In response to a previous post, Rick writes, â€œMike, you speak of authentic community. However, letâ€™s face it, you and I can never be part of the same community. So does that mean the majority of an authentic community get to dictate to the minority?â€
The left/right chasm in this nation is perceived to be so enormous that it seems unimaginable that loyalists of the two sides could ever find consensus — unthinkable that those with opposite views could ever join together as an authentic community. But, it seems to me, if we could see the big picture, we would become united.
Jonathan Schell, author of â€œThe Fate of The Earth,â€ in this you-tube describes the big picture. He states simply and forcefully, what in my own gut I know is true: â€œIf we donâ€™t get together and solve our problems, weâ€™ll all die.â€
Thatâ€™s the big picture we need to see.
In an Amazon review of Schellâ€™s latest book, â€œThe Seventh Decade — The New Shape of Nuclear Danger,â€ a reviewer says: â€œThis book is composed in a style of high responsibility, as if our lives were dependent upon the success of Schellâ€™s arguments, which in a sense they are.â€
It is a sense of “high responsibility” that inspires civic action. When citizens need to respond to an emergency, for example, to protect their neighborhood from rising flood waters, they work together in community. They have a sense of “high responsibility.” If circumstances put us together, Iâ€™m sure Rick and I could easily be part of such a community and successfully work together.
Creating community requires a uniting and compelling consensus of purpose — like the desire for survival.Â The problem is, we donâ€™t see the big picture — â€œIf we donâ€™t get together and solve our problems, weâ€™ll all dieâ€ — and, we donâ€™t believe dire predictions are true.
A lot of money and effort goes into keeping us ignorant of our high responsibility — uninformed and uninvolved.Â Americans know all about the issues concerning â€œAmerica’s Got Talent,â€ or the personalities on â€œDancing With the Stars,â€ but have great ignorance about their own government or world politics. (See: “Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter.”)
Bill Moyers makes the point that our whole political process is under control of a plutocracy who seek to maintain the status quo.Â The oligarchy is all about using our political system to divide and conquer.Â If the oligarchy saw advantage in developing an informed and engaged citizenry, Iâ€™m sure we soon would have a sea change in the quality and quantity of our civic discourse and that 80% of Americans would be voting on a regular basis.
Every answer to meeting the challenges of the future starts with the notion that we must transcend differences — including left / right dichotomies — and we must create authentic community centered on problem solving.Â The premise behind the book I am determined to write:Â “Kettering Public Education In The Year 2022,” is that the key to public education transformation is through democracy.Â The premise is that a democratic movement in Kettering leads to the formation of an authentic Kettering community dedicated to transforming their community’s system of public education.
We need to see the big picture and part of the challenge to accomplish the needed transformation in public education is to somehow communicate the big picture concerning public education to the general public as a means to motivate interest.
The foundation for transforming our political system, similarly, is to somehow to focus on the big picture.Â In the big picture, the issue is that our democracy is going down the drain. As with rising flood waters, this is an issue of survival. The on-going deterioration of our democracy is the source of all of our disasters.
Seeing the big picture I believe, should be the motivation for creating new and effective communities that can respond. The left/right divide that Rick points to as destructive to community, I believe, as seen from a bigger perspective, is insignificant, and becomes ever more insignificant in authentic communities.
I’m reminded of these previous posts:
- The Ascending Issue In Our Democracy Is Democracy Itself; September 17th, 2007
- Grassroots Dayton: â€œSowing The Seeds Of Democracyâ€; April 11th, 2008
- The Best Way To Transform Our Democracy Is By Transforming Our Political Parties; July 25th, 2010