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Global Strategies Project (Explanations)

Collective strategy-making: Designing a strategic array

Global Strategies Project


The following note describes the pattern of collective research used at the Ecumenical Institute (Chicago) leading up to and including its 1972 Research Assembly. Perhaps without precedent, it involved the direct participation of 750 people in a collective learning-research process covering the social dynamics of the economic, political and cultural arenas and their interrelationships.

The result of the exercise (summarized in point 1 below) was "the practical vision necessary for a global revolution" formulated in terms of 385 proposals (77 x 5) for social renewal. The intents of these proposals clustered into 96 separate social process, each anallyzed in terms of its beneficial effects on other clusters. This gave rise to intrinsic groupings of 40 cluster complexes, implicit in which were major and minor catalytic thrusts, in effect representing the original 386 proposals. This work gave rise to "a tactical system composed of 5,000 direct tactics strategically organized to execute the 77 proposals and seven pressure points with their 875 tactics which are organized for indirect impact on the social process"

The note was prepared at that time to provide a description of the philosophical and methodological presuppositions which underlay that collective strategy-making exercise. It provided the groundwork for a unique 20-year experiment in community development world-wide which had its original learnings in the slums of Chicago. Through this process the group reinvented itself.

The note is published here as an illustration of collective formulation of an array of strategies by a group of dedicated people, effectively a lay religious order, that came to be extremely active in community development through the Institute of Cultural Affairs (formed in 1973 to implement these strategies). Despite the importance of their experiment, the methodology outlined in this note has not been previously published, although versions of it continue to be widely used by consultants, notably on the occasion of the Parliament of the World's Religions (Chicago, 1993).

Whatever the reservations about the wider relevance of the final content, the scope of the exercise remains impressive and suggestive of learnings for future collective initiatives. This note also contains examples of diagrams and tables which endeavoured to hold that complexity in its articulated detail. It is important to recognize that in many cases carefully crafted lengthy paragraphs of text lay behind each cell in any of the complex tables presented here. It is these which constituted the documents referenced in this note and which remain unpublished and archived at the Institute of Cultural Affairs (Chicago). Exploring them would be best in a CD-ROM hypertext environment.

As mentioned elsewhere (see Notes 3.4 and 3.5), some of the empirical work of ICA was used in the initial phases of the documentation of strategies for this Encyclopedia. Of special interest is the number of interrelated dimensions taken into consideration, totally in contrast with many subsequent exercises characterized by methodological over-simplification. Also of interest is their special use of metaphoric language (which was recently the object of a case study by the Weatherhead School of Management of the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland).

It should not be forgotten that it was early religious orders that originated most of the meeting procedures and commission processes basic to the operations of the international community at this time.


1. Single sentence strategic mission statement

The practical missional task of the movement for the next 20 years is to utilize the operational designs of the movement to do the indirect practical tactics demanded to bring into being the 35 components which will activate the 7 inclusive indirect strategies of the New Social Vehicle, thereby disseminating the intentionality and practical activity of the 40 catalytic direct cluster complexeswhich will catalyze the actualization of the 5 direct strategic nexus which are the implementation of all of the 77 proposals designed to explode the matrices of contradiction currently blocking the structural emergence of the ideology which would result in the rebalancing of the universal processes of human sociality.

2. Research stance

Human society has had two approaches to creating history amidst the bubbling forth of raw reality of this century. They are the establishment approach and the dis-establishment approach:

  • The establishment camp of society approaches a social process as malfunctioning or in a state of collapse. Seeing the tyranny of this collapse must be restored in order to rebalance the functioning to permit creative functioning.
  • The dis-establishment camp of society approaches a social process as what is the new trend. The block to speeding up the trend is discerned but in the midst is the perversion of negating the past. The counterblock must be discerned so a corrective can be applied that forces the trend to more adequately and quickly be the new process.

Neither approach is adequate. A new revolutionary style is flowing out of the "spirit breakloose" and accompanying stance. The new style is that of the trans-establishment. The figure embodies the gifts and perversions, the felt needs and the actual needs of both the establishment and the dis-establishment. The trans-establishment posture is to be the one that can stand in either the establishment camp discerning the malfunction and restoring balance or can stand in the dis-establishment camp discerning and enabling the needed positive trends.

This new posture is able to shift from one camp to the other within this situation as is necessary to demonstrate and symbolize the ideological principles. This posture knows that the new is created by recreation of past wisdom, that is by taking the trend or malfunction and bending it back upon the social process in order to reveal the new balance. It is that posture alone which can internalize the brokenness and glory of both traditional stances and reforge in his own most personal freedom the necessary deed in creating the new society. It is in that posture and stance that serious revolutionary research is set. It is the stance of the NSV research.

3. Document design

This document is structured into 5 basic sections:

  • The first section (Parts A, B and C) reviews the basic analysis of Summer 1971.
  • The second section (Parts D, E and F) reviews the analysis done between the great Research Assemblies of Summer 1971 and Summer 1972.
  • The remaining four sections are on the work of Summer 1972. Sections three (Parts G, H and I) and four (Parts J, K and L) are on the direct approach and section five (M, N and O) is on the indirect approach.

This document delineates the research philosophy and methodological steps used by the Research Assemblies. The actual strategic and tactical systems are in separate documents. The document is not a finally polished statement. It represents in a rational flow the steps in the journey from Summer 1971 through Summer 1972, mainly culled from actual procedures and working documents used in the research.

4. First question

What are the universal processes of human sociality? This was the fundamental question behind the creation of the social process triangles (see Figure 1).

Figure 1a: ICA Principal "social process" triangle within which are nested 39 analogous triangles (with similar detail)


Figure 1b : ICA Detail of Figure 1 with two triangles ("Common symbols" and "Common resources")
shown with systemic relationships amongst their constiuent elements

5. Major tool

The major analytical tool of the Summer 1971 Research Assembly was the social process triangle that provided a reference model over which all research could be objectified.

6. Research results

The Summer 1971 Research Assembly described in the following sections delineates the analytical pillars, the research method and the final proposal of the Assembly.


7. Metabilt approach

The metabilt approach that is required is a method of dealing with sheer chaos rationally. The rational process must be pushed to the bottom to reach the insights that 30 or so years of life experiences has branded into the deeps of the consciousness of individuals. The method must gather the mass intuitions of the Assembly. Then a rational method must be applied to these intuitions to produce the creative spark that holds the essence of the social process over against the particular times and situations in which we are located to release people to creatively engage in building the New Society that is always becoming.

Dynamically this method consists of gathering the intuitions of the corporate group through "brainstorming" sessions. After listing them, each insight is "valenced" or rated, according to criteria of the power or influence this insight effects. Then the limits of rationality are pressed to the a-rational in the process called gapping. The aim of gapping is to see though the maze of insights and data to how they relate, interact or hang together in a swirl. Then the focal point of the swirl is named.

8. New world

The traditional Platonic universe of eternal principles is not credible to twentieth century people. Our awareness of post-Einsteinian science, of urban structural relationships, and of secularized symbols, has rendered that old essentialism useless. At the same time, we find ourselves unquestionably in a new world.

Every social form is in need of renewal. Human consciousness is in flux. It seems that humanity as a species is in a perpetual discontinuity, cut off from its past and its future. It is clear that only a new gestalt of reality can hold the philosophical cry of our time. The demand, therefore, is to once again initiate the age-old task of articulating the "map" of humanness out of which we operate, or a new essentialism.

This contemporary map is the social process triangles (Figure 1) which relate one social dynamic to all of society and relate all of sociality to one dynamic of sociality. They are a demonstration of relating life to life. They reappropriate the past history of sociality for people, as they articulate the dynamics of sociality that were, are, and ever will be -- the continuity throughout history.

The social process triangles are freedom, in that they allow men from any situation or status to stand before the totality of life and self-consciously relate to it. The uniqueness of this new essentialism is that it regards not institutional entities but relational dynamics as that which is essential in the social process.

9. Existential analysis

In the cultural revolution which is the twentieth century as in any revolutionary time, world views, life styles, and systems of symbols are radically shifting. Basic to these shifts is the sense of oneness of the globe; the sense of the commonness of society. This revolution in perspective is held in the principles of all the earth belongs to all the people, all the goods belong to all the people, all the decisions belong to all the people, and all the gifts of humanness belong to all the people.

The new formation of social relations called the New Social Vehicle is taking shape in the eyes of those who have the glasses to see. This set of glasses, essentialistic valuational scale, or ideology is an existential decision or way of viewing reality. The revolutionary existential stance is taken releasing enormously creative human resources when decisions are self-consciously made out of theactual global context and are made on behalf of all of that globe. The concrete images and situations that reveal how this ideological posture is a statement of the "isness" of the time are profuse.

The research into uses for the oceans, the way nuclear energy can be used creatively and the questioning of how to use the atmosphere are signs of how all the earth belongs to all the people is reality. The current societal understanding that all men are born with inalienable rights which are increasingly taken for granted in complex industrial society is another manifestation of the principle "all the goods belong to all the people" which is the ideological name given to these understandings.

10. Radical gap

In looking for the contradiction underneath the massive contradictions, that face society, the matrix of contradictions picture began to emerge (see Figure 2). It is like the stars in the painting by Van Gogh, the Starry Night. A contradiction is a whirling universe that has almost countless contradictions whirling within it. The crucial ones must be identified to give a name or label to that swirl. What results is a relational picture that holds both the global and how global society relates to and cares for the local and how the local participates in and takes responsibility for the global.

This picture lays out access to all parts of the social process as well as the effect of one area on all other areas. This enables local people to see that every life is a gift to history for he sees that everyman in his particular location can care for society as a whole. Inherent in this "universe within universes" picture is the interrelatedness of all the contradictions. Thus the 77 indices can be seen to hold all the contradictions within the total social processes (see Figure 3).

The paramount contradiction was located by overlaying the ideological principles on the social processes as the are manifested in the twentieth century and found to be the collapse of the cultural dimension. The focus of the swirl of contradictions is then, the point at which any level of the social process experiences the cultural collapse as being the key to its own contradictions. Thus the system reflects the cultural bias on the one hand, yet located the key to the contradictions within the process itself.

11. Rational creativity

As the method moved from the essential to the existential to the essentialistic and so on, it becomes apparent that the method itself is the revolution.

What is involved is the process of making the creative responsible decision. It requires that each individual step out beyond moral support to look at where trends are emerging and out of sheer invention create the corporate decision that will give form to these trends.


12. Research pattern

The research method of Summer 1971 was based on the use of corporate wisdom through extensive brainstorming and workshopping. The research environment was that of the trans-establishment, the same stance that the analysis was based on. The operational pattern of the Research Assembly was based on the interaction of the grassroots and the service bureaucracy which was the body that carried out the consensus of the Research Assembly as articulated by the symbolic leader.

13. Corporate research

The self-conscious structuring of the existential setting for research is not simply acting on the McLuhan insight that the medium is the message, but is itself a method which pre-supposes that the person who does any deed is a whole person, that is, his total life is involved in whatever deed he creates.

The particular framework of Summer 1971 demanded commitment to common corporate methods and at the same time forced concrete vocational struggle. The major work of the summer.

Figure 2: ICA Master contradiction universe index (reproduction of working document)


Figure 3: ICA Master contradiction universe index (reproduction of working document)

involved corporate workshopping, corporate writing, and corporate study all based on a corporate assignment. This did not, however, eliminate the role of individuality. On the contrary, it became clear to each person that the critical factor in the research was not the level of his expertise, but his own decision to work.

The Assembly presumed that grassroots wisdom is more effective in determining the necessary social process than the prejudices of a few experts. This meant that 72-year-old grandmothers, Ph.D.s, and fifteen-year-old high school students could work side by side, conditioned only by each person's living out of the word that his insights where significant enough to be thrown into the corporate stew.

This created in the individual a unity of his deepest desire to contribute to history and his actual concrete expenditure. He experienced authentic vocation and stood with Sartre in seeing that truth, concrete truth willed and created by people, is the truly revolutionary thing. In the experience of self-conscious corporate research, the intellectual, social, and volitional dimensions of individuals were used and respectively highlighted through an integrated web of methods and forms, no one method being entirely separable from the others nor reducible into the others.

This research involved the adventure and risk central to all pioneering. There where moments in the summer when all 750 people experienced doubt about the direction being taken, where the possibility of failure and mistakes were real. This was also the experience, of the individual as he daily decided whether to risk his insights, exposure, and energy for the sake of the corporate endeavour. At the same time, the common struggle, expenditure of blood, sweat, and tears, performed a kind of healing of 20th century individual's separation from his society. This was heightened by the excitement and exhilaration which accompanied each new corporate discovery, insight, invention, and decision.

After four weeks of inventing, a new picture of the social process - out of the raw ambiguity of human freedom and using the principles behind 20th century technology - the group was indeed a transformed body - a mass paradigm shift that occurred.

The passage from individualist overemphasis, idealistic and moralistic cynicism, hatred of the 20th century complexity, and disengagement from society had been made. In short, self-conscious corporate research is social pioneering in the 20th century context and, as will be elaborated later, creates an identifiable people in history.

14. Inclusive approach

In the effort to articulate a practical social vision, a new revolutionary people was born out of the struggle to analyze the contradictions and trends in a specific dynamic and then designate needed directions. It was the symbol of the Assembly's covenant with history to be the revolutionary people and demonstrated its decision to undertake seriously the dynamics of social change. In addition to the decision established, the Assembly offered the methodological foundation for revolution by establishing an analytical process which indicated the malaise of our time and suggested a strategy for social renewal.

Briefly captured, this practical vision required a radical awakening in the cultural dynamic which results in an empowerment of the political dynamic which checks the dominance of the economic dynamic. Within this comprehensive framework for revolution, a fundamental hypothesis of the summer - that real change takes place only at the grassroots level - gave people permission to be agents of renewal as they returned to their local situations.

The "inverted universe" construct, based on the idea that change at any point in the social process has enduring consequences, offered theoretical undergirding for this decision. The existential experience of the summer - that the power was in the middle of the table, that your leader did not know the answer, and you were responsible - grounded the possibility for responsible grassroots action even more concretely.

15. Operational pattern

An important aspect in enabling the social pioneering that took place in Summer 1971 was the polity experiment. The polity structure of Summer 1971, restored the threefold dynamics ofgrassroots participation, bureaucratic enablement and symbolic leadership.

The daily direction of the Assembly was a result of the interaction between the grassroots and the bureaucracy. Coordination Centrum envisioning themselves as the servants of the grassroots, picked up the role of bureaucratic enablement by consistently listening to and thoughtfully responding to the grassroots reports.

16. Great happening

The method was the happening at the Summer 1971 Research Assembly. 750 people engaged in corporately delineating the complex contradictions of society and proposing concrete plans for unblocking those contradictions. The month-long analytical session proved to be a microcosm of the very society the Assembly was engaged in analyzing. This proved to be beneficial in objectifying the social malaise of our time.


17. Proposal qualities

The authentic response to the analysis of social contradictions is a set of social proposals.

  • A proposal is not a theoretical statement about society, but a concrete call to restructure the basic stuff of society. It demands a realizable direction that meets the current contradictions of society which are blocking the old from becoming the new.
  • A proposal is not a simple flip of a contradiction. It is a creative, inclusive image of how the contradiction can be overcome.

Thus, it has the quality of an artistic creation. It is ingenious and unexpected, and yet recognizable. Once seen, it as precisely the solution required, the seemingly inevitable choice. The process by which it is reached is therefore not an exclusively rational one, though it requires the full play of critical intelligence.

18. 77 Proposal arenas

A set of proposals for any age needs to be comprehensive in covering all three social arenas-economic, political, and cultural. However, the cultural imbalances of our time indicate that the major emphasis must be in that arena.

The Summer 1971 Research Assembly devised a system whereby the rational poles of 77 social processes were selected as the arenas for which proposals were written: 35 cultural arenas, and 21 arenas each in economic and political. One major proposal and four subproposals were thus written for each of the 77 arenas.

19. 16 Paragraphs per proposal

Each of the 77 proposals was described in sixteen paragraphs that drew together the wisdom of the Assembly in each of the 77 arenas of the social process:

  • The three-paragraph introduction circumscribed the arena for the proposal by describing the social process involved, the shifts which have taken place in any time in that process, and the underlying problem present today in the process.
  • The body of each proposal had two parts: five paragraphs articulating the contradiction and five paragraphs articulating the proposals. Both the contradiction and the proposal had a major and four sub-contradictions or proposals.
  • The three-paragraph conclusion indicated the consequences of the proposal in terms of its actualization, the blocks it would meet and the benefits of carrying out the proposal.

All sixteen paragraphs are considered a "proposal" or a proposal book.

20. Proposal definition

Our times demand actional proposals that call for a unified series of deeds by which all of the problems can be transformed into an avalanche of social renewal. These action statements which respond in an integrated and inclusive fashion to the human suffering in our time allow action to effectively renew the whole social process.

Our times have moved beyond protest, to the point of requiring that practical steps be articulated to allow local man to move against the social collapses of our day in corporate fashion. Proposals are built to focus attack upon the problem behind a manifestation of social collapse, by calling for the assistance of another process.

21. Summer documentation

Summer 1971's task was to describe the practical vision of the New Social Vehicle based on the analysis of the dynamics of society portrayed in the social process triangles. During the summer five basic documents were written. These were:

  • The Dynamical Relations of the Social Processes (Document A);
  • Matrices of Contradiction (Document B);
  • All the Earth Belongs to All the People (Document C), the ideology statement;
  • Preproposals, Radical Relations, Target Tertiaries (Document D), a description of the orbital claims made by one segment of the social processes upon another when in the midst of stating pre-proposals intended to correct the contradictions; and
  • 77 Proposals Toward a Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle (Document E).

The most significant contribution of the summer proved to the intuitive grassroots' wisdom held in the proposals of Document E. The work of Summer 1971 is the focus and point of departure for the segment of Summer 1972. (Documents D and E are not available in printed form).

22. Persistent question

Following the Summer 1971 Research Assembly, what do the 77 proposals call for? How do they practically delineate unblocking the contradictions?

What does the proposal data actually say must be done in order to bring the New Social Vehicle into being?

23. Three approaches

In order to answer these basic questions, three different types of gestalt were used. These really were three approaches to the same data, and explored the most useful way of focusing the complexity of the proposals into a single thrust.

These three approaches are called the passive gestalt method, the active gestalt method, and the unconditioned gestalt method.

24. Research interlude

The period between Summer 1971 and Summer 1972 was used for research on these methodological approaches to the first step toward actualization of the seventy-seven proposals. The following section outlines the principle research activity of the period, the three gestalt methods.


25. Alternative approaches

Since the basic tool of Summer 1971, the social process triangles, held the reality of the dynamic interrelatedness of sociality, it follows that there are several ways of pointing to the data held by the proposals.

For example, the proposals which come from a particular area of the process reveal one type of commonness, while another facet of the holistic nature of society is disclosed by the major categories of proposals made across the social process as a whole. It is this underlying presupposition about the nature of society itself which made alternative approaches to gestalting the proposals and introductions articulated in Summer 1971 both helpful and necessary.

26. Passive gestalt method

The first gestalt approach is the passive gestalt method. Its differentiating characteristic is that it is limited to dealing with a portion of the social process. For example, all of the proposalswritten from the style triangle may be gestalted into their inclusive categories.

One advantage of this approach is that it allows for seeing what actions will dal with particular dimensions of the social process. It is fairly easy, then, to understand the way in which the political process will begin to function adequately.

Another advantage enjoyed by the passive gestalt process is that it provides a set of "building blocks" at whatever size desired, which can further be passively gestalted.

27. Active gestalt method

The second gestalt approach is the active gestalt method. This method is based on the presupposition that it is possible to related the empirical data disclosed by an analytic model back into the model and thus reveal significant Aristotelian patterns in the model. This process involves studying the proposals and contradictions in the Summer 1971 work and locating on the triangles the particular process directly responsible for the existence of the proposal or contradiction. This means that a gestalt is possible based on types of demands which a given dimension of the social process must meet.

The advantage of this approach is that it discloses the major activities which any arena of the social process must engage in order to re-empower the whole social process. Another advantage is that it discloses the "direction" of major benefit from each arena of the social process. For example, it is disclosed by this method that the style process primarily benefits the wisdom and political processes, and meet virtually no economic contradictions.

28. Unconditional gestalt method

The third gestalt approach is the unconditioned gestalt method. Its defining characteristic is that it deals with the proposals as one whole, disregarding their point of origin or their point of activation.

The advantage of the unconditional gestalt is that it is radically Aristotelian. It makes no presuppositions save that there is a given number of data which must be arrayed according to whatever pattern discloses itself through them. It is this gestalt method which is the basis of the nexus delineations (of conglomerate proposals) of Summer 1972. The Five Nexus are:

  • 1. Secularized Mythologies
  • 2. Humanized Educations
  • 3. Primalized Communities
  • 4. Localized Polities
  • 5. Globalized Economics

These are the basis of the practical vision of the New Social Vehicle.

29. Gestalt benefits

These are the advantages of the three gestalt methods employed between Summer 1971 and Summer 1972. From them came the data which allowed the tactical activities of the New Social Vehicle to be built.


30. Summary limits

The passive summarizing and gestalting of the work of Summer 1971 does not mean checking the work done by the Research Assembly as to its correctness in accordance with some theoretical image of what social reformulation ought to be. Rather, this phase was developed to disclose the parameters of inclusive scope, internal relatedness and practical implication.

31. 77 Proposal books

The internal relatedness of the summer's work was tested by writing 46-paragraph proposal books for each of the 77 proposals. These books drew on all of the summer work and provided a comprehensive analysis of each key social process. The cleaned proposal books were written in the Fall and Winter Quarters by 36 religious houses and Symbolic Centrum.

Figure 4: Example of one of the ICA 77 Proposal holding forms (#20: Inclusive communities) (from July 1972)


Figure 5: Overview table from ICA Summary Document E -- 77 Proposals (from May 1972)

Each of the 77 proposal books summarizes work of Summer 1971 by drawing together related parts of Documents A through E into a 46 paragraph statement. As compared with Document E there are 30 more paragraphs which more clearly explicate what was proposed by the 750 minds in Summer 1971. Each of the paragraphs is a terse, full statement of what was proposed. Each book also described what the steps were in order to arrive at these proposals.

The books tested the wisdom of Summer 1971 over against another 1,000 minds outside the Research Assembly. This wisdom was found to be solid work that contains a vast reservoir of practical wisdom. It disclosed a vein of gold in the work of Summer 1971 which provides a practical vision of the New Social Vehicle.

Due to the magnitude and complexity of this wisdom, we also saw that we must summarize the work of the summer into a manageable form that ensures the motivation needed for a mass movement. It was disclosed in this that the power of Summer 1971 was its consistent inclusive systematic approach to social analysis, and not in maintaining each of the 77 proposals apart from each other. Thus we shifted and began the process of summarizing the work on each of the Five Pillars across the 77 proposals rather than vice versa.

32. Holding forms

The first summarizing task was to deal with the internal complexity of Document E, which meant condensing the 16 paragraphs for each proposal into a manageable length and form (see Figure 4).

This was done by summarizing each contradiction paragraph (4-8) and each proposal paragraph (9-13) into a two-sentence paragraph which precisely named each contradiction and each proposal and described it. Then the five contradiction paragraphs (4-8) were pulled into a three-sentence paragraph which named and described the inclusive contradiction which was at the centre of the five.

The same procedure was followed with the proposal paragraphs (9-13). Finally, a three-sentence digest paragraph was written which related the social arena and social consequences to the relationship between the contradiction and the proposal.

These 13 paragraphs for each of the 77 proposals comprise the document, The 77 Proposal Holding Forms: A Summary of Summer 1971. This work summarizes Document E on the basis of its own organization. It essentially sharpens and condenses the raw data. It provides the basis for active plotting, described in the following section.

33. Summary process

The next task was to organize these data on the basis of the interrelations of the 77 points in the social process models from which proposals were written. These 77 were designated by consistently emphasizing the cultural dimension of the social process, thereby pulling the reality of the 20th century revolutions in sense, style and mood into the essential model of the way society always operates. There is described through this method one inclusive arena category of Cultural Commonality which informs the whole social process through its rational pole, Symbol. In addition, there are four primary arenas, wisdom, style, economic and political.

These five arenas were used to control two different summarizing methods. The first method summarized the contradictions and proposals for each of the four sub-areas within each of the four primary arenas. As these data were summarized, they were included with the summary for the appropriated primary arena itself. The process resulted in 21 interrelated summaries of contradictions and interrelated summaries of proposals. Each contradiction and each proposal was succinctly named.

The master summary contradiction was designated (see Figure 5) as "Inadequate Contextual Images", and the master summary proposal called for "Recreated Global Sociality". This method of summary comprised the document entitled, Summary of Document E - 77 Contradictions and Proposals.

The second summarizing method again dealt with the major arenas and sub-arenas from which Document E was written, but itemployed gestalting rather than straight-forward summarizing. With each sub-arena, 4-point gestalts of the contradictions and of the proposals were made. Then the process was repeated for the primary arenas. Using this method, the master contradiction was seen as "Collapsed Foundational Social Mythology", and it was proposed that it be dealt with by "Secularly Embodied Word".

The results of these methods are titled, Gestalt Summaries of the 77 Contradictions and Proposals. The summary process provided both a focused precision and an organizing master context for the work of Summer 1971. From this basis, it proved possible to begin to analyze the implications of Summer 1971 for the tactical systems built in Summer 1972.

34. Passive approach: five pillars

The final results of the passive approach to drawing together the work of Summer 1971 are contained in The Gold Book, Toward a Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle, and its two appendices. The book contains the Five Pillars of the New Social Vehicle: Dynamical Processes,

  • Societal Imbalances,
  • Emerging Ideology,
  • Major Contradictions, and the
  • Social Proposals.

The pillars are an analysis of society as it goes on at all levels of human life, the posture toward the humanness of its elements, its current state, and the actions projected to meet the present crises. The pillars are also the methods for doing this analysis since methods are being.

Appendix I pulled the first four pillars through the third and fourth levels of the social process triangles. This gives a more particular analysis of the social process in order to enable the creation of tactical actions inclusively and consistently. Appendix II presents the 77 proposals succinctly written as "telegrams" that "call for" 77 specific responses. This work was the last crucial step in order to provide a practical vision for the revolution of our day. In a sense it is a part of the practical vision as well.


35. Data sorting

The method of active plotting involves sorting the proposal data from Summer 1971 according to which social process is most directly related to the data.

This sorting is done on levels, starting with the first and working down to the sixth. The choice at any level is which of the three poles most directly relates to the proposal data.

36. Methodical plotting

Active plotting located the social processes whose job it is to activate each proposal and whose malfunctioning is the source of the contradiction.

Imagine: The Original Proposal has been blocked by The Contradiction. Originating Proposal calls upon the Active Proposal Process to solve its problem. Active Proposal Process responds by unblocking The Contradiction. An Originating Proposal is able to function. Several active proposal processes in a given triangle form a concentration. Plotting these on a social process triangle revealed eight active concentrations of proposals and contradiction agents. These concentrations indicate where attention must be focused in order to bring about the New Social Vehicle. The concentrations at the various levels of the social process, thus, enable us to discern the path of richochet between concentrations of proposals and contradictions, which will be helpful in delineating tactics.

The tactical arenas research is intended to lay out those social processes key to blocking and bring off the 77 proposals for total social process renewal. It specifies those agents which hold total social processes contradictions in being as well as those agents which enable total social process proposal actualization. These are indicated by the concentration contradiction and proposal agents in these areas.

Proposal and concentration tactical areas research is different from strategic pattern research in that it indicates what specific social process need to be cut over against and brought into play ratherthan what movements from social process to social process are needed (such as, the direction of movement is from symbol to style to wisdom and political over against economic).

Tactical arena research is different from tactical content research in that it only lays out social process arenas of action production rather than spelling out what those actions actually are (such as the action nuclear family is to intensify missional family accountability structure). The emphasis has been placed on the proposal agents and their relationships to the contradiction agents and beneficiaries because they are the initiators of the rebalancing activity.


  • Beneficiary: the name of the proposal denoting the part of the social process being rebalanced.
  • Contradiction Agent: the arena which is blocking the beneficiary from acting.
  • Proposal Agents: the social process that will enable the effective functioning of the beneficiary.

37. Several levels

Active plotting has been done at three basic levels:

  • the 77 level, where only the major proposal agent is plotted,
  • the 385 level (5x77), where all five proposal agents are plotted
  • the 1000 level where 1000 revolutionary actions are plotted.

38. Revealing patterns

The active process reveals certain relationships in the Summer 1971 data. Particular processes are discovered to contain concentrations (clusters) of proposals or contradictions. Also, certain relationships are disclosed, e.g., most contradictions blocking wisdom are found in symbol, and the proposals for dealing with wisdom are found in political and style.

More specific results have also appeared. For example, the activation of societal paradigms in common religion (inclusive myths), leads directly to the actualization directly or indirectly of 57 of the 77 proposals. The activation of image articulation in corporate language leads to the actualization of another ten proposals. However, the activation of societal methodologies only actualizes the proposal written for its own triangle.

39. Plotting implications

The implications of the active plotting process can be summarized in two ways: implications of clustering and implications of patterns.

The clusters in themselves locate certain priority processes which (perhaps) are arenas for which parish tactics must be designed. The active gestalts (naming the data behind a given cluster) give content to the tactical arena. The patterns of agent-beneficiary relationships discloses broad abstract strategies very similar to the imbalances. Also, certain highly specific sequences of action are beginning to disclose themselves.

40. Gestalt products

The product of this phase of research was reports and activity plotted triangles of many descriptions. The principle one was the proposal summaries, the pre-nexus gestalt, the 385 level agents, the 77 level agents and several types of contradiction gestalts and plots, as well as the nexus.

41. Correct gestalt

The happening that occured with this phase of the research was the struggle to determine which type of gestalting was the most effective. The result of all the struggle was the realization that all three forms of gestalting have very particular roles in the overall research and that all three forms are necessary for the actualization of the New Social Vehicle. All three were proved vital to the work of Summer 1972.

42. Active relationship

The question the gestalting process raised, particularly the activegestalting, had to do with catalytic relationships. It was this quest that raised two questions, what was the inclusive, practical visions and what was the catalytic whistle point.


43. Practical Question

What is the practical vision the seventy-seven proposals are calling for?

44. Practical vision book

The fundamental approach to dealing with this question is to articulate the practical vision in what is now called the Practical Vision Book which is a statement on the New Social Vehicle to provide motivation for the move of the renewed church to renew the world. It is not designed to be used as a detailed reference source or textbook. It is not out to excite in a cute or popular manner. It is not an abstract statement on a static utopia for the future.

Rather it is to be a solid sociological and anthropological statement which makes an inclusive social analysis and proceeds to meet the contradictions of our time with 77 Proposals from Summer 1971. It describes the social processes and dynamics, and their imbalances. It articulates the ideology of our time and the contradictions which prevent its actualization. And it issues in two-sentence summaries of the 77 Proposals.

These 77 proposals will be related and interpreted by describing the five nexus of proposals described by the gestalt work within the Tactics groups. A paragraph will indicate how the vision is the basis for the practical system to be created by Summer 1972.

The book concludes with a six-paragraph manifesto that calls upon the total movement of the spirit to act on this vision. This kind of vision is practical only if it captures and responds to the cry of local man.

45. Everyman dream

This section delineates the one thing, the practical vision that every person has.

  • The first section describes the practical vision nexus.
  • The second section describes the task of articulating the nexus in a contemporary dramatic style.
  • The third section delineates the dream out of which every local person in fact operates.

46. Discerned nexus

On the basis of the proposal summaries and analysis, the first task was to lay out definite strategies of the Spirit Movement. From the two summaries and the two methods of analysis, certain nexus of proposals were discerned. These nexus tell us the emphasis where our catalytic action must be focused. The nexus are both the rallying point and the concrete visionary goal for bringing into being a new society. The nexus are gestalted from the 77 proposals.

47. Unconditioned approach

So far as the various actions proposed for any one social process came from any or all of the 77 Proposals, this gestalt already represents an inter-relating of all the proposals and a boiling down to the 25 (ie 5x5) distinct active thrusts proposed by Summer 1971.

Each of the five 5x5's was then puled into a nexus sentence relating the 5 major thrusts to each other and to the other social processes. This 5x5x5 with its five sentences then represented the most succinct articulation of proposed action coming originally from Document E of Summer 1971. Each 5x5 consists of a nexus disclosing the actional flow required within the process as well as the relation between it and the other

48. Inclusive five

The nexus form the inclusive proactical statement of the vision delineated in the 77 proposals of Summer 1971. These five nexusare not on a one to one relation with the social process triangle, but rather represent the unconditional gestalt grouping of proposal visions.


49. Nexus data

The Practical Vision Book aimed to delineate the nexus in terms of contemporary style. The first workshop sensed after the whole five nexus and provided the Assembly with the initial brainstorm data necessary to write the Practical Vision Book. These data came first of all from the Assembly's reflection on that study of all 5 nexus, and secondly, from a brainstorm of the relationships of the assigned nexus to the previous work done.

The workshop received and digested the holding paragraphs written on the proposal nexus and the subnexus, in order to begin writing the first draft of the Practical Vision Book. The task of the workshop was to distil the holding paragraphs, reflect on their place in the book, and clarify the internal structure of the 7 paragraphs to be written. The ecclesiolas wrote the initial draft of the paragraphs in a section of their nexus: relation to contradiction, major components, relation to imbalances, practical application, or statement and vision.

50. Imbalance relations (guidelines)

Brainstorm the relationship of the nexus to the social imbalances by reviewing the imbalance section of the document and the notes on imbalance. Label the imbalance triangle with the appropriate social process names and list the social imbalances which this nexus seems to be dealing with.

51. Contradiction relation (guidelines)

Review the section on contradiction in the document and the work on contradictions. The master question of the brainstorm is: "How does this proposal nexus relate to the social contradictions of our day?" To get at that question, do the following brainstorm:

List the social contradictions which this nexus seems to deal with.

Prioritize them, in terms of the one at which it seems to be primarily directed. Indicate the primary and the four secondaries in this impact priority. Spell out the rationale which led you the make these priority decisions.

Write a holding paragraph of 5 short sentences which hold the wisdom on the relationship of the nexus to the five highest priority contradictions. This paragraph discloses your intuitional analysis of the particular strategic objectives of your nexus.

52. Writing result

In the first week of Summer 1972, the whole Assembly channelled the raw data of Summer 1971 through the nexus of proposals to create the Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle. It seemed rather certain, that this then provided a solid basis for the final writing of the Practical Vision Book in a popular form. The Assembly wrote twice as much material as was needed for the book, and so the editing of the book into final form is a large task which demands a peculiar intentionality.


53. Present situation (guidelines)

Test your work on the practical vision by using the swirls of the five nexus that were created and placed on the wall as decor. Several teams told the story of their swirls, explaining in each case what it revealed about the five nexus and their interrelationships. Final paragraphs were written on these swirls. A reflective conservation was done on the swirls:

  • What struck you (surprised, shocked, offended, bored you?)
  • Where did you sense these paragraphs might appear? What kind of statements are they? (Newspaper? Sociology textbook? Platform of a political party? etc.)
  • Where have you heard this sort of thing being said recently? Who was saying it?
  • Out of what you have heard, give a short sentence which describes the vortex of the five nexus as carefully as possible.
  • What three word title would you give the vortex to hold the insights you have heard?
  • What imaginal three or four word phrase would you give the vortex in order to motivate "the last fat lady"?
  • Keep in mind the relationship between the present situation and the practical vision.

54. Practical vision

The workshop for week one of the first week was to write the Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle. In the opening plenary, the Assembly received a summary of the work done by Summer 1971, Toward a Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle and spent one night studying the document. The first week of Summer 1972 wrote a popular version of the Practical Vision. The summary located five proposal nexus that point to what Summer 1971 decided was needed to bring the New Social Vehicle into being. These nexus (or conglomerates) of proposals were expanded in order to describe fully the Practical Vision.

55. Writing style (guidelines)

Discuss and consense on the primary impact of the contradictions to this nexus. Code the list of social contradictions by similar contradictions and gestalt these to five. Discuss the ways the nexus deals with these contradictions and gestalt these to the four. Discuss the ways the nexus deals with these contradictions, list these ways on the black board and gestalt to five.

Reflect on the correspondence or lack of it between the five-fold contradiction gestalt and the five ways the nexus deals with the contradiction. During the first two workshops the assembly explicated the five nexus in seven rough paragraphs for each relationship of the nexus gyrate. They also studied the five pillars of the New Social Vehicle. They set out to write a popular version of the Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle.

After doing the rough draft, they set out to produce the first smooth draft. The image of a popular version was somewhere between a novel and a smoothly written anthropology work. It is not fiction, but it cannot be technical or jargonish. To move to the masses, to review the world, you must be understood in the way you want to be understood. The response you want from every man is "My God, yeah -- that's what's needed! I wish I had seen that before."

Try brainstorming several styles of writing for example, a presidential inaugural address, a Sunday supplement audience, and backfence conversation. Reflect on what you heard and ask what are the ten criteria for a style that will impact and captivate the popular audience. Pull together the style image that will have mass appeal. For example, the "Sunday supplement" image. This style will be used in the final rewriting.

56. Overall spin

The task is to discern the vortex of the five nexus which, in principle, is the heart of the New Social Vehicle. They used data generated by the whole Assembly, as well as going to the data beneath each nexus and their own insights about the vortex. This task is something like taking a five-faceted diamond and discerning the underlying molecular configuration which, when the diamond is tapped, will reveal all five and explode their beauty into iridescent fire. They pulled together their wisdom to form the introductory section of the Practical Vision Book.

57. Nexus product

It became obvious that the movement had to think through the Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle. The work of Summer 1971 provided the raw data for the Practical Vision: the Five Pillars of Analysis and the Five Nexus of Proposals. This work had been completed, and the task remaining was to build the tactical systems of the New Social Vehicle.The ingredients for bringing about social change are:

  • a vision of what the future must become;
  • an action model of how that future is to come to be;
  • a tactical system, implementing that model;
  • a set of strategies, informing the deployment of energy; and an operating design enabling the whole task.

Viewed from the perspective of the trans-establishment, grounded in the present social order, but standing outside it and taking responsibility for a humanizing social process, trends toward the future can be pulled into the master trend of the time. Contradictions that are blocking the master trend can then be identified, and proposals to unblock the contradictions can be articulated. Out of these statements of what must happen, a comprehensive pulling together of the particular actions that must take place in society can be accomplished.

This inclusive actional design is a tactical system. Once this total picture of what actions will be required to bring about a sociological renewal is completed, a set of strategies may be developed to focus the available energy of the movement into the task. After defining the strategic approach to be taken, the operating designs must be built to five concrete social form to the movement in the midst of the long march. With this picture in mind, let us turn to the question of indirect tactic.

58. Question

The most important question at this point is how to go about organizing the data to begin to delineate the tactical actions required to actualize the proposals of Summer 1971.

59. Key method: clustering

The key method used is called clustering which groups the arenas of the social process the tactical actions will come from. This will be described in the following sections.


60. Local man

The man on the street, the man down town, the average citizen, the Jones, the last 'fat lady' are all images of local man -- the general name used to indicate any man.

The localman tactical system is a coherent set of actions which, when actualized, raise up a sign of new possibility for contemporary man who is immersed in the images and structures of this dying world.

To be authentic and effective, a tactical system must point toward the bubbling new consciousness that is present in every person's life, but is submerged by the old ways of articulating what it means to be human. The most critical part in this process of enabling new creation is building the comprehensive tactical system that defines the focused doing that will unblock the New Social Vehicle.

61. Tactical approach

The tactical approach has not a great deal to do with things that you have dreams about or your goals or your images of what ought to happen in the new society - or anything like that. Tactics have to do with the concrete particular activities that you engage in day by day. And therefore, you have to consider always whether you are going to live through the next campaign or not. One of the things in particular is that you always go in and attack your enemy at his weak spot. You find out where he is a little bit more vulnerable and there you strike. And if he strikes back at you on that front, you withdraw.

Strategic withdrawall is just as important in winning a war as any attack or getting some particular pillbox in an area. And when you start thinking in that area, you soon see that tactics are precisely what we are doing all the time. They are the activities that you engage in day by day. Therefore, a tactic is always a happening. For example, in the broad social arena today, a peace march is a tactic. But what you notice about tactics is that they do not alter society necessarily by what particular activity they are engaged in -- a peace march in one sense changes nothing. It does however alter the mindset of the people.

But if you said that your tactic was to alter the mindset of the people against a war, no one would know what you were going to do. Your tactic is the march itself. And that alters the mindset. Therefore, we never do anything but tactics. The question is what tactics are you going to live in. Going to the bathroom is a tactic. Your strategic objective of that tactic is to live in a particular situation in a particular day. And the overall goal of that is, probably, physical survival. But the tactic is going to the bathroom.

62. Tactical actions

Local man tactical actions emerge out of his own life experience through brainstorm procedures which are after as many tactical actions as possible. The intent of this work is to learn to think tactically in the area of the New Social Vehicle. These tactical actions need to be under the image of the needed action regardless of who would do it or at what cost. Later on these tactical actions will be molded into the New Social Vehicle tactics of the movement.

63. Cluster process

In order to propare the groundwork for the actual tactics an intermediate step must be taken. This is an organizing process called clustering.


64. Cluster concept

The plotted agents at the 385 level (5x77) have shown each of the 5 agents causing the contradictions named in the five contradiction paragraphs of the 77 proposals on a 6th level social process triangle.

The significant concentrations were then identified and given names by gestalting the contradictions which the agents in a particular cluster were causing. The result was to have a visual image and specific picture of the 385 agents causing society's contradictions, their place in the total social process, and prose titles for the contradictions according to their location in the triangles.

Each of the 5 agents which would actualize the proposals named in the proposal paragraphs of Document E were located on a 6th level triangle. The concentrations of these agents were located and significant ones named. This then gave a pictorial representation of the 385 agents (5x77) which would unblock society's contradiction and prose titles for the proposals according to their location in the social process triangles.

65. Key agents

This work lays out those social processes key to blocking and bringing off the 77 proposals for total social process renewal. It specifies those agents which hold total social processes contradictions in being as well as those agents which enable total social process proposal actualization.

For instance, the contradiction manifested in the tyranny of the economic is held in being by collapsed or reduced symbology. Whereas proposals for the renewal of the social process are enabled by healthy functioning symbol and style. These are indicated by the concentrtion contradiction and proposal agents in these areas.

66. 96 Clusters

This step in the creation of the tactical systems is to articulate the practical thrusts which were called for by the proposals. The 385 proposals (5x77) in Document E for Summer 1971 made claims on the various aspects of the social process in order to meet the contradictions of our day. These 385 proposals have been plotted on the social process triangle in order to provide an organizing principle for the overall practical thrust needed by the Tactical Systems. This plotting process has located the 385 proposal agents in 96 clusters of proposal agents. There are 1 to 20 proposal agents in each cluster.

The contradictions from Document E which have been plotted as contradiction agents fall in many of the same social processes as the proposal agents. Each social process that has proposal and contradiction agents plotted into it has also been described in Summer 1971 documents (A,B,C) and each process has a proposal written on its triangle orbit.


67. Catalytic relations

It now becomes necessary to go back and group the clusters into related complexes. To do this a sytem was developed to find a catalytic relation among various cluster thrusts. Using the orbit system (orbit proposals) the beneficiary of each active plotting agent was traced. If the beneficiary was not in a cluster it was dropped because it benefitted only itself and not the total social process. When it was dropped, its five proposal dots were also removed. This in turn left additional triangles without a proposal dot so they too were dropped. Thus every remaining cluster was interlocked with every other cluster. The remaining orbits were 36 in number.

68. 96 Relations

Having established this catalytic interlocking relation, it now became necessary to relate all 96 proposals to this catalytic circuit so that no proposal is in effect left out. (Even if it were "left out" in establishing the circuit.) Other adjustments had to be made since a straight orbit system would have only one proposal in symbol and would make each yellow triangle in the orbit a third level triangle.

69. 40 Cluster complexes

All clusters were related to the catalytic circuit which now in the adjustment descibed above had become 40 cluster complexes (see Figure 6). The relationship used to relate the clusters outside the proposal which were related to the orbit on the basis of coherence (same social process) and thrust (common actional intent). Thus the clusters were catalytically interrelated and inclusively relate all 96 basic clusters.

Figure 6: 40 Cluster complexes

70. Tactical actions

Each of the catalytic cluster complexes has a major catalytic cluster. This is the focus of the thrust and tactical 125 (ie 5x5x5) of the cluster. Through it are pulled any other clusters which may appear in the defined social process. If these clusters are themselves catalytic, they are called "minor catalytic clusters" and are analyzed more closely in relationship to the major catalytic cluster than are non-catalytic or "subsidiary" clusters.

This was done to provide a more manageable number of tactical actions and to bring the arenas for these actions into a sharper focus. For each of the 40 cluster complexes, a 3-level chart was created with five parts for each level or a 5x5x5 chart: 125 tactics for each cluster complex, or a total of 5,000 tactics. Each of the tactics in the 5x5x5 in The 40 Cluster Complexes was evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Universal Applicability: Can you imagine this going on in a family, a local community, a vocational situation, in a city, a nation, at the level of the globe ?
  • Effectiveness: Do the 5 tactics named accomplish the complex intent ? Is each of the five necessary to accomplish the complex intent ?
  • Internal Comprehensiveness: Does each set of five totally cover the tactical action needed ? Are there gaps between the five ?
  • Internal Consistency: Is the same concretion present across a given set of five ? Does each of the 5 point to an activity distinct from the other four ?

71. Practical thrust

The practical thrust was determined by working with the particular action called for by the proposals. A practical thrust is not necessarily a "do" nor an abstract statement, but is a statement of the thrust of one's life (individual and/or community) that manifests the universal demand being made in the particular situation. Another way to look at it would be to ask the question of the concrete deed the proposal is calling for in the realm of humanness in the social process in relation to the vision spelled out by the ideology.

72. Tactical actions

Having discerned the 96 practical thrusts, the next step was to begin the work on direct action schemes brainstorming tactical actions relative to the practical thrusts of each cluster, and thenexpanding and comparing these lists with the 1000 revolutionary actions from Summer 1971, and begin the gestalting process, which will put these tactical actions into refined 5 x 5.

This expanding and gestalting process continued until there were a total of 3125 gestalt categories with lists of tactics under each for a total of 15,000 New Social Vehicle tactics. This process discloses the 40 tactical cluster complexes that are an interrelated set of tactics and subtactics which stem from 40 arenas in the social process where major contradictions and/or proposals are located. For each of the 40 complexes a system of strategies and tactics was developed which would have a catalytic effect in balancing the economic, political, and cultural contradictions in society.

73. Valenced effectiveness (guidelines)

The next step was to bring into further relief the holding chart of the 40 cluster complexes. This was done by valencing each complex relative to the imbalances, the ideology, and the contradictions.

Society always shows up imbalanced, forcing man to rebel against the human suffering caused by the tyranny and sparking trends that move society toward rebalance. In our time, the economic, through its controlling spiritless rigid stance, is known as the tyrant over the social process. The political, through its futile attempts at tyrant limiting, is known as the ally of the social process. The disrelated unserious cultural process is known as the collapsed pole.

The task was to valence how effectively the forty cluster complexes are in rebalancing the social process. This means discerning how effective each complex is in reducing the power of the tyrant and increasing the power of the collapsed pole.

Simultaneously each complex was valenced according to the effect of its master intent in terms of the ideology as stated for the social process in which the complex is located. At the same time, each complex was valenced according to the effect of its master intent over against the contradiction in the orbit in which the complex is located. The contradiction in the orbit was constructed in Summer 1971 out of claims from all areas of the social processes.

The intent is also based on the focusing of claims into that orbit from other processes. The comparison of contradiction and complex master intent was, therefore, another informative method for valencing the complexes.

Valence is based on the question: How effective is the complex master intent relative to its particular situation? If there is unclarity about the imbalance statement, discuss it quickly. Avoid, however, an extended discussion.

The aim is to move quickly, using intuition as the guide. Have each individual, out of his informed intuitions, decide a ranking between zero and ten (0-10), with ten being the most effective and zero being not at all effective. Each individual should write the number down on the form without comment or sharing this number with others. You have permission to use the full range, 0-10. There will be probably some of each. Do not total your form as you go along. The effectiveness valence is based on the sum of the three factors plus the number of proposal agents plotted into the cluster complex. The formula is: Effectiveness valence = Plotted dots in cluster + Imbalance effectiveness + ideology effectiveness + contradiction effectiveness

74. Catalytic action

The 40 complexes now represent the direct approach to rebalancing of the social process. They provide a description of the catalytic action which is required in society. Seven of the complexes appear to be of greater importance than others. These are discussed in the next section.

Figure 7: 40 Cluster complex valence


75. Final question: whistlepoint

We have reached a crucial apex in this task. Now we will go for the Whistlepoint. In creating the tactical systems the Research Assembly is ready to make explicit the strategies for bringing into being the New Social Vehicle. This will require a paradigm shift in order to get the strategic directions that any local man would take to actualize the New Social Vehicle. The tactics for the 40 cluster complexes have been cleaned. The cleaning process was necessary to get as clear as possible on these theoretical or "in principle" statements of tactics. The Assembly must now stand back from what it has done and ask: how can we or anyone actually do what must be done in principle?

76. Key method

The procedure so far has been to proceed step by step to more manageable and more concrete indications of tactics. Now we are up against the wall of the decision of how to act.

To get through the wall we must take the 40 tactical thrusts and spin them through the wall. Beyond the wall we will see the master strategies for all local men. On the basis of these practical strategies (or paramount tactics) we will then revise or re-gestalt the tactics to bring off these strategies which will in turn fulfil the vision of the goals indicated in the nexus of proposals. The wall itself, however, calls for a creative gap.

77. Indirect approach

The gap is the separation between having all the data in front of you and seeing the sharpness of a pattern come to life. It's like seeing an ant in the dirt, and suddenly seeing that it's a million ants. Or it's like an experimenter suddenly seeing the relationship between lightning and electricity. Or maybe you suddenly understood a math problem in school, or saw the reality behind a behavioral statement...and you said, "yeah, that's it. Yeah, aha --ha, ah-ha, I've got it!" This is the gap we are after, the last bridge the research must cross, the passing through the wall.

78. First step

The first step in this procedure is to locate the major nodes among the 40 cluster complexes. These have been apparent since the early plotting of the proposal agents on the social process triangles. Several cluster complexes contain a larger number of proposal agents than others. Until now these cluster complexes have been treated equally with the other cluster complexes. There are in fact seven cluster complexes which have the highest number of claims made upon them.

During various processes of valencing these have also emerged again and again as having the greatest significance. When the relations between the proposal agents and their beneficiary social processes are delineated, it is clear that by touching these seven and their primary and secondary beneficiaries the total social process has been attacked.

79. Valence factors

The seven nodes were identified by several valence factors that were intended to measure the catalytic ability of each cluster-complex. The valence was calculated for all 40 cluster-complexes and each cluster was ranked in terms of its valence number. Through this procedure it was determined that these seven nodes accounted for 50% of all the total proposal agents and also that the valence for each of the seven was much higher than the average.

The valence formula used was: Valence = (Number of catalytic agents plotted x Number of catalytic clusters) + Number of agents plotted - Benefit relationship + (Effectiveness valence - 15)

The factors in the formula are:

  • The number of catalytic agents in the cluster is an indication of the potential benefits of any given cluster to the total social process (in terms of its catalytic ability.
  • The number of catalytic clusters within the complex is an indication of how interrelated this cluster is as a catalytic centre.
  • The number of proposal agents is an indication of how many processes this complex benefits.
  • The number of benefit relationships is an indicator of how many benefits this process must receive before it can have its full catalytic potential.
  • The contradiction effectiveness valence is the Assembly's judgement of how well the intent of cluster complex deals with the particular contradiction of that cluster.

This formula places the seven nodes in sharp contrast to the other thirty-three cluster complexes (see Figure 7).

80. Key of keys

The key of keys is not only that there are seven nodes as the main centres of catalytic activity but they are also linked together in a complex ring or circuit of catalytic activity. That is, there is a chain where one node benefits another process which benefits another. These relationships are not simply linear or circular, but rather are highly complex arrangements involving 385 individual relationships.

81. Seven nodes

The seven nodal clusters are:

  • 1. Inclusive Myths located in Communal Symbols
  • 2. Social Morality located in Final Meanings
  • 3. Formal Methods located in Accumulated Knowledge
  • 4. Community Groupings located in Social Structures
  • 5. Knowledge Access located in Significant Engagement
  • 6. Bureaucratic Systems located in Executive Authority
  • 7. Deliberative Systems located in Legislative Consensus

82. Single interrelatedness

The seven nodal clusters are the whistlepoints yet, with their catalytic interaction, it is one whistlepoint that sets off seven avalanches. Actualizing the tactical components relative to any particular strategy helps to actualize all seven. Discovery of this single interrelated set of seven nodal complexes is the breakthrough which makes the catalytic concept of whistlepoint a practical reality.

83. Catalytic principle

Thus it can be seen that the key relationships that a revolutionary movement is interested in are catalytic nodes of social process that when dealt with catalyze the masses of local people into deciding their own destiny. This is the principle behind the search for the whistle point.


84. Raw creativity

The strategies cannot be directly discerned from the master tactical intents of these seven nodes. At this point we are against a wall. Raw creativity is required.

The first question is what the various components are behind the intents of each of these nodes. To get this the remainder of the 40 clusters complexes need to be related either in a primary or a secondary way to a given node. This will hold us up against the wall essential to creativity.

The second question is what these relations disclose about the strategic direction of a certain node. This is the point of radical creativity. To do this, we will swirl the data related to the nodes until the strategic directions come clear. The strategic directions are beyond the wall we are against. When named, they are the seven practical strategies. They are the whistlepoints.

85. Cluster transposition (guidelines)

Our job will be to pull the 40 cluster complexes through the seven nodal complexes using the nodal complexes as the focusing points. The catalytic relationship to each of the nodes must be transposed from the present statements of master intent and tactical action into statements that point to how the node acts catalytically to release that process.

The transposition question is, "What does the complex intent or tactic on the paper require of the nodal complex intent in order to fulfil its thrust of activity?" What you are doing here is standing in the related complex and looking toward the node and asking whatthe nodal complex must provide to enable the related complex to accomplish its intent and tactics. These statements should be as specific as possible, using three to five word phrases.

86. Valenced swirl (guidelines)

The next step in polar gestalt plotting is to valence each of the demand statements according to the strength of its relationship to the central node. There are four principal factors involved in this valence.

  • The complex effectiveness valence.
  • The number of claims or complexes related to the nodal complex.
  • The type of relationships-whether primary (direct) or secondary (indirect through the primary relations).
  • The effectiveness of each of the demand statements in relation to the tactical intent of the nodal complex.

The first three factors make up the claim range valence. They have been computed and combined and are published on the Valence Data Sheet.

The Valence formula used for these three is: Claim Range Valence = Effectiveness valence + Claim valence + Relationship valence

Our task is to valence each of the demand statements according to the fourth factor above and then, using the valence data sheet, a spark, the pattern says, "Aha!" and your creativity has given you ways to talk about and related your data. It also points to the reality behind the data, the "thing" you have been looking for. This is the basis for the paragraph.

87. Master question (guidelines)

After the gapping has disclosed the one thing which from the perspective of your node must be done to bring into being the New Social Vehicle, test it by using the following set of questions. They are designed as guidelines. They represent the stewing on the qualities of the sort of thing that you will come up with. The master question which we are asking of the swirl during gapping is: What is the one practical strategy (or paramount tactic) which these data disclose as a demand in order that the New Social Vehicle may come into being?

These additional questions are ways of asking that central question:

  • Is it concretely pointing to a decision to act specifically, or is it simply a statement of a goal or a broad aim?
  • Is it the sort of observable sociological reality which might be noticed in an analysis of social change?
  • When you looked at what you have come up with, did it seem obvious what must be done to release full humanness for all?
  • Is this particular enough so that you could imagine it actually being begun?
  • Is it comprehensive enough to take 20 years to complete?
  • Is it catalytic to further activities in the social process?
  • Will it make a global impact?
  • Does it include all of the data we have relative to this node? Does it illuminate the work of the first three weeks of the Assembly?
  • Is it clearly stated?
  • Is it continuous with what we know about a practical strategy, yet does it give us a new sense of what we are about?
  • Does it suggest or generate many additional tactics?
  • Is it a whistle point? Will it be effective in bringing about the New social Vehicle?

The gapping has disclosed the pattern behind the data. Now you need to give form to the actualization of this pattern through your data. You are out to invent holding categories which point to the five components. The task here is to grasp the interlocking components, one of which is the first among equals. These components are determined neither by the relationships in abstraction to and from the data sources, nor from the results of your grouping process. Rather they are formed from the one "thing" making five interdependent components with one, the first among equals.

To compute the total valence for each item: Total valence = Claim valence + Node valence

After the valencing procedure which assigns a valence to each statement of your list, a categorizing of the data independent of valence values is done. The categorizing procedure places the data into five arenas by general characteristics or qualities. The categorizing can be done by initially choosing two or three statements with similar general qualities and marking quickly other statements on the list with these qualities. Do the same for each of four other types of statements on your list remembering that you are out to get the whole list into five general types. Using different symbols to mark the members of the five different types with facilitate the procedure.

In the first examination of the list for members of a category some statements will remain unmarked. The attempt to place these in one of the five categories may alter the group's intuition about the types, causing a shift in the marking of some of the statements. The idea is to allow the categorizing to come out of the list of statements rather than to force the list into predetermined categories. In the end all statements should be marked as belonging to one of the five categories. Put all of the data onto the polar form according to the valence and category of each statement. For each statement put a dot on the chart with the number of the statement beside it. Within each of the five categories some statements will be like data in neighbouring sections of the chart. In these cases put the dot near the border of that neighbouring section. This creates a spread of data around the polar chart.

88. Creative gap (guidelines)

With all of the data plotted onto the polar chart, look for groupings of dots. Many groupings will cut across the lines dividing the sections. The broad outlines of each group will appear immediately. Work with the statements to get clean groupings. The lines will shift somewhat as the statements in a group are read. Some data will have to be picked up by the group of data and some dropped out.

Listen to the readings of the statements in each group. Reflect on what is in that group to begin to get clarity on the data before you. Explore patterns that strike your eye. Ask questions of what's behind the dots. Read the data which the dots in a particular configuration represent. Let the reading inform what you see. Draw lines around what seem to be related portions of your art form. Or shade parts of it in. Don't be afraid of changing these lines as the dialogue continues between the art form and the data it points to. Out of this dialogue will come your "aha".

Treat your chart as a painting first; then let the informing data illuminate it. This is something you do not hurry. You look at it awhile, take a break, come back, sing a song, look again. Make notes as you move along. Talk about the data and the patterns on the chart. Concentrate on the patterns, relationships, configurations. Remember that you are not out to get a gestalt, but rather the intuitive "gapping" that reveals the inner significance of the pattern. You keep doing that and suddenly, like


89. Seven pressure-points

The seven samurai warriors of the New Social Vehicle Tactical System have been identified:

  • 1. Recreated Secular/Religious Mythology
  • 2. Secular Servanthood Force
  • 3. Secular Evangelism System
  • 4. Community Training Nodes
  • 5. Human Wisdom Interchange
  • 6. Operational Designs System
  • 7. Reconstructed Foundational Community

These are the stalwarts upon whom the next twenty years depend. After twenty years of analysis it has become obvious that the 20th century world awaits the pivotal points of post-civilization. These are articulated in a document as the Seven Practical Strategies of the New Social Vehicle.Figure 8They have been created by the Summer 1972 Research Assembly through a creative process which transformed 96 practical thrusts and 40 tactical intents into the concrete imperatives which will give shape to the next twenty years of human history. These seven strategies are, of course, interrelated. They are the definitive and authentic response to cries of suffering humanity in our age.

90. Troop question

The result of finding the whistlepoints raised the question of how a movement could be organized to actualize the seven practical strategies discovered. The strategies document delineates the major strategy of each node plus the various components of that strategy. The delineation of the strategy makes it practically possible to build a tactical system to actualize these strategies.

91. Cross gestalt

With the practical strategies described and honed, one step remained in moving to the tactical systems. This is the defining of a set of Master Tactical Components which represent an activity-oriented gestalt across the seven practical strategies. The seven Master Tactical Components shown below are the arenas out of which tactics have been built.

92. Master tactical components

The seven Master Tactical Components of the New Social Vehicle are:

  • 1. The Indirect Education System
  • 2. The Grassroots Training Apparatus
  • 3. The Demonstration Project Devices
  • 4. The Actional Guild Frameworks
  • 5. The Social Involvement Constructs (see Figure 8)
  • 6. The Local Reformulation Machinery
  • 7. The Practical Research Network.

93. Master tactics

Each of the seven master tactical components was described by its identifying characteristics and a set of five primary, 25 secondary and 125 tertiary tactics were created for each (see Figure 6 and 7).

These seven sets of tactics form the indirect tactical system of the new social vehicle. The document containing the 5x5x5 of each tactical component, the statement of its identifying characteristics and written descriptions of primary, secondary, and tertiary tactics was the final product of Summer 1972.

94. Whistlepoint

The whistlepoint is that impact area of the social process that will release the creative dynamic in people's lives to bring about the New Social Vehicle. Determining where and how the whistlepoint would work is the essential element in revolutionary practical research. It is the practical task the Assembly set out to determine and discovered.

95. Avalanche concept

The avalanche concept is based on the presupposition that by determining the key nodes of catalytic activity and actualizing tactics relative to them will in turn catalyze other process which are catalytically related and therefor build up the trends of change until a point is reached when these changes begin to sustain themselves and continue to catalyze other processes which in turn sustain themselves and catalyze other process in such as a way as this dramatic buildup increases radically like a snowball becoming an avalanche. The seven strategies and the seven tactics are the key to the avalanche which is the raising of local people to build their Earth.

96. Nodal intuition

The intent or practical strategic and tactical components are exactly what is required. When they are spelled out, your intuitions agree with it. At this point it also becomes clear on how these strategies and tactical components are a natural outgrowth of something that is beginning in society now. This mass intuition is a checkpoint relative to the results of the research. This mass intuition is the key to the corporate research of Summer 1971 and 1972. Forming that intuition is the key to a new global consensus on the future of Planet Earth.

97. Basic documents

The basic documents that hold the wisdom of New Social Vehicle research are seven:

  • The 77 Proposals (Document E, or its summary);
  • Toward a Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle (or The 5 Pillars);
  • A Practical Vision of the New Social Vehicle (or The 5 Nexus);
  • The 40 Cluster Complexes;
  • The Seven Pressure Points (or the Indirect Strategies of the New Social Vehicle);
  • The Seven Master Tactical Components of the New Social Vehicle; and the present work, the
  • Summer '72 Compend: a collection of philosophical presuppositions and methodological techniques.

This body of documents marks the steps beginning with the more theoretical work of Summer 1971 through the four-week Research Assembly of Summer 1972.

The first four documents provide the practical vision necessary for practical revolution. The next two provide a tactical system composed of 5,000 direct tactics strategically organized to execute the 77 proposals and seven pressure points with their 875 tactics which are organized for indirect impact on the social process.

The current work describes the underlying presuppositions and the actual 64 steps that were taken to produce this tactical system.

98. New movement

The work of Summer 1972 has turned the Spirit Movement into a new movement. The new movement is continuous with the first twenty years of the movement, but is new in terms of the basic image of what the movement is about. Until now, the movement has focused its energy into the renewal of the local church. For the next twenty years, the movement will be based out of renewed churches, in order to renew the world.

Its concern will be to bring about the vision of the New Social Vehicle by transforming the basic images of life that people live by. The mission of this new movement is to provide demonstrations in the concrete arenas of society of what it means for the church to be mission. This means that the movement has turned from descending into the trough of a giant wave in history to the crest of a new wave. The movement can see its goals more clearly. The task requires an interior discipline of the movemental people and the movemental designs that bind them together. The long march of reconstruction now begins.

99. Practical directives

The movement has discerned the basic contradictions in the social process, proposed practical action to meet them and devised a tactical system in order to implement that action.

The false images of humanness that maintain the current social fabric and its injustices have been named. Their power is formidable in that they effect the total population of the globe. In practical terms this means the movement must act globally as well as imaginally. The basic task is to enable every person to "go through the wall" whether it be through popular preaching, songs, rituals, courses or signal demonstrations.

The concrete deed is thus a spirit happening, brought about sociologically. It will be done through the Local Church Experiment as the practical embodiment of the wisdom of the movement. It will also be done directly in the world through 5th City (Chicago) community reformulation in strategically located signal demonstration projects. As such, it is a tactical operation; the theory is done. It is primarily a methodology to be used in every situation. In terms of the total society it is a strategy that touches the pressure points through which the total society will be effected. As the movement it provides a practical way for all its forces to be corporately engaged. The tactical systems provide the tools for the deed. The movement must train itself in these methods. The movement is the embodiment of the New Social Vehicle.

From Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential

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