Remember, remember the 5th of November
The emperor severs Gordian’s Knot
Entwining the globe the knot is rewoven
And shall never be forgot
Adapted from Bishop Andrewes’ 1606 poem
Remember, remember the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot
I know of no reason the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
When Lancelot Andrewes delivered his Gunpowder Plot Sermons in 1606, this brother of the translating editor of the King James Bible had no clue that his poem would be as remembered (or more so) than his brother’s verses. Precisely 405 years following the Guy Fawkes’ foiled attempt to blow up Parliament, the Fifth of November served as the day of the launch of a new global initiative called the Gordian Trust. And, in a beautiful irony on this anniversary, what a dedicated group over 20 global citizens did, while more profoundly destabilizing to the status quo than gunpowder under Parliament, was to put in motion a path towards reunification, reclamation, and reconciliation of centuries of humanity’s progressive isolation.
The Gordian Trust is the launch of a new socio-economic model. In a world where millions of creative people and their artifacts have been almost achieved and manifest only to fail on a singular reliance on monetary scarcity, the Gordian Trust provides a new context for integral engagement. Let me explain.
Ever since the 1960’s, when a person in the U.S., Europe, or Asia sees an innovative way to address a social or technological challenge, they are encouraged to enclose that impulse in “proprietary” intellectual property. Everything that is written or reduced to some media is copyrighted. Technical innovations and processes are patented. Brands or images are trademarked. And the enclosures go on. Once entombed in a proprietary “property right”, the manifestor is told that they need to get funding to take their idea to prototype and, if successful, on to commercialization. By placing these “property” artifacts in the hands of usurious capital, greed and its cousin – desperation – drive the manifestor and capital provider to get as much return as possible for as little input as possible. Worse yet, in the U.S., ALL innovation and creativity is held by banks in liens which impair all diversified options arising from intangible assets while the banks ascribe NO value to any of these agents of business development and network benefit. Through a perverse system of maladjusted affronts to free markets, creativity is forced into scarcity, creatives are forced into isolation, and the lottery winners are those who have careless excess to squander for the episodic, disproportionate return. Generosity of creativity is replaced by greed animated scarcity. Collaborative inspiration is replaced by proprietary isolation. And networks of collaborative value exchange are forced into artificial scarcity premiums to reward the lottery odds makers. And for 50 years, vital innovation has not reached humanity to address its greatest needs. Millions of creatives are disillusioned and bankrupted (actually, morally and socially). And wealth aggregation has benefited an ever fewer elite.
The Gordian Trust is constituted of all of the technologies (social, technical, mechanical, etc) which have been manifest but then immediately been enslaved by the “funding impulse.” Recognizing that we all have been seduced into laying creativity’s gifts on the grisly alter of monetary idolatry, we now reconcile ourselves to our creativity and re-engage the stimulus for creativity. Rather than an Enterprise (where the heroic is defined by the success of the evermore insular creative scarcity drunk on the wine of greed), the Gordian Trust is based on the principle of honoring the impulse ex nihilo.
Here’s how we do it.
All assembled share the artifacts, innovators, stories, etc. of things that address big and small challenges which served as an impulse to create a business or venture. A catalogue of the Collective Abundance is compiled. Next to each venture, we identify a truthful accounting of what went into each (money, time, employees, relocation, mortgages, marriages, relationships, etc) and we take a moment to honor each of these. In particular, we name the people who have borne the cost of our addictions to a scarcity resource model.
Then we invite each of these artifacts and innovators to contribute their in-process, “failed”, or contemplated technologies or ventures into a Gordian Trust. This Trust will be stewarded by all who contributed – including all of the relationships which paid the ultimate price for an adherence to a broken model. All integral benefit arising from the Trust (commodity, custom & culture, knowledge, money, technology, and well-being) will be used 2/3 to dividend back to the Trust contributors and 1/3 to a Future Option pool which will be used to empower future Trust contributors who are equally willing to join the effort. On an annual basis, the Gordian Trust will hold a reunion of reconciliation where all those who have lost personal connections or suffered injury can reassemble and celebrate emancipation from the forces which caused the loss and welcome the energy of networked benefit and accountability.
Indeed, the Fifth of November will be remembered. But unlike the 405 years that have passed during which the Act of Thanksgiving (the 1606 law that enshrined the divine right of Kings celebrated on each November 5th) has been marked by the reinforcement of hierachical and tyrannical models, this first Fifth of November heralds a new beginning into which you are all invited. You will be learning about specific ways to be involved in the coming weeks so stay tuned...