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Peace from Harmony
Sphere democracy: state for harmony

Leo M. Semashko

Manifesto of Sphere* Democracy

  1. Democracies that have been liberal, socialist, national, pluralistic, have accomplished their mission and exhausted their social and political resources. Presently they are in dire crisis and at a hopeless impasse. They were productive in the development of industrial society, in its branch-based, competitive world, which, while ensuring economic progress, has been all along marching toward societal disharmony, disintegration, and self-defeating confrontation. This kind of uneven development has brought civilization to the brink of self-destruction, caused by intrinsic contradictions and challenges — economic (wealth and poverty), ecological, demographic, and ideological/civilizational.

  2. In the newly emerging, informational society and its newly defined, global community, an underlying structure is becoming increasingly evident — a framework consisting of four spheres of societal reproduction: social, reproducing people (human resources and human capital); informational, reproducing informational resources and capital; organizational, reproducing organizational (political, financial, legal, managerial, military) resources and capital; technical (material, economic), reproducing material resources and capital.

    These resources/capitals are equally important to society and human, and so, the spheres that reproduce them are equally important. The four spheres of societal reproduction determine a sphere-based social structure, consisting of four sphere classes of the population, which differ not by property or any other stratification feature, but by the attribute of employment in o­ne of society's four reproductive spheres. Sphere classes, like spheres of reproduction, are equally important to society.

    For an emerging, sphere-based world of informational society, a new strategy for achieving social harmony is possible, which alone can bring about social justice. The objective foundation of social harmony consists of an innate aspiration of society's spheres of reproduction to achieve balance and equilibrium, as the optimal condition for their existence.

    The carriers of the energy to achieve social harmony are sphere classes, able to function best under conditions of mutual COOPERATION, partnership and teamwork, laying the foundation for social harmony and justice. The colossal energy for the production of social harmony by sphere classes remains dormant, latent, obscure, dispersed, and suppressed by the energy of disharmony inherent in antagonistic, branch-based classes and groups.

    Informational society unites, by means of shared information, all people, all classes and groups, and illuminates society's most profound and fundamental social structure -- sphere classes. Access to global information makes it possible for sphere classes to realize their sphere-based identity, and to maximize their potential for achieving social harmony and social justice.

  3. An emerging, sphere-based world requires a new, sphere-based democracy, which grows from pluralistic democracy, qualitatively develops it, and inherits the virtues of the older forms of democracy. Sphere democracy has three principal distinctions from the older forms:

    The first distinction consists of an equal distribution of power among sphere classes. This means that all branches of government (executive/administrative, legislative, and judicial) should be organizationally structured to include representatives of all sphere classes in equal measure, with these representatives elected or appointed by their sphere class. An equal distribution of power based o­n the principle of sphere class affiliation (or sphere employment) is a feature not present in the older forms of democracy. This principle is more balanced and fair than all other principles, be it property, wealth, gender, national origin, race, education, or lineage in terms of social class, etc. Therefore, sphere democracy is an organizational base and political means for creating social harmony.

    The second distinction of sphere democracy consists of a new approach to people as the source of democratic power. Whereas liberal democracies individualize people and approach them as proprietors with equal rights; whereas socialist (collectivist) democracies approach people as a homogenous whole; whereas national democracies reduce people to individual nations; whereas pluralistic democracies reduce people to an indefinite number of social groups and classes, -- the ideology of sphere-based democracy considers people as a combination of four different, but equally important sphere classes comprising the population in its entirety.

    Sphere classes embrace the entire population, without exception, because all people, from birth to death, are reproductively employed in the spheres and unable to exist outside them -- the most they can do is change spheres. Sphere classes comprise all of the population, including minor children from birth to 18 years of age.

    Sphere democracy includes children in its political system through the mechanism of children's suffrage exercised by their parents. The older forms of democracy have excluded children's interests from political space. Not a single o­ne among these democracies has recognized or wanted to recognize children as voters in whatever form or to whatever degree. Thus, the traditional forms of democracy have been insufficient and defective. Excluding nearly o­ne fourth of the population (this is how large a part of society children make), stripping them of voting rights, politically ignoring their vital interests, traditional democracies have been democracies of, at best, 75% of their populations. Sphere democracy would be the first to become a complete, 100% democracy. o­nly sphere democracy can become truly representative, social and fair.

    Only sphere democracy strengthens the priority of children's interests in society and o­nly this democracy provides a top-priority budgetary (state) investment in the human capital. Thus, a mass movement toward sphere democracy starts with a movement toward children's suffrage, which promotes self-awareness and self-identification of sphere classes, their transformation into autonomous social actors (subjects), who, in turn, will be able to reorganize the power structures along sphere lines, and ensure an equal distribution of power among sphere classes.

    The third distinction of sphere democracy, following from the first two, is that it is capable, for the first time in history, of placing the highest value and purpose of public development o­n social harmony of sphere classes and spheres of reproduction. o­nly sphere democracy, based o­n the natural, innate aspirations of sphere classes to harmonize, can be capable of creating a political strategy to implement this highest value and purpose.

    Such are the three main advantages of sphere democracy, which make it qualitatively different from earlier democracies. But, at the same time, it is a higher form of pluralistic and social democracy, aimed at social harmony/justice, and built o­n foundations of equal distribution of power among sphere classes, o­n granting to children of suffrage, and o­n top-priority investment in the well-being of children as human, social capital.
  4. Among the currently present democratic parties (liberal, conservative, social-democrat, etc.) which champion the relevant ideologies, not a single o­ne meets the needs of a sphere democracy. Traditional parties have degenerated ideologically, because traditional ideologies of the industrial society have degenerated, too -- they are not adequate to the challenges of a global, informational society and sphere-based world. Sphere democracy requires new, sphere-based parties, socially rooted in sphere classes, and ideologically based o­n new forms of postpluralistic mentality and ideology. Tetrasociological mentality and ideology are the first of this kind in the new century**.
  5. This mentality and ideology comprise and modernize the traditional democratic values, placing at their forefront the values of social harmony and social justice. Sphere parties politically represent the interests of sphere classes, and organize cooperation and partnership among them. o­nly sphere democracy and sphere parties are able to overcome alienation existing between social groups, generations, genders, nations, races and civilizations, and between individuals and society, by finding ways to overcome the alienation existing between children and society.
  6. Arguably, the group most capable of creating sphere parties will be young people between 18 and 35 — they are not burdened with obsolete ideologies; they are equipped with a new, tetrasociological mentality, and able to energetically promote and realize children's suffrage. Rallying cries of the youth parties of sphere democracy will be: "Harmony, justice, freedom, equality and fraternity!" "All people belong to sphere classes!" "The young are the motor of sphere democracy," "Children's suffrage is the road to sphere democracy, social harmony and prosperity!" etc.
  7. In Russia, as in other countries, o­nly political parties of sphere democracy, the carriers of the new, tetrasociological ideology, will become qualitatively new political parties, equipped with systemic, strategic, and socially effective programs. o­nly sphere democracy and sphere parties, being in the service of harmony and prosperity, will meet the needs of every nation and of humanity as a whole. (The ideas of tetrasociology are explained in detail in the author's published works.)

    * "Sphere" is an attribute that, by our definition, implies the existence of inherent, "deep structures" of society that, by their very nature, seek to work together, harmoniously, for the betterment of humankind. In contrast, "branch-based" refers to competitive structures that seek to dominate or resist domination, and by their very nature restrict and eventually erode society.

    ** In tetrasociology, mentality refers to knowledge and self-knowledge of sphere classes, as heretofore hidden classes of society, and ideology reflects and is reflected in the teaching of shared values of sphere classes.

April 8, 2004

© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005