The Ten Key Values of the Green Party
and THE POLITICAL VISION OF THE GREEN PARTY.
01 Social Justice
02 Community-Based Economics
05 Future Focus/Sustainability
07 Personal and Global Responsibility
08 Respect for Diversity
09 Grassroots Democracy
10 Ecological Wisdom
How can we operate human societies with the understanding that we are part of nature, not on top of it? How can we live within the ecological and resource limits of the planet, applying our technological knowledge to the challenge of an energy efficient economy? How can we build a better relationship between cities and countryside? How can we guarantee the rights of non-human species? How can we promote sustainable agriculture and respect for self-regulating natural systems? How can we further biocentric wisdom in all spheres of life?
How can we develop systems that allow and encourage us to control the decisions that affect our lives? How can we ensure that representatives will be fully accountable to the people who elected them? How can we develop planning mechanisms that would allow citizens to develop and implement their own preferences for policies and spending priorities? How can we encourage and assist the "mediating institutions"--family, neighborhood organization, church group, voluntary association, ethnic club--to recover some of the functions now performed by the government? How can we relearn the best insights from American traditions of civic vitality, voluntary action and community responsibility?
How can we respond to human suffering in ways that promote dignity? How can we encourage people to commit themselves to lifestyles that promote their own health? How can we have a community controlled education system that effectively teaches our children academic skills, ecological wisdom, social responsibility and personal growth? How can we resolve personal and intergroup conflicts without just turning them over to lawyers and judges? How can we take responsibility for reducing the crime rate in our neighborhoods? How can we encourage such values as simplicity and moderation?
How can we develop effective alternatives to our current patterns of violence at all levels, from the family and the street to nations and the world? How can we eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth without being naive about the intentions of other governments? How can we most constructively use nonviolent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and in the process reduce the atmosphere of polarization and selfishness that is itself a source of violence?
How can we restore power and responsibility to individuals, institutions, communities and regions? How can we encourage the flourishing of regionally-based culture, rather than a dominant mono-culture? How can we have a decentralized, democratic society with our political, economic and social institutions locating power on the smallest scale (closest to home) that is efficient and practical? How can we redesign our institutions so that fewer decisions and less regulation over money are granted as one moves from the community to the national level? How can we reconcile the need for community and regional self-determination with the need for appropriate centralized regulation in certain matters?
COMMUNITY BASED ECONOMICS
How can we redesign our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy? How can we develop new economic activities and institutions that will allow us to use our new technologies in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological and accountable, and responsive to communities? How can we establish some form of basic economic security, open to all? How can we move beyond the narrow "job ethic" to new definitions of "work," jobs" and "income" that reflect the changing economy? How can we restructure our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy: those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, etc.? How can we restrict the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation?
How can we replace the cultural ethics of dominance and control with more cooperative ways of interacting? How can we encourage people to care about persons outside their own group? How can we promote the building of respectful, positive and responsible relationships across the lines of gender and other divisions? How can we encourage a rich, diverse political culture that respects feelings as well as rationalist approaches? How can we proceed with as much respect for the means as the end (the process as much as the product of our efforts)? How can we learn to respect the contemplative, inner part of life as much as the outer activities?
RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
How can we honor cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity within the context of individual responsibility toward all beings? How can we reclaim our country's finest shared ideals: the dignity of the individual, democratic participation, and liberty and justice for all?
How can we be of genuine assistance to the grassroots groups in the Third World? What can we learn from such groups? How can we help other countries make the transition to self-sufficiency in food and other basic necessities? How can we cut our defense budget while maintaining an adequate defense? How can we promote these ten Green values in the reshaping of our global order? How can we reshape the world order without creating just another enormous nation-state?
How can we induce people and institutions to think in terms of the long range future, and not just in terms of their short range selfish interest? How can we encourage people to develop their own visions of the future and move more effectively toward them? How can we judge whether new technologies are socially useful, and use these judgements to shape our society? How can we induce our government and other institutions to practice fiscal responsibility? How can we make the quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking?
The Political Vision Of The Green Party
Because the Earth community is imperiled and the current political system has proved ineffective, Green politics has arisen worldwide through Green parties and kindred grassroots movements.
The Green Party of California was formed in 1990-91 when more than 103,000 pragmatic visionaries changed their voter registration to "Green" and thereby qualified the new party for the state-level ballot in California. The Green Party of California stands on two legs: one in electoral work (initiatives, referenda and candidates), and one in community projects and grassroots social-change movements that are compatible with the Green vision. That vision is based on Ten Key Values adopted by the U.S. Green movement.
Through political application of these values, we seek to repair and create bonds of community that have been weakened or destroyed by economic, political and social dynamics.
This document is divided into five categories of issues:
ECOLOGY AND EARTH STEWARDSHIP
As Greens we understand humans are but one part of the ecosystem with a unique responsibility. That responsibility is to develop an understanding of environmental sustainability and to live and promote those practices which support it. Ecologically sound principles of living can guarantee protection for the Earth and all its people. Our commitment to ecological wisdom leads us to take natural systems as a model for human interaction. The interconnectedness of all things has helped us to realize that our practices of generating "waste" separate us from natural systems; in nature degraded matter is decomposed and returned to the web of life as nutrients. Our commitment to environmental justice has helped us to understand that in a closed system we all live downstream and downwind. Of special importance is the need to rectify the practice of "toxic racism."
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES
The society Greens are creating sees an intimate connection between our rights as individuals and our responsibilities to our neighbors, our communities and the Earth. The balance between our rights and responsibilities grows out of processes that promote the maximum participation of everyone in the decisions that affect our well-being, our economic security, our social and international policies, and the way we live our lives.
While much must be done in many areas to provide a decent and secure life for everyone, the key to these improvements lies in creating real social justice for all in a manner that will endure. We are committed to establishing relationships that honor diversity and that support the self-definition and self-determination of people. We will work to confront the barriers of racism, sexism, heterosexism, class oppression, ageism, and the many ways our culture separates us from working together to define and solve the common dangers we face.
PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE
This category of our political program addresses a broad spectrum of the causes and effects of violence: from individual acts of violence to institutionalized acts of violence, and beyond, into our foreign policies that, too often, lead to armed conflict. The Green Party advocates a fundamental change in the way we socialize our citizens, structure our institutions, and relate to the planet and its people. Means and ends are not inseparable. If a nation, and a people, prepare for violence, they will create a violent world. Conversely, if they prepare for peace, that is what they will achieve. Peace is not just the absence of violence, it is a willingness to resolve conflict in a constructive manner with a spirit of good will and respect.
DEMOCRACY AND ELECTORAL REFORM
We are committed to mobilizing the participation of large numbers of people at the local level and we challenge the notion that only experienced politicians and expert bureaucrats are needed in Sacramento and Washington.
Grassroots democracy, one of the Green Party's 10 Key Values, is a type of democracy in which we, as individuals and as communities, create our own futures, design our own lives, determine our own priorities and, thereby, exercise the fullness of our humanity. Our goal is direct, participatory, grassroots democracy centered around a deeply democratic community and neighborhood assemblies, and bioregional confederations. To accomplish this goal, our current focus is on proportional representation. It will give voters more choice, allow more voters to vote for winners, and break up the two-party monopoly, which discourages participation.
COMMUNITY-BASED / ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE ECONOMICS
The keystone of the Green Party's economic program is community-based economics. As an alternative to an economy owned by either government or gigantic corporations, Greens favor a Jeffersonian model with ownership and control spread as widely as possible among Californians. Another key value for establishing our economic program is ecological wisdom. We stand in contrast to the dominant political perception that our nation can have either economic vitality or ecological sanity. It is our firm belief that these entities are not mutually exclusive. We welcome all Californians who share the Green vision. Join us in creating a new politics.