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A New Model of Democracy for the Cultural Creatives Brainstorming Meeting
February 23rd 2001 - San Francisco Ca.

An alternative, additive ‘organizing principle’: CROSS CONNECTIONS

People have causes. They have many reasons: economic interest, moral crusade, justice and equality, association with personal or family crisis, personal satisfaction through participation...

Many people seem to prefer to get behind - show up - for their particular issues and crusades, and yet for various reasons choose to stay out of the mainstream general political processes. I am such a one.

They, like the individual stock traders, are ever less interested in buying into someone or some entities ‘general’ program. They want to ‘invest’ their precious life-attention-time where it feels like they can make a difference and where it means something to them.

Implicit in their particular interests are their values.

By identifying core values (probably involved) in the issues and causes that people are directly supporting we would see that there are commonly shared values. These common values are the normal ‘glue’ of a party or coalition. But, again, these people don’t want ‘over generalization’ they are not wanting to jump on the bandwagon – they want to put their self-investment where its important to them.

What if we could offer them a way to participate in a constituency that isn’t asking them to generally do or believe anything? What the constituency provides them is a way to locate themselves in a (many) virtual community(s) in which they share core values. For example – they are hot on sustainable agriculture and one of the 10 constituencies that includes sustainable agriculture also has 12 other issues they are in total agreement with (even thought they wouldn’t otherwise go out of their way to support them) The other constituencies have some value conflict for them so they join this one. By doing so, they agree/pledge that they will come to the aid (petitions, votes, possibly $$) for the other issues of this constituencies and conversely everyone else in this constituency is pledging to come to the aid of their issue. Like an insurance pool or a grocery coop – strength through number – yet differentiated and personally relevant.

An opportunity exists to provide these individual political actors a way to draw upon one another’s strengths, as and when needed, by allowing them each to remain focused on the issues they are hot upon. Yet this ‘system’ in the aggregate is a party – is what we are talking about.

For every person who is hot about an issue this approach allows them to recruit help – to improve what it is they are up to. That means that the support for each issue in the matrix we are talking about goes up.

This isn’t to be mistaken for on-line voting – though technology represents the mediating environment – thats all its doing – people can act in the world (and in cyber when evolved and ready).

Each person benefits, each cause benefits, a mediating institutional system evolves that is quantum-democratic – alignment via issues and value without imposed over generalization. The people we have been talking about would in effect be coming together to take and participate in a new politics and yet they would be doing it in a highly individualized way. Community via differentiated, individualized participation – I think that is what the Cultural Creatives and  .... are looking for

I know this needs a lot of fleshing out and I am out of battery power as I am flying to SF –so look beyond this rough cut underdeveloped  articulation – what do you think of the Jewel I am pointing to here?

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