Over the past several months this site has been dedicated to the discussion of issues relating to politics, current affairs, culture, social issues, the arts, etc…While the core idea behind this forum remains intact, I intend to narrow the dialogue. Postings will pertain to personal research as well as contributions from educators, policymakers, and other influential leaders. Readers will hopefully pick up on common themes and connections that will be consistent throughout much of my work.
Many of these themes are universal in that they pertain to shifts that are taking place across the globe. These shifts are being carried out by what I along with other researchers and experts refer to as The New Political Culture (NPC).
Traditional views regarding politics, socioeconomic background, and culture are dramatically changing. These drastic shifts are impacting lives around the world everyday. Watching reports come in of young protestors taking to the streets of Cairo; an international group of hackers who dealt a devastating blow to credit card giants on one of the busiest shopping days of the year; massive concerts and festivals used as alternative forms of self-expression.
Simply put, a new class has arrived. I am a member of this class and many of us have grown up with this notion of potential constantly hanging over our heads. Yet, it has remained just that…potential. Every once in a while we show off our true might like when 22.5 million of us showed up to the polls in 2008.
We have grown up during a time of economic and political turmoil defined by leaders whose misguided principals have led us to the brink of collapse. We truly have become a “subprime nation” that thinks it can borrow its way to prosperity. It is part of our culture. We put nothing down and pay nothing for two years, or we simply pass the buck along to the next generation, or the increasingly marginalized middle class. We didn’t need to study, or work hard to build a solid foundation for education, innovation, and productivity. Instead, we relied on the bank around the corner, or online to satisfy our insatiable need to consume. American is mortgaging its future.
Prior to the recession Americans could refinance their $200,000 home for $250,000. Then they could take that $50,000 to the mall to buy a new T.V., cellphone, computer, or SUV and while they were at it…why not another home? Because we all know that home prices always go up and mortgage rates just keep going down. After 9/11 the government cut interest rates to one percent so we could “all go out and shop” as President Bush declared. When was the last time you heard a president, or any politician for that matter ask anything of the American people? It would be political suicide, or worse…socialism!
In 2008, forty percent of all American corporate profits came from financial services…not from production, or anything even remotely having to do with the needs of the American public. Investors were not just speculating on the market, they have been speculating on our nation’s future. This is a bankrupt business model. It is systemic; it is a disease; a cancer and it has gone global. An advisor once told FDR that “its like a poker game; more and more wealth is accumulated by one player and everyone else is forced to barrow to stay in the game and when their credit is up the game is over”. It is time for American and other western countries to wake up and realize that the game is over. The market has changed and we must adapt. We simply cannot rely on politicians, businesses, and the top one percent to make the right decisions. NGOs, nonprofits, citizen activist groups, organizers, and neighborhood leaders must work together to push businesses and policymakers toward a progressive and responsible socioeconomic agenda.
Yet, many of us our optimistic.
While Washington remains hopelessly gridlocked and our social and economic policies have been abused to no end, America is still teaming with inventors and idealists. We are constantly surrounded by new ideas for production, alternative educational models, and progressive policy makers that are fighting against the current. We must fight to turn the tide in their favor. The young people of this nation are idealists much more so than most Americans deserve. We are engaged and participating in new and alternative activities. It is evident in the number of college graduates lining up to join Teach for America, Habitat for Humanity, and Amnesty International. We desperately want to be involved in shaping a new political and social landscape. The models are in place and the resources are still available, but we must be supported and we must work with past, present, and future generations to ensure that our efforts are not in vain.
This site is dedicated to new modes of participation that will allow us to move forward. This is a forum for ideas, passions, hopes, desires, successes, and failures. My motivations behind this site alongside everything I do are simple…its life. The world belongs to you and it belongs to us. It is a place where ideas are born and there is something quite unique about ideas…
They never die.