Posts Tagged Margaret Wheatley

Cautious Centrism Hasn’t Worked – It’s Time for Fruitful Opposition

The Obama administration made a surprisingly simple miscalculation early on – they adopted a cautious centrism that was intended to alleviate the right’s fears, to hopefully limit the amount of opposition from those on the right.  Instead, the American right promptly leapt into teabagger mode – shrieking hysterics and demanding ideological purity.  In the face of a furious and unhinged right wing, the Obama team continued to pin their hopes on cautious centrism as a way forward.

Nicholas Kristof wrote:

President Obama came into office with expectations that Superman couldn’t have met. Many on the left believed what the right feared: that Obama was an old-fashioned liberal. But the president’s cautious centrism soured the left without reassuring the right.

Kristof is absolutely right but he seems to ignore that insight in an attempt to rally the left – he begins listing the President’s accomplishments and offering a chilling argument that is supposed to rally Democrats and liberals: Read the rest of this entry »

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Some Thoughts on Shifting Awareness of How Things Connect and How Problems Are Solved

Paolo Freire warns that “`Washing one’s hands’ of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”

From Power and Love by Adam Kahane

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Desmond Tutu

The moral component of leadership is the ability to understand and communicate the moral implications of our choices.  Choosing policies that bailed out banks but not homeowners is a moral choice.  Certainly, if we’d bailed out homeowners rather than banks, the economy would have played out very differently over the last few years.  I think it’s fair to argue that the financial crisis was a symptom rather than the disease, so in flushing god knows how much money into the financial system we were likely not addressing the underlying problem.  In dealing with problems, you want to use your resources effectively – and to put resources where they will do the most good.  Bailing out the banksters wasn’t an effective use of resources.  The financial sector consumed billions without actually helping the economy.  In system wide problems, diffused solutions are more effective.

Read the rest of this entry »

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