A Democracy “Industry” Start-Up

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reinhardt redwood regional, oakland, california :: @ebrpd :: photo credit: @dr.cbg

I mean the stature of soul, the range and depth of love, capacity for relationships. I mean the volume of life you can take into your being and still maintain your integrity and individuality, the intensity and variety of outlook you can entertain in the unity of your being without feeling defensive or insecure.

I mean the strength of your spirit to encourage others to become freer in the development of their diversity and uniqueness. I mean the power to sustain more complex and enriching tensions. …


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claremont canyon regional preserve, berkeley, california @ebrpd :: photo credit: @dr.cbg

“A tree is a democracy.” — Alfred North Whitehead

Power

Culture

Change

Power, Culture, & Change: Authoritarianism


From the series “Stealing Power from the Most Vulnerable: Authoritarian Practices in U.S. Business Cultures”

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Octapharma Store Lobby

“I needed the money. I’m not ashamed of doing everything legal I can possibly do to avoid homelessness. The safety net is just gone right now, and it’s do or die for me — for millions of us. None of us has any reason to feel ashamed about needing help in this pandemic. But businesses like Octapharma — that exploit those of us with few or no options — rely on shame about our circumstances to keep us silent about injuries. I refuse to stand in that shame.” (The national effort to immediately extend pandemic unemployment assistance)

Donor has two dictionary definitions. The first common definition is “a person who donates something, especially money to a fund or charity.” The second medical definition of donor is “a person who provides blood for transfusion, semen for insemination, or an organ or tissue for transplantation.” …


A Series: Building A Relational Frame for Creating Democratic Practices in a Capitalist Culture

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puget sound, camano island, washington :: photo credit: @dr.cbg

[Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was not moderate or middle of the road incrementalist. Throughout his life, he communicated ideas that countered the status quo. His goal was to solve problems, not tiptoe around them.” — Allison Gaines,Why Revolutionary Martin Luther King Jr. Never Believed in Capitalism

Tired of politics and “personal” issues in professional settings? Wish we could just get “back to normal,” stick to business, and focus on making money? You are not alone. …


Trump is refusing to concede and purging the civilian leadership of the Pentagon. The moment requires vigilance rather than panic.

By Jeet Heer, NOVEMBER 11, 2020, The Nation

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Donald Trump inspects troops at the Pentagon. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) source

Donald Trump was destined to become even more authoritarian after being soundly defeated for a second time at the ballot box. It’s not his temperament to be a Cincinnatus or a George Washington, a leader happy to be relieved of the burden of power so he can return to domestic tranquility. Trump’s narcissism is ill-equipped to brook rejection. He also has very good legal reasons to fear that once shorn of the special legal impunity granted sitting presidents, he’ll be a ripe target for criminal investigation and prosecution.

There is no surprise in seeing Trump refuse to accept the results of last week’s election. He keeps insisting he’s the victim of a rigged game and has launched multiple lawsuits to overturn the results in swing states. Even worse, congressional Republicans have overwhelmingly either supported Trump or kept quiet. In the Senate, only a handful of senators have even acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory, and these are all figures who are on the fringes of the party’s politics: Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Ben Sasse. …


And it feels like we’re waking to the possibility of a new world tomorrow

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photo credit :: @dr.cbg

Washington Post Opinion, George Will: 10–27–2020

By a circuitous route to a predictable destination, the 2020 presidential selection process seems almost certain to end Tuesday with a fumigation election. A presidency that began with dark words about “American carnage” probably will receive what it has earned: repudiation.

In “ Three Exhausting Weeks,” a short story in Tom Hanks’s collection “ Uncommon Type,” a man has a short, stressful relationship with a hyperactive woman: “Being Anna’s boyfriend was like training to be a Navy SEAL while working full-time in an Amazon fulfillment center in the Oklahoma Panhandle in tornado season.” After the past four years, Americans know the feeling, which is why President Trump’s first and final contribution to the nation’s civic health will be to have motivated a voter turnout rate not seen for more than a century — not since the 73.2 percent of 1900, when President William McKinley for a second time defeated the Democratic populist William Jennings Bryan. The poet Vachel Lindsay (1879–1931) had fun making fun of Bryan’s populism: “Nebraska’s cry went eastward against the dour and / old, / The mean and cold. . . . …


And, a couple of healthy ways to orient moving forward

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Mainstream media in the U.S. have played a pivotal role in keeping this democracy upright while it transitions back to health. A few notable observations include:

(1) Media are focusing on electoral process conventions rather than speculative scenarios. When convention is held by authoritarians (in media or government), it must be challenged because it reproduces and props up state-level power-stealing and hoarding practices, which become authoritarian norms over time.

But, when convention (media or government) is employed on behalf of sharing power with all the people, conventional state-level democratic practices work in service of strengthening American democratic (power-sharing) norms.


Evergreen & Always Minty Fresh, Because it’s Updated!

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morgan territory regional preserve, traditional homeland of the Volvon, one of five Native American nations in the Diablo area who spoke dialects of the Bay Miwuk language :: @ebrpd :: photo credit: @dr.cbg

Just recently, I was socially isolated for 5 years. I had no shared history with another human being from 2015–2019. After choosing to resign my positions at Saint Mary’s College of California to pursue independent research, I spent a couple of years in planned solitude where I could address the severe burnout that had developed over 7 years working with little support in high-stress, insecure positions.

The three-plus years of unintended isolation that followed the solitude was the most challenging experience of my life and tested me to my core. I’m sure you can relate.


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crockett hills regional, crockett, california @ebrpd :: photo credit: @dr.cbg

Bernard Loomer, a process theologian, beautifully describes what I mean by the democratic human:

“…I mean the stature of soul, the range and depth of love, capacity for relationships. I mean the volume of life you can take into your being and still maintain your integrity and individuality, the intensity and variety of outlook you can entertain in the unity of your being without feeling defensive or insecure. I mean the strength of your spirit to encourage others to become freer in the development of their diversity and uniqueness. I mean the power to sustain more complex and enriching tensions. …


[Written & performed in the spirit of KQED’s Perspectives]

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me, flower-girling my aunt’s wedding

This short piece was written in Sea Ranch, California on July 2019 as a spoken performance for KQED’s “Perspectives” in San Francisco. Please click on the audio file to listen here.

Everything I learned about power-sharing, I learned in San Francisco Bay Area college classrooms.

Growing up, I’d never seen or experienced power done in any other way than how I lived it in my family’s culture: with a father who was the sole authority, and who held and wielded all the power. Who chained the agency of his young children. My father, alone, decided that no one had the power to speak in our family but him. …

About

Cathy B. Glenn, Ph.D.

A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (relationaldemocracy@gmail.com)

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