A Cooperative Commonwealth

The following is from the Great American Political Repair Manual by Sam Smith

1. We seek to be good stewards of our earth, good citizens of our country, good members of our communities, and good neighbors of those who share these places with us.

2. We reject the immoderate tone of current politics, its appeal to hate and fear, its scorn for democracy, its preference for conflict over resolution, its servility to money and to those who possess it, and its deep indifference to the problems of ordinary Americans

3. We seek a cooperative commonwealth based on decency before profit, liberty before sterile order, justice before efficiency, happiness before uniformity, families before systems, communities before corporations, and people before institutions.

We believe that:

4. We should treat our politics, our country and each other with common decency, common sense and with a search for common ground.

5. When issues divide us deeply, we should seek ways to discuss them both honestly and with reason, out of the glare of the media and away from others who profit from our divisions.

6. We should tread gently upon the earth and leave it in better condition than we found it.

7. The physical and cultural variety of human beings is a gift and not a threat. We are glad that the world includes many who are different from ourselves by nature, principle, inclination or faith

8. We must protect the right of others to disagree with us so we shall be free to speak our own minds.

9. Our national economic goal is the self-sufficiency, well-being and stability of our communities and those living in them.

10. Ecological principles should determine economic policies and not vice versa.

11. The first source of expertise is the wisdom of the people.

12. Individuals possess fundamental rights that are inalienable and not contingent on responsibilities assigned by the state. These rights are to be restrained only by a due concern for the health, safety, and liberty of others and are not to be made subservient to the arbitrary and capricious dictates of the government.

13. Citizens should participate as directly as possible in our democracy

14. The media should inform citizens and provide a means by which citizens may address government rather than serving as a vehicle by which members of the government and elites tell citizens what to think.

15. Power should be devolved to the lowest practical level.

16. The Bill of Rights and other constitutional provisions have deep permanence and are not to be manipulated or abridged for political gain.

17. Politics dependent on corporate financing and lobbyist influence is corrupt, anti-democratic and unacceptable.

18. Simplicity, conservation, and recycling should be central to our economy, our politics and our lives.

19. Individual privacy is paramount and not to be subservient to the needs of the state.

20. Individual rights are manifestly superior to any granted corporations.

21. Our elected officials are servants and representatives, not rulers.

22. We need more community more than we need more things.

23. We are citizens and not merely taxpayers.

24. We own our government and are not merely its consumers.


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