With Federal mid-term elections less than a month away and important contests facing voters in many states, it is time for The ANTIPARTISAN VOTERS GUIDE – YEAR ONE.

After analyzing parameters, principles and strategies, The ANTIPARTISAN VOTERS GUIDE for the inaugural year of the AntiPartisan campaign can be reduced to four simple rules:

1. If the incumbent is a Donkey Clan member, vote for the Elephant Clan candidate UNLESS there is a creditable non-aligned candidate* who can win.

2. If the incumbent is an Elephant Clan member, vote for the Donkey Clan candidate UNLESS there is a creditable non-aligned candidate* who can win.

3. If the office in question is ‘open,’ vote for the Donkey Clan member, UNLESS there is a creditable non-aligned candidate* who can win.

4. In the rare instance where there are two creditable non-aligned candidates* who can win and one is a lawyer, vote for the other one.

*‘Non-aligned candidates’ include those who have formally and irrevocably renounced partisan Clan affiliation.


On the first two rules:

Most voters would feel better about themselves if they voted for someone they believed REALLY wanted to make the world a better place for someone besides the candidate and his / her Clan. However, it is not prudent to waste your vote on someone who has no chance of winning UNLESS the candidate is an avowed AntiPartisan candidate that supports Fundamental Transformations. In this case, every vote will count, even if the candidate does not win.

On the third rule:

Voting for the Donkey Clan candidate in open contests will avoid gridlock that would result from a Donkey Clan administration and Elephant Clan legislature especially at the Federal level. Civilization does not have two years to waste on more gridlock.

Do not worry that one Clan would control both administration and legislature. The goal is Transformation, not gridlock. Voting out ALL the Clan-aligned incumbents will send a clear enough message that Business-As-Usual is not an acceptable strategy.

On the fourth rule:

Shakespeare stated the overarching principle well. However, it must be broadened to reflect 21st century reality: Society must evolve to rely the actions of citizens, not the actions of agents. In the coming year citizens must have representatives who understand the need for solutions that meet the needs of the vast majority, not representatives who are trained in the art of advocacy for causes that are, by definition, wrong half of the time. (It goes without saying that in enlightened interest of the vast majority INCLUDES respecting the legitimate interests of ALL minorities.)


The top priority for Fundamental Transformation of governance structure is NOT to end wars, balance budgets, eliminate trade deficits, create jobs, support renewable energy, reverse environmental degradation, address climate change, fix social security, provide adequate health care, solve the Mobility and Access Crisis, solve the Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis, solve the Helter Skelter Crisis or even cure Mass OverConsumption.

The TOP priority of Fundamental Transformation of governance structure is to set in motion an evolution of governance so that there is match between the structure of Agencies (governance) and the economic, social and physical reality in 2010.

Matching governance structure with reality requires that Agencies exist for each of the organic components of human settlement from the Cluster to the Community, from the SubRegion to the MegaRegion and from the continent to the planet. That will allow for the evolution of THE functional governance imperatives:

The level of control and responsibility must be at the level of impact.

When there are multiple levels of impact there must be shared responsibility.

The closer an Agency is to the subject of Agency action, the better. The closer the citizens who elect the Agency are to the subject of Agency action, the better.

It is also imperative that:

The ‘biggest’ Agency does NOT control just because it has a larger jurisdiction or is ‘higher’ in the overall governance structure.

To repeat, the level of control and responsibility must be at the level of impact.

These new imperatives for the allocation of governance responsibility are no more radical than:

● “The king does not have the ONLY say” was in 1215,
● “There are THREE Estates” was in 1302,
● “The Crown cannot UNILATERALLY declare a tax on tea” was in 1773, or
● “Of the people, by the people and for the people’ was in 1776

It will take some getting used to, but new scales of governance Agencies and new relationships between governance Agencies are essential for civilization to achieve a sustainable trajectory.

The problem is not BIG government. The problem is BAD governance structure.

Once there is a rational set of Agencies and a rational distribution of governance responsibilities, THEN it will be possible to end the wars, balance budgets, eliminate trade deficits, create jobs, support renewable energy, reverse environmental degradation, address climate change, fix social security, provide adequate health care and solve the Mobility and Access Crisis, the Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis or the Helter Skelter Crisis.

Citizens will come to understand that Mass OverConsumption is unsustainable and that the Wealth Gap must be closed. All citizens must have the opportunity to prosper based on effort and ability, not on happenstance and inheritance.

In the new context, Agencies can work with the other three Estates – Enterprises, Institutions and Citizens / Households – to insure that ALL Citizens have the opportunity to be happy and safe AND evolve a sustainable trajectory for civilization.

A sustainable trajectory for civilization will require:

● A Global Balance of consumption with resource regeneration

● Optimizing MegaRegional, New Urban Regional and SubRegional Resilience

● Achieving relative Balance at the Community, Village and Neighborhood scales.

With respect to ‘sustainability’ See Chapter 23 of The Shape of the Future.


The two currently dominate political Clans have perfected the art of achieving a of 50.5 percent ‘majority.’ This state of affairs does not meet the needs of ANY cohort of citizens or their Organizations – even the leaders of the Clan that won the last election.

The ‘two party’ system may have made sense when the vast majority of the humans in the US were:

● Illiterate
● Had no right or opportunity to participate in the political process
● Made a living as subsistence farmers, indentured servants or slaves
● Participated in Regional agrarian societies with a mercantile / colonial supply chains
● Were unconstrained by natural resources (aka, Natural Capital) because resources were effectively ‘infinite’ in relationship to the population and per capita consumption of the US
● It took a week for information to get from northern Massachusetts to southern Georgia.

The two Clan system allowed for a articulation of ‘clear-enough’ alternatives that guided part-time governance practitioners who met and acted in isolation from the majority of the citizens they represented. In an agrarian society, governance practitioners acted on a narrow spectrum of issues that reflected the far more simple economic, social and physical context of that society.

In 2010 the VAST MAJOR
ITY of the humans in the US are:

● Illiterate – a growing number have advanced educations
● Citizens have the right, duty and opportunity to participate in the governance process
● Securing their livelihood within a complex, Global Urban society with Global competition and a Global supply chain
● Constrained by per capita consumption because humans have reached and / or exceed Peak Resources
● Information transfer is instantaneous

Compounding these profound differences, there are a bewildering array of new factors to consider at every level of economic, social and physical activity in the Global, Urban society.

In addition, there are generations worth of Myths and misconceptions about what constitutes the best interest of citizens, Households and their Organizations.

Finally, in an Urban society there are more community (small ‘c’) responsibilities and fewer personal rights, the exercise of which turn out to be in the best interest of the citizens, their Households and their Organizations.

Wishing for ‘the good old days when things were simple’ is as intelligent as wishing to be 16 years old again. It is time to move beyond the two Clan political system.


The current ‘three level’ governance structure of the US (Federal / State / Municipal) reflects the reality of 1784 when Thomas Jefferson outlined the parameters that became the Northwest Ordinance adopted by the Continental Congress. Since that time citizens of the US have experienced a profound transformation.

The transition from an Agrarian society in 1784 – and in 1800 – to and Urban society in 2010 has been documented by Peter Drucker (The Age of Discontinuity) and others as the most dramatic transformation in the 220,000 (+/-) year existence of Homo sapiens. See resources cited End Note Seven of the Prologue to The Shape of the Future.

The 210 year transformation in the US can be summarized as follows:

1800: The Countryside (including extensive ‘wilderness’ beyond a ‘frontier’) supported 95 percent of the population. This cohort was engaged in the production of food and fiber – many were subsistence farmers, indentured servants, slaves and hunter /gathers AND,

In 1800 a few scattered, compact Urbansides supported 5 percent of the population. This cohort relied primarily on Urban activities for their livelihood.

2010: There are now 70 large, complex Urbansides (the Cores of the largest 70 New Urban Regions) where 85 percent of the population of the US live and work. (Fifty-six of the New Urban Regions are agglomerated in 11 MegaRegions) AND,

In 2010 the Countryside (with no ‘frontier’ and no true ‘wilderness’) supports 15 percent of the population. Most of the Countryside population resides in smaller-scale Urban agglomerations WITHIN the Countryside or in Urban Households scattered across the Countryside. Less than 5 percent of the US population is directly involved in the production of food, fiber and other NonUrban activities. There are no slaves, no indentured servants, almost no substance farmers and even fewer hunter /gathers.

The primary activity of humans in the US can be summarized as follows:

In 1800 – NonUrban 95, Urban 5.

In 2010 – Urban 95, NonUrban 5.

A vast array of hunter gather societies supported the evolution of Homo sapiens for about 207,000 (+/-) years. The transformation from these hunter gather societies to a wide variety of agrarian societies – supported by a tiny, but growing, minority of citizens who lived in ever more complex Urban enclaves – evolved over the next 12,800 (+/-) years.

The massive and rapid transformation from multiple agrarian societies with compact Urban enclaves (cities, villages and hamlets) to a complex, interdependent, Global, Urban society was accomplished in less than 200 years. This transformation was unprecedented and the impact is still largely misunderstood.

Based on unsupported, self-serving Myths, ‘leaders’ now expect citizens to get along with the same three-level governance structure in 2010 that existed in 1800.

How is that working for citizens? Not well.

The Industrial Revolution has Urbanized human society as documented in Chapters 1 and 2 of The Shape of the Future. The Industrial Revolution did not exert full impact on the settlement pattern or economic and social structure of the US until after the Civil War ended in 1865. After a post Civil War industrialization boom and The Long Depression (1873 to 1896), the economic, social and physical fabric of the US was transformed by an Urban revolution of unprecedented scale.

To understand the roots and dynamics of the Urban Revolution from 1800 to 2010 in addition to The Shape of the Future and TRILO-G see, at a minimum: Guns, Germs, and Steel (Jared Diamond) The City in History (Lewis Mumford), Crabgrass Frontier (Kenneth Jackson) and (The Great Reset) Richard Florida. Also see over 100 resources cited in PART I of The Shape of the Future.

Fundamental transformation in society must be reflected in Fundamental Transformation in governance structure. As Thomas Jefferson noted:

“I am not an advocate of frequent changes in laws and constitutions but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the process of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change … institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

(Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:40)

Can anyone in good faith suggest that far more changes have already occurred than Jefferson believed were required to necessitate fundamental changes?

It comes down to a matter of survival. In a ‘flat’ world with:

● wide-spread literacy,

● Instant communications / information dissemination, and

● Wide distribution of weapons of mass destruction / massive stockpiles of weapons of conventional destruction / ubiquitous access to weapons of inter-personal destruction:

There is no alternative but to make Fundamental Transformations of governance structure. These transformations can facilitate evolution of Fundamental Transformation of humans settlement patterns and of economic systems. These Transformations are imperative if citizens are to achieve a sustainable trajectory for their civilization.

To advocate “Originalism” with respect to governance structure is to condemn citizens to conflict and Collapse. One starts with the Wealth Gap and moves quickly to terrorism. See Aftershock by Robert Reich.


Term limits within the existing structure are nothing more than an excuse to postpone Fundamental Transformations of the governance structure. It is the STRUCTURE that is the problem. It does not matter WHO is in office.

Within a transformed governance structure, term limits would be a natural attribute of the system. That is not because term limits remove dead wood but because they encourage office holders to change venues, change perspectives and change Estates.

In addition, term limits would provide an incentive for those with good ideas and initiative to move up – from Community manager to Regional cabinet member to MegaRegional legislator to Continental chief executive.

Remember the four rules and see you at the poles.


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  1. Groveton Avatar

    "*‘Non-aligned candidates’ include those who have formally and irrevocably renounced partisan Clan affiliation.".

    Do you have any examples of such candidates?

  2. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse


    The League of AntiPartisan voters, based on you prior statements, was counting on you to be a key contact with the Enterprise Estate.

    Without your support, there has not been enough volunteers to do pro-bono research and find out how many AntiPartisan candidates there are.


  3. Too masny levels of governance and too much "participation": it is a sure fire way to make sure nothing ever gets accomplished.

  4. Anonymous Avatar


    Hydra gets it!!

    Getting ‘nothing ever gets accomplished’ is another way of saying:

    Reversing growth of consumption,

    Narrowing the wealth gap,

    Allowing the majority of citizens to catch up with a society of growth steroids that benefit few and endanger most,

    That is exactly what is needed.

    If more level of governance will do that, bring them on. Perhaps humans need 18 levels instead of the 9 that Prof. Risse advocates.


  5. Groveton Avatar

    "Without your support, there has not been enough volunteers to do pro-bono research and find out how many AntiPartisan candidates there are.".

    Bad news.

    I have done the research.

    There aren't any.

    The closest I have found are politicians like Va State Sen Chap Petersen. I'd call him a sensible Democrat.

    I liked Barry Goldwater too but he's gone now.

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