Four Pillars Upholding

What are the Four Pillars Upholding? by Craig Hubley

Most statements of the Six Core Principles of the Global Greens Charter do not state the relationship between them, how they reinforce each other, what happens if one tries to remove one of them, or other negative outcomes of trying to turn them into an irrational dogma. They are in fact a very specific solution to the age-old problem of politics: how shall people who don't agree, live together ?

The original Four Pillars of the Green Party (ecological wisdom, peace and nonviolence, social justice and participatory democracy) reinforce
each other in non-obvious ways:
  • without peace, all social, political and ecological goals will be sacrificed to armed struggle, refugee flight and scorched earth tactics
  • without social justice, the power to participate in democracy is uneven, the pressure on peace and the natural commons becomes extreme
  • without citizen participation in democracy, social needs go unseen or unstated, violence breaks out suddenly by surprise, and environmental protections will go unenforced for lack of strong local support
  • without ecological wisdom, human activities will outstrip the Earth's ability to sustain us - democracy, peace and justice can't survive that

The challenges of maintaining these balances are immense. What makes them worthwhile to uphold? What are the Four Pillars Upholding? A bioregional democracy. A polity where ecological wisdom is reflected in a trellis of stable electoral districts removing the zero-sum game of redefining borders, the tragedy of the commons resulting from invasive species and other biosecurity problems, and other issues that come from mismatching natural and human borders. A polity that restricts direct participation to those with direct experience and exposoure to these local ecosystems: those within one watershed, a peaceful stable unit balancing social justice, not just an ecological relationship, but as participatory as the most basic choice: Sharing Water.

With that established, support for diversity and sustainability can be exactly and formally defined within that region, starting with the relationship formed by water.

There is no ideology in these Four Pillars, unlike the Global Green Charter or Ten Key Values. They form the core of any Green constitution and well reflect Green moral order. They imply bioregional democracy.

However, within that democracy, there remain requirements to listen and to adapt, to deal with complexity and with change:
  • Respect for diversity ensures that unpopular and unheard-of options will be heard.
  • Sustainability is a set of practices and attitudes that arise from all the above, and cannot exist without all of the above being practiced.

It is an ecological concept: there is no such thing as "financial" or "social" sustainability separate from the ecologically-based Pillars.

The six principles will and must be placed in different priority order in different situations. This does not mean that any of them is higher or lower priority in general, or can be sacrificed to achieve the others. The six, and those who follow them, must stand as a whole. They must cooperate first and foremost to pick the time frame of cooperation and thus their longest term time horizon. This too should be standardized: the seventh generation. Why? Again it is a constraint inherited from our human cognition and lifespan, and not an ideology. Given the age at which women reach puberty and the average age of the longest lived person in a village of 150, seven is the largest number of generations that can ever cohabit in one place.

What are Four Pillars Upholding? A peaceful ecologically stable bioregion which all govern by listening and adapting, and ultimately, by participating in decisions and in action.