Promoting Global Transformation with Holistic Democracy

Promoting Global Transformation with Holistic Democracy
By Wade Lee Hudson

With careful planning and popular support, a well-organized grassroots movement can transform this nation into a compassionate community  — and cooperate with forces elsewhere who do the same in their country. 

The first step is to form broad agreement on a vision — shared principles that can help hold together a wide diversity of communities. The second step is for the movement to steadily gain members by nurturing face-to-face communities who embrace the vision. The third step is to build momentum by winning victories with improvements in national policy that move toward the vision.

The following “Draft Declaration for Holistic Democracy” indicates the kind of core principles that could be the basis of unity for this global, pro-democracy movement.

Draft Declaration for Holistic Democracy – 3/27/20 

We, the undersigned, commit to serve humanity, the environment, and life itself.  We urge the development of organizations committed to this goal whose members:

  • identify as co-equal members of the human family, respect the essential equality of all human beings, affirm individuals’ countless identities, recognize each individual’s unique personality and particular skills, and work together to weave our diverse peoples into one nation; 

  • aim to overcome unconscious bias and resist discrimination based on race, gender, class, sexual orientation, or any other similar identity;

  • promote partnerships, nurture democracy throughout society, empower people, support freedom for all, and oppose arbitrary efforts to dominate others;

  • work to prevent social problems by correcting root causes and standing up for each other; 

  • love others as they love themselves, avoid selfishness and self-sacrifice, rely on love and trust rather than hate and fear, channel anger productively, and decline to scapegoat or demonize; 

  • attract people with contagious joy, face-to-face community, and caring friendships;

  • honor their nation’s accomplishments, maintain its highest traditions, criticize its failures, and help build a more perfect union;

  • push for compassionate policies supported by strong majorities, sustain the legitimacy of minority opinions, recognize the value of visionary campaigns focused on goals not yet supported by strong majorities, and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and boycotts when needed;

  • encourage members to improve their emotional reactions, engage in honest self-examination, support each other with their personal and spiritual growth, and avoid oppressive or disrespectful behavior;

  • seek to transform their nation into a compassionate community that:

    • cultivates the development of healthy families;

    • establishes everyone’s equal rights and their equality under the law;

    • assures everyone a decent standard of living;

    • cultivates shared leadership, assists the development of worker-owned businesses, and supports workers’ rights;

    • protects free speech, makes it easy for everyone to vote, and defends individuals’ freedom to engage in activities that don’t interfere with the rights of others; 

    • lives in harmony with the natural environment;

    • respects all living creatures;

    • forms supportive relationships with other nations, affirms their right to self-determination, promotes human rights, and advocates peaceful resolution of conflicts with mediation and negotiation.

In these ways, step-by-step, person-by-person, family-by-family, community-by-community, nation-by-nation, we can promote holistic democracy, which addresses the whole person, the whole society, and our interwoven social system. We can pursue the eventual, evolutionary transformation of our social system into a compassionate community that serves humanity, the environment, and life itself. 

This approach calls for patience and dedication. There are no shortcuts. We can keep the best of what we’ve inherited and build on that foundation. We can create a better, fairer, more compassionate, and more democratic world — one that has many new structures, a new character, and a new appearance — one that is in many respects new — one that looks and feels like new — one that eventually is transformed

If this global movement develops, specific strategies and tactics will vary across countries. But all elements will share a commitment to holistic democracy. With mutually reinforcing personal, social, cultural, economic, and political reforms, this holistic democracy movement will promote fundamental transformation. 

NOTES: 

  1. Stephen Gerritson, George Fowler, and Alan Levin contributed greatly to the composition of the Declaration with many comments and suggestions. Wade Lee Hudson was the principal author.

  2. This work-in-progress is envisioned as the introduction to a booklet that will elaborate on steps two and three with concrete organizing methods. Feedback is welcome.  If you’re interested in collaborating on this project, please let me know.

  3. Everyone is free to take the Declaration, modify it, and use it as you see fit.

One Response to Promoting Global Transformation with Holistic Democracy

  1. I like these ideas. You don’t say much about what this organization would do, but I think they would be a good basis for a state/national political party. I am in California, and because the Republican neofascist party has little strength here. one would not risk putting them in power if such a progressive party started running candidates regularly. Because of the idealism of the positions you lay out, I think people would be inspired. I think a large part of the population is looking for a political movement that is very different from the same old same old we have now. It will not be easy to do, but it can be done with enough people working on it. Of course, it would not win at first, but I feel sure that with enough effort such a party could get 15 or 20% its first time out. Thank you for working on this, and please let me know if this moves up to getting these principles on the ballot.

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