I was a bit skeptical of your “neutral convenor groups” as there’s nothing neutral under the sun: sustaining the status quo, disengaging into passive live-your-own-life alienation, and actively promoting social justice are all political. … Every process you choose also has a politics: even if a process does not control outcomes, it will shape those outcomes.
I would like permission, if possible, to include your 2009 paper [“Co-op Coupon Model”] in the County Restoration Handbook ( http://countyrestorationhandbook.thestatesmen.org ). Specifically, your paper would be printed in the “Supporting Documents” section of the paper Handbook, the PDF would be attached to the entry in the Bibliography online, and the PDF would be included on the supplementary CD-ROM.
Table of Contents:2012: Crossroads for Humanity
The conclusions reached in Part I are rather stark. Chapter 1 concluded that we are headed for a planned dystopia if things are allowed to continue as they are; Chapter 2 traced our current predicament back to the origins of civilization itself, and Chapter 3 identified the core systemic problem: hierarchical governance always becomes tyrannical.
These conclusions may seem exaggerated, or even bizarre, to many readers. The evidence for those conclusions, however, is quite clear. I see myself in the role of the child who pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, not someone who has done unique historical research. I suspect these conclusions are seldom entertained primarily because they are so frightening: what hope do they leave for us? Nonetheless, that is our situation. And real hope only becomes possible when the reality of our situation is recognized.
Our only real hope is to turn the pyramid upside down from the grassroots, by finding our collective empowerment in our communities, and creating real democracy for the first time since our civilizations began. And in fact more and people are turning their attention to the local as a place to deal with the problems of society. In this part of the book we will be exploring the question of how the emergence of empowered communities might be facilitated.
Chapter 4 surveys the localization movement, in its various aspects, and examines why its impact on communities has so far been marginal. Chapter 5 presents a framework for achieving economic empowerment, based on a synthesis of the various ideas that are being put forward by the localization movement. Chapter 6 explores how local democratic processes can be developed in conjunction with pursuing economic empowerment.