wiki:projects/leadership-committee/dec-2008/proposals/hemispheric-agenda

Hemispheric outreach

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At this point, many believe that the United States is incapable of resolving its problems on its own. With so much production exported to other countries, an economy weakened by unemployment and useless production (e.g. war), and a currency whose "hegemony" is, at this point, only a matter of international habit (which is being broken more frequently), it's not clear how the United States can emerge form the full-blown depression into which it has been hurtling for the last several years.

Viewed as a unified economy, however, the Hemisphere is more than capable of emerging.

Given the obscene attitude this country's government has had toward the rest of the Hemisphere for decades now, it's difficult to fathom any cooperation inside it. But the truth is that collaboration, at a very deep level, already takes place. Huge gaps in the production process (left by American workers being unwilling or unable to cope with sub-standard employment) are now filled by Latin American workers (many undocumented). At the same time, the flow of American capital back to Latin America is intense. In some Central American countries, money sent back from the U.S. accounts for an estimated 30 percent of the average family yearly income.

While no one economy in this Hemisphere is viable in and of itself, the entire Hemisphere productive capabilities and resources represent something close to a diverse and powerful economy. So the challenge is to turn the exploitative and corrosive relations into positive ones.

It's difficult to predict a future and any strategic discussion is, at this point, highly speculative.

May First/People Link is not going to come up with that -- no one organization can and, most important, it's not our role as a technology organization.

But there is one thing we know: the peoples of the countries of the Hemisphere need to talk because any economic arising from this set of mangled and mangling relations is going to require regional planning. We also know that many government leaders (or national organizations) within these countries want to talk. Finally, we know what our role is and that's to provide the communications capability to make this happen.

The Hemispheric Agenda proposal is designed to begin this process using our collaborative democracy software.

Proposal

That MF/PL sponsor and help organize three events:

  1. A 2009 initial consulta among various groups in various countries to begin planning a major on-line meeting. We would plan the concept, form a sponsoring committee and then announce the action. (Note: "consulta" is the word most prominently used in Latin America for the kind of event we're talking about and "consultation" is the closest English word but doesn't quite convey the same meaning)
  2. In 2010, a four hour session, on the U.S. economy (and, of course, the Hemispheric by strategic extension) as a special workshop at the USSF in Detroit.
  3. The Hemispheric consulta after the USSF (late 2010).

The point is that, during this period, we would be announcing, organization, and testing things all over the place -- at every event we can. So while these are the main events, they aren't the only ones.

This represents a huge investment of MF/PL time and should be considered a key activity as we discuss this.

Last modified 11 years ago Last modified on Dec 18, 2008, 4:55:41 PM