Ron Paul Presidential Campaign, A Self-Organizing Complex System
by Richard L. Sanders
by Richard L. Sanders
Paul campaign for the American Presidency is a vivid example of
how a complex system can self-organize and grow toward a common
goal. With far fewer resources than the so-called major candidates,
Dr. Paul, through a mechanism of self-organization, has made amazing
progress in the last few months. Practically unknown just a few
months ago, the Republican Congressman is raising money at an increasing
rate, appearing almost every week on a nationally televised program
and most importantly is gaining support at the "grass roots"
level through the many meet-up groups that are spontaneously forming
all over the country. All of this has been possible because of the
existence of the internet.
has made it possible for many millions of individuals in America
to have a real voice, whereas in the past before this resource was
available, an individualís only way of expression was through an
anonymous vote that was often a choice between the "lesser
of two evils". Now the average person can do much more than
that by using the internet to form real groups or groups in cyberspace
and actually have an influence on the opinions and actions of these
community that has been studying complex systems intensely for the
last twenty-five years is familiar with this sort of phenomenon,
but this is perhaps the first time that it has been made apparent
on such a large scale. Before all is said and done many traditional
thinkers such as a recent television host, who said quite confidently
to Dr. Paul that his winning was "not going to happen,"
could be quite surprised. One important characteristic of complex
systems is so-called "emergence," that is the spontaneous
appearance of novel and coherent structures. The political force
that is forming and growing around Dr. Paulís "message of freedom"
is an example of emergence. This phenomenon is most likely growing
exponentially, and given enough time will become a major political
force in the world. Whether or not there will be enough time for
this to become large enough for Dr. Paul to win the Republican nomination
is yet to be seen. I personally hope so, because I feel that what
he is proposing is of vital importance not only to America but to
the rest of the world as well.
As a scientist
who has been studying complex systems for many years, I am very
excited to observe this for two reasons: first of all I am a big
supporter of Dr. Paul, and it is very gratifying to see in practice
something that I have been dealing with for many years at a research
Richard L. Sanders [send him
mail] lives in The Netherlands and is a Visiting Professor at
the Institute of Economic Research at Lund University in Sweden.
His major research interest is understanding how to bring "complexity
thinking" into the business community.
© 2007 LewRockwell.com