Global Voice?


I am currently reading “Citizen voice in a globalized world” by Lawrence MacDonald, Bobby Fishkin, and David Witzel


In today’s world, the global economy
is highly interconnected, but the
global polity is weak, rudimentary,
and fragmented. Market forces speak
with a booming voice and get all the
best lines, while nonmarket forces—
especially citizen’s preferences
about global affairs—are typically ill
informed, poorly articulated, and hard
to hear. This paper explores options
for uncovering and amplifying
informed global public opinion as a
means for improving the decisions of
international bodies and of national
and sub-national governments in
regards to global issues. The paper
examines problems in ascertaining
citizen preferences and surveys common approaches. It then makes
the case for a specific approach—
deliberative polling—and explores
possibilities for using it to help
address the comparative weakness of
the global polity.

I will return with excerpts and commentary, meanwhile, HERE citizen-voice_globalized-world is the pdf so you can also read this important document and possibly even join the conversation around how this new knowledge can be applied.

Some related reading here:

Some excerpts from:

Today’s global trade agreements impact a far broader range of public policies than just trade and occur with virtually no public input or scrutiny. Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has criticized the anti-democratic nature of such negotiations, noting that “[c]orporations are attempting to achieve by stealth—through secretly negotiated trade agreements—what they could not attain in an open political process.”2 The Trans-Pacific Partnership, now under deliberation, provides such an example.This closed negotiation process includes government officials, hundreds of corporate representatives, and a small number of labor leaders, but no representatives of other civil society organizations, such as those concerned with the environment, human rights, or social policy.

…  rising inequality is more a result of public policy than an inevitable result of global economic integration, particularly when such policies are economically inefficient, socially divisive, politically corrosive, and environmentally destructive. Governments face constant pressure to adopt policies that exacerbate inequality as a putative necessity to remain economically competitive. A global citizens movement pushing for coordinated global action could offer the much needed counterpressure to such orthodox political logic. 

Our communication and transportations systems have facilitated the creation of an increasingly interdependent global economy, but without fair and effective social and environmental rules, such an economy carries great risks. The increasing concentration of wealth leads to a parallel concentration of political power. At the same time, the preferential treatment of investment income and the stagnation, or even decline, of wages reduce public revenue. The impacts of feckless globalization on the ecosphere pose severe risks. Cynicism regarding government rises when political leaders only consider a narrow range of action. A broad citizens movement can counter this distrust by taking citizen-to-citizen communication and democratic action global.




  1. Glisten, just as I started a week of retreat from most online interactivity I decided to read your post. The following “insight” was triggered. FYI

    Global economy and polity are sacred metaphors for two interlocked/competing bullies in the societal domain.

    Not even visible from this perspective, as tiny mammals under the ground as giant reptiles competed for dominance above, the issue of uplifting the competencies of the human population to levels adequate to comprehend, organize, and act falls in our blindspot.

    No machinations of dialog on or between these two forces can adequately inform anyone given the silo constraints of increasing polarizations and applications of manufactured consent technologies. Crises, both spontaneous and manufactured, distracts almost everyone.

    No seed postings or books, no matter the truth or accuracy of reporting, will have a positive impact unless substantial efforts are made to prepare different populations to perceive, comprehend, organize, and act.

    Today’s seeds stir up faux erudite discourse. These seeds have powerful potential, as in Learning Change but there is no emerging/developing process to actualize their potential. We need a movement to seaf the emergence/development of “Organizing-for-Learning=&=Learning-for-Organizing”. Two essential processes that are, today, virtually divorced from each other. This is a meta-issue, but meta-issues appear “out of bounds” in contemporary online discourse.

    In my analysis, the systems and practices of contemporary online discourse excludes activity on meta-issues, for reasons yet unknown. They may be mentioned, but never explored. Why?



    1. Larry,

      I think that perhaps the time is only now becoming ripe for the necessary meta-discourse to begin in earnest. There are emerging technologies and services being designed to enable distributed interaction across traditional ‘lines of demarcation’ in societal and academic fields, these coupled with pioneering, developing practices for insight and foresight generation are very promising – if not yet ready to fully infiltrate the field.

      Work in progress 😉



  2. I hypothesize that many of us may want to share meta, but are unable to. When I examine my writing I am never communicating meta, I communicate specifics and hint at meta. Meta is not abstract. Meta is context, the ground for figure in gestalt. All communication is figure. When we try to focus on ground we make it figure.

    Piaget’s assimilation is when we absorb new figures without changing ground. Changing ground or context involves accommodation. Insights are an experience we have during accommodation. Accommodation decreases with age unless one works to maintain it.

    When we study and explore we accumulate some data that is only marginally assimilated, it collects and alternative organizations emerge in our minds/wrlds -unconsciously. Shifts occur when one organization replaces another.

    To me meta is only “groked”, not experienced in the ordinary sense. Accommodations to meta require dancing with concepts over extended time – probably leaving some visual trace of our dance.

    I feel the analogy with stereograms on how a shift might be groked. When there are enough components for a new context and we are in a receptive situation a new organization materialized in our neural activity. Although we don’t directly experience that new pattern the new thoughts and images that cascade after inform us that something deep has happened. I find few persons willing to admit they may need a few more significant insights. Most only want to share their previous insights with others.

    When I speak about UPLIFT, I am mostly talking about seafing accommodations – assimilation will then follow naturally. Informing is seldom enough to catalyze insights. We don’t need more knowledge, we need different knowledge differently organized with old knowledge, reinterpreted.

    The new technologies and services need to be applied to new strategies that seaf the temporal dance essential for accommodation. Is online interactivity a linear march forward only (as Rushkoff implied); while we need to dance back and forth in time? This is a project more massive than the Apollo Program. Education at its very best hopes that the sequencing of lessons will result in accommodations; as yet there is competent science to use.



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