Deux mercredi soir par mois, un débat politique intéressant suivi d' souper convivial!
C'est l'occasion d'écouter ce que les autres pensent et de partager vos idées. Discuter des problèmes et des possibilités et établir un flux d'actions concrètes, la réalisation du changement et la transformation de la société en même temps.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 18:00
Restaurant Espace Noir, rue Francillon 29, 2610 St-Imier
Français, English, Deutsch, with translations as needed.
Venez nombreux !
Le deuxième tour aura lieu le 21 Novembre et le sujet sera déterminé par les résultats de la première table ronde :
'What kind of society do we want?', and more specifically, 'How do we want society to operate?'
This topic emerged from the first session of Wednesday, November 7th. Present were Stephan, Javier, Salony, Rosette, Chris, Richard and Roger ....
We started off with the question, 'What are we not doing that we could be doing, and what is blocking us?'. The first answer that was offered had to do with spirituality. The claim was that we are 'not really human'; we don't have 'love in our hearts'; we have 'lost our souls', and our sense of respect. We need to recover our humanity through appropriate practices, such as Buddhism. Our society is how it is because of how individuals are, and only if individuals change, society can change.
An observation was then offered, that social collapse leads people to think in new ways. In Benghazi, for example, with the collapse of Libyan society, people began to self-organize, creating a voluntary police force, organizing medical care, etc. But unfortunately, people then reverted to familiar hierarchical ways. They lacked the self-confidence to continue on the self-organizing path.
From this observation, there is hope that the general economic collapse could be a path to change, leading people to leave behind bad emotions and start a new way of life. But there is also the possibility that the collapse could lead to the re-emergence of fascism, or some other kind of bad outcome.
A suggestion was offered that it might be good to begin developing self-organization in small groups, organizing our own food etc. This could be an example to others and could spread. The observation was offered that we don't need to read anarchists books to do this, but simply need to follow our instincts and gut feelings.
Returning to the question of 'lacking self-confidence', the suggestion was offered that we can gain the necessary self-confidence through the experience of participating in collective decision-making. This could lead to a feeling of collective empowerment. As evidence for this, it was observed that 'primitive' tribes do make their decisions collectively, and do have the necessary kind of self-confidence. It was also observed that such societies have a strong sense of spiritual awareness, along with respect for the Earth and things spiritual.
Toward the end, it was suggested that in order to overcome hierarchy, people need to be unified. It was suggested that unity could be achieved by further inquiry of the question 'What kind of society do we want?', and more specifically, 'How do we want society to operate?'.
Over the past month,
has been working on the way in which he intends to move forward, resulting in The Transformation Project.
This project is motivated by the belief that a much better world is possible. A world where society is in balance with nature, rather than destroying nature. A world organized around what people need and want, rather than around creating wealth for the few. A world in harmony rather than a world plagued by conflict and war. A world where people have a real voice in how their societies operate.
This project is also motivated by the observation that the current systems of society cannot be fixed. A better world calls for a whole new way of organizing things, making decisions, allocating resources, dealing with economics, etc. We need a total transformation of society: a whole new operating system for Spaceship Earth.
Tom Atlee's book Empowering Public Wisdom will become available in a few days. His accompanying manifesto, below, sums up the vision of the book. The book itself, in my opinion, is a manifesto for introducing choice creation into our political processes, exactly in the spirit of what
A call to establish a legitimate, wise, powerful, collective voice of the people
We are in serious trouble.
we face epoch-making opportunities to remake our world in the face of that trouble, in profoundly positive ways.
As unprecedented crises emerge, our democratic republicthe tool we use to deal with
our public issuesis breaking down. We urgently need new approaches that can make us wise masters of our own common destiny. Luckily, the resources for wise self-governance and ongoing cocreativity are at our fingertips.
Even as we increase the diversity, power, and connectivity of our
, it is becoming possible for We the People, as a whole, to speak with
one wise voice:
a voice that only speaks after considering all sides of each issue and viewing its full complexity;
a voice that embraces the diverse perspectives, values, stories, needs, and dreams of the entire community, state, or country for which it speaks;
a voice that takes into consideration the big picture, the long term, and what could happen, both good and bad;
a voice that is respected by the vast majority of the population as our legitimate collective voice.
We can and must create that voice in our democracy now. And we can and must give it a powerful role in deciding what will happen. Our lives, our communities, our country, our world, and our collective future depend on it.
Why a wise public voice is essential
In a world where our collective problems are becoming catastrophic, we find our collective destiny in the hands of competing interests that seldom serve our shared well-being or address the true complexity of our public issues. Their partial, partisan, and temporary solutions all too often make our problems worse. When we hear someone speak for the common good, they are easily marginalized as just one more special interest.
special interests are continuously manipulating us using scientific public relations , media, and mountains of money. We have little opportunity or time to deliberate together, to explore our differences and our common interests, or to develop and express our united public judgment and community wisdom on issues that impact our lives. We are kept busy and entertained, divided and conquered.
Until We the People create a coherent, wise, collective voice, our interests will not be served and no public issue will be handled wisely.
Why a wise public voice is possible
Methods abound to translate differences and conflicts into greater insight and cocreativity. And ways exist to provide full-spectrum information and use it to generate collective understanding. Under the right conditions, wise public decisions can be produced by facilitating deliberations among a relatively small group of ordinary citizens whose diversity makes them a microcosm of the community from which they were drawn. Few people realize that hundreds of such
citizen deliberative councils
have been held successfully all over the world.
By broadly advocating, developing, using, and institutionalizing such councils we can generate a legitimate, wise, inclusive, coherent, and powerful voice of the peoplean authentic voice of the whole public.
Why nothing else can really serve that purpose
Public opinion polls tell how many of us believe this or that off the top of our heads. They do not reflect what we would believe if we were fully informed and had considered each others points of view productively. Pundits, politicians, and experts tell us what we should believe, but they seldom help us work toward a consensus that embraces our collective diversity and our shared needs and aspirations. Talk shows, public hearings, and protests are filled with people passionate about their perspectives, but they seldom actually
each other or work to find the common ground needed to move ahead as whole communities.
We now know how to bring the actual diversity of the public together to find a shared voice of community wisdom that makes sense for our whole community, our whole country. We just need to convene temporary citizen deliberative councils with a membership that embodies the diversity of their community or country. Have them deliberate for days or weeks about a specific public concern. Help them report their findings and recommendations to officials, the media, and the publicand then organize around those recommendations. Then watch how a powerful and shared understanding emerges about what needs to be done.
Citizen deliberative councils have proven successful with even the most technical, complex issues. They have been used to bring forth inspiring visions. They have been used to evaluate legislation and politicians and to provide those evaluations to the voters. Every time, we find that this authentic public voice speaks the language of neither the Left nor the Right. It simply reveals the best common sense of the community.
What makes these councils so special? Members are chosen at random or scientifically or both, so they can be convened as an accurate microcosm of the publicdiverse, temporary, and hard to corrupt. They arent ignorant; theyre given full information about the issue they are considering. And they dont just argue, spouting opinions off the top of their heads; they talk, listen, learn and think
. Like trial juries, they rise to the occasion and work hard to do a good job for their community or country. They succeed remarkably often and well.
Other approaches to public dialogue, deliberation, participation, and input are vital to a thriving democracy of engaged citizens. But most do not provide the information, time, and support needed to generate a valid, coherent, wise voice of the whole populace. They may engage and educate individual voters about the issues, but they dont tell us what a truly informed, thoughtful, and creatively interacting citizenry would decide together about specific government policies, laws, budgets, taxes, and programs.
Without a collective voice of the whole citizenry to speak wisely and powerfully in our public life, we have become impoverished and imperiled. We need to change thatsoon.
Our childrenand their childrens childrenneed us to create this powerful collective voice, because it is their voice too. They need us to ensure that it is wise and heeded, because we and they urgently need our politics and our governance to become sensible, sustainable, creative, and just. Our times are perilous. Nearly everything we love is at stake.
Thomas Paine once said, in his revolutionary pamphlet
We have it in our power to begin the world again. It is so, even now.
We have it in our power to call forth a voice that speaks our best collective wisdom. We have it in our power to cease collectively degrading our lives and destroying our world. We have it in our power to create a new world togethera world that is a true joy for our childrenand their childrento live in. We can and must create a voice that can speak this urgent truth for all of us.
And with that voice, we will begin the world again, and again, and again
A Guidebook of Alternative Nows
is a collaboratively created book.
34 visionary creative thinkers and makers contributed to this book which illuminates ways of devising more socially, economically, and ecologically just versions of
Other worlds are possible, but only if we exercise the proper care towards their emergence.
Risk-taking is not a solo act.
- Temporary Services
The culture of death needs to be jammed.
- The Yes Men
It is time to launch the largest explosion of practical experimentation that our society has ever seen.
- Ethan Miller
Building an 'alternative' is always an act of hope, its an embodied refusal of the present which unblocks the reigning paralysis fostered by apocalyptic predications of the future. It is a lot easier to imagine the world ending than changing it for the better because there is always comfort in thinking we know what will happen. Ultimately to act from a place of hope is to let go of certainty and to trust that the greatest potential lies within the unknowable.
- The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, 2012
Paperback book with two alternative covers, 266 pages, Color,
17 x 24 centimeters (6.7 x 9.45 inches)
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