This blog is part of an online learning platform which includes the Pathways to New Community Paradigms Wiki and a number of other Internet based resources to explore what is termed here 'new community paradigms' which are a transformational change brought about by members of a community.

It is intended to offer resources and explore ideas with the potential of purposefully directing the momentum needed for communities to create their own new community paradigms.

It seeks to help those interested in becoming active participants in the governance of their local communities rather than merely passive consumers of government service output. This blog seeks to assist individuals wanting to redefine their role in producing a more direct democratic form of governance by participating both in defining the political body and establishing the policies that will have an impact their community so that new paradigms for their community can be chosen rather than imposed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Visiting Innovatitown and Parochialville

This blog is directed toward the individual citizen of a community who has decided they want to see some fundamental changes in their community and is seeking resources to bring that about. It is being designed for someone who sees themselves as being a producer of democratic governance and the tangible public policies that come from that and not merely a consumer of those policies.

There is admittedly a good deal of idealism inherent in this idea at a number of levels. Some is a basic idealism that we all hold about the best that we expect from our democracy, though we all too often find ourselves disappointed. Part of that disappointment though arises from the socially ingrained expectation we have for what we could do. The other part of the idealism is the endeavor to reach a utopian future. Again, it is a goal that will in truth never be reached but that is not sufficient reason not to make it a goal. To the contrary, the very fact that it is beyond ourselves is what makes it possible to be a transformational pathways to a set of new community paradigms.

In exploring the relationship of the individual citizen to the idealistic future state of local government compared to the grittier, practical reality of today, we have to be careful how we characterize that relationship. In most cases, when speaking of a potentially improved future or some example of bureaucratic wrongdoing, we are speaking in abstract terms. This is by necessity because we want to find principles that we can apply to the degree we see appropriate across a broad range of circumstances.

So that means that we are dealing with two abstract communities. One in the future that I will start to call Innovatitown and another which is stuck in the past that I will call Parochialville. Nobody actually lives in either of these communities, but everyone can likely say that some aspect of their community is closer to one than the other. In most cases, I will be speaking favorably of Innovatitown but on occasion I will make a case for caution when adopting a technological approach to community building.

I have already taken such a stand with the previous blog post. This blog will continue on a similar vein.  Technology on its own will not allow governance by community members rather that it has the potential to facilitate governance by community members. This concept and the relationship of the individual to the local City Hall will be explored further in a future blog post.

Past Posts