Re: Network for justice! But how?

Ronald J. Bartle (snuffy@berlin.snafu.de)
Wed, 31 Dec 1997 17:35:07 +0100


// -- //

> Yes, Tedrico!  We who've been on the street need to get the ear of other
> publics--including policy makers, whose decisions so profoundly affect our
> prospects.  So, I ask you all:
> 
> *How can HPN members help get "the public" and officials (in government,
> business and nonprofits) to hear and heed homeless people's advice?
> 
> Think of all the communities and groups and personal insights we represent
> here on Homeless People's Network!  Let's Network for justice!  But
> how?--Tom

- It is a fact that the majority of the influential decision making ppl
in leadership positions are wealthy owning and investing persons.  Many
of them have a good grasp of the basics of the functioning of a national
- and increasingly global economy.

These individuals and also the organizations and committees into which
they are often formed could be convincingly approached along the lines
of "enlightened self interest" which has been a guiding light in many of
world great nations in the past and can be strongly traced in the recent
history of such major nations as the US of A.

The concept of "enlightened self interest" is no less applicable to the
sphere of personal and macro-economics than it is to all other areas of
human activity.
Here it is important - IMHO - to emphasize that even when large portions
of the 
manual and industrial _production_ functions of modern nations'
economies are tending to be exported to distant low wage nations.  The
very nature of large populations ... often working in less that hi-tech
industrial settings.. with little education or financial resources to be
large consumers of many of the more advanced products that corporations
in the older industrial are manufacturing or having manufactured - only
serves to underline the need and importance of having a large and
buoyant home market of educated and well earning consumers within the
advanced market cultures in these older industrial nations.

There are numerous objective and subjective reasons why many of the more
established industrial nations are not overly keen to boost the
dimensions of their own populations by opening wider the floodgates for
non- or low-selectivity immigration.

An obvious alternative source of more and more active consumers is the
reintegration and qualification of a growing wave of once-poor and
homeless citizens within the developed nations borders already and often
with an early background of solid schooling and basic adeptness in a
manner that has at least the _potential_ to facilitate their being
encouraged and empowered into become the next new way of productive -
entrepreneurial consumers.

At the same time the most (small "c-") conservative of existing
established leaders in all areas of public life will be more than
willing to ensconce the idea of streets being "prettier" neighborhoods
loosing uncomfortable street dwellers and seeing them gradually become
solid backbones of reformed neighborhoods with much stronger 
affirmative drive for a domesticated and building attitude to local and
national affairs.

Especially as a britisher I am more than a little careful of sounding
like a propagandist for New Labor or "a second european renaissance" or
whatever other buzz-words are to be found in more formal corners of
todays' media.  On the other hand if some general trends that are
gradually finding support and value in a number of important economies -
could or can be applied to the benefit of the homeless and other
"generally excluded" to facilitate a real growth in the mainstream
communities -{ with a renewed conviction that community is not the same
word as "commune" with all the negative associations that that word only
recently left behind..} then it would be a shame if our petty
intellectual chauvinism was to reject the useable points in others
experiences before we can asses them for their applicability to our own
situations. 
-- 
Ron Bartle - Royal Air Force Veteran - Hobby Journalist - 24h wired Bed
& Breakfast in Berlin, Germany. snuffy@berlin.snafu.de +49.30.6884295