Why would I pay $3.99 for the civ.works service I can get for free on other social media platforms?
Many of you have seen my now infamous resignation letter to the co-CEO of Oracle, Safra Catz when she decided to join the Trump transition team and stated “…we’re here to help you in any way…”.
Since that time I’ve been working closely with a team of volunteers on a concept to make civic action and sustained engagement easy, meaningful (beyond petitions –we didn’t want to simply be yet another sign our petition and send us money group) and fun at civ.works.
We are privacy-protected and accept no advertising.
Many of you already are aware of how data was purchased from Facebook and other social platforms by sinister groups. Data was analyzed to determine what fake news and propaganda to feed social media users to either get them to vote against their self-interest or disengage completely from the 2016 election cycle: (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency). We are a non-profit. We do not sell our subscriber data, what subscribers like, their comments or their friends to anyone. We do not accept advertising. And we don’t want to drive people mad with monthly or quarterly pledge drives. So part of our value is –we are providing a social platform –and you own your data –we simply manage it so you can interact with your family, friends, peers and co-conspirators –we provide the platform to do it.
We are a response to the money-fueled political machine envisioned by the Lewis Powell Memo.
In the 1960’s American society was uniting. The civil rights and labor movements were joining hands while the anti-war and hippie movement were rightfully questioning the Vietnam war, American intervention in other countries and materialistic consumerism. This created deep concern among wealthy Americans and in response –Lewis Powell in a memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce articulated what a strong, well-funded conservative machine might do –if it included think tanks, media control and influence into the academic landscape.
The Powell memo was brilliant, far-reaching and comprehensive and you could easily chart a path from his vision to the wealth inequality and conservative political machine of today –ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), The Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, The Heartland Institute, Citizens United, media consolidation, Fox News, Breitbart etc. This did not happen overnight. This memo was written 46 years ago –and the machine was put in place during the Reagan Administration. The memo effectively declared war on democracy, voting rights, the Fourth Estate (news and journalism), academic freedom, people of color, women and the impoverished in America. In every election cycle we fight against greater concentration of wealth and power.
The concept of civ.works is to finally provide a societal machine to stand up against something created nearly 50 years ago –and begin the process of empowering citizens again. We are building a platform together –against an incredibly mature and well-funded machine. Your paid subscription is helping us collectively build something powerful and important.
There is a war on our aspirations of democracy. And civ.works is an important weapon for us.
The elimination of estate taxes, you and I paying income tax at a 33% rate (while the obscenely wealthy pay 15% or less), privatization and profit motive in education, healthcare, prisons –all of this is geared to concentrating wealth (and thus power) to the top 1%. Post-Citizens United –this concentration of power is destroying democracy. Beyond that –ALEC-driven legislation to control non-existent voter fraud as a thinly-veiled method to suppress the votes of women, people of color and our aging population is reprehensible. We must act together to counter these disguised attacks on the American system while we still have a chance. Being involved with civ.works can help unite us –think of the power of a societal flash mob when we need it –at townhalls, on election day or at other times when we must act together for ourselves, our families and our communities.
There is an intentional polarization of America –divide and conquer –we are working to bring most people back together.
Abortion. LGBTQ rights. Religious “Freedom”. The Second Amendment. Immigration. Healthcare. These important, hot-button issues are just some of issues used to divide and thus conquer us. We think there is far more we share in common as Americans. Do you want to feel safe in your home or in your community? I may have a very different idea as to how to improve public safety than an NRA member –however I’ll bet we share a desire for safety. You can be a Trump voting mom in Topeka, Kansas or a Green voting dad in Sausalito, California –I’ll bet neither of you wants to turn your kitchen tap on and get a flammable, leaded, foul-smelling liquid to cook with or drink. Part of what we are building (and what your subscriptions are funding) –is the work we will be doing in summer to build the “Consensus” part of civ.works. We’ll be using technology that already exists to create a new area where we have the space to respectfully review an issue, build agreement and then plan how we can promote that issue into legislation or policy -regardless of political party or ideology.
We’re not just nerds.
We are embracing far more than technology –the civ.works platform is using behavioral and organizing theory to provide a truly sustained movement. Your subscription is helping us to use methods to help people stay inspired and engaged in civics and civic action. This is vitally important. We must sustain a growing movement to drive long-term change and to make sure those we elect properly represent the America we want –not the “profit and wealth without regard for anything else” America embodied in Walmart, ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, Monsanto and many others working to undermine our system.
We are working to provide the mechanism for Strategic Actions.
While at present we are mainly focused on protecting and defending those vulnerable to egregious legislation, policy and enforcement (we are reacting) –we also want to provide the platform to advance concepts, policy and ideas through coordinated and united civic action and engagement. Later this year we will set our sights on a “Strategic” layer so we are not just reacting to events –we are working to advance an agenda that will improve the quality and dignity of life for all –while moving us toward a real, sustained and lasting democracy in America.