rn> reader dialog re: A movement without a program?


Richard Moore

Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 11:38:32 -0800
To: •••@••.•••
From: Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A movement without a program?

Kudos, Richard!  This comes very close to why I've focused
on "co-intelligence."  The movement I am hoping for is one
that focuses on building the CAPACITY of people and human
systems (institutions, groups, communities, etc.) to wisely
co-create decent, sustainable, meaningful, satisfying
futures.  However, in the co-intelligence vision, I don't
view "the movement" as the vehicle through which people find
their common voice and common visions.  The processes,
understandings and institutions promoted by the movement are
the vehicle.  In my way of understanding all this, people
take such powerful processes and understandings and
institutions into their own lives and communities and
organizations and, there, on their own home ground -- using
those processes and understandings and institutions --
co-create the visions and realities they want.  I don't see
those people as "part of the movement", but as being served
by the movement.  This is "movement as catalyst or
facilitator" rather than "movement as causal agent" or
"movement as container" or "movement as the inclusive
collective mind of the world".   This may or may not be a
semantic distinction....  

-- Coheartedly, Tom


Dear Tom,

Thanks for your contribution. There are many movements going
on, from the environmental to the gun lobby to
anti-globalization.  The particular movement you are fired
up about is apparently the 'capacity-building' movement,
which I would say is equivalent to what I call the
'harmonization movement'.

Evidently your hope, - for the capacity-building /
harmonization movement - is that it will transform civil
society.  I also have that hope.  However in addition I have
the hope that the harmonization movement can serve to build
the capacity of yet another specific movement: the global
movement to oust the capitalist regime.

What are your thoughts on this?


Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 21:12:14 -0800
To: •••@••.•••
From: Rosa Zubizarreta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A movement without a program?

Richard, i think this is very clear in many ways.

One small quibble. I'm with you all the way till we get to 
this part...

    > In fact there are literally hundreds of individuals and
    groups advocating one or another plan for society. Some call
    for universal adoption of a new nature-based spiritual path;
    others continue to seek a worker's revolution and world
    socialism; still others seek global adoption of some
    strategic reform measure, such as the Tobin Tax. In this way
    potential energy in support of fundamental change is
    dissipated into myriad competing initiatives, none of which
    will ever be able to muster a dominant constituency.

how can we make it a "both/and"? as i see it, the value of a
harmonization movement, or a grassroots democracy movement,
or whatever we want to call it, is that it provides the
larger context within which all of these separate efforts
begin to create a larger "patchwork quilt" effect. In some
ways, all of those efforts ARE adding up already, in my
mind... just not as effectively and powerfully as if we were
collaborating more strategically, consciously finding the
synergy, and maybe most importantly, having the vision of
hope that can come from a larger picture....

the way i see it, and i think we agree on this, is that that
vision needs to be formulated in a way that includes
everyone, that is beyond left and right, that allows people
to work towards resolving differences in creative ways, and
building on common ground wherever possible...

it's just important to me that people who are already
working on their particular "piece", not feel that they are
being "dissed", but instead that this is something that can
help all of us feel more connected with each other and
hopeful and work more smartly and strategically and etc.
etc. etc....


i would really add a lot to your analysis along the lines of
the whole "substance of WE feeling"  (have you ever read
Doris Lessing's Canopus in Argos science fiction series??) I
don;t mean you should neccessarily use the term!, just speak
more about the whole divide and conquer thing, how we are
set apart from each other, and how the movement is about
learning how to work with each other as humans & find common
ground, to create a truly human system...

you know, in a funny way the conservatives deserve to be
credited for their early awareness of the dangers of the
"one world government" system... it's the progressives
who've been slow on the uptake of the dangers of the whole
Bretton Woods thing. (By the way, could you let me know why
it is that everyone hates LaRouche? I just read something by
them and found very few things (other than Star Wars) that i
would disagree with, on one level... they have a huge focus
on the real poverty that is taking place in this country,
and a critique of global capitalism that seems pretty
cogent. their faith in science is a litle naive i think, and
their critique obviously doesn't go as far back as
agricultural society! but it seems that they're pretty right
on about a lot of stuff...

also -- i just had an idea. what about writing something
that focuses on the piece of the puzzle that each movement
is RIGHT about?

You know, the xxx's are right about this, the yy's make this
valid point, the zzz's are right about this other thing...
and here are some larger points that need to be thought of
as well.

it would be so refreshing from what's too often out

anyways, just some thoughts off the top of my head....

    > For all of these reasons, I believe that no prepackaged
    'plan for society' can be the basis for building a
    successful global movement for fundamental change. We must
    find some other means of rallying a movement together, and
    then the movement itself must take responsibility for
    developing its program, or programs, for society. If the
    movement is to be the vehicle by which the people of the
    world find their common voice, then it is entirely suitable
    that the movement also be the vehicle by which they reach a
    common understanding of what kind of world they want to

it feels like it kind of ends on a tease.... cliffhanger
ending! so, what IS this "movement as vehicle".... looking
forward to the next installment!  :-)


Dear Rosa,

Excellent. I'm so glad you (gently) pointed out the
stupidity of my 'dissing' those who are working on
'programs'.  Of _course they are already part of the
movement, each working on their draft proposals to add to
the collective effort.  I _knew that paragraph didn't feel
right when I wrote it.

Yes, the 'divide-and-conquer' theme belongs in here

The part about the postive contributions of each part,
including the right, will get mentioned, but in a later
section.  A centrally important item.

I don't know much about LaRouche, but I have noticed that
the only coherent anti-NWO sentiments that get reported are
from right-wingers.  If Buchannan says it, you read about
it; if Chomsky says it you don't.  The obvious inference for
the 'intelligent' reader: the NWO is a right-wing conspiracy

Yes, the section ended on a tease.  We want a pager-turner,
right? (:>)

I'm afraid I'll have to rewrite this section, however,
before going on.

many thanks,

Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2001 15:50:02 +0100
From: Bob Ocegueda <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: A movement without a program?

Hi Richard,

I think you are correct on not trying to devise a program,
for all the reasons you give below. However, I do think a
set of principles, from which any individual and
organization purporting to be part of such movement would
not deviate, could and should be stated.

These principles would establish the direction in which the
movement is going as well as the means by which to achieve
the goal.

    1-    The very first principle I would advocate would be
    "Non-violence", in the individual, organizational and
    societal levels. Not only is that the end in a society to
    which I would want to work for, it would also deny the
    opposition the means by which the members could be
    co-opted... the elimination of the "agent provocateur"
    (sp?). The opposition can not win in a non-violent setting.
    2-    The second would be the adoption of the
    non-hierarchical social/organizational system, as you've
    stated before.  It would introduce a whole dimension of
    inefficiency, that is, members would have to be self
    motivated to the nth degree... but I'm sure it can be
    done... the American natives did it for several hundreds of
    years before the European tried to decimate them.  We would
    need to learn the ways of the "ancients"... we are a smart
    species... we can do it.

Other principles could be distilled from the moral lessons
of all religions and philosophies of the world. There are
actual real reason why they are here. We just need to find
them and state them in a way that does not divide the
peoples. I am certain that there are plenty of wise
individuals that can delineate them properly.

As a vehicle to provide the focus point to the movement, the
adoption of a goal for a "30 Hour Work Week" (world wide),
could be stated. This is something 'visible' and 'palpable'
that people could rally around... a concrete idea that
people can grasp and understand. If the elite keep telling
us that progress is good for us, let take them at their word
and use it to the advantage of everyone, not just the elite.

I think it sounds terribly naive, in the face of all the
atrocities committed by the CIA, KGB and all such
organizations in the service of their masters, but I think
that would be the ONLY way that they would not be able to
co-opt the movement. They'd be trying to grab quick silver
with their fingers.




Dear Bob,

Your suggested principles certainly make sense.  

You say:
    > However, I do think a set of principles, from which any
    individual and organization purporting to be part of such
    movement would not deviate, could and should be stated.

I understand why you're saying this.  At the Seattle demos,
for example, we had the black anarchists destroying
property, giving the cops and TV crews an excuse for the
police excesses.  How nice it would have been for the
anarchists to be excluded in advance.  Rigtht?

But if you do this, then you (someone) is deciding in
advance that a certain segment of the population cannot be
part of the movement.  Those excluded ones, if the movement
succeeds, then would be coerced into the values of the
movement.  You're hoping to assemble a majority of
'right-thinking ones' and then coerce the rest of society to
your agenda.  It's a win-lose scenario, based on

I suggest we can do better than this.  I don't think we need
to exclude anyone from the movement, nor make anyone
second-class citizens in the new society. We've all got to
live together in the new society, and if it's a decent
society, we'll need to find a way to live together
harmoniously.  Why not start learning now?  Why not allow
our differences to become a strength of the movement? 
Everyone has something to contribute, as Rosa talked about

I was chatting with a fellow who works with IndyMedia and
who was covering the Seattle demos.  I told him I suspected
the black anarchists were agent provocateurs, and he assured
me they weren't. He knew some of them and they seemed very
sincere about what they were doing.  I'm not convinced that
there isn't some kind of police collusion going on there, at
some level, but I'm willing to believe most of the 'ground
troops' are sincere.  What I want to do is sit down with
some of them, along with some of the non-violence advocates
- plus good facilitation - and find out why they think
destruction is such a good idea.

One can, after all, justify their actions on strategic
grounds.  The violence of the police did a lot to strengthen
the resolve of the movement, and the anarchists might credit
themselves with helping that process along.  I happen to
think that is a non-optimal strategy, and I'd like to
discuss that with them.  But, to their credit, they see the
movement isn't making much measurable progress, and they are
seeking to 'extend the envelope' and get things moving. 
Their heart, in other words, might be in the right place. 
If so, then they should not be left out in the cold by the
movement, imho.



Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 15:59:31 -0300
To: •••@••.•••
From: earthsea <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A movement without a program?

Dear Richard,

Isn't the "Movement Without a Program" very like the way the
UN is supposed to work? In fact the UN has managed against
heavy odds to at least set some global benchmarks for
government and civil behaviour such as a universal
"guarantees" of rights and freedoms.

The distance between agreed behaviour and actual delivery,
as in for example,"no war", "all will be fed" or "CO2
outputs will be restrained" is the presenting difficulty.

Without a program, each signatory develops its own, similiar
to your suggested movement. And in fact it turns out that
moral persuasion isn't enough to get the job done. Perhaps
it is the internal & external politics and the militaries
and the supernational corporations and religious
fundamentalists (including the Pope), not to mention
corporate capitalism, that are in the way as things stand.

So "we" are saying: adopt a universal charter of rights and
freedoms INCLUDING rights for all-our-relations and our
great-grandchilderen; willingly lay down your arms(severely
lower military spending), uncharter your banks and large
corporations, create co-ops, decentralize decision
making/taxation; agree within your territorial sphere to
what you want (as long as the rights of all-our-relations
and great grandchildren are maintained according to
universally agreed benchmarks); set levels of mutual aid and
assistance to help have-nots achieve equality without need
of exploitation of their territory or members (the formula
is based on a % of difference between haves & have-nots with
collectively agreed upon priorities and time-lines for
goals); entities that can show they meet the minimum
standards can opt to be left alone (as in certain groups of
sustainable indigenous peoples); all the forgoing attended
to, order your affairs in the ways that suit your members.

Some would go about implementing the agenda with socialist
means, some with more anarchial means, some with more
communal means, all democratic with universal suffrage. Some
would be patriarchal & some matriarchal and some

Perhaps in the universal rights there would be a mobility
clause saying any person at a certain age can vote with
their legs by moving to an area that better suits their
temperment and will be blessed and aided to do so by both
"sides". This is a nonviolent means of handling dissent such
as I believe the Amish and Castro's Cuba (on occasion), have

Do we expect the technophiles and the owner-elites to
abandon their fortresses? Do we expect their minions to
abandon them?

Transitional visioning that looks after the interests of
those currently benefiting most from the status quo is of
the utmost importance.

David Cameron


Dear David C,

Please understand: I am not advocating a movment without a
detailed program.  I am only saying that the movement can
_start without a detailed program.  In fact, the movement
has already started, and many people (like yourself) are
already preparing draft principles to offer into the
process, to be harmonized with others.  The harmonization /
movement process isn't visible yet, but it's beginning to
consense out of the spiritual vapor, everywhere at once.  By
the time the movement achieves victory, its program will
have harmoniously gelled - ready for implementation by the
new regime, which is the movement, which is the civil
society, which is everyone.

Thanks for your comment about looking 'after the interests
of those currently benefiting most from the status quo'.  It
is very important that we do not prepare the guillotines. 
The current elite and their lackeys should be welcomed as
full citizens in the new society, and that's all - what more
could they ask?  If  they're as smart as they think they are,
they'll succeed very well, and probably become greener than


Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2001 23:53:25 -0500
To: •••@••.•••
From: David Lewit <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A movement without a program?

    > The answer to these questions begins with the nature of
    the 'problem' that our movement is intended to address. That
    problem is a very broad one indeed - the entire world
    system, from bottom to top, needs to be fundamentally

chaos theory as well as the "keystone" concept suggests that
a partial vision can be useful in getting people thinking
about alternatives to the status quo, in "unfreezing" their
commitments to it, and in considering not only the
alternative presented but others which may be more
palatable.      those can be "tested" in discussion with
others we trust, and this will help many in the movement to
move together.  when very many have moved to a particular
vision, further discussion and efforts to proselytize will
tend to "refreeze" commitments and consolidate actions to
realize the vision.

    > In some sense, the organizers would be following in the
    tradition of utopian thinkers like Plato with his
    'Republic', or Marx with his 'dictatorship of the
    proletariat'. Such efforts have either been universally
    ignored by societies, or else when implemented they have
    turned out quite differently than the vision predicted.

seems to me that marx was pretty successful in inspiring a
lot of people who led millions in revolutions, even now
continuing in various guerilla wars.  i am no marxist, but
my point is that models can be useful.

    >  For all of these reasons, I believe that no prepackaged
    'plan for society' can be the basis for building a
    successful global movement for fundamental change.

will people flock to this movement, then, with no conceptual
keys in their pockets?  of course they will all have keys,
which then have to be laid on the table and debated or tried
in local actions, and then compare results taking local
differences of conditions into account.

    > We must find some other means of rallying a movement
    together, and then the movement itself must take
    responsibility for developing its program, or programs, for
    society. If the movement is to be the vehicle by which the
    people of the world find their common voice, then it is
    entirely suitable that the movement also be the vehicle by
    which they reach a common understanding of what kind of
    world they want to create.

i am very concerned about people clarifying the kinds of
world they want.  most will be ethnocentric, i.e., parochial
and fully applicable only in spots.  then there will be
cultural diffusion and adopting of some of the new features
here and there.  there may also be some general
understandings about such things as patents, basic rights,
and weapons trade.  the universal declaration of human
rights may become as popular in diverse places as mao's
little red book was in china.

concretely, i do believe in my group's "common agreement on
investment and society" (cais) as a useful discussion
document.  useful in the sense of a model to consider, to
criticize, to oppose in small details (which can lead to
better details) and reconstruing relationships among the
envisioned international institutions (large details),
changing those institutions as well, deciding to focus on
the local system organizations, especially with reference to
one's own locality and links with neighboring ones, and so
on. the model will continue to change with such feedback. 
see it now at  http://www.thealliancefordemocracy.org .  
what is the role of models in general systems theory?


Dear David L,

Many thanks for your comments - but PLEASE don't put them in
all caps!  I can't read them myself until I convert them,
and that kind of stuff, believe me, gets very tedious.  It
takes literally hours to reformat the things people send in
to make them postable.  Every little bit helps.  thanks.

The fact is that people don't know what kind of world they
want.  Most have never even thought about that as an issue. 
And those of us who have thought about it a lot are only a
few feet ahead of them - on a journey miles long.  We will
_discover what kind of world we want by talking to one
another.  There will be quantum breakthroughs in these
discussions, big collective "Ah Ha's".  Those who have never
thought about these things may be the ones with the best
ideas.  My girlfriend, for example, finds politics dead
boring - but every once in a while from her comments I can
tell she knows _exactly how the system works.  I'd trust her
to help set up a community before I'd trust many of those
who go around selling 'community power' as a philosophy.
(All readers excepted, of course).

The movement will grow as the merger of diverse tributaries,
evolving separately from mountain streams, each merging,
merging, and then all merging in one Movement river - before
finally reaching the New Society sea.  In each tributary
will be specific stages... decision to work together,
establishment of principles, gathering more people, refining
the principles, outreaching to other groups, merging, etc.

Keep that old Alliance tributary humming! (And say Hi 
to Ronny, and tell him I've finally got an answer
to his question: 'how can we work together?')


Delivered-To: •••@••.•••
To: •••@••.•••
From: "Bill Ellis" <•••@••.•••>
Delivered-To: mailing list •••@••.•••
List-subscribe: <mailto:•••@••.•••>
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2001 14:59:57 -0400
Subject: Re: [FixGov]A movement without a program

Richard wrote:
    > To think that a movement must have all the answers before
    it can go ahead, is to me a recipe for defeat from the

Yes, it would be a bit like thinking that the cells in your
body had to have the final shape and substance of who you
are before they started organizing into you.  For millions
and millions of years the cells indpendently evolved. Only
in the last few eons have they organized, by the laws of
general evolution, to become human bodies.  Society works in
the same way.

No one sat down and said lets design the industrial age. But
individual cells formed and linked together to create it.
The cotton gin, the water mill, the loom, the railroads,
coal mines, steamships, entrepreneurs, the capitalists were
all there and they self-organized into the system that now
dominates the world.

If we want a different system we don't start at the top. We
start with a new set of social cells.

Bill Ellis  

Dear Bill,

Yes indeed, and we pay attention to harmonizing those cells.


Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 16:20:02 -0800 (PST)
From: Jessica Markland <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A movement without a program?
To: •••@••.•••

I so much support what you are doing. I am in Florida
at the moment and only have access to Internet through
the local library. When I get back home I will spend
more time on your stuff. Keep it up!


Dear Jessica,

Please do, and send in your comments.

happy sunshine,

Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
email: •••@••.••• 
CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org
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