Currently, tens of thousands of organizations are effectively discharging various aspects of the agenda to transform this nation. In arenas of community based economic development, economic development corporations, state and local banks and credit unions, and other projects are providing democratized and decentralized alternatives to traditional hierarchical American corporate structures.
University-community partnerships are formulating programmatic and policy responses to mitigate the lack of affordable housing in many metropolitan areas. A broad range of systems and mechanisms are being deployed to improve the efficacy of citizen participation in local government and by so doing obtaining increased responsiveness from municipal political officials.
Unique measures to evaluate economic performance in an infinitely more comprehensive manner than those indices such as GNP or the Dow-Jones Averages, or related standards that are both parochial and misleading, have been developed to more accurately evaluate our nation’s economy and its ramifications in all areas of our society.
The analytic tools to which I refer reflect happiness quotients, the external impact which corporate policies register of a negative character on the environment, the sufficiency of a range of wage levels to sustain residency beyond the poverty level, the affordability of health care, and the ecological footprint of our society regarding the depletion of our natural resources and the ramifications for the sustained maintenance of our culture in the present, and most importantly in the longer term.
The expanding universe of incubators throughout this nation that are providing both technical and financial resources to fuel these audacious effort of social entrepreneurs, as well as a significant continuum of non-profit, for profit, public-private undertakings, that extend the frontiers of social and political experimentation and enable citizen-employees to acquire equity positions within the various commercial enterprises where they are discharge their duties, is enlarging at a geometric velocity.
However, the preceding efforts as laudable and critical as they are in the strategic transformation of this country, suffer from a crucial deficiency, which is that they do not manifest in an entirely rendered manner a complete paradigm of those variables that comprise a fully transformed culture.
For in the absence of a strategic plan that does not address and include all the requisite ingredients of a humanistic society which resides on the imperative ethical underpinnings to which equitable macro-political and economic institutions are anchored, and in which individuals engage in the liberating dynamics of self-transcendence, the exertions of so many will be doomed to realize but a portion of the social reality that has provoked the commencement of this activity.
Thus, in order to ensure that a paradigm which contains those conceptual components that when actualized will attain the most complete transformation of our nation, am I establishing beneath the umbrella of the Center For Humanistic Global Initiatives’ “Transform America” campaign, the Office of National Strategic Assistance. This entity shall discharge five primary obligations:
1. Assist in the development and the provision of continuing technical assistance to local strategic planning efforts within various rural, suburban, and urban areas, whose primary task is to formulate a strategic plan for the transformation of that geographical locale, that reflects and embodies those normative values that are delineated in such publications as the Oberlin Project, The New Economics Foundation, and the most recent work of Gar Alperovitz; “What Then Must We Do.”
2. To ensure the realization of the fundamental requirement of these prescriptions which is to establish a sustainable community based economy and larger cultural reality that reflects maximally feasible democratic planning procedures and protocols; that creates commercial enterprises in which employees are both equity owners in these entities, and significantly impact the administrative and operational policies and practices by which these workplaces are governed.
An additional requirement is that the ecological footprint does not exploit natural resources in a manner that is non-sustainable; and that makes provision for the fullest possible actualization of the creative aspirations as well as the psychological and spiritual dimensions of all those individuals who reside in this region.
3. Assist these councils in obtaining the financial resources to both commence this planning dynamic, and as various projects are finalized to aid these groups in identifying and initiating discussions with possible funding sources, that will culminate in the consummation of a contractual instrument through which these monies will be furnished.
4. To ensure the greatest possible prospective effect between those projects that are envisioned and approved and the mitigation of poverty, unemployment, educational, social dysfunction, and all other indicators of those cultural pathogens/ social services inadequacies, that are extant in this area.
5. To conduct continuous research inquires regarding the development of social indicators beyond those that measure traditional financial realities; to monitor the broad range of various similar efforts to determine which democratic planning councils engaged in the transformation of this nation are achieving significant progress, or are confronting difficulties, as well as those fully rendered paradigms that are producing the greatest success.
This matrix should include the capability to measure the contentment, financial sufficiency, and personal evolution that their citizens are deriving from these plans, that have as their simultaneous objective the diminution of poverty and all other aspects of social injustice from which human privation and suffering is derived.
Though this process shall require a substantial chronology of effort to fully realize, when it has been completed the innumerable local community-based plans shall comprise in some crucial regard a de facto national strategy by which the United States may be ushered into a future that will reflect a dynamic moral predicate upon which equitable institutions are providing socially just results for our populace, as our citizens simultaneously explore the various modes of self-transcendence.
I have addressed these concerns more fully in the animating publication, “America’s Future: Requiem or Transformation” which appears as a PDF beneath the VISION tab of this website.
One additional task that must be confronted at the earliest conceptual opportunity is to inquire precisely what forms, structures, systems may be constructed to address projects of a regional or national scope by technical or financial entities that retain their decentralized and democratic nature though the scale of their efforts demands a coordination and intermingling of resources that is currently unprecedented.
What our efforts must preclude regardless of our motives, is to ensure that we do not replicate in any element or aspect of a future American reality, is the replication of hierarchical structures of decision-making as well as the power and influence that historically emanated from these entities, that has so severely warped and inhibited the capabilities of our citizens to chart their destinies and fashion the fullest actualization of their potentials, and by so doing attain a happiness that has been unprecedented in our nation’s experience.