re/ ETM: Chapter 3 – We The People and the Transformational Imperative


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI

Chapter 3 –

Madeline Bruce wrote:

The issue of men dominating women would have to become conscious, and confronted.  – Nanaimo, B. C. Canada. 

I agree Madeline. The main theme of the chapter is about replacing a dominator culture with a partnership culture – in the terminology of a female anthropologist, Riane Eisler. Early dominator civilizations were characterized by warfare, conquest, and slavery. A soldier could easily get a subservient wife by grabbing a slave girl after a conquest. I imagine this helped shape the male-female roles as civilization developed. 


Hélène CONNOR wrote:
Thank you Richard for all your good writings, but isn’t environmental sustainability missing in this vision? Without it all the rest is precarious…
With my best wishes for 2016!

Thanks Hélène, and I certainly share your yearning for sustainability.

In the chapter, I’m making a case that We the People need to take charge and transform our societies, creating ‘partnership’ cultures. In later chapters I explore what ‘partnership’ means, and how such a society might operate in practice. What it comes down to, basically, is localized, participatory democracy – where each of us has a voice in the governance process.

In such a system, it seems to me that sustainability would be seen as a no-brainer. Everyone of us who cares about sustainability would be raising our voices, and even a child can understand the need for sustainability, once it gets a fair hearing. 

There’s a deeper issue here as well. If we want a society where we govern ourselves, then what sense is there in making a list of policies in advance? Who now has the right to make such a list? Why would we expect people in the future to feel constrained by any list we make now? Why would we think our current list is better than the one such a society would come up with?

I think what it comes down to is that either you believe in self-governance, or you believe in some ideology. I know fundamentalists, for example, who would rather have a theocracy than a democracy. And there are probably some environmentalists who’d prefer to have their ideas enforced, rather than open it up for discussion. And I’d say to them: enforced by whom? – be careful what you wish for!

Given the dismal record of ‘democracies’ in history – Athens for example was an imperialist power based on slavery, and look at the state of the USA today – I wouldn’t expect most people to share my passion for democracy. In order to have faith in democracy one must have a vision of a kind of self-governance that can bring out the wisdom of people, rather than enabling the implementation of their prejudices and short-sightedness.

I think the wise kind of self-governance is possible, because I’ve seen it happen in real-world microcosm scenarios. The next chapter will begin exploring that direction of envisioning.


Bernard D. Tremblay wrote:

Would you ever include a “View in Your Browser” link at the top?
best wishes

I’m still using old-fashioned email lists Ben, rather than a proper, modern blog. Thus I don’t know the URL until after I post the material. Then I can go to the archive and fetch the URL, as I’ve done at the top of this posting, where I link to the posting of Chapter 3. 

I just don’t have the energy these days to change tools, to learn WordPress for example. Maybe someday…


Robert Gregory wrote:

Who is going to bell the cat, when the population is largely composed of mice?  The cat quite comfortably and first, feeds off any mice who become aware that they are mice, or secondly if those mice stray from the flock of mice, or thirdly if the mice just happen to act differently . . .  . and as well as can and will feed off those mice who are simply acting as mice.  That power and ability of the cat to eat the mice keeps the other mice in place, waiting, waiting, waiting . . . 
Hoping and optimism abound, eternally . . . whether through education, religion, hard work, endless toil, using the latest technology, grouping together, prepping for self survival, selling out friends and neighbours, procreating, consuming, building and developing . . . . but the cat sees all, knows all, and can act as the cat wishes, when the cat wishes, and as much and often as the cat wishes.  The mice have no control, no capability, no numbers, no technology, no vision about belling the cat so they know when and where the cat will strike . . . .

Despite your expression of absolute pessimism, I think you have taken the first positive step toward understanding the problems involved in transforming society. You recognize that we must overcome rule by pathological elites – who you symbolize by ‘the hungry cats’. 

Until people recognize that fact, they are trapped in actions that rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic, rather than actions that can change our course. Such cul de sac’s as supporting political parties or candidates, engaging in protests, donating to causes, etc.