A Consocracy is a form of democratic government that uses consensus to reach public decisions. Ted Wells briefly explains how on this website, which is still under construction. (Please scroll down this page)
For a more complete description, see Ted Wells' book "Power, Chaos and Consensus - Consocratic Theory" (available in paperback and electronically) by clicking on http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B00A2BGE3E/ This will redirect you to Amazon.com where the first chapter (a good summary) can be read for free. Just click on the "Look Inside" icon once there. Note that with a free app from Amazon, the less expensive Kindle version can be read on any computer, tablet or Smartphone.
Ted's second book, "The Old Man in the Bag" gently tells the story of how he became interested in Consocratic Theory (available in paperback and electronically). It takes place in a very remote part of Ethiopia back when Haile Selasie was still in power. Like "Power, Chaos and Consensus", the first chapter is available to read for free on the Amazon site by clicking on http://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B009YQQDK2 and then on the "Look Inside" icon. It is also available on SmashWords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/276199 where several other electronic versions (e.g. epub & PDF) can be found.
About "Power, Chaos & Consensus":
Ted believes (hopes) our current democratic governments are not the end state of political evolution. As good as they are for the majority of people under them, they have a serious downside; they are an unavoidably ignorant, even if well-meant, indulgence of power over minority groups (and even women). At least some of the serious economic, social and environmental trouble in which this planet now finds itself can be directly traced back to democratic institutions, which now must separate complex problems into black and white solutions that leave out minority group interests and then try to solve the dominant extreme, one isolated piece at a time.
This divisive and simplistic approach to problem solving encourages self-interest, greed, terrorism and war, not social responsibility or true democratic justice. Our current democracies will never . . . by their very nature, can never . . . bring us peace.
Methodically following model planning practice, “Power, Chaos and Consensus” sets out an alternative way we could peacefully evolve our existing democratic institutions so that their decision-making might benefit everyone, not just the majority of people.
His book "Power, Chaos and Consensus" begins by describing the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods we now use to make public decisions, including war, the market place and democratic majority-vote decision-making, and then exposes fifty wide-ranging, intricately entwined global problems that cannot be resolved by any of these methods.
After discussing how consensus decision-making could be used to help get us out of the very complex, self-destructive mess we’re now in, it concludes by detailing an ingenious, comprehensive, practical plan that would allow any decision making body of any size to use consensus to peacefully turn the planet’s current chaos around, one decision at a time.
About "The Old Man in the Bag and Other True Stores of Good Intentions":
“The Old Man in the Bag and Other True Stories of Good Intentions” is a memoir written as a series of short stories tied together with 12 original letters and 80 old B&W photographs. The stories are about a number of life changing incidents that took place during the three years Ted and his wife, Helen, lived in a grass hut in a very remote part of Ethiopia 45 years ago while he was “avoiding” the Vietnam War. The area remains little changed today.
Back then, Haile Selasie was still alive and in power, but he was an old man blind to the corruption around him. Although still revered by many, some were beginning to question his absolute authority. It was the beginning of student strikes, beatings and disappearances.
Ted's second book is, on one level, about how he and his wife helped a few dozen very poor local farmers establish a new town in the lowland jungle of the Rift Valley on land recently given to them by the sometimes loved, sometimes loathed Emperor. It is also about their own struggle as a newly married couple to survive fire, disease, drought and death in a very isolated, unfamiliar but intriguing environment.
However, the series of short stories are mostly about the misconception that real life decisions must be made in black and white (like democratic decisions are forced to be). Even decisions made with selfless good intentions can sometimes generate the opposite of love and admiration from those being “helped”. The experiences were what inspired Ted to write “Power, Chaos and Consensus.”
Brief Biography of Ted Wells
As an Urban Designer and Planning Specialist, Ted has spent most of his life helping people peacefully, cooperatively improve their lives and the villages, towns and cities they live in.
Both "Power, Chaos and Consensus" and "The Old Man in the Bag" are about some of his professional and personal travels, and the ideas he has come across in various parts of the world that give him hope for a better future. Despite the incredible complexity and scale of the problems we now collectively face as a planet, he believes that is still possible for us to create a sustainable, peaceful future for ourselves using a structured form of consensus decision-making. It would only require small groups of people scattered around the planet to voluntarily start the secular, civil journey.
Ted was born, raised and educated as an Architect in the United States. After completing his degree in the sixties, he chose to join the Peace Corps rather than the Vietnam War.
For three years he planned new towns in remote parts of the Ethiopian Rift Valley while his wife, Helen, treated sick people and cattle there. They then spent a year travelling the back roads of Europe in a VW van exploring their new towns to see what he should have done in Africa. Eventually they returned to the United States where Ted worked for five years as a planner for a small city in Colorado.
In the mid-1970s, he and Helen became discouraged with American politics so they moved their young family to New Zealand in search of an alternative approach to peace, social justice and the environment. They found a comfortable place by the Tasman Sea and decided to stay.
Apart from the three years they spent back in the United States while Ted researched his books and undertook planning work in Philadelphia around the time of 9/11, Ted spent the next 35 years working for various governments in New Zealand and around the Pacific helping local people plan their own futures.
It was in Ethiopia where he first learned that even selfless good intentions don't always leave those being "helped" with smiles on their faces; that life decisions are rarely ever black and white even though most of our public institutions currently force us to solve problems by first polarizing their possible solutions. However, it was not until recently after spending two years in Samoa helping local communities prepare coastal management plans using their centuries old consensus decision-making methods that he finally understood just how there might be another way through the current global chaos.
See also Ted's Professional Profile on Linkedin by clicking on: www.linkedin.com/pub/ted-wells/4a/937/743
If you would like to reach Ted, his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org For anyone interested in helping set up this website as a "Wiki" site for the development of consocratic theory, please contact Ted at the email address above.
1 Newton Street
New Plymouth 4312
Phone: 64 6 758 9589