Criticism, End-of-Story-ism, and Beginism

I've spent a lot of time with analyses of the world (most recently from Noam Chomsky). There are plenty of utopian ideals sketched (lately via Roberto Mangabeira Unger). I see fewer plausible projects that might respond to the best analyses and get society and civilization moving toward the more delightful epilogues out there. This may be in part because people working in the day-to-day meanderings of projects and organizations are too busy to write books. It may also be that more organizations and structures and projects are needed. 

In most ways, when I write prose, it's to figure out what I believe. [When I write poetry, it's to cast doubt on the possibility of belief while exploring the caves of my consciousness with a disco ball, but that's less relevant to this discourse.] The whole point of this belief-search essaying is to identify the habits I'd like to start or stop and come up with projects that might help make good on the Kantian categorical imperative with respect to what I value (universalizing & expanding democratic governance, health, and aspirational pursuits).

Since I tend to be with Camus (revolution = murder = unacceptable) I am interested in mechanisms that can be created within the political, cultural, and economic context that might have radical eventual effects on the universality of my values (and pragmatically attainable beginnings). I have a few ideas for places to begin, and again, this is a sketchpad for figuring out what I believe - in terms of a concept's plausibility and efficacy and then what I might do with those concepts. I'll sketch a concept in each of the value-areas mentioned.

From a health perspective, there are so many people uninsured in the United States (13.2% of under-65 adults) and many more people who are locked into workplace insurance programs that limit their ability to consider non-fulltime work. A health insurer or negotiating intermediary that could negotiate on behalf of a significant percentage of Americans could reduce costs and increase work flexibility for millions. If that institution worked its way up the value chain to disrupt some of the awful nonsenses of healthcare economics, all the better. Such an intermediary could start with a particular category of American to create the near-equivalent of a single payer for as many people as possible.

On the aspirational pursuits front, I propose that cities create small funds to invest in local businesses. With a mix of debt and equity, these initially taxpayer funded pools could pay dividends to the citizens of a city while supporting growing and nascent sectors as well as independent professionals. Cities could even take majority positions in operations (either by starting up or buying out) that they deem critical to the municipality's flourishing. States and even the federal government might take on similar public debt & equity funds.

On the democratic governance front, I'm interested in breaking the grip of the binary party system in the US. This deeply undemocratic situation creates an obscene power vacuum and is partly responsible for the widespread disillusionment and frustration with the political process. This starts with a basic social organizing. Weekly get-togethers with a limited framework and food for member-attendees is the place to start, ideology free. Hang out. Eat. Socialize in real human shared space. We'll figure it out from there.

These are a few notional sketches of beginnings. The main thing is to get beyond analysis and utopianism, and start. Again, we'll figure it out from there.

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