Compare the tone and ideals presented by a leader like John F. Kennedy (in the video above) with the values and ideals of the Bush Administration, an authoritarian coalition that was put in power by the highly organized support of the fundamentalist, religious right. Especially consider the profound disrespect for reality—a complete failure to exercise even a semblance of empirical responsibility—demonstrated by such authoritarian coalitions.
Rather than lead the group forward, the authority acquired by the Bush Administration's successful right wing, religious coalition was used to undermine vital constitutional safeguards of democracy. In addition to eroding the hard one freedoms for which America had stood, the control exercised by the Bush Authority did extensive damage—global political, military, environmental, and economic damage—to the larger group (including most of those who voted for Bush) within the U.S., not to mention the damage outside of America. In contrast to what we would call genuine "leadership," the U.S. was controlled by an authoritarian coalition, whose interests, goals, and values were not in line with with the true interests and best aspirations of the larger group.
Authority may be used to lead a group forward in pursuit of its genuine interests, needs, and aspirations, i.e., to exercise leadership. But since successful power struggles are based on effective coalition forming that often has little if anything to do with the larger group’s genuine interests and goals—e.g., consider the history of religions in general, or the rise to power of Nazism or Soviet Communism—there is no reason to assume that leadership will coincide with authority.
Indeed, all other things being equal, the coalition that places its rise to power above all else (including the interests of the group) is likely to be more successful in the competition with other coalitions. Therefore, there is good reason to expect that authority and leadership will diverge. This is a central problem for Yoism (as well as for all humanity and for any attempt at creating a functioning, sane democracy). We see our current solutions/safeguards as a work-in-progress. Further contributions to this solution are needed. We hope you will join in the effort to forge an effective, lasting solution.
The Open Source Truth Process aims to ensure that the Yoan Community's core writings and beliefs will evolve over time, as everyone—based on each person's own direct experience of Reality—is invited to provide input and improvements. Through this process, participants will gradually uncover, refine, and document the Truth.
By "Truth" we simply mean the clearest expression of a system of ideas and beliefs that is most consistent with Reality as it is directly experienced. Ours is a truth that you can test and experience directly, with your own senses and mind. Our truth is not based on narrow human authority (dogma, received wisdom, and "imposed truths"). Rather, it is based on the broad authority of the collective, human experience of being-in-the-world, i.e., the human experience of reality.
For Yoans, the most profoundly meaningful experiences are found in our involvement in community, our engagement with one another, our struggle to find ways to act cooperatively without denying our conflicts, and our commitment to our shared, emerging vision for the future of humanity. We commit ourselves to this collaborative effort for ourselves, our families, our species, and our planet. Thus the Yoan Truth Process—a process thoroughly embedded in deep human engagement designed to produce our most accurate view of ourselves and our world—is sacred.
Our Truth Process depends on the increasing involvement of many people with diverse life experiences. Only through such diversity will our truths always be improving. If you would like to get involved, if you have a suggestion about how to improve our articulation of the Truth, or if you see something on these web pages that doesn't jibe with your experience, please register and add a comment or use the link in the box at the bottom to send us a message.
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