Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fixing Democracy, Part 6

This is the next in a series of posts on how to make our democracy work better based on an article in The Intelligent Optimist magazine (formerly Ode) by Tom Atlee.


“Therefore, a major activity of a democratic community is developing the attitudes, skills, supporting processes and institutions needed for people to engage creatively with their diversity, and discover creative consensus without compromise. In this process, communities leave domination and fragmentation (alienated individualism) behind.  Those dysfunctional approaches arise from a false dichotomy between the individual and the group. In fact, individuality and community are two facets of the same thing—our alive humanity.  Individuals and communities can only be whole and healthy when they nurture one another.


“The crucial fact is that our shared world has become so complex and speedy that keeping up with it is quite impossible for any individual citizen. Thus, each of us cannot effectively exercise our individual citizenship in any but the narrowest sense.  More and more, it looks like the only way we are going to be able to understand and effectively, creatively engage with our rapidly evolving world is through interactive, holistic forms of citizenship like citizen deliberative councils. These forms of citizenship are designed to generate collective intelligence—capacity to come up with effective responses, as a group, to the challenges that affect our [individual and] collective well-being.”

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