dialog re/ Thrive


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI
rkm websitehttp://cyberjournal.org

First, thanks to Stephanie McDowall, let me share one of those rare discussions of climate that actually has a scientific basis:

Next, our previous posting, that included my latest comments on Thrive:
     re/ Annie Bird: Privately Owned Charter Cities in Honduras
Now, to your comments…

david moore wrote:
dave here.
i like your dialogue with foster gamble. you seem to clearly state the issues. he seems a little stuck on his film’s importance. but you keep to the high ground:  “let us dialogue  productively to advance our cause, cuz we certainly do seem to agree on what the problem is.”
maybe you could suggest a collaboration on a film that explores alternatives to the nwo vision and actually judges them on effectiveness or at least chances for success, given what the nwo and its owners intent is….

Hi Dave,
The film collaboration is an intriguing suggestion, however I don’t believe in mass communication as a change strategy. We don’t need people to know certain things, we need them to be doing certain things, things that can only be seeded in the small, in the microcosm. Any mass approach is treating people as sheep, and escaping from political sheephood is precisely what’s needed.

Vera Bradova wrote:

That’s a very interesting dialog between you and the originator of Thrive, Richard. Thank you for posting it. I agree with your characterization of Zeitgeist completely. (Can’t comment on Thrive since I have not pursued it.)
When I watched Zeitgeist, I was really excited! I thought… this will be so great for my friends who are still not quite aware, and done in such high production values! Then the film lapsed into the loony world of the Star Trekkie founder. I was baffled… and the last segment made the film unusable for my purpose. Otherwise, I probably would have gotten a bushelful of the CDs and sent it around… bummer. The more I looked around the web, the more crazy the whole affair looked. The founder’s head is firmly wedged in the spirit-crushing Corbusierish fantasy world of the late 50s… I once challenged a fan who rather barged into the forum I was a participant in, to recruit us. I wanted to know what was really meant by the “resource economy.” She became so incensed at my (and one other person’s) pointy questions she finally left the forum in a huff and erased all her traces! 😉 Clearly, she had not a clue. She did have enthusiasm though… but to what end?
Perhaps, based on the glimpse of Mr. Gamble, the background of Thrive is … well, saner. But I agree that artifacts created by us come to have a life of their own, and I would love to hear from him on what he hopes or expects Thrive to do in the world, and how.

Hi Vera,
Thanks for your story of the fan who left in a huff. That’s typical behavior for a cult member. To question cult beliefs is not disagreement; it is heresy, evil. We can see this with today’s biggest cult, the global-warming cult, where questioning dubious assumptions is called ‘denial’, and where the strongest believers have the least understanding of the claims they parrot. 


Jim Fadiman wrote:
I think you and Foster are clear. He thinks he took the argument to where solutions will arise. You feel that he did not go far enough. I don’t think it will go farther than that. And if you want to post his earlier longer remarks to you, it won’t change the world and he will feel he had a chance to tell your list his point of view.
given how much he is doing, I like it that he takes your concerns seriously and has devoted time, as you have, to reaching out and looking for common ground.

Hi Jim,
I admire your diplomatic skill. Per your suggestion, I’ll share, below, his earlier long message to me.

Herb Kline wrote:
Hi Richard,
 Many thanx for that clarification re: THRIVE (and Zeitgeist, too) — I had wondered about that, and now realize that I had not fully investigated (or understood) either one —
  Glad of your dialoging with Foster Gamble, too — there seems to be some break down in communication, though, between the two of you — i.e., does he understand your point of view? He seems to be a bit more interested in presenting (and defending) his own point of view, but not so much in listening to what you have to say
as you once said, somewhere (I believe), listening can be the most radical (i.e., productive and necessary) thing one can do

Hi Herb,
As you’ll see below, he has devoted some real attention to listening to me and responding. Indeed, I feel bad, at a personal level, about my critique, when I read over his kind words. Nonetheless, I disagree strongly with his core principles. He wants to have “rules, but no rulers”, and those rules are about a certain economic philosophy. The tyranny of a philosophy is the worst kind of tyranny, the kind that leads to an Inquisition. And when he says ‘no rulers’ he means no governance process, because he doesn’t believe there can be a governance process that is non-coercive. He doesn’t realize that there must be a way to make decisions regarding the commons, and unless we find a non-coercive way to do that, we are choosing one form of tyranny or another. 
     Foster does suggest, at the end of his message, that he’d like to include me in a ‘highly leveraged think tank’. I’d welcome that if Dynamic Facilitation could be the process used in the think tank. That’s the only process that’s strong enough, I believe, to enable such a group to reach a useful level of mutual understanding.

Begin forwarded message:
From: Foster Gamble <•••@••.•••>
Date: 12 March 2012 04:44:57 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Overdue response to your THRIVE critique

Dear Richard,

I am sorry to be so long in getting back to you after your initial thoughtful letter about THRIVE.
I have been looking forward to a meaningful exchange, as I had told you, but have been completely overwhelmed dealing with the urgencies of the huge response to our film.
You are one of only a handful of writers for whom I keep a binder with everything they have written and shared publicly.
I probably agree with your deductions about what is happening in the world more than almost anyone I read.
You have done impressive homework in most areas and I like that you don’t hold back on your insights, as best as I can tell.

When you first wrote to me about THRIVE, I was delighted to read,

It is truly amazing, covering so many difficult topics so effectively. It is very risky to talk about UFOs, free energy, chemtrails, new world order, depopulation, false flag ops, etc all together, and not lose people. It seems that you’ve succeeded, although we don’t yet have numbers on how many people resonate with it. Your use of quotes & images in this regard is excellent, eg. with eugenics & UFOs – the best I’ve seen by far. 

and also:

…your personal presence inspires trust, as do all those who also appeared.

So I was quite surprised to read later on, in your letter to another reader:

Oh my, have you been taken in by Thrive? How sad. Once again, an elite propaganda project is being released first on progressive channels…

There’s even a hypnotic element involved, which is carefully crafted in those two films, with repetition of symbols, voice style of narrator, etc. 

Often we need to speculate about someone’s motives in this whole area, as you did. But in this case, I don’t need to because I know my intentions. So let me make some corrections.

1) Calling THRIVE “an elite propaganda project” is just an irresponsible, unjustified, classist smear. It goes with one of your readers who wrote “A man from the Procter & Gamble family who has had an epiphany? Nah, I can’t see it.”  Really? A lifetime of diligent work on my behalf will not yield any insights of value because my great, great grandfather made a successful soap company?
Clearly that is not a man with whom I would look to have any type of fruitful exploration. I hope you are. 

2) THRIVE was not “released first on progressive channels.” Perhaps you don’t tune in to economic, liberty, ufo, conspiracy, science or general news channels. Please be careful with your assumptions, especially when you base important and divisive judgments on them and lots of thoughtful folks are listening. A handful of progressives have been vocal with their concern that a society based on true freedom for everyone might challenge their claim that compassion is best measured by the size of government programs (not noticing that those programs are a cover for increased dependency on a bigger and bigger state that is taking control of virtually everything).

3) “Carefully crafted hypnotic element…” Come on, Richard. Casting me as some sort of Svengali to discredit the offering is not only completely false, as Jim, Dorothy, Catherine, Sergio and others who know me can attest, but it begins to undermine your evaluation of other things in ways that could be unfortunately disempowering to your important messaging.

And by the way, a lot of numbers are in now. 
In these first three months, THRIVE has been seen by millions across the country and around the world, in 10 languages.
There have been over 3000 self-created home and public screenings, and most excitingly for us, there are a vast and growing number of THRIVE – inspired Solutions groups sprouting up in cities, states and countries, taking on whatever they consider to be their most critical local and global issues using our 12-Sector organizational model (that was so helpful in stopping the 2008 Bush / Homeland Security / USDA / CDFA attempt to spray 7 million people in Northern California –  with toxic and endocrine disrupting chemicals from airplanes.) These groups are coordinating approaches to multiple issues and hooking up with other groups here and abroad to share expertise and best practices.

We have great faith in human initiative and creativity if it is informed and aligned with natural principles. And the response we are getting from the story told in THRIVE and the Solutions strategies and tactics outlined in the Solutions section of www.thrivemovement.com is confirming and inspiring. We are cross pollinating with Occupy chapters across the country and Anonymous has sent word (anonymously, of course) that they love what we are doing and have our backs.

These are examples of where constructive dialogs can be taking place all over, at a local level and linked with other groups on a much larger scale. Please don’t bemoan the fact that people are getting informed, motivated and coming together. Instead maybe offer your knowledge and dialog savvy into the emerging conversations. I like Catherine’s notion of coming together to learn from one another and from the group to hone our approaches to solutioning. That is the type of think-tank and action group that would interest me anyway. I know some wonderful candidates for such explorations and I am sure you do, too.

You wrote, 

“I don’t see the Thrive Movement leading to any kind of useful conversation.”

Well clearly THRIVE is catalyzing self-creating, solutions-oriented conversations all over the world, so I guess the key is whether or not they are going to be “useful.”

So let’s get into the philosophy and process that are at the heart of the matter from your perspective, and from mine as well.

You wrote that I was missing two essential ingredients in my thinking:

One has to do with localism, and the other has to do with group decision making. 

I am completely in agreement with you about the critical role of local communication, organizing, optimal self sufficiency etc. and also that when groups get too large, truly being heard is lost and remote control tendencies set in. I also agree with you about the importance of dialog processes, and that was my profession for 15 years.

One of the few areas where you and I seem to actually part ways is around your belief in so-called “direct democracy.” I think you may still have a foot caught in the collectivist trap that mandatory governance is needed. 

Every society needs a system of governance, and every society has always had one, going back before civilization began. In order for the system of governance to give us a ‘good society’, it must be based on local autonomy. 

It seems that your are saying that tyranny will be sufficiently mitigated if it is kept local.

At the local level it is possible for every voice to be included, and direct democracy becomes feasible. It is not possible on a larger scale. Once you have a large-system orientation, you will inevitably get usurpation of power by cliques, regardless of any constitution or set of rules. 

As above, so below, Richard…at any scale – even in a marriage of two. When Bush’s cronies started spraying us in Northern California with toxins from the sky, there was a group that sought to save us through trying to get a new legislation that would require that the spraying be put to a majority vote. It would have been a blatant case of mob-rule – the dangerous underbelly of democracy – trumping the individual inalienable rights of each individual not to have their bodies or their other property violated “for the good of the group.”

Here is a recent, short video blog about this.

The principle of non-violation is simply insufficient as an organizing paradigm. It’s an essential characteristic of a ‘good society’, a by-product of such a society, but it does not say anything about how to organize and operate such a society. 

I suggest non-violation is way more profound than an organizing paradigm. I believe, after a lifetime of searching, that it is the universal moral imperative that will make the difference between us making it as a species or not. So what I am most interested in is your answer to the fundamental moral question, “exactly at what point would you pick up a gun to go take someone else’s property or coerce their behavior – other than in true self-defense?”

Former CIA director James Woolsey said “there is no answer to the moral question.” That made him well qualified for that job. I disagree. I want to hear your answer. There are areas where the question of “property” and “violation” get hard to define, and bringing clarity to those (air, water, eco-systems, frequency bands, violations of indigenous peoples etc.) will be some of the most interesting and fruitful questions for humanity’s next era of dialog processes.

There are extraordinary, out-of-the-box thinkers like Stefan Molyneux (Universally Preferable Behavior, On Truth, Practical Anarchy) and my own son, Trevor Gamble (The Secrets to Nonviolent Prosperity: The Principles of Liberty) who lay out the logic, the ethics and the alignment with human motivations in showing alternative ways of handling such issues as healthcare, roads, schools etc. – without falling into the abyss of the state and hoping for enlightened leadership.  

The basic philosophy behind Thrive’s vision is libertarianism 

No – voluntaryism. Not a political party, but a condition of protecting the right not to be violated – for everyone.

and unregulated markets. 

No, there would be clear rules against fraud, counterfeit, breech of contract, sales of stock you don’t own etc. – in other words making money honest and contracts accountable. Individuals would be personally liable. No bailouts, no subsidies etc. No one centralizing control of the economy – which is unnatural and has always led to disaster. Rules, but no rulers.

and the government’s only role is to manage the money supply. 

No…quite the opposite – a truly free market in currency so that the reliable and trustworthy media of exchange survive, instead of fiat money, fractional reserve lending, manipulation of markets, wages and interest rates…and no mandatory income tax enforced by the threat of violence.

Well, so that’s the question, is the global conversation going to be about Thrive, or is it going to be about the larger conversation, in which Thrive is one statement?

Our film and website is simply one offering among many to help sort out the principles and tools by which we might thrive.

I’m not saying UFOs and crop circles aren’t real. I’m saying that anyone who rejects ‘conspiracy theories’ is not going to pay any attention to Thrive. It is a film for the ‘already awoken’; it is not a ‘wake up’ film. If people have trouble with 9/11 being an inside job, they’ll stop watching the film when it gets to UFOs and crop circles.

Feedback indicates that folks all over the world are waking up through THRIVE to much of what is really going on and sharing it with their networks.

The real message of Thrive is the vision it presents of a ‘better world’, where we don’t need politics or governments,

Yes. the nation state is the most destructive fiction in the history of the world. I know it is hard to imagine life without it, but if we don’t grow beyond big daddy and his gun, I think our chances of making it greatly diminish. Check out Molyneux for in-depth accounts of DROs (Dispute Resolution Organizations) and how a society based on voluntary association would logically and practically be much safer and more prosperous than majority rule government, even if the latter is more localized.  It was a delightful shocker to me to think so newly. It was the equivalent of my coming across Aikido and then Free energy devices – no more need for moral compromise!

and we don’t need to work, because free energy does everything for us. 

As Catherine points out, I never thought or expressed this. Access to clean, inexpensive universally available energy would just make it a lot easier for everyone to survive and devote more of their time and efforts to activities of their choosing.

Stage 1: Reform the election system and redirect government priorities
Stage 2: Limit Government
Stage 3: Set Up Systems for Voluntary Cooperation

In the spirit of conversation, I would suggest that these stages are in the wrong order.

I did not express myself clealy enough with this.  I said in the movie and on the website that the stages are “overlapping.” I probably should have called them “simultaneous tracks” where #2 outlasts #1 and #3 outlasts them both. I would never hold my breath or postpone work on #2 and #3 until after we had an honest government, because I believe that never has happened and by definition never would, because government is based on stealing people’s money whether they are willing or not. So the stages all start simultaneously, and while the people and environments most in need are being assisted by money freed up by cutting the military budget, stopping the wars of aggression and eliminating the FED (rather than through creating new violations in the form of additional taxes) government is being shrunk down to the protection of individual rights and some commons. The fact of the matter is we now have government and election systems, so until they are gone, we can work on bringing them toward greater integrity. The creation of voluntary systems starts – yes – right away… to whatever degree the remaining government will allow it!

The dichotomy you offer, between interests of the collective vs interests of the individual doesn’t really help us. When every voice is included in the collective decisions, it turns out the collective is what empowers the individual. 

Here is my biggest disagreement. If the rights of each individual are not senior to some vote of a conceptual “coilective” then the seed of tyranny is sown and coercion is once again the bottom line. You wrote, Richard…

My assumption is that what we all really want is a world without coercion, and a world where we’ve learned to run our societies sensibly and equitably. 

If you believe this, then how do you reconcile that with your insistence on Democracy? As some say, “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. And liberty is a well-armed sheep disputing the vote.”

it needs to begin at the local level, each community being autonomous and self-governing.

Only an individual can truly self govern. As soon as it is a “community” then each individual needs to be free from the coercion of the group or you just have a mini-tyranny…which seems to always eventually grow toward a maxi tyranny. This raises the other question I think is vital for each of us to confront in this exploration.

If there were a way to have good roads, accessible quality education and healthcare, a respected system of justice etc. – without anyone being violated against their will, would you want that?”

You wrote on February 22 to Ian that you would like to see 

“a documentary about people discovering empowerment, and working creatively together to solve their problems.” 

Well that is a lot of what is emerging now and our next intent is to record and share the essence of that with the world as it does. So maybe we have laid enough groundwork to contemplate seriously the possibility of future intentional conversations aimed at discovering emerging perspectives and pathways beyond our current sight. I don’t say this lightly, because I have never had less time available, but as I said at the top, you are one of the thinkers I most respect on the planet right now and you have been on my short list for a highly leveraged think tank for some time. Do you ever get to California any more? I envision efficient conversations, with homework done ahead of time, possibly filmed, edited down and shared with at least our networks – possibly with the world. Just thinking…

I hope you will post this to engage your thoughtful network in the conversation. 
I look forward to meeting you in person before too long. Good luck with your projects in Ireland.
My ancestors were from Eniskillen.
“May the wind be always at your back”… 🙂