutions get imposed from the top down, leaders talk nice meaningless words about “consulting the people,” and then retreat to their proverbial smoke-filled rooms for the years between elections, all the while power is siphoned away from the people.

Why, at the moment when decentralization of power is the clear way forward, are politicians and big corporations doing everything to avoid it?

We know the answer: They fear losing their power. In every societal shift there are those who stand to lose, and those who stand to gain. For a long time, the corporatist politicians, media, banking, and big business elites have been winning at our expense.

Centralization of power, massive bureaucracies, monopolies on decision making and information, and arcane political practices have made them rich and powerful.

Meanwhile the majority of people are struggling, and our economy is incredibly fragile and on the brink of potential crisis. People feel that something has gone seriously wrong, and they are right to feel that way.

Our political system was designed for an era when it took weeks to travel across the country, when there were no phones and even no radios.

But despite the massive changes in our society, the political system hasn’t caught up. That’s why it’s no surprise that a system designed to centralize power in a world long past still does the same thing today.

There is a direct connection between our outdated political system and the rise of inequality and deeply embedded corruption.

The centralizing tendencies of the system can infect the attitudes of those who interact with it, creating a growing network who see government as a tool to dominate and control. This leads to legislation that benefits other big and powerful institutions. 

Thus, a destructive cycle begins, politicians benefit corporations, corporations benefit politicians, the same people go back and forth between both, the power structure remains the same, and the same elite enrich themselves while the rest of us struggle.

This is why decentralization isn’t happening, despite the tremendous potential it holds to empower the people and create a more just and fair society: Those in power have far too much to lose by decentralizing that power. They want to stay in control. They want you to have to ask them and beg them for favours, even though it’s you who pays their salary and keeps them in business.

Remember this: There is nothing those in power fear more than a population that truly realizes our own strength.