Monday, May 24, 2010

Democracy Is A Process

The common thread of these affinity groups is, of course, pro-democracy. Creating or defending democracy requires researchers, analysts, and activists; sustaining their work requires organization.

Having filled one or more of these roles over the last forty years, I've noticed the most successful organizations institute respect for each, and devote adequate time to discussing strategy as well as tactics. Unfortunately, the lack of political infrastructure to recruit, socialize, and nurture leadership development often puts us in the position of watching our best and brightest drop by the wayside through isolation and attrition.

Archived memory and informal mentoring help, but these networks of organizations and individuals would benefit immensely from a politically-oriented association that could offer ongoing support to those who want to mix it up in the streets, the courts, and the halls of power. Democracy is a process, not an event.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Active Cooperation

In March 1996, Public Good directors Paul de Armond and Jay Taber participated in a conference hosted by Rudolph C. Ryser. After a year of sharing research, Public Good began active cooperation with the Center for World Indigenous Studies.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Unrealized Dreams

As Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network observes, leadership on protecting Mother Earth is emerging from indigenous communities and their movement associates in civil society. Opposed to this movement is the United Nations, its member states, and the transnational corporations engaged in corrupting them. What Tom has not discussed, are the transitional steps required to transform this movement into a working political system that has the capacity to translate the aspirations of its participants into the power necessary for sustainable social change.

Dispersing global political power into a democratic framework that respects Mother Earth, indigenous peoples, and humanity itself already has a common spiritual foundation; building the political infrastructure that can recruit, socialize and nurture leadership able to successfully challenge the entrenched corruption now destroying Mother Earth is a vital corollary to the community activism underway.

As the indigenous elders and others have said, it is holistic governance we need and seek; until we accomplish that, global conservation, reciprocity, and generosity remain unrealized dreams.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Acting in Concert

Acting in concert to improve one's community, unfortunately, requires dealing with political parties. Political parties, even as corporate fronts, control the public purse, and can thus frustrate independent good deeds.

The US electoral system may be essentially corrupt as the aristocracy it protects, but ceding the field of conflict seems a poor strategy for reform. Better to organize independent parties to challenge the corrupt and initiate change.

Build influence and power locally, especially keeping in mind that cannot be sustained without some type of political infrastructure to recruit, socialize and nurture an ongoing pool of new leadership. Mixing things up electorally and otherwise needs the continuity and funding that only a party provides. Activism that eschews governance is doomed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Whole New World

The problem is that in a mediated, audiovisual communications culture, the price of broadcast communication access is prohibitive to popular participation. Once dazed by this overwhelming medium, consumers are so pulverized they need to go through a cultural rehab in order to even imagine an alternative translation. As usual, creativity and resourcefulness, such as that seen in independent blogging, contribute to the process of rerouting our collective imagination.

Were video podcast to eclipse corporate broadcast, it would be a whole new world.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Public Good Statement

Wikipedia rules resulted in the removal of our investigative research network. Even though citations showed we were what we said we were, the informality of our structure, I think, was a deterrent to our acceptability by Wikipedia.

Out of curiosity, I later compiled a list of citations of our work that included USC Annenberg School of Communications, Columbia University, MIT, RAND corporation, Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the US Department of Justice.

While we will not contest the Wikipedia decision, we wish to thank those who made the effort to include recognition of our work there.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Stealing Social Security

Obama's Fiscal Commission, supported by media sycophants and think tank frauds, escalates the campaign to steal Social Security reserves. As elite thievery goes, this pending heist is only overshadowed by the bank bailout and private equity raid. In the first segment on this colossal coup, Real News looks at some of the players, and the mechanics of their scam.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Private Equity Predations

With the big bad bankers hogging the headlines, America's aristocracy has seen smooth sailing for hedge funds and other private equity predations. We've noted this blind spot before, but with political illiteracy at an all-time high, it seemed worth repeating.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Role of Tribalism

Recent op-eds in the progressive press on tribalism and indigeneity reveal ongoing misperceptions. Perhaps this brief discussion on the role of tribalism in the world today will help.