ABOUT THE NEWS- LETTER
RADICAL MIDDLE, THE BOOK:
OUR CONGRES- SIONAL SCORECARDS:
OUR POLITICAL BOOK AWARD WINNERS:
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WHO WE ARE:
social task should b assigned to an institution that is larger than
necessary to do the job."
The "Road to Generational Equity" statement and the Responsive Communitarian Platform
By the 1990s, radical middle ideas had progressed beyond childhood (see New World Alliance and Best “New Age” Political Books elsewhere on this website) and adolescence (see “Ten Key Values” and Best Transformational Books) and begun to seep into the political mainstream.
As Radical Middle Newsletter shows, by the 1990s radical middle ideas were as likely to appear at professional conferences and in best-selling books and even textbooks as they were in political manifestos.
But they did still appear in manifestos. Probably the purest radical middle manifestos from the 1990s were the "Road to Generational Equity" statement (1995) and the Responsive Communitarian Platform (orig. 1991).
Road to Generational Equity statement
The "Road to Generational Equity" statement was drafted by Rep. Tim Penny (MN), Gov. Richard D. Lamm (CO), and Sen. Paul Tsongas (MA) and their aides and presented at a symposium in Minneapolis on December 18, 1995 called "Locating the New Political Center in America."
Although little came of it in the short term, eventually you could find traces of its influence in books like Ted Halstead and Michael Lind's The Radical Center (2001), Matt Miller's The Two Percent Solution (2003), Mark Satin's Radical Middle (2004), and John Avlon's Independent Nation (2004) -- books that took seriously our responsibility to future generations of Americans.
The statement urged politically courageous new directions under seven headings: Economic Stability, Economic Competitiveness, America as One Family, A Spiritual America (!), A Sustainable Environment, National Security, and Political Reform. For better or worse, most of it still reads as if it were written this week.
To view the entire Road to Generational Equity statement just click on the following:
Responsive Communitarian Platform
The Responsive Communitarian Platform was originally drafted in 1991 by Amitai Etzioni (author of The New Golden Rule), Mary Ann Glendon (Rights Talk : The Impoverishment of Political Discourse), William Galston (later to become deputy assistant for domestic affairs at the Clinton White House), and a supporting cast of ethicists, activists, and social scientists from across the U.S.
“We were troubled by pressures [in the political culture] to be labeled either conservative or liberal, pro-life or pro-choice, or for or against the death penalty,” Etzioni says. “More deeply, we were troubled by the finding that many Americans are rather reluctant to accept responsibilities [as opposed to rights].”
Within weeks of its drafting, the manifesto had been endorsed by an incredibly broad range of Americans, from scholars of religion like Harvey Cox to New Age futurists like Robert Theobald; from conservatives like Francis Fukuyama to liberals like Michael Pertschuk; from feminists like Betty Friedan to traditionalists like Barbara Dafoe Whitehead; from corporate consultants like Warren Bennis to NGO leaders like Claudine Schneider. . . .
You get the picture: it’s the radical middle. The Preamble puts it well when it says, “A communitarian perspective does not dictate particular policies; rather it mandates attention to what is often ignored in contemporary political debates: the social side of human nature; the responsibilities that must be borne by citizens, individually and collectively, in a regime of rights; the fragile ecology of families and their supporting communities; the ripple effects and long-term consequences of present decisions.”
To view the Communitarian Platform and the entire list of endorsers -- and to endorse it yourself -- just click on the following:
ABOUT THE RADICAL MIDDLE CONCEPT
GREAT RADICAL MIDDLE GROUPS AND BLOGS:
SOME PRIOR RADICAL MIDDLE INITIATIVES:
SOME RADICAL MIDDLE LESSONS:
SOME PRIOR WRITINGS BY MARK SATIN:
NOT JUST RADICAL MIDDLE: