Collaborate to Liberate

The Note for Sept. 2013

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The false choice between individualism and collectivism is a dangerous mythology. That mythology grows out of the seductive diametric oppositions of the Cold War era, but also predates it, and has its roots in the aristocratic system, which held that only a few could really be worthy of decision-making authority. The struggle, then, must be of the noble individual against the opportunism of the crowd. The truth is: imaginative, forthright individuals who take initiative, but who collaborate freely, thoughtfully and effectively, are better able to meet important challenges and achieve major innovations. Collaboration does not privilege the collective over the individual, but simply demonstrates that the individual is empowered, and has a right to expect to be, by the forces of a healthy, collaborative social fabric.

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Citizenship Builds Security

The Note for July 2013

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We are accustomed to thinking of “national security” as the domain of expert policy professionals, military institutions, and those with clearance to see materials not released to the public. We are accustomed to thinking of security as a zero-sum game of do or die, compete or perish. But in the complex dynamics of an age of global communications networks, we must take a more deliberate and intelligent look at how real long-term security comes about. Security requires resiliency, and the resiliency of a democracy is founded not on war-fighting, but on the active participation of informed citizens collaborating creatively across the full spectrum of human affairs.

When former special strategic assistants to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Capt. Wayne Porter (USN) and Col. Mark Mykleby (USMC, ret.) set about crafting a “grand strategy” for the 21st century, they found that the old rules of force, power and control, no longer worked. Hundreds of years of military, political, scientific, philosophical, cultural and economic history, showed that we had finally moved beyond the primitive reality where small bands of people were well served by eliminating ambient “threats” from human competitors.

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Free Our Energy Markets

The Note for June 2013

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Climate change is a market failure—the most costly in world history. The failure of so-called “free markets” to accurately express the cost of carbon-emitting fuels in consumer prices has led to the accelerating destabilization of global climate patterns. That failure stems, in large part, from the fact that our energy markets are not free and open at all, but rigged to favor specific enterprises that deal in specific high-emitting fuels.

We can free our energy markets in a way that allows both conservative pro-business free market thinkers and also progressive pro-environment zero-carbon crusaders to come together and to vote for a brighter, more prosperous future. First we need to unrig the energy marketplace, and then we need to make sure we do so in a way that does not punish households and communities or impede their ability to transition into the new open market.

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