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The Common Purpose Manifesto

Ben Wallace 2009


For all of us
Contents

1 Preface To The First Edition 7


2 Introduction 9
Section One The Common Purpose 13
3 Purpose & Principle 15
4 The Way 19
5 Rights 25
6 Law 29
7 Atonement 33
Section Two Economy 39
8 Competition 41
9 Contribution 45
10 Income 51
11 Incentive 61
12 Ideas & Growth 67
13 Production 77
14 Market 83
15 Pricing 87
16 Money 91
17 Finance 95
18 Value 101
Section Three Organisation 103
19 Organisation 105
20 Responsibility & Information 109
21 Decision-Making 115
22 Permission 121
23 Salaries 125
24 Accounting 131
25 Ownership 135
26 Membership 137
27 Effort 141
Section Four Society 147
28 Society 149
29 Culture 155
30 Respect 165
31 Governance 167
32 Education 173
33 Health 179
34 Environment 181
35 Media 187
36 Faith 191
37 Ethnicity 197
38 Borders 201
39 Security 205
Section Five Change 209
40 Our System 211
41 Enlightenment 219
42 Make Change 223
43 Find Our Niche 231
44 The Transition 235
Addendum 239
45 End Note 241
46 Reading 243
47 Acknowledgements 249
1

Preface To The First Edition

I have been working on the manifesto for the last three


or so years. This has been a process of revelation rather
than research and documentation of results. Eventually
there comes a time when, if I want to publish, I need to
say now is the time and put out what I have, even when
there may be new revelations to come.

The manifesto may not be finished, it may never be


finished. It is not, at this stage, finished to me. This is a
manifesto in a changing world, and manifestos have to
change too to be relevant. I feel I have to put this out
now, though it is rough and not as ready as I would like,
as I selfishly need to get on with my life too. And now is
the time to act.

I believe the work still expresses the core substance of


what it is about. I hope it motivates. I hope it illumi-
nates. It has helped me writing it. I hope it helps you
reading it.

...

7
2

Introduction

The Common Purpose Manifesto is a statement of our


purpose and principle and an outline of what these lead
to.

Our fundamental purpose is, in outcome, fulfilment,


and, in essence, to live. To live, meaning to realise our
potential, to find our fulfilment, to grow, to be.

This purpose is self-evident, however, our society,


culture and past indicate it is often forgotten or fore-
gone. The manifesto states our purpose clearly so it can
be acknowledged and understood and, with this under-
standing, take its place in our society and culture as our
highest priority.

Life is complex. In this complexity we forget the simple


purpose for our existence. We must remember it, and we
must use it to guide all the singular and individual
purposes we have. If we do this, we may, much more
clearly and progressively, work towards creating a
society of life that enables all our fulfilment; one in
which the systems we create and the various purposes
we follow all agree, not conflict, with our common
purpose.

Alongside the purpose of fulfilment is the principle of no


harm. This principle we must recognise for our purpose
to be realised.

The common purpose and principle of fulfilment


without harm can guide us in all our creations, our social
systems and our lives. If we wish it to be achieved we
must acknowledge it and work towards it. This mani-
festo states the purpose and principle, and then outlines

9
The Common Purpose Manifesto

how these shape our society when we acknowledge and


live with them.

The manifesto states that living and acting in under-


standing and agreement with the purpose of fulfilment
without harm is the right way of living, and that living
and acting in ignorance and contradiction to the purpose
and principle is the wrong way. We can choose our way
of living, but to do so we need to know the ways.

The knowledge stated here is not created from the


imagination, but learned from observing life and living.
The answers are out there and in all of us, they are
clearly recorded here to make them easier to know.

...

Simple rules are not invalid because life is complex.


Simple rules underlie life. Understand them and we
have a grasp on the complexity of life. Refer and
maintain them constantly in our lives and we can
maintain direction on where we want life to take us and
how our life and fulfilment can occur.

For too long the simple understanding that life is about


living and that we should live without harm has been
brushed aside as too simplistic, too idealistic. But we
need this understanding and we need to ensure our
society and the purposes of our companies, govern-
ments, groups, communities, and ourselves concur with
our common purpose if we wish it to be realised.

There is a long way to go. After stating the purpose and


principle, and the right and wrong ways, the manifesto
outlines what these ways lead to in our economy,
organisation and society so we can recognise where we
are now and see a way forward. Finally, it outlines how
we can make change, remembering that the first change

10
Introduction

we make is recognising and realising the purpose and


principle in our own lives.

...

11
Section One

The Common Purpose


3

Purpose & Principle

The common purpose is fulfilment.

The common principle is no harm.

...

Fulfilment is through realising our potential, whatever


that potential is. We find our potential by trying things,
and selecting, for our greatest efforts, those we are good
at. However, this realisation of potential must accord
with the principle of no harm.

From the common purpose and principle of no harm


comes the right way of doing things and from this way,
human rights. The right way of doing things complies
with the principle, the wrong way does not.

Our culture is a mix of the right and wrong ways, but


until the right way is predominant, with the principle
heeded, realisation of potential will be poor and our
fulfilment diminished.

Conversely, when the right way is the only way, and the
principle always heeded, then our purpose is universal
and our greatest fulfilment enabled.

To assess whether a situation is right or wrong return to


the principle: fulfilment without harm to or from others.
If a situation harms others it is wrong and we need to
remedy it.

...

15
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Why is our purpose fulfilment? Fulfilment is the


outcome of the essence of life which is to grow. Growth
is life. Fulfilment is the realising of growth. Fulfilment is
not just our purpose, it is the purpose of all life, to
realise potential in each and every organism.

Why is our principle no harm? No harm is the human


principle. It is the principle we have learned. It is the
principle we believe makes us human, more than
animal, our humanity. We have never lived up to it, and
our fulfilment is limited by the extent we fall short of it.
We need to live without harm for our common fulfil-
ment to be realised.

How is our common fulfilment possible? Our common


fulfilment, our growth, is possible because our limited
world resources are transformed into unlimited product
via the unlimited contribution of our intelligence. It is
our intelligence, our ideas, intuition and ingenuity that
make limited resources unlimited and fulfilment for all
possible.

What harms? Any act or situation that disrupts the


fulfilment of our potential is harmful. This includes the
obvious harm of violence and theft, but also the harm of
constraint and control, and the harm of unequal
opportunity. No harm thus means freedom from
violence, control and unequal opportunity. We must
neither harm, nor accept harm for our common purpose
to be achieved.

...

Our purpose is to live, grow, be, realise, and fulfil


ourselves. It is not a purpose led by the few in control.

Any group which initiates select individuals into their


concept of common purpose does not operate with a
common purpose. Initiation of a select few means the

16
Purpose & Principle

purpose is not held in common. Purpose determined to


be common by people in positions of control is not
common purpose, but purpose upheld by a few, who
control all to implement it.

There is only one purpose common to us all, and that is


our common fulfilment, found through living our lives
which only we can live. In this purpose we our are own
leaders. No-one can determine what fulfils another, no-
one can live another’s life.

Our other purposes are limitless, but if they are of a


group they must be known and held by all in the group
or they are not common to the group. To achieve our
common purpose all our other purposes must accord
with it.

...

The common purpose can thought of as a prime direc-


tive for all life to grow.

The common principle of no harm can be thought of as


the fundamental wisdom, the human principle that,
once understood and abided, will, with the common
purpose, bring growth and fulfilment to all.

...

We need to know we are going somewhere, that we have


a purpose – we do. By fulfilling our potential we fulfil
our common potential and our common purpose.

...

A society enabling us to fulfil our potential acknowl-


edges and pursues our fulfilment and upholds the
principle of no harm, honouring all our rights. It is a

17
The Common Purpose Manifesto

society structured to fulfilment without harm. This is the


society we need to create.

...

Our purpose and principle are our guide.

...

18
4

The Way

To pursue fulfilment without harm to or from


others is the right way.

To pursue power and money with harm to


others is the wrong way.

...

The right way is to realise our potential and find


fulfilment without harming others fulfilment.

Fulfilment and the realisation of potential comes from


making our best contribution, from being ourselves and
realising ourselves in our ideas and our product. This
realisation is growth, is life.

We who pursue the right way of fulfilment without harm


are characteristically persuasive, tolerant, responsible,
free and fair, because these attributes facilitate fulfil-
ment without harm.

Pursuit of the right way breeds flexibility and the


strength to see others points of view and attain win-win
scenarios. Understanding the unlimited nature of our
potential leads us who pursue fulfilment to see the world
as an open game in which we act independently but
without harm, so we all grow.

The pursuit of fulfilment without harm leads to free and


fair markets, shared income, and democratic organisa-
tions operating in accordance with the purpose of
fulfilment and the principle of no harm.

19
The Common Purpose Manifesto

...

Fulfilment without harm feels right: it concurs with our


primal urge to grow and our understanding that harm is
wrong.

No harm means opportunities must be equal: only


where opportunity is equal can we all realise our
potential.

Fulfilment without harm is the right way.

...

The wrong way is to harm in the pursuit of power and


money.

Pursued power and money comes from exploitation and


harm, from accumulating excess resources and expro-
priating the ideas and labour of others. This pursuit
comes with great cost in wasted lives and damaged
environments.

We who pursue the wrong way of power and money with


harm are characteristically coercive, intolerant, demand-
ing, restrictive, biased, bullying, controlling and ma-
nipulative, because these attributes facilitate the pursuit
of power and money.

We who pursue power and money celebrate being hard


and tough, firm and strong – attributes we equate with
inflexibility and aggression. These attributes lead to
conflict and win-lose scenarios, scenarios we seek to
create. Understanding the world as one of only limited
resources leads us who pursue power and money to see
life as a game with only winners and losers.

The pursuit of money and power with harm leads to


unfair markets, massive wealth disparities, and mo-

20
The Way

nopolistic, non-democratic organisations pursuing


power and money, ignorant of our fulfilment and
causing harm.

...

Pursuing power and money with harm feels wrong, but


it is a sense easily ignored when our economy, organisa-
tion and society are structured on power relationships
and incentives are financial.

Within this system resources are considered limited, and


money and power belong only to a few who must harm
to obtain them. Unequal opportunity is a required and
unavoidable component.

The pursuit of power and money with harm is the de


facto purpose of we who do not realise the purpose of
fulfilment without harm and live in capitalist or auto-
cratic societies structured to the pursuit of power and
money.

...

The right way’s measure of value is fulfilment and the


realisation of potential.

The wrong way’s measure of value is money and control,


finance and power.

...

It is thought among some of us who have absorbed the


purpose of money, that we have no right to follow our
own fulfilment and contribute in our own way if these do
not provide a regular income. It is thought that we who
try to fulfil our potential in ways that do not earn a
regular income are selfish and should see reason and do
a regular job, regardless of our potential or fulfilment.

21
The Common Purpose Manifesto

But if this is selfish, we should all be selfish, because our


greatest contribution to growth is not through mindless
selling of our labour to owners of capital and resources,
but through growing ourselves and contributing our
potential in ways reflecting who we are. By growing
ourselves to our greatest extent we contribute our
greatest growth to overall growth because real growth is
measured in fulfilment and the contribution that
provides this, not in mindless labour (or exploitative
control) devoted to money.

...

“…it is when his regard for himself is so high that his own self-respect
demands he follow the path of courage and conscience that all
benefit. It is then that his belief in the rightness of his own course
enables him to say with John C. Calhoun: ‘I act to the best of my
judgement and according to my conscience.’” p219, Profiles in
Courage, JF Kennedy (1965).

Our right way is the right way for us. It may appear
wrong to others, but this is the way we do and be. As
long as this way accords with our fulfilment without
harm it is right, no matter how different from others.

What feels right concords with the living systems we live


in. What feels right aligns us with life. Doing what feels
right leads us to living and being whole. Doing what
feels right, at the right time, in the right way.

Our feelings combine considerations of our complex


selves and the complex world we live in. Doing what
feels right frees us from the bonds of doubt and what we
think others want us to do. To be ourselves we follow
our feelings. To be ourselves, to fulfil ourselves, we act in
our own welfare for only we must. It is not in our welfare
to act as others think we should. We act as we feel we
must.

22
The Way

Our feelings for how to act are our directions for acting
our way, the way that is right for our fulfilment without
harm.

...

What feels right is what needs to be done. When it feels


right is when it needs to be done. How it feels right is
how it needs to be done.

...

“In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenges of courage,
whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience –
the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of
his fellow men – each man must decide for himself the course he will
follow.” p225, Profiles in Courage, JF Kennedy (1965).

We must build ourselves, rejecting behaviour that brings


us down, not seeking validation from outside. Others do
not know how to live our lives better than us. We have to
rely on ourselves, not on what others think or say.

We are on our own in understanding our own potential


and fulfilment. Only we can make the certain difference
to our lives. Our lives are ours and up to us. We can
never wholly rely on others, nor improve our lives by
blaming others. The sooner we realise this the sooner we
can get on and grow ourselves. A great sense of freedom
and self-responsibility comes with knowing this.

“When I looked at my future … I saw more babies and different


boyfriends and pretty tough living, and I decided only I could make
that difference to my future and the life I was going to have. With
that came an inner strength.” Paula Bennett, New Zealand Member of
Parliament, Radio NZ (2009).

...

23
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Do what feels right easily. The easiest possible way to


the fullest realisation of our potential, is the best
possible way. This does not mean it will be easy.

...

The right way is a way of purpose and principle, never a


prescribed way of acting for particular situations. There
is no one way of acting, no one way of working, no one
way of caring, no one way of family.

The right way is expressed in different ways of acting for


everyone. The way of purpose and principle, of fulfil-
ment without harm, is actioned in many ways. In
families, loving guardians, true to themselves, living
without harm, make good guardians regardless of the
form of family.

Proscribed ways of acting according to specified circum-


stances are ways of control, the right way, by way of
purpose and principle, is the way of freedom. Our
purpose is fulfilment without harm, but we all live it
differently.

...

24
5

Rights

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to rights for all.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to violation of rights.

...

Our fulfilment may be harmed by situations where we


are treated unequally, whether in law, economy,
organisation or society. Our rights state basic entitle-
ments we must all receive equally.

Our rights are also statements against treatment that


harms us and our fulfilment. They make clear, even
though it should already be clear, that the acts they
protect us from are harmful.

Torture, servitude, arbitrary arrest, presumption of


guilt, restriction of movement, deprival of identity – all
clearly harm us and our fulfilment. In a system with a
structure and culture based in fulfilment without harm
these rights are intrinsic. But in cultures where the
wrong way is prevalent, where pursuit of power and
money with harm is systemic, rights are ignored or
unknown, undermined and violated.

When fulfilment without harm is not the basis of our


system our rights are a protection for appealing against
harm and a checklist for evaluating our law, economy,
organisation and society.

25
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Listed below are rights based on the United Nations’


Declaration of Human Rights [with related article
references where applicable]. In italics are three specific
rights not captured in the declaration but deserving
recognition.

We have all of these rights and they are worth recalling.


By identifying these harms and asserting common rights
against them our fulfilment is assisted. The more our
rights are adopted in our law, economy, organisation
and society the more fulfilment without harm becomes
the basis of our system and the greater it is realised.

...

We have the right…

To life, liberty and security. [A. 3]*


To not be held in servitude or slavery. [A. 4]*
To not be tortured or subjected to cruel or degrading
treatment or punishment. [A. 5]*
To recognition as a person (before the law). [A. 6]*
To equal treatment (before the law). [A. 7]*
To effective remedy for acts violating our rights. [A. 8]*
To not be arbitrarily arrested, detained or exiled. [A. 9]*
To a fair and public hearing by an impartial tribunal in
determination of rights and charges. [A. 10]
To be presumed innocent until proven guilty. [A. 11.1]*
To not be held guilty of any penal offence not constitut-
ing an offence when committed. [A. 11.2]
To not be subject to arbitrary interference with our
privacy or to attacks on our reputation. [A. 12]*
To freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of our State. [A. 13.1]*
To leave a country and return to our country. [A. 13.2]*
To seek in other countries asylum from political perse-
cution. [A. 14.1]*
To a nationality. [A. 15.1]

26
Rights

To not be arbitrarily deprived of nationality nor denied


the right to change nationality. [A. 15.2]
To an ethnicity.
To not be arbitrarily deprived of ethnicity and the right
to reside in our homeland.
To marry. [A. 16.1]
To own property, alone as well as in association with
others. [A. 17.1]
To not be arbitrarily deprived of property. [A. 17.2]*
To freedom of thought. [A. 18]*
To freedom of opinion and expression of opinion
through any medium. [A. 19]*
To freedom of assembly and association. [A. 20.1]*
To not be compelled to belong to an association. [A.
20.2]*
To take part in government directly or through freely
chosen representatives. [A. 21.1]
To equal access to public service. [A. 21.2]
To social security and to economic, social and cultural
rights for personal development. [A. 22]
To work, choice of employment, just and favourable
conditions, and unemployment protection. [A. 23.1]
To equal pay for equal work. [A. 23.2]
To just and favourable remuneration. [A. 23.3]
To form and join trade unions for the protection of our
interests. [A. 23.4]
To rest and leisure. [A. 24]*
To a standard of living adequate for health and well-
being. [A. 25.1]*
To a clean, attractive, harmonious environment.
To education. [A. 26.1]*
To choose the kind of education given to our children.
[A. 26.3]
To participate in the community. [A. 27.1]*
To material interest from our ideas. [A. 27.2]*
To a social and international order in which these rights
can be fully realised. [A. 28]*

...

27
The Common Purpose Manifesto

The principle of no harm is central to these rights. It


means that, while we have freedom of thought and
freedom of speech, we do not have freedom to harm,
even in speech. And so, just as it is necessary to reject
harm in any form, so it is necessary to reject harm in
speech.

...

We must advocate equal respect and freedom from harm


for everyone. By protecting these rights for everyone, we
protect them for ourselves, and by protecting these
rights for ourselves, we protect them for everyone.

...

We are all Kings, Kings of ourselves.

...

28
6

Law

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to law based on rights assisting our
fulfilment without harm.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to law based on property and
privilege.

...

It is up to the judiciary to interpret and reinterpret the


law based on today’s world, not yesterday’s. Justice is
served more by a just judiciary than a written law.

If there is any sacrosanct law it is the principle of no


harm. Good law legislates for fulfilment without harm. It
is based in the right way and our rights. The Declaration
of Human Rights assists our fulfilment without harm by
asserting specific rights.

The legal system and associated laws, conventions,


principles and declarations are a paramount record of
our society, the way it has been, the way we want it to be,
and the way it is. To know the law, particularly interna-
tional law, is to know history and, to some extent, the
practical bounds of the society we live in. Of course
written law cannot capture every aspect of society, but it
should be interpreted with an idea of the society we wish
for, an idea grounded in fulfilment without harm.

Common understanding of fulfilment without harm will


manifest in a society that enables and abides by our
purpose and principle. The precise form we cannot

29
The Common Purpose Manifesto

predict, but we will know it when our fulfilment without


harm is both its basis and its outcome.

...

Without knowledge of law we are still likely to operate


within it if we abide by the principle of no harm.

The occasions when this is not the case are cases where
the law reflects interests not in accord with the purpose
and principle.

There may be occasions where excessive interest in


formal, technical application overrides the principle of
no harm and damages our fulfilment. Laws, by their
nature, cannot be written for every situation. They must
be defined generally with wide application. This carries
the risk of interpretations causing harm.

Interpretation is a subject of tension between the public,


law enforcers and judiciary. Whatever the case, the
prime guide to interpretation should be the purpose of
fulfilment without harm, reflected in our rights.

...

Rules may be broken. The consideration is whether the


act is wrong (harming others) or right (fulfilling our
potential without harm). Rules simply formalise what is
typically wrong and give a typical penalty. However,
typical is not every situation. Rules can be wrong in
untypical situations, and in rapidly changing society
rules rapidly date, becoming wrong even in typical
situations.

...

30
Law

Rules, regulations and laws are not sacrosanct – when


we act without harm to others we should be able to
safely ignore them.

Rules are meant to protect us from harm, to make plain


what specific acts are wrong and give a guide to an
appropriate response. But they cannot specify every
wrong act, nor what is wrong or right in every situation,
or to what degree and with what appropriate response.

We do not and cannot live our lives by rules, only by


principle. Good rules will fit the principle, the act and
the situation, bad rules will conflict with the principle
and harm us by constraining us.

...

31
7

Atonement

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to atonement and amends.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to denial and punishment.

...

For sentencing, our legal system should adopt the


element of atonement, rejecting our wrong ways and
offences, but not rejecting us when we change our ways.

Where we plead guilty to an offence, the query, “How do


you think you should atone?” should be posed.

It is beneficial to our understanding and judgement to


attain an idea of what those of us committing an offence
consider sufficient atonement and why. A statement of
what we consider sufficient helps those of us harmed
consider conciliation and those of us who have harmed
consider our actions and the harm we have done.

Conciliation requires our willingness to atone and make


amends. Those of us harmed need to hear those who
have harmed express our desire to make amends and
atone.

The offer to make amends must indicate how, in what


form and to what extent. This conveys what we feel is
appropriate and sufficient atonement for the harm we
have done. Our statement need not be confined to a
typical sentence, but be a product of the particular
circumstances of our case.

33
The Common Purpose Manifesto

The willingness to make amends and atone attends to


our genuine contrition. This facilitates the conciliation
of those of us wronged with those of us who have
wronged and humanity in general. It assists closure and
a new beginning.

...

In all legal cases it should be made clear what our


common purpose is so we who have done wrong can
understand this and choose our fulfilment without
harm.

The hope is that, when we are introduced to the purpose


of fulfilment without harm, we will choose to live by it,
and atone for the harm we have done, willingly making
amends.

However, if we refuse to follow our fulfilment without


harm, then our actions that cause harm must be
constrained.

...

When we are guilty of doing wrong we should plead


guilty.

“What a lawyer has no duty to say to an accused is, ‘There is a huge


hole in the prosecution case but I think you should plead guilty
because it would be morally better for you.’ That is the role of the
accused person’s priest or vicar. It is not the role of the lawyer. As
soon as she does that she is judging the issues.” p155, Just Law,
Helena Kennedy (2005).

“The professional role of the defence barrister in criminal cases


presents difficulties for many people, who see it as amoral and
unprincipled, but it is in fact based on the very sound principle that
the lawyer should not sit in judgement.” p156, Just Law, Helena
Kennedy (2005).

34
Atonement

Lawyers should advise all clients to plead guilty if they


know themselves to be guilty [of a just law]. Lawyers do
not judge a client guilty by recommending this. Offering
this advice does not make lawyers “priests or vicars”, it
makes them good citizens advising other citizens to be
good.

A legal system that does nothing to inform on wrong or


right, but operates only on point of law, does nothing to
assist our understanding of fulfilment without harm.
Indeed, within a social system that rewards finance and
control with harm as purpose, a legal system focusing
only on point of law leads to the denial of wrong even
when we have wronged.

In these circumstances, when we plead guilty it is due


solely to incontrovertible evidence and there is no
atonement. As a result, those of us harmed feel angry
and demand punishment, while those of us causing
harm learn nothing of principle or purpose and see no
reason to atone.

The punishment that results merely confirms our system


as one of control and harm, in which the only fault is to
get caught. We that wrong do not atone and willingly
make amends or understand any higher principle, but
always favour denial. Those of us wronged remain
aggrieved and angry.

The punishment, if prison, works to reduce harm


outside of prison for as long as we are interned. But
there is no overall reduction in harm, no conciliation
and no greater understanding.

...

We must always be ready for conciliation, otherwise we


bind those of us who have done wrong as wrong for the

35
The Common Purpose Manifesto

rest of our lives, giving us no chance to understand


fulfilment without harm and do right.

However, we must also always reject wrong and protect


ourselves against those of us who continually wrong. We
offer openness to peace and reconciliation, but we
cannot accept wrong. We must reject it as forcibly as
needed to prevent harm.

Understand and choose right, and receive acceptance.


Remain ignorant and wrong, and be rejected.

The message of fulfilment without harm must be always


clear so that wrong can be understood and right chosen.

...

We are all angered by those of us who harm. We who


harm must atone and make amends or be restrained in a
place where we can meditate on purpose and the right
way until we are ready to accept that our fulfilment must
come without harm.

...

Sorry is not enough, there must be commitment to not


harm in the future, otherwise true atonement is not had
and there can be no true conciliation.

Amends is not so important as understanding what was


wrong and the commitment not to wrong again. If this is
genuine, and we join the right way of doing things, then
whatever we do next will contribute without harm, and
that contribution is the best amends for the harm we
have done.

We who can find no understanding of wrong and cannot


commit to doing no harm, cannot be permitted to harm.

36
Atonement

Our harm must be rejected, even if this means con-


straining our freedom to act.

...

Our current justice system is inhumane in many


respects. It does not inform understanding of wrong and
right or require commitment to not harm in the future.

...

It is not enough to plead guilty, there must be an


accounting as well. There is no evidence of contrition
and no atonement with just a guilty plea.

...

There must be zero tolerance for wrong generally, not


just in law. We do wrong when we experience a culture
of wrong in which our wrongdoing is rewarded or
punished with more wrong.

Zero tolerance for wrong does not mean doing wrong in


return – that amplifies and perpetuates the culture of
wrong. It means rejecting wrong. This may mean
depriving us of the freedom to inflict wrong when we
wrong, but it also means providing us with the under-
standing to choose right.

Crimes and the widespread abuse of our rights are a


failure of our society and our culture in which harm is
rewarded or punished with greater harm. Our right to be
safe (to live without harm) must be respected. All harm
must be rejected. Any harm is intolerable.

...

37
Section Two

Economy
8

Competition

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to free and fair competition.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to closed markets and unfair com-
petition.

...

Pursuing fulfilment without harm leads to free and fair


competition, competition in which we realise our
potential but do not harm others. It is a struggle to be
ourselves, not a struggle against each other.

When we compete, we must not harm. To harm is the


wrong way, it contravenes the principle of no harm. The
right way is to compete by doing our own best in our
own way, not by denigrating or excluding others.

Fair competition in open and free markets, according to


the principle of no harm, facilitates the realisation of our
potential. Competition tells us who is better at different
things and what methods produce the best results.
Competition provides a driver for improvement. It helps
us find niches where we are best and avoid those where
we are worst. Competition is an important, democratic
method of sorting and filtering effort and stimulating
improvement without central planning or control.

Competition in markets and in trade is not a zero sum


game. There are no absolute winners or losers. It is not a
game with a fixed beginning and end. It is unending and
time independent, the options endless and plays

41
The Common Purpose Manifesto

continuous. It is about doing better and finding what we


are best at, not winning. Only those of following the
wrong way (of money with harm) try to win absolutely
by putting others out of business, by harming.

...

There are as many niches as there are differences


between us. Fair competition sorts, it does not eliminate.
The larger the market (the more of us our product can
reach), the greater the number of niches and the larger
our product diversity. There is always a place for all of us
provided we have equal opportunity to realise our
potential.

...

Current markets are not fair. They distribute wealth less


evenly than optimal because in them we compete by
harming others efforts in pursuit of money (diminishing
our total productivity), rather than realising our poten-
tial pursuing fulfilment without harm.

...

A central problem in fair competition is one of connect-


ing the niche buyer to the niche seller, of mass commu-
nication and market size. Traditional markets have been
hampered by limited communication and distribution
systems allowing only a small proportion of products to
market. The internet expands these systems.

...

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with harm


to others, leads to closed markets and unfair competi-
tion, competition in which we harm others. In unfair
competition it is a struggle against, not with others.

42
Competition

When wrong, we compete by denigrating and excluding


others.

Unfair competition in closed and controlled markets, in


contravention of the principle of no harm, hampers the
realisation of our potential, and distorts purpose to
financial accumulation rather than realisation of
potential.

Unfair competition tells us who has greatest control over


the market and who can close out competitors. It does
not tell us what product is better or what methods are
most efficient and realise greatest potential.

Unfair competition diminishes the need for product


improvement. It limits variability in the marketplace
and hinders our ability to find niches where we are best.
It distorts true market signals by making many of our
efforts unsustainable.

As unfair competitors we treat markets and trade as zero


sum games with absolute winners and absolute losers.
We use this perspective to justify our methods.

In unfair competition we try to control communication


and distribution so we can control and limit what comes
to market and at what price. The internet undermines
unfair practices as it opens communication channels
between niche producers and consumers (between all of
us), increases information on products so they can be
properly differentiated and selected, and enables
distribution outside of the controlled outlets of domi-
nant players.

Unfair competition results in less growth, as it dimin-


ishes realisation of our potential and the productivity
that results.

...

43
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Our fulfilment requires persistence. It is not about


winning or beating others, it is about finishing and
closing out each of the steps we need to to realise our
potential. It is about us doing what we do. It is not about
others, it is about us.

In fair competition we try to be the best we can be at


whatever we do. We must keep that in mind. That is our
goal, to be the best we can be, to be ourselves the best we
can be. The focus is on how well we realise ourselves, not
on how well we do against others, those external
measures are incidental. Let us enjoy playing the game.
Let us enjoy living life.

...

"We can't go back to the era where the Chinese or the Germans or
other countries just are selling everything to us, we're taking out a
bunch of credit card debt or home equity loans, but we're not selling
anything to them," Obama in an interview with CNN television.
Obama Wants G20 To Discuss Rethink Of Global Economy, reported
in Reuters, (20 Sep 2009).

There is a balancing or rebalancing of productive wealth


with free and fair trade. The wealth transfer from West
to East or at least the correction in the imbalance of
wealth between West and East is far from over. For the
US, for instance, to insist that China starts importing, in
a far greater way, products from the US, is wrong:
China’s products are still cheaper because its people are
still poorer. Until this changes the balance of trade
should favour China. That is fair and what a good
market will result in.

This is not to say that wealthy countries will not grow,


but it is to say that poorer countries will grow faster.

...

44
9

Contribution

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to us realising our fulfilment
through our best contributions.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to exertions for secure financial
returns, without fulfilment.

...

In a good economy, all of us can make our best contribu-


tions. The most popular contributions may gain the
greatest financial reward, but our purpose is not this
reward, our purpose is fulfilling our potential in the
contributions we make. A good economy will enable
this.

An economy in which decisions on how we contribute


are not made by us (according to what we see is needed
and can provide) is not a good economy. It is a bad one,
one where decisions are centralised in the hands of the
few who own or control assets.

The assets controlled by the few are directed, not to our


fulfilment and realising our potential (or contributing to
that purpose), but to secure, financial returns.

The secure, financial return motivation quashes decen-


tralised, informed, decision-making by most of us (who
are best placed to see what we are best at) and replaces it
with central decision-making designed to reduce
financial risk by controlling and limiting what we do.

45
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Corporations of centralised control work for the purpose


of security and financial return. They can do this
because most of us employed by them are not independ-
ently secure, but depend on the corporation for our
earnings. These companies force us to choose between
financial security and the right to our ideas, between
financial security and the right to speak publicly, even
between financial security and our freedom to contrib-
ute how we best choose.

The fault is not in individual ownership, but in the idea


that assets should be directed toward secure, financial
return rather than toward fulfilment and the realisation
of our potential through contribution.

We would contribute far more if the rights to our


contributions were our own or shared for our common
fulfilment, not appropriated by corporations for secure,
financial return.

...

“Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most


advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. …
He intends only his own security; and by directing that industry
in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he
intends only his own gain, …” Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith,
(1776).

The focus of our effort is not “security” except at the


most basic level. Most of us who realise any real factor of
our unique potential (our human capital) are not doing
this for security. Security is a necessity of any work at
the most basic level, where it is the only source of
income, but artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, and all of
us expressing ourselves in work we find fulfilling, are
not doing what we do out of an overriding interest in
security or material value.

It may be true that as an artist, sportsperson, entrepre-


neur, scientist or other, we “intend only our own gain”

46
Contribution

(to paraphrase Smith), but that gain (our real gain) is


not in security or material reward, it is in the realisation
of our potential, in our individual expression and
fulfilment, gain that can only be realised when we find
our niche, the place where our skills and aptitudes fit
best, the place where we can realise our potential and
express ourselves. And this gain, of fulfilment through
realised potential, is one that may realise us little
financially.

Tragically, within our existing social system, the


requirement to realise financial security (and pursue the
misdirected objective of material gain) prevents many of
us from realising our potential, channelling us into work
we are not particularly suited to in order to either: (a)
survive or (b) pointlessly pursue possession of ever more
material things.

Real value, real gain is realised in expressing ourselves


and contributing. When we see a better way of doing
things, we see our potential, and when we do things that
way, we realise it. From this we feel fulfilment, and
when we share our contribution, whatever material
rewards eventuate, by right, belong to us, not just our
employers.

We do not and should not need to compete for money.


We can and should be able to compete fairly in making
our best contribution.

...

We should have more leisure to make our best contribu-


tion to life. We do not. There is a fault in our social
system, one that confines and limits the way we contrib-
ute into narrow bands of work generally known as jobs –
jobs the tasks of which are designated and controlled by
a small number of us.

47
The Common Purpose Manifesto

It is a tragic irony that the luddites destroyed the


machines that should have liberated them from mun-
dane work. This occurred, at least partly, because
capitalism, and the way it distributes wealth and
structures the employer-employee relationship, makes
any work, no matter how pointless, a necessity.

A good system mechanises pointless, repetitive work,


and evokes contributions that fulfil those of us making
them. A good system shares and enhances ideas without
limit. But our current system reflects a theory of idea
and resource ownership that constrains their use and
limits our contribution and fulfilment.

Shared ideas are borrowed, copied and continually


enhanced. Unshared ideas stay still – frozen by patents
and the overriding financial motivation our current
system instils.

...

We all want to contribute in a way that fulfils us, and we


would prefer to contribute throughout our lives if we
could structure our production to suit ourselves. It is the
inflexibility of roles due to the employer-employee
relationship that makes this impossible. We need to
equalise this relationship and change the nature of
contribution to include all of us.

...

Let us compete to contribute, not for money, but for


fulfilment.

...

At the most fundamental level, it is not popularity we


should care about, not even popularity with those of us
interested in the areas we have contributed to. Let us not

48
Contribution

work for that, let us work to realise our potential and our
contribution. Every bit adds. Whether it is fawned upon
or largely ignored, work that fulfils us adds to the total
sum of our realised potential, to our fulfilment (and to
our shared understanding, in its broadest sense). We do
it for our own fulfilment, but it still adds to the total, and
if done without harm it does not detract from it.

We are also all different, and our contributions add to


the total diversity of contribution. Let us not duplicate
others, but be ourselves. We add. We may compete to do
better and add more, according to our own ideas of what
is better, but we must not harm by attacking others or
their contributions. Our differences are our strengths
and greatest assets.

There is diversity and harmony when our contribution is


without harm. Difference does not have to be against,
our contributions can add to the total and be compli-
mentary. And diversity can also be harmony, and is this
way if we choose to live our fulfilment without harm.

...

Our contribution is our only expression of who we are in


this world. We must make it count and have it reflect
who we are. We must be true to ourselves.

...

49
10

Income

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to shared earnings and a shared
base income.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to immense income disparity.

...

Direct income inequalities from trade are inevitable in


any market. Incomes cannot be distributed evenly in the
first instance because we do not spend evenly. When we
trade it is always the case that some products (ideas) are
more popular than others, and as soon as money
becomes economically necessary some of us accumulate
more wealth than we can consume immediately, so
wealth imbalances occur.

Free and open trade with a common currency (or easily


convertible common currencies) is the only efficient
mechanism for determining what is needed and distrib-
uting limited resources in our complex society. Central
control cannot supplant free trade, as production and
distribution decisions are too complex for this. Attempt-
ing to do so limits diversity, freedom and growth.

Because direct income equality from free trade is


impossible, and free trade is vital, a shared base income,
ensuring equal opportunity for all to realise potential,
must be created by sharing the earnings we make on our
trade (the earnings we make from sale of our products
and services after our expenses involved in producing
them).

51
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Shared earnings and a shared base income do not


eliminate income inequality, some of us still earn
incomes far greater than the base, but sharing half of all
the income we earn from trade, via a base income shared
between us, helps eliminate poverty and ensures we all
have the opportunity to realise our potential. It also
inculcates a common spirit of sharing in our society, a
sense of community and belonging.

Why half? Because it is an equal share, half for our-


selves, half for others. Such a share is also simple -
simple to comprehend and simpler to implement than
any tiered system. It is also more agreeable because it is
transparently fairer.

...

Markets lead us to confuse purpose with monetary


accumulation. The facilatory market mechanism of
money and the fact it can be accumulated leads to a
belief that monetary accumulation is the purpose of life.

We who would normally support a purpose without


harm are easily misled by the purpose of monetary
accumulation to the conclusion that some of us are poor
because we are worthless, because we are intrinsically
unproductive, even lazy; and to the accompanying
conclusion that those of us who accumulate sums of
money equivalent to the wealth of millions are worthy of
that, as if our efforts are greater because they are paid
more; as if pay and wealth are an indicator of effort such
that one of us could apply more effort than two or even
two hundred.

But monetary accumulation as purpose is contrary to


fulfilment and happiness. Those of us who desire
financial wealth live in subservience to those who have
wealth, selling our skills and ideas to masters that own

52
Income

the product of them and direct the use of them. In this


way, those of us in poverty, undesiring of wealth and
employing our own skills and ideas to produce our own
products (no matter the meagre return), are happier
than those who have wealth but desire more.

And monetary accumulation as purpose is harmful. The


pursuit of money with harm, rather than fulfilment
without harm, leads to:

 financial derivatives of no productive value,


 gambling and bets on outcomes we cannot influence,
 jobs that do not realise potential,
 buildings that are ugly and out of place,
 destruction of heritage,
 destruction of environment,
 rip-offs, scams, get-rich-quick schemes,
 corporate corruption,
 bribery and extortion,
 violent robbery,
 stealing and cheating,
 speculative markets,
 tariffs and trade barriers,
 anything goes business, and
 selling out potential for money and material things.

...

Immense monetary accumulations, alongside poverty


and starvation, occur as a result of restricted command
and control over our resources and ourselves, particu-
larly our ideas.

With understanding of the common purpose and


principle of fulfilment without harm, it is us, not
corporates, that retain rights and ownership of our
ideas, not appropriating those of others.

53
The Common Purpose Manifesto

With understanding of the common purpose and


principle, there is no requirement that we keep our ideas
to ourselves or accumulate all the earnings from them,
as it is the realisation of our ideas and our contribution
that provide our fulfilment, not the accumulation of
money, and our financial security is guaranteed by a
shared base income that is also the mechanism for
sharing earnings.

Immense income disparity in capitalist economies is


indicative of a situation where the purpose of fulfilment
and the principle of no harm are not held in common, of
a situation where we believe our purpose is money and
power with harm, of a situation where the wrong way is
in ascendance.

It is worst in tyrannical states. In capitalist states power


and money may be somewhat more distributed, the total
growth somewhat greater, but the wrong way, pursuing
power and money with harm, is still in ascendance.

...

We all want our own wealth because we all want security


and the ability to choose what work we do. To resolve
the issue of security there needs to be a shared base
income so we can change and choose our direction.

If there are jobs none of us want to do, do we ever have


the right to force some of us to do them? No, forcing
some of us into jobs we do not want harms us, it does
not realise our potential, it does not grow us. It is in
accordance with the common purpose of fulfilment that
we strive to figure out ways of enabling fulfilment for all
of us, and for some of us this will mean figuring out ways
of automating and eliminating jobs none of us want.

...

54
Income

There needs to be a shared base income so we can all


contribute. It is not so high it diverts those of us pursu-
ing money from contributing as it can only be what an
equal share of our earned income affords, which to begin
with will be low. But as the contribution and productiv-
ity it enables increases so our earnings and incomes
increase.

...

The base income is shared equally between us. It is an


income we use to change direction and to learn and
develop contributions in new and different ways, ways
that may earn much or little, but in whatever regard,
express our unique skills and abilities.

There is no means testing, no restriction, it is not a


benefit we apply for, but an entitlement automatically
paid on coming of age.

...

Sharing for growth and sharing of growth. We all need


the wealth and security to produce – in practice, a
secure base income. This entails trust and common
cause.

It means mechanical work none of us want to do is


automated because we are no longer required to do it. It
means new ideas. It means decision-making is divulged
to all of us and we all play a role. It means our growth in
earnings is shared so we may all grow our earnings
which are likewise shared.

We are all part of this world, we must all be free to share


in and contribute to it.

...

55
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Our dependency on the employer-employee relationship


is sustained by wealth inequity. It is a signifier of the
dependency imbued by the employee-employer relation-
ship that when we are out of work we do everything to
look for another job, not produce something ourselves.

This situation is sustained by the gross inequity of


wealth distribution that means most of us cannot afford
to live without an income and must seek immediate
employee work.

...

The shared base income greases the movement of us to


our niches. We will not stay in organisations where we
are not realising our potential. We will move to others or
start ones in which we are fulfilled. But this movement is
diminished if we do not have a reliable source of income.
Without a fallback income, without the shared base
income, moving or working independently to realise our
potential is often too risky.

...

A shared base income assists a sense of commonality


and community in our society because it is based on our
transparently shared earnings. A shared base income
means we can feasibly work on the development of
ourselves and our communities.

Sharing half our earnings from trade in a base income


shared by all of us realises a sense of community, that
we are all in this together, contributing our potential. It
helps us realise a change in perspective, making real and
achievable our common purpose of fulfilment without
harm.

...

56
Income

Shared earnings and a shared base income is fair – it


enables the opportunity of all of us to realise our
potential. Poverty is not fair. Poverty is harmful. Shared
earnings and a shared base income lift us out of poverty
together as we grow together. It distributes wealth more
evenly, and enables all our productive potentials to be
realised.

Our shared earnings and shared base income should be


at the highest grouping possible, preferably global, but if
not then at the level of each nation.

...

With a shared base income where we contribute and


participate is chosen. When we participate we all
contribute differently in our own ways according to our
own talents, but we all maintain a fair share.

The shared base income will enable, not stop, realisation


of our potential. It will enable us to contribute where we
see a need and in what we like to do, areas we tend to
have natural aptitude for. What we have natural
aptitude for, we tend to be interested in, and what we
are interested in we like to contribute in, which is also,
naturally, where we are best able to contribute.

The base income flexes according to the dynamics of the


economy, as it is directly dependent on how much we
earn through our trade.

...

Shared earnings and a shared base income ensure


opportunity for everyone. It is not a handout. It is an
entitlement. We all have to share in and contribute to
the growth of our economy.

...

57
The Common Purpose Manifesto

Shared earnings mean we benefit from our own trade


and others. Money is still a motivation and a reward, but
one we share without harm to others.

Money is not the primary motivation or purpose of life,


it is necessary to our security against poverty so we can
be ourselves and fulfil our potential, and necessary to
trade so we can grow what needs to be grown and
distribute resources, but growing our financial wealth is
not growing ourselves, fulfilling our potential is.

...

Money is the work selection mechanism where purpose


is the pursuit of power and money with harm. We do
what pays.

Fulfilment is the work selection mechanism where


purpose is fulfilment without harm. We do what fulfils.

Both mechanisms work together when we share our


earnings from trade in a shared base income we all use
to realise our potential contributing products and
services we trade.

With shared earnings we still benefit financially from


our trade, but we share half of it, a share we all benefit
from.

...

Money can be accumulated but also shared if our


security is guaranteed and we understand fulfilment
without harm as our purpose. Understanding this means
understanding that opportunity, and thus security, is for
everyone. Being able to contribute more in the way that
fulfils us is our reward.

58
Income

We need to put money in its place as a market facilitat-


ing, trading tool, not as a vessel for massive wealth
accumulation and disparity, but as a means for our
greatest possible growth, opportunity and security.

...

The shared income provides a minor release from the


necessity for earnings from profit, salary or wages. It
enables greater choice. It assists us in choosing greater
leisure and it also enables greater choice in our contri-
bution.

The shared income is also a way of us tapping into the


shared success of us all. It lets us know how we are all
going by the variation in its rate. It provides us all with a
sense of inclusion in our economy. A sense of knowing
and understanding and a sense of benefitting.

A shared income enables greater diversity and allows for


far less conformity. This enriches all our lives.

...

59
11

Incentive

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to incentives reinforcing fulfilment
without harm.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to incentives reinforcing the pursuit
of power and money.

...

Panning for gold (and financial incentive with a shared


base income). We pan for gold when gold prices are
high. Prices motivate it. But would we pan if there was a
shared base income? It would be less likely. Prices would
have to be higher or the job more appealing. Menial and
repetitive, spiritually unrewarding work is the type of
work we need to automate and mechanise.

If we continue to pan for gold when prices are low, it is


because we enjoy the work and find fulfilment from it.
Few of us (just lifestylers) would pan for gold if we did
not earn from it.

Does sharing a base income between all producers (all of


us) obscure market forces? Yes, some. It obscures the
market forces that lead us to take work which harms our
fulfilment, realises none of our potential, and may
physically damage us. The type of work that, should we
have a choice (given us by a base income), we would not
take no matter how much it paid.

What about the black market and tax avoidance? There


is a black market now. There is no reason to think the

61
The Common Purpose Manifesto

black market is going to be any more significant than the


current one. In fact, there is reason to believe it will be
less: a system with no base income makes it a practical
necessity to avoid taxes on low income, funding removes
this necessity and creates an obligation to give back.

What about de-selection? Is the market force signal of


little to no earnings required to deselect production that
makes no revenue, that has too limited a market to earn
a living? Market forces are often wrong or late. Market
forces do not directly reward research, thought, art,
science, and many other forms of production not
directly resulting in a popular, packaged product.

Will we join organisations as employees? Funding


individual production with a shared base income means
we are more able to form organisations as equal mem-
bers, rather than subservient employees. It means we
have the security to demand the flexibility we need to
live the way of life that best enables us to make our best
contributions.

Will sharing a base income result in an entitlement


culture? All of us are entitled to share in our growth.
This we all understand, when we understand we all
share the same purpose of realising our potential, and
that this potential can only be realised for all of us when
none of us are disadvantaged.

Will a base income make us lazy? No, it means we can


produce. It means we are not locked into being employ-
ees. It means we can make choices. It means we are able
to make our best contributions, that best suit our
abilities.

What about those of us on unemployment benefit now?


For those us on a benefit the receipt is so little there is a
powerful incentive to earn additional income without
declaring it. A shared base income instead means we feel

62
Incentive

part of society and can contribute with trust and


security.

Is there enough of a tax base to enact funding a base


income? The shared base income is a half share of all
our earnings, which is an increase on the current
personal tax base. The shared base income will not be
high, but as the contribution it facilitates increases so
our shared earnings and our shared incomes will
increase.

...

The incentive of fulfilment is stronger than financial


incentive. This fulfilment we will do rather than, and as
well as, watching television and sunbathing, because we
want to be fulfilled. Financial incentive is likely to
mislead us. Fulfilment is directed by us.

If we value fulfilment we will not waste our lives, we will


live them. If we realise our purpose, we will pursue it.

Life includes both leisure and work. They are not


mutually exclusive, and the balance should be ours to
determine. The nine-to-five work day is not a law of
nature, it is our construct and we can change it.

There may be times we want to have more leisure, times


we want to have less. Regardless, many great contribu-
tions are done in what we consider leisure.

The forms of leisure that harm us and damage our


potentials and contributions, such as harmful drugs and
damaging drinking, are reasons to free ourselves from
the stresses that leads us to pursue these escapes.

Envy of others flexible lifestyles, despite their sacrifices


of income, can be followed by condemnation and the
assertion of requirements that all of us work inflexibly to

63
The Common Purpose Manifesto

formal structures. But we need to look to our own


fulfilment, not try to control others.

...

A society can be assessed on the level of its shared base


income.

...

The shared base income breaks the chains of financial


incentive and instils a culture of greater sharing and
tolerance, in which lives of fulfilment without harm can
flourish.

How a shared income is structured accords to the society


in question and what works. The key is that steps taken
are considered and constructed to further fulfilment
without harm for all, increasing enablers and decreasing
constrictions and controls.

The financial incentive is a fundamental aspect of the


purpose of pursuing money and power. Within this
concept sharing is out. But this is not the concept in
which we need to live if we wish fulfilment.

Within the concept of fulfilment for all sharing is in. The


signals of fulfilment and what people need to do to find
fulfilment are not financial, financial incentive is not the
motivator. The signals are in fulfilment, in what we find
fulfilling, and in what is needed to further all our
fulfilment. The key to facilitating these incentives are
communication and the tools that allow this.

The steps given in the manifesto to greater enable


fulfilment for all are as correctives to constructions that
have arisen in a system where pursuit of money and
power with harm is the purpose. The argument for the
existing constructs supporting the pursuit of money and

64
Incentive

power with harm are still strong within their purpose.


The matter for us here is to reject this purpose and find
for fulfilment without harm. The financial arguments
are invalidated when our purpose is not financial
accumulation and power with harm, but fulfilment
without harm.

Within the purpose of fulfilment without harm the


changes suggested in the manifesto help construct a
system supporting our fulfilment, and deconstruct the
supports of finance as purpose. The process is gradual,
and it is easy to fall back into the arguments supporting
financial accumulation, when this is the system we have
been living in for so long. The key is to break out of that
mindset and consider a different purpose, our common
purpose of fulfilment without harm. In this purpose
different arguments are valid and different systems
possible.

...

Neutralise financial disincentives to fulfilment, to


change our system to one supporting fulfilment. Reverse
fulfilment-perverse incentives within the current
financial system using financial means.

...

The incentive is in making the best contribution. It does


not need certificates or other external reward, it is its
own internal reward, our own fulfilment. This is not to
say we do not compete, just that what we compete for is
our fulfilment, and there is a limitless supply of that to
go round – the more we realise our potential, the greater
our fulfilment grows.

...

65
12

Ideas & Growth

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to shared ideas, shared products,
and shared growth.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to exclusive ideas, exclusive prod-
ucts, and limited growth.

...

“12.0 Proprietary Rights – All ideas, concepts, copyright, inventions


or other products or processes developed or created either in whole or
part by you arising from or in connection with the performance of
your duties at the Ministry shall be the sole property of the Ministry.”
Manager & Senior Specialist Individual Employment Agreement,
Ministry of Social Development.

...

The right way, of fulfilment without harm, leads to


shared ideas and shared growth.

The unlimited productive potential of ideas gives them


enormous monetary potential. When the pursuit of
power and money overrides the pursuit of fulfilment
then the development of ideas’ monetary potential
overrides the development of its unlimited productive
potential.

In this scenario, a few gain exclusive control of idea


development and distribution in order to limit supply
for their financial gain. These purposes are best realised
within corporations of control and hierarchy, where our

67
The Common Purpose Manifesto

ideas are co-opted by the corporation in order for its


owners to attain increasing financial returns.

Without intellectual exclusivity, with the voluntary


sharing of ideas amongst all participants, there has to be
cooperation and agreement for large tasks to be
achieved. Organisations which do not co-opt the ideas of
members have to be bottom up, democratic and partici-
pative.

The realisation of our potential (to a great degree


encapsulated in the realisation and implementation of
our ideas) is our common purpose. Realising our
potential is realising ourselves. This is our fulfilment,
this is our growth. Realising our potential, is making our
contribution and growing. This is true productivity. Our
current system, structured toward financial wealth for
the few pursuing it most avidly, actually works to limit
the productivity and fulfilment of all of us, because
financial profit is made by limiting supply, artificially if
necessary.

If we want our true potential to be realised then we need


to alter the structure of our system to one where
fulfilment is pursued. In this system our production is
not artificially limited to produce a profit for a few, but
freed so that we all enjoy the fruits of our potential, both
in consuming and producing.

Within this system we share our ideas and our products


according to what we can afford. By sharing our income
we enable us all to share in greater degrees our ideas
and our product. Some product will always be limited,
there will always be an income from these to share. But
other products tend towards abundance. With sharing of
income these products tend to become free, as we can
more afford to provide them for free.

68
Ideas & Growth

It is in our nature to be competitive; however, competi-


tion does not rule out sharing, especially, if by sharing
we all grow. If we see how sharing benefits, we will
share. We can share rewards and still compete.

Trade product and share income. Trade what we find


and make, share ideas, and share what we have in
excess. By this means we all grow.

...

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with harm,


leads to exclusive ideas and limited growth. Only if we
pursue power and money with harm would we hold our
right to resources as greater than others, harming them
by withholding the resources they need when we have
them in excess.

We can contribute to a base income we all share when


we realise our purpose is not financial return but
fulfilment. This purpose needs to be recognised and
understood.

Money, the great facilitator of trade, enables us to both


accumulate and share wealth, meaning it can be a tool
for the realisation of all our potentials or a source of
great division.

Physical resources are scarce, but ideas and our poten-


tial are unlimited, thus productivity and our fulfilment
are unlimited.

Because real wealth, that is fulfilment, is unlimited there


is no cap on individual wealth when there are no
barriers to realising potential. With realising our
potential as the purpose and no harm as the principle,
the restraints on fulfilment, ideas and production are
off.

69
The Common Purpose Manifesto

...

Our greatest fulfilment is through our minds. Our ideas


can never be taken away from us. If we share them, we
still have them. They are infinitely replicable. They are
with us always. They are our greatest, most reliable
companions that grow with us as we grow.

...

It is wrong (harms others fulfilment) to claim the works


of others as our own, but not wrong to emulate the
products or the technology to produce similar products.
The right to (be identified with) our ideas is a human
right, our right, not a corporate right.

Ideas should give the originator a reasonable income, or


shared ideas a shared income, but no originator pre-
mium should be co-opted to be realised exclusively by
anyone else. This is a misdeed that occurs within the
skewed incomes of corporations which appropriate ideas
from employees and pay according to position and
financial ownership.

Corporate appropriators of others ideas expect millions


because their purpose does not accord with our fulfil-
ment but with the pursuit of power and money with
harm.

A shared base income gives security for idea originators,


that is all of us, to distribute ideas freely so we can all
use and grow them.

...

Legal protection of intellectual property is not a natural


advantage, but an unjust, unfair advantage that shelters
its users from competitors that have greater capability to

70
Ideas & Growth

produce the product. Intellectual property rights also


serve to isolate the ideas protected from development in
new and diverse ways by others that would invest in
them.

Legal protection of ideas is not a requirement of those


competing fairly to contribute. For fair competition our
natural capabilities and our willingness to invest them in
our product and our fulfilment is enough.

...

Ideas are shared: wealth is shared.

...

Share the technology, share the growth.

...

Wisdom must be turned into action, learning to use.

...

Monopoly situations occur whenever a person, but


nearly always an organisation, has obtained an idea it
refuses to share (legally legitimated by a patent).
Combine this with greed (the increasing returns motiva-
tion) and the result is excessive wealth concentration.

Refusing to share ideas is not the only means to monop-


oly, other unfair competitive practices were more
common in the past, but today this is the primary (and
most legitimated) means.

The confiscation of ideas from employees in order to


restrict their use for profit (that is very unevenly
distributed) is a trait shared by organisations. One
reinforced by asset-holders that demand only increasing

71
The Common Purpose Manifesto

returns, and one indicative of command and control


cultures that value the organisation more than the
people in it.

On the other hand, we would share proceeds, even if we


jealously demanded acknowledgement, if we had a
secure, independent income. Mega-wealth is not the
prime motivation of those of us not misled by material-
ism, rather it is the freedom to conceive and produce
ideas which realises our potential. A freedom to contrib-
ute secured by an independent income.

If we were all given this freedom, to write our stories,


build our theories, construct our inventions, design our
houses, play our sports, to play and compete at the
things we are best at, then mega-wealth is not a need.
Financial rewards are not the point. We want to be able
to produce our best. It is that ability which is restricted
in this world of wealth inequity and insecure incomes.

...

To reduce costs, unlock knowledge. Unlocking the


knowledge of how things are done, in health, finance,
law, and so on, undermines the barriers that allows
knowledge to be controlled and prices set.

The internet undermines the barriers by distributing


knowledge freely, and free knowledge decreases the
costs that knowledge holders can impose. The more
knowledge we distribute freely the greater our costs are
reduced. Knowledge is an unlimited resource, it should
be free or very close to it.

The internet means access to knowledge is close to free,


fairly easy and almost immediate.

...

72
Ideas & Growth

How can we contribute ideas and develop new products


when there is risk of no financial return? The answer is
to share earnings so we can all conceive and contribute
ideas, some of which may form new products, from
which we may also then share earnings.

Bank loans and bankruptcy has been the main means for
exploiting ideas and surviving ‘failure’ in the past, but
these methods are not free, fair or secure like a shared
base income we can all work off to produce what we see
is needed. A shared base income means we do not
require permission from banks to pursue our fulfilment,
or risk the perils of bankruptcy and exploitation.

...

New knowledge is formed from new ideas. New knowl-


edge is new ideas. Ideas form it.

Ideas in themselves are free and shared. Their concep-


tion (the effort to conceive), communication, duplication
and distribution may have a cost, but once delivered,
and we have absorbed and understood them, they are
ours to use as we will – to add to, modify and employ.

...

Copyright to our own particular product. We want


people to choose our product, our service. But this
should be a personal right we are enabled to share, not a
corporate right held exclusively for profit.

Markets are essential for the distribution of limited


resources because their limited nature means we cannot
all have them, but knowledge is not like this, we can all
have knowledge; there is no need to limit knowledge and
to do so is counterproductive to our greater growth as
knowledge is the fuel of further knowledge and personal
and economic growth.

73
The Common Purpose Manifesto

It is not to our greater advantage and growth to limit the


distribution of knowledge through patents. It is to all
our advantage that all our knowledge is shared, widely
used and improved upon. Patents can be used for greed
and to limit the use of knowledge, this is not to our
benefit.

We want knowledge generated, it is our growth. To


guarantee this, we need to ensure that the earnings
generated from trade in limited resources and products
is shared so when we contribute in the unlimited
resource of knowledge we have an income even when we
have no direct share in the earnings of products that use
it.

Products are limited and priced with costs that any


emulator must also have. The only cost not also required
of the emulator is the original cost of the new knowledge
(and the cost of the design).

The contribution of limited resources is financially


rewarding, the contribution of knowledge intellectually
fulfilling, but both knowledge and earnings need to be
shared so we all benefit from them both and both can
continue to be generated, as both are essential to our
growth.

Knowledge is also essential to the greater and more


sustainable use of our limited resources. Through our
knowledge we may make the product of our limited
resources less limited.

...

Shared earnings are essential to shared knowledge and


shared opportunity. Expertise (knowledge) will be
shared most greatly when we share an income.

74
Ideas & Growth

...

The finished product is copyright, not the ideas behind


it. It is wrong to claim another’s finished product as our
own, but not wrong to use the ideas in it to produce our
own product (with our own name on it).

It is the finished product that we trade. Our ideas are


shared as are the earnings from our trade.

...

Our ideas are ours. It is up to us to share. This is a


human right, not a corporate right.

...

Free or close to free according to what we can provide.


Our current system cannot deal with a free, non-physical
medium of delivery. We have to pointlessly translate the
non-physical, digital medium into a physical one simply
to make it saleable or put artificial constraints on the
supply of digital product when, in reality, it can be
available to all.

We should not need to, instead the earnings from the


physically limited resources we cannot do without
should be shared so that non-physical free resources can
be contributed freely in a sustainable way. A shared base
income does this.

...

75
13

Production

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to unlimited product through ideas.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to limited product through exploita-
tion.

...

We need to resolve the dilemma of scarce or limited


resources and we are coming close to doing so.

Many things mass produced today are so inexpensive as


to be virtually free. But it is through our ideas, immate-
rial and limitless, that we design these products and
make them desirable. Is there any reason why our ideas
should not be free too?

Material things, including houses, are becoming mass


produced in unlimited variety. The costs of variable,
bespoke units are dropping to the costs of units in mass
production. This occurs because machines and produc-
tion lines are becoming flexible, controlled by computers
in which our diverse design ideas are input. The cost of
producing one unit in one run is as inexpensive as the
cost of producing one unit in a run of a million.

The resources used are, like the digital resource replac-


ing paper and plastic, in limitless supply. They are
unlimited because we produce them ourselves using our
limitless supply of ideas to convert limited resource into
unlimited produce.

77
The Common Purpose Manifesto

...

Under the wrong way of financial accumulation with


harm, limited resources are coveted and we are ex-
ploited to produce limited product that is also coveted.
This harms us and produces limited product from
unsustainable exploitation of limited resource.

...

A humane world of fulfilment for all requires that


mundane, repetitive work is automated. It is more
expensive and intensive in the short-term, but it pays off
in the long. It makes things easier, and is based in ideas,
a limitless resource. It is satisfying and challenging to
automate, and it eliminates the labour intensive work we
do not want. Plus, it frees more time for more of us to
have more ideas.

In this new world, we do not just observe things affect-


ing others in experiments and tests, we learn how things
work. With understanding of how, our ability to find
new solutions, new methods and new ways expands.

...

Design-your-own suits, houses, cars, furniture, shoes,


music. This is where technology and automation are
taking us. Our creativity and diversity is harnessed so we
can express our uniqueness and contribute in all aspects
of our lives.

...

The less property we need the better. Consider how


much less worry we have with less property. It is us and
our growth as human beings that matters. Money is just

78
Production

a facilatory mechanism for enabling trade and distribut-


ing wealth.

The only objects that matter are those in which we have


injected a sense of self through our selection and
production. When electronic, digitalised, and manufac-
tured products are primary and thus unlimited ‘who has
what’ is not important, as enough is always available to
reflect each of us.

...

In our own lives and for our own fulfilment as well as for
the lives of others and their fulfilment we seek to
discover the social, economic, physical, biological, and
mechanical solutions to our common challenge of
fulfilment for all.

...

Physical product is subsidising digital product for the


time being, through the indirect mechanism of market-
ing.

For products approaching unlimited abundance (such as


information in electronic form on the internet) there is
no need to restrict distribution and financial costs are
minimal – we can virtually all have all these resources at
minimal cost. But how do we transact such small costs?
Obviously electronically and as painlessly as possible.
Through internet providers? But it must still be trans-
parent, still agreed to.

Ultimately the earnings from trade stem from the


physical resources of the country and the planet. These
resources we all have a right to: we must all share in the
earnings from their trade. If the trade in entirely
incorporeal (digital) products cannot be charged for,
then the trade in corporeal products must subsidise it by

79
The Common Purpose Manifesto

the earnings from it being shared. There will always be


corporeal products which we must all have a share of
while there is any form of limited physical resource.

This subsidisation can be by way of marketing budgets


on digital products, by corporate sponsorship, by legal
patents and by individual patronage. But the fairest and
least partisan way is by a straight share of earnings
shared evenly.

If in the future incorporeal products have a feasible


means of generating sufficient earnings for their
contributors to earn an income from (not one artificially
legislated) then their earned incomes will also be shared.

...

Probably many of us would like the most amazing car


available, a Mercedes Benz, a Lamborghini; and so on.
These are fun and pleasurable, but our fulfilment is not
had from striving for these things by any means. Our
fulfilment is from work that realises our potential, and
in a capitalist economy this is very unlikely to realise us
the high incomes a few who can purchase these highly
priced products receive.

But in a good economy, a common purpose economy,


excellent, well-manufactured products are available to
all of us, and our fulfilment may well be in creating them
as well as appreciating them. The shared base income
means work costs are low and our contributions are
directed (by ourselves) to the production we are best at
and most appreciate. Sharing and the avoidance of
greater profit for just a few means profit margins are
slimmer. Lower work costs and smaller margins
significantly decrease the price of produce at every stage
of production.

80
Production

Shared incomes and our best contributions means


products are priced to ourselves, so we can all choose in
an affordable market.

...

81
14

Market

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to markets encouraging fulfilment
without harm.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to markets encouraging the pursuit
of power and money with harm.

...

Pursuing fulfilment without harm leads to markets that


encourage the pursuit of fulfilment without harm, not
the pursuit of power and money with harm.

Pursuing power and money with harm leads to markets


that restrict the pursuit of fulfilment without harm and
encourage the pursuit of money and power with harm.

A new or evolving market model that creates financial


incentives to do right and ameliorates financial incen-
tives to do wrong is the internet. It has this facility.

The internet can incorporate a non-patent, author only,


intellectual rights model that furthers and sustains
individual contribution in voluntary partnerships and
open membership collaborations and projects.

...

Online costs of transaction are so low as to be almost


entirely negligible. They are entirely digital and auto-
matic. They are a fraction of the total cost no matter how
small the cost is. Newspaper articles can be 1c or 1p an

83
The Common Purpose Manifesto

article and be viable as the transaction cost is still a


proportion of the cost.

Fractional transaction costs are a vital ingredient,


allowing total costs per unit to be tiny when the product
is entirely digital. A sustainable income for digital
product sales is based on massive unit sales and employs
the global market aspect of the web. The incomes are
generally low or reasonable, rarely excessive, and they
are often individual, directly to the producer or to a
collaboration of equal producers.

In the new market place, promotion via website is close


to free. All of us have a site or many promoting different
aspects of ourselves and our services and products we
produce (our contribution).

Collaborations vary according to individual projects.


They can be short or long. Work requirement variations
are limitless. They can be partnership and/or member-
ship based. We can become a member (or subscriber) of
any project we are interested in, even without contribut-
ing (becoming a member-subscriber is a part of contri-
bution).

The danger is that governments act to protect profit-


structured organisations rather than our individual
rights. In this scenario governments attempt to legislate
the internet for profit-structured organisations ‘right’ to
profit against our rights to fulfilment without harm.

This legislation protects organisation profits and allows


them to restrict the diminished transaction and duplica-
tion costs the internet enables to extract higher profits.
In this scenario prices remain high and are forced higher
as corporations gain the ability to persecute through the
courts those of us that trade or share any product that
the corporations claim a property right to.

84
Market

In this scenario corporations regain control of prices and


keep them high. The diminishing cost model of the
internet is damaged. High prices reduce distribution of
resources, information and product, and curtail further
production. Individual contribution is limited.

The alternative scenario is that the law protects our


rights on the web and our purpose of fulfilment without
harm.

The new market model is vitally important to not just


trade, but to every aspect of our fulfilment in contribut-
ing without harm. Because of its breadth, this is not a
single issue matter. It could constitute the foundation of
a universal movement and party. It is a central tenet of
our common purpose and its viability.

...

We cannot allow the fact that some of us refuse to use


the web to stop seeing ahead to us all using it in the
future. Indirectly, we all do already.

...

We are all producers in the internet market place. We


can all do whatever we want to do and do it ourselves.
The internet opens up our options to publish, display
and sell anything we produce. It allows us all to be
producers, to be contributors. It is up to us. What do we
want to produce?

...

Marketing is a key means of wealth transfer in the


current economy. Anyone with a presence (which is all
of us) can make something of it.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

Limited resources subsidise unlimited produce via


marketing. This is a means of sharing the value of
resources. Unlimited produce in turn sustains demand
for product from limited resource. The vehicle of
marketing means mainly that the most popular sites will
benefit from the most marketing; however, marketing is
also by niche.

...

86
15

Pricing

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to fair prices reflecting true costs.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to inflated prices reflecting sup-
posed risks.

...

Fairness is the most critical element of pricing and


successful markets. The price must be fair.

The fair price reflects what we can afford and what is in


limited supply.

...

Finding the digital fair price.

Would we say, “Okay you can all have my produce – take


my potatoes, carrots, gherkins.”, or, “Take all my
paintings.”, or, “Take all my garments.”?

So why would we say that about our photos, our stories,


our theories online? Because they are in digital format?
We still need to earn an income. It may cost us nothing
to duplicate them and nothing to distribute them, but it
still costs just as much to conceive them.

But what if we had a shared base income? If we had a


shared income then we could afford to contribute
limitless resources, that is digital resources based on our
ideas, for close to free if not free. Physically limited

87
The Common Purpose Manifesto

resources would still need to be charged for, and the


earnings shared, but online resources might not need to
be or, at most, only very minimally.

The shared base income also means we can afford at


least the minimum amount of limited resources we
need.

But suppose we do not have a shared base income (that


should not be difficult), then we would need to find a
way, and a price level, where we can sell our digital
formatted produce for an income. It needs to have a
worth that others are willing to pay for, but, of course,
being digital, it must be far less than the physical
product with its costs of duplication and distribution.

iTunes has found a price level for songs (though still too
high for many). The price level for online films still need
to be discovered as the does the price level for online
news. Perhaps Amazon has found a reasonable price
level for digital books.

The price needs to reflect the mode of delivery which


online means minimal. The original producer of the
clean copy needs to retail its copy at a price that appeals
over the free, shared, second-hand, sometimes infected,
sometimes poor quality copy. This price is low reflecting
the minimal cost of delivery to an enormous internet
market and the virtually zero cost of duplication.

The means of payment needs to be easy, the price


affordable and fair, reflecting the cost of delivery and
conception (development/creation) and the size of the
potential market. This market potential needs to be
factored into the price from the beginning for the
potential to be realised. Developer-first adopter premi-
ums on new products have little validity or workability

88
Pricing

when delivery and duplication costs are minimal and


alternately shared options are freely available.

The enormous potential market of the internet com-


bined with the close to free cost of delivery and duplica-
tion it enables means that per unit costs are low and so
must the price be. Such massive markets with minimal
duplication and distribution costs mean that fractional
sharing of earnings must use fractions smaller than the
smallest unit of currency. This means banks and other
transaction facilitating institutions must also use
fractional charging comprising units of worth smaller
than the smallest currency units.

A print newspaper is purchased (if not consumed) as a


total unit for about a $1. The earnings from its price
must cover the fractional costs of its writing, print
duplication and distribution. An online newspaper is not
consumed as a single newspaper unit – its consumption
is by story. The earnings from story price must cover the
fractional costs of its writing, digital duplication and
distribution. Even as a single copy the total cost of a
single story is not high. Distributed online the earnings
it needs to generate to cover its costs are very low. Given
its potential market online, the per unit price that needs
to be charged to cover its costs could be even smaller
than the smallest unit of currency, which, by its costs we
can conceive even further divided into again smaller
fractions of currency.

As for newspaper stories, so to for any product distrib-


uted online: minimal costs with massive potential
markets must be reflected in minimal prices facilitated
by fractional costs using fractions of currency smaller
than the smallest currency units.

...

89
The Common Purpose Manifesto

The success of minimal transaction charges is demon-


strated by M-Pesa – the mobile phone service in Kenya
that allows mobile users to transfer funds to others
mobiles for a tiny transaction cost, making numerous
small transactions possible and still generating revenue
for the provider.

...

A single price does not work when individuals have


diverse incomes. It is unfair. We can either try to create
multiple prices for multiple incomes (unworkable) or we
can try to moderate income diversity (very workable).

A shared base income from shared earnings means that


more people are able to afford fair prices, meaning less
avoidance of cost through duplicating and more earn-
ings from trade leading to a greater shared income and
still greater opportunity for ever greater contribution
and fulfilment.

We all win from sharing.

...

90
16

Money

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to money as a tool facilitating
transactions in trade.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to money as our purpose.

...

The supply of money is intrinsically linked to assets and


capital, revenue and expenditure, due to the require-
ments of solvency and a balanced balance sheet for
banks and all organisations, including government.

When money is lent to entities on the basis of their


future revenue and asset values (whether to govern-
ment, organisations or individuals) then levels of risk
and predictability are involved. The greater the risk
taken in lending, the greater the money supply. Whether
price inflation results depends on what borrowings are
spent on and what prices are measured. In the lead up to
the 2008/2009 financial crisis the money supply
increase was ‘invested’ in houses, stocks and derivatives
(unproductive assets) and this is where the price
inflation took place (so, except for houses, much of it did
not figure directly in the consumer price index measure
of inflation).

Unfortunately, many householders were lent more than


their predictable net worth over the period and could
not pay back. When mortgage sales brought down the
value of houses (their greatest asset) more people were
caught in less and less solvent positions. Mortgage

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

repayments were also linked to financial markets by the


derivatives on them. These assets became worth less
undermining the solvency of the investors in them who
also had interests in other markets, so also reducing
demand and assets values in those markets, and the
solvency of other investors.

Time, knowledge and ideas make unpredictable the


future value of assets and revenue from production –
hence the risk in lending. However, there is a tight
relationship between the money supply and the assets
and revenue of all entities, because accounts must
balance, and organisations, governments and people
must be solvent.

If there is a lesson from the crisis it is to lend and


borrow for investment in productive assets that produce
revenue, which includes people, although we have no
book value as an asset. The difficulty in investing in
people is knowing who will produce revenue. The
solution is to invest in everyone trying to produce
product. Some products will make little revenue, many
products will make some revenue, and some more
products will make much revenue. Do not, however,
lend for investment or consumption of assets and goods
that do not directly support production, such as houses
bought for investment (not living), stocks unlinked from
asset value, luxuries, and derivatives – as these pur-
chases inflate prices and expand money without expand-
ing production.

Private banks are mandated to make profit. They will


not take the risk to lend to all people trying to produce.
Rather they will lend to those that already have large
assets. Bank loans are also inflexible, they are either
repaid or not, so banks do not get the benefit of lending
to all producers, because they earn no more if the
product generates much revenue or some.

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Money

Investment funds that take a stake in the individual


revenue for their investment are more likely to invest
funds widely, as when a product generates great revenue
they will share in it. However, they will be motivated to
try and select only the great revenue producers, exclud-
ing those who could earn a satisfactory revenue and
those who earn little.

Governments on the other hand are best placed to take


the risk of funding production to all people, and build it
into a coherent policy. If the purpose of government is to
enable the fulfilment and contribution of all, then that is
their role. Governments can fund individual productive
ventures because they also always share in those
ventures which produce revenue (via taxes). By coordi-
nating this funding with taxes, principally by collecting
half of all earning revenue and distributing it via a
shared base income, the greatest number of people can
gain fulfilment from contributing, and total production
will grow.

...

Money should be the tool to facilitate transactions in


trade as we select what we need, and the means to share
wealth so we all have opportunity to contribute and find
fulfilment.

...

Money is not the purpose of life, but it is a necessary


medium for sharing resources (and for survival) in our
complex, modern society.

...

Money tied to direct investment in productive activity.


What is spent on business and production to purchase
materials and stock, to rent or buy premises for business

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

activity, is subtracted from earnings before it is shared.


But anything earned that is not spent on business and
production activity is shared.

For salary/wage earners their share is subtracted


immediately as their work and production expenses are
provided for by the organisation that employs them.
Thus our entire salary/wage is the equivalent of profit.

It is profit that is shared. Business and productive


activity (money returned to the business) is not. This
ties money to investment in productive activity. If we
eliminate non-productive financial markets then this
further encourages productive activity.

...

94
17

Finance

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to productive finance.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to speculative finance.

...

Sustainable, equitable productivity is through realising


our potential and contributing without harm in free and
fair markets, not through gambling and speculating for
financial gain.

Money is as abundant as productivity, but non-


productive financial speculation de-links money growth
from productivity growth resulting in inflation of money
without inflation of productivity. This discrepancy leads
inevitably to market corrections and economic reces-
sions that damage those trying to make an honest
contribution, entirely innocent of speculation. These
‘corrections’ are a factor of the market systems we now
have, but they are not an inevitable factor of the market
system we could have.

The way current markets are designed permits and


encourages non-productive financial speculation.
National and international markets which centralise the
trading of a single non-perishable resource to a single
central market and allow the resource to be bought
without taking hold of it distort the real price of the
resource (the price set by the cost of production, supply
and consumer/user demand). These markets allow
financial corporations and individual speculators, that

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

do not use the resource for consumption or production,


to purchase a large portion of supply and withhold it
from users that rely on the resource for consumption
and production. The purchase of a great portion of
supply makes the financial speculator a virtual monop-
oly that can name the price those that need to use the
resource must pay, there being no alternative market.

It is not necessary that the financial speculator be a


single corporation or individual (although a single
speculator has greater sole control) – numerous
uncoordinated speculators also reduce the supply to
users needing it for consumption and production, so
raising the price beyond what would be mediated by
production, supply and consumer demand alone.

The price of a resource in this market will keep rising for


as long as increasing amounts of speculative finance
purchase it, not to use, but to hold and on sell.

Any market centralised on a national or international


level, confined to a single non-perishable resource, and
allowing purchase without possession, permits and
facilitates financial speculation that raises the price of
resources beyond their full cost of production, regard-
less of whether producer supply is enough to meet user
demand (as user access to supply is restricted by
speculators pulling it from the market).

If resource producers were to increase supply so


financial speculators could not purchase enough to
restrict it to less than needed by users, the price would
eventually collapse massively as speculators released
their holdings back onto market. The situation would
now be producer supply massively greater than needed
by users (due to prior speculative removal of supply
from the market) supplemented by the flood of withheld
supplies released back onto market by speculators
fleeing the market.

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Finance

Such speculator-friendly markets should be eliminated


or, the traders that buy, not to use, but to on sell, should
be banned from these markets. Imagine a physical
market of growers and sellers in which one person came
along and bought all the produce, then proceeded to sell
that produce at whatever price he demanded. There
would be outrage, but in one form or another this is
what happens on international markets.

To ban speculative trading:

In resource markets (gold, crude oil, rice, milk powder,


cocoa, coffee, and so on), disallow financial derivatives
that enable a right-to-use, without taking possession of,
a resource.

In share markets, disallow trading in shares. Make


shares only purchasable from the organisation. Shares
cannot be traded, only transferred back to the organisa-
tion at cost. The only revenue from shares is from
dividends and there is no speculative trading in them.

In property markets, allow only ownership with


occupancy.

In currency markets (foreign exchange markets),


monitor and slow the market, restrict to sale for use, not
for trading.

...

Revert all funds of non-productive financial speculation


into production and consumption by sharing excess
income and wealth to all via a base income that enables
universal opportunity to contribute.

Investment and production is determined by us indi-


vidually and through participative, democratic organisa-

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

tions of people partnering to achieve particular purposes


that accord with the common purpose of fulfilment for
all.

Anyone can produce (it is not state controlled) but half


our earnings are shared in a shared base income.

Our motivation is not in profiting and finance, but in


making our particular, self-directed, contributions and
the fulfilment this realises.
...

“An opportunity to purchase a piece of investment land.” Typical


invitation on land for sale advertisements.

Here “investment” is synonymous with money for


nothing. It is an invitation to get in now on the ‘invest-
ment pyramid scheme’ so as to be on the up in the
pyramid and not, God forbid, at the top when the
bottom pulls out. There is no production, no effort,
involved. “Investment” is the tantaliser, the you-may-
win-big invitation, otherwise the sentence is simply,
“Purchase a piece of land”, and that we would only do if
we were going to do something with it.

...

Do not buy anything unless you are going to do some-


thing with it. To buy and hold for sale at a higher price
equals speculation. There is no value added, no contri-
bution made.

...

Half of our earnings from production and trade are


shared via a shared base income. Our total income is
available to be saved and spent. The part spent on
consumption is returned to the productive economy.
The part saved for later consumption is invested or put
in banks. As long as speculative trading is banned, the

98
Finance

part that is invested (or saved and invested by banks)


further enables contribution and grows production.

...

If we do not change our financial system bubbles and


crashes are going to happen more rapidly than ever. The
economic peaks and troughs will tighten. Energy
(money) is being introduced into our economic systems
faster than ever before (via borrowing). The bubbles will
be bigger, the crashes deeper, and all quicker than ever.

It is a bit like climate change, but instead of solar energy


there is economic energy.

The economic energy is money, injected by more of us


than ever ‘investing’ and borrowing to invest in a system
where excesses are not shared but gambled in non-
productive, speculative markets. These markets explode
and crash faster than ever before. Whatever these
markets trade is skewed, and producers and consumers
of the product harmed, during booms and busts.

...

Economic energy (money) needs to grow apace with


production. Disestablishing speculative markets and
minimising wealth disparities will help ensure it does,
and shared ideas and shared earnings via a shared base
income will grow contribution and production, and
fulfilment, greater than ever before.

Banks still perform a vital function of providing


funds/credit (above the shared base income) for greater
investment and, so doing, increasing the money supply.
As long as the credit is tied to savings and capital, and
profit is not by speculation (and the accounting is
sound) then monetary growth is tied to production and
so sustainable.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

Banks also still provide security for our funds and


facilitate our transactions, but now it is all digital, all
numbers, all accounting.

...

100
18

Value

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to value as fulfilment.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to value as money.

...

Real value is not money. Real value is fulfilment.


Fulfilment is from realising potential, achieving under-
standing, having ideas, contributing and producing,
learning and growing, living.

Fulfilment is a factor of realisation, understanding,


ideas, contribution and productivity, learning and
growth. All of this is enabled by freedom from harm.

A good economy enables us all to contribute. It is


sustainable, not sabotaged by speculation. Its reward is
not a steady rate of return (or wild riches), but fulfilment
through the realisation of potential, through best
contribution.

In the same vein, real costs are not financial in the real
economy, they are human. These are the hidden but also
often blatant costs we pay now when we are unable to
realise our potential, find fulfilment and contribute. This
is the real cost. Financial cost is not the factor of
importance; harm to our ability to realise our potential
and find fulfilment is the real cost.

The real economy is not only politically democratic, but


also organisationally, in corporates and bureaucracies. It

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

is an economy with equal opportunity to contribute,


where financial inequities are reduced so they do not
constrict opportunities.

We do not measure real value in dollars, we measure it


in fulfilment. For this we have to ask ourselves, “Are we
fulfilled?”, “Are we unharmed?”.

...

If there is any financial measure of our success in


constructing an economy that enables our fulfilment it is
the level of our shared base income. But this is not about
one nation over another. Eventually there should be a
truly shared base income. When that is the case then
this income may be a truer indicator of our collective
prosperity than GDP and other financial measures.

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Section Three

Organisation
19

Organisation

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to common purpose organisations.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to centralised, monopolistic organi-
sations.

...

Common purpose organisations are collectives of


individuals, come together to achieve a particular
purpose that accords with the common purpose of
fulfilment without harm.

Financial success is not the purpose, but a by-product of


the organisation’s success in realising human potential
and achieving its particular purpose. Every organisation
has a particular purpose that accords with the common
purpose of fulfilment and the principle of no harm.

It is essential to trust, distribution, fairness, and


productivity through realising human potential that all
organisations distribute responsibility, open up infor-
mation systems, and democratise collective decision-
making.

The common purpose organisation lowers the risk of


trying new things, of new ideas, of realising human
potential, and assists in the coordination of human
endeavour to a particular purpose that accords with and
furthers the common purpose.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

These organisations distribute the costs of failure and


the profits of success. At all times human potential is
realised, whether new ways of doing things are financial
failures or large or small financial successes.

To direct collective assets and human effort toward the


realisation of human potential through best individual
contributions organisations should:

 Share an organisational purpose in accordance with


the purpose of fulfilment.
 Decentralise local decisions, distribute responsibility.
 Democratise collective decisions.
 Open and pool information so everyone can inform
and be informed.
 Structure for co-ordination and communication.
 Elect organisers.
 Ensure no harm and equal respect.
 Deal fairly in ideas (so people earn from contribu-
tions).
 Have liable contributor-members.
 Maintain flexibility in all roles.
 Share earnings.

All organisations must internalise equal respect for all


members. Organisations in which people retain the right
to their ideas and deal with each other fairly enable the
greatest realisation of human potential.

The best means to achieving an organisation’s particular


purpose, in line with the common purpose of fulfilment,
is through enabling individuals to do things in better
ways when they see better ways of doing things (which
enables individuals to fulfil their potential).

An organisation’s particular purpose should be phrased:


‘This organisation furthers the common purpose of
fulfilment through improving…[ ]…fill in with organi-
sation’s particular area, for example, transport,

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Organisation

computation, communications, banking, retail, invest-


ment, entertainment, and others… in accordance with
the principle of no harm.’

We partner in these organisations to realise our poten-


tial and increase opportunities for all to realise it. This is
also their purpose, increasing opportunity for all to
realise potential through the products they produce
from diverse, individual contributions. Their products
enable the fulfilment of our potential through the
process of their production and in their use.

We may join in multiple organisations depending on


what we can contribute to each. There should be no
exclusivity and complete flexibility for difference.

Harmony is important in organisation. Shared ideas,


easy agreement. But harmony is not contrary to diversity
if the principle of no harm (with its accompanying
consideration, but not servility, to others) is understood.

...

Central planning is a characteristic of communist and


capitalist organisation. These organisations:

 Do not recognise the purpose of fulfilment.


 Centralise local decisions, restrict responsibility.
 Dictate collective decisions.
 Close and silo information so no-one is well informed.
 Structure for control.
 Appoint controllers.
 Harm and demand unequal respect.
 Confiscate ideas (so people lose from contributions).
 Have unliable owners.
 Contract employees subservient to employers.
 Maintain no flexibility for difference.
 Divide earnings according to position.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

...

The common purpose organisation must respect the


rights of all of us, and the individuals in them the rights
of all others. When an organisation has rules that
conflict with the purpose of fulfilment without harm
(and contradict the human rights that emerge from this)
it is wrong, and those in it must amend the rules.

Fulfilment without harm is the operative purpose and


principle of all of us, individually and collectively. This is
our purpose, which determines that all of us are equally
respected.

...

In common purpose organisations participation is


directed toward fulfilment and contribution. Our
contribution and fulfilment is our measure and our
reward.

Common purpose organisations are not socialist


organisations or capitalist organisations. They are a
form for an era where fulfilment of human potential, not
pursuit of financial return, is the principle purpose.

...

We need to organise ourselves, not through systems of


control, but through systems of communication and
cooperation. We need to treat each other like responsi-
ble human beings, with trust and without harm.

...

108
20

Responsibility & Information

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to distributed responsibility and
open information systems.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to centralised control and closed
information silos.

Decentralised, distributed responsibility (decision-


making) and open information systems, lower the cost
of conceiving, implementing and distributing ideas, and
liberate individual fulfilment. Recording individual
decisions in open information systems distributes
knowledge, informs future decision-making and ensures
accountability.

Ideas (better ways of doing things or human potential)


and implementing them (realising potential) are most
effective and inexpensive when they are conceived and
implemented by those whom they effect. At this level
ideas are only adopted if they make a real improvement
to our work, making it more efficient or more effective,
that is, reducing the amount of work required or
improving the result from the same amount of work.

At the level where an idea is applicable we often do not


ask (or receive) extra money for the development and
implementation of our ideas, but we still develop and
implement them because they make our job easier and
because contributing realises our own potential.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

...

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with harm,


leads to central control and information silos. An idea
adopted by the top of a control hierarchy and put
through a centralised approval process is expensive to
implement.

It gets expensive as soon as the boss asks for the


business case, the business plan, the meeting of control-
lers to approve the money to start the project, which
then begins with the project plan, the project manager,
the external IT development team, cross-organisation
working team, flights, accommodation, numerous
meetings, pilot, roll out, and grudging implementation
of a centralised, inflexible new process that is not any
better than the last (which had been adapted under the
radar to work).

And it is not any better, because what is needed is a


flexible, decentralised decision-making system in which
people at the local level implement their ideas, and a
central, open information system that lets ideas spread;
a change that invalidates centralised, top-down deci-
sion-making and the implementation of inflexible
systems in the first place.

For any idea to work efficiently and effectively it needs


to be conceived and implemented at the level it effects
and communicated at that level.

One of the first things organisations should do is put in


place mechanisms that allow greater distribution and
communication of ideas and information through
central information systems open to all. In concert,
responsibility for actions must be distributed at the level
actions take place.

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Responsibility & Information

There may still be a hierarchical structure in an organi-


sation, but it is one that facilitates communication and
organisation, not control. It is a structure that forms
organically according to the communication channels
available and what best meets the need.

A common purpose organisation measures how well it


meets our needs for its particular purpose which accords
with the common purpose of fulfilment without harm.

The measure of the individual in the organisation is our


own measure of our contribution towards meeting the
needs the organisation serves. The best way to know
another’s contribution is to ask them. All of our contri-
butions are different, as all of us are different.

Measuring another’s contribution on predefined activity


targets is an attribute of a control-type relationship and
a demonstration of mistrust. It limits ingenuity and does
not measure against our need for what the organisation
provides.

The only true, real and relevant measure for individuals


is our measure of our contribution to meeting others
needs and our fulfilment in meeting them.

The fixed and inflexible, unsympathetic and intolerant


application of fixed rules, morals or policies is what
makes the moral upright, bureaucrat, police officer and
so on so harmful. Fixed rules applied rigidly do not cater
for the limitless diversity of human nature and circum-
stance. Fixed rules applied rigidly will always harm.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

Rules must be considered guidelines and their interpre-


tation and application based on individual circum-
stances. There must be a higher principle at play, and
that principle is fulfilment without harm.

Distributed responsibility means that we apply whatever


rules we need flexibly with regard to individual circum-
stances, recording decisions and circumstances. This
means those of us with different circumstances are
catered for according to our need and are not harmed
because our circumstances do not fit the code. Recorded
decisions and circumstances mean that decisions are
accountable and learnings are shared.

Information must be for learning, not for control. Using


information for control is abuse, as control is a form of
harm.

Research in a good organisation is redundant. In a good


organisation (and a good society) we can always feed-
back and be recognised through open channels. In this
way those of us who want to feedback always have the
opportunity to feedback and our feedback is always
responded to and accredited.

This is not one-off research, but a continual, open,


conversation; a continuous learning and adaptation
process as feedback is continuously fed in and acted on.

Idea markets, collective intelligence and wikis. These are


means by which all of us in an organisation can assess
and contribute ideas for fulfilling the purpose of an
organisation. The wiki, ideas market or collective

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Responsibility & Information

intelligence zone is a site in which ‘we-who-wish-to’


submit ideas, which are then rated by others who desire
to rate them. In this manner, the website performs as a
free and open repository and filter for ideas, giving
recognition to those with the best ideas while at the
same time immediately distributing them around the
organisation to those who need them.

The website is a vessel for accumulating, recognising,


rating and sharing organisational intelligence. With a
well understood purpose, conducive structure and
appropriate culture of distributed responsibility and
freedom to contribute without fear, a safe and excellent
organisation is had.

A key element of the website is the self-filtering by


interest – interest naturally ensures that only those who
are interested take part and that those partaking are
well-informed, as knowledge of an issue is associated
with interest in an issue.

Divulging responsibility means we make ourselves


responsible for our work. We are responsible for what
organisations do, not organisations.

It is only under our current structure of organisation,


where responsibility is divested off of those in the
organisation, that an organisation can be considered to
be responsible without any of us being responsible.

In common purpose organisations participants are


responsible for their contributions.

For clients to be treated as individuals, organisation


members must be treated as individuals: policies,

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

guidelines and rules must be interpretable by individual


members for individual circumstances. Members, not
organisations, must be individually accountable to be
individually responsible.

For us to be accountable and responsible our rights must


be respected, information must be shared and decision-
making distributed. Without this we cannot be respon-
sible and must not be held responsible.

114
21

Decision-Making

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to democratic, collective decision-
making.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to autocratic decision-making.

...

Under the right way of fulfilment without harm, collec-


tive decisions are democratised through the feedback of
interested (self-selected) parties in open information
systems. Democracy is measured by the openness of the
system, not by the number that vote or the level of
feedback. Feedback is self-filtered by interest – those
that are interested feedback, those that are not, do not.

The democratic, open information system works


because those with most interest on a particular issue
are those most informed on the issue and most affected
by it.

...

“[The Art of War] is still worshipped by soldiers on the battlefield and


managers in the boardroom as the ultimate guide to winning.”
backcover, Penguin Books 2009 ed. The Art of War, Sun-Tzu (6th
century BC).

Under the wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, decision-making is autocratic. No feedback is
sought. Policy and collective decisions are made by
experts and controllers appointed by fiat. The only
democracy is of elected officials, not present in most

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

organisations. Decisions are autocratic whether a


controller is elected or not. Policy and decision forma-
tion is closed and delivered as decree.

In current democracies there is little difference between


decisions dictated by elected representatives and an
enlightened, self-appointed dictator. They both work for
what they believe will benefit the public, but both
without open, democratic systems for public feedback.

...

Protest and media freedom are rough versions of


feedback in society, but these are heavily constrained in
commercial and public sector organisations, and are not
as legitimating or democratic as open information
systems.

...

In the common purpose organisation of decentralised,


distributed responsibility and open information systems
we are all leaders.

We all lead in our areas of responsibility on the parts


where we contribute. A common purpose organisation is
a collective of responsible individuals managing their
own contribution and making the decisions they are best
placed to make – those at their locale. However, central
decision-making is still required on issues that affect
many and these are mediated through open information
systems where those affected feed in, rate other feed-
back and arrive at consensual decisions.

...

The expectation that a single central decision maker


makes immediate decisions for the whole group auto-
matically prevents the best decision being made or even

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Decision-Making

considered, it excludes the relevant information needed


to make such a decision.

Information must be gathered from dispersed sources –


that is the nature of information in its natural state.
Decisions must be made at the point where information
naturally converges. For a central decision this is at the
center, but, this requires the convergence of all the
dispersed information including information on the
preferred decisions at each location. Thus, before a
central decision is made, dispersed information must be
collected.

Before dispersed information is gathered a good central


decision cannot be made. The first step, the first
decision, in this instance is to gather the information, to
collect and consult. If there is urgency and risk involved,
then the central decision is to decide on the balance of
information, urgency and risk so far calculated what to
do at that time, and then to constantly review.

Ideally an organisation has an open information system


that allows decision-making in any and every part of the
organisation to be currently informed.

...

There have to be (democratically elected) representa-


tives. But these representatives need to transparently
factor and use the methods of open information systems
and feedback to come to their decisions (a form of
direct, participative, deliberate democracy).

These decisions must reflect the feedback of the most


popular ideas submitted via open information systems.
We cannot expect an open information system to
organise all of the detail of policy implementation and
practice, but it can input on key themes and specific
details that policy should follow.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

The democratically elected representative helps institute


the methods and the culture.

We need leaders to institute free and responsible


cultures and participatory methods of democracy. We
need national leaders to represent us on the world stage.
At the local level we need leaders to represent their
localities at the national level. But their mandates and
programs must be based in design on the feedback from
open information systems, and their implementation
based in free and responsible cultures and appropriate
structures.

...

Our leadership is enlightened by free and responsible


cultures, with structures reflecting the culture, and open
information systems allowing the input and participa-
tion of all as desired.

Our leadership is not in knowing everything, that is


ludicrous, but in knowing to listen, to confront the truth,
to seek answers and allow free responsibility among all.

...

Demand democracy. Speak up for and on behalf of all.


Protect. To corporate dictators say, “Who appointed
you!? It wasn’t us. We didn’t elect you!”. Demand
democracy.

...

A democratic structure of multiple elected organisers


and representatives in multiple groups each working to
democratically prioritised tasks is an organic organisa-
tion. Sometimes, to start, we do need a few leaders who

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Decision-Making

have clarity of purpose, but when we all have clarity of


purpose we are all leaders.

...

If everyone knows what their work is and are free to


contribute their labour and improve their work as they
wish all can be fulfilled. But if there are controllers, then
the game comes to be evading that control, not contrib-
uting; and the greater the control, the less the fulfilment.

The solution is democratic, common purpose organisa-


tions with decentralised local decisions, distributed
responsibility and shared information.

...

We are all leaders, none of us controllers. I am a leader,


but so are you. I am not telling you what to do, I am
telling you to be you. Find your fulfilment without harm.

...

119
22

Permission

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to organisation by permission.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to rule by command.

...

In common purpose organisations managers are


organisers and team members. They may also be
spokespeople, administrators, coordinators, facilitators,
representatives and referees, but they are not control-
lers, commanders, masters or autocrats. If there is a
hierarchical structure it is for facilitating co-ordination
and communication, not for control.

Collective decisions are democratised through the


feedback of interested (self-selected) persons in open
information systems or open teams.

Individual decisions and responsibility are distributed,


with information on them recorded in open information
systems that inform future decision-making and ensure
accountability.

The manager organises by permission and is elected and


appointed by the team. Every person is an equal
member and partner.

There is a correlation between permission and com-


mand, for in a sense all rule is by permission, as we give
permission for commands by obeying them. Given this,
we should consider all commands requests and never do

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

what is harmful to realising our potential without harm,


nor demand (or do) anything harmful to the realisation
of another.

Doing what one is told when it is harmful permits


authority to do wrong.

...

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with harm,


leads to rule by command.

Rule by command is a product of the wrong way, a


contravening of the principle of no harm and the
purpose of fulfilment.

Understanding of the purpose of fulfilment and the


principle of no harm leads to equal respect and fairness
for all, as equal respect and fairness are necessary to
enable fulfilment for all.

We appoint some of us to positions of authority (judges,


police) and anoint some roles with authority (teachers,
managers). Those of us so appointed or anointed have a
responsibility to carry out our authority with respect to
the purpose of fulfilment and principle of no harm. The
principle purpose of authority is to ensure we do not
harm others.

Any use of authority that harms those of us pursuing


fulfilment without harm is an abuse of authority. In any
case of abuse, authority must be removed from those
abusing it. Authority may be formerly removed by
another authority figure publicly revoking the authorita-
tive rights of those abusing it or informally by those
subject to it not recognising it. Ultimately the second
method is essential, as some authority remains as long
as any of us see fit to recognise it.

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Permission

Authority is not an entitlement of age, education, class


or wealth. It is an honour bestowed by us on those that
understand the purpose of fulfilment and abide by the
principle of no harm. Any authority figure that abuses
the principle must be rejected.

Where an authority contravenes the principle of no


harm and is supported by others who contravene it we
have an authority of fear, of command and control. It is
authority based not on equal respect and fulfilment
without harm, but on ignorance and harm, on the
pursuit of power and money with harm.

The prerequisite of authority is that the holder under-


stands and practices equal respect for the equal oppor-
tunity of all to realise their potential, based in the
purpose of fulfilment and the principle of no harm.

No-one is entitled to anything greater than equal


respect. Authority is a convenience for coordinating the
performance of duties that protect us from harm; it is
given in trust to those appointed to perform their duties
without harm. If it is abused, if it is used to cause harm,
then it must be removed. The means to remove author-
ity is not to recognise it, but to reject it.

...

123
23

Salaries

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to shared organisational earnings
and linked incomes.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to earnings according to position.

...

Income differentials do not work well in central,


decision-making organisations. An income differential
ideally accords with realised potential, ideas, and new
ways of doing things - the property most corporations
effectively eliminate (as well disenfranchise) from
employees, though it is employees’ greatest potential
contribution.

Current income distribution in corporations accords


with our position in the hierarchy of command. This
rewards command-and-control type behaviour, rather
than behaviour permitting free expression of potential
and ideas (and related improvements to productivity).

Rewards from ideas should not be co-opted, but they are


in corporations with central decision-making. When
central management earns more than workers this sends
a signal that it is position, not contribution, that matters.

If everyone is performing and contributing equal effort


(though in different roles and by different means) they
should be rewarded equally, but our organisations’
performance management systems contradict this.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

With recognition that fulfilment without harm is for


everyone there is a shift to earnings shared more evenly,
which arises partially in concert and partially as a
consequence of changes in organisation responsibility
and information sharing, greater distribution of deci-
sion-making and real ownership.

...

Power and money are purposes our organisations


embody and encourage by promulgating income
disparities equated with position.

The purpose of common purpose organisations is not


profit, but our common fulfilment. Equating success and
share of earnings with profit and position is the wrong
way.

...

The only true, real and relevant measure for individuals


is their own measure of themselves, of their own
contribution and their own fulfilment.

...

Open information systems with self-filtered feedback


enable democratic, organisation-wide recognition,
adoption, and distribution of good ideas. Recognition is
peer driven in open, non-controlled systems, so without
the abuse or individual error of closed systems.

Attempting to measure the financial value of ideas in an


organisation and equating it to compensation is unwise.
If financial compensation is tied to ideas this incentive
warps open information systems and the feedback on
them. Rather ideas are shared just as earnings are
shared.

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Salaries

In organisations where we are all free to realise our


potential, our ideas and proceeds are shared evenly. We
should share our ideas so we can all grow them and all
share in that growth. We should never deny others their
share.

...

Earnings should be regardless of age, work experience


and institutional education. These are not indicators of
potential contribution or future realisation. An organisa-
tion that enables everyone to contribute should distrib-
ute earnings evenly. No one should earn twice that of
another or less than half of another.

The reason for training, for educating ourselves, for


learning should not need to be financial. The motivation
should be our fulfilment through our contribution. Our
earnings should be shared.

...

If we recognise our purpose as fulfilment without harm,


that this is our common purpose, then we recognise that
opportunity must be shared and available to all of us. In
concert with this, responsibility and decision-making
must be distributed and information shared.

We then begin our move to a society where we have


entirely voluntary organisations, with completely open
entry-and-exit participation, in which individual
earnings and collective profit are not a corollary of
measurement or of real relevance. Rather, all of us earn
evenly regardless of where we work or our form of
contribution, and our purpose in working and organis-
ing is in facilitating our own fulfilment and our common
fulfilment.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

With understanding of the common purpose our


primary reason for participating is the fulfilment we find
in contributing and earning for ourselves, but not more
than others.

Need is met by us seeing a need (having it also) and


distributing our solutions, but not for the purpose of
greater income than others. Greater income is unneces-
sary to the creation or distribution of a solution. We can
come together to provide and market solutions without
financial incentive if we all have a base income. This still
requires communication and markets, to signal what is
going on, what is needed to be done, and what people
are needed. And it still requires people willing to
contribute: but for fulfilment, not financial incentive.

There is trade, banking and credit, but our earnings


from trade are shared.

...

There is a difference between the effort contributed and


the effect. CEO’s would say the effect from their efforts is
many times greater than the effect from others efforts.
Thus they are worth more. But their effects are not
greater, just different.

We all contribute in different ways. We are all different.


But whether our contributions are in management or in
labouring the effort expended is similar and the effects,
though different, do not constitute a right to more than
others.

We contribute in our different ways, and in our different


ways all find our fulfilment.

...

128
Salaries

If fulfilment, not profit, is our purpose then we want the


structure of our society to reflect this, our organisations
included. Our organisations are like microcosms of our
society - they should also embody our common purpose
and uphold our human rights. While financial viability is
important and profit welcome these are not the purpose
of our organisations or their members, of our society or
ourselves.

The focus for members is not how much can we earn


from the organisation, but in what ways can we contrib-
ute to fulfil ourselves and further our common fulfil-
ment, our common purpose.

In common purpose organisations, as all organisations


should be, earnings are shared evenly or returned
directly to the shared base income, raising all our
incomes.

...

Salaries should be equal in common purpose organisa-


tions, like the shared base income is in society. Common
purpose organisations pay the equivalent of the shared
base income to all participants. This income level varies
in tow to the shared base income.

This means working in an organisation (or any busi-


ness), of one to however many, results in a total income
twice that of the shared base income.

The tie to the shared base income, means that all of our
incomes are linked. The tie to the shared base income,
means that profit is not an individual motivation, but a
collective one, collectively shared. By this, and the form
of the common purpose organisation, the profit motiva-
tion is subordinated to the motivation of fulfilment via
the best contributions we believe we can make.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

...

The shared base income is half of all organisa-


tion/business profits and half of all incomes from
salaries divided by all of us over the age of entitlement.

Those receiving a salary receive twice the shared base


income, as they receive the shared base income plus the
equivalent of the shared base income from their organi-
sation.

...

Self-employed receive the shared base income and as the


earnings from self-employment grows so they can afford
to pay themselves the equivalent again of the shared
base income. As with all businesses, profits are shared
half with society (via the base income) and the other half
retained in the business.

None of us ever earn over twice the shared base income


except when we save or loan money, the returns from
which are also shared.

...

130
24

Accounting

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to open accounting for fairly dis-
tributing earnings.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to deceptive accounting for maxi-
mising earnings to managers and owners.

...

Business earnings are currently shared only after


business expenses are subtracted, while all of the
earnings of salary and wage earners are subject to
sharing. This assists businesses to expand and helps link
money to spending on productive activity.

The revenue departments of governments generally


require us to differentiate spending on ourselves
(personal spending) from spending on direct produc-
tion. It is only earnings exceeding expenditure on
directly productive activity that are shared.

Salary and wage earners are generally not conceived to


have their own production expenses (their employers
take care of these) and thus all of our income from salary
or wages is shared.

We purchase large assets, houses, cars, and have


everyday expenses, food, petrol, parking, and so on.
That we share a portion of all our earnings does not stop
us affording these as well as we can. But they are not
directly productive expenditure, although sometimes
they may be in part (and in such cases that part of

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

expenditure may be detracted for our earnings before


sharing).

How can the expenses we make to purchase our homes,


our cars, our food and our education not be considered
as necessary and deductable expenses? At there most
basic level they are essential, we all have basic needs for
shelter and food, however, above these levels they are
not. We can all produce, contribute and fulfil ourselves
just as well with low levels (but not below low levels) as
with high, perhaps better.

We must conceptualise what organisations and life is


like in a world where the purpose is our common
fulfilment, not money. This requires us to think outside
of the system we have now to envision the system we can
have and the components comprising it.

In a common purpose society, a company is a conglom-


eration of contributors come together to serve our
fulfilment in the production of its products and in their
use. It is a human organisation of people, not an
organisation of non-human assets treated as an artificial
human.

When our income from our organisation is dependent


on the earnings of our organisation we are active and
knowledgeable participants in the financial nature of our
organisation. We all apply keen oversight in our direct
investment. Financial information is open and fairness
is required. When an organisation is like this the
accounts should be understandable by all of us in the
organisation to ensure we are all treated fairly.

A loan is a liability. The money we borrow is not earned


by us and so not shared by us. Borrowing money is the
way to start a business, to purchase assets, the stock,
and so on. At the beginning the shared base income may
be all we receive as we participate in and grow our

132
Accounting

business, but as earnings after expenses (including loan


repayments) increase, so may we receive a share on our
personal investment, depending on how well the
business is doing.

A feasible business’s expenses cannot be more than its


earnings. If its expenses are greater then it is making a
loss. This might be allowable in its first years, eating into
the loans (and shareholder capital) supplied to start it,
but it is not feasible in the medium and long-term. This
means our costs of producing something must not be
more than our earnings from trading it. Our contribu-
tion can be sustained by the shared base income, and
added to by our trade earnings after our expenses are
paid.

In a common purpose organisation the earnings over


expenses are saved or reinvested in the organisation
after they have been shared in half between the organi-
sation and society.

Is shareholding a viable form of common purpose


organisation? It must be, unless we see any kind of
financial contribution as a loan (or a gift), and perhaps
that is the way to see it, as a non-tradeable fixed term
loan with an interest rate. That freezes any speculation
in ownership of the businesses assets and eliminates the
issue of what dividend of earnings over expenses
shareholder capital should pay. A loan can be trans-
ferred at face value and is far less able to be speculated
on (and speculative markets can be restricted).

...

Profits, or annual earnings after expenses (expenses


including salaries and loan payments), are shared as our
incomes are shared, half for the organisation and half
for society (or half for us, half for others in regards to
incomes). The half of earnings for the organisation are

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

retained to assist in the further provision of its products


and services, and to balance against losses in future
years.

If annual earnings are less than expenses the organisa-


tion is losing money, which cannot occur indefinitely. An
organisation that cannot pay its debts according to its
agreement with its creditors is an organisation that has
to be dismantled or restructured.

...

134
25

Ownership

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to participants as responsible
owners.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to non-participating, irresponsible
owners.

...

Ownership is by membership. Membership is by


contribution – if you contribute you are a member and
an owner.

There is a transition from our current organisation


forms to common purpose organisations. This is
facilitated by making owners liable to ensure responsi-
bility, and by protecting our rights, not allowing their
contravention by corporates for financial gain.

When organisations become voluntary owner-


contributor-member organisations, then organisation
assets are developed or borrowed by the organisations
owner-contributor-members. Then we all have respon-
sibility for our particular contributions and we all
benefit from all our contributions to all our organisa-
tions.

The financial ‘owners’ of a common purpose organisa-


tion are its creditors, these will likely include the
person(s) who started the organisation. They are paid
interest on the capital/funds they have introduced which
are treated as loans. There are no shareholders, only

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

participants in the organisation (real owners) and


creditors (financial owners).

Who owns an organisation when its creditors are paid


back? Its participants do. Real ownership is liquid,
transient: whoever is working on it, participating in it,
are its owners. People, more than assets, are the
organisation. An organisation may feasibly have no
assets other than its people (who are actually counted as
expenses and the earnings they bring in as the asset).

An organisation’s assets should not exceed its debts. So


as the physical assets depreciate debts should be
reduced too.

An organisation is formed for as long as its products and


services are required. An organisation may morph to
produce other products and services as required and as
elected by its participants. This is the most likely
scenario in a common purpose organisation.

Founders are not controllers. They may be financial


‘owners’ and real owner participants, however, they are
not controllers of the organisation which, as it grows,
adheres to democratic central decision-making, decen-
tralised local decisions, distributed responsibility and
shared information in which everyone participating is an
owner and leader.

...

136
26

Membership

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to voluntary membership in com-
mon purpose organisations.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to master-servant relations in
employer-employee organisations.

...

“What isn’t acceptable: While it is not possible to set out all unaccept-
able forms of behaviour, the follow list provides some examples of
behaviours that are NOT acceptable: 1. Ignoring or refusing to carry
out reasonable and lawful instructions.” Code of Conduct, Ministry of
Social Development.

“There is an accepted common-law obligation on all employees … to


properly perform the duties for which they are paid. This obligation
includes the following duties: … 2. to obey all lawful and reasonable
employer instructions and to work as directed.” Public Service Code
of Conduct, State Services Commission.

And who judges what is “reasonable” with such a power


imbalance?

The right way, of fulfilment without harm, leads to


voluntary membership in organisations, away from the
power relationships of the employer-employee organisa-
tion.

In common purpose organisations all participants are


employees, members, and partners in the organisation.

...

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

In the common purpose organisation earnings are


shared more evenly as every participant is a voluntary
member, and, if the base income is instituted, then
organisation profit is shared.

The motivation for participation is not profit, but


fulfilment via best contribution in the areas that interest
us.

In the common purpose organisation users become


contributors. Those who use the product also become
contributors to the product. Our interest in the product
generates our contribution to it.

Any organisation that produces products that are


unused will shrink, change or disband, as there are few
contributors where there are few users. But organisa-
tions that produce products that are used and in
demand will continue to provide avenues for the
fulfilment of its contributors.

Any organisation that produces products with increasing


demand will find increasing contributors, and will grow
and expand. These organisations’ success in based in
their people and what they provide, not in intellectual
property rights, financial speculation, exclusive re-
sources or human exploitation.

...

The common purpose organisation is a blend of many


members, of many contributors. It is comprised of us.
Its ownership is by us. We are more important, more
integral, to organisations than the physical assets of
organisations.

In the common purpose organisation assets are devel-


oped or borrowed when they are needed through our
contributions.

138
Membership

In the common purpose organisation salary levels are


based on the shared base income and profits are shared
half amongst us all (via the base income) and half
retained for further growth and sustainability.

The organisation’s sustainability and existence is


according to our need for it and our willingness to
contribute to it.

Accounting is on a continual cashflow basis and num-


bers are open and known. There is clarity and simplicity:
complex, obscurantist accounting is reneged. Sharing is
neither avoided or evaded, earnings neither deflated or
inflated.

There may be a form of shareholder structure for


providing physical assets for the organisation (depend-
ing on the stage of our transition to a system sustaining
our common purpose of fulfilment), but shareholders do
not participate in profits. They are paid a fixed return on
fixed term investments providing the physical assets for
organisations, not a dividend on profits. Essentially they
provide loans to purchase physical assets and help
sustain the workings of the organisation in its early
years.

...

We are free agents, empowered individuals, free to


think, with individual recognition. There is no servitude.
It must not be legitimate for any organisation to limit
the free thought and expression of any member. Many
organisation’s so called Code of Conduct manuals
breach this principle right.

All organisations should be as voluntary memberships


or partnerships. If there is a contract, it should not be as
employer-employee, but as organisation employee or

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

member. Managers or co-ordinators should be agreed to


tacitly or explicitly by members.

When we join an organisation we should not lose any


rights. Unfortunately, under the employer-employee
relationship, we do.

The work relationship does not need to be one of


servitude, of command and control. We can be empow-
ered if the produce demands of work are understood by
us and we are given the space to achieve them in our
own way.

Produce demands must be agreed to and not altered


without agreement. The means of producing produce
must be unrestricted (providing it is without harm). Set
hours and times are detrimental to free and efficient
means of production. A good producer produces high
quality produce and benefits from the efficient produc-
tion methods used to dedicate more time to other things.

If a product is not completed to the quality or in the


variety we require we may purchase it from another or
contribute ourselves to its development.

...

Being a member of one organisation does not deny


membership of any other. Multiple membership is
applicable and desirable as our uses and interests are
multiple. As our interests are multiple so can our
contributions be. All of these fulfil us.

...

140
27

Effort

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to efficient, productive effort.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to inefficient, unproductive effort.

...

Pursuing fulfilment without harm leads to efficient,


productive effort, to balance, flexibility and leisure.

Cooperation is hard-wired into open markets with fair


competition. By participating in the market we cooper-
ate without intending it. The market is the most efficient
mechanism for organising effort. In a good market
people direct their effort toward wherever they see there
is need, according to their abilities and what they can
provide.

But the market must be open, free and fair. Information


must be open and free. We must be able to find the
products we want and supply the products we produce.
Thus communication and distribution mechanisms are
of vital importance.

The internet expands, opens, and frees the market from


many geographic constraints. Product information is
expansive, open and free, and search engines filter it so
we can find what we want.

...

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

The best assessments of need and provision are not


financial but individual. Expected financial return is not
the best indicator of need, as market returns are poorly
predictable.

The best indicator of need is what we assess is needed in


light of what we can provide. We best understand our
own abilities and potential, and can see, from our own
perspective, when a product, a supply or some method
can be improved, because we have found it lacking in the
manner we desire it.

If we assess we have the ability to supply what we see as


a need, then in a good market we will have the opportu-
nity to provide it.

...

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with harm


leads to inefficient, unproductive effort, to imbalance,
rigidity, and pressure.

Struggle for the sake of struggle or work for the sake of


work is foolish, wasteful and inefficient. It occurs when
ease is not recognised as the state in which best contri-
butions are made and when power and money is our
purpose, not fulfilment without harm.

Attempts to institute what is not right at the right time


inflicts harm on those forced to spend their effort on the
endeavour. The cost is not trivial: people die in these
systems.

The commanding of effort on endeavours that are


attempted at the wrong time, before they need to be
done, occurs where rights are ignored and denied. It is
characteristic of cultures of fear and control.

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Effort

The sign of a good organisation, in which rights are


respected and protected, is the ease in which things are
done. This is the most productive state.

The easiest route is the quickest route, the most efficient


route, the least energy route. This is the route to take –
doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done,
how it needs to be done, and no more.

Using the least effort required to achieve a desired


result, applying the minimum of force needed. The key
is where and when to apply force, when and where to
apply effort.

...

Create and use cyclical flows to generate future actions.


Enable least effort through using triggers, resonance and
flow to generate timely, future actions: actions that
generate further action via feedback on prior actions in a
cyclical, rhythmic fashion. Each action takes place
according to levels of feedback; the critical feedback
levels generating further actions generating further
feedback and further actions. This requires awareness of
the systems we live in and feeling for the right things to
be done, at the right time, in the right way.

Organisations (and society) are complex systems. Our


conscious actions to influence take place within them. In
these systems we are able to influence conscious change
on parts of it, but due to and depending on the complex-
ity of the system, intended change will also be accompa-
nied by unpredictable change, and the timing of when
intended change occurs will be uncertain.

...

Reject commands and conserve energy. The natural,


first impulse in response to commands is to obey,

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

particularly in systems fostering fear and control. But


the right way is to reject what causes harm.

To panic, fight and struggle is to perform what should be


done with ease at the wrong time, in the wrong way. This
is harmful and inefficient. Reject any demand or
command that causes this. Interpret commands as
requests and respond accordingly.

...

True productivity is more value for less work. This is


efficiency. If we equate thought with work then it may
not be doing less, but doing differently, to realise greater
value.

Thought generates greater value from physical proc-


esses, using new ideas for new technology, automation,
and improved methods. Unfortunately, the practices in
many organisations demonstrate an emphasis on less
value for more work and for physical presence rather
than thought to improve technology and methods.

...

Slow and steady wins the race. Keep plodding and stay
on track. Contribution is not a sprint, it is a journey, it is
life. Commit and persevere. Do what feels right and have
faith.

...

We must not react with frustration to our mistakes., but


look to our next move. When we react with frustration
we accumulate frustration.

Take the positive, accentuate it, react to it, fist pump it.

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Effort

Rejecting frustration, we never act frustrated. We


celebrate our successes and cut out our errors. This is an
even life, a cool life.

Cool is rejecting frustration. With this attitude our


errors are irrelevant. Only our positives are built on.
There is no downward, only onwards and upwards. Our
feedback is positive and reinforcing, creating an upward
spiral.

With this mindset we can continue indefinitely, only


getting better. When we reject frustration we cannot be
worn down. With that serenity, we are cool and in touch.

Events are just episodes, but our lives are whole stories
continuing indefinitely.

...

Even though it is hard, we do it, when it is right. And


when it is right, even though it is hard, it feels easy.

...

145
Section Four

Society
28

Society

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to social inclusion, diversity and
tolerance.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to social exclusion, uniformity and
intolerance.

...

Difference should be appreciated not castigated. As long


as we all live by the principle of no harm, of non-
violence and tolerance, there is no cause to censure
different paths to a common understanding.

“It really upsets me to think that those people weren’t put on trial.
That justice was never done. I wanted so much to testify against
them. But at the same time, I do understand them. They were just
trying to make a living. To do well for their families, but all at our
expense.” Dahlin in Child Slavery pt 2, BBC World (2007).

But of course this is no excuse – sadists, dictators, mass


murderers and slave masters all care for their own
families, but at the expense of all others.

If we do not wish harm done to ourselves and our


potential, then we must not harm others. Harm includes
any constraints that harm others realising their potential
without harming ours. Any constraint must be an equal
constraint on everyone or be removed.

The principle of no harm translates into the societal


rights we all share. For greatest possible growth we
must remove all constraint except no harm.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

Growth is diversity, diversity is growth. When the


principle of no harm is common we all experience our
greatest growth and we are all free and secure. If no
harm is not common, no one is free or secure, and
growth is poor and for few.

Even the greatest tyrant is insecure when the principle


of no harm is breached.

...

How we live our lives without harm is our way, no one


else’s. No one may tell us how to live our lives without
harm.

There is a principle we must follow, that of no harm, but


we judge ourselves how our fulfilment agrees with this.
No one else has the right to determine or judge how we
live our lives without harm.

When we agree with the principle of no harm, it is our


decision how we live, no one else’s. It is no one else’s
business.

Only if we disagree with the principle of no harm, will


our decisions, those that harm others, be rejected.

We should never doubt our right to decide our lives.


Only we are in position to determine our own fulfilment
according to our own situation. Only we are perma-
nently aware of ourselves, only we have our own
perspective, and only we are in position to judge
ourselves.

To be ourselves we must reject all attempts to control us,


all attempts to harm us.

...

150
Society

How we fulfil our responsibilities to ourselves and our


dependants is our decision. There is no one way, no
authoritative way, no prescriptive way that can ever be
valid. Prescriptions and rules that narrow the way we
choose to fulfil our responsibilities reduce our freedom
and harm our lives.

The conservative orthodoxy of individuals that attempt


to judge how all of us should live are wrong. The view
that only a narrow range of behaviours and family
structures are safe is wrong, any way that we choose to
live without harm to ourselves and our dependants is
valid and right. No-one has the right to determine how
others should live without harm.

...

Two parent families are not better than one, two parent
families where the fulfilment of either parent or child is
abrogated are worse. Marriage may be religiously
sacrosanct, but it is not right for all of us. The forms of
family that most fulfil the lives of all participants, with
least harm to those participants, are best. There is no
one best form.

Any form of family where one participant’s fulfilment


relies on harm to another’s is wrong, although this form
most strongly represents the traditional marriage where
the male has control. Today, any relationship where one
participant asserts control over another is a harmful
relationship and the necessary distance to prevent this
harm must be instilled, with dependants residing with
whom their lives will be best fulfilled. Even if that is
neither of the natural parents.

...

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

The normal way, the way that is the norm, is not the
right way. The right way is the way that is right for each
of us and this is not one way or even the usual way. The
right way is infinitely variant. It is different for each of
us. Even the norm is an illusion, an averaging. Every
way of living without harm, every form of family where
participants fulfil their lives without harming and
controlling those of others, is right.

We must support the ability of our dependants to find


fulfilment as well as our own, but when we live in
cultures of control this is a struggle. In these circum-
stances we do what we can to realise ourselves and
support our dependants’ without harm.

We must not put our fulfilment above another’s, but


similarly, we must never allow another to put their
fulfilment above ours. The right to fulfilment is equal,
which means we must never seek to control another or
allow ourselves to be controlled. We must do what is
right for ourselves and our dependants. We must not
limit ourselves to what we or others see as the correct
way to live or the normal way to live. We must live as
ourselves in the way that is right for us.

...

Stress is a symptom of discord with the prevalent culture


and society. It is a cost of the wrong way, in which the
purpose of fulfilment is not recognised and the principle
of no harm not respected. This results in a culture of
control and inequality, where opportunity is distributed
unevenly and avenues of expression are limited.

When wealth is unshared (within or between nations)


some of us become desperate. This overwhelms our
knowledge that harm is wrong, and we harm because we
are harmed, although this creates more harm.

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Society

Homelessness is an expression of the stress that comes


with living in a culture where the wrong way prevails.

...

Alcohol and drug abuse is a symptom of the wrong way


detrimental to our growth and fulfilment. The abuse is a
consequence of our being unable to realise our potential
because of the prevalent pursuit of power and money
with harm.

Alcohol and drug abuse are self-medication for those of


us who see no purpose and principle in our society and
are harmed by those who pursue power and money with
harm. Without these props we would likely succumb to
ever greater depression, anxiety and suicide.

Education on the harmful effect of drugs is not enough.


We who use them addictively are using them to self-
medicate and harm ourselves, essentially to escape the
mental angst that plagues us – if some physical harm
results it only reflects the harm we feel inside.

Alcohol, drug abuse and crime will not be reduced


before the purpose and principle are understood and the
right way pursued. If the fundamentals are fixed the
consequences will be too.

If we want harmful drug use to abate then we need to


create a world that is safe, that understands its common
purpose and principle, and rejects the harmful pursuit of
power and money.

...

Those of us in abusive homes are not safe. We need


havens and sanctuaries to escape the structures of abuse
and control that afflict our families.

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Millions are spent on prisons and mental health services


that catch those damaged at the end of their breakdown.
But we need safe places where we can escape our homes
and recuperate before we break. A means of escape,
advisors who can help us think what to do, and a source
of authority to help us do it.

We should never give up seeking to escape without


drugs, of trying to get out. It is always better not to
despair.

Extended families, uncles, aunts, grandparents, even


friends can make a vital difference providing sanctuary
for others.

...

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29

Culture

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to cultures of confidence and care
(of freedom) where mistakes are understood (to
safe cultures).

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to cultures of fear and harm (of
control) where mistakes are punished (to unsafe
cultures).

...

“How far your nephew might approve of your interference in his


affairs, I cannot tell; but you have certainly no right to concern
yourself in mine.” Elizabeth Bennet to Lady Catherine de Bourgh,
c.XIV vol. 3, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen (1813).

“I have said no such thing. I am only resolved to act in that manner,


which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without
reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.”
Elizabeth Bennet to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, c.XIV vol. 3, Pride &
Prejudice, Jane Austen (1813).

The culture of control. There are people in this world


(you may be one of them) who believe in control, in
controlling their own lives and in controlling others.

They believe they have a right to say how others should


live their lives, if how others live their lives could have
any impact on theirs.

They believe this, because they wish to minimise the


impact of others lives on their own. They believe they
can make better decisions on how others live their lives
than those living them, and by better they mean less of

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

an impact on their (the controllers) lives, or, more


commonly, a beneficial impact.

Controllers cannot accept that others make their own


decisions for their own lives and that these decisions
may not have salutary effects on controllers lives or that
controllers lives are not the utmost consideration of
those who live their lives without trying to control.

...

Controllers use every method to gain control over the


personal decisions of others. These include guilt
accusations (“You’re decisions affect me!”, “You don’t
think about me!”) with the expectation that others
should conform their lives to complement theirs. If they
do not get their way they resort to tantrums and rage.
No accusation is beneath them. These rages may extend
to violence. If they are in a position of authority they use
their authorised powers to get their way.

The first method for dealing with controllers is avoiding


them. If you are in a relationship with a controller, leave
it. The controller will be angry and attempt to restrain
and further dominate you. Reject their control.

Rejecting the control attempts of controllers is not easy.


It requires strength of mind. It requires us not to doubt
ourselves. We have the right to make our own decisions
for our own lives. Only we can know what is right for us,
what grows us. We must never doubt ourselves and our
ability to make our own decisions for ourselves. Others
who we can talk to, who will listen and not intercede
may be helpful (but are not necessary), however,
controllers are not those who will listen or let us make
decisions ourselves. Avoid them.

Rejections of control will not be accepted by controllers.


They will use guilt, pleas, accusations, tempers and rage

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Culture

to gain their way. They can out-guilt, out-accuse, and


out-rage all protestations to gain control. We must not
cede to any of these, or adopt them ourselves, for we
have limits, they do not.

The rejection of control is extremely difficult. We must


be straight and clear. Our decisions are our own, not the
prerogative of others. We have no duty to explain
ourselves. Our happiness, growth, fulfilment and life is
our responsibility and only we know how to live our
lives.

In extreme cases, authorities will need to be called to


impose restriction orders on controllers that refuse our
right to be; where these are breached, prison restraint
may be the last resort. In places where there is no
authority to intervene, fleeing may be the only choice.
Where this is restricted our freedom is lost until we can
find a way out. It is the duty of all good nations, all good
people, to shelter those escaping control. Control-free
homes are the safe zones we need to find if we are
subject to this degree of control.

For inspiration, in situations in which control is not so


extreme (where we have a safe zone), and in demonstra-
tion of how to respond to control attempts, there is the
fictional Elizabeth Bennet’s encounter with the control-
ling Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Jane Austen’s Pride &
Prejudice. It is an impressive display, best read in the
original or watched in the original BBC re-enactment of
the book.

...

Control, and the harm it does, is an inevitable part of the


employer-employee relationship where one side is
master of the other.

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It is a relationship of dependency which is always


abused because the purpose of employer-employee
organisations is not our common fulfilment, but power
and financial return. This purpose brooks no under-
standing of our individual fulfilment, and employee
dependency requires acceptance of control or rejection
and impoverishment.

...

Our decisions are our own to make. We must permit no-


one else to make them for us. We are responsible for
ourselves.

Others may take actions that cause us unhappiness or


happiness, but they have no responsibility for our
happiness, only for their actions.

The harmful actions of others we must dissuade, deter


or distance ourselves from.

...

Controllers believe they have a right to know and make


the personal decisions of others. No one has this right.
We make our own decisions. Attempting to make others
or making unwelcome contributions to others crosses’
our personal boundaries. Respecting boundaries is what
true respect is about.

This relates to the concept of privacy and harm. Personal


decisions are our private affairs, they are our own
business. Others have no right to know these, contribute
to them or decide them. What we share on our personal
matters is our decision. It is only on shared matters that
communication is needed.

...

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Culture

If we act in ways we consider right and without (or with


least) harm we do not have to justify ourselves to
anyone.

...

Controllers do not realise personal boundaries.

...

We do not control, we influence. We react to our


environment and what we feel is right to do at the time.

We cannot (and should not try to) control others, or


what occurs in our environment, or even what we feel we
should do. We can only influence.

Let go and do what needs to be done when it needs to be


done, how it needs to be done. The difficulty is being in
as close a communion with our environment and
ourselves that we can discern what, when and how.

...

Tyrants, controllers and dictators are not a factor in


isolation or the heads of only nation states and corporate
giants. They are the outcome of systemic bias for the
pursuit of power and money with harm, and ignorance
of the common purpose of fulfilment without harm.

There will be no defeat of tyrants until we overcome our


own ignorance, reject wrong and live our lives with
purpose and principle. Then the culture of wrong, in
which controllers grow, will wither and die.

It is not people, but the wrongful pursuit of power and


money with harm we need to defeat. We can be wrong,
harmfully pursuing power and money, but we can also

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reject this and become right. To do that we need to


understand our purpose as fulfilment without harm.

...

Controllers have the ability to lie convincingly. This is


their propaganda. Controllers lie better than others can
tell the truth. Stalin and Pravda is a clear example, but
every control state lies to its people.

...

The typical hypocritical controller: others must comply


with me, but me with none. I must be respected, but I
need not respect anyone.

...

The control culture is self-sustaining: its insecurity


breeds the new breed of controllers seeking security in
power and money. Only shared security will dispel the
control culture.

...

A participative partnership. A fulfilling, safe culture.

...

Fulfilment is without harm to others fulfilment.

Controllers expect others fulfilment to actively assist


theirs. This is wrong. No one's fulfilment need actively
promote another's. Controllers accuse others of harming
their fulfilment when others fulfilment does not support
theirs. This is wrong. It is the essence of control to
expect others actions to support our own fulfilment.

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Culture

Consideration of others is about not harming others


fulfilment, but it is also not about actively assisting
others fulfilment. Fulfilment is control free, our individ-
ual responsibility is for ourselves (that's enough to get
on with), not others. We must not harm (or disadvan-
tage) others (so we must support our dependants), but
we do not have to directly assist others either, unless
assisting others fulfilment also helps realise our own.

Acting without harm to others fulfilment allows others


to find their own fulfilment, irrespective of active
assistance, because opportunities are equalised where
fulfilment without harm is universal.

...

Control in inbred in our culture. We try to control others


and pursue power and money with harm when we
experience a culture of control within a system perpetu-
ating the pursuit of power and money with harm.

The control and harm we perpetrate is rewarded with


power or money or punished by harm from other
controllers.

The ugliest cases of harm and control use physical


violence, but this is just the most blatant form.

...

Under a culture of control our sacrifices to our fulfil-


ment are great.

...

The principle of no harm means we must consider


others, not so that we forego our fulfilment, but so we do
not harm others. This is not to say we should ever
surrender control of our lives to others or allow our

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

fulfilment to be harmed by others. It is to say where are


lives meet we should come to a fair agreement.

When we act in the right way, we reject (and ignore)


criticism from others, as when we act in the right way we
act without harm to others and ourselves.

When we act in the wrong way, we ignore what others


say, even when we harm them or ourselves.

...

Blaming others for our mistakes. A tendency to blame


others for our mistakes. This is the Art Of War philoso-
phy – the attack first mentality.

It is unacceptable to attack others for mistakes, espe-


cially our own mistakes. We need to be told this is
unacceptable. We must not be allowed to get away with
this behaviour.

...

Ill favour. A determination to interpret everything


another does in a negative way, with ill favour. This
harms.

...

It is unacceptable to expect others to fulfil our own


responsibilities. We may request help and be thankful
for what we receive, but we must not expect or demand
it. No circumstances give us the right to expect others to
fulfil our responsibilities, despite what assistance we
have given in the past, are giving currently or expect to
give in the future. We must always ask and be thankful.

“It is true that I have asked you for help, and I am very
thankful you are helping me, but that does not make me

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Culture

your servant and you cannot expect me to fulfil your


own responsibilities at your command – you still have to
ask.”

...

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30

Respect

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to universal equal respect.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to differential respect.

...

This is about the right to be taken seriously. To not be


humoured, mocked or considered pathetic, but to be
listened to.

It is the right to be considered a full human, with views


considered equal to every other human. Any lesser
consideration, any lesser respect, denies our rights as
humans.

Everyone’s views must be treated with the respect and


equality due to every human. It is unacceptable to
ridicule, mock and make light of the views of others.
This behaviour harms others growth and being. It must
be rejected.

Not having our views and requests considered derogates


all the rights we have. It is a radical offence that can
result in critical harm.

Mutual respect is not differential respect, mutual respect


is equal respect. It is not greater respect for any one, but
respect for all.

Mutual respect is common respect and equal respect for


each other. It is vital we are clear on this, that we

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

differentiate the call for mutual human respect, from the


calls of ‘seniors’, ‘betters’ or ‘superiors’ for greater
respect than the respect due to everybody. No one
deserves any greater respect than the common human
respect we are all entitled to.

...

Demand respect, but no more than you give.

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31

Governance

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to greater self-governance.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to greater imposed governance and
policy controls.

...

The role of government is to enable the fulfilment and


contribution of us all. This requires equal opportunity
for all. For this government should use blunt instru-
ments.

A flat tax on all income is simple and comprehensible.


Free health care and educational facilities for all is
simple and comprehensible. A shared base income is
simple and comprehensible.

Complicated methods of wealth distribution with


lengthy policy justifications should be avoided. Social
systems are too complex to be planned by government.
Blunt instruments allow complexity to flourish fairly
because they are easily understood by all of us (and
allow individual implementation according to individual
circumstances). We know what we give and what we get.

...

The government distributes equality of opportunity to


ensure no-one is harmed by the inequalities of earnings
in free trade. Free trade is necessary for a complex
system. Blunt tools, easily understood, are the best tool

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

for distributing opportunity while allowing complexity


to flourish.

...

Given a shared base income that is half of all earnings,


how much do we retain as state provision of services,
and how much do we allow as private provision? My
feeling is that more could be private, that is, market-
based.

However, the line between what is organised by the


private sector and the public sector becomes blurred
when organisation decision-making becomes decentral-
ised and democratic and fulfilment is the common
purpose. When this happens all organisations serve us,
whether private or public.

...

Organisation without external governance control.


There must be organisation without external control.
There must be self-organisation with self-control. That
is, self-governance.

This must mean decreasing external government,


allowing our free organisation.

We have discretionary income from our shared base.


This we can use to access health care and education,
although free knowledge and information will also
enable us to access it much more efficiently, not neces-
sarily through a physical institution.

Government policy can never work as well as us deter-


mining our own needs. External governance gets in the
way. It is inefficient. It is controlling.

...

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Governance

Pursuing power and money with harm leads to greater


external governance and policy controls.

Pursuing fulfilment without harm leads to our own


governance and internal decision-making.

If we do not choose the right way, living with fulfilment


without harm, we will move towards greater state or
private external controls that can never be as smart as us
knowing what we need and enabling it through the
transactions of contribution and demand that we
determine.

In a sense a shared base income makes us the govern-


ment, we all become our government, our choices of
contribution and demand create our society and the
shared base income makes this possible.

The shared based income, along with common purpose


organisations, enables a directly democratic society
where we, and our needs and contributions, are directly
determined by ourselves.

...

The common purpose system cannot come into being


just through government imposition of structure and
organisation. In fact it can only really arise through us
realising it in ourselves and then shaping our system to
assist it. If we do not realise fulfilment without harm is
our purpose then any system we implement to reflect it
will be abused by those of us who do not realise our
purpose as fulfilment.

Having said this the realisation and the implementation


feedback on each other to head in the right direction.
They take place at the same time, although the first step

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

is our understanding of our purpose as fulfilment


without harm.

...

We can set our rules, our objectives and how we con-


tribute. We govern our government and set guidelines
for ourselves.

Similarly, we can set our rules ourselves in our organisa-


tions directly and then self-organise ourselves and our
contributions to achieve the objectives we also desig-
nate.

...

It is perhaps true that the new systems of self-


governance will not be able to be implemented by our
existing government organisations – they will have to
come from outside, from ourselves. Although, in a
democracy they may also be encouraged by our elected
representatives who can help rid us of the undemocratic
organisation.

...

Government policy watch: we subscribe to the policy


departments we want to monitor and contribute to.

Real, widespread, voluntary collaboration with govern-


ment officials (or commercial activities) will not be
accomplished without a shared base income. There has
to be a sense of fairness: our voluntary contributions
also contribute to our shared growth and so must be
recognised by a shared income. When a shared income
is in common then so can other things be shared, like
our ideas, our labour and our time.

...

170
Governance

We are government. We are organisations. We are


companies and businesses.

The point is breaking down and sharing the rewards and


the contributions; putting in mechanisms that enable
self-control and eliminating those that invoke others
control of us. This can happen in all aspects of life and in
all parts of society – private and public, business and
government.

...

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32

Education

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to universal, open education.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to exclusive, closed education.

...

Education must be freely available regardless of age,


race or gender. Any degree of discrimination causes
harm to those discriminated against.

The purpose of fulfilment without harm needs to be


taught in schools as does the origin of education itself.
Students and people generally need to be able to
understand where education came from, why we study
and why we are here.

Lack of purpose is a prime cause of the shiftless, soulless


modern reality many of us find ourselves in, often
turning us to religion, although its truths, revealing
purpose and principle, are so mired in contradiction and
obscurity they are easily missed or mistaken.

Education should be as flexible as it can be to the


interests of the student. Individual expression should be
encouraged.

...

“Those parts of education, it is to be observed, for the teaching of


which there are no public institutions, are generally the best taught.”
Wealth of Nations, V, III, II, 353, Adam Smith (1776).

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

Academic institutions and educational achievements


within academia are not good predictors of knowledge
and should not be used to exclude knowledge and
understanding developed outside of academia, through
personal study and experience.

Much of academia is built up around bodies of knowl-


edge that have served to complicate and mystify the
subjects they deal with. The success of academic
institutions is linked to this mystique. If they can
maintain a mystique they can profess to hold the key to
it.

Fulfilment without harm is knowledge we can all easily


share and perceive. That this understanding is the vital
foundation to build a working, cooperative society on,
undermines the idea that we need years of academic
education to comprehend big issues.

That we, following our own lines of enquiry, our own


interests, and our own ideas, can educate ourselves to
greater discovery and enlightenment than an institu-
tional course is also not what academic institutions want
believed. They prefer the doctrine that no great things
can be known until people have completed study at their
academic institutions. But the basic principles most
important to our growth do not require great intellect or
qualifications to be understood.

For our greatest learning we need to be able to direct our


own learning. For this we need open institutions, open
information, and open assessment. Educational re-
sources to enable all our contributions need to be
available without restriction by institutions.

...

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Education

The common purpose and principle are most fundamen-


tal.

...

The internet facilitates self-directed study and shared,


non-institutionalised knowledge. With its resource and
facility we can all become learners in the greatest library
of the world, directing our own lines of enquiry, sharing
our thoughts and making our discoveries.

...

The development of technology that automates repeti-


tive work is vital. Technology requires knowledge,
therefore learning is essential.

...

The formal structure of university subjects, papers and


assessment is restrictive. Universities should foster the
love of learning, providing the means for learning
(facilities) rather than formalising the process and
delineating subject areas.

The learning process and subject matter can be left to


the student. We should be free to choose our subjects
outside of the formal structure of departments and
disciplines, develop our own reading lists in harmony
with our own subject interests, and creating our own
questions according to our interests. With this self-
determination we will find our own motivation and
express our own diverse ideas. We will love learning and
create new thought.

Assessment should be of learning, expression and


originality, not the regurgitation of subject matter in
response to standardised questions developed in
separate, formalised departments.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

...

It is the knowledge of those interested in the areas they


are interested in that makes for the so called ‘wisdom of
crowds’, but the people in the crowds who contribute in
their areas of interest are not crowds of people, they are
the self-selected few with an active interest.

People interested in a particular area will contribute in


that area. Academic institutions and educational
achievements within academia are not good predictors
of knowledge and should not be used to exclude the
knowledge of those that have developed outside of
academia through their own studies and experience. But
this is what occurs in so many selection procedures
(scholarships, job selection, journals, printed encyclope-
dias).

Opening the gates to any contribution (to the ‘crowds’)


enables all those with interest in an area to contribute,
not just those within academia. The people with interest
in an area for whom the structured, departmental world
of academia jars, can be the most informed and knowl-
edgeable, partly because their knowledge is unbound by
artificial academic boundaries.

...

Free know-how, not a costly qualification is required. It


does not require a qualification to write a newspaper
article, to take a photo, to write an essay, even to
diagnose an illness and consider a treatment. All it
requires is know-how and know-how is free on the
internet.

All we need to do is learn for ourselves and then produce


from the learning.

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Education

The democratisation and demystification of knowledge:


this is what the internet can do as we breakdown the
jargon and rhetoric that surrounds academic knowledge
and distribute it freely over the web.

...

De-institutionalise and share knowledge. Help others


find out. Knowledge should always be shared, never
restricted.

The current methods of academic certification serve to


restrict knowledge and restrict contribution.

...

Educators must not patronise. Students should be asked


the problems that have not been solved, not those that
have been.

The stupidity of education that only tries to drum in


what is already known or believed to be known. This
does not extend or grip us.

...

“Will success on the exam still require knowledge of most topics in the
curriculum, or will it include alternative questions targeting different
areas from which students can choose? The answer to this question
will dictate whether the course must still attempt to be comprehen-
sive, or whether AP [Advanced Placement] teachers will be
able to follow a path through the new curriculum that best
suits their interests and expertise without handicapping their
students on the exam.” Revising The AP Biology Curriculum, William
Wood, Science, vol 325 (25 Sep 2009).

The point is not to teach teachers’ “interests and


expertise” but students’. It is students that should drive
what they learn according to their interests. Teachers
should be advisors and enablers, not constrainers of
students’ areas of interest. Education and assessment

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

should be as flexible as the diversity of student interest,


not as inflexible as the knowledge of educators.

...

Educated in business, not understanding. Much of our


current system incentivises us to be educated in busi-
ness, not in understanding our living universe, and in
reality, very little education is necessary to be successful
at capitalist business.

...

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33

Health

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to universal health care and healthy
living in responsive, tolerant environments.

The wrong, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to privileged health care and un-
healthy living in unresponsive, intolerant
environments.

...

The balance of effort we expend in each area of our lives


is our choice. The balance that is our choice is the only
healthy balance.

To lower the costs of healthcare, health knowledge


should be available by more means than solely the
health practitioner. First and foremost we are the most
eminent experts in our own symptoms – no one knows
our symptoms as well and as intimately as us, nor can
anyone know as well as us how well we are – the key is
to enable us with our unexcellable knowledge of our own
conditions to discover all we can about them, including
what treatments are most beneficial, and then enable us
to attain those treatments.

“Fundamentally, a society that asks questions and has the power to


answer them is a healthier society than one that simply accepts what
it’s told from a narrow range of experts and institutions. If profes-
sional affiliation is no longer a proxy for authority, we need to
develop our own gauges of quality. This encourages us to think for
ourselves.” p191, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson (2007).

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

This was not written with the health system in mind, but
it applies just the same.

Of most ill to our health is the prevailing ethos of the


wrong way, pursuing power and money with harm. With
ignorance of fulfilment without harm as purpose, this
ethos and the structures and systems it creates, lead to it
being our de facto purpose.

People with misguided purpose are ill and find no


happiness. The contravention of no harm that accompa-
nies the pursuit of power and money amplifies the ill
such that all of us are affected by it.

The lack of understanding of fulfilment as purpose and


no harm as principle is the fundamental basis for the
damage that occurs to ourselves and our environment.

If we want to be healthy then we must understand that


our purpose is to fulfil our potential without harm. We
must reject purposes and systems that conflict with this,
that cause harm.

...

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34

Environment

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to environmental responsibility.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to environmental recklessness.

...

“It’s not the Earth that’s in peril, it’s us.” Earth, BBC (2007).

Environmental responsibility is a product of the respon-


sibility for self that arises from the realisation that our
purpose is fulfilment without harm to or from others.

Our environment is all aspects of our surroundings, not


just in matters of nature conservation, but in our houses,
neighbourhoods, streets, villages, workplaces, families,
communities, schools and buildings.

Given the world is one place, damage to one part harms


all. Damaging the environment harms others and
ourselves. This is why the right to a clean, attractive,
harmonious environment should be specified as a right
in the Declaration of Rights.

When the purpose and principle are recognised we act to


realise our potential without harming others, without
acting to control others, and without harming the
environment we share.

...

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Recklessness and control are two aspects of the wrong


way, pursuing power and money with harm. Both
aspects arise with ignorance of the common nature of
fulfilment and contravention of the principle of no
harm.

Environmental recklessness is a symptom of reckless


disregard for the realisation of others potential, a
disregard that reflects ignorance of the common nature
of fulfilment without harm. When the purpose and
principle are recognised we do not act recklessly in ways
that damage the realisation of others or try to control
the lives of others.

Out of an awareness of the common nature of fulfilment


without harm comes a realisation of potential that takes
place in harmony with the realisation of others and the
wider environment. This harmony is not controlled or
directed, it is a natural outcome of purpose and principle
individually maintained by all of us.

Sustainability cannot mean reversing. We need to find


sustainable ways to maintain and increase our standard
of living, not cut back our standard of living to be
sustainable – cut backs are unsustainable.

We need to find ways to reduce pollution and finite


resources used in flying planes, transporting produce,
and driving cars, not give these things up or settle for
poor substitutes.

...

Beauty is our heritage. The beautiful objects we choose


to preserve, keep and collect become our heritage.

By rejecting the ugly, thoughtless and ill-designed, and


retaining and protecting the attractive and well de-

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Environment

signed, we build a heritage of beautiful places and an


attractive environment.

...

There will be nothing of us if we believe we can only


grow through continued exploitation.

There are ways of handling resources: one way is to use


them faster than they can be replaced, in a way that
decimates the environment; the other is to use them
sustainably with understanding of how this use affects
the environment so we do not damage it.

The first way is based in ignorance and harm, pursuing


power and money, the second in understanding and
care. I am optimistic we are starting to choose the
second way. We have to. Climate change (and the
understanding we have already achieved) makes the
choice clear.

...

We need to pay for using the limited resources of our


common environment. Given the commons of limited
resources is all of ours we should all have to pay to use it
so we all value it and none of us can exploit it without a
direct cost. Obviously what is paid for the commons goes
to all of us in common.

The commons includes all limited resources that we


‘own’ collectively. And ‘use’ means any use reducing the
quantity or quality of the common resource. Limited
resources held in common include:

 fish stock (and fishing)


 water quality (and water pollution)
 air quality (and air pollution)
 sound levels (and noise pollution)

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 atmosphere (and atmospheric depletion)


 orbital space (and satellite population)

How do we determine what the cost for use should be?


We would need to measure the resource and the use of it
to find the right price to charge for it.

Most of these resources are not strictly limited, they do


replace themselves given time. We need to find a price
that will reduce their use rate to their replacement rate.
It may be that this price will lead to the need to find
replacement resources and artificial production of the
resource with human techniques (such as farming) and
technology (development in the lab and in manufactur-
ing).

For national measures of fish stock, water quality and


air quality the measures and charges can be national
(although the same model can be replicated every-
where). For sound levels the noise pollution will be on
an even more local level with the price agreed by local
residents.

For measures that can only be measured globally the


cost has to be international and the same (per unit) for
everyone.

Undeveloped countries do not have to replace existing


resource processes. They can institute cleaner technolo-
gies immediately. Advanced economies may be able to
afford to pay (and the revenues distributed evenly to
everyone – meaning low users will gain). Whatever the
case, the price must soon reach a level where use is
balanced by natural replacement.

The revenue from common resources needs to be shared


in common – for national resources, across the nation;
for global resources, globally. This means those who use

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Environment

the resources the least stand to gain the most from the
revenue.

With a shared base income the need to over exploit


resources out of necessity is reduced if not eliminated.

...

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35

Media

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without harm


leads to an open and free media transmitting
information in real-time, only filtering after the
fact and without an owner-controller agenda.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to an owned and controlled Media
interpreting information according to the power
and money interests of the owner-controllers.

...

The democratic, open nature of the internet and the


communication this allows is a critical component of
increasing our understanding of each other and com-
prehending the common nature of the purpose of
fulfilment.

Open communication technology is also an essential


component in enabling and assisting open democratic
decision-making, sharing information and understand-
ing ourselves as all different, but all human and that, for
fulfilment to be for all, it must be without harm to
anyone.

On the internet we feel free of the fear of censure. It is


liberating. We are free to express ourselves, to be
ourselves. We are free or, at least, feel ourselves to be. It
is a place where even the most introverted can share
with all. But there is a risk of censure and, more cov-
ertly, a risk that the information we reveal will be used
to harm us. It is a freedom we must protect.

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...

Any summary of events or speeches significantly or


subtly alters the depiction of what actually happened or
what was actually said. Media interpretation is inevita-
ble whether unintentional or deliberate.

We must try to access the full story. We must bear


witness to the live event. Only then can we make our
own minds up. Media summaries automatically pervert
the truth.

Trials must be public and broadcast on the internet. It is


not enough for our Media to depict the crime and ask
responses of the aggrieved. We need to hear from the
guilty as well. We cannot have sympathy or understand-
ing of an offender’s contrition if we never see and hear
it.

To have any understanding of the offender and to


believe the offender shows contrition we need to hear it
from the offender. For the Media to report that a judge
says an offender has shown contrition is not enough. It
is vital to our perception of justice being done that we
hear the offender’s contrition from the offender,
otherwise, to our understanding, justice is not done.

Of course, it is also beholden on us not to jump to


judgement before we have the full story. In the age of the
internet it is up to us to access it. Before this we must be
slow to condemn, and disagree with those that do too
soon.

...

Can we any longer say, “the Media”, now the media is all
of us? By “Media” with a capital ‘M’ perhaps we can
mean the traditional broadcast media. The Media that to

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Media

often eggs controllers on, like the mob demanding


blood, becoming simpletons.

Journalists are often too cynical. Too many consider


every concession as a ploy, too many see international
relations as The Art of War.

The Media do not realise how important ‘the vision’ is. It


is ironic that those who write news stories do not realise
how important changing the story is to changing the
reality. Without changing the story there will be no
change to reality. It is this changing the story that
leaders are well placed to drive, no leader can change
reality except by changing the story. Changing the story
changes reality and make future change part of that
story.

This is why positive change was never possible under


Bush, because he always chose the negative story, the
fear, the confrontation. As soon as Obama got in, there
was a new story, and his positive story drives positive
change which reinforces the positive story. The biggest
change Obama could ever make was changing the story,
and he made that change as soon as he got in, and has
kept making it ever since. His greatest struggle and
greatest feat will be to continue this.

...

It is not just the internet, all communication technology


channels are essential. Radio, phone, film, television,
satellite, internet. Each advance in communication
increases our common level of understanding and our
ability to operate efficiently, democratically and without
harm.

...

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36

Faith

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to free and open faith.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to exclusive religion.

...

The right way of fulfilment without harm corresponds


with free faith and trust in our ability to discern what we
should do in the world to fulfil our potential without
harm. Knowledge of self and individual purpose arises
from a complex mix of personality and environment that
resists comprehensive, rational analysis, because it is so
complex.

Trust in our individual purpose, and the hope of


fulfilling it in a world we cannot control, can be equated
with faith – faith in our ability to know and follow what
is right for ourselves when it seems illogical by accepted
conceptions of social behaviour, family expectations,
economics or other matters we have grown with.

How can we know if our feeling for what to do is right?


The question is not valid - what we do is right for
ourselves because we feel it. It can only be wrong on
someone else’s conception of what is right for us, and
that is never valid.

We cannot predict fulfilment - ourselves and the world


is too complex - so we must act with faith and determi-
nation to persevere against any obstacle.

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If we want, we can equate the feeling for what is right as


coming from ‘God’ – God in everything, in the universe,
in nature, in ourselves. Faith in God, in these terms, is
unquestioning trust that we will feel what is right for
ourselves without explanation.

Realising our direction requires thought - it may be lost


when we do not consider it, and we end up performing
roles conditioned by social or parental expectations that
are not our own. This causes a divergence, a rupture, of
our lived existence with our own natures that expresses
itself in unhappiness (and all the related symptoms of
this). It can be difficult to diagnose, but it is likely most
of our unhappiness is a consequence of this divergence.

Only thought (meditation, contemplation) can reveal


this divergence, and only faith in ourselves and our
universe can lead to the steps necessary to do what is
right for us, to heal the gap between our currently lived
existence and an existence that fulfils our potential. To
take these steps and to have this faith is courage.

While holy places may seem unnecessary in this concep-


tion of faith and God, this is not so. These places and
others like them (natural or manmade) are ideal places
of thought. Prayer is a form of contemplation on our
direction and the universe, of seeking guidance.

Religious figures are grand examples of people who have


listened to their feelings of what is right for themselves,
and have exemplified by their actions what is right in
respect to the treatment of others. Many followed
difficult paths, ones that involved sacrifice and hardship,
but ones they knew were right. The inner harmony that
comes from equating our actions with our internally
inspired directions more than compensates for this
hardship: no real happiness is possible without it.

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Faith

There is faith that at some fundamental level the


universe makes sense, and that, at a more Earthly level,
we will be permitted to pursue our direction: a faith that
obstructions will, in the end, be overcome. However, this
is not inevitable, many religious figures died, as others
have died, living as themselves, following the paths they
felt were right for them. The most important element is
that whatever we do it is as much as possible in harmony
with what we feel is right for us to do. There is no other
way to fulfilment and happiness.

...

Pursuing power and money with harm leads to exclusive


religion. It must never be pretended that faith is in any
way exclusive.

Most religions are inclusive in the sense that anyone can


join, the exclusive proviso being that we must accept
their version of God as the determiner of human
purpose. They discriminate by asserting that the only
faith is their faith in their God and that the only purpose
is their God’s purpose. By this they disempower human
faith and human purpose.

We do not need a prescribed or prescriptive God to have


faith or purpose - we can have faith in ourselves and our
universe, agreeing our own purpose and principle, and
realising our own potential. If there is a God it is a God
for and in everyone and everything.

...

Have faith in the future to maintain a serene outlook


against any odds. Faith reinforces perseverance and
resilience. To realise our potential, make our contribu-
tion and find fulfilment, we need to commit and
persevere – faith that things will turn out alright is an
important assist.

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...

God as human construct. God as collective ideal. Even if


God were just a human construct, an ideal that we
collectively approve of, this does not make the theme
less worthy.

If Jesus were taken as a role model that we emulated not


just worshiped this would make his function much
greater. Then we may make progress on living without
harm as he and others had done.

...

It is very hard to fight a negative view of ourselves when


those closest to us are unsupportive or question us being
ourselves. But we must persevere. It is up to us.

If it is of any assistance then know I believe in everyone


of us. I believe in you. I believe we all have what it takes
to try and realise our own potential in our own ways. But
it is up to us to do so. No-one else can do it for us.

...

There is also religious prejudice and moral rectitude. A


firmly held prejudice will not allow consideration of
circumstance. This is a closed mind. Religious prejudice
is not based in principle, but in the learnt morality of a
particular religious doctrine, decreeing that we must not
get divorced, that sex outside marriage is wrong, and so
on.

In this sense, right can be wrong. Taught morality,


preached precepts, religiously inspired decrees of what
is right may easily contradict fulfilment without harm,
and indeed cause harm. In this sense, the negative
aspect of righteousness is illustrated, that of the morally

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Faith

righteous that declare how others should behave based


on religious decree, regardless of the harm it does.

...

Moral rules are never greater than principle. We may try


to reinterpret what others do from half full to half
empty, from wrong to right, and castigate them for
breaking ‘the rules’. We may try to cast others actions in
a different light from those performing them, seeing
others acts through our own filters, our own lenses, not
conceiving fulfilment without harm as allowing flexibil-
ity for everyone to shape their own lives in their own
way, but projecting a set of written and unwritten moral
rules conflicting with fulfilment without harm.

Moral rules are based in real and perceived traditions of


religion and society, conceived by those of us not
understanding the principle of fulfilment without harm
as sufficient to public comprehension of right and
wrong. The rules are determined as definitive instruc-
tions for acceptable behaviour in particular situations,
instructions that generally accord with the principle of
no harm and, as explicit rules, assist in enforcement. But
rules are never right for everyone in every situation.

Unfortunately, some of us cling to rules dogmatically


and rather than interpreting others actions and our own
lives against the purpose of fulfilment without harm, we
judge our lives and others against rules, rules such as
marriage is forever, the mother is the best carer, and so
on. Those of us who dogmatically stick to rules cause
heavy damage to ourselves and those we judge and
influence.

Fulfilment without harm cannot be determined solely by


rules in any complex society. Foremost and finally our
measure is not against rules, but against the principle of
fulfilment without harm. This is the measure we live our

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lives against, that we should measure up against in our


own ways. We must reject rules conflicting with our
fulfilment without harm, and those subjecting us to
those rules. This is not to say there can be no shared
guidelines, but that all guides should be considered with
understanding for individual circumstance, as guides,
and when a guideline conflicts with the acts of us living
without harm it should be overruled or it will cause
harm.

To leap to judgement of others according to rules is to


judge wrongly and to cause harm. To judge everything
according to rules, rather than according to principle, is
to judge wrong. Moral rules should never be taken as
greater than the common purpose and principle of
fulfilment without harm.

...

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37

Ethnicity

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to respect for ethnic identity and
homeland.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to denial of ethnicity and homeland.

...

Ethnicity is the strongest link in extended human


communities. It is a source of personal identity with a
culture, a people and a land.

While the wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, is prevalent, granting citizenship to those who are
not of the ethnicity traditionally associated with a land
should be done rarely. All of us should have citizenship
to the land with which our ethnicity is associated and
this should never be denied or our sense of who we are
and where we come from is harmed.

While the wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, is prevalent, it does not make sense to base
political power on democracy in countries where the
indigenous population is a minority of citizens, that
surrenders the power of the indigenous population to
determine their own destiny, it surrenders their rights
over their own homeland. These circumstances occur
most often in situations where borders and migration
have been imposed externally and need to be reviewed.

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Only we citizens of our country should be able to vote in


our country (whether we are physically in our country or
not).

We should be granted permanent residence, but not


citizenship, to countries that are not our ethnic home-
lands. However, our offspring, if parents are citizens of
different countries, should be able to claim citizenship to
both.

We should all be able to live with confidence that our


right to live in our homeland is respected. This right
enables the opening of our borders to trade and tourism,
to working visas and to indefinite residence of citizens
from other ethnicities.

The European Union’s experiment with open borders


relies on the principle of citizenship based on ethnicity
to give a strong sense of secure identity so that indefinite
residence by any European member in any European
country is a matter of choice.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with harm,


leads to denial of ethnicity and homeland. There is no
right to ethnicity in the Declaration of Human Rights.
Thus there is less protection from nation states denying
our ethnic rights, most pointedly the right to residence
in our homeland.

Our right to residence in our homeland should be


protected no matter where we are born or what the
residential choices of our forebears were.

Our right to residence in our homeland gives security to


all of us who reside outside our homeland. Such security
is critical when those of us not indigenous to our country
of residence are discriminated against or rejected by the
indigenous population. We must have recourse to return
to our countries of ethnic origin.

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Ethnicity

The right to residence in our ethnic homeland gives


security to those of us who emigrated in the past and
provides critical protection for our descendents who
wish to return in the future.

It is hard to see how, at any point, we could or should be


excluded from our rights to residency in our ethnic
homeland while we still identify with that ethnicity.

...

It is easier for other nation states to legitimately come to


the aid of a small but distinct sovereign state, than to the
aid of an ethnic indigenous minority with no sovereignty
isolated within the borders of a larger nation.

Our right to sovereignty in our homeland and our right


to enduring recognition of our ethnic identity by our
homeland nation no matter where we reside, must be
upheld in order to ensure our security.

...

Rootless people are those of us who do not know our


heritage or ancestry, or try to reject it, to runaway from
it. Our offspring can be lost, unaware of where, how and
why their culture has arisen; their own ways and
understandings disconnected from place and history.

It is important for us to know our roots, these should be


recorded, preserved and passed on.

...

Were open borders a reality, our right to our homeland


(and recognition of our ethnicity) would be less of an
issue, as we would not be excluded from it, whether we
were citizens or not.

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...

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38

Borders

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to open borders.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to closed borders.

...

Beyond the greatness of one nation over another nation.

While the prevailing purpose is the pursuit of power and


money with harm, those of us in poorer nations will
enter richer nations, and those of us persecuted in
autocratic dictatorships will enter democratic nations.

It will not be until fulfilment without harm is under-


stood as our purpose, and our systems come to reflect
this, that we may reside securely and safely with
fulfilment in our homelands.

Open borders enables us to choose where we live. Closed


borders discriminate. A truly common purpose is not
possible with closed borders.

True democracies allow in those who wish to enter.


Open democracies do not restrict themselves to the few
born within or sufficiently rich. A common (interna-
tional) democracy can only be instituted if we are given
(and take) the right to chose the system we want to live
in.

Security is a factor, but is not sufficient reason to


prevent migration.

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Wealthy countries observe refugees in poor countries


where conflict is endemic, and condemn the refusal of
neighbours to harbour them. Wealthy countries cannot
then deny these refugees entry. We deny the principle of
equal opportunity if we deny open migration.

If we believe in free health, education, and opportunity


for all, we cannot exclude others due to nationality or
ethnicity, poverty or education. We cannot exclude those
who choose democracy and freedom when they flee
nations where these do not exist.

Refugees flee oppression and violence, poverty and


isolation, dictatorship and coercion, for fulfilment
without harm.

Open borders, a common Earth, means we are able to


move toward freedom, to make choices. If democracy
and human rights are to be universal we must be
allowed to move. Then dictatorships and autocracies
become isolated – without us obeying them their
authority ceases.

We cross borders and leave our homelands because we


want something better – education, higher understand-
ing, greater opportunity, greater wealth. We do not
come to be cleaners and menial labourers, that is only
what we see we have to start as. We come because we
want democracy, freedom and human rights, fulfilment
without harm. Those of us who enter democracies are its
supporters, we should be welcomed.

Time after time ethnicity and homeland have proven to


be the strongest of bonds between us as well as the
greatest source of division.

...

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Borders

For open borders to work we need to know our history


and homeland, and citizenship should be retained. None
of us should lose our right to our homeland due to the
choice of residence of our parents and forebears.

No matter whether we a person of English, Jewish,


Albanian or Iranian descent we are of that ethnicity and
should know our homeland.

...

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39

Security

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to trust and security.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to mistrust and conflict.

...

Where harm to (limit on) fulfilment is necessary, it must


be shared equally, that is, the limit must be on all of us
the same, consented to, and abided through self-
restraint.

We all have an equal right to protect ourselves, to reject


harm. Having a weapon is not using a weapon. When
another has a weapon the only real protection is another
weapon. Thus this is about protection, about rejecting
harm, as much as it is about harming.

Weapons are a defence, a protection against others with


weapons. They will only become irrelevant when no-one
needs them, but this will only happen when the oppor-
tunity for growth is shared so everyone can grow.

Threats only increase the incentive to develop weapons,


until the threats prove as empty as they already are. The
language of diplomacy must be inclusive not adversarial.

Trust cannot be built on mistrust.

It may be too late for developed nations to gain suffi-


cient trust from nations that have been marginalised to
halt development of nuclear weaponry. If anything, it is

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

a race for less-developed nations to develop these


weapons so they can ensure they are no longer marginal-
ised.

The best the West (and the rest of the world) can do, is
improve relations with marginalised nations. Help them
grow economically and socially, include them in the
society of nations, build trust founded on trust. This can
be done with support and assistance, with sharing and
inclusion, but not with threats and sanctions.

Marginalised nations will not trust developed nations


until they are trusted. If nations marginalised by the
West wish to develop weaponry the West will not stop
them by threats. If these nations attempt to use them,
the West will respond (as every nation has a right to),
but the West must trust these nations to behave respon-
sibly (as the West believes it does) or they never will.
The West must not marginalise nations with different
ideologies and beliefs.

It is true that the impoverished, desperate nations the


West has isolated for ideological reasons are a threat to
the West’s wealth and security. But the West has no
right to greater wealth and security than the rest. It
would be best if the West shared this wealth and security
(and built trust) now, before marginalised nations
develop the weapons they need to equalise their secu-
rity.

Only an equalising of power will enable a more democ-


ratic, equal and effective council of nations. Shared
weapons technology enables this equalisation.

When military might is equal (or at least more equal),


the numbers on the security council mean something.
Without this equalisation the United States will always

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Security

dominate. We have seen how an intolerant neo-


conservatism can rise to power in the United States. We
could see it again. Without a more even balance of
power there is no security.

Shared technology works to equalise security, economy,


health, education, and opportunity. In the short term,
arms will not be reduced, but they may become irrele-
vant.

Some countries will not feel able to trust others until


they have the weaponry to guarantee they are not duped.
When they have these and they trust, then the weapons
may become redundant.

Such trust cannot happen until all countries have access


to this technology.

If the US does not trust North Korea with weapons, how


can North Korea trust the US with weapons?

The development of any weapon or shield that weakens


the supremacy of the formerly ‘ultimate’ weapon will
lead to a new arms (or shield) race if that technology is
not shared.

Until all technology is shared there will continue to be


arms races. Growth must be shared. Until there is
sharing, there will not be trust, and without trust there
will be arms races.

...

To defeat aggression, reject aggression. Any and all force


must always be used with sincere regret and maximum
restraint to prevent harm, not cause it.

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Any use of force that causes harm must be followed by


regret, and if that harm is disproportionate to the harm
it is in response to, amends must be made to atone for
the wrong.

Obama, by removing America as the grand enemy of


non-Western nations, diverts the attention of nations
onto their own regimes. Without an enemy these
regimes cannot divert attention from the harm they do
their own people and self-destruct.

The Taliban can no longer excuse their aggressive


methods because of Bush’s aggression, now they must
change to meet a President that will meet them if they
reject aggression. So far they have not rejected it and are
losing sympathy and patience from the peoples that
have sheltered them.

...

Meeting aggression with aggression only escalates


aggression and sustains the way of control and harm.

Reject the way of aggression.

...

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Section Five

Change
40

Our System

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to our system serving our fulfilment
without harm.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to our system obstructing our
fulfilment and serving the pursuit of power and
money with harm.

...

We are mired in our past without clear direction for our


future. We need a common understanding that fulfil-
ment is for all of us, with no restriction on what fulfil-
ment might be, different as it is for everyone of us. The
proviso is that we realise our potentials without harm to
others. This proviso means opportunity must be equal
for all of us or fulfilment is harmed.

The United States is a beacon and an example, and in


some sense the entrepreneur there does have these
freedoms, but it is in the definition of entrepreneurial
success that a crucial element of the issue lies. For what
does success mean? What is its measure? Is it money,
popularity or expression?

I argue that we most beneficially measure our success


not by external measures of the amount of money we
make or even the popularity of our product, but in the
extent to which it is our product.

Many of the world’s great contributions would never


have eventuated if the reason we did things was for

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money or popularity. And even where popularity, and in


less cases money, did eventuate, these were a by-product
of us successfully realising our unique talents in our
product. In fact, if we follow money or popularity we are
less likely to successfully realise our unique potential,
and more likely to act in ways that suppress it (with the
resultant unhappiness and dissatisfaction that inflicts
many of us).

In other words, the purposes of money and popularity


work against the purpose of fulfilment, of realising our
potential. And the society we live in, the one we have
constructed and adopted from our past, conditions us to
believe that financial accumulation is our purpose. In
fact, it forces money to be our purpose, because our
society gives us so little security when we do not have it.

This is why I argue we must bring in security for all of us


(globally) to remove the misdirection of finance as
purpose from our society. We can figure out how to
make enough food and space for all of us. We can figure
how to automate the repetitive work none of us want to
do. These are far better causes to realise our potential in
than the cause of finance. These causes enable us all to
realise our potential.

But to be motivated to do this we need to understand


that fulfilment is for all of us and that it is measured in
the extent to which it realises our unique selves, not in
money or popularity. When this is understood we realise
ourselves and share financial rewards so none of us are
insecure and have to worry about losing a home or
where the next meal is coming from.

Money allows us to accumulate wealth, but it also allows


us to share it, which we would do if we did not need the
money and got our fulfilment from realising our
potential. If this sharing is permanent and reliable then
we all have security and we do not have to try and

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Our System

accumulate massive fortunes to try and guarantee it.


Then our focus can safely be on making our best
contribution according to who we are. Putting our minds
to work on how to produce the food we need, the power
we use, the appliances, machines, stories, and so on.

There is massive waste and lost human potential in the


system we have now. This must change. We pay too
great a cost and risk reaching a point of no return where
the disenchanted hit out, not with a solution, but with a
demand that change is needed. But without a clear
alternative we will likely as not get something worse.

...

One of the unfortunate results of our system is that the


organisations arising in it do not adapt to us, facilitating
the realisation of our potential, but rather force us to
adapt to them (or lose our income and means of sur-
vival). Our organisations (and those who run and own
them) do not see our society as a means for allowing us
all to realise our potential without harm, and so do not
see organisations as part and parcel of that fulfilment -
fulfilment for those in the organisation and those whose
needs they meet.

Having to work for money, rather than for fulfilment


through best contribution, means we are required to
take work in inflexible roles that do not reflect our
differences and do not fulfil our potential. It means we
are often stuck in the work, shackled by our incomes
into lives we find unfulfilling. The consequence is
dissatisfied workers, unhappy in our jobs and perform-
ing poorly.

A better method than income incentives for communi-


cating the need for more engineers (for example) to

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

build the infrastructure and machines we need is simply


to say more are needed. That is, publicise what is
involved and show how interesting and fulfilling the
work is. These methods are more effective than financial
incentives, and in a system where financial incentives
are not a motivation (because wealth is distributed so we
all have a secure income) communication of work
adapted by us to suit us is supremely effective.

In other words, the financial incentive is only a reality


where wealth is unevenly distributed and the many have
little. When it is more evenly distributed, demand is
communicated, and supply arises when the work
appeals because it is challenging and fulfilling. Work will
only be that way if we have the autonomy and flexibility
to shape it and complete it our way.

The work that needs doing is work that assists in the


fulfilment of human potential without harming others
fulfilment. This is what we all want, and our society and
our institutions and organisations should reflect this
most common purpose in their particular purposes.
That is, particular purposes for organisations (be it
building roads, servicing cars, producing computers)
should be part of working towards our common pur-
pose. And our common purpose should filter into
everything they do; so, realising our potential without
harm to others realisation, should be reflected in the
work of the organisation and the way we treat each
other.

How do we decide what needs doing? We ask ourselves


what we think needs doing. We know our purpose is to
find fulfilment by realising our potential, we know this is
our purpose and everyone’s purpose, thus what can we
do with our unique skills and abilities to realise our
potential and help enable the realisation of potential for
everyone? How can we best contribute? Look around,
there are many ways – we find the way that best suits us.

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Our System

Will there still be competition? Yes, there will still be


competition, but it will not be competition for money, it
will be competition to make the best contribution,
particularly with others who are contributing in niches
similar to our own. We all want to be best at what we do,
but if we are working towards fulfilment without harm
to others fulfilment, we do it by doing better, not by
harming other contributors (or their contributions).

Will there still be markets? Yes, there must still be


markets (and money) to distribute resources, because
we will still have limited incomes and will still choose
what to buy. The inevitable result of this is income
inequalities (as some of our contributions will be more
popular than others) but in this system, where we are
confident and secure in our base incomes and our
fulfilment, these excesses can be shared.

In this system, organisations now become voluntary


participations in which we choose to work together to
realise our potential in fulfilling the potential of every-
one. Any structure that arises develops organically to
best facilitate the contributions of us working together to
best meet the needs for whatever that particular
organisation’s particular purpose is. It may have what
resembles a hierarchical structure, but it is not a
structure of control, it is a structure of organisation,
with groups forming according to the size of demand for
their services and the size of groups depending on the
numbers that work best together using the communica-
tion tools most appropriate to meeting the need.

We need to think outside of the system we are in. We


have essentially only experienced two systems in living
memory – capitalism and communism, and both of
them rely on control – one control of production by
ownership for profit and increasing financial returns,
the other control of production (and distribution) by

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

central planning. Neither of these systems realise our


potential well, and the extent to which capitalism is
better is closely related to the extent there is less control
of production (by massively wealthy owners) and greater
distribution of wealth.

If we want growth for everyone, then ownership and


wealth must be shared, and thus the assessment of need
and the meeting of that need is by all of us in our own
way. This will give us growth never seen before and stop
the incredible cost and waste we currently experience
with so much of our potential unrealised and misdi-
rected (not to mention the millions dying never having
had a chance).

...

In this system planning is not centralised, it is decentral-


ised and distributed. Planning and control is devolved to
all of us in the system, away from the centrally planned
and controlled government, public, socialist, communist
organisations, and away from the centrally planned and
controlled private, capitalist, owned organisations.

In this system we have the opportunity to decide for


ourselves what we do and how we do it. This is the
liberty of shared wealth with a common purpose of
fulfilment without harm.

...

A different system for a better way. A different social


system, one not based in finance and power, money and
control, but in our fulfilment and the realisation of all
our potentials without harm.

...

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Our System

There is a good reason to believe that greater freedom to


produce in diverse areas, through a shared base income,
will significantly raise overall production and realisation
of our potential, as well as increase the likelihood of
financially successful products occurring, with accom-
panying larger incomes being available for sharing.

But this is just one factor. As important to our fulfilment


is our right to our ideas (that the corporation disenfran-
chises) - these are our only unlimited resource and they
can be shared for shared growth or held exclusive
depending on whether our motivation is financial
reward or making our best contribution for all our
growth (which has no accurate measure in finance).

Resources, produce and growth will be most widely


shared when ideas are used to convert limited resources
into unlimited product, rather than when we are
exploited to convert limited, coveted resources into
limited, coveted product. Many organisations push their
exploitation of us offshore to where we are cheaper
(because there we have less wealth and less income
security), but it is only cheaper financially, the real cost
is our fulfilment.

We need to retain our right to our ideas (changing the


system of organisational control) and be empowered to
implement them with the aim of our growth, not
financial growth; measuring our losses and our waste in
fulfilment, not in money. Using ideas we can create ways
to produce unlimited products, with unlimited variety,
from limited resources. Then we will have eliminated
need, but to get there we have to change the motivation
and measure from money to life.

To do this we have to change the organisation (decen-


tralise decision-making, share information, liberate the
employee), because the way they are currently struc-
tured means they exploit us to perform one primary

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

purpose: providing increasing financial returns (or in


the case of government ever increasing activity, even
when things do not need to be done). We need to have
organisations (and a society) that enables us to realise
our potential producing product that further realises our
potential, not organisations or society that tries to
control us and how our potential is realised. This
requires a devolution of central control.

The change needs to happen everywhere at all levels, but


ultimately it is just us, each one of us, deciding to realise
our potential without harm to the realisation of others.
To assess whether a situation is right or wrong come
back to the principle – fulfilment without harm. If the
situation causes harm it is wrong and we need to rectify
it. People everywhere are harmed by the systems we
currently have so we need to improve them.

...

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41

Enlightenment

The right way, pursuing fulfilment without


harm, leads to enlightenment.

The wrong way, pursuing power and money with


harm, leads to catastrophe.

...

Surfing everyday may be seen as doing nothing by some,


but that level of commitment is what those that have
potential in something need to give, to realise it as much
as they can.

It may not be apparent in financial terms how commit-


ment will pay, especially when it is sport or art. But it
does, it realises our potential, it is our contribution, the
contribution we are best suited for and best able to
make.

Our potential is greater than economic markets and


beyond financial calculation. We can see a need or a way
of doing things that realises our potential without
foreseeable financial return. By contributing it we realise
potential and fulfilment. How much is Edmund Hillary’s
conquest of Everest worth? How much are Van Gogh’s
paintings worth? How much is Einstein’s theory of
relativity worth? There were no estimates of financial
worth or guarantees of monetary success when these
endeavours were pursued, but their worth is immense.

We all have the right to realise our potential. In a society


manifest by a purpose of fulfilment and no harm, that
right is sacred. Economic markets enable trade, how-

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

ever, money, which enables the accumulation of wealth


and wealth disparities, also enables the sharing of
wealth so we can all realise our potential. This must
happen.

In a world where rights are guaranteed and fulfilment


without harm understood there is little struggle with
wrong. This is a world in which efficiency is at it greatest
ebb.

In such a world all things are done in time and at ease.


Diversity and productivity are at their highest levels.
This is not to say that things are not hard or do not
require great effort, but is to say that these hard things
are easy when they are contributions that realise our
potential and our done in the right way, at the right
time, in the right place.

This is the world of enlightenment. In this world the


purpose and principle are understood by all of us. This is
the world of understanding and guardianship, where
fulfilment leads to greatest knowledge and no harm to
guardianship of all.

The increasing interconnectedness of people sharing


personal information creates opportunity for the right
way to prevail by showing us we are fundamentally
similar, with fulfilment a common purpose, only
achievable in common by not harming the fulfilment of
each other. However, this interconnectedness and trust
also creates a risk that those ignorant of purpose and
principle, pursuing power and money, will abuse trust
and cause harm.

Pursuing power and money with harm leads to catastro-


phe. The wrong do not do wrong because they feel it is
wrong, they do wrong because they feel it is right. They
are mistaken: taken in by the ethos of pursuing power

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Enlightenment

and money with harm that underlies much of our society


and the systems so far developed.

The wrong feel life is everyone for themselves, whatever


the cost to anyone else. They do not understand the
principle of no harm or the purpose of fulfilment. They
only believe in no harm to themselves and their own
right to achieve their own ends regardless of the cost;
ends which have more to do with money and reckless
control than fulfilment.

The wrong do not believe in the principle of no harm.


The wrong believe they are right in a dog-eat-dog world.
But by acting so they make it so, and the world is less
safe for all of us.

The wrong are mistaken, fundamentally mistaken on


purpose and principle and its commonality to all. But in
fact all of us are conditioned to think it is right for others
to try and control us, particularly in organisations. It is
not.

We have grown up with control and we live in societies


structured by control-type relationships, mired in pasts
when control was even greater. But it is time to realise a
new way and a new system, to open our eyes to the
world, to gain understanding, and to live with the
principle that fulfilment without harm is for all of us.

...

Fulfilment without harm is the answer.

The problem now is not, “What is the question?”, but,


“What does the answer mean?” or, more exactly, “What
would the answer mean if we all understood it?” because
the problem is we do not all know it, and the economics,
organisation and society we have serve to hide and deny

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

it. Only by understanding the answer and changing our


system will we fulfil all our lives.

...

We are part of the universe, we are of the universe. Any


greater understanding of the universe, and anything in
it, gives us greater understanding of ourselves, even if
forces and energies proposed seem impossibly removed
from us and very speculative.

We are also, at least on Earth, unique in our ability to


think about how we got here and how the universe we
live in, and are part of, works. It would be too mundane
an existence to not try and understand how life evolves
and the universe works, and if people in the past had not
thought about this we would not have the technology we
do today.

The applications of new understanding and discovery we


cannot be sure of, but they abound.

Our enlightenment on the nature of the universe (in


every aspect, from the most seemingly mundane to the
most bizarrely fantastic) is the outcome of us, as a
species, realising our potential in each and every
individual - an enlightenment and understanding that
will see us living as guardians of nature operating
harmoniously with its forces and resources, rather than
as masters seeking to exploit it.

...

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42

Make Change

This world will never be right until we all understand


our purpose of fulfilment and principle of no harm. By
recognising the purpose of fulfilment without harm, we
can determine that right and wrong are so from reason
rather than morals.

The wrong way, and the systems and behaviours that


lead from it, are wrong because they ignore the purpose
and contravene the principle of no harm; just as the
right way, and the systems and behaviours that lead
from it, are right because they pursue the purpose of
fulfilment and abide by the principle of no harm.

Fiddling with financial systems, political forms and


economic models will make no great difference to our
future until the fundamentals are understood and in
place, as these are the bases upon which we should view
and reference things. Until then we lurch blindly risking
destruction.

This is a change in understanding, a change in mindset,


an ideal for all with no exclusivity. This is a new story, a
better story, in which to frame our lives. Society is
evolving, this manifesto attempts to give us a framework
to work with.

The common purpose cannot succeed solely through the


influence of the Media to inform opinion, it must be a
movement influencing opinion to win the mandate to
transform social systems into ones no longer based on
finance and power, money and control, but on our
fulfilment and the realisation of all our potential without
harm.

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

System change, requires political change, requires a


movement for change. A movement for change requires
awareness of the cause for change, and awareness of the
cause for change requires the cause be stated and
disseminated. So state the cause for change and dis-
seminate it. Build awareness and create a community
and movement for change.

...

The rebel organisation, our community for change, is a


power-decentralised organisation, a common purpose
organisation with a centralised, open communication
system, invoking people to rebel against (expose and
challenge) the wrong way. It uses the shifting systems of
the web, like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and interlinked
websites generally to organically organise and deploy.
Its members are ad hoc - they may be fleeting and
transitory or stick around. There are no contracts, no
controls. Just a common purpose and principle.

Keeping to our path is a struggle when rights are denied.


This struggle is central to our existence – the struggle to
realise our potential when forces in the world conspire
to deny it. Struggle is the outcome of the primal drive for
our existence in a world where our rights are compro-
mised and denied. We cannot surrender struggle while
our right to be ourselves is denied, to surrender struggle
is to deny ourselves life, for our spirits to die.

“I believe in hope as an act of defiance, or rather as the foundation for


an ongoing series of acts of defiance, those acts necessary to bring
about some of what we hope for while we live by principle in the
meantime. There is no alternative, except surrender. And surrender
not only abandons the future, it abandons the soul.” p163, Hope In
The Dark, Rebecca Solnit (2005).

In general, we are the same, in particular, all different. It


is our difference that makes us special, unique and
individual. If we give up, surrender or derogate our

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Make Change

fulfilment, we submit to the forces that denigrate our


individual expression and we live lives unfulfilled and
unexpressed. The world loses our product and our
potential, and we lose ourselves.

Our struggle will take many forms before rights become


accepted norms. The most necessary element of it is
communication – voicing our rights, talking about them,
writing about them, learning about them, insisting on
them – until enough of us are aware that such rights are
right and should be adopted not just as an ideal, but as a
practical reference for all of us to understand and agree
with.

It is going to take time to change minds – we must reject


frustration and fight without harm, informing, not
lambasting. If we strike out, we lose. We must not
alienate critics, but bring them on side, informing and
answering.

Many governments have signed on to the Universal


Declaration of Human Rights, but none have brought
the principles fully in to play. Although some political
leaders make tacit overtures, it will not be until we insist
on rights that they are instituted and our organisations
reflect them.

We have to make change according to the situation we


find ourselves in. But it is not enough to not harm, we
need to reject harm as well. We need to help others
understand that harm is wrong for all of us, and that this
includes the harm of trying to control others.

We must do what is right for ourselves and care for


ourselves, but without harming others. This is the
priority of right and care for contributing effectively.

We must not work primarily to accumulate money:


money is a tool to facilitate trade and contribution and
to share wealth, not a purpose in itself. We must not

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

work primarily for homes and material things, or only in


the order of what we absolutely need. We need to work
to produce our best contribution and realise our
potential in furthering fulfilment for all of us, this is
what our system should enable. Let us make it happen.

We need a different social system, one not based in


finance and power, money and control, but in human
fulfilment and the realisation of all our potentials
without harm.

We must not validate, recognise or engage wrong.


Rather we need to reject it, to deny it. Let us not use
wrong ways to combat wrong, but reject wrong alto-
gether, rejecting wrong ideals and wrong thoughts,
refusing to entertain them, choosing to work with right.

Let us refuse to recognise authority that harms, even


when it is not us being harmed, even if protesting means
we are harmed. If we do not, we permit harm. Let us not
try to control or conquer, that forces a destructive
conflict where we all lose. The crux is for all of us to
recognise the basic right of all of us to fulfilment without
harm to or from others. Without this recognition conflict
is inevitable and unavoidable.

We must have freedom from servitude and the confisca-


tion of ideas. Control is harmful as are the conditions
that foster it.

Small changes multiply. Communicate and make


changes and change cascades as others emulate. Our
system is one system, any amount of change, to any part,
adds to total change. Just as harm leads to damage on
every scale from local to global and accumulates in total
harm, so does any amount of fulfilment add to total
fulfilment.

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Make Change

A genuine revolution is our revolution. It succeeds


because it is popular, not violent. We must fight without
violence and without harm by protesting, voicing,
rejecting, non-cooperating and marching. These are
ways to communicate change without violence, ways to
fight without harming.

Let us not conform, but instead insist on flexibility and


tolerance. Let us not compromise ourselves, but instead
take a stand. Let us not do what we think we should to
fit in, but what expresses us, not what is expected, but
what is right. Organisations are for us, they should adapt
to us, not change us. Let us not give just a hint of being
ourselves, a slight crack in the mold – let us smash the
mold – obliterate it.

Let us look in our employment contracts and codes of


conduct, and change them to…
 reject the confiscation of our ideas,
 reject rigidity in work time and place,
 reject total compliance with commands, and
 reject restrictions on our dress.

Employment contracts must be fair, as between equals,


working to a common organisational purpose in line
with the common purpose of fulfilment and abiding by
the principle of no harm. Time at work and at place of
work must be flexible. All of us must be free to work in
the way natural to ourselves without harm from or to
others. Current employment contracts restrict our
rights. They must be revised.

Let us fight for our freedom, for our right to be treated


with equal respect. No more employers, no more
controllers – only members, participants. We are all
people and require equal opportunity to realise our
potential. It is time we worked together and embraced
difference.

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The attitude of, “I will defend my rights, I will fight”, is a


requisite quality of the strong person: it is part of our
strength to guard our own boundaries, our right to self-
expression, to being ourself. Others misunderstanding,
plain difference and intolerance cannot be allowed to
cower that self-expression through disagreement and
argument. We must defend ourselves and not act against
others.

By being strong and expressing ourselves we contribute


to the never ending whirlpool of debate and opinion that
is our collective intelligence and our common fulfilment.

...

Change needs to happen everywhere at all levels, but


ultimately it is just us, each of us, deciding to realise our
potential without harm to others.

To assess whether a situation is right or wrong come


back to the principle – fulfilment without harm. If the
situation causes harm it is wrong and we need to rectify
it. People everywhere are harmed by the systems we
currently have, so let us improve them.

...

Let us align everything to fulfilment, close speculation


out of all markets, divert financial incentive, but not
financial signals, and replace them with the fulfilment-
growth incentive by contribution.

Let us advance work that is most fulfilling, and open


learning via all channels, promoting contribution and
ideas.

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Make Change

Let us promote living, rejecting control and promoting a


safe world, free from harm.

...

Let us make our claim to our rights against ignorance,


recklessness and inconsideration. This requires a sure
understanding of our right to a life without harm to or
from others.

...

We must be firm and resolute – respecting our rights


and others rights. ‘Respect’ calls for a strength between
hardness and weakness – a strength that is integral and
contained, that does not infringe on others rights, but
still protects our own.

...

We will succeed. We will do the deeds we need to, to


achieve what we want to happen, and we will do it
together. We will do what needs to be done, how it needs
to be done, when it needs to be done, where it needs to
be done. We will do it because we are clear on our
purpose and our principle.

...

If we cannot change the situation on the inside, we


remove ourselves and fight it from the outside.

...

If the world is not fair (and it is not), make it fairer: that


is our challenge, not our excuse.

...

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

How will we know if a protest, uprising or revolution is


democratic or authoritarian? By the method in which it
is done. An authoritarian protest, uprising or revolution
is violent. A democratic protest, uprising or revolution is
peaceful.

An authoritarian protest succeeds by violently destroy-


ing the opposition. It may be a military uprising,
whatever the case, it is armed.

A democratic protest succeeds by expressing the voice of


the majority, by pure force of numbers. It succeeds
through the strength of its potential.

Violence is unacceptable. It must be suppressed and


resisted with the minimum force required.

...

We must reject wrong immediately. To do that we must


be clear on it. Any delay leads to acceptance and
resignation, and missed opportunity.

...

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43

Find Our Niche

We all have a particular niche whether it is a position in


a sports team using a particular sidestep or a painter
using a particular style.

Competition occurs in closely related niches, not


between distant niches. It occurs when we compete with
different strengths, between painters with different
styles, between physicists with different ideas, between
toymakers with different toys. Competition occurs
between people in similar fields trying to make their best
contributions.

It is when niches are most closely matched that competi-


tion is most intense, when rivalry may lead to patch
protection and harm. This is why peer review is not
always the best indicator of excellence. The closer our
work is to another’s the more likely it is to be seen as a
threat, particularly when it contradicts or breaks new
ground. In these circumstances new works are refused
publication in journals, students refused entry to
subjects, staff denied assignments, products denied
entry to markets, and ideas snubbed by those who
should be mentors.

If we have opponents to our advancement they are most


likely those already established in our field, in our niche.
They are in a position to resist our advances through
discouraging our ideas, deflecting our applications and
rubbishing our claims as they defend their own place in
the field.

Fortunately, the real interest and market for our


product, for our work, is outside of our niche, in the

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

communities of people who are interested in it, but do


not participate in it – the people who like sport, science,
art, toys, and so on. They, not those in our niche, are the
key to popular success.

The difficulty is breaking through the system to realise


our potential – to learn, produce, communicate and
distribute in our niche. Open information technologies
are essential to this.

Open information technologies, in particular the


internet and digitised data, allow us to access knowledge
for learning autonomously and to publicise and distrib-
ute our work to our audience (largely) without going
through the autocratic system of organisations and
institutions that censure and restrict access.

Unfortunately, the internet is vulnerable to restrictive


controls, and autocratic organisations and institutions
remain pervasive obstacles to communication and
advancement. A controller can stand in our way without
approval from the community or the wider organisation,
because their position is not elected but appointed, and
their decisions are not by consent but by decree. The
situation is ripe for abuse.

It does not have to be like this. Those of us exploiting


similar niches have to compete by trying to do better
than others, but we do not have to harm in the process.
Unfortunately the temptation to win by harming
(generally by closing out opportunities for others) is too
strong for those who do not understand that fulfilment
without harm is for all of us. Their actions are facilitated
by the non-democratic forms of organisation and
decision-making that persist in our societies and are still
legislated for in our legal systems. These we need to
change.

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Find Our Niche

To make change it is essential to our future fulfilment


that we persist in realising our potential without harm,
rejecting control. Eventually the product of our potential
will make the breakthrough to our audience. We will be
fulfilled when we fill our niche and realise our unique
potential, our unique purpose in life, and if we do it
without harm then we will also have enabled the
fulfilment of others potential as well.

Although it is hard even to realise what our potential is


when others tell us what to do, it is hardest to realise it.
In a truly open and democratic society fulfilment is
natural. That is the society we need to make, and we can
best make it by understanding our purpose as fulfilment
without harm to or from others, and then living that
way. That is the right way.

...

Difference is desirable. Difference is what makes us


interesting and unique. Difference is what makes us
competitive. When every shop on the street is a book-
store it is our bookstore’s difference that makes it
standout.

...

Human selection is based on similarity to ourselves, on


what is meaningful to us. Sexual reproduction is not the
only way to ensure survival of similar genes to own,
there is selection for favour, friendship, sharing,
mentoring, role modelling, and so on. These means are
far more effective and efficient at preserving like traits in
like persons than straight physical reproduction. But the
most effective tool and enabler of all of these is the
realisation of our own potential.

When we express our potential and the contribution


from doing so is lauded, then the effect of that popular-

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

ity on the whole population’s selection for traits and


persons alike to ourselves is far greater than the repro-
ductive effect of our own sexual activities.

If there is a competition to contribute, then it is compe-


tition to contribute as ourselves, in ways that express
and fulfil who we are.

...

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44

The Transition

Our society, economy and organisation are complex.


Precisely how a conscious common purpose moves us
from now to later, and what the results are, is specula-
tive.

To make progress towards our common fulfilment we


need to question our current systems and hold our
purpose in mind. Crises are common periods for
questioning and implementing change. This manifesto is
part of that process.

The manifesto is intended as a stake in the ground to


mark how far we have come, to ensure we do not
digress, and as a statement of shared direction with
ideas on the path forward.

But it is not definitive. The details cannot all be worked


out here.

To determine and direct the exact detail of how a


common purpose of fulfilment without harm is ex-
pressed in society would undermine the key theme that
control is a form of harm and decision-making is shared.
Given this, the detail of how opportunity and income is
shared, so opportunity to contribute and fulfilment is
shared, must be a decision from the choices of input of
all of us individually via the information systems we
have constructed.

More than likely it will not be a fixed decision but a


transforming and transformative one modified as our
society adapts and modifies. The ideas on organisation

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The Common Purpose Manifesto

are transformational ones, not final ones; they take us


forward, but are not the end of change.

...

To proscribe detail is impractical given the diversity of


society we have, the parts of which require their own
methods, particular to their own circumstances for
pursuing and furthering fulfilment without harm, and it
would detract from the primary message of the mani-
festo – that our common purpose is fulfilment without
harm, however it is expressed in particulars.

Similarly, the common purpose is also our individual


purpose and can never be predicted precisely in specif-
ics, as it is realised uniquely in each of us.

...

The complexity of what a shift to a common purpose of


fulfilment and organisational change might mean for
economies, organisations and societies will be resolved
by doing. The manifesto illuminates an idea of the right
direction and way to approach it, and of the wrong way,
so to avoid it.

...

This not about a change to definites, but a shift in the


balance we have now. The outcome is not definite and
cannot be definite.

We need to think about the mechanics of how we make


life an opportunity for all of us to find fulfilment without
harm, as well as live our own lives in pursuit of our
fulfilment without harm to others, contributing where
we are best able, in the right way, at the right time, in
the right place.

236
The Transition

...

It is better that change happens in tandem, in balance,


and gradually. We should be careful of reversals, and
always avoid despair.

...

237
Addendum
45

End Note

Purpose can never be laid down as a prerogative. All that


can be done is to look at what we already have and lay
that bare. We are all seeking to realise ourselves, to be
who we can be, to find fulfilment and realise our
potential. If we see and understand this as a purpose we
all share, we can appreciate that, for us all to achieve it,
we need to pursue it without harming others pursuit of
it. But this is a choice (not to harm). Ignorance tends to
a choice of the other option.

Trying to fulfil our potential without harming others is


not about telling others we love them or trying to make
them happy. Only we are responsible for ourselves. As
long as I do not harm you and you do not harm me we
can both grow, and in this arrangement our growth will
be complementary, without need for external planning
or control.

However, we do not live in a world where most of us


realise others have the same desire for being (expressed
in their unique ways). We live in a world where a lack of
understanding is prevalent and harm is endemic. In this
world we struggle to be ourselves while we reject harm
from others.

...

There is no end point where life is achieved or fulfilment


reached. Fulfilment has no limit and its potential is
based in the limitless diversity of ourselves. The idea
that life is a game we can win is the fallacy of those who
seek to harm others, those who do not understand their
purpose as fulfilment of self (a limitless resource), but

241
The Common Purpose Manifesto

rather see purpose and life as a game to control the


limited physical and material resources of this world.
And in this ignorance they see fulfilment as only for
them and their families. They are not bad, they are
misdirected and they are wrong.

We need to develop a global society where fulfilment of


our potential (of ourselves) is enabled for all of us
(which will also be when we experience our greatest total
growth). This will come when more of us understand we
have this purpose in common and so act without
harming others, leading all of us to have opportunity to
grow.

There may be a transition point, where understanding


reaches a threshold and spreads wide, and we become
aware that our culture has moved away from harm. The
freedom and reach of the internet makes this possible,
but it is not yet clear whether the potential it enables will
be hijacked by the harmful control structures our society
has in place now or replaces those structures with its
systems of open information and decentralised and
democratised decision-making. Electing Obama was a
step in the right direction.

...

242
46

Reading

All the following books have been helpful to me in my


thought and writing on purpose and this manifesto.
They are listed below in a primarily thematic, but also,
secondarily, temporal order. This is the order I kept
them on my bookshelf and was useful to me as I consid-
ered them collectively in front of me (far easier with
book covers than as a list like below).

The Dream of Reason, Anthony Gotlieb


The Great Philosophers, Ray Monk and Frederic Raphael
What’s it all about?, Julian Baggani
Wink and Grow Rich, Roger Hamilton
On Humanism, Richard Norman
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, Albert Camus
The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle
Politics, Aristotle
A History of Western Political Thought, JS McClelland
Political Thought, Rosen & Wolff
An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Wolff
Modern Political Analysis (6th ed.), Dahl and Stinebrickner
Democracy and its Critics, Robert Dahl
Models of Democracy, David Held
A Brief History of Citizenship, Derek Heater
Alexander the Great, Alan Fildes and Joann Fletcher
Early Greece, Oswyn Murray
The Hellenistic World,
The Histories, Herodotus
History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides
Caesar, Adrian Goldsworthy
The Conquest of Gaul, Caesar
The Fall of the Roman Republic, Plutarch
Augustus, Anthony Everitt
Registae Divi Augusti, Augustus
Holy Bible
How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped The World, Thomas Crauchwell
The Tribes of Britain, David Miles
The Middle Ages, Morris Bishop
A Great And Terrible King – Edward I, Marc Morris

243
The Common Purpose Manifesto

How to Be Free, Tim Hodgkinson


The Arabs: A Short History, Philip Hitti
The Qur’an
Africa: A Biography of the Continent, John Reader
African Civilisation Revisited, Basil Davidson
The State of Africa, Martin Meredith
China: Its History and Culture, Morton Lewis
China: Fragile Superpower, Shirk
Buddha, Deepak Chopra
Genghis Kahn, John Man
Napoleon, Paul Johnson
Twilight of the Idols & The Anti-Christ, Friedrich Nietzsche
The Will to Power, Friedrich Nietzsche
Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris, Ian Kershaw
Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis, Ian Kershaw
Defying Hitler, Sebastian Haffner
If This Is A Man & The Truce, Primo Levi
Marx, David McLellan
The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Lenin, Robert Service
Essential Works of Lenin, Lenin
Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, Simon Montefiore
The Revolution Betrayed, Trotsky
Khruschev: The Man His Era, William Taubman
Main Currents in Sociological Thought 2, Raymond Aron
Weber, Donald MacRae
Socialism Versus Capitalism, A C Pigou
Henri Lefebvre, Merrifield
Utopia, More
Brave New World, Huxley
Animal Farm, George Orwell
The Century of Revolution 1603-1714, Christopher Hill
The World Turned Upside Down, Christopher Hill
Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
Albion, Peter Ackroyd
London: The Biography, Peter Ackroyd
Concise English Dictionary, Oxford
Oxford Dictionary of Phrase Saying & Quotation
Churchill, Roy Jenkins
Empires of the Atlantic World, J H Elliott
American Colonies: The Settling of North America, Alan Taylor
The Social Contract, Rousseau
Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Locke
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke
The Second Treatise of Government, Locke
Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson
Collected Writings, Paine
The Creation of the American Republic, Gordon Wood
The Summer of 1787, David Stewart

244
Reading

The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Gordon Wood


The American Revolution in Indian Country, Calloway
The Federalist Papers, Hamilton and Madison and Jay
The Wealth of Nations (Books I-III), Adam Smith
The Wealth of Nations (Books IV-V), Adam Smith
The Law, Bastiat
On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
The Subjection of Women, John Stuart Mill
Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin
John Maynard Keynes, Skidelsky
No Ordinary Time, Doris Kearns Goodwin
A World of Nations, Keylor
Universal Human Rights in Theory & Practice (2nd ed.), Jack Donnelly
Human Rights in the World Community (3rd ed.), Claude and Weston
Let Them In: The Case For Open Borders, Jason Riley
International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture, Heath
Power Faith and Fantasy: American in the Middle East, Oren
Israel: A History, Martin Gilbert
Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt
The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
John F Kennedy: An Unfinished Life, Robert Dallek
Dreams of My Father, Barack Obama
The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama
The Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman
The Effective Executive, Drucker
Bait and Switch, Barbara Ehrenreich
Losing My Virginity, Richard Branson
The Supervisor’s Survival Guide, Kris Cole
Essentials: Manager’s Toolkit, Harvard Business
Good to Great, Jim Collins
Better, Atul Gawande
Purpose, Mikos Mourkogiannis
Guide to Organisation Design, Naomi Stanford
Systems Thinking In The Public Sector, John Seddon
Unmanaging, Theodore Taptiklis
The Starfish and The Spider, Brafman and Beckstrom
Wikinomics, Tapscott and Williams
The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowieki
The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
The Long Tail, Chris Anderson
The Hidden Connections, Fritjof Capra
Mind and Nature, Bateson
Deep Simplicity, John Gribbin
The Quark and the Jaguar, Murray Gell-Mann
Critical Mass: How One Things Leads To Another, Philip Ball
Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order, Steven Strogatz
Ubiquity, Mark Buchanan
The Future of Life, Edward O Wilson

245
The Common Purpose Manifesto

We Are The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery


A Matter of Degrees, Gino Segre
Galileo’s Finger, Peter Atkins
The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
The Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene
Gravity’s Arc, David Darling
The Quantum Self, Danah Zohar
The Quantum Society, Danah Zohar
The Principle of Relativity, Einstein
Introducing Einstein, Schwartz & McGuinness
Ideas and Opinions, Einstein
E=MC2, David Bodanis
Einstein, Michael White and John Gribbin
Isaac Newton, James Gleick
Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Nicholl
Orgins, Tyson and Goldsmith
Big Bang, Simon Singh
Stephen Hawking’s Universe, John Boslough
The Road to Reality, Roger Penrose
The Best of All Possible Worlds, Ivar Ekeland
Introducing Mathematics, Sardar and Ravitz and Loon
An Introduction to Mathematics, Alfred Whitehead
The Music of the Primes, Marcus du Sautoy
Mind Wide Open, Steven Johnson
Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett
Oxygen, Lane
Power Sex Suicide, Lane
The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
Genes People and Languages, Cavalli-Sporza
Blood of the Isles, Bryan Sykes
The Progressive Patriot, Billy Bragg
On Natural Selection, Charles Darwin
The Ancestor’s Tale, Richard Dawkins
The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller
The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker
The Origins of Virtue, Matt Ridley
The Origin of Wealth, Beinhocker
Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations, David Warsh
Cities and the Wealth of Nations, Jane Jacobs
Making Globalisation Work, Joseph Stiglitz
The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs
The End of Charity, Nic Francis
The Bottom Billion, Collier
Goodbye America, Michael Rowbotham
The Web of Debt, Ellen Brown
More Than A Numbers Game, Thomas King
A Demon Of Our Own Design, Richard Bookstaber
The Return of Depression Economics, Paul Krugman
Bad Samaritans, Ha-Joon Chang

246
Reading

A Foreign Policy of Freedom, Ron Paul


The Revolution, Ron Paul
The Abolition of Man, CS Lewis
The New World Order, HG Wells
The Open Conspiracy, HG Wells
Seven Ways to Change the World, Jim Wallis
After Capitalism, Dada Maheshvarananda
After Capitalism, David Schweickart
The Post-Corporate World, David Korten
The Great Turning, David Korten
Rocking The Boat, Debra Meyerson
Just Law, Helena Kennedy
The Future of Freedom, Fareed Zakaria
Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen
Manifesto for a New World Order, Monbiot

...

247
47

Acknowledgements

My main debt and greatest acknowledgement is to


Lucia, my daughter. She has taught me more than
anyone about life and humanity. I would like to also
acknowledge all those people who in the face of adver-
sity must demonstrate the strength of life and humanity
in all of us.

My debts are also to all those that have listened and


discussed – they have been willing to be open.

And my great thanks goes to all those writers who have


also shared their knowledge and learning and in doing
so unknowingly provided great affirmation and chal-
lenge for my ideas, giving me again and again the
confidence to complete this work.

...

I also thank Thoughts.com and the commentators who


responded to my postings causing me to think. It was
challenging and helpful.

...

249