The Systemopedia is based on the following principles:
We, the people, need to transform our world into a community of communities dedicated to serve humanity, the environment, and life itself. To achieve this goal, we need to steadily change ourselves, communities, institutions, culture, economy, and politics to serve that purpose. These changes can reinforce one another and contribute to evolutionary transformation.
We don’t need leaders to mobilize us to do what they want us to do. We need leaders who fight for what we want to do. In the United States, we need a Purple Alliance that pushes for compassionate improvements in public policy supported by majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
We don’t need politicians who talk about building a “movement” and only focus on getting elected. We need politicians who help develop independent, democratic, grassroots organizations that can sustain self-perpetuating movements after they’re elected (see “Politicians, Movements, and Democracy”.)
We need a President who will convene and pay a randomly selected Citizens’ Assemblies to propose solutions to particular problems, fight to implement proposals that garner broad support, and honor the results of deliberative polling that involve in-depth discussions that reach informed conclusions gathered in confidential questionnaires.
We need elected officials who will meet monthly in Community Dialogs (during which randomly selected constituents communicate with those officials and hold them accountable to their promises) and convene problem-solving roundtables,
We need a global network of small, holistic support groups whose members share a vision and support one another in their efforts to: 1) improve themselves; 2) build community, and; 3) engage in effective political action.
We need these and other new structures that will facilitate the development of a more compassionate, fair, and democratic society.
Human beings are basically good. Most people want to do the right thing, acknowledge mistakes, resolve not to repeat them, steadily become better persons, and help one another.
Most of us appreciate the material and immaterial, the body and soul, the physical and spiritual.
We want to do more than voting to help improve public policies.
We know that what goes around, comes around. When we love others authentically, we benefit. When others thrive, we thrive.
We know that human beings are created equal and deserve to be treated as equals under the law. When we respect others, we’re better able to form strong co-equal partnerships.
Our positive qualities are deeper and more primal than our negative qualities. Given the right conditions, we flower.
We respect legitimate authority, honor our highest ideals and best traditions, recognize everyone’s dignity and humanity, and learn how to more profoundly:
— respect and care for ourselves and each other;
— oppose efforts to dominate others due to one of their identities;
— eliminate unfair discrimination based on social identities such as race, class, and gender;
— reverse and correct discimination when public polices have created unfair discrimination;
— avoid oppressive behavior prompted by unconscious bias;
— nurture self-empowerment and community empowerment;
— appreciate the awesome beauty of the Creation and the power of the Creator;
— assure that everyone can make ends meet and live full, productive, creative lives;
— promote compassionate community throughout society and in our daily lives;
— cultivate humility and remain open to improvement;
— develop social environments that inspire others to do what they really want to do;
— refuse to scapegoate and demonize;
— remember that trying to destroy “the enemy” boomerangs;
— even when engaged in win-lose conflicts, seek reconciliation.
With this approach, we’ll be better able to build lasting, massive social movements that can help establish a new purpose for our global society — to serve humanity, the environment, and life itself. With a focus on that holistic commitment, we can humanize our entire society and make it more democratic and just.
Society, however, with its conditioning and its social pressures, inflames fear and anger and encourages people to be excessively selfish, materialistic, individualistic, competitive, domineering, exploitative, and oppressive, often toward certain groups based on their social identities, such as race, class, and gender.
Our institutions, our culture, and ourselves as individuals are woven together into a global, self-perpetuating social system, “the System.” The System’s primary purpose is to encourage everyone to climb social ladders, look down on and dominate those below, and look up to and submit to those above.
The System encourages individuals, organizations, and nations to accumulate status, wealth, and/or power at the expense of others. It cultivates envy, resentment and disrespect. And it undermines self-empowerment and commmunity empowerment.
No one element controls the System. With our habitual actions, individuals reinforce the System in our daily lives. Certain people bear greater responsibility for particular actions, but we’re all responsible for helping to perpetuate the System.
The coordinated, simultaneous reform of each element of the System can step-by-step contribute to eventual systemic transformation — that is, major changes in the structure, appearance, and character of our society. While keeping and building on the best features of our current system, a new, transformed society will, in many ways, be, look, and feel like new.
Our means will justify the end. With principled pragmatism, we can integrate the best qualities of “liberalism,” “conservativism,” and other philosophies. We need every voice.
Transformation in one country alone is impossible. The System is global and inter-dependent. With healthy patriotism, each nation can focus on its interests while cooperating with other nations to help one another pursue their interests, as expressed in “Americans for Humanity.” This effort will require the cooordinated, international regulation of powerful economic forces to assure that they serve the public interest. Democratic nation states hold the power to do that.
To achieve these goals, we, as individuals, must learn to rise above our negative instincts. Fortunately, given the opportunity to do so in a safe setting, most people appreciate mutual support for self-improvement. Face-to-face communities whose members set aside time to support each other, unlearn oppressive conditioning, and nurture self-improvement can help grow effective movements. We can change ourselves as we change the System.
Given the opportunity and a supportive environment, many people currently inactive will help improve national public policy by engaging in effective political activism with large numbers of others in joy-filled, democratic, supportive communities. The Democratic Party, for example, can turn itself into an activist organization that, year-round, engages in precinct organizing (see “Transforming the Democratic Party”) and join with purple alliances to fight for new, compassionate policies that have super-majority support.
Massive, nonviolent, grassroots movements focused on achievable objectives — including structural reforms supported by strong majorities — can help achieve these goals. Reforms undertaken within the framework of a clear commitment to principles such as these can contribute to long-lasting, fundamental transformation. Each victory will open new windows of opportunity. Eventually, step-by-step, we will transform this nation into a more democratic, compassionate community that gives everyone a fair chance to be all they can be.
Wade Lee Hudson, Editor
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