This project is about building a new model of citizen infrastructure supporting a new model of citizen culture of, by, and for strong, active, and capable citizens … at its root: common people using common sense & common decency to find common ground for the common good – period – plain & simple!
In an increasingly complex world, keeping things plain & simple is easier said than done. However, failure to do so is not an option!
We, the people, must:
- remember that citizen is still the highest office in the land
- step beyond ideology and keep moving forward together
- set our differences aside and find common ground
- practice the deep democracy of civil civic dialogue
- rediscover the American spirit of entrepreneurial democracy
- set about designing and building a new system – of the people, by the people, and for the people
…and, WE, THE PEOPLE, must launch the American Evolution to a new model of citizen-led politics!
Learning & practicing civil civic communication is vitally necessary. It is bedrock. Without out it, nothing of any lasting capacity is possible. Yet, alone, it is not sufficient.
Civil civic communication creates potential. We, the people, must complement the many excellent civil civic communication programs with a new model of civil civic infrastructure to actualize the vast untapped potential for true & full self-government that is our common American heritage and our living legacy – if, as Mr. Franklin wisely counseled, “if we can keep it”!
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Here are some particularly pertinent quotes capturing the spirit of entrepreneurial democracy inspiring AmericanCommons.com :
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.“
“The most important office in a democracy is the office of citizen.”
“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest may repair.”
“There’s been a quantum leap technologically in our age, but unless there’s another quantum leap in human relations, unless we learn to live in a new way towards one another, there will be a catastrophe.“
“History, despite its wrenching pain
cannot be unlived, but if faced
With Courage, need not be lived again.”
Here are some more great quotes capturing the spirit of AmericanCommons.com :
“I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
“This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”
“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”
“Across the gulfs and barriers that now divide us, we must remember that there are no permanent enemies. Hostility today is a fact, but it is not a ruling law. The supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of God and our common vulnerability on this planet.
…let us not be blind to our differences—but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.“
“… It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
–Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863
“Capitalism, Communism, and Christianity are three great ideas that have never been tried.”
“Oh, let America be America, again, for it has never been America for me…”
The American Dream can no more remain static than can the American nation…. We cannot any longer take an old approach to world problems. They aren’t the same problems. It isn’t the same world. We must not adopt the methods of our ancestors; instead, we must emulate that pioneer quality in our ancestors that made them attempt new methods for a New World.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, Autobiography
It is today that we must create the world of the future.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, Tomorrow Is Now
Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which mean very little.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, My Day
Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living
True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant and earnest striving toward the principles and ideals on which this country was founded.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, Book of Common Sense Etiquette
If you can develop this ability to see what you look at, to understand its meaning, to readjust your knowledge to this new information, you can continue to learn and to grow as long as you live and you’ll have a wonderful time doing it.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living
“Man is by nature a social animal, and an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something in nature that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or he is a god.”
– Aristotle, Politics (1253 A) [4th Century BCE]
“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”
They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the common;
But let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose.
The Law demands that we atone
When we take things we don’t own;
But leave the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.
The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the Law to break;
This must be so, but they endure
Those who conspire to make the Law.
The Law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common;
And geese will still a common flock
Till they go and steal it back.
– English folk poem, circa 1764 (author unknown)