We construct the human world that we most immediately inhabit by beginning with an "idea" about what we want to do (or "where we want to go," as we often put it, colloquially).
We then follow that "idea" with practical actions based upon it. Our "theory," in other words, gives rise to "practice," and the outcome of our efforts is the reality we construct through our actions.
We are not always immediately successful in "realizing" our initial idea, but if we keep trying to accomplish in practice what we envision in theory, we often succeed, or at least come close.
Once we actually "get there," of course, where we thought we wanted to go, we may find that our "idea" about the reality we have been striving to achieve was mistaken, and we then plot a new course, based on a new idea.
This basic process, moving from theory to practice, applies to individual actions, and to collective actions. In the arena of collective action, particularly, I think it's clear that this process can very appropriately be compared to the legislative process.
In November, California voters will have an opportunity to make decisions on several ballot measures that raise fundamental questions about political theory (about where we want to go as a state). A preview of the various measures is available on the website maintained by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
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