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.
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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

NATION TO CELEBRATE FIRST ‘AMERICAN ASSESSMENT DAY’, BY PLACING “FINANCIAL TESTICLES OF UNETHICAL COMPANIES IN A VISE”.

It may sound harsh, but the point of October’s forthcoming ‘American Assessment Day’ is simple – to support ethical business and compel major corporation to either reform or perish. It’s the brainchild of Bernard S. Gluckstern, author of ‘America’s Future: Requiem Or Renaissance? An Agenda For The Transformation Of Our Nation And Ourselves’. Could this finally be the antidote to inequality and the political impotence of so many of our citizens?

For immediate release

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday October 3d 2015, Washington’s Bernard Gluckstern is asking all citizens to observe the first annual ‘American Assessment Day’, a unique and compelling opportunity to as Gluckstern puts it – “place the financial testicles of unethical companies in a vise, and force them to reform”. The day provides a bold opportunity for Americans to assess their civic and personal lives, reclaim their power and boycott unethical public and private corporations.

“We’re a nation that has fallen into fatal apathy, and we need a day to assess the situation we’re in, boycott unethical corporations and ultimately reclaim a society that once led the world,” explains Gluckstern. “By augmenting ethical business and tightening the vise on the scrotum of those who operate without integrity, we can slowly start to affect the change we both need and deserve.”

American Assessment Day was inspired by ‘America’s Future: Requiem Or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves’, Gluckstern’s recently released manifesto for change.

Synopsis of ‘America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves’

‘America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves, Bernard Gluckstern has created that rare book that articulates both a vision and a strategic approach to its implementation. He explores the various tactics and approaches which those at the apogee of our financial pyramid deploy to ensure that we remain a society that is exhausted, apprehensive, and divided, and subjected to increasing pressures as the result of our deteriorating material circumstances. However, more importantly he provides a blueprint to restore the political efficacy of our population, by augmenting ethical business enterprises and compelling mammoth organizations to reform their negative behaviors or face extinction. These objectives can be achieved by the commitment of citizens who will no longer permit the current injustices.

“The fabric of so many families has been eroded right down to its very core,” explains Gluckstern, “Causes range from isolated at-home addictions and work-related stresses right through to the incompetence and greed of the political elites and the institutions they collude with. My plan is a sensible strategy that can finally create a just and life-affirming society once again.”

Critics agree, leaving a slew of positive reviews. Edward C. Green, PhD and Director ‘The New Paradigm Fund’ comments; “At its core this book is a humanistic appeal for sanity in a world where the playing field has grown increasingly inequitable. The premise is Great Power Heal Thyself, in other words as American citizens we have the capacity and duty to reform our own country, first of all and the “spread effects” could be enormous. The U.S. could rightfully reclaim the global respect it once had as the model of a true functioning democracy.”

Rahul Singh, CEO, of Anant Corporation adds; “Mr. Gluckstern brings to light the evidence that points to a continued deterioration of our nation’s moral fabric as a result of corporate greed and apathy towards the social well-being of  ALL our people. After all, don’t we define ourselves as “we the people.? ”He asks the reader and the nation to experience a crisis of conscience and take steps towards a more positive and fulfilling future as a society.”

Ronald Smith, a psychiatrist and former Chief Of Behavioral Medicine At Bethesda Naval Hospital asserts; “Bernard Gluckstern is a brilliant thoughtful articulate patriot and author. His ideas for a better republic are coherent, methodical, and possible. His belief in the possibility of educating the voting public is perhaps overly optimistic, but this book is a fine start.”

Hal Gill a senior executive at CEA in the nation’s capitol stated that this literary achievement contains; “Unflinchingly honest reflections on self and society are what the reader will find in this volume. Mr Gluckstern has laid out the current state of affairs and vision for the future. Agree or disagree, the public will be left richer for having had the experience of digesting the perspectives offered in America’s Future: Requiem Or Renaissance? An Agenda For the Transformation of Our Nation And Ourselves.”

‘America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves’, from RoseDog Books¸ is available now: http://amzn.to/1K9kmgC. Virtual pressroom: http://www.dorrancepressroom.com Publisher’s bookstore: http://www.rosedogbookstore.com

About the Author

Bernard Gluckstern has devoted much of his professional career to the mitigation of poverty and the empowerment of the poor in such locales as Watts (Los Angeles), Appalachia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of a M.A. degree in Political Science from Brown University and a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Alfred University. In addition, Mr. Gluckstern served in the United States Marine Corps.  He resides in Washington, D.C., with his extraordinary wife, Lisa.

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  A Prophetic American Voice provides a Blueprint for Citizens to              Restore Their Power and Diminish the Influence of Corporations and         Financial  Institutions and Create a Just and Life-Affirming Society

America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves, a new book by Bernard Gluckstern, has just been released by RoseDog Books.

In America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves, Bernard Gluckstern has articulated both a vision and a strategic approach to its implementation. He explores the various tactics and mechanisms which those at the summit of our financial pyramid deploy to ensure that we remain a society that is exhausted, apprehensive, and in conflict, as the result of our deteriorating financial circumstances. His antidote to these afflictions is contained in a comprehensive plan of action that rewards ethical business enterprises and compels mammoth companies to reform their negative behaviors or face extinction. These objectives can be achieved by citizens who will no longer permit the current injustices.

“At its core this book is a humanistic appeal for sanity in a world where the playing field has grown increasingly inequitable. The premise is Great Power Heal Thyself, in other words as American citizens we have the capacity to reform our country, first of all and the “spread effects” could be enormous. The U.S. could rightfully reclaim the global respect it once had as the model of a true functioning democracy.” Edward C. Green, Ph.D. Director, The New Paradigm Fund

About the Author
Bernard Gluckstern has devoted much of his professional career to the mitigation of poverty and the empowerment of the poor in such locales as Watts (Los Angeles), Appalachia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of a M.A. degree in Political Science from Brown University and a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Alfred University. In addition, Mr. Gluckstern served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve during the Vietnam era. He resides in Washington, D.C., with his extraordinary wife, Lisa.

America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves is a 152-page paperback with a retail price of $15.00. The ISBN is 978-1-4809-6377-1. It was published by RoseDog Books of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, or to request a review copy, please go to our virtual pressroom at http://www.dorrancepressroom.com or our online bookstore at http://www.rosedogbookstore.com. For Merchandising Coordinator call 1-800-788-7654 or send email to: bookorders@rosedogbooks.com

America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda For The Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves

During the month of June, 2015, my publisher Rose Dog Press shall disseminate in both a soft cover and e-book format a literary effort to which I have devoted much of 2014 and the winter and spring of this year as well, ” America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance?” An Agenda For The Transformation Of Our Nation And Ourselves.

This effort in activist scholarship was animated by the desire to provide a comprehensive course of individual action that our citizens might undertake to be responsive to so much of our current economic, political, and social circumstances that are both enormously dysfunctional and cause moral injury and material suffering to so many among us, particularly those who reside in the dungeons of poverty as well as those whose tenuous grasp on a middle class status is becoming ever more compromised and impaired.

Though there are numerous texts which have found their way to the American public in recent years that have set forward multi-tier critiques athat are reflective of a sophisticated and trenchant analysis of our contemporary cultural afflictions and the companionate unraveling of the efficacy and the influence or so many of our populace who are not members of the miniscule class of our plutocratic elite,  few of these efforts have provided a strategic approach to the amelioration of these intensifying destructive forces that are consuming so much of our national heritage and the democratic normative predicate on which our country was constructed.

As a result, what has animated my undertaking has been two fundamental desires.   The first is the wish to present a contemporary portrait of the current horrific social reality with which so many of our fellow Americans and being overwhelmed and diminished.   The second objective is a fervent commitment to formulate and  distribute  both a vision and a strategy and the modalities and procedures for its total implementation that possess the potential to ameliorate the tragic current  political apathy, impotence, and economic inequality that in which an overwhelming number of our fellow citizens are imprisoned.

This document is a blueprint to restore the efficacy of our population by augmenting  the magnitude and success of ethical business enterprises, and compelling mammoth corporate enterprises both public companies and private financial institutions and others, to recind and reform their negative and culturally deforming behaviors or face extinction. These goals can be achieved by the commitment and exertions of our citizens who will no loonger permit the continuation of the current injustices for which these entities are responsible.

The fraudulent and brutal myth that “Educational Credentials” are the pathway to finacial stability

Recently, the newly installed CEO of Goldman Sachs recounted the struggles he confronted in acquiring an education.  Moreover, he relayed the fact that one of his teachers during his adolescence suggested to his parents that with his meager intellectual capacities he would be fortunate to obtain a position as a truck driver.

Obviously, he has demonstrated that prediction was grieviously in error given his accomplishments in the world of investment banking. He further proclaimed that the principal antidote to the rampant and escalating inequality that has characterized our nation’s contemporary economic circumstances was the acquisition of various educational credentials which would enable their recipients to consign their interminable periods of residence in the dungeons of poverty in the U.S. to a regrettable personal history and enter the ranks of the thriving and robust American middle class.

Oh that this might be the future that those who implement his recommendations would be afforded.   The realities surrounding this prediction are however,  grieviously flawed and the prospects for its attainment are statistically grim and anemic at best.

At the moment approximately 70% of our nation’s population are bereft of college degrees of all and any character and level of accomplishment. The resources required to undertake various courses of study to acquire skills within a vocational or community college setting are beyond the capability of the overwhelming majority of these high school drop-outs/graduates who receive in most instances little more the minimum wage.

Moreover, many courses of study both within the public educational arena and the not for profit, non-profit and for profit arenas at the culmination of these academic efforts lead to very few job opportunities and thus the overwhelming majority of those who have become burdened with loan obligations to pursue these credentials find themselves unemployable and substantially in debt.

Those who are enrolled in degree programs whether it be within private colleges and universities or state institutions of higher education who successfully complete the acquisition of the various undergraduate degrees they have sought to acquire, nonetheless have discovered that our nation’s current economic climate is most inhospitable, i.e. in excess of 42% of current graduates are rewarded with job offers that pay little more than the minimum wage, or are in areas of the economy in which they have no interest, and/or are internships for which no compensation is provided.

As a result many of these students return to their parents homes and embark upon years of  a schedule of loan repayments to the institution that provided the funds for their collegiate journey, delaying marriage and child rearing and experiencing a most spartan existence in which little but the bare necessities are affordable.

During the previous four decades in which the ideology of the neoconservatives has been in the ascendancy, globalization, the continuing replacement of employees by technological innovations, the dominance of the use of part-time contractors and “at will” staffing to achieve greater cost reductions in the wages provided to workers, the departure of many corporate headquarters from the U.S. to other nations as the result of mergers with foreign corporate entities which have reduced their tax obligations,

In addition, does there exist  the  unwillingness of corporate behemoths to repatriate the trillions in profits that reside outside the U.S., and the depredations that “activist investors”  have inflicted with their obsession to compel boards of public companies and their senior management to continuously strive to increase the value of the equity they possess in these public companies.

Furthermore, these groups of investors also insist on ever augmented dividend payments, and a companionable demand that the increases in profitability which technological innovations attain must be allocated to the senior executives rather than to the employees of this company, have cumulatively conspired to greatly minimize the importance, relevance, and most importantly the capability of educational attainments to afford its recipients with a meaningful and significant access to the middle class.

At the moment approximately 4 million jobs are vacant, and approximately 23 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, so discourage that after months or years of seeking a position have in a state of discouragement and exhaustion ceased their efforts to obtain employment, and perhaps most tragically the numbers of those who fall within the category of the poor and the near-poor in our society exceeds 100 million.

What is required is a multi-tier comprehensive national program to both create those jobs necessary to rebuild our infrastructure, improve our public educational systems, and ensure that every American has access to an employment circumstance that is adequately compensated and provides for the use of their talents, training, and energies.

America’s Refounding Fathers and Mothers

As December of 2013 was drawing to a close, nineteen scholars all united by their fierce dedication to the  notion that our contemporary social and cultural circumstances were inequitable, oppressive, and in the central contravention of those principles on which this nation has been created, gathered on a frigid winter’s morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts to commence a five-year dialogue about America and its prospective future.

Continue reading America’s Refounding Fathers and Mothers

McDonald’s newest attempt to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of consumers is a total failure.

Recently, the McDonald’s corporation has taken to the airwaves to unveil their most recent efforts at rehabilitating their brand and their menu.   For a number of their customers the cost to purchase various menu items will not require our nation’s currency, but rather a phone call from the patron to their mother for the purpose of conveying their love for the person who has given them life.

Continue reading McDonald’s newest attempt to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of consumers is a total failure.

TOWARD THE CREATION OF A DEMOCRATIC POLITICS AND ECONOMY

Permitting the continuation of multinational corporations’ hegemony over our politics and economy can only lead to the further exacerbation and estrangement of those in our society who are separated by the ever-widening chasms of financial capacity, i.e. the plutocrats and those citizens who comprise the entire balance of every subordinate social class in this nation, whose financial reality is unceasingly deteriorating by every measure of qualitative and quantitative assessment.

To seek a redress from the federal government for these afflictions is to engage in a delusional aspiration, given its captivity to the macro-political influences in this culture, whose principal if not exclusive concern is the unrelenting accumulation of wealth and the unbridled opportunity for further global commercial inroads and the profits that these incursions generate.

Though there exist an expanding number of initiatives at both the state and municipal levels that are auspicious alternatives to the status quo e.g.  public-private partnerships, technical and financial “incubators”, and experiments in social entrepreneurship that are formally concerned with communal measures of analysis/impact beyond the profitability of these enterprises, as well as other organizational forms of innovation and implementation, the cumulative influence of these activities do not comprise a requisite “critical mass”  that currently contains the potential to substantively transform the U.S. into an authentic social organism in which democracy is extensively extant and where the economics of an infinitely greater egalitarianism may be glimpsed.

As a result it is my considered judgment that in order to significantly augment these efforts, numerous “Citizens Councils for a Democratic Economy” should be created throughout this country, with a particular emphasis in those urban and rural areas where unemployment and poverty are most pronounced.  The entities should be comprised of the  broadest possible coalition of individuals who represent any statistically meaningful constituency of an ethnic, commercial, personal values, religious, or artistic and cultural character,  within the geographic area under consideration.  Beyond these groups, university expertise, and professional organizations should engage in this dialogue as well.  Sources of financial capability and municipal/rural planning should also be involved in these deliberations.  However, beyond the breadth and depth of these socioeconomic variables, what is most important is the ethos under which these conversations shall transpire. 

What must reside at the epicenter of the normative system that animates these exertions is the explicit commitment to the  following ethical and value propositions:  That those entities created to serve any purpose be it commercial enterprise, artistic or cultural, educational, or environmental, housing construction, and infrastructural projects either new or rehabilitative in character shall be undertaken and administered in a maximally democratic manner which permits all citizens to be equal voices in the formulation of these activities and services which are deployed, the compensation which those involved in its operations shall be provided, the ability of all employees to be heard regarding the those decisions that affect, any and all aspects of its governance and agendas, be they internal to the enterprise or external regarding its community impact.

Moreover, such considerations as an economy that is sustainable in its intrinsic nature must be observed, ratios between median wages and the compensation of senior executives must be adhered to, and perhaps most importantly, what must invigorate this process at its center is the objective of creating those projects and activities that in a central and explicit manner will mitigate those factors of social pathology in which these communities/areas are ensnared.  Thus, if unemployment is the ascendant variable, those enterprises/services to provide both the skills and capacities required to be wage earners must be offered, and the enterprises that are created must serve such critically required necessities as enlarging the numbers of affordable housing units, retrofitting structures to provide a reduction in energy use, restoring and expanding the regions infrastructure, enlarging high speed internet capacities for all citizens, and elevating the quality of life within the spheres of the creative artistic and cultural initiatives to which those who reside in this vicinity shall have access.

The sole prohibition of involvement shall pertain to corporate behemoths lest they attempt to capture or unduly influence the democratic processes and economic predispositions toward the implementation of a maximal egalitarian/administrative efficacy   distribution of those employed in these entities and or to subvert the additional priorities enumerated in the previous sections. 

That this essay is incomplete in a host of regards is without question correct.  However, it is an attempt to begin the process of delineating how we might proceed in this society in hundreds of communities toward the objective of both mitigating the inequality, poverty, and powerlessness which so many of us are enslaved within at this crucial point in our national history.  In subsequent posts I shall provide must greater detail and specificity regarding both the processes and structures that will be deployed to achieve these goals and the chronology and sources of the expertise and financial capacity to translate the work of these councils into material reality.

 

 

Creating An Ethical, Equitable, and Self-Transcending Culture