Who We Are?

Public and Private Citizens


Forget about those OLD, TIRED, and mostly INVALID social categories like conservative/liberal, Red/Blue State, Republican/Democratic, and the like. The most valid and most useful category for American political analysis is of attitude--the Private/Public citizen one.


Private citizens are individualistic, self interested, aggressive, competitive, and win-lose oriented people. They aggressively and intensely play by the existing individualist/capitalist "rules of the game" which characterize our American society. They do not pay much attention to the interests of their communities, to spirituality, nor to non-economic moralities. They end up dominating in both the economic and political worlds.


We can consider them as “Me” people.


Public citizens are dual attitude-oriented, partly towards self-interest, and partly towards community. They try to strike a balance between their individual and community interests. They know that even the most solitary of personalities are still members of families, work groups, teams, communities, and the American nation. They are only moderately competitive (usually in low-consequences situations like sporting events) and favor win-win situations. In some cases, they will sacrifice their own personal interests for the good of the community, like soldiers do going into combat.


They are "We" people.


The private citizen/public citizen categorization articulated here represents abstract types. There are few who would be purely private or public citizens as nearly everyone exists somewhere on a continuum ranging from pure private interest to pure public interest. In any case, these categories are the most significant of all social categories and explain better than others the nature of decisions, behaviors, perspectives, and, especially outcomes in society.


Critics have persistently conceived of social categories of the wealthy and the rest of us. They really have targeted the wrong people and groups and their reform/change efforts have consequently failed. The truly valid category is of attitude (Private or Public.) These attitudes make up the social ethos we live by. We have been dominated for centuries by an individualist/capitalist ethos which has imposed an elite over the vast majority of little people.


It is the social ethos--the "rules of the game--which need to be changed (or rather, complemented by a new ethos and set of Public values. (The truth is that individualism/capitalism is NOT going to go away, but we can complement it with a new social ethos of private-public balance.)



An American Team


For the most part, public citizens have worked hard all of their lives, have made decent homes for their families, have been good neighbors and members of their communities, have never taken advantage of anyone ever, yet have lost their jobs, homes, pensions, health care, political influence, trust in their authority institutions, and even belief in the "American Way."


Public citizens know, or at least feel, that they have been exploited. They either accept it as the way it is or haplessly flail against it without effect.



The Action Manual will reveal why the classes (the elite, middle, and lower classes, the underclasses, and the defenseless class), conservative and progressive activists, libertarians, academics and professional experts, and ordinary Marys and Johns have much in common-nearly everything important!--and why a new social ethos of collective interest, rationality, and fairness makes great sense.


Arguably, the “right-leaning” economic conservative component of the Tea Party has more in common with the “left-leaning” Occupy Wall Street group than they think! They both are reacting to being screwed by a small group of self-interested (private citizens) in Big Business, government, or both.


All of these folks can satisfactorily fit into a new social group of an American Team, which will have a lot of benefits, but achieving class equities and producing an advanced American society may be the most important of them.


All of them can find roles in the new social movement. 



An Open Source Social Movement


Many readers will see a great deal of the program borrowing elements of the "open source" movement in computer and software development which developed the Internet and much of our modern infrastructure. Take for instance, the common-good intentions; rationality, science, reason, and data; organic development; combined top-down and bottom-up developmental processes; design approaches like modular construction, scalability, shared templates (not code, but similar); continuous improvements; and more.


 The Program will be Smart, a concept with does NOT characterize what kind of governmental and social institutions and processes we have now.



The approach is conservative, liberal, and radical all at the same time (see Chapter 1 for a detailed explanation.)


It is conservative in that it doesn't envision a replacement of an entire system (capitalism) but only a complementary social ethos and informal governance emphasizing new public values, new informal problem-solving and planning institutions, and the inclusive involvement of the little people themselves. It emphasizes improving and modernizing what we have and not tearing down or destroying anything. It emphasizes personal values and individual action. It envisions a large space for spiritual and human meanings regardless of system imperatives. It accepts the flaws of humanity and the limitations of social engineering.


It is liberal in that it envisions an active role of government and ordinary people in both formal and informal governance structures. (Informal governance will be by a shadow government organized and run by the little people themselves.) It believes that the consistent application of science and reason can greatly aid problem-solving in the social sphere. It emphasizes social inclusiveness and builds upon what it sees as the goodness and potential of all people.


It is radical in its concept of dual citizen attitude involving balancing of private and public interests. It offers a new balanced set of rules of the game, so to speak, involving collective rationality. It offers new structural checks and balances on both government and Big Business. It anticipates that new technology will empower the little people like they have never been before. It implements "building up" strategies for both society and for individuals. And, it provides for a set of permanent social conditioning programs using templates and more.