Ten Key Values

All the work and ideas of the Greens — globally, nationally and locally — are grounded in these intrinsic principles.


RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY … We must honor cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity within the context of individual responsibility to all beings. We must reclaim our country’s finest shared ideals: the dignity of the individual, democratic participation, and liberty and justice for all.

FEMINISM … We must replace the cultural ethics of dominance and control with more cooperative ways of interacting. We must encourage people to care about persons outside their own group. We must promote the building of respectful, positive and responsible relationships across the lines of gender and other divisions. We must proceed with as much respect for the means as the end (the process as much as the product of our efforts). We must learn to respect the contemplative inner part of life as much as the outer activities.

SOCIAL JUSTICE … We must respond to human suffering in ways that promote dignity. We must encourage people to commit themselves to lifestyles that promote their own health. We must have a community controlled education system that effectively teaches our children academic skills, ecological wisdom, social responsibility and personal growth. We must resolve personal and intergroup conflicts without just turning them over to lawyers and judges. We must take responsibility for reducing the crime rate in our neighborhoods. We must encourage such values as simplicity and moderation.

GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY … We must develop systems that allow and encourage us to control the decisions that affect our lives. We must ensure that representatives will be fully accountable to the people who elected them. We must encourage and assist the “mediating institutions” – family, neighborhood organizations, church group, voluntary association, ethnic club – to recover some of the functions now performed by the government. We must learn the best insights from American traditions of civic vitality, voluntary action and community responsibility.

COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS … We must design our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. We must develop new economic activities and institutions that will allow us to use our new technologies in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological and accountable and responsive to communities. We must establish some form of basic economic security, open to all. We must restructure our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy: those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, etc. We must restrict the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.

DECENTRALIZATION … We must reduce power and responsibility to individuals, institutions, communities and regions. We must encourage the flourishing of regionally based culture, rather than a dominant mono-culture. We must have a decentralized democratic society with our political, economic and social institutions locating power on the smallest scale (closest to home) that is efficient and practical. We must redesign our institutions so that fewer decisions and less regulation over money are granted as one moves from the community to the national level. We must reconcile the need for community and regional self determination with the need for appropriate centralized regulation in certain matters.

ECOLOGICAL WISDOM … We must operate human societies with the understanding that we are part of nature, not on top of it. We must live within the ecological and resource limits of the planet, applying our technological knowledge to the challenge of an energy efficient economy. We must build a better relationship between cities and countryside. We must promote sustainable agriculture and respect for self regulating natural systems. And we must further biocentric wisdom in all spheres of life.

NONVIOLENCE … We must develop effective alternatives to our current patterns of violence at all levels from the family and the street to nations and the world. We must eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We must constructively use nonviolent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree and in the process reduce the atmosphere of polarization and selfishness that is itself a source of violence.

PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY … We must be of genuine assistance to grassroots groups in the third world. We must help other countries make the transition to self-sufficiency in food and other basic necessities. We must cut our defense budget while maintaining an adequate defense. We must promote these ten GREEN values in the reshaping of our global order. We must reshape world order without creating just another enormous nation-state.

FUTURE FOCUS … We must induce people and institutions to think in terms of the long range future, and not just in terms of their short range selfish interest. We must encourage people to develop their own visions of the future and move more effectively toward them. We must judge whether new technologies are socially useful and use those judgments to shape our society. We must induce our government and other institutions to practice fiscal responsibility. We must make the quality of life, rather than open ended economic growth, the focus of our future thinking.

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3 comments on “Ten Key Values

  1. I’m liking the greens in my state more-and-more but I have some problems. The right of an individual to gain equal status is admirable. Sometimes I feel like we’re focussing on the wrong unit in seeing this, though. A focus on rights at the family level, rather than the individual, allows for diversity as well, perhaps even more than at present. I’m a male, once with great regard for feminism, but I don’t regard women at most worksites as a minority or oppressed. I believe that women in the U.S. have just as much – or more- opportunity than men at this time, and certainly more than the majority of countries on the planet. Hiring white women is a good way of hiring whites and ignoring minority populations – hence the need to focus on the family.

    Pushing feminism on other cultures in other parts of the world is similar to pushing evangelical christianity. How I feel here is a backlash. Sorry if you don’t like it.

    Inner voices is fluff. Come on, grab something real. Democrats like me really see a lot in the Green Party values but promoting goofiness does little for your cause. Our country has interests, not a conscience: what we need is to change our interests. Technological innovation along Green lines is an awesome opportunity at this point in time.

    Non-violence is a the best way of expressing political opinion or protest but from the beginnings of our country – in the Declaration of Independence – there are times when established or foundling governments can only resort to self-defense or agression to achieve their independence. You cannot ignore National Defense as a genuine need but you can shift away from the military-industrial complex that has such control over national policy.

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  2. Why don’t you ask your female co-workers how they feel about this?

    Or ask yourself why women still make much less on average for the same work than men?

    Or ask why so very few CEO’s are women in corporate America or why we have so few female state legislators?

    Seriously, feminism is a CORE part of what it means to be Green.

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