Guidebook synopsis


Richard Moore

As a brief break from our dialog, let me share the synopsis 
sent in with my book proposal...



A Guidebook: How the world works and how we can change it


Part 1 is a statement of the problem. For the North,
globalization amounts to a covert coup d'etat, transferring
essential sovereignty to a TNC-dominated global bureaucracy,
and abandoning the traditional privileged position of
Northern populations. For the South, it represents the
accelerated exploitation of material and human resources.
Samuel P. Huntington, with his 'Clash of Civilizations',
reveals an elite blueprint for geopolitical management under
a new regime of world order. The recent spate of
humanitarian interventions is simply Huntington's blueprint
being implemented in the field and in media propaganda. This
is the enforcement branch of globalization's centralized

Neoliberalism is simply the old laissez-faire wine in
new-terminology bottles, with identical and predictable
consequences. The rhetoric of neoliberalism is a form of
Orwellian doublespeak, where words like development and
competitive mean the opposite of what they seem to mean.
Armed with a proper understanding, official pronouncements
can be decoded, and their actual implications determined.

Capitalism is best understood not as an economic regime, but
as an elite political movement. Elite wealth accumulation by
means of economic growth is the movement's agenda, and an
ongoing program of societal re-engineering is the means of
achieving the required growth. Globalization is the ultimate
evolution of this re-engineering process, and capitalism's
future path is leading us into a Dark Millennium.

Part 2 is a call to action and an examination of how a
livable world can be achieved. As Daniel Quinn points out,
everything started to go wrong 10,000 years ago when some
tribe adopted the Taker vision - the imperative to 'go forth
and multiply', and to 'subdue and conquer the world and its
creatures'. This deviation from the mainstream of human
cultures was in its essence unsustainable. Nonetheless, it
became an irresistible force and in globalization we see its
last stand as it encounters the immovable object of a finite
Earth. The ruling elite have laid down the gauntlet before
us - we must either submit to a dismal global tyranny so as
to maintain that last stand, or we must rise up and
establish a livable world - with human societies in harmony
with one another, and in balance with the Earth. This is our
revolutionary imperative, and our window of opportunity is
closing fast.

Sustainability must be a core principle in any version of a
livable world, for otherwise we are simply postponing our
problems for future generations to solve. Sustainability is
a very radical agenda. It implies a rejection of capitalism,
an abandonment of the subdue and conquer paradigm, and a
rejoining of the human cultural mainstream - which has
always seen humanity as part of nature, with a place in
nature, in dynamic harmony with the rest of the world and
its creatures.

A society is a system, operating within a larger ecological
system, and our vision of a livable world must be informed
by an understanding of system dynamics. Once constraints are
established, such as sustainability and democratic
governance, then the rest of our vision must conform to
those constraints. A rich literature has developed,
investigating the implications of such constraints, and a
consensus vision of locally based, egalitarian societies has
emerged. This literature is weakest in its treatment of
democratic governance.

From the very beginning subdue and conquer has been applied
to people, as well as the rest of nature, and hierarchical
governments have evolved in order to facilitate control by
ruling elites. Hierarchies are inherently self-aggrandizing,
self-propagating, and tend toward ever-greater
centralization of power. For society to be politically
sustainable, hierarchies must be abandoned, and
decentralized systems established. Decentralized governance
is achievable and it is more stable, efficient, and
adaptable to local conditions. While hierarchy works by
coercion and factionalism, decentralization works by
autonomy and the harmonization of interests. Effective
harmonization processes are available which enable people
with differing values and interests to find community and to
collaborate effectively together. These processes have
primordial roots in non-Taker societies, and they are based
on listening and consensus.

A livable world can only be achieved by a grass-roots mass
movement, and that movement must embody the structures and
processes of the new society it seeks to establish. The
means always become the ends. A successful movement must be
radical, global, inclusive, non-ideological, consensus-
based, and decentralized. The emerging anti-globalization
movement is already developing an effective culture of that
very nature. But that movement is currently lacking several
critical ingredients: a scheme for broadening its base, a
strategy for victory, a consensus vision of a new society, a
transition plan, and most important - the courage to own the
~intention~ to achieve ultimate victory.

Establishing new societies is a project, with tasks to be
performed and intermediate objectives to be achieved. The
only legitimate agency to carry out this project is the
people of the world, and the movement must begin to see its
role as being the ~facilitator~ of this worldwide
collaborative endeavor. What the movement has to offer at
the moment is a culture based on the principles of
harmonization, and an understanding that radical change is
needed on a global scale. The movement must systematically
apply its harmonization processes to begin developing
consensus perspectives regarding strategy, new-society
vision, transition, and outreach. In doing this it will
build a strong sense of movement community, and will learn
to act and respond collectively and coherently. As the
movement grows and involves all segments of society in this
project, it will evolve into the already-operating civil
society of the new regime. When that new regime is ready to
take over, the old one will be no more be able to stand than
were the Eastern European regimes, when the Soviet Union
began to crumble.

The most critical strategic factors for movement success
will be the avoidance of co-option and leadership cliques,
and a strict adherence to the principles of consensus,
decentralization, and universal inclusiveness. From a
tactical perspective, the critical factors will be the
achievement of community and basic consensus in the avante
garde of the movement, the widening of that community to
include ever-more societal segments globally, and the
deepening of that community as it addresses the tasks of its
revolutionary endeavor.  In terms of managing the
transition, the critical factor will be dealing with the
collapse of the markets - which can be expected as soon as
the movement shows signs of likely success.