re-1: “we’ve got to find another way”


Richard Moore

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Re: “we’ve got to find another way”

Evelyn Goodman wrote:
Hopefully, if enough people cry “enough”! we may see communities gather with mutual needs and hopes for one another! It may take awhile, but coming circumstances may make it an inevitable reality!
     Let’s keep hope alive! To reach a better world for all of us, we have to reach beyond the claws of power which sometimes seem to engulf us, and spread the ideas of community, which will provide the response to that power.
  We need to reach out to more people who feel the same way, and the hope would be that it will grow into a reality!

Thomas Schley wrote:
Richard, I don’t have any answers to your question, but here are two groups who are doing good work at the local level and beyond:

First a group that’s trying to develop new cultural forms in Egypt:
It’s called SEKEM (ancient Egyptian for “vitality from the sun”) and is based on human/land sustainable relationships.  As a result of their work 90% of all cotton harvested in Egypt is grown without pesticides.  They’ve also made attempts to work with both Islamic and Christian communities:

MA Second group has made two free online courses available on Ecological Economics and systems thinking/modelling (more free courses projected).  They contend that economics and ecology are inherently related (both derive from oikos, Greek for house(hold).  The fact that our western economics has split has no regard for the environment, other than to exploit it, has put us on a dead end road.  It’s called the Gund Institute for Environmental Economics at the University of Vermont .  The courses can be taken for credit as well, but Gund realized the importance to getting this out to the wider community so even the lectures are on free video or you tube.  Some of it’s quite basic, but ramps up to more complex dynamic systems later on.  Just viewing the videos can be helpful to someone involved in town meetings, local issues, etc:

Gerry Masuda wrote:
Richard.  We need to find another way and the community is the lowest level at which to start.
I would like to suggest organizing our society and our nation based on the organizing principle of subsidiarity where decisions are made at the lowest level possible. To make this principle operative, we need to have all taxes generated by We the People who all lived in communities/municipalities to be collected by the municipality.
Problems/issues which cannot be solved locally are pushed upward to regional, provincial, and federal governments together with the funding required. The whole government structure can be designed based on the principle of subsidiarity and all taxes going to municipalities for upward allocation.
The most fundamental step to be taken is to break the traditional hierarchical structure where power lies at the top of the pyramid and controlled by the Elites.  By organizing based on the principle of subsidiarity and giving taxation powers to the municipality, we establish bottom up politics based on the needs of We the People who all live at the municipal level.

Unfortunately, subsidiarity is not stable. It is in fact hierarchy, but with certain constraints defined. Those constraints never succeed in the long run. In the EU, for example, when the Maastricht Treaty was first being debated, there was lots of talk and promises about subsidiarity. Now, 20 years later, no one talks about subsidiarity anymore and all power has been centralized in the unelected European Commission.
     Or we can take the USA as an example. The Constitution is extremely subsidiarity oriented. Each of the states was very nearly sovereign, and powers of the federal government strictly limited. Bit by bit federal power was increased and now the feds micro-control everything. There is no way to constrain hierarchy! Renaming it does not help:
     The Story of Hierarchy

Bill Blum wrote:
rkm: If we could build it from the top down, that would mean the current system is fixable, that the current elites could be persuaded to give up their power, and the system that serves them so well. Such has never been the behavior of ruling elites.

This could also be taken as an argument for revolution, the kind that takes power not through an election.  Those in the vanguard of the revolution are then in a position to build a new society “from the top down”.  The problem in the past in such circumstances is that the powers of the world, particularly the United States, have not allowed such revolutions to exist in the peace and safety they need to succeed.  This is from my book Killing Hope:
… every socialist experiment of any significance in the twentieth century — without exception — has either been crushed, overthrown, or invaded, or corrupted, perverted, subverted, or destabilized, or otherwise had life made impossible for it, by the United States.  Not one socialist government or movement — from the Russian Revolution to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, from Communist China to the FMLN in Salvador — not one was permitted to rise or fall solely on its own merits; not one was left secure enough to drop its guard against the all-powerful enemy abroad and freely and fully relax control at home.
The Cuban revolution is the only one I know of that did not lead to a new kind of tyranny. In most cases, as in France and the USA, the hierarchical nature of the revolutionary movement led to the installation of new elites at the top of a hierarchy. Castro was unique in that he remained loyal to the principles of the revolution and was able to translate that into grassroots systems that enable popular participation in governance. 
In Venezuela and Bolivia we have ‘revolution through elections’, and again the leaders maintain their loyalty to the principles that propelled them into power. In all of these cases, it is important that the spirit of the current leaders be translated into stable and robust grassroots systems or else the gains will be lost eventually when new leaders come to power.

As you suggest, the USA seeks to destroy any system anywhere that empowers people. It began by exterminating most of the Native Americans. Traditional cultures continue to be especially targeted:
Zoltan Grossman: The Global War on Tribes 

I think it is fairly clear that social transformation cannot be sustainable unless social transformation happens in the USA, in the belly of the beast. And transformation in the USA cannot be achieved by means of confrontation. They’ve already assigned military units to domestic duty, hoping someone will try a confrontational approach. They’ve also assigned infiltrators in an attempt to create confrontational initiatives, as with the Hutaree folks. 

Brian Hill wrote:
We have been creating a new culture which can be traced back to the industrial revolution in Europe, viz. esp., Marx, Sartre, Nietzsche, the impressionists, surrealists, Bohemians, Beatniks, hippies, problem is most don’t see the new culture in their world. If the new world view of the new culture – esp., the how the new world view of reciprocity is replacing the old one of exploitation and conquest, were clearly described it would be easier to nurture it without the violence of revolution.

Yes that is the problem, ‘most people’ don’t see the new culture because it remains a fringe development. Keep up your good work, in keeping the seeds alive. Somehow we need to create a fertile cultural soil so those seeds can spread.
Diana Skipworth wrote:
Please be advised to watch TV in May, when Thom Hartmann will be promoting his 2nd edition of his book: “Unequal Protection; the rise of corporate dominance and theft of human rights.”
Dr. Hartmann re-wrote 1/3 in response the the latest US Supreme Court fiasco, granting corporations the right to political speech.
p.s. I did a video on the 1st edition, “corporate persohood is a lie” on YouTube.

Lincoln Justice wrote:
Thanks for your creative insights. I share your faith… as you said:
I have every confidence that somewhere, in some community, the breakthrough would be found — an approach that succeeds in awakening community consciousness.

I would like to add another example of a community that is being awakened in Alaska. It is the most sensible plan I have heard about and it is working. If you could find a way to end corruption in government and give the power back to the People, without violence, or spending much money, or lobbying for new laws, or electing any candidates, how soon would you want the information?
The Solution, the Future of the Liberty Movement by Schaeffer Cox

Shaeffer’s a very interesting fellow. I recommend the video. The system of volunteer common-law courts is intriguing, particularly as it seems to be operating and working. I’ll be referring to his work in the book. He comes from a very conservative perspective. He doesn’t seem concerned with community development, or developing community consensus. His focus is more on the individual and individual rights. I’d be very interested in talking with him if the opportunity ever arises. 
Eric Vought wrote:
This is a very interesting discussion, and I think it touches on the exact issues at the core of the problem. Whatever the solution ends up being, discussions like this will be where it is found. we need to not be afraid to beat up these ideas and put our own ideas out there to be beat up by others in order to find the approaches which can stand up.

rkm: I have every confidence that somewhere, in some community, the breakthrough would be found — an approach that succeeds in awakening community consciousness.
I share this confidence, but I would add that the solution need not be the same in every community; in fact, it is overwhelmingly likely that, while we can (and must!) borrow ideas back and forth, the way they go together will be different in every place and time. As long as the basic needs are met and THE PEOPLE ARE DILIGENT, nearly any system can be made to work. If people are not diligent in the pursuit of fairness, justice, and equity, then no system can be made to work. It is a cultural problem, neither a political nor legal one.
Just to make sure we understand what we are getting into: there will be violence, try as we can to avoid it. If the people wanting the system fixed/replaced do not, in some circumstance, need to resort to it, then those trying to keep the system broken (who are presently benefitting from it) will do so. Our goal is to avoid this as much as possible on principle, make ‘them’ start it if it must happen, and ensure that its scope is limited (there is a way to turn it off once begun). This means, in particular, that there must be something being fought FOR, not just against, or violence will degenerate into a sectarian bloodbath of settling scores against every conceivable villain.

Certainly the current regime will employ violence whenever it suits their purposes. The US is the biggest purveyor of violence in the world, although Israel may be worse on a per-capita basis. But violence has no role to play in popular initiatives in the US. It can only be counterproductive. Any transformational approach must be as non-confrontational as possible.
I agree that we need to be thinking in terms of culture, and cultural transformation. We need a culture based on collective empowerment, communities taking responsibility of their own welfare. By definition, that means solutions will vary in each community. Most people naturally want fairness, justice, and equity. The problem isn’t people’s values, but rather the lack of a culture of participation in governance.
Harvey Jones wrote:
Your posts sometimes resonate with what so many people are thinking, but who often respond with the negative “But what can we do? Nothing will ever change”
I see this as quite defeatist and battle away on my own paths to at least limit the advancement of the darker forces as one option is forecast in your message below.
Occasionally, we touch base with others in our world wide brotherhood who share similar thoughts and ideals. I like to think that there is a growing movement ready to respond when the times are right. Not so much in the way of wars and opposition, but more of a response and overwhelming public opinion that forces a change by itself.
One book or set of books, of which I was passed a copy recently, appears to be raising the consciousness for many who may not have considered it before. It appeals to those who may be closer to nature such as those who garden and grow crops for food (ie essential living needs). You may wish to read the first in the series of books from the ‘The Ringing Cedar Series’ called “Anastasia” by Vladimir Megré: 

They are farily quick to read, but seem to release more content than just the words. In short, the concept seems to be based more upon visualisation methods. At present there are so many people focused on the negative images of the future, that become the predominant future. With a visualisation of a more positive future as suggested by transition town concepts and a few others such as in this book then a more positive future may come to pass. This is a battle of the forces of light over those of the darker side. Those of us attuned to others on the same side may be able to recognise this. It will be interesting to read your response if you get time to read the book.
thank you for your work and communications

Madeline Bruce wrote:
It is good to see thoughtful, well-intentioned people communicating with each other, trying to communicate with each other, rather than ranting and shouting platitudes at each other, as we have seen on television on these “debates” (?) about health care. I agree that we the people need to become more aware of each other, in smaller groups and communities, and start taking care of each other on that basis, in every way. This applies even to health care. Anyone who has had a health crisis in the last few years will know that a more personal, hands-on approach is nneded which is not supplied by the bureaucratic system. When we read the fiction of yesteryear we see that it was a common practicefor certain villagers to pay visits to the sick,and bring them foodstuffs and emotional support. Now, we all seem to be owned by the system, lock, stock, and barrel, like a lot of obedient slaves, with little time for self care, or care of our neighbor, or for our children, either, who are often farmed out to Daycares, by economic necessity. A necessity for the business machine. – Madeline Bruce, Nanaimo, B. C. Canada. 

Peter Hollings wrote:
Just a quick observation concerning “efforts to build alliances between the grass roots left and the grass roots right”. I think the ‘tea baggers’ are being prosecuted in the media as dangerous radicals. Their underlying objections to a government out of control are similar to those of the left. It seems that the difference is in how these groups want to address this problem. It seems like a divide and conquer strategy and we ought not to let this happen.


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