Posts Tagged '99%'

Radical Middle

True, sustainable social transformation will never occur by one side, party, perspective defeating and dominating the others.

Sustainable social transformation will occur when people and groups with different perspectives learn to listen to each other and dialogue.

Dialogue is not about compromise that leads to the mediocre middle.

It is about constructively engaging with the “other” to come up with truly better solutions.  That is not mediocrity.  It is radical and creative.

Arriving at better solutions includes a creative process of agreeing on reasonable solutions, giving those solutions a legitimate chance, and evaluating the effects based on evidence that can be accepted by a majority of both sides.

A solution with a reasonable chance of success that will be supported by a significant majority of the population is always going to be better than a solution bitterly opposed by significant factions.  And a widely accepted solution will always be better than a situation of stalemate where no meaningful solutions can ever be given enough of a chance to succeed.

If we’re all heading for the precipice together, then we need to take action together; and that means that we have to figure out a way to agree very, very soon.

In my case, I believe especially strongly in progressive ideas and solutions.   On the other hand, there are conservative thinkers whom I respect; and I believe that conservative ideas and solutions have value and need to be seriously considered in coming up with any solution.

The Whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

However, I only accept ideas and solutions that I feel have been formulated to help all of us, and not just to benefit 50%, 10%, or 1%.

I am committed to do all I can to rid our society of anti-democratic rhetoric and unrestricted funding of media manipulations and outright lies.   So I look for progressives, conservatives, and any others who are equally committed to that goal.  It is definitely a goal that can be supported by all who love our whole community.

Changing the way elections and media influence are funded is critical.  Yet, even when that happens, we will still need to learn how to constructively think and make decisions together.   Making progress on one front will support progress on the other.

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Self-Government at Bay

“All eyes are opened or opening to the rights of man.  The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few, booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of God.” 
Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Mayor of Washington, 1826

In this famous quote Jefferson was speaking in favor of “the blessings and security of self-government.”   Yet he and all founders of this country would readily agree that election campaigns funded 99% by the wealthiest 1% (individuals & corporations, booted and spurred) are now sadly deteriorating the blessings and security of self-government.

True, the people vote.  But “who tells the stories of a culture governs human behavior”
(George Gerbner, media theorist, quoted by Eli Pariser in the Filter Bubble).

What to do?  Consider the ideas and proposals RootStrikers.org and the following quotes by Lawrence Lessig:

—————————————————————————————————-

“…this government is not dependent upon ‘the People alone.’ This government is dependent upon the Funders of campaigns. 1% of America funds almost 99% of the cost of political campaigns in America. Is it therefore any surprise that the government is responsive first to the needs of that 1%, and not to the 99%? …

“This government, we must chant, is corrupt. We can say that clearly and loudly from the Left. They can say that clearly and loudly from the Right. And we then must teach America that this corruption is the core problem — it is the root problem — that we as Americans must be fighting.”  …

“There is no liberal, or libertarian, or conservative who should defend this corruption. The single problem we all should be able to agree about is a political system that has lost its moral foundation: For no American went to war to defend a democracy ‘dependent upon the Funders alone.’”
(Letter to the Occupiers:  The Principal of Non-Contradiction 10/12/2011
)

“We are different in a million ways, we Americans, but we are all equally Americans. And if you’re leading a movement that won’t acknowledge that difference (or more frighteningly, that believes that mere rhetoric is going to erase that difference), then you’re not looking for fundamental reform. You’re looking for a putsch.

“This Nation needs fundamental reform. For that, our constitution requires 75% of states to agree. Thus, if we want real change, we must find those ideas upon which 75% of states can actually agree.”
Something More than Polarization, 10/25/2011


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