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Bio-Democracy

Consciousness, extra-biological power, and inseparable biological existence are the primary facts of modern human life. Identity and human systems need to adapt to the fact of extra-biological force and develop systems to manage the effects of extra-biological power that exceed the bounds of our biological self. The following will describe the rational, and some principals, for the development of a new governmental system that takes these three primary facts into account. I will refer to this new system as Bio-democracy. Once a biological species achieves self-consciousness and is able to create power they can control and direct that exists outside their inherent biological capacities, they must develop an identity and organizing systems that enable them to use that power as a generative conscious trans-species force in nature. To the degree that the extra-biological force effects the living world, which includes humans, the concept of the governed and the constituents of a governing system must expand proportionally. If such conceptual and operational expansion does not occur extra-biological force will be used as if it is a private genetic based characteristic that is an adaptation to the environment, like faster reflexes or larger teeth, which can be passed through reproduction and used to compete for our species niche within our eco system. The error in this way if looking at the power we produce does not have a large environmental impact at low levels of extra-biological power but is magnified by increases in power as it accelerates. Human industrial activity induced Global climate change is one of the most obvious signs that our level of extra-biological power production and how we use it has become an environmental force and not a private biological possession. The underlying reason for viewing force we create as an environmental factor is that evolution is a biological process that passes characteristics from generation to generation and natural selection responds to the environment making species adapt to change over time, thus life persists through time and environmental change. Technology can?t be passed genetically and is a wide spread and powerful force in our modern world. Just because we have created it through our biological capability and our invention of writing that has allowed knowledge to accumulate does not bring it within our biology and make it anything other than an environmental force to which the laws of biological evolution apply. Some of the force we have created is directed toward supporting our individual and collective biological survival, sanitation, food production, refrigeration, cooking food, protection from extremes of the weather in the form of clothing and shelter, medical services and a few other basic necessities. Much of the use of the extra-biological power not used to enhance biological survival has been focused, one way or another, on human social relations, particularly rank hierarchies. This use reflects an identity and systems approach that is exclusively focused on human entities and our interrelationships with each other as if we were not an inseparable part of our biological milieu and we don?t have power that exceeds our bounds and is in effect a force we use and a force that affects our biological milieu. Extra-biological power isn?t private in any meaningful sense except the fact that it can be used by an individual, just like, soil, water, and air. What is truly private is within the skin, and that isn?t even absolutely private as the skin boundary is semi permeable as well. Our individual genetic material is private in the sense that each individual is the owner of it that can choose to attempt passing it on to someone else in the form of sexual reproduction, but if it were truly private reproduction could not take place because the genetic material from either potential parent could not combine. Our as our creation and use of Extra-biological power expands in its trans-species effects on the living parts of the planet and the non living aspects of the planet that contribute to the promulgation of life our systems that manage that power must become proportionally increased in their bio-democratic dynamics. Bio-democratic in the sense that I am coining the term means emerges from a fourth truth that emerges from the three basic realities of consciousness, biological inherence through the mechanism of semi-permeable boundaries, and extra-biological power. The additional factor is that extra-biological power is not contained within the private sphere of the entity and is therefore not managed through evolution. The implications of this for construction of system that manage extra-biological power is that as the effects of this power expand the biosphere needs to be included in the decision making about how it should be used. The only way to do that at present is to consult the biosphere through observation and research, as we have no other conscious species with which we can directly communicate our observations. Our structures of governance then need to expand to effectively represent the whole living system of our environment, which now includes the fact of extra-biological force. One way of incorporating this into our current process of democratic government would be to expand representation to include human representatives for the non-voiced living constituents who are effected by our production and use of extra-biological force. Direct Bio-Representation One way to address the non-human biological world would be to add representation based on relative biomass of various living forms land plants, water plants, land animals, water animals could be four easy to define groups that would have proportional representation. Here is a breif description of what that might look like. If we keep the current formula for calculating representation for the U.S. Senate and Congress as presently conceived we have a starting point of 100 senators and 435 congressional representatives. To add bio-representation that covers the rest of the living community that human life is sustained by we need a means of calculating the number of seats that we would have to add to represent them. In the following table of representatives I have taken the biomass of the constituent parts of the food chain, based on Silver Springs Florida river ecosystem data collected by Howard T. Odum, and calculated the number of seats that would be necessary to provide equivalent biomass representation for these non-vioced constituencies. Producers are primarily plants that convert the energy of the sun into organic molecules that form the base of the food chain. A smaller portion of the producers produce organic molecules from chemical reaction that does not require sunlight as a primary energy source. Primary consumers are the next plateau of the pyramid and they are the plant eating life forms, herbivores. Secondary consumers are the carnivores that eat primary consumers. An example of this type of creature is a frog that eats an insect that is an herbivore. Tertiary consumers are carnivores that eat other carnivores. These creatures are necessarily fewer in number than the smaller carnivores they eat and are the terminal consumers in a food chain. Biomass Bio-Democracy Pyramid Biomass # Seats Human Consumers Senate Seats 1.5 100 Human Consumers Congressional Seats 1.5 435 Secondary Consumers Senate Seats 11 733 Secondary Consumers Congressional Seats 11 3,190 Primary Consumers Senate Seats 37 2,467 Primary Consumers Congressional Seats 37 10,730 Producers Senate Seats 809 53,933 Producers Congress Seats 809 234,610 It would be impractical to elect the large numbers of representatives required for full bio-representation. A more practical approach from the human systems and decision making perspective would be to create an equivalent number of seats in the congress and the senate for the three added groups. These representatives would carry the weight of their proportional biomass in votes that could be cast by each representative. Another practical adjustment to the system would be to apportion voting privileges for the biomass constituent representatives to the policy issues that affect the constituencies. Legislative issues concerning some topics like education could be considered exclusively human because it resides exclusively in the human social sphere of influence. Energy policy, land use, transportation, agriculture etc would effect bio-constituencies outside the human because they involve the production and use of extra-biological power and those constituencies would be given full legislative rights in direct proportion to the degree of effect on the bio-constituency. Scientific Bio-Representation Another solution to the problem of full bio representation would be to put science in charge of the economic activity that exceeds the ordinary, non technologically enhanced, human sphere of influence. The rationale for this is that science is the only human activity that has a broad enough perspective and a methodological approach to become aware of the extent of harm caused to the biosphere by application of human extra-biological power. and an ability to evaluate the efficacy of any remediation plans that are proposed to remedy the harm. in this case we could change our representational democracy to empower a multidisciplinary group of scientists, either elected or appointed, with legislative policy power regarding establishment of the appropriate boundary between human social and the living more than human world. The advantage of putting science in charge is that science has an enhanced ability to discover what is really happening in nature and to keep advancing that understanding. When constructing new policy or evaluating the effectiveness of existing policy this knowledge base would be a very effective form of advocacy for the more than human world because it is the closest thing humans can come to giving voice to the world of living things without human speech.

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