'The Enemy's Lies' - Is a Totalitarian America Imminent?
In a recent blog entitled, " A Leaderless Revolution ", written and published at OpEdNews in support of Occupy (Roanoke) , a section subtitled, Betraying Our Trust: 'A Crisis in American Leadership' presents a clear overview of homelessness in our city. Similarly, but citing an article published in June (see - 'American Psychosis') depicting political forms of neoconservative and neoliberal leadership as constituting two sides of "a single globalization coin" promulgating both corporatism and the privatization of property, I alluded to how these same "partisan values" are imbued throughout society and effectively, embodied by "the contemporary church" (1).
So too, as author of " In the Belly of the Beast - Report from a Homeless American ", written only weeks after landing at the Rescue Mission in October of 2008; my tenure there since has served as a study in (alternative modes of postmodern ) urban dwelling. Yet, and so as to not appear overly glib, I can attest that my experience has been anything but genteel.
Nevertheless, and over this same term, I've endeavored to serve the local community in a multitude of ways beginning more than two years ago by regularly attending Continuum of Care and RVARAC meetings in support of our region's homeless. I also initiated two websites for Roanoke's Central Church of the Brethren in the Fall of 2009, prior to launching City of Peace
and enlisting it to help coordinate our city's maiden BridgeWalk . During this time too, I played a contributing role in planning the organization and start-up of Roanoke Valley's Time Bank . More recently, and in addition to authoring three articles on leadership (" Tribal Leadership ", " Integral Leadership in the New World Economy ", and " A Leaderless Revolution "), I was afforded the privilege of coordinating and subsequently co-hosting, a Release Screening of 58: The Film at Green Memorial United Methodist Church this past October.
At the same time though, and while I'd be the first to acknowledge such efforts merely reflect an abiding passion for our amazing metropolis, extensive research and writing leads me to concur deeply with Amy Goodman and Chris Hedge's expressed sentiments to Charlie Rose about the Occupy Movement .
Envisioning Sustainable Cities . . . Globally!
social credit in the form of a basic income guarantee (BIG), rather than debt, to fill the current GAP between Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) and Income . In a recently produced video from a 'teach-in' at Occupy Roanoke then, Richard explained how adopting his Gaia Plan would afford each of our planet's inhabitants a path towards 'economic self-determination' through the creation of 'subsistence income' (BIG) in the amount of $800 per month.
Similarly, and as presented initially on this site in " Taking an Evolutionary Step . . . ", Bernard Lietaer's academic group published their findings in 2008 announcing a remarkable breakthrough in ' sustainability theory '. As I later shared in a subsequent article at City of Peace entitled, 'Conscious Christian Leadership' , a well-qualified study had also concluded, "were it not for the generation of 'major innovation cycles' at 'a continually accelerating rate to sustain growth', those same systems become subject to the vulnerability of 'stagnation or collapse'."
In their own way then, these findings paralleled those of "Lietaer's team with natural ecosystems," where efficiency wasn't derived from "economies of scale as an arbitrary function of design. Instead, their study" reflected the fact that "systems not utilizing man-made, ultra-efficient (e.g. monopolistic, constrained) streams to control and distribute money , energy , water , or whatever," weren't necessarily "dependent on innovation for survival but rather, resilience." Consequently, the group's conclusions (4) resulted in generating "a single metric as an emergent property of (the ecosystem's) structural diversity and interconnectivity " which, in itself, constituted a sustainable balance between efficiency and resilience (Lietaer et al. 5).
Saving the 'Hood' - "What is emerging at OWS?" . . . Sustainable Communities!
Consequently, but as John Fullerton , a former JPMorgan Managing Director concluded after visiting OWS himself . . . the fact that " participatory and deliberative democracy " emerged "as the movement's only initial priority" reveals Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is primarily "about taking back democracy." In that too, as he further notes, is something "serious" and "organic" but also consistent perhaps, with his own organization's (the Capital Institute ) mission "to explore and effect economic transition to a more just, resilient, and sustainable way of living on this earth through the transformation of finance" (6).
At the local community level however, and as much of the foregoing content suggests, alternative currencies represent an especially viable means of fostering economic vitality. At least this was one of Richard Cook's central themes in his presentation of " Alternative Currencies: The Solution to the Economic Crisis? " at Roanoke's Main Library earlier this week. In addition to adapting alternative currencies to the specific needs of a local community's people (i.e. time banking ), business and commerce (i.e. IRTA ) though, community land trusts too, may prove a more feasible form of ownership in loosing the bonds of systemic dependency.
1. McConnell, Brian. " A Leaderless Revolution: Occupy Economic Democracy - Part 1 of 2 ." (2011): OpEdNews.com , December 2011. Web. 17 Jan. 2012.
2. Vieth, Erich. " Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges discuss #Occupy with Charlie Rose ." (2011): Dangerous Intersection - Human Animals at the Crossroads , October 2011. Web. 20 Jan. 2012.
3. Cook, Richard. We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform . (2009): Tendril Press. Print.
4. McConnell, Brian. " 58: Conscious Christian Leadership ." (2011): City of Peace , 30 September 2011. Web. 23 Jan. 2012.
5. Lietaer, Bernard, Robert Ulanowicz, Sally Goerner, and Nadia MeLaren. " Is Our Monetary Structure a Systemic Cause for Financial Instability?: Evidence and Remedies from Nature ." (2010): Journal of Futures Studies . April 2010, Vol. 14, no.3. Web 24 Jan. 2012.
6. Fullerton, John. " Occupy Wll Street (OWS) from a banker's perspective ." (2011): In the Spirit of the Forum for Stable Currencies . 29 October 2011. Web 24 Jan. 2012.
7. Lietaer, Bernard, Robert Ulanowicz, Sally Goerner. " White Paper on All the Opitions for managing a Systemic Bank Crisis ." (2008): October 2008. Web 25 Jan. 2012.