So I get an email the other day from a friend about this fellow Carne Ross, advising me to look into him as he’s likely a person I would be interested in, not just because he seems to share my personal approach to politics and society, but also because his ideas seem to align with my work. 

Well, I did—look into him that is. On the surface, he’s a former high-ranking British diplomat who resigned his post over disagreements regarding Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War. He then founded an independent diplomacy service and is now attempting to represent Syrian rebels on the world stage. 

First impression: impressed. Clearly, we’ve got a man of principle, intelligence, courage and conviction. His bread and butter was peddling the agenda of the British (and U.S.) government—and a fine living it was, I’m sure—and he testified during the Butler Review that Iraq did not have WMD’s, undermining their justification for war. Some considered it a profound betrayal and the UK toyed with prosecuting him… for something or other.

Then I got into Ross’ book, The Leaderless Revolution, started reading his Op-Ed contributions to various news outlets and watching his promo videos. What I found was a man with a small but significant voice in the limelight, painting an accurate portrayal of the current political paradigm: democracy is flailing and the people are effectively powerless, banks and financial institutions eat away at society’s ability to function, corruption in politics is rampant and the entire system is unsustainable. 

Yes, this is all sounding very THEE.

Ross was (maybe still is) heavily involved with the Occupy movement. His aforementioned book was a response to the ideals he experienced working within the movement. He promotes and glorifies the leaderless decision-making of Occupy and sees it as a model for the next evolution of governance. 

Initially, I was skeptical of this. First of all, leadership is absolutely fundamental. Society couldn’t get by without it. Secondly, my own experience with Occupy was quite frustrating, in part because half our meetings seemed to get hung-up on extremely trivial details like how we can accommodate our gluten-intolerant members at the next picnic. But Ross addressed this during an interview on The Colbert Report, rightly pointing out that decisions in government are equally cumbersome—if not worse—and I thought to myself: “It’s actually great that every Occupy participant’s needs were addressed. I mean, that’s what we want in society, isn’t it?

Ross is certainly an idealist, and an eloquent one. He wrote: 

“This is the start of a new politics, but obviously mere meetings and protest marches are not enough. There is nothing certain about the future, save that it is our actions that will create it and that others are already exploiting our inaction. It is no longer sufficient to appeal to government to put things right; a corrupted system will not reform itself. We must create new systems, new modes of decision-making and interaction, and new forms of economic behavior to replace the old.” 

So what is this new system, the new mode of decision-making? According to Ross, it’s going to be reminiscent of Occupy, where the group calls the shots for society as one. For many, this may sound, frankly, inconceivable. But it’s difficult to see past what currently defines our reality.

If THEE’s Spiral of Political Maturation is correct, however, Ross has managed to see through this cloud of current thinking and capture the spirit of precisely what defines the next mode in our political development—something THEE calls Conventionalism.

I’d like to call him forward thinking, but that’s not it. It’s more that he’s acutely aware and his thinking is perfectly appropriate for what’s required at this exact moment in human history. From the belly of the beast, Ross emerged to tell us these things about the present. And thank goodness. The more it’s said, the more it will sink in for us. And the more we can start orienting ourselves now to what truly will be a pretty amazing shift that we all need to be discussing and working on each in our own way.

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