Strategy

Let’s be real.
To transform the world
Into a compassionate community
Dedicated to the common good of all humanity,
The environment,
And life itself,
We, the people, must unite
As never before.

To achieve that unity
We must overcome weaknesses that divide us,
Ego trips and power trips,
Our quest to gain status
So we can lord it over others,
Our narrow-minded thinking that isolates us,
Our tendency to label, scapegoat, and be judgmental.

Rooted in compassion,
With contagious happiness and
Nonviolent evolutionary revolution,
We must support one another
In our self-development and our political action.
We must elevate our country’s culture,
Make our society more caring and more democratic,
Improve how we relate to one another,
Liberate our inner hunter-gather,
Love ourselves as we love others,
Appreciate the spiritual, nonmaterial elements of life
As well as the material —
Those elements we cannot touch
As well as those we can —
Help one another strengthen
And humanize
Ourselves,
Our families,
Our communities,
Our workplaces,
Our schools,
Our churches, synagogues, mosques,
And other spiritual communities,
Our governments,
Our entire society.

Nurture love
Everywhere.

The personal, the social, the cultural, and the political
Are woven together into our self-perpetuating social system,
The System,
Which includes our institutions, our culture, and ourselves as individuals.
All of those elements fit together
And reinforce one another.
That’s why our society holds together,
Muddles through.

Steady reform everywhere,
Headed in the same direction,
Will hasten fundamental transformation,
“A change in composition or structure.
A change in the outward form or appearance of.
A change in character or condition.”
Personal growth will contribute to
Social, cultural, and political growth.
Social growth will contribute to
Personal, cultural, and political growth.
Cultural growth will contribute to
Personal, social, and political growth.
Political growth will contribute to
Personal, social, and cultural growth.

None of those tasks is more important than the others.
None must come first.
They are equally important.
Combined, they will constitute holistic, systemic transformation.
From day to day,
Moment to moment,
Pick your focus,
With awareness that no victory or defeat is final.
Strengthen compassion.
Enhance empowerment.
Establish justice for all.
Transform the world.

Our global society is driven by
The desire to climb
One social ladder or another,
Look down on those below,
Feel superior,
Gain more wealth and power over others.
Individuals do it.
Organizations do it.
Nations do it.

We learn to dominate when we can
And submit when we cannot.

No President is to blame.
No political party is to blame.
No ruling class is to blame.
No individual is to blame.
The political system is not to blame.
The economic system is not to blame.
The problem is deeper than that.
The whole System,
Which includes each of us,
Is to blame.
Whether Socialist, Communist, Capitalist, Social Democratic,
Or some mix thereof,
Dictatorial or democratic,
Every modern society is
Centralized,
Stratified,
Top-down.

There is no Enemy.
There is no legitimate scapegoat.
We are all responsible.
We reinforce the System
With the clothes we buy,
The taxes we pay,
The votes we cast,
The cars we drive,
And many other ways.
.
Obama was not the Enemy.
Trump is not the Enemy.
Immigrants are not the Enemy.
China is not the Enemy.
Wall Street is not the Enemy.
There is no Enemy out there
That is more to blame than
We the people,
Individually and collectively
Are to blame.

The problem is the System.

Neither can there be a Savior.
Obama was no Savior,
Though many hoped he would be.
Trump is no Savior,
Though many believe he will be.
The Republicans will not save us.
The Democrats will not save us.
No third party will save us.

Our only hope is to
Return to our roots,
Cultivate our primordial compassionate instincts
That humans relied on for
Two hundred thousand years
Before they developed centralized agriculture
Only 10,000 years ago.
That compassion is deep in our DNA.
Observe young children.
They are naturally
Cooperative, awestruck, curious, caring.
They learn to be racist, sexist, homophobic, domineering, hyper-competitive.
Down deep,
Human beings are compassionate,
Cooperative creatures.

Yes, other instincts are at play as well.
Fear fosters the urge to conquer and dominate.
But compassion is stronger.
We can learn to set aside fear
And be true to who we really are.
We can undo our conditioning,
Be more fully human,
Become better human beings.

The Personal
When we go deep within
We connect with
The Ground of Being,
All humanity,
Life itself.
We are awestruck by the beauty of the Universe,
Feel like a small leaf on an enormous tree,
Become more humble,
Realize we don’t have all the answers,
Appreciate the “wisdom of crowds,”
Think together,
Strive to better understand the world and ourselves,
Pull away our masks,
Acknowledge mistakes and weaknesses,
Accept who we are, our limitations, our mortality,
Discover our true self,
Our higher self,
Our deeper self,
More fully value
Collaboration,
Cooperation,
Peer learning,
Mutual support,
Community.
We pursue truth, justice, and beauty,
Promote fairness.

With each person setting their own goals,
We steadily learn how to
Set aside, restrain, or overcome
Excessive desires and passions.

When we go deep within
We confront our arrogance,
Learn to recognize our talents
Without exaggerating their importance,
Appreciate the talent held by others,
Accept praise from others as icing on the cake
Rather than the cake itself, the be-all and end-all.
We live as we want others to live
And accept that others will do the same,
In their own way.
We make judgments without being judgmental.
We nurture humility.

When we go deep within
We restrain our greed,
Recognize our need for economic security
Without becoming addicted to money
As a way to keep score
And allegedly rove our superior worth.
We value a comfortable nest,
Without demanding much more than we need,
Seek a good source of income,
Without resorting to trickery, deception, or exploitation,
Appreciate beautiful clothes and attractive homes,
Without becoming addicted to conspicuous consumption.
We practice simple living.

When we go deep within
We discipline our lust
With healthy sexuality and emotional intimacy,
Communicate with each other about
The feelings that emerge when we make love,
Value our partner’s satisfaction as much as our own,
Avoid reducing others to objects.
Without becoming obsessed with sex
We take care of our whole self,
Including our sexuality.
We satisfy our desires
And focus most of our energy on serving others,
Improving the world.

When we go deep within
We minimize our craving
For mind-altering substances,
Including sweet foods,
Practice harm reduction,
Limit or slowly reduce how much we indulge,
Learn to more fully accept and appreciate our
Natural state,
Less addicted,
More grounded,
Centered,
Clear-headed,
Productive,
Present,
Real.
We nurture authenticity.

When we go deep within
We control our envy
By acknowledging it and
Using it to challenge injustice.
We acknowledge that others are better off
Partly due to luck,
Realize that for every loss there is a gain
And for every gain there is a loss.
It’s lonely at the top,
And the rich and famous often get trapped
In a bubble, out of touch with reality.
We express gratitude for what we have,
Know we must play the hand we’re dealt.
We appreciate that we are
Wise, kind, and in harmony with the Universe.
We change what we can and accept what we cannot.

When we go deep within
We channel our anger,
Use it as fuel,
Without allowing it to morph into hate.
We place ourselves in others’ shoes,
Look for the kernel of truth in what they say,
Better understand who they are,
Love our enemies,
Hate the sin but not the sinner,
Express ourselves fairly,
Criticize actions without condemning actors,
Always open to reconciliation.
When we’re angry,
We avoid becoming hateful.

When we go deep within
We awaken from apathy,
Indifference,
Melancholy,
Irresponsibility,
Passivity,
Wasting our time,
Laziness,
And remember to love the Universe,
Become more aware of
And take action to relieve
Suffering.
We tap that which makes us
Most fully
Alive.

In those and other ways
When we go deep within
We steadily become
Better human beings
And more effective activists,
Knowing we are good enough as we are,
And can still improve,
Without ever achieving perfection,
Always learning,
Always growing.

The Social
Strong communities grow strong individuals.
Strong individuals grow strong communities.

We transform the world
One living room at a time,
Gather with trusted friends,
Build bonds,
Care for,
Love,
Inspire,
Teach,
Support one another,
Share meals,
Socialize,
Have fun,
Plan political activities,
Report to one another
On how we’re working
To become a better human being,
And when despair sets in,
Encourage one another
To get up and do our best,
Whatever makes sense,
Whatever might move the ball forward.

With help from one another
We learn to communicate more effectively,
Listen respectfully,
Learn constantly,
Empower one another.

True believers may be right.
Minorities may later become majorities.
The vanguard may become a mass.
Innovators may open new doors.
Righteous people may offer moral witness.

But true believers can be wrong.
Minorities can remain a minority.
The vanguard can become oppressors.
New doors can lead to dead ends.
And the righteous can become self-righteous.

Real leaders must follow.
A successful movement must rely on
The “wisdom of crowds.”
The crowd is not always right.
Gut reactions are dangerous.
But informed deliberation is important.
We must “think with” our colleagues.
A movement to promote democracy
Must be democratic.
It must be in tune with the people it aims to serve.
No enlightened minority can impose its will
And get away with it for long.
In a democracy, the State monopolizes police power.
Only the State,
With the consent of the governed,
Can legitimately impose its will.
Vigilante justice is not justice.

Without being too patient,
Activists must be patient,
Build support,
Set aside arrogance,
Nurture humility,
Inspire action.

Injustice provokes anger
And anger motivates action.
But when failure leads to frustration,
And we use violence to correct injustice,
We forget why we acted in the first place.
We rebel against oppressive authority
And become oppressive authoritarians,
We perpetuate injustice.
A vicious circle.

Instead, we can develop families,
Schools, workplaces, spiritual communities,
Social service organizations,
Activist organizations,
Cultural organizations,
Neighborhood centers,
Park and recreation programs,
Health care centers,
Governments,
Worker-owned cooperatives,
And other organizations throughout society
That help people channel their anger,
Treat people with real respect,
Give them a voice in affairs that affect them,
And help them discover themselves,
Support one another in their self-development,
Facilitate conflict resolution,
Restorative justice rather than
Locking people up in cruel institutions
And throwing away the key.
We aim to assure that everyone
Can find a good, living-wage job,
Has access to
Effective drug and alcohol rehab programs,
Affordable housing,
Good health care,
Economic security,
So they are free to fulfill themselves.

What good are we if we know
And do nothing?
Those are moral responsibilities.
Do the right thing,
Do all we can,
Promote the general welfare,
Secure the blessings of liberty and happiness
For all people.
One way or the other,
Whether with private charity,
The market,
Or government programs.

The Political
Ideally, there would no government.
Humans would take care of one another spontaneously.
No taxes, just generosity.
No police, just peace.
No paid therapists, just natural human support.

But that utopia is not on the horizon.
Government is necessary.
No more government than necessary.
Local government when feasible
Rather than federal bureaucracies.
But when government is needed,
We must have the best government possible
To correct injustice.

Black lives matter. All lives matter.
Black lives matter. All lives matter.
Black lives matter. All lives matter.
It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.
That principle applies again and again.
It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.
It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.
We can affirm both the particular and the universal.
Black lives matter because all lives matter.

Affirming that black lives matter is important
Because many Americans still
Hold racist beliefs and
Discriminate against people of color.
Police officers are more likely to kill black people
In situations where they would not kill a white person.
And our criminal justice system is more likely
To lock up a black person than a white person
For the same crime.
That’s reality.

Many white Americans
Want to keep America white.
They fear whites will eventually be a minority.
They complain about “identity politics,”
Which involves oppressed people banding together to defend themselves,
But what matters most to them is their white identity.
What they really want is for whites to dominate,
Not cooperate.

People who share similar problems
Often come together to support one another
And fight to change public policies.
Women who are victims of domestic violence.
Gays who are arrested, bullied, or beat up.
Blacks who find it harder to get a job or buy a house.
Alcoholics and drug abusers.
Mental patients.
At times they all need to separate,
Share their stories,
Build up one another,
Fight back.
That separation is not the threat.
The threat is the oppression that prompted it.
Others should listen and be supportive.
Most who separate also affirm their common humanity,
Or do so sooner or later.

All humans have multiple identities
And create new identities as they mature.
We need not box others, or ourselves,
Into any one identity
And others need not box us in either.
Labels can be deadly.

We are all in this together.
It’s all for one and one for all.
I am not free until you are free
Because I cannot be all I can be
Until you can be all you can be.
If you are oppressed
I may be oppressed next.
If you are oppressed
I am not free because
I feel compelled to try to help correct that injustice.
The more you thrive, the more I thrive.
If all people are free, I am free.

With friends recruiting friends
We can mobilize enough people
To persuade our government
To respect
The will of the people,
Help this country live up to its highest ideals,
Protect rights and liberties,
Improve living conditions,
So all people can grow.
Even the 1% will benefit
From a more harmonious society.

We need a critical mass
That acts in unison.
A mass movement
That looks like
And represents
Our nation.

How many people will be required
No one knows.
Exactly what kind of actions will be required,
No one knows.
Options include milions
Communicating the same message
To elected officials
At the same time each month.
Consumer boycotts.
Candlelight vigils.
Marches.
Rallies.
Concerts.
Civil disobedience.
One-day work moratoriums,
Followed by two-day work moratoriums,
Followed by indefinite General Strikes.
Global boycotts.
No one knows.
The possibilities are many.

But one thing is clear.
The movement must be nonviolent.
A transformative movement must have
Broad backing and
Violence alienates,
Erodes support,
Drives supporters away,
Diverts attention away from real issues,
Enables the State to crack down,
Lock up rebels,
Be more oppressive,
Scare away potential activists.

Violence breeds violence.
Violence corrupts.
Violent victors oppress.

To break that cycle of violence,
A movement to transform the world must be
Large,
Persistent,
Focused on winnable goals,
Led by an inclusive coalition that stays together over time,
Ready to act quickly on the next priority
When one campaign is resolved.
No need to waste time organizing a new coalition.
Get to it right away.

If everyone in the movement
Communicates an agreed on message
To their government at least once a month,
Not everyone will have to give the movement their heart and soul.
Many people have conflicting commitments.
Limited time.
But everyone can communicate monthly with
Their national representative.

We can focus on compassionate improvements
In national policy that most people already support.
In the United States,
Republicans, Independents, Democrats,
A Purple Alliance.
Win victories and see new possibilities emerge,
New opportunities open up,
Understanding expand,
Optimism grow.
Each victory makes new goals winnable.
Focus on victories,
Build momentum,
Improve the world.
Relieve suffering.
Be patient.
Change what you can and
Accept what you cannot.

Many movement members can do more
Than communicate monthly with their representative.
Many, with other organizations,
In the name of a transform-the-world movement,
Can take on other issues.

But everyone can recognize the need for occasional
Mass unity,
Sustained unity,
Pragmatic unity,
To come together to win
Proactive improvements,
Not just reactive defense,
Pragmatic idealism,
Evolutionary revolution,
One victory after the other.
Expand what is winnable
By winning what is winnable.

Step by step,
With holistic communities,
We can integrate the personal, the social, the cultural, and the political,
Reform our institutions, our culture, and ourselves,
Feed the world,
House the homeless,
Guarantee living-wage job opportunities,
Meet basic needs,
Enable everyone to thrive,
Serve the common good of the Earth community.
Transform the world.

3 Responses to Strategy

  1. “I am not free until you are free
    Because I cannot be all I can be
    Until you can be all you can be.”

    Got it! 🙂

  2. I certainly agree that at bottom, moving toward a just society that works for everyone has to come from people’s hearts, and not some ‘leader.” But I do think that political leaders who really want that kind of society and show it, can help move people’s hearts in the right direction.

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