Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First "Hot" Open Forum subject?

Event: 16 November 2011; Updated: 25 Nov 11

On November 16, the Los Alamos Monitor published my letter about the implications of a recent unexpectedly strong defeat of a proposal that most County Council members thought would be an easy victory. This seemed a good topic for a first LADDOF event. Two letters the following week (Nov 22) confirmed that perception: a disconnect between county government and county citizens. 

(Click on letters to enlarge)
Letter to Editor 16 Nov 11
Letters to Editor 22 Nov 11
This seems to me a local version of an issue being played out on national and international scales these days. In his classical book, The Spirit of Laws, French philosopher Montesquieu might refer to the issue as one of "political virtue", on which the republican form of government is built. That is, the willingness of the people to obey the law. When that willingness breaks down--when citizens no longer respect and obey the law--the republican form of government degenerates into one of two other basic forms. These are: despotic or monarchical. I believe we are heading for the former of these two.

On Monday, 21 Nov, I wrote to Max Schupbach, director of the Deep Democracy Institute in Portland, to alert him to this opportunity to offer a first forum and to ask support suggestions.

Max, you wrote us here in Los Alamos at this time last year from Nairobi to propose a first Los Alamos DD open forum. Remember? But we ran into a scheduling conflict. You asked us to identify a "burning issue" here for the forum. We have one now, which became clear only last week in the results of a county election on an initiative propose by the 7-person county council, which the council took for granted would pass easily. Instead, and to the council's dismay, it was roundly defeated by a margin of 2 to 1, indicating a profound "disconnect" between county government and community citizens. There is flash point energy brewing here, which I call "potential creative energy" or "PCE", which is manifest by low morale, suicide, destructive outbursts, etc. 
We need guidance from you and your people on how best to set up this first open forum. Will you respond to this request?
On November 22, 2011, Schubach again replied from Nairobi, Kenya:
Thanks for letting us know, dear Eugene, we will be back in the US in Mid December, maybe we can connect after this. Please write to me personally, I would appreciate it. Thanks and best wishes for your work. 

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