We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I like some sections of this article, particularly the "(Really) Basic techniques for Conflict work". Other sections seem much to abstract and rather fanciful for me to relate to--too much of a "New Age" flavor. I think that specialists in group dynamics are very much needed in grass roots organizations, but I worry that they may be relied upon too much, that people tend to accept advice from "experts" in an uncritical fashion. One must always be aware that people trained in our institutions of higher learning have been subject to a large measure of a dominant culture indoctrination that tends to reflect ruling class values and perspectives. (Read the book, Disciplined Minds, by Jeff Schmidt)
Hence, an alternative culture created by aware people at the grass roots of society needs to be created as a check on the dominant culture's distorting influence.