We have two groups of people living in parallel worlds in America. The “Life Is Sweet” group is made up of a small set of a financial elite and other self-interested citizens. For them, life is is about “As Good As It Gets.”
The second group is the “Grind It out” group of multi-millions of ordinary Americans, like most of us. They are the so-called “little people” whose social world lives are characterized mostly by insecurity, frustration, anger, and broken spirits.
Over the past 30 years or so, things have been getting steadily worse for the little people. Many of them believe that the stark differences between the two groups in economic, political, and social status is unfair. They feel the system is rigged against them. However, they haven't been able to do much of anything about it. They feel helpless and hopeless.
The Action Manual.
Doing something about this unfair and rigged situation is what this Action Manual is about. It explains:
-why we have this parallel world situation in America
-that we have 18th-Century governance and social relations systems which are not appropriate for our times
-that vast progress has been made in nearly all areas of American life except for how we govern ourselves and relate to one another
-why the many prior social change efforts have failed
-and, why the right time is now for an updated and improved social world, what that society can look like, and how we can get it.
Why is now different?
-the little people have way more information about the nature of our social world than ever before and have learned about social change from decades of experience
-there are vast new technological tools like the Internet, Web 2.0 databases, social media, mobile devices and more for people who are willing to work for change which make information distribution, communications, and organization and mobilization much more potent than ever before
-we know about prior successful historical examples of change, for example, the civil rights and gender rights movements, which provide models of sorts for how merely new ways of seeing and thinking can make for major social changes
-there is a significantly large consensus among the little people of needs for security, balance between private and public interests, human meanings, and respect for the “small life” (Balance, Meaning, and Respect), and for smarter governance and social relations.
What is needed now.
A new theoretically-sound Vision and a fresh practical Plan of change, together with existing resources and political will, can work to catalyze citizen action for major social change:
- new ways of seeing and thinking about economics, politics, and social life more relevant to 21st-Century realities may guide fair-minded and progressive people to affect great changes in a just allocation of economic value, political influence, and social status
-a new social ethos containing concepts of a collective interest, rationality, and fairness; new public values; and greater reliance on professional expertise, science, and reason may convince a tipping point number of people of the possibility of significant social change
-a plan involving a unified set of activist people and groups covering a wide range of political attitudes and positions under a single brand having focus, accessibility, and ease of participation may be sufficient in “pushing back” (although not replacing) the individualist/capitalist ethos which dominates our lives now
The vision and a plan together form a National Character Program. That program includes:
-a new social ethos with a new set of public values
-a set of national councils representing collective perspective, fairness, rationality, inclusiveness, and professional governance,
-the formation of a national collective identity–an American "Team Player" group--as an alternative to the "solo" individuals, special interests, and egos which now dominate American society
-the creation of a shadow government, of sorts, as a complement to existing legal government and the influence of Big Business
-a deepened respect for reason, science, facts, and professionalism in both formal and informal institutions, including policymaking and mid-long term planning
-a sense that the time is right now for the for the little people to get their due. That means a pushback of capitalism and the creation of an advanced 21st-Century American society.
Chapter 1-An overview of a vision and a plan as a story outline of why and how the little people organize into American Team Players promoting the formation of a new social ethos and a sense of public citizenship, a brain in governance, and a shadow government. They demand balance, meaning, and respect (BMR) for everyone, regardless of relative social status. They update and improve our 18th-Century political and social institutions to 21st-Century ones. America is challenged to be an advanced nation, once again. Readers are challenged to flesh out and complete the story.
Chapter 2-A description of the Characters of the story, primarily, private self-interested persons and collectively-minded public citizens.
Chapter 3-A description of the Setting of the story, which is our 18th-Century governance and social systems dominated by ideologies of individualism and capitalism.
Chapter 4 -The Back Story of prior failed reform efforts to change the lives of multimillions of little people Americans. It explains why elections, new parties, etc. will NOT work.
Chapter 5-A description of the Functions of the program.
Chapter 6-A description and explanation of Public Values vs. private ones.
Chapter 7-A description of What Do We Need Now--including a set of specific financial, economic, political, and social changes.
Chapter 8-A description of the Program itself–its structures and processes.
Chapter 9-An explanation of What’s Next. That includes a description of how readers can write the rest of the story, together with detailed checklists and a timeline of what has to be done, by whom, how, and when.
In essence, the book is a story outline challenging readers to supply the detail and to write their own ending. It is a story of how the little people can obtain balance, meaning, and respect (BMR) and establish Smart governance and social relations for themselves and future generations.
Just participating in the program, regardless of its success or not, will be a meaningful experience for many readers eager to have a unique fighting chance for rights and dignity. They will have pride in their efforts in participating in a Grand Adventure.
The Action Manual is a new way of seeing and thinking about ourselves as human beings and as citizens of an advanced 21-st Century America.
Citizens learn to balance the demands of private and public interests, insist on human needs and wants being raised to more importance than capitalist system ones, demand respect for living the "small life" well, and impose a "Brain" in governance .
A theoretically-sound Vision and a practical Plan are the basis for a new social movement change updating how we act as new Public Citizens and smarten how we govern and relate to ourselves. We add a "Brain" to governance, a complementary "shadow government" to pushback the influence of a dominating elite class, and effect a set of new public values to guide attitudes and behaviors of people as an "American Team."
All of this adds up to a National Character Program unlike anything presented before, anywhere. You, Readers, can make it happen!