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:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.