cj#469> an Alliance Statement of Purpose (proposed)

1996-02-17

Richard Moore

The Alliance (arising out of Ronnie Dugger's "Call to Citizens") is making
a sincere effort to get its act together as an organization, and become a
democratic movement of some value.  I've found the discussion on their list
to be unusually focused, with noise at a minimum, though the traffic is
heavy.

I've been making whatever contributions I can, since this is exactly the
kind of movement I'd been hoping would develop.  In terms of aikido
politics, the Alliance is a place where some appropriate individual
contributions might accelerate forward a movement whose time has come.  And
the Alliance, similarly, could accelerate forward the latent aspirations of
us discontented masses.

Below is a Statement of Purpose I've proposed to them.  Perhaps some of you
may find it of interest, or want to offer some feedback.

Thanks again to Joe Ferguson for introducing us to the Alliance.

-rkm


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Date: Sat, 17 Feb
To: •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.••• (Richard K. Moore)
Subject: Platform> Statement of Purpose


Wade asked, in his "MODERATOR'S QUESTION #2":
>Whether it is adopted prior to or at the founding convention,
>DOES THE ALLIANCE NEED A ONE-SENTENCE MISSION STATEMENT, AND IF
>SO, WHAT SHOULD IT BE?

We certainly need to know what we stand for, and we need to be able to
express that to others.  A Mission Statement, taken in isolation, is tough
-- tough to capture enough substance, and tough to reach agreement.  I
believe there should be a longer Statement of Purpose (about a page), which
summarizes our basic values, goals, view of power relationships, and
agenda.  The Mission Statement should then be designed to capture and
communicate the essence of the Purpose, and would be easier to agree on if
an acceptable Purpose had been nailed down.

Here's my off-the-cuff Statement of Purpose for the Alliance:

--------------------

The Alliance - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE -- (a proposal)

        The deeds of our Founding Fathers, and the whole impetus of the
American Revolution, had the express purpose of realizing a new vision of
democratic governance, a government of, by, and for the people.  The
American experiment, based on a formal Constitution and Bill of Rights,
understood from the beginning that power corrupts, and elaborate
balance-of-powers mechanisms were built in, hoping to prevent usurpation of
democracy by power-seeking individuals and groups.  Ultimately, the people
themselves are explicitly enjoined to adjust the mechanisms of governance,
as necessary, to preserve the original intent of the Republic.  To this
end, the right to petition Congress, to organize politically, and to modify
the Constitution are carefully enshrined rights of the people.

        Corporations, in particular, were clearly understood to be a threat
to democracy and freedom, due to their tendency to accumulate wealth and
power, and their predeliction to pursue asocial, self-serving objectives.
The entire colony of Pennsyvania, for example, had been a privately owned
corporation, and the early Americans were well aware of the threat of
over-reaching corporate power.  Until 1886, corporations were not
considered to have civil rights under American law, and they could be
restrained by simple statute.  A regrettable and unprecedented Supreme
Court decision then imbued "personal rights" to corporations, and
collective corporate power over our society and political institutions has
subsequently grown to awesome proportions.

        We believe that American democracy has decayed nearly to the point
of total collapse, and that all democracy-loving citizens have both the
right and the obligation to rally to the cause of its re-vitalization, and
to rededicate the Republic to the humanistic and democratic mandate upon
which it was founded.

        We further believe that corporate control over the economy, over
the flow of public information, and over the allocation of national
resources -- together with its corruption of the political process --
constitute the most dire threat to American democracy and to social
well-being.  We therefore declare that curbing corporate power, limiting
its influence over the political process -- and reforming the granting of
charters and "rights" to corporations -- must be at the forefront of any
agenda hoping to restore the health of the Republic.

        At the international level, we recognize the growing
interdependence of the global economy, and the inevitable tendency toward
some new set of globally-organized political arrangments and structures.
Unfortunately, we observe that this global power vacuum is being filled not
by democratic, socially conscious institutions and arrangements, but rather
by corporate-dominated commissions (GATT, NAFTA, IMF, WTO, etc.) and by
elite-dominated military alliances (NATO et al).  Besides being
undemocratic in itself, this corporate-sponsored "new world order" scheme
undermines national sovereignty, transferring power to these
unrepresentative, feudalistic institutions and commissions.  Meanwhile, we
see an increasingly concentrated, corporate controlled, global mass media
delivering a constant propaganda diet which defames and ridicules
democratic institutions, while trumpeting the purported efficacy of "free
trade", "market forces", and deregulation.

        We believe that the best hope for a democratic and progressive
world is for each nation to pursue its own best path to democracy, and for
national sovereignty to be strictly respected.  We believe that a "world
government" -- no matter how promising a panacea it may seem to be -- would
concentrate power to such a dangerous extent that it would be impossible to
prevent it being fatally corrupted by elite concentrations of power,
particularly multinational corporations.  In particular, we decry the
current corporate-globalist, market-forces bandwagon as being anethma to
democracy, national sovereignty, and human rights.  As concerned citizens,
we call out for America to reverse its support for such anti-democratic,
laissez-faire internationalism, and to instead dedicate its global
leadership postion to the promotion of regional harmonization, the
humanization of international financial institutions, and the encouragement
of locally-directed efforts to improve the lives and welfare of people in
general, not just social and economic elites.

        Though eager to collaborate with like-minded people around the
globe, we as American citizens see our primary job as being the
reconstruction of American democracy and the reform of American foreign
policy.  To that end we have formed the Alliance, a grass-roots movement
for popular political mobilization.  Through the Alliance, which is
dedicated to the principles outlined here, we seek to give voice to
millions of citizens who see themselves as being disenfranchised by the
current political system.  We hope to facilitate new polical alignments and
coalitions, thereby encouraging a new generation of socially-minded
political leaders.  By working for the election of such leaders, we intend
to revitalize America's democratic institutions, and re-invent government
as the responsive agent of the people, a bulwark against abusive corporate
power, instead of its humble servant.


Richard Moore
16 Feb 1996
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