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  • Summary of Inciting Democracy
    Thomas Paine The book first defines the term good society as one in which no one is oppressed and in which people treat each other the way they would like to be treated a safe fair just democratic humane compassionate tolerant and environmentally sustainable society The book then identifies the five primary obstacles to creating such a good society An adverse power structure that entices and coerces us all to support inhumane institutions Cultural conditioning that makes us accept destructive social norms such as individualism materialism militarism racism sexism classism homophobia Dysfunctional emotional conditioning that makes it hard for us to work together due to depression low self esteem irrationality rigidity addictions phobias etc Widespread ignorance of positive alternatives and social change methods A scarcity of resources information money and emotional support among people of goodwill working for change The book next skeptically evaluates a variety of social change strategies and processes exploring what has worked and what has not This analysis suggests that we can create a truly good society only by using democratic and nonviolent methods that prefigure a good society in particular through an extensive education process and through broadly based social change movements that are massive in size with at least a million progressive activists and advocates working for fundamental change for decades The book then details a practical strategy for transformation in which goodhearted people would take several steps Form supportive communities with other people of goodwill Educate themselves and others to overcome their ignorance hopelessness and personal limitations Learn to work together and practice change skills Teach these skills to others and support and inspire others to work for positive change Build powerful grassroots social change organizations Challenge the domination of the power elite and destructive cultural norms in all realms of society Create

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/contents/IcDSummary.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Excerpt from the Preface of Inciting Democracy
    based on progressive values personal responsibility freedom democracy respect for dissent cooperation altruism and global stewardship With skills values and alternatives in hand these million progressive advocates forcefully challenge existing institutions They work together in strong cooperative organizations They pass on their ideas skills and methods to other people directly without the distorting influences of the news media or other intermediaries and they do so repeatedly over a long enough time to let the ideas sink in Over time they influence vast numbers of people build a variety of successful alternative institutions and win many significant changes By consistently and continuously challenging the old order over several decades their successes in democratizing power compound at an ever increasing rate Each successive generation has incrementally less allegiance to the old order and greater understanding of the new Moreover elders wedded to the status quo pass away while young people grow up learning alternative skills and expecting progressive change With the active cooperation of a large portion of society and the passive acceptance of most of the rest these million progressive advocates eventually surmount their own dysfunctional cultural and emotional conditioning and overcome the resistance of the power structure At a time perhaps eighty years from now they bring about fundamental and enduring changes in every aspect of society political economic social and cultural There are those I know who will reply that the liberation of humanity the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream They are right It is It is the American Dream Archibald MacLeish In this vision I do not assume that progressive activists are any more intelligent or virtuous than activists today only that they are more experienced have more knowledge and have greater skills than most current activists I also do not assume they employ new techniques or strategies although they might Instead I see an expansion of the best of what I have already seen creative problem solving potent nonviolent action convincing alternatives powerful emotional therapy a supportive activist community constructive alliance building and so forth Our best is very impressive and multiplied severalfold I believe it would energize activists and captivate the whole world Let me also say here before I am misunderstood that the good society I envision is not a blissful paradise completely free of suffering or discord There will always be pain and conflict in this world since 1 natural resources are limited 2 severe natural events such as storms earthquakes and disease will always batter us and 3 humans regularly make mistakes often disagree with one another have conflicting desires and interests and always die eventually However in the good society I envision our difficulties and sorrows are greatly reduced Conflict is constrained and directed so that it does not demean or destroy people Life is still hard in many of the ways it is now but unlike now people s love and joy vastly outshine their woes and disputes Into each life some rain must fall Henry

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/contents/IcDPrefaceEx.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Brief Summary of Each Chapter of Inciting Democracy
    become an oppressor Nonviolent not oppressive or destructive Moral principled true to ideals with means in harmony with the ends so efforts do not go astray Direct and personal so they can deeply touch and transform people Based on this analysis the only viable way to bring about fundamental progressive change is to educate and liberate the imagination of every person in society so that everyone can collectively and democratically choose to create a good society To transform all of society also requires powerful social change movements capable of challenging entrenched power Such a strategy based on mass education and social change movements must include six essential components 1 Clear conceptions of progressive change including A clear vision of a good society A comprehensive and feasible strategy for change 2 Widespread education in which people can Learn how society actually functions Learn to practice democracy and cooperation Learn to overcome destructive cultural conditioning Learn to change society 3 Widespread emotional therapy 4 A supportive community for progressive activists 5 Large numbers of progressive activists working simultaneously for change 6 Concerted change efforts continuing for many years Back to Top Chapter 5 describes a four stage strategic program for creating a good society that incorporates these characteristics and components Progressive activists would 1 Lay the groundwork A Find other progressive activists B Educate themselves learn how human affairs are organized and other ways they might be organized C Learn and practice change skills and overcome destructive and dysfunctional conditioning D Form supportive communities with other people of goodwill 2 Gather support A Raise others awareness about the possibility of creating a good society and the means to do it B Build powerful political and social organizations 3 Struggle for power A Vigorously challenge the power structure and destructive cultural norms through conventional political and legal methods B Illuminate domination and oppression using various methods of nonviolent action C Resist oppression using nonviolent action D Develop appealing alternative institutions based on progressive ideals 4 Diffuse change throughout all of society This chapter also outlines a democratic bottom up change movement structure in which a small number of dedicated activists would personally inform support and inspire a larger number of steadfast activists These activists would in turn inform support and inspire a much larger number of progressive advocates Together these activists and advocates would inform persuade and inspire everyone in society In this model the most skilled and experienced activists would constitute a stable and reliable core These experienced activists could support other activists broaden their understanding of society suggest innovative and effective ways to tackle difficult problems and continue doing tedious or grueling work when other activists faltered This would help to ensure that progressive organizations would grow and prosper not go astray stagnate or erupt in infighting This chapter concludes by explaining the dynamics of nonviolent struggle since nonviolent action would play a crucial role in the project and is often misunderstood Chapter 6 outlines a specific project the Vernal Education

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/contents/IcDChapSum.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Table of Contents of Inciting Democracy
    Ordinary People Democratic and Responsive Focused on Ending Oppression Not Toppling Individual Oppressors Nonviolent Moral Principled True to Ideals with the Means in Harmony with the Ends Direct and Personal A Strategy for Democratic Transformation Mass Education and Powerful Social Change Movements Six Essential Components of an Effective Strategy 1 Clear Conceptions of Progressive Change 2 Widespread Education 3 Widespread Emotional Therapy 4 A Supportive Community for Progressive Activists 5 Large Numbers of Activists Working Simultaneously for Progressive Change 6 Concerted Change Efforts Continuing for Many Years An Effective Strategy that Incorporates these Components Notes Back to Top Chapter 5 A Strategic Program to Create a Good Society A Strategic Program 1 Lay the Groundwork 2 Gather Support 3 Struggle for Power 4 Diffuse Change Throughout Society Overlapping Stages Leadership Roles for Each Stage Tiered Structure Very Active Vernal Graduates Steadfast Activists Progressive Advocates Everyone If Not Now When Strong Enough Nonviolent Struggle The Power of Nonviolent Struggle Elements of Effective Nonviolent Campaigns Steps in Nonviolent Campaigns Preparing for a Nonviolent Action The Danger of Nonviolent Struggle Twelve Principles of Strategic Nonviolent Struggle Summing Up Notes Back to Top Chapter 6 The Vernal Education Project Design Criteria for the Vernal Education Program Philosophy of Education for Progressive Change Overview of the Vernal Education Program and Network Mission of the Vernal Education Program Details of the Vernal Education Program 1 Study Groups 2 Internships 3 Social Change Work 4 Social Service Work 5 Self Study of Current Affairs 6 Workshops 7 Health and Exercise 8 Support Groups Therapy Body Work 9 Socializing and Networking 10 Other Resources Synergistic Learning A Vernal Student s Time A Possible Vernal Curriculum General Areas of Knowledge Study Group Topics Workshop Class Topics Reading Lists Workshop Notes and Agendas Researching and Developing the Curriculum Educational Methods and Style Vernal Staffmembers Background and Skills Staff Hiring and Pay Vernal Students Admission Requirements Likely Applicants The Vernal Education Network Vernal Centers Network Governance Affiliation with Other Organizations The Growth of the Vernal Education Network Three Steps Three Phases A Political Education Movement A Note on Overall Size Vernal Project Finances Expenses Tuition Tuition Income Net Finances Meeting the Design Criteria Other Educational Programs Carrying Out Stage 1 of the Strategic Program Notes Back to Top Chapter 7 Building a Powerful Democratic Social Change Movement About Vernal Graduates Characteristics of Vernal Graduates Financial Support of Vernal Graduates The Total Number of Very Active and Less Active Graduates The Influence of Vernal Activists Vernal Activists Focus of Activity General Methods of Change Tactics for Changing Society Building Citizen Movements for Progressive Change Overcoming Emotional and Cultural Obstacles The Distribution and Tasks of Vernal Activists Very Active Vernal Graduates Less Active Vernal Graduates Vernal Students An Example Creating Cooperative Activist Communities Supportive and Educational Change Organizations Communities of Support Interconnected Communities The Overall Contribution of Vernal Activists Realizing Stage 2 of the Strategic Program Notes Back to Top Chapter 8 Melissa s Story A Tale Illustrating Some Aspects of the Vernal

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/contents/IcDToC.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Download Chapters from Inciting Democracy
    it is probably cheaper and easier just to buy a copy of the book You can order a copy here Or you can borrow a copy from your local library find one through the WorldCat catalog Chapter Adobe Reader File Pages Title Copyright Contents Figures Sidebars Acknowledgments Summary pdf i xiii Preface pdf xiv xx Chapter 1 Background pdf 1 12 Chapter 2 Elements of a Good Society pdf 13 32 Chapter 3 Obstacles to Progressive Change pdf 33 58 Chapter 4 Elements of an Effective Strategy for Democratic Transformation pdf 59 74 Chapter 5 A Strategic Program to Create a Good Society pdf 75 94 Chapter 6 The Vernal Education Project pdf 95 128 Chapter 7 Building a Powerful Democratic Social Change Movement pdf 129 154 Chapter 8 Melissa s Story pdf 155 162 Chapter 9 Transforming Society pdf 163 180 Chapter 10 Implementing the Vernal Project pdf 181 192 Chapter 11 Some Objections and Concerns pdf 193 210 Chapter 12 Resources pdf 211 238 Appendix A Some Positive Near Term Policy Changes pdf 239 246 Appendix B Additional Figures Associated with Chapter 6 pdf 247 268 Appendix C Even More Figures Associated with Chapters 7 and 9 pdf

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/contents/IcDDownload.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Purchase Inciting Democracy
    Purchase a Copy Inciting Democracy A Practical Proposal for Creating a Good Society How We can Develop and Sustain a Powerful Grassroots Social Change Movement by Randy Schutt Free Viewing Download Inciting Democracy is now available for free viewing or download Libraries Find a copy at your local library through the WorldCat catalog Vendors Order a copy from these on line vendors Or write to Randy Inciting Democracy Paperback 8

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/IcDOrdering.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Questions and Concerns about the proposal described in Inciting Democracy
    People Change Their Personalities B Is Democracy Possible and Desirable Is Democratic Decision Making Possible in a Large Society Is There Enough Time for Real Democracy Would People Want to Spend Time on Societal Decision Making C Are the Five Obstacles Enumerated the Real Obstacles to Positive Change What about Other Obstacles Is the Power Elite Monolithic Are Some Cultures Better than Others What Knowledge is Essential D Is This the Right Strategy for Change What Do You Mean by Fundamental Progressive Social Change Why Are Progressive Activists Needed Are Activists the Only Ones Who Create a Good Society Why Are So Many Activists Required Does It Make Sense to Act without Greater Understanding Why an Education Program Is It Possible to Bring about Fundamental Change without a Fight Are these the Correct Methods What Kind of Emotional Counseling Do You Advocate What about Activists in Rural Areas Won t Excluded Activists be Resentful Why Focus on One Nation Why Focus Only on the United States Would the Vernal Project Go International Is It Really Possible to Attract So Many Activists to Join the Vernal Project What Secular Sentiment Would Inspire So Many Activists to Join E Would the Vernal

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/IcDQC/IcDQC.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Reviews of Inciting Democracy
    activists and political reformers the engaging and provocative text is enhanced with 71 figures 44 sidebars 270 quotations 166 detailed endnotes 233 annotated references a bibliography of 110 cited works and a comprehensive index Midwest Book Review published in the August issue of Wisconsin Bookwatch p 8 col 2 and the August issue of Internet Bookwatch http www execpc com mbr bookwatch ibw aug 01 htm politicalscience Back to Top Clamor Magazine an incisive social critique Seeking the attention of grassroots activists but also accessible to lay readers this book is highly educational for its abundance of information numerous easy to focus tables and abundant notes and references at the end of each chapter It offers an incisive social critique and its progressive suggestions in a refreshing air of optimism Vassiliki Leontis Clamor Magazine Mar Apr 2002 p 74 GrannyD an exciting page turning book Randy Schutt s Inciting Democracy is an exciting page turning book describing a new attainable Eden Once I started reading it I couldn t stop I had to know how it was going to work I wish I were 40 years younger so I could see it all happen Doris GrannyD Haddock Back to Top Bill McKibben a veritable Leatherman for doing the big job that needs doing Here s a tackle box a tool belt a veritable Leatherman for doing the big job that needs doing redeeming our society Sure it s an optimistic vision but that may be just what we need Bill McKibben author of The Age of Missing Information The End of Nature and Hope Human and Wild Abigail Abrash an inspiring vision and concrete action plan an excellent main textbook for any course on citizen advocacy Randy Schutt has written the book that we in the progressive social change movement

    Original URL path: http://www.vernalproject.org/IcD/publicity/IcDReviews.html (2016-04-30)
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