The Action Manual is an interactive story outline of how people balancing private and public interests (i.e., Public Citizens) start a new social movement for evening out the disparities between the elite class and the rest of Americans while making America into a Smart 21-st Century nation. It articulates a unique Vision of what an advanced American Society will look like and a practical Plan on how to achieve it.
The Action Manual approach is an "open source" social change movement with roles for everyone in a unique National Character Program. Participate in your own way in a new social movement.
Help create a 21st-Century Great Society!
While "An Action Manual" is not a socialist movement it overlaps themes of what ought to be included in a society where human values are balanced with the private ones of capitalism. Here is a special short essay on Five Reasons Socialism has to be MODERNIZED!! Click here.
The Action Manual offers you Readers a guide to place yourselves among the characters of the story, define setting details, and fill out narratives which empower the so-called "little people" to push back the dominant elite class (i.e., Private Citizens) which now imposes its miserable (for us) story upon the rest of us. That story means insecurity, frustration, anger, resentment, and losses of homes, jobs, pensions, health care, and worse for millions of Americans, including those formerly part of the disappearing middle class.
Readers will complete their own real-time, interactive story and their own (maybe happy) ending!
At a minimum, the story promises to be a Grand Adventure in meaning for nearly everyone. How great is a story where the little people stand up for themselves while pushing back the self-interested and aggressive private citizens who dominate economic and political affairs while trying to convince us that all of our problems are our own damn faults! In truth, they have rigged the system for their own benefit.
We can fix this! Public citizens, guided by a new Vision and Plan (great new ideas!) and using new technology and organizing tools, will insist upon remaking an American society where they obtain at least a new sense of self-respect in the effort (and, perhaps, much more.)
If things work like like they could, America will have a new social ethos where private and public interests are in a healthy balance, the humanity of people will be made primary over the capitalist system needs which control now, and the standard of success will be "Being the Best One Can Be," (instead of being competitively better than everyone else just as a matter of ego.) The little people will be respected (and rewarded) for living the small life well.
In addition, while nearly every material aspect of our lives has greatly progressed over the past 230+ years, we foolishly maintain 18th-Century institutions and processes by which we govern and relate to ourselves. They will be updated to 21st-Century ones incorporating for the first time in American history a collective "Brain," rationality and fairness; enhanced professional governance with long-term planning perspectives; and an informal "shadow government" made up of the little people themselves monitoring official government to keep it honest and true to a new set of public values which emphasize the needs of an American Team.
A lot of people have had ideas to change and/or reform our OLD ways of doing things, or to substitute some new (ill-defined and conceived) governance concepts. They have all failed.
The Action Manual approach has fresh NEW IDEAS--theoretically-sound and practical (even though not easy and long-term.) It promises to provide roles for everyone while benefiting everyone. Give it a good look, please!
David Brooks, in his New York Times column dated February 28, 2017, “The Enlightenment Project” (http://nyti.ms/2mtuCt2) raises the issue of whether the 18th-Century Enlightenment ideals which have conditioned our society for centuries are coming to an end. He calls for a new group of leaders to come forward to combat the attacks on the fundamentals of the Enlightenment project.
The populist “revolt” globally crippling liberal democracy; rejecting reason and science in policymaking and governance; and rejecting globalism, tolerance, and diversity is a major regression of the Enlightenment goal of steadily improving society and governance.
Many fair and right-minded people will agree with this.
But who are these new leaders? What ideas do they have to reverse this fundamental regression? How do they do it? And what should we have in place in terms of governance and social relations when they are done?
Brooks has no answers, much less a theoretically-sound vision or practical plan. Nor does anyone else in a position of influence, either.
However, answers to ALL of these questions (and more) are articulated in The Action Manual. Seriously! Give it an honest read. You will be provoked and intrigued, unquestionably.
Steve Phillips, in his New York Times article of February 21, 2017 (http://nyti.ms/2mhT2px) argues that the Democratic Party needs to make just a few adjustments in its "politics as usual" strategy and efforts to regain the White House in 2020.
For what! It will still be a minority in the two houses of Congress, in the state governorships and legislatures, and have nearly 1/2 of the adult population still rabidly anti--progressive, deliberately obstructionist in governance and policymaking, and newly-enabled in intolerance.
Why would millions of people (or anyone) want to work hard for that result? Is it because they don't know what else to do? Does anyone in the position of influence have any good perspectives on why American governance and social relations is so dysfunctional and divided? It is beyond foolish to think that "politics as usual”will fix any of this accepted such minor ways as to be nearly insignificant.
The existing system is more than just broken. It is obsolete. When nearly every other element of modern society like communications, transportation, management, science, etc. is so modern our political principles and institutions are still 18th-Century!
How can a nation of so many smart people that see that there has to be "smartness" in governance, as well. Smartness includes a collective Interest and fairness, rationality in policymaking, a balance of private and public interests, a greater respect for reason and science, tolerance for trivial differences, and more.
Our existing system is not smart; it is based on factual circumstances of an entirely different era of individualism, parochialism, limited interactivity, minimal governmental needs, and the like. That is certainly not our situation now!
Let's modernize! Let's create new governmental institutions for our present situation. Let's add a "brain"to governance and social relations institutions. Let's identify correctly what it is that divides us into socially invalid categories like so-called "conservative/liberal" and red/blue etc.
These are archaic, invalid, and invidious characterizations of social life. The more accurate characterization of Americans is into two categories: private citizens who exercise self-interest, competitiveness, and individualism, and public citizens who recognize a balance of private and public interests.
How to see anything correctly about social organization and quality of governance requires a new paradigm. What that paradigm is and how it will work is what The Action Manual is all about. he recognizes that we need a new social ethos and set of public values. It emphasizes that public citizens (a large majority of Americans) need to assert themselves against the private ones.
If anyone is truly serious and open-minded enough to work hard for social change, they will make the efforts to become enlightened with new ideas and plans. Take a look at The Action Manual.
Union organizers again fail to organize workers in a major industry. Surprise! Surprise! (See the New York Times article of February 16, 2017 ( http://nyti.ms/2lSFqkz).
Despite being, in theory, the most potent tactic that the "little people" (as are most workers in America—blue, pink, white collar, and even professionals) can have to actually achieve goals which would benefit them, their families and communities, and the society as a whole, they persistently reject the siren calls of union organizers.
Why is this? What is wrong with Kansas? Why do the little people persistently vote and act against their best interests?
Firstly, they are presented with no good options to act for themselves. The present governance and social relations system offers no effective and useful ways to assert their interests. Voting? For the same rotating elites who are mostly responsible for keeping them down? – No. Throwing monkey wrenches in the system like voting in seriously unqualified candidates (we know who they are!) or obstructing governance in crude and counterproductive ways (the Tea Party, Brexit-like activities) – No. What then?
The present system is deliberately designed to keep the little people in their place by the existing political-economic elite. The recent populist eruptions are, at best, only temporary, are definitely not going to achieve real benefits for the little people, and eventually will be managed and rendered impotent soon enough by this elite class. Unions have been tamed and/or crushed since the mid-1980s and have lost their ability to pushback the elite except for a very small segment of the populace and only in minor special interest fashion.
Secondly, the union concept has become toxic. Potential members almost cannot be rational about the benefits of collective bargaining and worker rights. The capitalist ideology imposed upon the society by the might of the media and other propaganda sources owned by the elite has been extremely effective. Worse, the grand unions of the past have self-destructed. In the past they were "collectively-oriented,” fighting for universal values like economic justice in fairness, diversity, humanity in the workplace and communities, and the like. They were obvious tools and allies of the little people. That no longer is the case.
Over the decades since the 1930s they evolved into more special-interest organizations looking only for goodies for themselves. That strategy in many ways put them at odds with their communities and nations. Taxpayers objected to double dipping pensions, underfunded pension systems, mobsterism, cronyism, and worse. The great goodwill of the grand unions of the 1930s-1960s has been squandered.
Unions still are a major component of any approach to improving the lives the little people. But, they have to reformulate themselves. They have to become general interests (not special interests), they have to become “holy” and redeem their role as part of a generalized humanistic, progressive movement.
See Chapter 9 of The Actual Manual on how "reformulated, unions can regain their credibility and again be the best friends of the little people.