June 27, 2008

How SP creates a parallel market in political ideas to resolve global problems

Here is an email from John Bunzl, founder of the Simultaneous Policy (SP) campaign, posted to Simpol's yahoo group (see links in the side panel).

He describes how politics currently operates in the context of competition between nations, where each government is bound to protect its own economic interests, lest it lose investment and jobs (and then in a democracy lose power), and so international progress on global problems is generally too little, too late. A parallel market of possible policies is allowed by the SP approach.

Here's John's analogy:

The idea of a "parallel market" is the essence of the Simultaneous Policy approach and in my first book I used the analogy of group of 4 or 5 boys fighting over a packet of sandwiches to describe it.

If they all simply carry on fighting they are stuck "in the current market", as it were, and the sandwiches will be destroyed to everyone's detriment (as will we and our planet if we carry on competing destructively!) Staying stuck in the current market thus spells inevitable disaster. But if one of the boys, while still continuing to fight, speaks up and proposes that he'll stop fighting if all the other boys stop too (i.e. simultaneously), then that boy has, effectively, created a parallel market. As the boys continue to slug it out in the "current market" (as they must in order to protect their positions) they are all also invited to participate in the "parallel market" and can thus negotiate for peace and a beneficial sharing of the BLTs (even while they continue to fight).

So if agreement can be reached in the parallel market, its implementation automatically brings peace to the current market - and the two markets become one (but a new, higher, more encompassing and more conscious one).

So that's what the Simultaneous Policy is: a parallel market allowing us to bring peace to the current market.
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