RESPONSES FROM OTHERS:
WHO WE ARE:
RADICAL MIDDLE, THE BOOK:
SOME PRIOR BOOKS BY MARK SATIN:
CONTEXT (FROM WIKIPEDIA):
"The New World Alliance was . .
. an attempt (in [one co-founder's] words) 'to embody a new holistic
vision of politics in America.'"
New World Alliance
In the 1970s -- long before national political commentators like David Broder and Joe Klein began writing about the “radical middle” (see Writers and Politicians Try to Describe the Radical Middle elsewhere on this website) -- a radical middle / transpartisan perspective began taking shape in the U.S.
Many of its champions were former Sixties activists and other Baby Boomers who, for better or worse, described themselves with terms like “transformational,” “ecofeminist,” "appropriate technologist," or “New Age.” Many of them longed to create a coherent political alternative to both the political Establishment and the traditional Left.
During the few but intense years of its existence (1979-83), the New World Alliance was the principal U.S. political organization for such people. Its staff and many of its members set out to do for the “creative new forces," defined below, what Jerry Falwell was doing for militant evangelical Christians: Turn them into a self-conscious political force.
Obviously, that effort failed -- for all the reasons you can guess and then
some (see our article "Participants Agonize
Over (and Draw Lessons From) the Death and Life of the First
Transpartisan Political Organization," January 2008). But the Alliance produced many interesting documents, and the Alliance’s
brochure contained a nice summing-up of the group’s public aspirations and goals. We
thought you’d enjoy seeing it. . . .
Governing Council of the New World Alliance meets at a lodge in Phoenicia NY, September 1980.
“A Different Kind of Political Organization”
Politics is the way we live our lives.
It is not just running for office. It is the way we treat each other, as individuals, as groups, as governments. It is the way we treat our environment. It is the way we treat our selves.
Politics has to do with where we shop, what we eat, how we maintain our health. It has to do with the kinds of schools we create, the energy we use, the neighborhood organizations we build, the work we do.
Politics involves our way of seeing the world, of developing our consciousness, of awakening our whole selves. It has to do with our attitudes, our values, our innermost dimensions.
What Is the New World Alliance?
The New World Alliance is a gathering of people from all areas of the country, from all walks of life, and from all parts of the social and economic spectrum, who have come together around a new vision of politics.
We know that millions of people today have come to believe, as we have, that the traditional political parties and organizations -- whether of the left or right -- do not have solutions to our problems.
We know that millions of people today are moving, as we are, toward new forms of politics inside and outside the traditional structures, building new organizations in their communities and regions, thinking for themselves, discovering their own solutions and their power to make a difference in the world.
The New World Alliance seeks to identify these creative new forces around the country -- to help draw them together in a larger and more effective network -- to encourage others to join in taking these new paths -- and to transform the agenda of American politics during the decade ahead.
Specifically, the New World Alliance is working to foster:
A POLITICS OF HOPE that treats the problems and scarcities before us as opportunities to clarify our sense of what is truly important in life;
A POLITICS OF HEALING that goes beyond traditional polarities of left-against-right and us-against-them and in all matters promotes cooperation and community, understanding and mutual aid;
A POLITICS OF REDISCOVERY that rekindles such traditional values as self-reliance, wholesome living, thrift, generosity, neighborliness, community, and the honoring of excellence;
A POLITICS OF HUMAN GROWTH that fosters the fullest development of each person’s potential by working to improve our birthing and parenting, our nutrition, our health and fitness, our family and community life, our education, our arts and sciences, our way of growing old, and our way of dying -- all the things that make us more fully human;
A POLITICS OF ECOLOGY which understands that we are only one part of a seamless web of life, that damage to any part is damage to the whole, and that we are responsible for life on earth;
A POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION that provides every member of society with a full and equal opportunity to influence the political and economic institutions affecting their lives, and that fosters personal responsibility to fulfill that task;
A POLITICS OF APPROPRIATE SCALE that eliminates needless bureaucracy, removes the special privileges which maintain unnecessarily large concentrations of wealth and power, and wherever feasible encourages smaller industries, businesses, cities, and farms;
A POLITICS OF GLOBALISM that recognizes we are all citizens of an emerging planetary civilization, in which we must observe the rights and needs of people everywhere as fully as our own;
A POLITICS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CREATIVITY that develops the fullest potential of contemporary science by putting it in service to constructive activity, and guiding it by humanistic and ecological -- rather than technocratic -- values;
A POLITICS OF SPIRITUALITY which understands that we are at one with all creation, that each human being possesses a core of infinite worth, and that the way we do things is as important as the things we do.
Those of us who have come together in the New World Alliance have been involved in a wide variety of activities for personal growth, social change, and ecological awareness. We have experienced this new kind of politics in operation, and we know that it works, here and now, in everyday life.
Therefore, we are creating the New World Alliance as a force which will help in the coming years to . . .
We are not a political party, nor another special interest lobby, but rather something far more fundamental: An Alliance of individuals to encourage ALL of us to look deeply and questioningly at our attitudes and values, our institutions, and the way we live . . . and, together, to create a New -- and better -- World.
New World Policy Goals [abridged]
-- Advance a new global vision that rejects the inevitability of war, permanent enemies and permanent crisis;
-- Replace the demands of narrow nationalism with concern for the interests of people everywhere;
-- Promote the self-determination of all nations, and an end to political, cultural, and economic repression of the small and weak by the strong and powerful;
-- Reduce centralized control of the economy, whether by government, corporations, labor, or finance capital;
-- Recognize the existence and the importance of informal, non-market economic activity;
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
-- Transform our present wasteful, resource-depleting society into a high-efficiency society based on renewable resources;
-- Preserve ecological diversity and provide a clean, safe, and healthy environment for all life;
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
-- Emphasize the importance of scientific development of technologies that are appropriate for use in everyday life;
-- Involve ordinary citizens in the assessment of science and technology;
-- Promote a holistic approach to wellness rather than crisis-oriented responses to illness.
The White Eagle is a traditional Native American symbol of spiritual transformation, sacredness, watchfulness for the well-being of the coming generations. It is also found in many other cultures.
The New World Alliance was born from a conviction that our nation is at a crossroads where our ideas and institutions must advance to meet the problems and opportunities before us.
The Alliance originated from a process of cross-country networking by Mark Satin, author of New Age Politics[,] and a 21-page questionnaire answered by over 350 people [from across the U.S. who were leaders] in a variety of personal growth [or] social change activities. The questionnaire asked what specific policies, programs, and processes could be fostered by a new transformation-oriented political organization.
The first Governing Council, selected by questionnaire respondents, met in December of 1979 to found the New World Alliance.
(Thirty-nine seats; 13 were supposed to turn over every year.)
Rene F. Cardenas
Leonard Duhl, M.D.
Richard B. Perl
James S. Turner
"Two decades later, we know that Satin's hopes
for a new political platform did not materialize. But [he and his
colleagues] caught sight of and began to plan for the general movement for
change that is taking form now."
THE RADICAL MIDDLE CONCEPT:
GREAT RADICAL MIDDLE GROUPS AND BLOGS:
SOME PRIOR RADICAL MIDDLE INITIATIVES:
RADICAL MIDDLE CONGRES- SIONAL SCORECARDS:
RADICAL MIDDLE POLITICAL BOOK AWARD WINNERS:
MORE RADICAL MIDDLE BOOKS:
NOT JUST RADICAL MIDDLE: