cj#658> re: “The Biology of Globalization”


Richard Moore

To: •••@••.••• (Elisabet Sahtouris)
Cc: •••@••.•••

Dear Elisabet,

Enjoyed your article, which reached me via fwd's:
        From: Charles Bell <•••@••.•••>
        To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>

        From: "S. Lerner" <•••@••.•••>
        To: FUTUREWORK - Moderated <•••@••.•••>

        Sender: The Other Economic Summit USA 1997 <•••@••.•••>
        From: Carol Brouillet <•••@••.•••>

Is the following an accurate mini-bio?
  >Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D. is an evolution biologist, futurist and UN
  >consultant on indigenous peoples. Author of Gaia and EarthDance,  and
  >co-author with Willis Harman of the forthcoming Biology Revisioned, she
  >lectures widely in Europe, North, South and Central America.

As a separate message I'm sending a brief description of a project: a tv
mini-series documentary "Globalization 2000".  It's purpose is to explore
the Big Picture of globalization: what it is in all of its parts, where its
going, who is guiding it, and to what purposes?  I wonder if this project
might hold any interest for you?  Any feedback or suggestions would be
appreciated.  Perhaps an interview with you would bring an important
perspective into the series itself.  Perhaps you've met people on your
lecture circuit who you could recommend as interviewees.


I've published several articles which analyze globalization - on internet
and in New Dawn (a fringe Australian magazine).  The most recent is called
"America and the New World Order" (which I can send if you're interested)
and the articles can also be found on the cyberjournal website:

As a fellow investigator/analyst, I appreciate the need to be very careful
about introducing issues of politics and, shall we say, "class interests"
into ones writing, and respect your own decision to mostly avoid those
issues.  In my own writing, compelled by my analysis, I emphasize that the
root problems are in fact political:
        *> It is the corruption of modern democratic processes which
enables corporate interests to set the agenda for globalization, and it is
only through massive and enlightened grass-roots political organization
that democracy can be restored, and that any change in this agenda can be
achieved.  A central and concious part of globalization, as it is being
implemented, is the systematic destruction of democratic institutions - the
disempowerment of government itself - to be replaced with governance by
unaccountable commissions, ala WTO & IMF.  Once this process gets past a
certain point (all too soon, I fear), it will become politically
irreversable, and we will lose the option of organized political
participation altogether <*

>>From this perspective, I'll offer a few focused critiques of your article.

You say:
  >As an evolutionary biologist, I see globalization as natural, inevitable,
  >and even desirable, as I hope to show.  It is already well on its way and is
  >not a reversible process...

>>From this evolutionary perspective, which is a powerful and appropriate
metaphor with which to analyze societal change, I think it is necessary to
distinguish sub-threads of globalization.  The biological comparison, I
submit, is not properly between "globalization" and a "species/process",
but between "globalization" and an entire "ecosystem".  Our globalist
ecosystem is global society, and within this we can see several co-evolving
"globalist species" - ie "global-structuring trends".  Among these
interacting and evolving species/trends, I'd identify the following (your
list might be different):
        - global communications, media, and electronic transactions
        - low-cost global transport
        - non-combative resolutions of major-power conflicts
        - rationalized global economy
        - weakened national governments
        - super-sovereign international commissions
        - concentration of ownership and power in elite corporate hands

I find it empowering to make such distinctions explicit, to not view
globalization as a single process, but several interacting ones.  It
encourages one to focus ones thinking and participation in ways that can be
most effective, and it brings some hope to the effort: we aren't struggling
to influence a single unstoppable mega-process, but can identify root
trends that may be more addressable and which offer high-leverage benefits
if progress is achieved in better channeling them.

You say:
 >...We are doing some aspects of it cooperatively and
 >well, to wit our global telephone, postal and air travel systems, but the
 >most central and important aspect of globalization, its economics, are
 >currently being done in a manner that threatens the demise of our whole
 >civilization. For this reason, we must become more conscious participants in
 >the process, rather than letting a handful of powerful players lead us all
 >to doom...

Here I suggest the crucial distinctions to make are who the players are.
Who are the contituents of "we" in the paragraph above, and who are the
"powerful players"?  Again, I'll offer my short list of important players:
        - nation states
        - elite corporate interests and institutions
        - political parties & professional politicians
        - citizens, citizens' organizations, and NGOs

Such distinctions can help inform our "conscious participation".  Of the
players on the field, elite corporate interests are the best funded, best
organized, most motivated - and are in fact pretty much calling the tune.
Only nation states come close to having the power to provide, if they had
the will, a counter balance.
        Fortunately, those same nation states, in the West, possess
democratic mechanisms which await only citizen mobilization to be
activated.  Hence the imperative necessity of broad-based political
organization/ mobilization before the democratic mechanisms themselves are
dismantled or disempowered.
        Strategically, then, we can see that "smaller government", "lower
taxes", and "deregulation" amount to the undermining of "our" primary ally,
and only consolidate the domination by the corporate-force player.

 >What's to be done?
 >The new wave of outrage at corporate greed, as I said earlier,  is a healthy
 >reaction to this win/lose global economic Monopoly game...
 >The good news is that
 >we don't have to play Monopoly to globalize. There are, as Hazel Henderson
 >has urged us for decades, other games to play:  win/win games...

Here's where the distinctions make a real difference to what educational
approach activists should take.  It isn't the citizenry who is playing
monopoly, and not the citizenry who can simply elect to stop playing it -
by learning about win-win.  True, they need to be informed that unnecessary
monopoly games are being played - but the mere spreading of economic
enlightenment won't change things, because those who ARE playing monopoly
are having none of this win-win malarky, thank you just the same.
        My estimate is that citizens, generally, are less ignorant than we
might think about monopoly capitalism, and the unwisdom in current economic
trends.  More clarity on such issues is surely desirable, but the primary
message that needs wider circulation, in my estimation, is the threat to
democracy posed by globalism and the need for effective citizen organizing
around a comprehensive progressive agenda.
        The biological/evolution metaphor applies as well to political
trends as to economic, which is why I'm sharing these thoughts with you.

 >When we humans, after all a very
 >new species, drop our adolescent arrogance of thinking we know it all and
 >read the wisdom in our parent planet's accumulated experience,  we too will
 >mature as a species, to our own benefit and that of all other species, as
 >well as the planet itself.

There is an assumption here, it seems, of an inherent efficacy in the
democratic process - a belief that ecological awareness and humility could
automatically lead to wiser collective human behavior, as "our" enlightened
understanding percolates up to leaders and thus changes institutional
        My point is that the achievement of an enlightened democratic
process is ITSELF the critical step in moving humanity toward wise
collective behavior - wisdom exists in our society, but it is currently
kept far from the seats of power.


Posted by Richard K. Moore - •••@••.••• - PO Box 26   Wexford, Ireland
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