Friday, July 07, 2006

Response to Inquiries

One of our readers asked if the public health model of social conflict would enable progressives to more effectively combat the violent right-wing, noting that progressives would be able to understand the etiology of the "disease" and therefore keep it from spreading. This thoughtful reader inquired what it means for opposition research to be oriented toward public process (as opposed to policy), as well as requested an example of how our research kept people from harm--to illustrate the fact with a clear, compelling story.

He also asked why we don't just locate the learning center at an existing non-profit, perhaps one of those in our network.

Our response:

We occasionally recruit and convert progressives to our way of viewing conflict, but that means they first have to divorce themselves from the delusions of institutional thinking.

In other words, they are no longer progressives. In the meantime, keeping people safe requires us to persuade them not to do stupid things. We don't always prevail.

In our experience, the public health model is essential to public safety in all public processes, from electoral campaigns to community projects. Reign of Terror, the shorter online version of my memoir Blind Spots, is intended to illustrate this. My report Research as Organizing Tool discusses The Public Health Model in more depth.

As for housing the learning center, you will notice it is an initiative of Public Good. While we collaborate with the various nodes of our network, we respect the diversity of their unique approaches and niches as a valuable aspect of covering all the angles. This independence--and effectiveness--would, unfortunately, be compromised by altering that relationship.

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