Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Although not directly about online learning, I think this article is well worth reading because it addresses underlying principles that, while articulated by Barack Obama, express what many people working toward what might be called a 'progressive' agenda (including myself) believe:
- the idea that we are working toward a set of values, and not specific programs
- these values are based on empathy, which is why we assign such importance to freedom, fairness, and equality
- these values transcend party; many who would self-identify as conservatives also identify with these values
- the value of government is based not on its size but on whether it supports the protection and empowerment of the people
- the bottom line is not the bottom line; values and economics must work together
- causes are complex, not simple, and so solutions must be systemic, not individual (individual short-term self-interest is NOT natural, moral, or the best for everybody)
- these values are what we really mean when we talk about freedom and democracy
- these values are not just Barack Obama's - it's us, and not just him (which is why I have taken pains also to depersonalize and internationalize this statement of them)

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 07:00 a.m.