(Saturday, Feb 7, 2004; 11:47 AM EDT) (Updated Saturday, Feb 06,
2010; 12:05 PM EST)
Omni Capital: The Great Leap
Guiding Social Transformation From Chaos to
By Vigdor Schreibman
(Saturday, Feb 7, 2004; 11:47 AM EDT) (Updated Saturday, Feb 06, 2010; 12:05 PM EST)
Omni Capital: The Great Leap Forward
Guiding Social Transformation From Chaos to
By Vigdor Schreibman
The pairs of opposites (being and not being,
life and death, beauty and ugliness, good and evil, and all the
other polarities that bind the faculties to hope and fear, and
link the organs of action to deeds of defense and acquisition)
are the clashing rocks (Symplegades) that crush the traveler,
but between which the heroes always pass. In the clash between
the Chaos Monster and the Sun God, the thunderbolt signifying
spiritual power (indestructible enlightenment), shatters the
illusory realities of the world. In the modern world guided by
the shifting ideologies of democracy, kleptocracy, and
plutocracy, it is the "rule of law" that provides the central
setting of the clashing rocks, the influences of multinational
corporate channels, the briefs of very able lawyers, and the
opinions of the honorable justices describe the illusory
realities of the world, but only the democratic will of the whole
people can offer effective resistance to the barbaric tyranny of
official powers and their Doctrines
of Injustice; the mythes of ancient heros
Compare J.Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces 87-89, n.57, & Plate XXI (1973 ed.) (discussing the mythology of heroism), with M.P.Follett, The New State 142, 147 (Pennsylvania State University Press ed. 1998) and V. Schreibman, A Technique of Democracy (2003) (discussing "meaningful dialogue" by groups to resist corrosive social forces and to advance group transcendence).
Evolutionary change brings forth a new entity. This change is nonlinear and it is discontinuous. As we have seen repeatedly, deep changes between evolutionary generations of Homo sapiens sapiens (HSS) is transformative, not transitional. We cannot extrapolate the key characteristics of an emerging evolutionary entity from the one that preceded it. There is “big change," a quantum jump, between levels that results in discontinuity. Fossil records show evolution had been static for most of the time, but this state of equilibrium is punctuated by rapid change that occurred suddenly over a brief period of time. Such a swift change cannot be predicted from earlier evolutionary states. The implications of such punctuated equilibria, the transformative nonlinear nature of change, and the discontinuity between two generations have far reaching consequences for conscious evolution and for evolutionary epistemology. Only an ideal seeking approach can envision an ideal future image of an evolutionary quantum jump. B. H. Banathy, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, San Francisco, California, Guided Evolution of Society (2000): pp. 240-241.
For the hunter gathering stage of human evolution, five hundred thousand years were needed. The agricultural society spanned ten thousand years. The Third Generation, industrial society moved through in five hundred years, while spawning willy nilly in only fifty years, the post industrial, post modern, information/knowledge age. During just the past ten year period alone humankind has witnessed the emergence of the, "information super highways," now transforming global civilization. It was anticipated that this technological innovation, "will revolutionize the way we work, learn, shop, and live," with the promise to have, "an even greater impact than the interstate freeways or the telephone system," as John H. Gibbons, the White House Science Advisor explained in testimony before Congress, Apr 27 1993. It is also true that despite the unprecedented scope of its impact on their lives, this revolution was imposed without any meaningful dialogue with the people. In an interview with The New York Times, published June 9, 1995, Senator Robert J. Kerrey (D-NE), observed the telecommunications reform legislation then proposed by Congress, "is a contract with corporations in America, maybe 100 corporations. It is not a contract with America and [the] American people have not been asking for it."
Virtually all of the public interest groups concerned with such matters were locked out of the legislative process to serve A Balance of Corporate Interests: monopoly power and maximum profit for the telecommunications sector, and a massive transfer of wealth from residential rate payers to corporate centers of power, all secured by legislative fiat, without a compass or guide or design for the future. We are now experiencing the stunning Evolution in a Technological Civilization. Third Generation change is coming so rapidly in such arbitrary forms that one cannot feel "at home" any longer when "home" is a field of existence that leaves one separate, powerless, and permanently lost within the cognitive images of a world, which can no longer keep pace with the new realities unfolding under the total control of hostile or merely opportunistic entities.
Standing at the threshold of the Fourth Generation one of our most important and most difficult initial tasks is to transcend and leave behind us all manifestations of the machine age thinking of the Third Generation so that we can engage in the collective creation of the Fourth Generation. B. H. Banathy, infra, at 241.
Just the opposite trend is now occurring. Machine age thinking is accelerating with the runaway technological component of the cultural system, destroying the balance and harmony of all human, man-made, and natural systems in an era of technological "gigantism" and "unrestrained individualism" with loss of direction, splintered and atomized, life having little meaning beyond ever more consumption, B. H. Banathy, infra, at 150; Hawken (2007). America, herself, is fast becoming a Lonely Nation.
Contemporary American society has experienced revolutionary change, but mainly to serve the greed of 100 corporations, strengthening monopoly and oligopoly powers leading to a state of "telco feudalism" enacted by telecommunications reform legislation that was pushed through the US Congress, rife with corrupt influence peddling, by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), and by House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). This experience has reconfirmed again and again that American politics must be vitalized by a new method, "representative government," is for all practical purposes, "dead wood," proclaimed the early 20th-century prophet of democracy, Mary Parker Follett. The recent acts of Congress to plug loopholes in campaign finance laws cannot possibly revive that corpse.
American public and private systems have been drained of the basis for trust and cooperation by an overriding, corrosive economic and political ethic supported by a "big money" electoral system sanctioned by the Supreme Court, which have corrupted virtually the entire American civilization. A little "plugging" of loopholes in the law, and "regulation" pertaining to campaign contributions, may reframe the tenuous legal basis of legislative representation but as the Supreme Court indicated, "Money, like water, will always find an outlet." The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), 116 Stat. 81, (a.k.a., the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law), upheld in the main in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, No. 02-1674, slip op. at 118 (Dec 10, 2003), 540 U.S. 93, 129-130, 224 (2003). Such measures cannot stem the tidal wave of corruption sweeping government and big business.
Indeed, the new cabal of plutocrats dumped on the US Supreme Court by the Bush Administration, guided by John G. Roberts, Jr., and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., have overruled its 2003 decision in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, in the case of CITIZENS UNITED v . FEDERAL ELECTIONCOMMISSION, No. 08–205. slip op. (U.S., January 21, 2010) 558 U. S. ____ (2010)
A complete spiritual transformation may be necessary to restore credibility in the rule of law, and regenerate a genuine democratic American civilization. When change comes, in the choice between plugging loopholes and complete spiritual transformation, the theory of guided cultural evolution may be instructive.
Evolution consistent with the pattern of “gradualism” as defined by Darwin, is the way natural selection works. On the other hand, guided cultural evolution is radically different. Professor Bela H. Banathy, a renown authority on the topic of evolution science has defined guided cultural evolution as an “explosive and cumulative capacity of culture for … rapid change.” B.H. Banathy, Guided Evolution of Society, ¶ 220.127.116.11 (2000). Banathy suggests the evolution of society “has to be manifested in a total transformative change” by “the creative surge of conscious evolution.” ¶ 18.104.22.168.c. How else could one expect to resolve the incommensurable set of values that define the historical reality of capitalism versus democratic ideals, which we have discussed earlier?
It is simply not possible to build a paradigm of civilization expressing democratic values upon the basis of contradictory values that are embedded in decaying capitalism. The values-gap between capitalist decadence and democratic sustainability is indubitably incommensurable. The old order must be destroyed to make room for the new. That's the lesson of the structure of scientific and political revolutions alike. It is for these reasons during rapid social changes "the radical individual" like Socrates, Galileo, and van Gogh "may be the very instrument of creative evolution itself." Ernest Becker, The Structure of Evil 232 (1968).
Aung San Suu Kyi, is General Secretary, National League for Democracy (NLD), leader of the democratic opposition to Burma's military government. She was the 1991 winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, held under house arrest from 1989 to 1995. The following text is from an unpublished essay among several items posted on the Internet by her late husband that were (doubtless) smuggled out of Burma. Burma Image courtesy FreeBurma
CORRUPTED BY FEAR
By Aung San Suu Kyi
The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution in spirit, the forces which had produced inequities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill-will, ignorance, and fear.
Such spiritual transformation comes only in the midst of crisis, confrontation, and revolution, when the seeds of decay reveal old values breaking down in the search for a more appropriate state of human existence. Clare W. Graves, "Levels of Existence: An Open System Theory of Values," in Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Fall 1970, Vol. 10, No. 2: p. 142; Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A pragmatic primer for realistic radicals xix-xxii (1971). Stated differently,
Surprise and shock bring about the destruction of certain habits of thought in a manner very much like the sudden changes in environment which produced, according to some scientists, the rapid adaptation of species, say at the beginning of the glacial period. Something brute takes place which upsets established patterns. Either those patterns are given up or extinction ensues. Only those things develop which remain plastic enough in their habits to change them in the face of experience. Vincent G. Potter, S.J., Charles S. Peirce, On Norms & Ideals 177-184 (1997).
Becoming masters of the situation
At the root of spiritual transformation is the dynamic role of the individual in the life of a true democracy. However, because it is seen as a, "challenge to elite power," democracy has historically been, "curbed by an assault on the minds of the masses that persuades them to live within the rules of the market system rather than become masters of the situation." Charles E. Lindblom, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Political Science at Yale University, The Market System, 216-234 (2001). Falling into this coercive pattern by neglect of the individual in American democracy, reformers have, instead, fought for the nomination of "good" men to public office, with exhortation to induce "the People" to elect them. "The wide-spread fallacy that good officials make a good city," was bluntly rejected by Follett in her chapter on, The Growth of Democracy in America. This fallacy, Follett observed, is one "which lies at the root of much of our thinking and insidiously works to ruin our best plans, our most serious efforts."
The fetish of exhorting the election of "good" men in office, was most recently offered up as the magic formula for "Human Capitalism" that can promote true democracy, in the widely acclaimed book by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution ch. 14 (1999). To best serve "Human Capitalism" it was deemed appropriate to recommend a "good" man especially skilled in the practical expertise of sustainable development. Nevertheless, in all our cities citizens are looking for these "good" men and women to manage America's fictitious democracy, but with an electoral system based on the "Golden Rule" of money-driven politics, citizens will find with very rare exception, instead, mainly the politicians who fight for the power of public office only to empower themselves and their elite sponsors. Nothing can substitute for, "the living democracy of a united, responsible people," who can take charge of democratic government as masters of the situation and not as mere impotent followers or apathetic residents.
Democratic power sharing offers the ultimate development possibilities according to Russell L. Ackoff, emeritus professor of business management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania: In a world where growth is limited by finite resources, he writes, citizen participation in governance is the key for humanity to the meta-ideal of "unlimited development" and "unlimited progress toward ... omnicompetence." R. Ackoff, Creating the Corporate Future 29 (1981). Alice Walker, offers a spiritual warning about a world in which people live lives caught in someone else's dream without their own life at the center:
When you are caught up in the world that you did not design as support for your life and the life of earth and people, it is like being caught in someone else's dream or nightmare. Many people exist in their lives in this way. I say exist because it is not really living. It is akin to being suspended in a dream one is having at night, a dream over which one has no control... Humankind will not survive if we continue in this way, most of us living lives in which our own life is not the center... Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart: a novel / Alice Walker 142-143 (2004).
Meaningful participation by citizens in the decisions of public or private organizations that directly affect their lives is paramount to any democratic process. The preferred mode of participation in the process of governance is now known as the User-Designer approach to social systems design and evolution. There are many sentimental and political arguments in favor of participation, but this is a logical, non sentimental argument for participation.
When it comes to the design of social and societal systems of all kinds, it is the users, the people in the system who are the experts. Nobody has the right to design social systems for someone else. It is unethical to do so. Design cannot be legislated, it should not be bought from the expert, and it should not be copied from the design of others. If the privilege of and responsibility for design is "given away," others will take charge of designing our lives and our systems. They will shape our future. B.H. Banathy, Guided Evolution of Society 288-291 (2000).
Principle Authors of the American Creed
Every man, every woman, and every child of democracy can understand the User-Designer approach to design. This responds to the basic motivation of all human beings to actively exercise their own powers in shaping their own society in some profound way, and thus become masters of the technological civilization. See Ernest Becker, The Structure of Evil 140-42 (1968).
This is what "a government of the people, by the people, for the people," is all about, as our greatest leaders have said in defining the American creed on more than one occasion, in different times, and in different words: Mr. Jefferson in his Declaration of Independence, President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, and Reverend King, Jr. in his I Have a Dream, speech.
The fictitious democracy exposed
Howard Chandler Christy. Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States
(on 17 September 1787).
This version of the Signing of the Constitution (20ft v. 30ft, April 1940)
hangs in the east stairway in the House wing of the United States Capitol.
On the question put to the delegates at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, of whether the election of the first branch of the national legislature should be based on the direct vote of the people, six States voted "AY" (Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia), two States voted "No" (New Jersey, and South Carolina), and two States were divided (Connecticut and Delaware). The delegates rejected the Virginia Plan calling for an election based on each State's financial contribution. See e.g., James Madison, Notes of Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787, Resolutions 2-4; William Peters, A More Perfect Union 32, 41-46 (1987); Harpers v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663, 686 (1966).
"We the People of the United States." There is the authority, there is the creator of the national government... It is, sir, the people's Constitution, the people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people... We are all agents of the same supreme power, the people. Speech of Daniel Webster, concerning the concept of "Liberty and Union," January 27, 1830, quoted in Burton J. Hendrick, Bulwark of the Republic: A Biography of the Constitution 239 (1937).
During the coming presidential election year, PEY2008, "the People" once again occupy a unique position of political power. Members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate are chosen or elected "by the People." US Const. Art I, § 2, and Amend. XVII, cl. 1. In addition, the Supreme Court observed in a controversial recent case, "History has now also favored the voter, and in each of the several States the citizens themselves vote for Presidential electors." Each vote is accorded equal weight and equal dignity to each voter. Bush v. Gore (2000).
In short, citizens have the exclusive and coequal power to chose their legislative representatives and presidential electors. No business firms, advocacy groups, or corporations have this power. For the duration of the presidential election period all power concerning the immediate future leadership of the nation derives from the sovereign individual citizen.
Nevertheless, the citizenry is confronted at the outset with the need to secure a level playing field in the channels of political discourse that shape the voters' choice of political candidates, undistorted by the pernicious influence of "big money" campaign contributions or other centralized instrumental powers such as mass media ownership. Neither the Executive Branch, the Courts, or Congress have secured this basic foundation for a fair election to any serious degree. An outrageous dictatorship controls access to vital Congressional information. Nonprofit Internet-based reporters, like myself, have been locked out of Congressional Press Galleries without any expressed reason. The authority of the FCC to serve the public interest has been abdicated to serve the pernicious private interests. Monopoly power controls the channels of political discourse via "electioneering communications."
Government and the big business sectors of the American civilization are bound by an ethic rooted in the exercise of arbitrary power. Cruelty, ruthlessness, and intellectual slavery form the basis of upholding such an ethic, the hallmark of a strategy for unjust theological and political doctrines. T.A. Goudge, The Thought of C.S. Peirce 18-20 (1969). But in all periods of human history "the People" have learned that such outrageous methods must be given up. As Professor Warfield remarked, "truth, crushed to earth, will rise again," quoting C.S. Peirce.
The big bonus from the big bust of the most recent capitalist bubble buildup brings a stunning new literature of capitalist horror stories combined with optimism about the future of capitalism. See e.g., Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Roaring Nineties 302-303 (2003); Arianna Huffington, Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption are Undermining America (2003); William Greider, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to Moral Economy (2003); Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy (2002); and Paul Hawken, infra. The horror stories have at last pierced the culture of denial with the culture of corruption, so that valid analysis and synthesis of the capitalist chaos monster may begin. Optimism over prospects for changing capitalism expressed in that literature, is not without real possibilities both in terms of correcting social inequities as well as an array of ideas about returning the Planet Earth to a state of ecological integrity. At the core of these possibilities, however, are questions about the mind-set of those who have adopted a plan for existence embedded in the ideology of capitalism during the past 500 years. This mind-set would dictate that American leaders will just take the profit derived from these new opportunities while neglecting the possibilities for betterment of human and natural conditions.
Americans have already experienced how the widely circulated optimism about the new possibilities for human betterment derived first from television communications and more recently from computer information technology (IT), have played out in reality. These spectacular new technologies resulted in no betterment to humanity. Television quickly became a "vast wasteland" as characterized by the FCC Chairman, Newton Minow, in a 1961 address to the National Association of Broadcasters. G. ROBINSON, E. GELLHORN, H. BRUFF, THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS 278 (2d ed. 1980). The primary purpose of the National Research and Education Network Program (NREN), was "to establish a gigabit communications infrastructure that will dramatically enhance the ability to collaborate among members of the research and education community," while the publicly espoused, normative purposes of the National Information Infrastructure (NII), proposed a set of grand applications, which promised, "large economic and social benefits to the nation in education, health care, digital libraries, government information, and manufacturing." V. Schreibman, The Politics of Cyberspace, in Journal of Government Information, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 249, 256-258 (1994). Nevertheless, these promises were quickly taken over and supplanted by superficial technology goals and the dynamics of the market system, which disregards such public goods. By development of the "information super highways" without a movement toward improvements in the quality of life, we have failed the test of genuine scientific and technological progress recognized in the landmark report of the U.S. National Academy of Science, National Goals For a New Era (1993): p. vi.
Instead of genuine progress the program for "information super highways" has been plagued by massive waste and wide spread degenerative development. For example, More than $200 billion of taxpayer dollars were appropriated by Congress for IT, during the 1990s, both as a subsidy to industry and to improve government. A large part of this expenditure was admittedly thrown away, without any strategic plan or vision of the role of information systems in government, according to a finding of the US Senate, Aug 4, 1995, confirming previous reports of the General Accounting office.
One of the most significant uses of IT made by corporate centers of power has been the restructuring of their economic interests so that computer-driven machines do the work, at the expense of lost employment for workers who are discharged without alternative means of sustaining their well being and survival. J. Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Labor Era (1995). Largely as a consequence of this narrow economic theory (called "downsizing," "clean manufacturing," or "reengineering"), all the material benefits derived from IT during the past decade have gone to the most wealthy 20 percent of American families, while those in the bottom 80 percent have been shut out. At the extremes, the top 1 percent has taken a lion's share of the benefits and the bottom 5 percent are being devastated with further impoverishment. R. Kutter, "Fewer Fruits For Our Labors," op-ed in The Washington Post, Sept 4, 1995.
The major product of the Information-age, thereby, transformed the United States into the most inequitable social and political system among leading industrial countries in the world. Keith Bradsher, "Widest Gap in Incomes? Research Points to U.S.," The New York Times, Oct 27, 1995 (discussing study commission by the Organization for Economic Cooperation (Oct 1995); Kevin P. Phillips, Democracy and Wealth (2002). Social analysts have warned of this outcome, and the end of this trend is nowhere in sight.
The capstone of the private business strategy has paralyzed the large potential effectiveness of the Internet, which is trapped in superficiality and resulting Babel, in an e-culture that largely disregards the real challenge: to develop shared consciousness of the human community. This strategy follows closely the fate of The nation’s hijacked idea of democracy in America. Superficial communications is a strategy that different forms of dictatorship commonly use. "All the Nazi or Fascist school books made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning." Umberto Eco, "Eternal Fascism" in The New York Review of Books 12, 15-16 (June 22, 1995). With this kind of communications it is impossible "to develop shared consciousness of the human community" or any serious form of democratic dialogue.
Mr. Greenspan and some other elite professional experts and pundits, praise the "prosperity" produced by capitalism but this perception is a product of tunnel vision. We have the "prosperity" of a special class of kleptomaniacs, pigs, and plutocrats, as Stiglitz (2003), Huffington (2003), and Phillips (2002), describe in great detail. Most everyone else during the past two decades has either been shut out or are hanging on for dear life, according to reliable reports of the facts cited here. Despite the cover of praise for capitalism, as Professor Lindblom fairly explains, the market system is, "grossly inefficient," as well as being, "highly irrational," infra at ch. 11. Recent "prosperity" derived from "market fundamentalism" that Stiglitz (2003) describes as "The Roaring Nineties" was nothing more than "a phantasm, that much of the wealth was 'stolen' property, acquired through misleading accounting and tax scams, in an economy where corporate governance had failed, and failed badly." Id at 302-03.
In the midst of this stolen prosperity, Studs Terkel reveals in his new book, Hope Dies Last (2003), how some devastated, abandoned, burned out communities and badly abused part-time employees of greedy elite institutions of higher learning, like Harvard University, are yet having to work themselves back from the brink of despair. Another article, by John Kenneth Galbraith, "Concerning Enronism," appearing in the same publication, S. Terkel, infra at 87-90, observes: "(N)othing in my lifetime or yours has happened more completely than the loss of confidence in corporate leadership..."
These appalling outcomes of free market capitalism are largely preordained by the stupidity of market theory itself. Classic market theory disregards the interdependent social and ecological attributes of democratic sustainability, which are treated as "externalities." American sociologist James S. Coleman, Foundations of Social Theory 300-305 (1990) has observed that classic market theory is a "broadly perpetrated fiction," Id at 300-305, possessing no logical intellectual foundation. Disregarding such "externalities" allows finance capital to take a free ride on society, reaping maximum profit from transactions without consideration for the real costs, which are dumped on society-at-large. In a democracy, political authority should be exercised by "the will of the whole," not by the unilateral will of a strategically placed few. Moreover, the Erroneous Priorities Effect ("EPP"), informs us that an attempt to derive social meaning by aggregating individual subjective decisions derived from the marketplace of ideas, without consideration of the influence of relevant social interdependencies "leads to spurious priorities and ineffective actions," according to systems research carried out at the Food and Drug Administration by Dr. Alexander N. Christakis.
Corrosive propaganda promoted these days by the once grand American champions of the supremacy of the people has now even sought to destroy the founding American creed guided by the ideals of human freedom, liberty, and justice for all. According to the fictions of "free market" capitalism spinning out of the Library of Congress in a companion book to its bicentennial celebration, Thomas Jefferson: Genius of Liberty (2000), one must split apart the ideals of freedom and liberty, which are the core tenets of America's promise to itself and the world. An explanation given in the book asserts that the ideals of freedom and liberty are "logically incompatible" because the ideal of "freedom" necessarily leads to "social and economic inequality."
Three Great Leaders of Democracy
The "Information Age" has expanded individual freedom of action and reduced the limitations of time and place. Nevertheless, we are no longer isolated individuals. The essential interdependent nature of human existence especially evokes the harmonizing, Jeffersonian creed of "freedom, liberty, and justice for all." The "Information Age" has immediately enlarged both the potential for individual freedom as well as the interdependence of human relationships, making human freedom logically impossible without liberty and justice for all.
Describing the indispensable character of Political Liberty in the United States, in his introduction to the original edition of Leaves of Grass (1855), the American poet Walt Whitman admonished: "When all life and all the souls of men and women are discharged from any part of the earth--then only shall the instinct of liberty be discharged from that part of the earth."
The irony of our present situation, at the beginning of the 21st-century, is underscored by the fact that science has rendered impossible the ethic of radical individualism advanced by "market fundamentalism." Interdependence is the axiom governing contemporary existence! The Jefferson Day speech discussing "the science of human relationships" proposed by the American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the closing days of World War II, and The Idea of Alliance, explained by the English statesman, Winston S. Churchill, looking back at history a decade later, both recognized the evolutionary movement toward interdependence in human relationships highlighted by their own magnificent leadership experience during World War II, at the dawn of the "Information Age."
Can one say that the outcome of contemporary politics, including the restoration of would-be monarchs in various places around the world via "market theology," is the triumph of "freedom," or rather, is the current situation a manifestation of the global arousal of what Professor Chalmers Johnson has called "blowback--the fierce and terrorist-mobilizing resentment incited by U.S. policies, bombings, wars, and covert operations ..."? Kevin Philips, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush 63-65, 328 (2004).
This concept of "freedom," which disregards as "externalities" of the market system, the ideals of "liberty and justice for all," drives American capitalism back to the discredited laissez faire doctrine of the 19th-century Robber Baron Era. Thus American capitalism returned in the late 20th-century to a new Robber Baron Era, guided by "market fundamentalism," wielding global technological power, threatening destruction of the American Republic and sweeping enslavement of the whole global population.
Americans have long anticipated this horrible situation. The failed capitalist paradigm bears within itself the seeds of decay, which have sprouted into a deadly global epidemic. President Lincoln, George F. Kennan and many other wise statesmen and ordinary citizens have warned of this danger ever since the industrial society came into prominence. When the cruel American civil war, which cost a vast amount of treasure and blood, was nearing its end, in 1864, President Lincoln foretold of a crisis that caused him to "tremble for the safety of my country." This is what he said:
As a result of the war corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. Letter from Abraham Lincoln, to William F. Elkins (Nov. 21, 1864), reprinted in Archer H. Shaw ed., Tne Lincoln Encyclopedia 40 (1950).
In the early years of the 21st century the destruction of the Republic has reached its final stages, as former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore relates in his book, The ASSAULT ON REASON (2007)
"Now that the conglomerates can dominate the expression of opinion that flood the minds of the citizenry and selectively choose the ideas that are amplified so loudly as to drown out others that, whatever their validity, do not have wealthy patrons, the result is a de facto coup d'etat overthrowing the rule of reason. Greed and wealth now allocate power in our society, and that power is used in turn to further increase and concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the few."
Under the contemporary realization of those corporate threats, pursued globally, the attack on democracy, and terrorism at home and around the world has constantly augmented. Drawing upon the courage and strength of the great emancipator, President Lincoln, it is necessary to recognize that the emerging doctrine dividing freedom and liberty "will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed." A house divided against itself cannot stand!
From capitalism to omni capital
I have previously discussed the incommensurable set of theories-in-use, which comprise the Setting for Decisions illustrating the whole-souled values-gap between capitalist realities and democratic ideals. Professor Stiglitz, previously observed in Globalization and its Discontents (2000): "The greatest challenge is not just to the institutions themselves but in mind- sets," infra at 216. Mr. Greider also observes,
(B)rand-name companies that are taking half steps, however laudable ... simply diverts attention from the deeper structural changes that are needed. "What we really need from the corporation is the capacity and the culture in which to tell the truth. The real problem is, we don't have a culture where people can tell the truth." W. Greider, The Soul of Capitalism, at 199, quoting Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism.
In the latter work, the authors recognize Einstein's dictum, "problems can't be solved within the mind-set that created them," Id at 6. Moreover, Mr. Greider observes, "The plain fact is that reinventing capitalism is impossible to achieve without reformation of government as well, since the two realms are intricately interdependent." W. Greider, infra, at 264. These are the conditions that dictate the need to build Moral Imagination, and boldly challenge the horribly debilitatingValues-Gap, that prohibits genuine social and cultural progress. The system of psychocultural perception, which frames decadent capitalist mind-sets is at war with the economic, social, and ecological imperatives of democracy. The practical outcome is revealed in a continuing barbaric war of aggression against nations, together with a chronic barbaric war by other means against both the biosphere of Planet Earth and "the People."
The struggle to recognize the values of democratic sustainability as authoritative, supplanting those of decadent capitalism, is reconfirmed by the prevailing paradox as the most indispensable and fundamental philosophical change that is needed. This will require a transformation of capitalist institutions in ways that they themselves will prohibit. One can see this same kind of struggle in the work of professor of history of science, Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). That book became a profoundly influential landmark of 20th-century intellectual history.
In Kuhn's masterpiece he points out, "the parallel between political and scientific development should no longer be open to doubt," infra at ch. IX. A key historical fact about the paradigm shift that defines both political and scientific revolutions, is that the new paradigm cannot build on the one that precedes it. It can only supplant it. The two, Kuhn said, were "incommensurable." Let me suggest, therefore, that a democratic political economy cannot be built upon the old capitalist system or the mind-sets that now sustain it. Such a shift, said Kuhn, demands, "the destruction of the prior paradigm," infra at ch. IX.
There is a massive contradiction between the theories of capitalism and democracy. With the exception of Professor Lindblom who explores the benefits of a highly developed democratic government dispensing with the market system, infra at 228-235, what many other experts are suggesting we need, in substance, is a strange transformation of capitalism to produce a sustainable civilization: a transformation that retains the name but, paradoxically, rejects the soul of American capitalism. Expressing this perception, while offering unwarranted praise for capitalist "prosperity," Mr. Greider observed, "As we look deeper for the soul of capitalism, we find that, in terms of ordinary human existence, American capitalism doesn't appear to have one." Id at 35. Retaining capitalism, in name, for our economic future while pretending to reject its deeper meaning is convoluted linguistics and unrealizable design. Retain the language of capitalism and one retains its soul-destroying meaning.
"'Language is the dress of thought,' said Samuel Johnson 200 years ago. The way we talk colors the way we think, and the way we think shapes the way we act." We need a language of "community and citizenship not of property and ownership," to define our future. Charles Handy, The Citizen Corporation, in HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, September-October 1997, pp. 27-28. Responsible government and big business can be secured only by the constructive power of the main body of citizenship, as Mary Parker Follett observed early last century, by "the living democracy of a united, responsible people." Follett's wisdom has been celebrated more recently by management guru Peter F. Drucker. Mary Parker Follett, Prophet of Management, introduction by Peter F. Drucker (Harvard Business School Classic, 1996). In an earlier work Drucker echoed Follett with this insight:
The greatest contribution that the autonomous community organization makes is as a new center of meaningful citizenship. The Megastate has all but destroyed citizenship. To restore it, the post-capitalist polity needs a "third sector," in addition to the two generally recognized ones, the "private sector" of business and the "public sector" of government. It needs an autonomous social sector. Peter F. Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society 171 (1993)(accent in original).
Realization of, "the living democracy of a united, responsible people," is the paramount goal, rather than primary focus on the reinvention of capitalism. The best and, perhaps, the only viable opportunity for some form of capital to reinvent itself is within the larger setting offered by true democracy for "virtuous and public-spirited citizenry" and "an undergirding civic community" as suggested by Robert D. Putnam, Harvard Professor of International Affairs. Making Democracy Work (1993). That goal obviously cannot be achieved by suggesting that Americans should fight to reinvent capitalism while the struggle for democracy is neglected. Democracy not capitalism is the spiritual home of the people, embraced by the American creed, and it is democracy that must provide the vital foundation for the future of American civilization while the actual soul of capitalism will either reinvent itself nested in the norms and goals of democracy, see e.g., Russell L. Ackoff, Re-Creating Corporation, ch. 9. "A Democratic Hierarchy" (1999); Peter F. Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society, ch 9. "Citizenship Through the Social Sector" (1993); John Berry, "K. Wayne's World: OCLC Confronts the Future," Library Journal 118, no. 9 (May 15, 1993): 28, 31; see also Amitai Etzioni, "The Untapped Potential of the 'Third Sector,'" Business and Society Review (Spring 1972): 32; or risk destruction by its own "stupidity or illegal intent."
It is to "the People," therefore, that we must now turn with whole-soul for a constructive response, to level the playing field for national elections and to secure the role of "the People," as masters of the situation. We begin by asking yet again, "How are they to rule?" That age-old question was asked early last century by Follett, and she responded,
It is the technique of democracy which we are seeking. We will find it in group organization. MP Follett, The New State ch XVIII, Democracy Not the Crowd: Our Popular Delusion (1918).
Although Follett asked the right question we now know, however, she never did find that technique of democracy during her lifetime. But science has provided the magic answer since then, ironically, it is derived from the integrative sciences, of Professor John N. Warfield, the neglected yet revolutionary successful means for realizing the ancient dream of democracy. In the most recent article posted online that Aleco Christakis and I wrote about The New Agora of Philanthropolis, which is based on A Technology of Democracy, we can see how the people can use the electronic channels of communications to lovingly build up their democratic powers in meaningful group dialogue. Moreover, in my web page for, CyberspaceCapital, we can envision how the norms and networks that are needed to expand those democratic powers may be constructed in dimensions beyond our wildest dreams.
Without adopting these new structures and technologies the transformative possibilities could not exist. Now Americans have a real choice for support of democratic group dialogue and the buildup of democratic institutions although continued neglect of that choice may still doom the democratic enterprise, as I have underscored in my essay on Ecology Dialogue. Aldous Huxley described this problem as,
the hopelessly primitive and uneducated state of our minds -- utterly ignorant of all rational techniques for encouraging such essential states as concentration on the one hand and 'decentration' -- relaxed quiescence -- on the other. ... It's a dismal story of wasted talents and unrealized potentialities." Letters of Aldous Huxley, G. Smith ed. 402 (1969), quoted in N. Murray, Aldous Huxley: A Biography 279 (2002).
Natural Capitalism offers powerful recognition of the "critical interdependence between the production and use of human-made capital and the maintenance and supply of natural capital." Infra at 3-4, 285-86. Four types of capital are needed for the economy to function properly, according to this authority:
human capital, in the form of labor and intelligence, culture and organization
finance capital, consisting cash investments, and monetary of
manufactured capital, including infrastructure, machines, tools, and factories
natural capital, made up of resources, living systems, and ecosystems services
The city development program of Curitiba, Brazil, a city with the population of Houston or Philadelphia, was selected for special emulation by Natural Capitalism. The mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, who is credited with that city's transformation, was an individual chosen by the military dictatorship government of Brazil, a thirty-three year old architect, engineer, urban planner, and humanist named Jaime Lerner, with "the brain of a technocrat and the soul of a poet." Mr. Lerner turned out to be "a charismatic, compassionate, and visionary leader" who ended his three terms in office "as the most popular mayor in Brazilian history." Infra at 288-308. The lessons of Curitiba's transformation are offered as the "promise and hope for all cities and all peoples throughout the world." Infra at 288-89.
The same "primitive and uneducated state of our minds" pierces the "promise and hope" offered by the lessons of Curitiba. Certainly, if the "good" official for city leader happens to show up for work, all the city residents will say, "fine and dandy," but if instead, the far more typical opportunist servant of the New Era Robber Barons shows up for work, which is the character that usually wins the grueling battle for public office in the United States, following the "Golden Rule" of money-driven politics, then what the city residents wind up with is the actual present model of the United States in the late 20th-century and early 21st-century. Under this model an economy is produced, as described by Stiglitz (2003), that is nothing more than "a phantasm, that much of the wealth was 'stolen' property, acquired through misleading accounting and tax scams, in an economy where corporate governance had failed, and failed badly." Id at 302-03. This is the actual situation faced by thousands of American cities today, and our way out of this dilemma is obviously not via the model of Curitiba, Brazil, in pursuit of the "good" public official. No merely representative method can save us. The pursuit of full citizenship must be our goal, together with the construction of an infrastructure for the support of democratic sustainability and not for the support of decadent "free market" capitalism. The focus upon political representation underscores centralized political power rather than competent knowledge and experience, and harmonious human relations. Instead, the focus must be on modes of association, as Follett has urged:
Representation is not the main fact of political life; the main concern of politics is modes of association. We do not want the rule of the many or the few; we must find that method of political procedure by which majority and minority ideas may be so closely interwoven that we are truly ruled by the will of the whole. We shall have democracy only when we learn to produce this will through group association -- when young men [and women] are no longer lectured to on democracy, but when they are made into the stuff of democracy. M.P. Follett, The New State, ch. XVII "Democracy Not the Majority: Our Political Fallacy" 142, 147 (1918)
"Whole systems engineering," infra 113-124, 286, 300, is stressed in the development of human communities, according to Natural Capitalism. This aspiration is an excellent city management scheme but in significant aspects it was not the actual model of city management-in-use, reported by Natural Capitalism. Perhaps, the most critical aspects of "whole systems engineering" involves encouragement of the mode of association by city residents to achieve, "the will of the whole," facilitated by integrative sciences. While the design process of Curitiba, espoused the importance of a participatory role of citizens in the process of city development, to assure legitimacy, the questionable charismatic leadership and expert professional control, appears from the text to have dominated the city development, rather than any reported encouragement and facilitation to obtain an exercise of the "the will of the whole." The "hope and promise" of benevolent or charismatic leadership, American history has shown, is almost always much better than the reality, and can be truly deplorable in their leadership of the citizenry by the nose.
Claims of technological knowledge are far too often overstated or false since the common citizen and even sophisticated business persons are rarely in a position to judge the truth of such claims. An example of the overstatement of such abilities may be drawn from the claims made in Natural Capitalism. Interdisciplinary dialogue facilitated by the "Charette" systemic method, was used by the Curitiba city officials. This methodology has serious limitations that make it inadequate, standing alone, to provide a competent basis for "whole systems engineering."
Professor Warfield, uses the term "Spreadthink" to describe the "demonstrated fact that when a group of individuals is working on a complex issue in a facilitated group activity, the views of the individual members of the group on the relative importance of problems and/or proposed action options will be literally 'spread all over the map.'" Warfield, therefore, cautions, "Facilitators who try to bring groups to a majority view or a consensus without the aid of some methodology that resolves the difficulties caused by Spreadthink may well be driving the group to Groupthink, and thus helping to arrive at a decision that lacks individual support and, usually, lacks substance." Groupthink, refers "to the deterioration of mental efficiency, quality of reality testing, and quality of moral judgment that results from in-group pressures. Subject to Groupthink, a group may seem to accept a specific decision; however, if individual group members are confronted with that point of view separately from the group, few members would accept that view as their own." J.N. Warfield and C. Teigen, Groupthink, Clanthink, Spreadthink, and Linkthink: Decision-Making on Complex Issues in Organizations 4-5, 31 (Institute for Advanced Study of the Integrative Sciences, George Mason University, 1993), citing I.L. Janis, Groupthink - Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascos 9 (1982).
The Charette method used by the design officials at Curitiba, which was praised by the authors of Natural Capitalism, and used by many others, has long been known to be a deficient methodology because it does not offer a way to resolve the difficulties caused by Spreadthink. These problems arise from divergent individual perspectives and the "unshakable cognitive burden" of conflicting mind-sets that assure wide differences of opinion about the valuation of group ideas. In a high-level peer review at a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation, in 1980, The Charette method was criticized for, among other reasons, "providing a dilution of judgment and responsibility," and because "a dominant leader may inhibit participants," or "dominant people may attract more attention than their input deserves," and because emerging conflicts between participants "may lead attention away from the issue or problem." W.A. Thissen, A.P. Sage, and J.N. Warfield, A Users Guide to Public Systems Methodologies 60-68 (July 2, 1980) (Draft) (NSF Workshop, July 14-15, 1980) (Dept. of Engineering Science and Systems, School of Engineering, University of Virginia).
While there were a number of superficial participatory exercises reported in the development of Curitiba, there was no report of any process of meaningful dialogue between the residents of the city on critical matters of community purposes that should guide all development or on strategic goals and public policy for the realization of such purposes. There was no conscious build-up of the psychic powers of city residents, through integration of their ideas about their communities. No reported attention was given to build-up social capital and cyberspace capital. This process was far from the preferred "User-Designer" Fourth Generation approach, known as "designing within the system." Banathy, infra, at ¶ 22.214.171.124.
The integrative processes described in the cited literature, discussed below -- social capital, cyberspace capital, humanistic capitalism, and a technology of democracy -- are necessary to support the transformation of the actual present model of political relations in the United States. These capital resources are not included in the list by the authors of Natural Capitalism of four types of capital needed for the economy to function properly but they are necessary to support true democracy and assure the dominance of democratic values rather than those that have historically been imposed on the city by the capitalist philosophy of greed and by the irrational and inefficient nature of the market system. If the goal is social transformation, dependency upon charismatic leadership and professional experts, which usually turn out to be a corrupt corporate sycophant and his cronies, must be radically reconsidered.
There is an inescapable need to transcend the prevailing mind-sets of government and business leaders. Citizens, themselves, not corporate sycophants and their cronies, must take on the leadership roles with the support of competent systemic methods. To be sure, this will not be the leadership of crowd politics, based on emotional manipulation of city residents, the viewers and listeners of corporate controlled media. Supported by a technique of democracy, social capital and cyberspace capital, citizen leadership can learn to facilitate genuine dialogue between members of community groups, including competent dialogue between professionals who serve the design team. Such a process could overthrow the destructive mind-sets of government and big business leadership, and radically reshape the structures of power in American cities based on democratic modes of human association and interaction, while building up psychic power, social capital, and humanistic capitalism.
With citizens taking a central role in civic affairs through genuine dialogue facilitated by an enlightened process, a more inclusive vision of capital, of a different kind and order, can be established. Call this Omni Capital. Table 1 shows the most critical resources included in Omni Capital.
Table 1.Omni Capital
Natural capital, made up of resources, living systems, and ecosystems services.
Human capital, in the form of labor and intelligence, culture and organization.
Manufactured capital, including infrastructure, machines, tools, and factories, as well as the intangible asset-human synergy.
Social capital and cyberspace capital, the emerging civic resources created by shaping the patterns of relations between individuals and organizations in virtual space and time to facilitate collective actions, which are essential to empower a true democracy, which is responsive to the sovereign will of, "the People"; for example, by the creation of stocks of social trust, norms and networks by means of voluntary standards of electronic communications, which people can draw upon to build psychic power and social power, and to solve common problems.
A technology of democracy, the interactive management of group decision making using specially designed facilities and competent standards of face-to-face or Internet-based communications, which are available or obtainable, which can facilitate meaningful dialogue and build community wisdom by integration of the creative efforts of, "the People".
Social business, model of economy proposed by 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Mohammad Yunus. Rather than the pursuit of financial profit and self-interest -- a business centered about me -- the proposed model is designed to maximize social benefit -- a business that is all about others.
The Las Colinas Prototype Community Development Concept, 11 (Summer 1975) (Las Colinas Planning Committee, eds.: Alexander N. Christakis, Research Leader, Futures and Policy Research, Battelle; Max Kaplan, Author, Lecturer, Consultant, Leisure Science, Art, Music; Kenneth K. Mabuchi, Investment Advisor, Former Assistant Secretary, HUD, Administration of JFK; Gerardo Navas, Director, Graduate School of Planning, University of Puerto Rico; Santiago Polanco Abreu, Attorney, Former Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico, Administration of Luis Muñoz Marin, US House of Representatives; Cruz A. Matos, Director, Office of Environmental Education, Western Hemisphere Division, United Nations; Amador Cobas, Executive Director, Institute of Social Technology, Former President, University of Puerto Rico; and Vigdor Schreibman, President, Las Colinas Development Corporation, et al.), quoting Willis W. Harman, "Humanistic Capitalism: Another Alternative" Fields Within Fields , Winter 1973-74, Number 10.
Finance capital, cash investments, and monetary instruments. Development of Omni Capital, would naturally supplant finance capital, in part. Any system that is "highly irrational" and "highly inefficient," which puts a premium on, "cruelty, ruthlessness, and intellectual slavery," serves ultimately to outrage the sensibilities of all rational human beings and undermines established beliefs of the community. Therefore, the willfully adhering to this system, and arbitrary forcing it on others so as to destroy American democracy, must be given up.
Shifting away from a philosophy of greed, which cannot produce anything but the "direst consequences," Vincent G. Potter, S.J., Charles S. Peirce On Norms & Ideals 176, the deep driver of Omni Capital is the evolutionary process revealed by the cosmos, which is ultimately governed by what Peirce has described as "creative love": the movement that "projects creations into interdependence and drawing them into harmony." Potter, infra at xvii-xviii, 179-80. The very same interdependence, drawing the people into harmony is projected by the democratic movement of, "the People," from whom "all power derives" under the Republican form of Government, the US Supreme Court has ruled. City of Eastlake v. Forest City, 426 US 668, 672 (1976). The drive to democratic power is thus a drive to the harmony of "creative love" that evolves from the cosmos.
Democracy offers the potential of unvanquishable power but the attainment of such striking power by the people in a democracy can occur only to the extent that a true democracy is realized, that is, by attainment of a genuine union of true individuals, as described by Follett. It was not undisciplined freedom but the pursuit of "a more perfect Union" that motivated The Constitution of the United States! The shift toward a true democratic paradigm -- the paradigm of community wisdom known in the Greek language as "DEMOSOPHIA" -- seems inevitable in a social system of increasing complexity such that only the development of a democratic "science of human relationships" as conceived by Franklin Roosevelt, can assure the survival of civilization by realization of the ancient promise of democracy. Indeed, the People Science, described by Dr. Alexander N. Christakis, was inspired by the same spiritual search. In the "Information Age" the challenge of democracy is to adapt the marvelous ancient Athenian Agora to Cyberspace, which brings into view, The New Agora of Philanthropolis, that Dr. Christakis and I have proposed, as the backbone of Omni Capital.
Conversely, to the extent that a state remains or is driven toward chaos and barbarity, disassociation, disintegration, anarchy, or mere separation, democracy is bereft of power and civilization, itself, is impossible. See e.g., José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses 75-76 (W.W. Norton ed. 1993); Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind 109-118 (1987).
It is useless to say that the individual in American democracy is protected by the fictions of the Constitution and Laws of the United States. The contemporary real world is governed, in significant respects, by the Doctrines of Injustice, arguments by able lawyers, and the honorable justices to the contrary notwithstanding. As Al Gore related in his book, The ASSAULT ON REASON (2007), "Now that the conglomerates can dominate the expression of opinion that flood the minds of the citizenry ... the result is a de facto coup d'etat overthrowing the rule of reason. Greed and wealth now allocate power in our society." My own personal experience with the fictions of the Constitution and Laws of the United States during the past 40-years, confirms this appalling reality. In that well documented experience we can see clearly how the overthrow of my undeniable right to freedom of the press at the US Congress, Periodical Press Galleries (entire internet folder and dozens of files of press commentary and court procedings were destroyed by computer terrorism, although I retain the original documents, which may be inspected!), was effected by the "Media Aristocracy" engaged in "Cleansing of the Press--in Congress". We can also see how "Courts of Robbery" in the Judiciary of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, together with corrupt monopoly legal services, and forbidden judicial conflicts of interest, have imposed an obstinate pattern of judicial failure and refused to recognize my corporation's undeniable rights of access to courts, due process, and equal protection to vindicate our meritorious constitutional claims, after the Federal Judiciary obstinately engaged in similar, absolutely illegitimate conduct in regard to The Controversy Over Las Colinas Properties. Those indubitable "legal rights" are for all practical purposes (with rare exception) inexistent, subject to the rule of power at the service of the tyrannical legal profession and their favored clients, the "big money" institutions, the American citizen be damned.
Empowerment of Government and the private sector without a controlling role for the citizens of democracy is no democracy. No system of legal fictions based on the "rights" of the people enforced by irresponsible judicial officers appointed by politicians with the corrupt power to overthrow the Constitution and Laws of the United States, at their will or whim, can safeguard the inalienable rights of the people. "Representation" by public officials chosen in an electoral process controlled by finance capital, manifestly cannot guarantee the promise of a real democracy in which the people can freely exercise their sovereign powers. These problems are not a recent 21st century creation. President Lincoln, George F. Kennan and many other wise statesmen and ordinary citizens have warned of this danger ever since the industrial society came into prominence. Seeking a method to overcome the fictions of Democracy in America that were plainly evident early in the 20th century -- the individual rights of politics, the laissez-faire of economics and our whole false particularism -- Follett wrote:
To substitute for the fictitious democracy of equal rights and "consent of the governed," the living democracy of a united responsible people is the task of the twentieth century. We seek now the method. M.P. Follett, The New State, ch XX, "The Growth of Democracy in America," 162-73.
The American people have failed to realize the 20th century goal sought by Follett. Failed badly. Wise integration of community resources into, Omni Capital, could possibly result in a synergy of what is human, man-made, and given by nature, when this goal is encouraged and facilitated by means of the Technology of Democracy. However, the palpable threat of this Technology, which has already proven its effectiveness, to those who wield the highest levels of power in the structures of organizations, whether of the public, private, or civic sectors, has historically motivated the neglect of this possibility. Warfield denounced the "stupidity or illegal intent" of those persons for their neglect of this technique, at the close of the 20th-century. The same neglect of "rational techniques for encouraging essential states" was denounced at mid-century by Huxley, following the prophetic leadership of Follett early in the 20th-century.
Ironically, the authors suggest that Natural Capital, "is not about fomenting social upheaval." Promises to radically change the world by, "Creating the Next Industrial Revolution," must address what Mr. Hawken described as "the deeper structural changes that are needed," for transformation of the 500 year old, dying industrial age and capitalist mind-sets. That goal would have to address what Professor Banathy describes as "guided cultural evolution"; namely: "an explosive and cumulative capacity of culture for rapid change" "manifested in a total transformative change" by "the creative surge of conscious evolution." B.H. Banathy, infra, ¶¶ 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52.c. This is similar to the observation of Professor Thomas Kuhn that a paradigm shift involving "incommensurable" value conflicts cannot be built upon the old order, but demands, "the destruction of the prior paradigm," infra at ch. IX.
The great lesson of "people power" from which democracy itself was born in the New World must now be asserted to alter the structure of power that has corruptly taken over the government of the United States. In his biography of Tom Paine (1995), Australian John Keane described the profound meaning of "people power" is these words:
The power to shape the world does not derive ultimately from rulers or their monopoly of the means of violence. Rulers surrounded by spies, police, jurists, tax collectors, generals, and administrators cannot rule for very long. Power ultimately emanates from below. Rulers can rule only insofar as they have the tacit or active support of the ruled. Without it, they become impotent in the face of citizens acting together in solidarity for the achievement of their own common goals.
Much like the original moral struggle to overcome the deep structural basis for the barbaric slavery of African Americans, this generation of Americans may consider the lesson offered by William Llyod Garrison, then editor of The Liberator. Guided by strong pacifist beliefs, Garrison ironically advanced the need "to hate" the words "prudence and judiciousness" which revealed the "squeamishness" of citizens which retarded social and political progress.
What was needed, instead, Garrison had successfully argued, was,
"a most tremendous excitement" that would awaken the timid and the apathetic and force a social conflict that he likened first to "a moral earthquake," then to "a hurricane that rolled the waters," and finally "to the martyr age of Christianity." Henry Mayer, All on Fire 243 (1998)
Indeed, if this generation of Americans desire a true democracy to supplant the fictions of free market capitalism we will have to force a social conflict of the most magnificent and awesome significance.
Civic power "many-to-many"
To become masters of the situation it is necessary for Americans to make a radical break away from the failed capitalist paradigm that imposes such a barbaric technological civilization motivated by "stupidity or illegal intent." In the coming unique presidential election year -- PEY2008 -- nothing could be easier.
We can now turn in the quiet of our own homes to the other technique that everyone can grasp immediately, which can help level the playing field for PEY2008 right now. By the simple act of turning off their cable connection, and turning off their radio and television sets during PEY2008, or at least within the critical 60-day period prior to election day, "the People," can instantly level the political playing field by a voluntary blackout that this generation of Americans can liken first to "a moral earthquake," then to "a hurricane that rolled the waters," and finally "to the martyr age of Christianity"; thereby, delivering a knockout to "big money" power in all "electioneering communications."
This simple but "most tremendous" act carried out privately in defiance of the coercion of elite powers would immediately shift control over access to the New Dimension of Media. This action moves power away from the, "current media aristocracies and status quo in much the ways that the advent of democracy did to the aristocracies of two centuries ago." This is the moment to give that vision new meaning right now.
Truman's famous sign--"The buck stops here"--tells only half the story. Citizens cannot escape the ultimate responsibility. It is in the voting booth, not on the presidential desk, that the buck finally stops. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (2003).
Since I first offered this recommendation three years ago, for a shift away from the media aristocracies toward the New Dimension of Media, a massive buildup of the potential democratic power of the channels of political dialogue via Internet has occurred! Citizen Bloggers are the rage! The democratic potential of that massive movement must now be disciplined by democratizing structures of the New Agora.
The logic of genuine democracy projects itself in meaningful dialogue as the
spiritual alternative to the pernicious instrumental power of "big money" that
seeks to buy the political system right out from under everyone else, so that,
as veteran journalist Bill Moyers writes,
"democracy no longer has the ability to hold capitalism accountable for the good
of the whole." Money-driven politics, designed to exercise total control
over electioneering communications (EC) (i.e., cable, broadcast, or satellite communications),
will certainly hijack PEY2008,
if citizens fail to pull the plug on this travesty.
This is the moment to Clean House! Indeed, pundits suggest this may be the moment to transform failed political parties and failed ideologies. Human belief systems and structures of the Republican Party and Democratic Party, both suffer from fossilization and lack of vitality, dragged down by the dire evolutionary systems of raw power, which are fueled in significant part by irresponsible telecommunications systems, which have established The Frankenstein Civilization that frames our cultural existence. From these dire conditions we have produced the Interlinked Crises: Climate Crisis. Financial Crisis. Democracy Crisis. Leadership crisis.
WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR
So what is the remedy for our national disgrace? Vice President Al Gore said it best in these words:
"The remedy for what ails our democracy is not simply better education (as important as that is) or civic education (as important as that can be), but the reestablishment of a genuine democratic discourse in which individuals can participate in a meaningful way -- a conversation of democracy in which meritorious ideas and opinions from individuals do, in fact, evoke a meaningful response." A.Gore, The ASSAULT ON REASON 447 (2007).
Lovers of Democracy - Omni
Capital - & CyberspaceCapital
Federal Information News Syndicate (FINS)
Vigdor Schreibman, Editor & Publisher,
18 - 9th Street NE #206, On Capitol Hill, Washington, DC 20002-6042.
Copyright © 2004-2010 Vigdor Schreibman.
Integrated Phone/Fax/Voice Mail: (202) 547-8715;
Browse Fins Information Age Library at URL: http://sunsite.utk.edu/FINS/
P. Atchley, artist,
Portrait of Vigdor in blue 2001.