Douglas Rushkoff – solutions to our 2017 dilemmas

Here’s an interview with me (Doug) in a great new UK-based magazine called Stir to Action:

OSB: You’ve mentioned “the model of the ever expanding economy is bankrupt” and highlighted the “corporate charters” and “central currency” as the core components of the present “bankrupt” system.

How can we hope to challenge the corporate charters?

DR: Well, you sound like you believe the way to change corporate structure is for citizens to take action against the corporations. That’s certainly one possible approach. It’s useful in a situation where there are no human beings within the corporation willing or able to change the corporations from the inside.

What might be surprising to you is most of the people in corporations actually do not want to kill people, do not want to be enslaving children in resource-rich nations, and do not want to make the planet uninhabitable. They are in the best position to change corporate actions, since they are inside the companies themselves.

They simply need to be educated about what is possible. I tried to do some of that in my book. CEOs and Boards of Directors need to understand they do have legal authority to act in the best long term interests of the company. So-called “activist” shareholders really cannot sue Boards for hurting the short-term value of shares – especially when the Boards are acting in the long-term interests of the shareholders. Not destroying the planet is in the best long-term interests of shareholders.

Likewise, companies can restructure and reorient from within to favor dividends and public reinvestment over capital gains and extraction.

So, as I argue in my book, the key is to convince CEOs and others who are running corporations they can exercise human agency in their decisions. They do not have to behave automatically. They can use their decision-making authority.

They need to communicate with shareholders, and explain the advantages of getting lots of dividends instead of a one-time “pop” of share price, followed by an inevitable decline. Companies can actually make more money with ongoing revenues than blindly pursuing growth.

They can stop selling off their most productive assets, and instead remain powerfully competent companies.

Steady state economics is about maximizing circulation rather than extraction.

To anyone who understands how business works, they see how this is a healthier choice for those within the business, as well as the distant shareholders who only want money at any cost.

OSB: You have described how “digital giants are running charter monopoly software…” and that their “technology enforces the monopoly”. At Open we are keen to see NGOs, co-ops, non-profits and even Local Authorities start to use open source software and, to fund development of a suite of open source apps which facilitate collective ownership and collaboration. What steps do you think are required to disrupt the digital giants’ monopolies?

DR:The corporate charter is itself a program that can be changed. Instead, it is being further amplified by technology.

What I mean is that the corporation works in a particular way, as dictated by the charters and contracts making up their business plan. So a company’s core code – long forgotten – may assume the way to make money is to prevent people in the regions where the company operates from making any money. While that may have been a good strategy for maintaining a slave state in the 1400’s, it doesn’t work so well in places where people are supposed to be free or employed.

But the company’s directors may have forgotten all of this by the 21st century, and simply implemented new plans based on the same strategy of exploitation and extraction. So now they are writing software and building platforms to embed these same assumptions about their users. They end up extracting value and time from people without helping them create or retain any for themselves.

One business plan is to make money by extracting metal ore from the ground. Then, the company builds technology to do that, which makes the extraction happen faster. They don’t realize how extracting so quickly and totally depletes things in new ways. Because they don’t realize the core “code” of the company is changeable–they don’t see any way out of the problem.

Now, you’re talking about software solutions themselves, and how people from the outside can give up entirely on the corporate solutions, and build alternative software in greater consonance with the needs of real people and places. That’s pretty easy to do. We can write an alternative Uber that lets the drivers participate in the profits. Or an alternative Facebook which doesn’t manipulate people’s news feeds to try to program people’s future choices. The trick is getting people to use the alternatives when they’re not so pretty or universally accepted. [the Linnux problem]

OSB: It has been suggested the open-source / platform co-op alternatives to corporate software solutions will need to do two things at least:

Be easier to use / provide a better experience

Cost the user the same or less (i.e. provide better value for (conventional) money.

What do you think about the possibility of an “open app ecosystem” (a library of interoperable apps, covering all aspects of communication, organisation and even trading needs) sweeping into dominance over the corporate alternatives once it provides the same level of performance, at the same price, as the present corporate systems?

DR: The easiest tactic is to help people experience the impact of a piece of software on their own existence.

Does Facebook make them happier? How is it helping them take command of their lives? People sometimes have to become more aware of the surveillance state, the extractive quality of these tools, and the nauseous, empty, angry feeling they have after using this stuff in order to feel motivated to make a change.

OSB: Your chapter in Ours to Hack and Own entitled ‘Renaissance now’ explains how we are on the verge of a modern-day renaissance. There is no doubt revitalising and retrieving lessons, techniques and habits from the past can help bring about change. The last renaissance was also driven by a shift in intellectual thinking. Do you have any thoughts on how, and where, an intellectual shift might come from?

DR: I think changes in personal experience change people’s world view. If they have terrific experiences working in co-ops or using local currency or simply sharing stuff, then their world view changes.

OSB: You explained how “banks were invented to extract value from our transactions not to authenticate transactions”. Do you have any thought on why LETS and time banks have not made a bigger transition to the web?

DR: I think part of the reason LETS and alternative, trust-enabling systems have not developed is most people are not actually proud of the value they create. Too many people feel they don’t have enough to offer, and need to hide behind anonymous cryptocurrencies and traditional anonymizing monetary systems in order to mask things.

Meanwhile, if a person is sitting in a cubicle working for a mortgage broker or collecting debt from student loans, how are they supposed to participate in a local LETS system? What real value are they creating for others? Such people find it easier to take some of the cash they’ve made and “invest” it in Ethereum than… become part of some local favour bank. To create and exchange value, you have to be involved in creating something valuable for other humans – not just help some corporation extract money from people.

OSB: I am excited about the idea platform co-ops and the collective ownership of our local facilities and businesses can potentially completely disrupt capitalist democracy as we know it.

Where do you stand on ‘working with and within the present system’ vs ‘building a new system which makes the present system obsolete’?

DR: Well, I don’t think it’s one or the other. People can vote on public and municipal activities through traditional democratic participation, and people can vote on private and business activities through their participation in cooperatives.

I do believe the more influence real people have on the private sector, the more freedom our public activities will be from corporate control. A platform cooperative is not going to lobby the government for destruction of the environment where its workers are living. So government ends up able to deal with reconciling the different views of its people, rather than that of its people with its non-human corporate actors.

OSB: Do you think there is a direct correlation between the amount of external investment an organisation accepts (and hence ownership / governing authority it relinquishes) and the real value an organisation has for society?

DR: Well, it has more to do with how much a business actually needs to operate and satisfy its market. If a business is really inexpensive to operate, then it doesn’t make sense for that business to take billions of dollars in investment. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.

If you take billions of dollars of investment, then the people who gave you money expect to get their money back. This means you need to make billions of dollars in revenue.

That’s really hard – especially if you’re a small business which can function with just a few thousand dollars. If you take less money, then you are not obligated to grow the business so fast. You are still *allowed* to grow your business fast, but you don’t have to become a multi-billion-dollar business right away.

The more money you take, the less proportioned to the real size of your business, the more you have to surrender to the people giving you the money.

OSB: We are often exposed to the vision of a world full of hate and extremism and scarcity but rarely hear about a positive alternative. If platform co-ops, the solidarity / generative economy take hold, it strikes me we could be living in a very different world in the future. Can you describe what you think this world might look like?

DR: I’m not a utopian, so I don’t envision a world or economy entirely transformed into a new state where all the value people create is properly registered, the commons is reinstated and appropriately governed, and selfishness is exchanged for true compassion.

The generative, solidarity-inspired economy I envision is one where humanity stands a good chance of making through the next century without going extinct.

I envision a world where global warfare won’t be the only way to prevent impoverished populations from enacting violent revolutions on their own governments.

I’m imagining a world where the wealthy don’t simply try to earn even more money in order to insulate themselves from the problems they’ve created by “externalizing” the real costs of their business practices.

The radical alternative I’m envisioning is simply a world where the most extractive and destructive practices don’t absolutely dominate us. Where people have the ability to work for one another if there are no corporate jobs available.

I can imagine a near future without people starving in the streets, without China cashing in its chips by purchasing America’s greatest companies and properties, and without a continuation of the shift of wealth from the poor to the rich.

I can imagine it not getting significantly worse than it is now, but even this will take a huge shift in power and attitude.

OSB: What do you see as the main stepping stones for this vision to become a reality?

DR: From a policy standpoint, I think a shift in tax policy would do a lot: punish capital gains and reward dividends and revenue. Right now, we punish companies and people who earn money, and reward those who simply extract capital out of the economy. That has to be reversed.

People and companies have to look toward earning money with their goods and services–not by selling the company itself. You can earn money, or you can “flip” your business (sell it to short-term investors). The latter leads to really bad practices.

We also have to accept growth is an artefact of a currency system, not necessarily a symptom of a healthy economy. There are some economies that may be full grown.

OSB: Thanks Douglas, you have given us plenty of food for thought. The proposal for users to buy back Twitter seems to demonstrate the growing appetite for platforms which are owned and controlled by their members. Here’s hoping more people start to realise the benefits of member ownership and governance, and how this creates a virtuous cycle of value creation. As you say, it seems essential if we’re going to survive the great challenges of our time.

This is RushkoffList, a monthly-ish update and advance look at work in progress. Feel free to 
forward to your friends as long as you include this footer. 
To subscribe, use this link:

GP#8 Putting group process at the center of thriving orgs and groups

Intro to Group Process as an Art-form book series

The four volumes in this series are to equip local Progressive activists and organizers who wish to enliven local meetings of all kinds. CEPs are one category of group process formats useful for enlivening live group meetings.
The endgame is: local, live, paid events and salons, each organized around a theme or topic, each using a variety of group process formats. Each exercise offers attendees opportunity to work on personal-professional issues, of their own choosing, at a rate and depth of their own choosing. This is what churches, synagogues, colleges and universities have mostly fallen down on after 1995.

World literacy does seem to be steadily increasing since the 1500s ( ). However, based on worldwide mainstream media my impression is independent thinking, critical thinking, does not enjoy a parallel increase. This would be hard to prove one way or another. The way I suggest to test my guess is to count the opportunities for you yourself to exercise critical-independent thinking in public forums in your city.

Using the Waldorf model of developmental stages towards critical-independent thinking, my guess is what you find locally around you is primarily opportunities to imitate the thinking of others (TV and screens of every kind); and, opportunities to take on authority the views of presumed experts (all mainstream news outlets, all slanted news, all fake news).

Outside of the comments section under opinion pieces in the New York Times and similar, a few podcasts of political comment and thought, critical-independent public expression and discourse is very limited to virtually non-existent in 2017, in my experience. How about in your experience?

Old way of thinking about Progressive politics

[Progressive] coalitions, if they are to be successful and sustained, have to be built around issue-driven politics, where broad, progressive, engaged and productive coalitions can come together for those express purposes.
If they have an afterlife which remains productive, well and good.
If immediate issues are resolved; or to a large degree resolved, and the coalition then falls apart; and, a new coalition emerges around some other progressive arrangement–well and good (p. 71 Politics of Possibility: Encountering the Radical Imagination By Gary A. Olson, Lynn Worsham, Henry A. Giroux (2007)

New way of thinking about Progressive politics
These is no politics apart from our vision of a healthier, more sustainable economic, ecological and social future. Therefore, “getting down on one knee” to view any one Progressive org, to ask and explore what quality of face-to-face group process existed, was promoted, was intended. If a clear, conscious group progress goal existed, what was it? Was it achieved? If not, why not?

This new, extra step–to swap metaphors–is the secret sauce of successful, profitable Progressive groups going forward from 2017.

– – – – – – –
Find author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
Another blog:

GP#7 The Heroes Journey: At different stages, different views

I accept everyone is on a Heroes Journey–even tho most people aren’t yet conscious of being on such a path.

My experience is any two people CONSCIOUSLY on the Heroes Journey generally will be like-minded enuf to at least understand each other and each other’s goals.

Within all the people consciously on the Heroes Journey, I’m aware differences and potential conflicts exist. Not everyone on the Journey is at the same stage of the cycle.

I think I’ve found a way to discuss these views. Why bother? Let’s assist people to more clearly perceive where they and others are on a Journey cycle with up to 17 stages, depending on how you count them.

In the Wikipedia version, the Cycle begins at 9 o’clock with ordinariness, goes all the way around and ends at 9 o’clock with ordinariness.

Different depictions of the Heroes Journey in circle form use different starting places. Many start and end at 12 noon. See 50 circular depictions at

Once two people both acknowledge each other being on a Heroes Journey, I suspect the main conflict arising is between people at 3 o’clock and 9’o’clock positions.

The Call – Everyone starts at 9 o’clock

People consciously responding to The Call for the first time are by far the largest group.

At the first position, individuals stop being unconscious Muggles. They acknowledge a Bigger Me is potential–even if they have no idea how to actualize it.

If an individual continues taking baby steps forward, soon they encounter The Call, an invitation to actualize their own Bigger Me in some way. Everyone is free to act on this Call–or ignore it. Up to you. Soul is choice.

When an individual consciously acknowledges The Call, it’s like buying a first time ticket to ride a roller coaster or bungie jump. You don’t know what will happen; and, you know a personal experience is inevitable.

Generally at the 9 o’clock position, individuals have yet to make any definite choiceselection of a method, service or study which becomes their vehicle of self-transformation.

Opposite this larger group is a much smaller group, at the 3 o’clock position.

At the 3 o’clock position, we are consciously facing our Descent; or perhaps even, in our Descent. In the Descent an individual connects with their dilemma (unresolved disturbance) and accepts the one or more methods for exploring it.

One famous method often employed at 3 o’clock is exploring your own “shadow,” becoming more accountable for our less-than-conscious behaviors and habits.

To use a pop-psychology Jung phrase, The Descent requires individuals to face, own and begin conversation with their own Shadow.

The other very famous method employed here is Inner Child work of any kind. Inner Child work and Shadow work overlap about 90%. The similarities far out-weigh any differences.

Because they are using one or more methods to integrate disowned parts of their own Bigger Me, people at the 3 o’clock position, have a good deal more Coherence, Integration and Alignment–the new CIA–than folks still at 9 o’clock.

In a word, the people at 3 o’clock have more integrity, than the people at 9 o’clock.

Consequently a person at 9 o’clock and one person at 3 o’clock can come into conflict. “Hearing a Call” to find and integrate a Bigger me is not yet the same as having looked into the mirror of your own unconscious and begin to address its shortcomings.

The Descent always involves facing deeper aspects specifically outside of and beyond what we define as “ordinary,” normal and “business as usual.” The Descent is the first serious part of a Journey, which if successful, creates a new status quo at a higher level of integration-integrity.

See if you agree. Do you perceive a difference between first-timers responding to their own Call vs. persons actively and consistently involved in exploring and redeeming their own Shadow?

Q: Any books on this contrast?

A: Yes. Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford raises these issues. This book remains valuable.

If we can understand how separation can enter between individuals at different stages on a Heroes Journey, perhaps we can express more compassion and tolerance so we can support each other more.

– – – – – – –
Find author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
Another blog:

GP#6 – What was Green Spirituality 1.0?

If we are now in GS 2.0, there must have been a GS 1.0.  What was it?

Yes.  Green Spirituality 1.0 was many things, many wonderful things.  Still, it was NOT sustainable on the level of group process and intentional community.  This is why GS 1.0 faded; and why, GS 2.0 is more and more timely.

Green Spirituality 1.0 aligned and resonated with Humanistic Psychology 1.0, 1955-1975.  Jessica Grogan wrote an academic book on this, Encountering America.  She ends her study at 1975.

The Greening of America (1971) is also GS 1.0.  As a time capsule it reflects the positive vision of young peaceniks of 1971, not the violent vision of anti-Vietnam, anti-nuke demonstrators of 1971.

The book itself may only interest historians now.  More recent, astute  Amazon reviews may be worth reading for those able to learn from history.

This quote captures the book’s essence:  “There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture;  it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed; it cannot be successfully resisted by violence. This is the revolution of the new generation.”

Thus spoke the idealism of 1971.

Q:  What changed after 1975?

A:  After group therapy waned, holistic health began to be an economic force and viable alternative to drugs and surgery.  This mostly played out in the mainstream, in the introduction and acceptance of acupuncture by medical establishments, starting with Dr. Rosenblatt at UCLA in Los Angeles who went to China and brought acupuncture back.

Green Spirituality 2.0 includes all of this plus all the other lesser-known advances of Energy Medicine between 1965-2000 plus all the lesser-known advances made in Emotional Intelligence and healthy group process made 1965-2005.

Q:  Was there no Emotional Intelligence prior to Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book?

A:  Another question difficult to answer, given the public’s lack of detailed history of Progressive efforts in humanistic fields.  The truthful answer is, “Depends on who you ask.”

William Gibson said, “The future is already here; it’s simply not yet well-distributed.”  This points to how cultural innovations spread.  They occur first on the outskirts, the fringes of mainstream culture.  They are dragged into the center of the culture, begin to appear on TV and newspapers only when consensus is high an innovation is safe, trustworthy and beneficial for the majority.

If you asked in 1995, “Is Emotional Intelligence widespread now?”  The answer would have been, “Not at all.”  Only circles of participants deeply and personally involved in personal-spiritual growth work had been educated to and practicing what we now call Emotional Intelligence.

Now?  2017?  Many more people know about Emotional Intelligence and even more aspire to it.  How widespread is Emotional Intelligence in 2017?  It’s widespread in certain circles.  Which circles?  I would say coaching, counseling and therapy professionals, Cultural Creative Progressives and those involved in holistic healing and Energy Medicine.  As we speak it’s making major inroads in colleges and universities.

Green Spirituality 2.0 will undoubtedly spread very similarly.

Q:  How does GS 2.0  differ from Ecumenical Spirituality of the 1990s?

A:  I consider Ecumenical Spirituality of the 1990s part of GS 1.0.

The history of Ecumenical Spirituality goes back to the 1800s, before even radio.  It goes back at least to the World Day of Prayer,started by women, which had various milestones.  By the 1990s several Ecumenical Spiritual Councils existed and hosted inter-faith dialogue and conferences.

Alas, the Devil is in the details.  One thing the collapse of robust interfaith activity taught me was:  A focus on all prayers go up to the same God, is a wonderful sentiment, but interfaith cooperation is not a motivating nor inspiring value beyond those already ordained as priests in various faiths and those already involved in church-synagogue-mosque hierarchies.

Q:  What was missing?

A:  Explicit real-time, face-to-face, hands-on opportunities for:

  • Personal-spiritual growth opportunities customized for each individual (sounds impossible but was masters in 1970s-1980s and documented in the 1990s),
  • Truth and reconciliation meetings between victims and persecutors (Restorative Circles)

In other words, in the 1990s many people were ready to consider interfaith-cooperation.  However few were ready to consider sexual abuse of congregations by priests.  This explosive personal growth aspect had to wait until the early 2000s.

In our post-2012 world, the average church-synagogue goer is left without either robust, fruitful, local interfaith cooperation nor robust, fruitful personal growth opportunities within churches, synagogues, community colleges, adult schools and colleges-universities–except for masters programs in coaching, counseling and therapy.

For all these reason I think Green Spirituality 2.0 is worth talking about.

My guess is GS 2.0 will be characterized by FUN, live, local experiments to explore what local people want, what consensus on values exists locally and what neighborhoods want more of.

In this sense GS 2.0 aims directly at inspiring and encouraging local leaders and local governance.  It’s an antidote to “lazy” central governance.

– – – – – – –
Find author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
Another blog:

5 – Learning from our errors, Groundhog Day Pattern of failed Green Groups

Agree with me or not, all groups below had observable slowed expansion and contracting membership, 2005-2016.

The good news is the great good these orgs have done; and in many cases, still do.

Let’s agree the collapse of New Age and other categories of Progressive gorups, 2005-2016, had TWO causes.

One was the recession of 2008-2016. De-funding of the (holistic) arts was a major consequence.

The second cause I propose was lack of attention by organizers-leaders to healthy, local, face-to-face group process. This includes lack of investment in deepening face-to-face group connection; and, lack of investment in refreshing consensus of the org’s deepest, innermost values.

Q: What hard evidence exists for the theory nurturing and sustaining healthy group process as a limiting factor in organizational sustainability and growth?

A: Evidence is mostly observational, from participating, from volunteering, from being on a few Boards, and some conversations with Board members of groups I did not participate directly with.

Q: How much weight do you give each of these two factors?

A: Hard to say. 50-50? I’m less interested in doing research. I’m more interested in what we can learn from these observations, going forward.

A list of failed or severely declined Progressive orgs, as of April 2017:

– Occupy Wall Street, never progressed to a consensus on values nor a clear vision of a better future,

– GreenSpirit formally the Association for Creation Spirituality (Matthew Fox),

– Gaia Theology around new sustainable, non-fossil energy sources and technologies,

– Green intentional communities and ecovillages, post-carbon, sustainable, economically sustainable tribes Global Ecovillage Network (,

– Transition Towns in the USA, TTs in the UK and Europe seem to be growing,

– Food co-ops and food buying clubs,

– Whole-child education movement in the USA, Waldorf-method, Rudolf Steiner Schools, still thriving outside the USA,

– Humanistic Psychology 1.0 (Active Listening, Emotional Intelligence, USM Spiritual Psychology,

– Active Listening groups, Compassionate (nonviolent) Communication groups,

– Green Party in the USA and pretty much worldwide,

– Light and Sound groups, theologies of soul in the human experience, PACME, going Home to Soul and Above,

– Sufi Order in the West after 2000, Dances of Universal Peace,

– Ecumenical spirituality, various orgs, worldwide, peaked in the 1990s

– Touch for Health, Psych-K, other muscle testing methods

– Insight Training Seminars, the peak expression of LGATs,

– Est-Forum, see cult discussion in a later article,

– American and British Societies of Dowsers,

– Unity Churches on the West Coast, still thriving on East Coast I’m told

– Conventional Union organizing,

– Republican party since Goldwater and Democratic Party since Bill Clinton especially,

Am I leaving anyone out? Please add your nominations in the Comments below.
I honor and acknowledge all the good above groups have done. The errors–I’d like to learn from them.

Unless and until attention is paid to WHY groups-orgs above weren’t sustainable and long-lived, we have a classic situation:

The main thing which was learned was–not much was learned.

The repeating Groundhog Day Pattern comes from present generations replicating the same errors and shortcomings as generations before in the 1960s, 1970s-1980s.

Q: Do you mean to tell me, ALL the above groups basically have the same group process problem?

A: Yes. A pattern exists, very strongly. The pattern is: Too little attention paid by organizers to healthy, local, FUN, face-to-face interaction; and, too little investment into refreshing consensus on the org’s deepest, innermost values, reconnecting with Source, however the org defines this.

The pattern suggests to me Progressive orgs and churches can only grow to the limits of their healthy group process.

If other readers and writers find this pattern holds true, it means failure of Progressive groups and orgs is now highly predictable.

If you can describe this better than I, please do so in the comments and I will revise this article and credit you.

Q: What are the solutions?

A: Solutions start with education, taking off the rose colored glasses about 1960s Progressive history, learning from our errors.

Most articles in this series describe solutions and the education Progressives missed out on which can work now.

Three volumes of Group Process as an Art-form are already published, discussing known, tested solutions.

– – – – – – –
health-intuitive-bruce-dicksonFind author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
Another blog:

#4 – Two things killed the New Age

As I saw it from participant, volunteer, Board member perspectives, two things mainly killed the New Age:

1) The Great Recession of 2008, and

2) Too little attention paid by organizers to healthy, local, FUN, face-to-face interaction; and, too little attention paid to refreshing consensus on the org’s deepest, innermost values.

The Great Recession of 2008

In each and every recession-depression, arts funding is one of the first things to suffer, because arts are funded as “disposable income” by the 1% and corporations looking for tax write offs. Let’s recall in the larger corporate-consumer-debt culture, anything holistic is a fringe topic, closer to the arts than to corporate culture. In a Recession, the arts always suffer first.

Lack of healthy, local, FUN, face-to-face interaction

A too-casual attitude towards local, sustainable, face-to-face group process towards Green, Progressive, holistic orgs of all kinds.

Q: Why was this a problem?

A: If organizers-leaders don’t take the health of face-to-face group process seriously, they don’t invest in it, don’t budget time and labor to nurturing it.

This one is harder to perceive if you did not participate in weak or failing Green groups. I participated in many, a large fraction of those available to me in person in Los Angeles, in my tours of the US between 1987-2001, and some groups online, like Bioneers.

The pattern of failure began to interest me. Seemed like it might even extend over the period 1972-2016.

I got it was Groundhog Day over and over again. Just as in the movie, it took me a good while to see the pattern clearly enuf to uncover what was in plain sight, the obvious hidden in plain sight: Meetings stopped being fun, people stopped attending because too few of their needs were met; especially, when business topics took over 100% of meeting time.

Progressives have worked for healthier, replacement cultures since the 1960s or maybe since Socialism in the 1930s. Progressive-Utopian projects are complex, highly social projects. Participants stop investing their time when long, boring business meetings become the new normal.

Solutions exist, discussed in further articles on this site.

If we can learn only one thing from the list of failures above, I suggest it be this:

Make healthy, local, face-to-face group gatherings sustainable, regular and profitable. When activists-organizers pay adequate and sufficient attention to internal group process, then all other pieces can arrange themselves around this core strength.

To Learn More

More interesting ideas about the end of the New Age:

The New Age Is Over – Now that Neopaganism has replaced the New Age Movement, flaws in evangelicals’ criticism are obvious. Irving Hexham (1999).

You are encouraged to skim or read: Building Organizations in a Movement Moment BY BETH ZEMSKY & DAVID MANN

health-intuitive-bruce-dickson– – – – – – –
Find author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
Another blog:

#3 – Local progressive activists and organizers, since 1972, almost all labor under Faulty Myths of Progressive history

Local progressive activists and organizers, including food sustainability farmers and gardeners, the ones I have met, almost all labor under Faulty Myths about organizing and mobilizing Progressives. This has been the case since 1972.

The biggest FAULTY MYTH

The myth still repeated by Progressive organizers in 2017 is: What worked to mobilize Progressives in the 1960s can, will and “should” work again now. If only we mobilize and organize like we did in the 1960s, we can accomplish today the same great feats we accomplished then.

Was this not a big piece of the Bernie organizers pitch to volunteers?

Was this not a big piece of the Obama ’08 organizers pitch to volunteers?

A “sour grapes” rejoinder often accompanies the above myth: If people do not respond to a progressive agit-prop, attend rallies, march and rise up against the oppressors, inequality, etc; then, the people are morally weak and deserve lousy government.

Local and national Old Left activists and organizers still behave as if not much has changed since 1971. They acknowledge the Internet is new. They don’t acknowledge people’s motivations have changed; they don’t acknowledge how much smarter the Progressive audience is now, how they want to see individual actions and marches in a context of a larger, healthy, sustainable Vision for the 99%.

Local and national Old Left activists and organizers still behave as if the Progressive audience can be motivated and organized as if no one evolved from where they were in 1971.

This faulty myth and misunderstandings blind Progressive activists; so that, now we lack several generations of effective Progressive activists. We are stuck with political leaders who themselves are stuck in the past, stuck in antique Progressive myths from 1830-1971.

On one hand, we have to wake up materialists to the death of their dream to keep 1950s paternalistic consumerism alive.

On the other hand, we have to wake up Old leftists and Old Greens to the shortcomings of 1960s-1970s Progressive organizing and mobilizing tactics are now. More will be said on this.

health-intuitive-bruce-dickson– – – – – – –
Find author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
Another blog:

#2 – Needed: People Magnets to herd cats

What are needed to herd Progressive cats is People Magnets.

Being a People Magnet has little to do with crackling personal charisma. That’s rare.

Bernie in 2016, wonderful as Bernie is, still misunderstood the People Magnet function. That’s why Bernie acts and speaks so “hair on fire.” The only way he knows how to bring people together is to employ the full force of his personality to a list of issues. That’s he learned in the 1960s.

Few people have the force of Bernie’s personality. More people can be People Magnets who facilitate group process, create sustainable group gatherings. A People Magnet does not need to run around with his or her hair on fire.

Progressive individuals with natural force of personality are useful. Get them elected. But people like Bernie are too rare, infrequent and unsustainable to rely upon to reform and re-invent local neighborhood, city, regional culture.

To go bigger for a second, the Progressive Leadership drought up until 2017 has two causes:

– Not understanding how to be a People magnet so you can herd cats,

– The too-small endgame of single-issue politics.

When these are remedied, we will see many more female Progressive leaders, many more young leaders.

Methods to attract and herd Progressive cats have existed since around 1980. All the major literature was written between 1985-2001. A separate article address this.

Are you a Progressive group activist, CSA organizer?

Want to get up to speed? You need to:

– Learn how Progressive audiences evolved from where they were in the 1960s,

– Understand the effect higher education had on Progressive audiences 1948-2000,

– Learn the role of vision, truly human values and refreshing these in Progressive orgs,

– Bone up on and begin practicing the mature technology and methods of healthy group process and heartfelt group process; the books already exist.

This website has a backgrounder series of articles to bring you up to speed. A longer book version is being prepared.

health-intuitive-bruce-dickson– – – – – – –
Find author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
Another blog: