As part of my involvement in social justice and anti-corruption activism, I'm joining forces with other activists in order to identify best practices and solutions to address the terrible consequences caused by the endemic corruption that has engulfed the country as the result of influence peddling by corporatist cartels on our government institutions.
As part of this process, we are setting up a number of think tanks designed to elicit ideas from the public at large as well as progressive activists, writers, philosophers, teachers, and other professionals.
The emphasis on everything we will be doing is on identifying the quickest way to turn ideas into action (being this an activist group). With that in in mind, below is a outline describing the objective of the different think tanks. I invite readers to contribute their ideas and comments.
NON-PARTISAN PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT
Because both major political parties are corrupt, there is a need for a strong non-partisan progressive movement that focuses on stamping out influence-peddling corruption (money and politics) from our government institutions. I have suggested that such group of activists should have a ten-member leadership committee that rotates yearly, with new leaders being selected by the members of the group, democratically.
Among many initiatives and projects, one of the main focuses of the rotating leadership committee would be to carefully study exactly how corporatist cartels influence our political system; to shine the light on the widespread (and extremely damaging) revolving-door corruption, one politician at a time and one corporate paymaster at a time, and then come up with strategies to stamp out the corruption.
By the group and the leadership committee remaining totally independent from any political party, it would be freer to take on the corruption in a objective way.
Please share your impressions, suggestions, and ideas about this proposal here, or at the PROGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE THINK TANK I set up.
LABOR / JOBS / WORKERS' RIGHTS
During the last few decades there has been a war on workers, which is the result of the collusion between corporatist cartels and politicians on the take (large campaign contributions, juicy jobs when they leave office, special favors, etc.). Because of this, income inequality is at an all-time high, and middle class economic insecurity has been spreading fast.
There are a number of organizations working on innovative ideas, like "virtual unions" and labor organizing. Do you have ideas about spreading unionization far and wide?
About the idea of employee-owned companies. What do you think would be the main obstacles to spreading this idea around the country? About people joining together to establish employee-owned companies in all kinds of industries? This is already being done by some organizations... What do you think about it? LABOR THINK TANK.
SUSTAINABLE HOUSING & LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTION
Housing and food are part of our basic needs. As more and more people fall through the cracks of an increasingly dysfunctional economic system, housing and access to food become an increasingly urgent issue for many.
Again, there are a number of organizations coming up with new ideas and initiatives related to sustainable housing and local (organic) food production. What are your ideas about these subjects? Have you come across information about innovative ideas?
I believe that because of the level of corruption in our government institutions, it is necessary to organize targeted rallies and protests around the country, as a tactic to shine a light on the corruption and petition the government for redress of grievances.
I understand that some people don't favor this tactic. Whether your favor protest rallies as pressure tactics or not, what do you think are the best tactics/activities for putting pressure on corrupt government institutions to clean up their act: Cronyism, influence-peddling by moneyed interests, and revolving-door corruption. [ACTIVISM THINK TANK]
NATIONWIDE ACTIVISTS NETWORK
Let me acknowledge (again) that I understand that the idea of trying to organize a national network of activists that could eventually become very cohesive, and develop coordinated strategies is an very big undertaking. Some say that's almost impossible to do. I don't agree it's impossible, but I accept is extremely hard.
In order to test this concept, I'm trying to organize a group of people from around the country and ask them to engage in very simple tasks so we can start with small steps and find out if the group could eventually become more cohesive and strategic.
My particular area of interest is in identifying instances of influence-peddling corruption around the country, where business interests entice politicians to act in their favor in exchange for campaign contributions, special favors, actual instances of bribery, or high-paying jobs after they leave office. I happen to think that this issue is at the core of the socioeconomic dysfunction affecting the country.
Each blue dot on the map below represents a member of a growing nation-wide network of social justice and anti-corruption activists committed to finding the best way forward. Join us in the effort!
And finally, once we identify the sources of corruption, and the patterns, how can that help us come up with effective strategies to stamp out the corruption one city and state at a time?
Again, I know this is a big undertaking, but I think is one worth trying. Please share your ideas and insights here, or at the [ACTIVIST NETWORK THINK TANK].
Here are some great quotes by Mahatma Gandhi, for inspiration:
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”