Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, Polarization, and CI

I read in an email that I’ve just received from Tom Atlee:
(The quotes are authorized to publish.)
There is a lot of conversation about polarization, and a flurry of Op Ed pieces about it, from both the Left and the Right… that has been triggered by Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11. Polarization is one of the major obstacles to people coming together co-intelligently… But attacking an individual or group for polarizing the conversation can, by marginalizing them, undermine informed dialogue and collective intelligence. The kind of anti-polarization work that is needed, in contrast, is persistent, open exploration of the polarizing forces in and around all of us, and the polarizing activities of all sides.
If we want to enhance collective intelligence in our political process, the important thing is not to silence the polarizing partisans. The most important thing is to establish adequate forums where citizens can hear articulate advocates of opposing views; productively deliberate about their ideas, information and proposals; and creatively use those different perspectives to arrive at understandings and policies that serve them and their collective welfare.

To read the whole text of Tom’s astute observation and analysis of what is going on around Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, click here.
The political sphere is deeply divided by partisan interests everywhere but probably nowhere more so than in the United States. Yet, not thinking of politics as a domain from which collective intelligence can emerge just as much as from business, scientific or blogging communities, is an oversight. The work of Tom and his Co-Intelligence Institute is challenging it. We’re working on starting and nurturing a multi-disciplinary dialogue involving him and representatives of all the other streams of the CI field. Stay tuned.

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2 Responses to Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, Polarization, and CI

  1. Travis says:

    I wrote a very lengthy review and analysis @ http://www.neoperspectives.com/farenheight_911.htm
    if anyones interested!


  2. Stan Skrzeszewski says:

    Tom: I very much enjoyed this piece and found some enlightenment in it. I heartily support the concept of ‘establishing adequate forums where citizens can hear articulate advocates of opposing views’. This could help to overcome the democracy deficit and perhaps engage citizens in more than just periodic voting. As a Canadian I certainly do not find that having the right to vote very 4-5 years makes Canada a democratic country. I was involved with party politics earlier in life and did not find that to be particularly engaging. Being a foot-soldier for democracy in not enough.
    It seems to me that for these forums to be meaningful they have to become part of a governmental and collective decision-making process. I can engage in all the blogs that I want and still not feel that I am doing much in terms of democratic involvement.
    I can only see this happening by establishing a more direct democracy, more proportional representation, and getting rid of the arm-lock that party politics has on democracy.
    I am not sure how the concept of collective intelligence can serve to overcome a democratic deficit.


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