A Journey Beyond an overarching normative consensus toward institutional rigor and specificity

Among those who  assert that the solutions to our current societal miasma in which democracy is atrophying, inequality is ascendant, our cultural sensibilities are becoming ever more coarse, and our collective intellectual capacities are dissolving; and that technology has become an unrestrained force that imprisons our spirits and is responsible for the disintegration of community, and the degradation of a national moral, religious, and spiritual consciousness; is a gathering of our citizens who are estranged, enraged, and ferociously longing, for a society to be called into being for the primary purpose of enhancing our noblest instincts and our innate predispositions to become sentient and self-actualizing human beings.

Moreover, this geometrically enlarging group of scholars, activists, enlightened entrepreneurs,  clerics and citizens from all walks of life,  are united by the fundamental belief that the mitigation of these grievous  afflictions are possible exclusively by constructing both a unique and comprehensive humanistic value framework which shall serve as the predicate on which a transformed America shall henceforth reside; and a superstructure of political and economic institutions that shall translate these beneficent and equitable normative concepts into a daily operational reality that will both inform and regulate the actions of our body politic and all who reside among us.

Aspirations of this character have periodically surfaced among us since the inception of the American experiment in representative democracy more than 240 years ago.   The sources are manifold, some paradigms claim  theological antecedents, some in a more secular vein derive from various “Utopian” notions and ideologies, some particularly in a  more contemporary chronological context may be attributed to  psychologists and psychoanalysts whose recommendations were empirically rendered in communes and cooperatives where both the principal animating forces reflected egalitarian divisions of labor/equitable distributions of material productivity and a participatory democratic modus operandi by which the lives of inhabitants were governed and in which aesthetics, artistic and sexual liberation, and a maximum personal freedom and self-expression were encouraged.

Whatever the particular manifestation of these social experiments, beyond all else were they in some transcendent regard an effort to elevate to equal importance in these cultural arrangements the reality of community,  to that of the historically validated and revered American notion of society’s requirement to allow and foster individual activity and accomplishment in a whole host of contexts and regards.

And I would vigorously assert that at this moment in our journey as a people it is the fragmentation, the alienation, and the isolation, that so many of us experience in our hermetically sealed professional and personal lives, exacerbated by the financial and political injustices that comprise the macrocosm of our institutional and ideological framework, that is beyond all other culprits those factors that cause so much suffering and discontent.

That there exists a considerable and enlarging current consensus about much of these realities is beyond question. What is required at this juncture is to commence the arduous, complex, and imperative intellectual exertions to formulate the most appropriate successor to that which is extant.

Many efforts are underway that have as their objective the formulation of both various elements of these normative systems and institutional structures, and within these cognitive exercises much emerging scholarship relevant to our contemporary social and cultural maledictions, and the potential for healing these malignancies.

However, at this moment of ferment and suffering, of outrage and demoralization, of entrenched and rabid division among so many of our citizens, what is required more than any other particular rendering is a paradigm that both reconciles these warring ideologies and provides an epistemological formulation for an infinitely more  just future, and perhaps even more importantly a strategic process/dynamic that will result in the implementation of the preceding paradigmatic vision.

Among the considerations that reside at the epicenter of the preceding enumeration are the following matters:

  1.  What planning mechanisms at the local, state/regional and national levels are required to implement the normative contents of a national sovereignty that reflects participatory democratic decision making, sustainable economic/environmental  practices, the elevation of community as an equivalent value to that of opportunities for individual  cultural expression, and where spiritual/theological systems and humanistic norms that promote the fully rendered self-actualization of all citizens?
  2. That there exist numerous examples at the local level particularly in the realm of municipal/rural economic development experiments that are either non-profit in character or are hybrid i.e. profit-not for profit entities may be empirically confirmed.  However, as we move to the state or regional levels of activity we find a paucity of either private or public experiments.    The single most important interrogatory to be posed about this magnitude of effort is precisely what if any alterations in either institutional structures or policy formulation/implementation is necessary, because the scope of operation of these public or private strucutres is comparatively so much broader in a quantitative regard.   For as we all know at some point quantitative breadth demands qualitative renovation in either structure or practice, for no other reason that that the magnitude of the prescribed activity is involves so many disparate and similar resources.
  3.  Among various possible existing subdivisions of this nation there exist census tracts, zip codes, etc.  As we create and impanel local citizens groups for the purpose of creating a strategic plan for these areas which if any of these mechanisms might best be selected for these purposes to determine which individuals should be included in the geographical purview of these boards?
  4. As we move to include greater numbers of citizens in these proceedings should county designations, regional compacts, and or state configurations be the appropriate determinants for inclusion or the legitimate grounds for non inclusion?
  5. Presuming that we determine that local entities at the level of zip code, census tracts, etc within a rural area or a municipality are appropriate designations, and that county sovereignty and regional as well as state configurations are necessary for inclusion in these planning activities, what mechanism(s) should be created to resolve those disputes or conflicts that will invariably surface regarding the priorities these multi-level jurisdictions will reflect and advocate?
  6. Should there be those among you who are of the opinion that existing legislative bodies within these sovereign units of government are adequate or appropriate, you would be suffering from a horrendous delusion.   It is these entities in concert with our national systems of federal government because they are in thrall to our nations plutocratic class that the wishes and desires of so many of our populace are disregarded, and that they are consigned to the realm of suffering and unhappiness which is so pervasive.   No, what is required is to create an innovative series of both legislative, quasi-legislative and institutional research and polling  mechanisms to resolve the arguments and disagreements that will eventuate from the system envisioned. And it most be a body of uniquely democratic procedures and processes that enables all who reside among us  have the potential through the broadest forms of participation to make their voices heard and their sentiments recorded.
  7. As challenging as the creation of these institutions etc will be surely they are no more demanding that the tasks which confronted our founding fathers.   After 240 years of life beneath the umbrella of a liberal democratic system it is now the responsibility of our refounding fathers and mothers to address these critical responsibilities.
  8. As we move from state and regional arenas of activity ultimately will a national process/consensus be demanded. How might these be addressed?   I have recently provided a blue print in my book “America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? – An Agenda For The Transformation Of Our Nation And Ourselves,” recommended that on the first Saturday of each October that we observe an “Annual American Assessment Day.”  The initial scope of its consideration was  to both cite ethical business enterprises and urge that our citizens patronize them, and to feature prominently a compilation of those major public and private institutions (principally financial), whose behaviors and policies are inimical to our nation’s democratic systems and augment financial inequities as well as other agendas which negatively  impact our environment and the global influence of enlightened of international business enterprises as well.   This list of Commercial Reprobates  appears on my blog e.g. chgi. wordpress.com.  The second activity to be engaged in during the afternoon of this first Saturday of October, is to consider the health and well being or lack thereof of the nuclear family unit irrespective of its specific component, and determine what behaviors internal to its members actions as well as those external, social, or cultural factors, that negatively impact the welfare and quest for contentment, serenity, and self-actualization; and as a result armed with this critique formulate a plan of action for the ensuing year in which vigorous efforts will be undertaken by various family members to mitigate these negative influences and substantially increase the actualization of that which is positive in their familial environments.
  9. It might be prudent to consider in subsequent years the prospect of enlarging the agenda of what we assess on this date in October to the evaluation of a more comprehensive national agenda that explores social and cultural aspects of the American experience so that the ultimate product when tabulated, evaluated, assessed, and explored will produce a document that is empirically grounded, and provides specific, finite, discrete,  dimensions that are both fiscal and provide a broad spectrum of national recommendations beyond the monetary that we as a society will implement in the coming year and beyond; a precedent-establishing national strategic plan for the United States.
  10. What specific mechanisms, and processes to both create this evaluative document and all that flows from it, regarding the imperative requirement to be quintessentially democratic in its compilation, administration, and implementation, has yet to be designed, but it is precisely activities of this sort that should now become the principal focus of our efforts. We have a fully delineated critique of our current circumstances and a quite fulsome iteration of the normative and general outline of a national future, that we believe is most desirable and will benefit virtually the entirety of those who reside in this nation.   The time has come for us to address the matters to which i have alluded in the previous portions of this document.   I invite all of you who wish to to join me in this sacred and imperative series of tasks. For in the absence of successfully responding to these challenges which are principally intellectual and political in character our nation shall continue to languish in a state of evolving decomposition and acrimony and never realize the future for which so many of us long.    Let us be about this effort with a ferocious commitment and an unrelenting exertion. I pledge myself to this objective throughout the balance of my life until I perish, or  we have realized the glorious and socially just country so many of us deserve.

To My Fellow Citizens: Saturday, October 3d, 2015, The First Annual American Assessment Day Observance; Your Opportunity To Reclaim Our Society And Our Lives

It is my fervent hope that signficant numbers of our fellow Americans will devote this Saturday the 3d of October to the crucial task of reclaiming our society and our personal lives. The modality by which these twin objectives may be accomplished is to commence this day, subsequent to a nourishing breakfast, to gather the members of our families together to commence the process of engaging in a comprehensive evaluation of our civic culture, and in the afternoon when the luncheon repast is completed, to address the matter of the content of our personal existences.

With regard to the morning activity, the fundamental focus of our efforts should be allocated to the formulation of a response to the following interrogatory: What business enterprises that exist within our geographical orbit reflect and embody those principles of “ethical commerce”? (see the content of the entries on this blog beneath the titles Ethical Values and Exemplary Organizations).

For by either initiating financial relationships with these entities or increasing the magnitude of the purchases of products and services these companies offer, we shall be elevating the larger social welfare of our communities by virtue of those values these organizations embrace. The website that iin my view that is most valuable for this purpose in which both the concepts and structures for community based democratic models  are fully explicated, in addition to numerous examples throughout the United States of these institutions that are successful by any standard of measurement may be found on CommunityWealth.org.

The second portion of the this exercise should be allocated to providing an answer to a question that contains even greater importance; i.e. What major corporations be they public in character or private in nature are responsible for those inimical influences that both contribute to the increasing inequality in our nation, and/or are wedded to agendas of activity that in some central regard contribute to the degradation of our environment, the diminishment of the political efficacy of overwhelming numbers of those who reside in the United States, and or other dimensions of the social dysfunction and cultural afflictions that are responsible for the poverty, racial turmoil, and spectrum of related social injustices with which so many of us are contending?

These entities e.g. those who are aptly referred to as “Commercial Reprobates” are institutions with which we should immediately sever any and all interactions, and as the population of former customers enlarges and the realm of those who continue to support these companies declines, a stark and undeniable choice will be presented to the governing boards of these corporations; either reform your business practices and function in an ethical manner that presupposes various positive impacts on the citizens of the United States, or remain wedded to the current modes of operation and sink beneath the waves of insolvency.

A comprehensive compilation of those corporate entitites that are guilty of behaviors that are deleterious to our nation’s welfare and various activities which negatively impact on our capacity to regain the dominance of the majority of our citizens capabilities to determine our destiny as a society in both a political and financial regard, may be found beneath the banner of the Corporate Research Project website. An element of critical relvance that appears there is the category entitled the Corporate Rap Sheet. The numerous major companies that appear on that enumeration are guilty of a broad spectrum of actions that are both morally suspect and injurious to the public interest. It is these entitites with whom where feasible all Americans shoudl suspend and terminate all commercial transactions. As their revenues plummet and their profitability expires they will either amend their behaviors or cease to exist as a viable commercial enterprise.

Once the preceding exercise is concluded and you and your family members have reached decisions regarding the business enterprises that from this point forward you will cease patronizing, and those that you shall either inaugurate or expand your commercial transactions with, the second aspect of this communal activity should address those personal elements of your domestic circumstances, i.e. both the sources in your lives whether external to your lives or internal to the nuclear family dynamic, that significantly impact the quality and content of domestic environment in which you dwell.

Should your current career arrangements be inimical to the fabric of your collective welfare; what is the nature of those negative impacts and most importantly how might various strategies be implemented in the immediate or longer term to mitigate those influences? What perspectives and opinions do members of your household reflect with regard to aspects of their current intrafamilial dynamic with which they are unhappy or most disturbed by? What modifications might be implemented to alleviate these woes? Finally, what goals and objectives do those that compose this family unit wish to actualize, i.e. a paradigm of greater fufillment, serenity, and contentment for their lives and for the family as a whole? What actions in response to these concerns are appropriate to implement in order to create an atmosphere that can strengthen and reinvigorate your existences both individually and as a collective entity?

This day of reflection, introspection, and objective consideration of both those commercial entities which contain the potential to either continue their baleful influences on our nation or contribute to the creation of a vastly improved social reality, and those internal dynamics which can either cause great harm or substantial happiness within our personal lives, are the crucial hemispheres which deserve objective, thorough, and comprehnsive consideration, and each aspect if properly addressed and examined can produce a result that will serve as a guide to both ourselves and our nation to embrace and embark upon new and more promising habits and interinstitutional and interpersonal relationships, that will benefit all our citizens and the members of our families who engage in this critical activity on Saturday the 3d of October, i.e. the observance of the First Annual American Assessment Day