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Gardens of Hope
The fragile beauty of citizens' democracy in a world blighted by absolutism and manufactured crisis
“Each American knows when to sacrifice some of his private interests to save the rest; we [Europeans] want to save everything, and often we lose it all.” Alexis de Tocqueville on enlightened self interest in America
Friends, as subscribers to this newsletter, you know that I believe we are engaged in a historic civilizational war between a profoundly anti-democratic transnational order predicated on authoritarianism and permanent crisis, versus a more traditional order of marginally democratic nation states and robust local civil society. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Per Tocqueville, we confront the very real risk that we could “lose it all,'“ quite possibly in a mushroom cloud.
The strength of any ecosystem depends upon diversity, and this is especially true for democratic self-governance. In this scenario, the more examples of functioning local control and self-governance there are, the closer we are to approximating a healthy and authentic democracy.
Under the new $100 trillion transnational regime decades in planning (Agenda 2030, Great Reset, Global Green New Deal, ad infinitum), the opposite is happening. Individual human liberty is seen as a luxury the planet can no longer afford. National and local democratic freedoms must be sacrificed to a global order of self-styled “sovereignty free” actors, wise “global stakeholders” who are determined to save us from ourselves.
From day one, Reimagining Politics has rejected this globalist worldview. We have been about seeding democratic inspiration by sharing powerful examples of citizen-driven political innovation. From day one, we’ve also operated far outside globalized media echo chambers that are promoting permanent apocalypse and citizen disempowerment with intentionally divisive 24/7 noise lacking all balance and perspective.
Potential solutions and alternative counter examples to democratic dysfunction abound across Europe and the Americas. You just don’t hear about them because they do not further the disempowering, officially sanctioned narrative of permanent crisis that enables a global redistribution and consolidation of money and power upward. (See my six part Covidnomics series.)
That is about to end.
Over the next year, Reimagining Politics is building what we hope will be one of the world’s largest interactive databases of innovative citizen-driven civil, economic and political initiatives.
We have three criteria for these initiatives.
The project is having positive real world impact
The project is citizen-driven, and with rare exceptions, outside of parties and government
The project is duplicable and scalable across borders
In addition to ongoing research and field investigation, we are starting with a database of 15-20 thousand citizens’ initiatives that were functioning before a global pandemic was declared in March 2020. The fatality rate for these projects over the past three plus years has been considerable, but there are still many thousands of initiatives, large and small, that have proven their resilience during the imposed top down crisis.
The democratic spirit is the volunteer spirit. It is the antithesis of all knowing “experts.” Showing, sharing and connecting the myriad of largely volunteer civic models is our sole focus for the next year.
In On Revolution Hannah Arendt noted that historically, so called “revolutionaries” are no such thing. They are simply better prepared than their peers with alternative models of governance when the current regime loses credibility.
Per Arendt, a “revolutionary situation” is not made, but emerges, and is inherently difficult to anticipate. The historical moment is “…not the result of conspiracies or the propaganda of revolutionary parties but the almost automatic outcome of processes of disintegration in the powers-that-be, of their loss of authority.”
Once such a “situation” has emerged, Arendt argues that organized leadership is necessary to recognize it and to seize the opportunity to lay the new foundations of legal or constitutional authority. Not everyone will participate initially. In the former Soviet republics of Eastern Europe, revolutionary change started with only 243 brave people signing “Charter ‘77,” a moment when “hope played a powerful role in the real world.”
The current attempt to impose a top down transnational regime under the banner of apocalyptic crisis is already deeply unpopular and resorting to force. Although it is impossible to predict when our “revolutionary situation” will emerge, and while it is important to fight back by all traditional means possible in the interim, the question we must ask ourselves is – “Are we going to be ready?”
Reimagining Politics is about making sure that informed citizens are ready. Robust civil society and democratic self-governance cannot reassert themselves unless the people are armed with knowledge of impactful, functioning civic models.
With your support, we will continue finding and openly sharing inspiring examples of citizen driven democracy adequate to the task of rebuilding authentic democracy and civilization itself.
A very preliminary online model database can be seen HERE or by clicking the image above. We need funding to rapidly grow the database and to make it fully functional with geotagging, advanced search options, etc.
DONATE TO COVER OUR COSTS
We need $4,500 to continue our work uninterrupted for the balance of 2023. We have a small team that includes a brilliant programmer / data analyst, two part time university student researchers and myself. We’re all starving quasi-volunteers and need your help.
I have been self-funding Reimagining Politics since before the pandemic, which slowed us down but did not kill the project. An enormous amount of research advanced during the global shutdown of the commons, as witnessed by the two year archive of articles here on Substack. We are ready to work non-stop to help rebuild citizen’s’ democracy.