We’re All In This Together

The Commons Moment is Now – How a small, dedicated group of people can transform the world—really by Jay Walljasper, CommonDreams.org, January 24, 2011- Introducing the Commons Paradigm -
There are emerging signs that market fundamentalism has passed its peak as the defining idea of our era….a group of activists, thinkers, and concerned citizens around the world who are rallying support for the idea of a commons-based society…These commoners, as they call themselves, see possibilities for large numbers of people of diverse ideological stripes coming together to chart a new, more cooperative direction for modern society…
In the truest sense of the word, the commons is a conservative as well as progressive virtue because it aims to conserve and nurture all those things necessary for sustaining a healthy society…
Now is the time to introduce a decisive shift in worldview. People everywhere are yearning for a world that is safer, saner, more sustainable and satisfying. There’s a rising sense of possibility that even with our daunting economic and environmental problems, there are opportunities to make some fundamental improvements. Everyone deserves decent health care. The health of the planet should take precedence over the profits of a few. Clean water, adequate food, education, access to information, and economic opportunity ought to be available to all people. In other words, a commons-based society. Let’s transform that hope into constructive action.

Five Lessons in Human Goodness From “The Hunger Games” By Jeremy Adam Smith
YES! Magazine, Posted on AlterNet.org, June 28, 2012

How the Common Good Is Transforming Our World by Douglas LaBier, HuffingtonPost.com, October 17, 2010

 

The Social Animal by David Brooks, New York Times, September 12, 2008  …Barry Goldwater, “The Conscience of a Conservative” Goldwater’s vision…celebrated a certain sort of person — the stout pioneer crossing the West, the risk-taking entrepreneur with a vision, the stalwart hero fighting the collectivist foe. The problem is, this individualist description of human nature seems to be wrong. Over the past 30 years, there has been a tide of research in many fields, all underlining one old truth — that we are intensely social creatures, deeply interconnected with one another and the idea of the lone individual rationally and willfully steering his own life course is often an illusion…What emerges is not a picture of self-creating individuals gloriously free from one another, but of autonomous creatures deeply interconnected with one another…

A Matter of Life and Debt by Margaret Atwood,Op-Ed Con­trib­u­tor, New York Times, Octo­ber 22, 2008we’re delud­ing our­selves if we assume that we can recover from the cri­sis of 2008 so quickly and eas­ily sim­ply by watch­ing the Dow creep upward. The wounds go deeper than that. To heal them, we must repair the bro­ken moral bal­ance that let this chaos loose. Debt — who owes what to whom, or to what, and how that debt gets paid — is a sub­ject much larger than money. It has to do with our basic sense of fair­ness, a sense that is embed­ded in all of our exchanges with our fel­low human beings. But at some point we stopped see­ing debt as a sim­ple per­sonal rela­tion­ship. The human fac­tor became diminished…The whole edi­fice rests on a few fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples that are inher­ent in us.We are social crea­tures who must inter­act for mutual ben­e­fit…Is there any bright side to this? Per­haps we’ll have some breath­ing room — a chance to re-evaluate our goals and to take stock of our rela­tion­ship to the liv­ing planet from which we derive all our nour­ish­ment, and with­out which debt finally won’t matter.

Reweaving the Fabric of our Society by Joan Blades Most of us agree that D.C. dynamics have got to change for the U.S. to solve the real challenges we confront and to retain our leadership role in the world. Political leaders and the media are failing us on so many levels…all Americans have a great deal in common. But our understanding of politics, economics, science and even basic facts is increasingly disparate. We cannot afford to continue on this path. A healthy democracy requires an educated electorate that shares basic truths and values — or at least is willing to sit down and listen to one another with an open mind, with mutual respect and civility…While the traditional media loves fights, the new and emerging social media loves connections. We can leverage the wisdom and creativity of crowds to find win-win solutions to our common problems. We can scale our efforts to tens of thousands of conversations, giving individuals the power to begin to reweave the social fabric of our communities…

The Prerequisite of the Common Good by Jim Wal­lis, Huff­in­g­ton Post, Novem­ber 9, 2012The results of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion showed how dra­mat­i­cally a very diverse Amer­ica is chang­ing; peo­ple are long­ing for a vision of the com­mon good that includes every­one.…peo­ple of faith aren’t going to be entirely happy with any polit­i­cal leader, and they shouldn’t be. Many of them feel polit­i­cally home­less in the rag­ing bat­tles between ide­o­log­i­cal extremes. But they could find their home in a new call for the com­mon good — a vision drawn from the heart of our reli­gious tra­di­tions that allows us to make our faith pub­lic but not nar­rowly par­ti­san. That requires a polit­i­cal engage­ment that empha­sizes issues and peo­ple above per­son­al­i­ties and partisanship.…Whether gov­ern­ment is serv­ing its bib­li­cal pur­pose of pro­tect­ing from evil and pro­mot­ing good, is more impor­tant than ide­o­log­i­cal debates about its size. How can we move from an ethic of end­less growth to an ethic of sus­tain­abil­ity, from short-term prof­its to longer term human flour­ish­ing, from the use and con­sump­tion of the earth to stew­ard­ship and cre­ation care? Pro­tect­ing “life” can no longer be restricted to a few issues, but must be con­sis­tently applied to wher­ever human life and dig­nity are threat­ened. The fail­ure of stri­dent and par­ti­san efforts by peo­ple like Franklin Gra­ham and Ralph Reed to nar­row those issues in the final stages of this elec­tion was very evi­dent and sig­nif­i­cant. More and more Chris­tians, espe­cially younger ones, now believe our con­gre­ga­tions will be finally eval­u­ated not merely by their cor­rect doc­trines, but by whether their mis­sions are serv­ing the “parishes” of this whole world; here and now, not just for the hereafter. The pre­req­ui­site for solv­ing the deep­est prob­lems this coun­try and the world now face is a com­mit­ment to a very ancient idea whose time has urgently come: the com­mon good.…


 

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