Thursday, August 03, 2006

From Empire to Earth

Last week, as we white water rafted the Salmon River, one raft was red and the other was blue. Although the red state/blue state dichotomy occassionally grows stale, it was a strong metaphor on this trip. The red raft (complete with pirate flag) was captained by a oil refinery operations chief and manned by his fine strapping brawny boys. One, was a high school football star. The other was a recent college graduate who still believed that removing Saddam Hussein was an important part of the War on Terror.

Our blue raft looked more like a band of eco terrorist. We had a young left coast college student who swam to our raft (and stayed) after only a day of red boat behavior. She was from Idaho and mostly just wanted out of it.

After running a pretty good class three, the young football star proudly proclaimed to us, "We owned that rapid".

I looked over at my companion and said, "That is a far cry from being one with that rapid. "

Today, I got an email from a lawyer who has been fighting to clean our environment, and our minds for a long time. He sent this piece from David Korten author of the Great Turning, from Empire to Earth Community.

The Consciousness that would own the rapid, is the mind of Empire.

The Consciousness that would be one with it, is the mind of the earthfamily.

Here is a brief excerpt of Korten's work.

We face a defining choice between two contrasting models for organizing human affairs. Give them the generic names Empire and Earth Community. Absent an understanding of the history and implications of this choice, we may squander valuable time and resources on efforts to preserve or mend cultures and institutions that cannot be fixed and must be replaced.

Empire organizes by domination at all levels, from relations among nations to relations among family members. Empire brings fortune to the few, condemns the majority to misery and servitude, suppresses the creative potential of all, and appropriates much of the wealth of human societies to maintain the institutions of domination.

Earth Community, by contrast, organizes by partnership, unleashes the human potential for creative co-operation, and shares resources and surpluses for the good of all. Supporting evidence for the possibilities of Earth Community comes from the findings of quantum physics, evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and religious mysticism.

It was the human way before Empire; we must make a choice to re-learn how to live by its principles.

Developments distinctive to our time are telling us that Empire has reached the limits of the exploitation that people and Earth will sustain. A mounting perfect economic storm born of a convergence of peak oil, climate change, and an imbalanced US economy dependent on debts it can never repay is poised to bring a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life.

We have the power to choose, however, whether the consequences play out as a terminal crisis or an epic opportunity.


Our nation is on the wrong course not because Americans have the wrong values. It is on the wrong course because of remnant imperial institutions that give unaccountable power to a small alliance of right-wing extremists who call themselves conservative and claim to support family and community values, but whose preferred economic and social policies constitute a ruthless war against children, families, communities, and the environment.

The distinctive human capacity for reflection and intentional choice carries a corresponding moral responsibility to care for one another and the planet. Indeed, our deepest desire is to live in loving relationships with one another. The hunger for loving families and communities is a powerful, but latent, unifying force and the potential foundation of a winning political coalition dedicated to creating societies that support every person in actualizing his or her highest potential.

In these turbulent and often frightening times, it is important to remind ourselves that we are privileged to live at the most exciting moment in the whole of the human experience.

We have the opportunity to turn away from Empire and to embrace Earth Community as a conscious collective choice.

We are the ones we have been waiting for. "

The thesis of the book boils down to this.

Mankind took a wrong turn 5,000 years ago.

Mega corporations are ruling the world and are the major force in bringing life on the planet to the precipice and must be totally replaced with a new pragmatic concept which takes into account the limitation of earth's resources.

A cultural change on the magnitude of that which ended the hunter gatherer age is a must and can be brought about by humankind's adoption of a new story of what is of real value and what is not.

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. Jerry Garcia


What it is About

Earthfamily Principles

Earthfamilyalpha Content II

Earthfamilyalpha Content



art courtesy of Jan Rickman


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Oz!

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article by Korten, along with your set up and commentary is excellent.

The link to the article on Interconnectedness, although long, was worth the read.

Thanks, I passed this one along.

8:50 AM  

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