It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rebuild the Dream -- Of Symptoms and Disease

Rebuild the Dream is a movement to recapture the essence of America's progressive values. They offer a program of "10 critical steps to get our economy back on track." On the one hand, the 10 steps are very sensible proposals to bandage many of our social, economic, and poliltical ills. And I support them.

On the other hand, the 10 steps are just that, 10 unrelated policy prescriptions, each targeting a distinct ill. While we must apply such bandages to stop the patient's hemorrhaging, unless we also invest time, energy, and resources in curing the disease at the root of all of them, new symptoms will continue to pop up hemorrhaging, and we will be forever seeking new bandages to apply.

The distinction brings to mind Donella Meadows' paper about leverage points for change. Rebuild the Dream is focused on the higher-numbered leverage points -- tweaking regulatory knobs, changing the policy rules of the game. I feel we are in such an epochal moment of transformation as a human race on this planet that it’s the lower-numbered, worldview-shifting strategies that are critically and urgently needed.

Hearteningly, it is true that many endeavors are beginning to work at those more transformative, curative levels -- for example, the National Peace Academy, the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace, The Peace Alliance, the Institute for Economics and Peace, the United States Institute of Peace, the Global Campaign for Peace Education, and so many others (for example, see Wiser Earth).

Most of the attention in the news and politics is focused on the symptom-directed bandages. We need as a society to pay more attention to tackling the underlying disease, as well.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mike,
    I seems more and more I am hearing people asking WHAT IS THE REAL ISSUE, Although their may be many underlying causes simply asking the question is starting the process towards something new.