Richard Moore

A model of self-governance





Richard Moore, the author of these slides, is a writer living in Ireland. For more information about his essays and activities visit:

For any suggestion about the proposals contained in these slides, the author can be contacted through his profile page at:




The proposal of voluntary communities (panarchy) choosing their own government or practicing direct self-administration is a very sensible way to get rid of unnecessary and burdensome conflicts. Through panarchy, personal and community problems can be solved in a direct and responsible manner by those who have and share the same problems.
However, there are also problems that affect, in common, a certain number of individuals that are members of different communities living on the same territory.
This type of problems can be defined the problems of the commons.

The slides presented here are the work of Richard Moore, an American author. Through these slides he articulates a proposal of solving the problems of the commons, mixing anarchy and participative democracy in a very original way. Given the freshness of his proposal the slides appear also on this web site as a topic of discussion for those that are interested in panarchy (non-territorial communities) and that are also aware of the existence of territorial problems that need to be discussed and decided in common, between the members of different communities.

The way I see the matter can be summarized in these terms.
The ABC of every community faced with the question: How to make decisions about the commons? should be resolved through the acceptance of a certain way of proceeding based on:

  • Conversation: the individuals exchange ideas on how a certain question affecting them in common can be tackled;
  • Clarification: the conversation should be carried on in such a way that the various aspects of the problem and of the proposed solution are clearly dealt and clearly understood by everybody;
  • Collaboration: a successful conversation + clarification should lead to a fruitful collaboration between individuals belonging to different communities, affected by the same problem and willing to implement a common solution.  

The aim should be that of achieving an Active Basic Consensus (ABC) that starts from general principles and move to more specific aspects. If this ABC cannot be reached even after prolonged conversation and clarification, the members of the different communities have then two avenues open to them:

  • leave things the way they are until new elements appear on the scene that might favour a successful resumption of a conversation and clarification;
  • accept the intervention of an arbitrator suitable to the various communities in view of a binding acceptable decision needed to solve the question.

Clearly this is a personal intepretation concerning the process of reaching consensus.
For the view known as Dynamic Facilitation the reader should refer expressly to the writings of Jim Rough, Tom Atlee, Richard Moore and others.



In order to access the slides open the following page:

A model of self-governance




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