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Isocracy Newsletter #1 October 20, 2009

"The first man, who after enclosing a piece of ground, took it into his head to say, "This is mine" and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of Civil Society. How many crimes, how many wars, how many misfortunes and horrors would that man have saved the human species, who pulling up the stakes or filling up the ditches, should have cried to his fellow! Be sure not to listen to the imposter; you are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong equitably to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse Upon The Origin And The Foundation Of The Inequality Among Mankind

Where in the World is Isocracy?

People often ask where there are real examples of an implementation of Isocracy. The best answer there isn't a full implementation anywhere, but there are plenty examples of partial implementations. The benefit of having partial implementations is that there is no need to have an "all or nothing" utopian view of society. It allows one to assess trends, where a society is heading even with utilitarian calculation. Does rational adults have the right to control their own body, including the right to speech? Can they engage in free exchange and action through mutual and informed consent? Do all receive a share of the natural wealth and have access to public goods? Is there equality before the law? Can the people get rid of their government? How does the government behave in the international arena, do they contribute to a lasting peace?

Every action of a government can be assessed against these criteria, either positively or negatively. The degree and quantity of the effect, can also be estimated. But engaging in such calculations, even if by a rule of thumb and even with all the contradictory directions a society may be heading at the same time, we become aware of an overall trend and how important policy decisions are.

Reading Material and Reviews

Keeping up with social and political theory and theories of political economy can be an onerous task. Fortunately there are some dedicated readers in the Isocracy Network. Over the next few months there will be a number of reviews published on the Isocracy website (, Facebook group (, Livejournal ( Some of the texts that may be reviewed include:

What Is Property? (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon), Three Principles of the People (Sun Yat-Sen), Crises of the Republic (Hannah Arendt), On Revolution (Hannah Arendt), Legitimation Crisis (Jurgen Habermas), Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went (John Kenneth Galbraith), The Theory of Communicative Action (Jurgen Habermas), Social Theory of International Politics (Alexander Wendt); Man, the State, and War (Kenneth Waltz); Theory of International Politics (Kenneth Waltz); and After Hegemony (Robert Keohane).

Observant readers will note the mix of radical and conservative, venerable and contemporary, theoretical and practical in the above list. Of course, feel free to write some reviews of your own!

Press Freedom the U.K.

For our UK members of the network, there is an official petition calling for the right of the press to report Parliamentary proceedings ( This follows The Guardian being gagged (, perhaps by wanting to report the some difficult questions by Paul Farrelly concerning the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast (

Pro-Choice Politicians in Victoria, Australia

Abortion is no longer a crime in the state of Victoria. In 2009, Victorian women less than 24 weeks pregnant have the right to decide for themselves about abortion. After 24 weeks, women can still get help. The law changed because pro choice MPs stood up to be counted. Labor, Liberal and Greens MPs voted to reform Victoria’s antiquated abortion law. "Right-to-life" groups are now threatening to unseat the politicians who voted for choice at the upcoming state election. You can support those politicians we declared that a woman's body is her own through donations and more (

Justice for the people of Bhopal

Amnesty International has launched a campaign for the people of Bhopal in central India. December 2 will be the 25th anniversary of a Union Carbide leak from their pesticide plant in that city; a leak so terrible that it killed between 7,000 and 10,000 people within days and an estimated 15,000 in the years that followed. The factory site has never been cleaned up. More than 100,000 people continue to suffer health problems. Amnesty International is calling on the Indian government and Dow Chemicals to take action on this long-standing and terrible legacy ( and

International Day of Climate Action

October 24 is the International Day of Climate Action launched by (, the number representing "the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere" (in parts per million). The current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 387 ppm. Politically the organisation is hoping to sway the up-coming Copenhagen conference through international mobilisation. There is a range of actions (almost 4000) planned throughout the world (in 163 countries) (

Friendly Groups

Isocracy Network member Tristan Ewins has two groups that he wishes to bring to everyone's attention: LeftFocus ( and, which contains articles from a left, liberal and green perspective and the Movement for A Democratic Mixed Economy (

Other News?

Tell us about it! These newsletters should be coming out every week from now on.