Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
@BrentToderian – “ In my recent work with cities all over the world, this may be the message that’s resonating the most lately: The truth about a city’s aspirations isn’t found in its vision. It’s found in its budget.”
@JmalinowskiR – “Governance is one thing. Good democratic governance needs a sound basis, participation, transparency, accountability, political responsibility …”
“All of the confusion, and subsequent debilitating issues we face on the planet are the inevitable consequence of two realities.
The first is that we have chosen to shape our lives within a framework that is most accurately called the plantation economic framework. There are masters and then there are classes of slaves: field slaves, house slaves and the head slave. We figured out that the plantation is the most efficient way to extract resources out of the earth and labor out of people for the cheapest possible cost, so we embedded it everywhere.
The second is that our public (and nearly all of our private) education system is designed around the plantation model. Without exception, it creates workers and trains these workers early on to compete with each other, to tolerate sitting inside for 8 hours a day, and to be obedient students. For those that are unwilling to yield to the implicit rules that govern the public and private education experience, there are jails, graveyards and sub-human survival wage jobs. For those willing to follow the rules, there are human living wage jobs and a sense of cultural belonging.”
“At stake is nothing less than the employment system, the labor market, and the stock market through which ownership of human rental contracts are exchanged. As with slavery, inalienable rights issues cannot be addressed directly by proponents of human rentals without inviting destruction of the system. There are only two possible responses: Silence in the hope that inalienable rights are never widely understood, or vilification and harassment of the advocates in the event they gain traction. The strategy has thus far been successful in diverting attention from a profound idea and its revolutionary implications. The alternative to human rentals is universal self employment in democratically managed worker owned businesses, or worker cooperatives. Workplace democracy eliminates the alienation of decision making power, and worker ownership means workers appropriate any resulting profits or losses, thus bearing financial responsibility for their actions.”
“Sadly, the world is never quite so simple as politicians would have us believe. Our politicians have, for some time now, been failing to address the real challenges we face. Democratic capitalism involves continuously balancing interests. Governments help us do that. A government, well functioning, complements the market. It serves individual appetites, our shared interests (e.g., enforcing contracts, promoting public education), and our collective moral and philosophical aspirations … [but] We would all be better off if we recognized that political leaders are not leaders. They are followers, years behind the emerging edge of what’s next.”
@BarryLane – “Campbell’s Law explains why high stakes standardized testing hurts school systems”