Tag Archives: solutions

PEACE-olence – Hybrid Between Peace & Violence

We need a new term for the harmony and radical transformation we seek that lies somewhere new in the fields between peace and violence.

Coming off the annual high of MLK Day, we’re reminded of the attraction of both ideals (riotous discontent has its place), and of the shortcomings of each in major degrees.

peace burnWhich is why I propose a comfortable hybrid; an upgrade, that goes beyond the failures of the compromises of the past – compromises that often tried to appease the disputing advocates for each perspective by mouthing the best of each but settling on an ineffective and unstable patch of false bravados.

We need to accept that even good expectations have a taste of badness, just as bad ones can bring about goodness. Hence my alternative: PEACE-olence.

IMHO, this reconceptualization puts peace first but doesn’t downplay the fact that we need radical, profound, dramatic and sometimes even destructive change.

The future is heading towards us at the speed of a digital rocket, and there is no getting around the reality that it will destroy many social, cultural and even economic conventions. And we owe it to ourselves and the future to have our eyes and capabilities open to this wide-ranging truth.

Before everyone gets in a tizzy about my putting peace and violence on a loving teeter-totter (where each side gets deserving traction at some point to make the game worth playing), think about where we are in the evolution of our society, and in particular of our business, communications and connectivity levels. The best that has come out of the innovations of these sectors is thought of these days as being DISRUPTIVE, which is a rather violent expression, because they literally blow our past expectations away.

Not sure about this? Google “disruptive innovations” on the phone in your hand. Then share the results with the half the world now within your reach. See if they like your take on the results, good or bad.

As for peace, that’s problematic also; more than most of us like to admit. One person’s or group’s version involves unleashing classified security documents to let openness and honesty club secrecy and deception, while another lets us speak pornographically from the privacy of our home front – on the assumption that no one knows of our preferences.

Not being able to fathom this killed the King.

PEACE-olence, to me, does a good job of reminding us that our last efforts haven’t worked S we like. Injustices prevail, protests are getting angrier, and we use impersonal means to destroy people, places and facts from a false sense of distance – some would say like a sniper oblivious to the narrowness of his own dramatically false sense of patriotism.

Let’s put PEACE first but also not be afraid to play on the balance of a reality where riots and wars and dissatisfaction still prevail.

PEACE-olence works for me!

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2015 – Year of EMPOWERMENT

photo-37It’s time to get down and dirty and have fun with the idea that liberalism AND conservatism have come up short.

Both simply try too hard to find solutions to major social and cultural flaws by seeking partisan compromises of comfort. Essentially they each assume we’ll all get along better if we just try harder – either by mistakenly lionizing the past, or in ways perceived as desirable but not too radical.

Super speed technology and interactive accessibility have shown us we can do better; that we can make an entirely new playing field where ideas can grow in virtually any direction without making new problems, exploiting justice or worsening long standing problems and failures.

Empowerment strategies are unique, as mentioned in a recent video blog for RadicalNOT. [Not posted yet; search RadicalNOT YouTube after Dec. 26th! Sorry.]

They are approaches towards change that go as deep as necessary to improve or upgrade the promises we’ve made as a nation to be fair, respectful and just to all. They can adjust failed practices here and there, or they can open entirely new avenues towards much different kinds of solutions.

2015 needs to be the year for making EMPOWERMENT options more understandable.

There are existing EMPOWERMENT approaches for EVERY social, economic, gender, racial or identity challenge. And there will be more to select from once open, virtual discussions refine their ways and means.

MY RESOLUTION: 2015 needs to be the YEAR OF EMPOWERMENT.

How about 15 viable ideas for EMPOWERED change?

What’s EMPOWERMENT?

empower signI write and argue about a philosophy of empowerment. So I must be doing something right because people are starting to ask regularly what the heck I mean by that term; aren’t I just finding a new way of professing my liberal or progressive inclinations?

No, I’m not. Empowerment is a force for change that presumes that the systems we rely on are themselves grounded in engaging, supporting and opening the ways and means of action into the systems we use — and thus a method for ensuring that all social systems carry within themselves the avenues to challenges. They are approaches that fix problems while they help us and help us help each other.

If we have a system … for good, for bad; for social responsibility, for profit … it needs to carry within itself all that is required to empower its users to find solutions to issues or concerns related to its area or focus. Housing empowerment doesn’t give people houses; it enables our system of housing making and using to sustain avenues so all get houses. And most often that involves parterning with the largest force for collective protection we have, government.

Sorry libertarians! Starving or shrinking the beast isn’t empowering in most cases because it is used as an excuse to cut away the protections government offers to capitalism and consumerism — tactics that are seldom empowering (though interactive technology may be changing this game if we play it out right!).

Is it possible for there to be liberal and conservative forms of empowerment? Sure, I guess; though honestly in this time of fast-acting progress, conservative empowerment doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I’m open to reconsidering this if someone can convince me of the error of my ways.

If not, when I speak of EMPOWERMENT, I speak of systems that carry within them the ways and means (the actions and the resources) to fix the problems and engage those who are part of that very process. If we get this one right, then we don’t have to worry about what is radical and what is right. Good ideas will simply work.