You are on page 1of 3

Center for Democratic Studies

Lifelong Learning
Communicating Social Transformation
For anyone concerned about where America is headed, these seminars will
help them to better understand the world we live in and how to change it. Focused
on facilitating historical perspective that leads to community organizing, major
topics include: mass communication & modern social conflict, dynamics of an
open society, protecting society from political pathogens, and overcoming
obstacles to moral conduct.
The lead instructor, Jay Taber--recipient of the Defender of Democracy
award--designed this course that examines the challenge of securing public
participation in policy development. He serves as advisor to the Public Good
Project, a privately-funded national research network.
The creation of a new culture devoted to a community-building agenda
necessitates learning how to protect the body politic from anti-democratic
subversion and obstruction. This multi-generational endeavor, however, requires a
level of commitment unfamiliar to most Americans. In developing broad-based
citizenship, the study of core beliefs and values associated with democracy helps
to instill the courage to act on these convictions. Comprehending the methods and
techniques of those who betray human dignity helps to allay bewilderment and
conquer hopelessness in order to pursue more fulfilling and meaningful lives.
Students of this course attain a more coherent sense of history and their place
in it, which helps them to establish an identity conducive to acquiring the
analytical skills needed to endure conflict and become mentors themselves.
Through concrete examples that illustrate the challenges we face, they come to
appreciate the value of such things as opposition research, popular education,
training, and social support in achieving non-violent change. Informed civic
consciousness reaffirms the collective values that resonate to good effect.

Students are required to keep a personal academic journal as well as submit
copies of their reading notes. At the end of the quarter, they will submit an 8-10
page double-spaced essay integrating discussions, readings and individual
research. The thesis is due on the final weekend.
Semester One
Republican government/Psychological
Develop thesis topic.
Discuss readings from Buried Alive and Science of Coercion.
Semester Two
Public health model/Movement development
Conduct thesis research.
Discuss readings from Betrayal of Trust and To the Right.
Semester Three
Elitism/Community action
Write thesis.
Discuss readings from Peddlers of Crisis and Networks and Netwars.
Karp, Walter. Buried Alive: Essays on Our Endangered Republic. New York:
Franklin Square, 1992.
Simpson, Christopher. Science of Coercion: Communication Research &
Psychological Warfare 1945-1960. New York: Oxford University, 1994.
Garrett, Laurie. Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. New
York: Hyperion, 2000.
Himmelstein, Jerome L. To the Right: The Transformation of American
Conservatism. Berkeley and Los Angeles/Oxford, England: UC Press, 1990.
Sanders, Jerry. Peddlers of Crisis: The Committee on the Present Danger and the
Politics of Containment. Boston: South End, 1983.
Arquilla, John and David Ronfeldt eds. Networks and Netwars: The Future of
Terror, Crime, and Militancy. Santa Monica: RAND, 2001.
Contact Info
Jay Taber
59 Eldridge Avenue
Mill Valley CA 94941
(415) 381-9349