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Old 04-28-2006, 06:10 PM
coberst coberst is offline
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Citizen as Policy Board Member

Citizen as Policy Board Member

How would an ideal nation determine public policy regarding this problem we label as Global Warming?

When I try to understand a particular matter I try to start with a model and then modify that model as I gain in understanding. My model represents my understanding at any point in time.

I think that the ideal corporate model might be useful. A nation functioning under such a model would have a board of directors whose responsibility is to set national policy and would have a management team that formulates the means by which those policy goals are most efficiently met.

In this case the board is the citizens, the management team is the elected politicians and the workers are also the citizens. Of course all three functions are the citizens but functioning in different roles. The citizen must ‘wear many different hats’.

How does the citizen as board member function? I would conclude that there are two basic types of citizen roles involved here. One is the expert and the other is the non-expert. In this global warming situation we would have two categories of experts—scientists of the natural sciences and scientists of the human sciences.

The successful functioning of this system is dependent upon the facts available and the capacity of the citizen to make good judgments for each area of responsibility. Most citizens will not accept any responsibility for any role in this model other than being a worker. The roles will however be filled by some citizens and these citizens will, by default, make their judgment about policy goals and tactics for achieving those goals.

The citizen as board member is the role that interests me now. In analyzing how an ideal board member might act I have decided that an ideal journalist might be the best model for speaking about the needs of our board member.

An ideal journalist, in my mind, would have broad learning especially in history and Critical Thinking.

It is commonly recognized that an understanding of the past is essential for an understanding of the present. History teaches us how to analyze and interpret facts and to seek patterns that manifest underlying realities regarding humanity. The journalist, like the historian, must understand matters within a proper context. This context includes tradition and change and the complex relationship between tradition and change.

A journalist is constantly studying new matters and must have the capacity to quickly gain a basic understanding of new and complex situations. A journalist must love the search for understanding of something new and unfamiliar.

The ideal journalist should be expert in the art and science of good judgment and good judgment is vital to every role that the responsible citizen must play. The knowledge and skills of rational thinking can be used in a selfish or a fair-minded way. A fundamental aspect of CT is attainment of a fair-minded intellectual character.
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