Networking is society's best organizational response to complexity. Networking is fortunately also a form of social action that is profoundly well suited for democratic governance. It depends both on the intelligence and initiative distributed throughout the system, and on the existence of a collaborative ethos, whereby an instinct for teamwork offsets the natural search for individual advantage. The challenges of complexity now require that we systematically upgrade self-governance in order to preserve it. Democracy is networking.
1 David S. Alberts, John J. Garstka and Frederick P. Stein, Network Centric Warfare, (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1999).
Leon Fuerth served as national security advisor to Vice President Al Gore (1993-2000). He is research professor of international affairs at the Elliott School at George Washington University. "Forward Engagement" is a project supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and The George Washington University, with the objective of encouraging a more profound and continuous interaction between long-range forecasting and long-range policymaking. More information is available at www.forwardengagement.orgEssay Types: Essay