In any human community of people that act together, cooperation is needed among them. This cooperation is based on shared assumptions on what to expect from each other, who is in charge of doing or deciding what, and how to behave with one another efficiently, while taking care of each other’s feelings, beliefs and emotions.
The CosmoPolitical Cooperative has made the choice of operating with an unprecedented level of deliberative and participative democracy, because democracy is an ethical and moral value in itself, and a means to nurture the well-being and a high-quality motivation of all Cooperators. Deliberative and participative democracy is also the legitimate aspiration of a population in the EU whose education level has immensely risen over the last decades and is increasingly frustrated by the current processes of representative democracy.
Deliberative and participative democracy is also the result of a process. By that, we mean that:
we overcome divergences peacefully, through deliberation on actions to be undertaken;
we ensure that every Cooperator has an equal capacity to participate in the initiative, the amendment and the selection of decisions, and that power is thereby broadly distributed among all Cooperators – while preserving our capacity to take and enforce timely decisions.
We believe that such a deliberative and participative democracy is possible at a pan-European scale – and will demonstrate that it works.
Experience shows however that there are many means to concentrate power of an organisation into a limited number of hands, so that each of these means must be prevented individually by explicit rules.
Social justice and environmental sustainability
This equal capacity of all Cooperators to participate in deliberation and decision-making also considers the concrete economic and social conditions of life of Cooperators. We do not take for granted that Cooperators have infinite resources in time or money to dedicate to our activities, such as endless discussions (on- or off-line) – specifically late at night – , or physical meetings – specifically at remote locations across the European Union.
Similarly, we limit the environmental impact of physical meetings – specifically in a trans-national context.
For all these reasons, we interact and take decisions remotely, on-line and in non-real time.
The CosmoPolitical Cooperative is a pan-European organisation, made of people with different cultural and social backgrounds, from 27 Member States with different historical experiences. Our aim is to grow fast. This makes the piecemeal build-up of an informal culture difficult.
Our rules are detailed and transparent, rely on open-source software and ensure a fair trans-national communication
For all these reasons, our rules are very detailed, explicit and clear, at a level of detail that is unusual, but that we consider as necessary. Our experience is that, even when not every Cooperator reads all the rules in detail, the simple fact of knowing that these rules exist motivates us to behave in a cooperative and democratic way (just like we don’t need to know the Penal Code in detail to take care of each other in society).
Similarly, our operations rely on an on-line technical infrastructure made of transparent, open-source and free software, so that any interested person can control directly how the software operates. We use the only deliberative democracy software available, called KuneAgi, the development of which we have strongly contributed to.
We overcome inequalities in trans-national communication due to language by:
privileging written means of communication, on which to work at one’s own pace, and which are compatible with automated translation tools that can be used cost-free;
relying, whenever possible and relevant, on technical and quantitative arguments, which build a universal language with limited reliance on specific cultural backgrounds;
promoting Esperanto as a socially fair and inclusive trans-national communication language, in parallel to English.