What a fit for purpose political economy, with associated political processes would be like. Here I try to describe it without being prescriptive. I say what it does and sketch in some essentials but at the detailed level this is open to democratic moderation, this is more about what than how.

Vision - Holistic Political Economy

Building on systems thinking and knowledge, we can see that the collective, collaborative and co-operative aspects of human nature are just as important as our ability to compete and fight. Holistic Political Economy looks for a co-operative way to manage our way through peak population where there will be massive pressure on resources, as the rest of the world catches up. In the face of this challenge it chooses to try to build a culture of joint endeavour by nurturing and encouraging people to fulfil their potential. It tries to create virtuous circles, it insists on civic equality. It has structures to root the process of decision-making and problem solving in collective action free (insulated) from special interests.  In short the holistic political economy provides the resources for all citizens to achieve their potential within sustainable global limits.

In political discourse this change will be seen in greater participation, larger numbers of politicians willing to think and act independently and increased cross party cooperation. In the executive the emphasis will be on good governance with public oversight. Exactly how this can be brought about is the subject of the next two sections – Consider and Act.

The question to addresses is this; if we had a political economy based on what we know (that is the state of our current knowledge about the Human Activity System which we looked at in the Review section) what would it look like?

The insights we get by looking holistically at human activity, evolution and using systems thinking suggest that if we organise things in such a way as to reinforce success and encourage the best in people we would see the improvement both in outcomes and behaviour (because it is an emergent property of the whole system).

Best Conceivable Political Process

What good looks like, from the discussion about good characteristics, turns out to be as much (if not more) about building a good political process as specific social reforms. The reason for this is simple; to achieve consensus and commitment, for any changes to stick wider involvement is needed. Whilst our target should be to make society as good as it can be there will always be a need for trial and error. It will always be a work in progress.

A collective journey

You may feel that the vision is light on detail. Partly that is because it needs to be expressed in terms of broad principles on which there is a fair chance of getting agreement – the detail is the work of the collective.