1551 Slices
Medium 9781576757611

An Informed and Educated Electorate

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be…. Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.

—THOMAS JEFFERSON

TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE, BASED IN WASHINGTON, DC, IS owned and run by my dear friend Ellen Ratner. Ellen is an experienced and accomplished journalist, and a large number of interns and young journalism school graduates get their feet wet in reporting by working with her.

In March 2010 I was in Washington for a meeting with a group of senators, and I needed a studio from which to do my radio and TV show. Ellen was gracious enough to offer me hers. I arrived as three of her interns were producing a panel-discussion type of TV show for web distribution at www.talkradionews.com in which they were discussing for their viewing audience their recent experiences on Capitol Hill.

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Medium 9781626561106

Chapter 5: Shape What’s Next

Baker, Aspen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Pro-voice is everywhere. It lives all around us. Inspiring examples of the human desire to overcome differences and hostility with love and compassion happen all the time. By bringing existing pro-voice efforts to light and connecting the dots between pro-voice action and behavior, the pro-voice movement can grow far beyond the issue of abortion.

Here are just a few examples of where I witness pro-voice already taking place:

I’m inspired by the work of Joan Blades and Mark Meckler to rehumanize toxic dynamics in politics. Blades, the founder of MoveOn, MomsRising, and Living Room Conversations, and well-known for her liberal passions, teamed up with Meckler, a Tea Party leader, to show in their joint appearances around the country that civil dialogue across the political aisle is possible.1 They are serving as role models for how to disagree, often vehemently, about policy and priorities with respect for one another.

When a video about street harassment went viral in 2014 (it was viewed more than 32 million times in one week), I was impressed by how feminist activists were concerned that only men of color were shown to be the culprits when they knew that men from all backgrounds can harass women who are just walking down the street. The public conversation that took place about the video affirmed and sustained the human dignity of the men depicted in the video, whose sexist behavior was rightly criticized.

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Medium 9781626562905

1 Our Story Problem

Korten, David C. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Economists debate how to accelerate economic growth. Scientists debate how long the human species can withstand an economy that is destroying Earth’s capacity to support life. Social activists debate how to reduce an intolerable and growing gap between the profligate and the desperate.

Meanwhile, corporations compete for monopoly control of the information commons and what remains of Earth’s freshwater, fertile soils, minerals, and fossil fuel. The growing demand of energy-intensive economies for fossil fuel drives environmentally destructive extraction methods like fracking, deep-sea drilling, and mountaintop removal. Competition for food and freshwater increases in the face of population growth; extreme drought and flooding; the conversion, destruction, and depletion of farmland; and the contamination of freshwater sources.

Politicians dependent on big money to fund their campaigns advance policies that favor the interests of money over the interests of life. Economists ease the conscience of those politicians with assurances that such policies accelerate growth in the gross domestic product, which in turn will end poverty and fund technologies to eliminate our human dependence on nature.

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Medium 9780253220707

Part IV The Palestinian Dimension Reemerges: From the June War through Camp David

Mark Tessler Indiana University Press ePub

THE IMPACT OF the war of June 1967 cannot be overstated. It introduced critical new elements into the Arab-Israeli conflict, including a revival of concern with its central Palestinian dimension. It also had far-reaching consequences for the internal political dynamics of both the Arab world and Israel, and many of these consequences continue to be felt more than a quarter-century after the war.

Since Israel’s victory left it in possession of land that had previously been part of Egypt, Jordan, or Syria, or controlled by Egypt in the case of the Gaza Strip, the most immediate result of the June War was a change in the territorial status quo. Map 7.1 shows the area under Israeli control at the end of the fighting and identifies the five Arab territories occupied by the Jewish state. Two of these territories, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, were captured from Egypt. The Sinai is a vast area by the standards of the region, encompassing roughly 20,000 square miles and being about two and one-half times the size of pre-1967 Israel. On the other hand, principally because of its inhospitable mountainous and desert terrain, the peninsula is sparsely populated. Its population in 1967 was no more than 45,000–50,000, perhaps even less, and roughly one-fifth of this number were nomadic Bedouins living in the barren and forbidding southern part of the territory. The remainder of Sinai’s inhabitants resided either in its principal town, al-Arish, or in smaller towns and villages along the flat and sandy Mediterranean coast.

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Medium 9781855754812

CHAPTER ONE: The field of study: societal cultures

Lionel F. Stapley Karnac Books ePub

The field of study: societal cultures

In 1985 Miller and Khaleelee published a paper “Society as an intelligible field of study”. In brief, this paper sought to show that society was but a (very) large group and that the same sort of theoretical understanding used in Group Relations learning where both small and large group dynamics were the subject of study in temporary institutions, could also be applied to the study of society. For those readers who are not familiar with the Group Relations approach, which is sometimes referred to as a “systems psychodynamic” approach, the short summary below is an attempt to capture the essential features. For those who may wish to obtain a more thorough understanding there are several sources available (for example see: Gould, Stapley, & Stein (2001); Gould, Stapley, & Stein (2004); Stapley (2006); Armstrong (2005) and others).

Group Relations learning

For current purposes, this short summary will provide the reader with an introduction to the main features of Group Relations learning, such as to enable a basic understanding. The purpose of Group Relations learning is educational and is devoted to experiential, or here and now, learning about group and organization behaviour. The essentials of the approach, including its theoretical underpinnings, were largely established in the 1960s. Of central theoretical and practical interest is the notion of “relatedness”. That is the process of mutual influence between individual and group, group and group, group and organization, organization and organization and the relatedness of organizations and community to wider social systems including society itself. Influenced by Kurt Lewin’s (1947) work, and later Bion’s (1961) ground-breaking findings about group dynamics, the importance of studying the group-as-a-whole was considered paramount. Other psychoanalytic concepts, such as those of Melanie Klein (1959), were later found to be invaluable in understanding group dynamics. Psychoanalysis, besides suggesting that explanations for human behaviour in groups may be found in primitive and unconscious processes, also provided a model for working with groups and organizations. A key concept also derived from Lewin (1935) and developed by open system theorists was that of “boundary”. This was seen as significant in terms of any defined system, be that the task, an individual, a group, an organization, or society. (See Miller (1989) for a fuller description of Group Relations development and processes.)

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