Principles for a Self-Directed Society is a thoughtful book by Jesse S. Smith, which advocates specific long-term policies for government and economic reform in order to advance some very simple goals: Peace, Environmental Restoration, Health and Prosperity, and Basic Rights.
Taking the long view, Smith first presents a brief overview of the origins and prehistory of human society, according to science.
The discussion continues with a consideration of the many challenges which must be overcome in pursuit of the four basic stated goals, and some of the means which may be adapted by a self-aware global society in pursuit of a more perfect union. These means include economic reform, political reform to achieve the economic reform, and broader social reform in the interest of freeing society from its historical tendency to be steered by a small minority.
The book's discussion of debt is particularly interesting in light of the present financial crisis. Check out the selfdirectedsociety.com blog for a the author's view on how the economic meltdown was the direct result of the dominant free-market theory of economics.
The book then discusses a number of specific political and economic considerations and reforms which are recommended in order to better pursue those goals. After a final brief discussion of the problematic nature of some of the most deeply ingrained fundamentalist aspects of our society, the text concludes with creative visions for a future world, and additional strategies for, as the closing chapter is titled, Consciously Creating Positive Social Change.