Twilight of the Republic?

Peter Jones

A series of articles, just since late 2006, wonder seriously if America’s soul – its character and shared values – dropped over a tipping point. Each of these are from a different perspective, revealing an interconnected complexity of problems, even if each takes a single focus. These underlying concerns have been building since 2001: Since 2001, what have these old white guys with bad haircuts done, in secret, to what was once the most-respected nation? What kind of government has actually emerged now to take the place of a democratic republic? What are the possibilities for citizen engagement in their own democracy, and are we up to the job of creating one? Inside, looking out at the mess we’ve made. Andrew Basevich asks in his Commonweal essay, a section of which I’ve fair-used here, the question titling this post. A serious attempt to pacify the Islamic world means the permanent militarization of U.S. policy. Almost inevitably, it will further concentrate authority in the hands of an imperial presidency. This describes the program of the “faster, please” ideologues keen to enlarge …

Tao of Dialogue

Peter Jones Dialogic Design

Lao Tze imagined a way of serving others and giving up your own ideas: In caring for others and serving heaven, There is nothing like using restraint. Restraint begins with giving up one’s own ideas. This depends on Virtue gathered in the past. If there is a good store of Virtue, then nothing is impossible. If nothing is impossible, then there are no limits. If a man knows no limits, then he is fit to be a ruler. The mother principle of ruling holds good for a long time. This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation, The Tao of long life and eternal vision. Working in Dialogue means giving up your role as expert and engaging with all others as if they were the only voices that matter. Dialogic design is our process of designing social systems and complex services in participatory design dialogue. Dialogue enables people to listen to each other on issues of common concern, going beyond what they personally think is important, to find common roots the deep issues that dynamically influence their situation. …