9. Building on the 1st Paradigm of Democracy


“Any new idea or concept, in order to be accepted and make a contribution to the betterment of society, must be seen and accepted as a natural and necessary development of existing concepts and social structures.”

To successfully build the 2nd Paradigm of Democracy we retain those aspects of our traditional democratic process that are working and lend themselves to its improvement and effectiveness. These include,

1. The direct connection between with the values stated in the Declaration of Independence and the six core values of social sustainability.

2. There are already long term existent democratic processes in place that have produced a social, political, and economic culture of democracy that will lend itself to the public’s acceptance of the 2nd Paradigm of Democracy.

3. The First Amendment provides the context for the development of the 2nd Paradigm of Democracy.

4. The Internet is already in place that connects all democratic nations for similar democratic developments.

5. The first and second intention of the founders of the United States democracy are fulfilled:

a) The Revolutionary Colonists successfully pushed the authority of the British monarch back to his homeland;
b) to create a sovereign democratic nation.
6. There is an history and culture of local citizens meeting together to discuss and promote legislation…

7. … and share their views, perspectives, opinions, and preferences with their elected and appointed public executives.

“What is right? What Works?” One book that has been very influential to me for examining 1st Paradigm Democracies is, “Breaking the Rules.”19 by Kurt Wright. Wright’s book is eminently practical because he asks several questions that lead the reader to intuitively pragmatic answers.

1) “What’s right?” [The word “right” is interchangeable with the word “works” to become, “What works?”]
2) “What makes it right/work?”
3) “What would be ideally right/workable?”
4) “What’s not yet quite right/workable?” And,
5) “What resources can I find to make it right/work?”

This process moves our inquiry from “fixing problems” to creating solutions.

Question #1 begins by asking what is working, rather than focusing on what is wrong, which is the usual point of inquiry. It also asks us to get to the intentions and purposes of the function of our inquiry, and acts much like a review of the basics, which often get lost in the shuffle of fixing problems. Question #2 truly forces us to inspect what motivates the “right working” of the situation. Again, it forces us to retain what works and isolate what is not working. Questions #3 asks us to reach to our vision for something that makes us stretch to fulfill the greater good. Only then, in question #4 are we guided to discover/reveal the factors that are not working well; and, in #5 we are guided toward the resources that become the change-agents for creating the solutions we are seeking.

Whatever We Re-Design Must —

1) Be compatible with the Constitutional framework of our nation;

2) Recover the quality-value relationship that citizens had with their congressional public executives before it vanished after the Apportionment Act of 1911;

3) Become a democratic evolutionary development to bridge the democratic tragedy that the Apportionment Act created; and,

4) Offer an inventive way to engage contemporary technologies to give citizens an ongoing and continuous means of offering their collective intelligence (think in terms of “knowledge workers” in high tech industries) to create a “trend” of intelligent consensus to share with their public executives.

5) Offer a means for public executives to receive ongoing feedback from constituents; and keep pace with social change and the ever-changing hierarchies of needs of citizens whose interpretations of the six core values of social sustainability are constantly evolving.

19 - Wright, Kurt 1998. Breaking The Rules. CPM Publishing, Boise, ID ISBN: 0-9614383-3-9