the dialog continues…


Richard Moore

From: “Rand Clifford” 
Date: 14 September 2009 03:52:03 IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: dialog re/ Utopias and transformation

rkm> Our only way out of this mess, if there is a way out, has to come from
us, from civil society, somehow organizing itself independent of the
political system. We need more discussion of how that might be

Perfect, Richard, that’s the only solution. But when only the choir is
listening, only the choir hears. Perhaps when enough people have nothing
left to lose…but then we might be there, eh.
If only people would learn that truth and CorpoMedia are light years
apart. So many still swallow the slop.

Hi Rand,
We have been talking at a theoretical level about how social transformation might be brought about.  This is not a question for which there is any agreed ‘hymn book’. Several of us have been putting forward our ideas, but there is no ‘choir’ that already knows a ‘hymn book’.
I’d say we’re having a useful discussion, with different points of view, and we may learn something. Many still have hope in the political system, and among those of us who don’t, there are many views about how we might proceed. There is no general agreement that pursuing action X is a way to spur along transformation. I think we should continue and see if we can find any X’s we agree on.
My own view is that ‘educating the masses’ about the ‘lying media’ is not a requirement for moving forward.  What is needed is a pattern of transformation that can be propagated, like ice crystallization. That’s what Vonnegut was talking about in Cat’s Cradle, with his Ice 9. A brand new, unprecedented-in-the-universe, crystallization pattern. I think such a pattern will be on another dimension than ‘media awareness’. 
From: helge nome 
Date: 14 September 2009 04:05:52 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>, 
Subject: Afghan War

I noticed the Afghan war came up in one of the latest emails. I have followed it for a long time and see it as a part of the geopolitical chess game around the Caspian Sea energy basin. The Western Empire, of which the US and UK are submissive parts, is trying to get control of access to these riches. Other players are Russia, India and China.
They all shake hands and smile at each other at global conferences, but it is a deadly game just below the surface.
Hi Helge,
Yes, that is certainly part of the picture. Global Research, for example, has published several good analyses along those lines. I think however we are in a higher stakes game at the moment. We are squaring up for a final confrontation between the Western Empire and the Eastern Block. The geopolitical Chess Game has always been about Eurasia, ever since Genghis Khan. He secured the center before he turned back to conquer China.
The hand of the West is forced, due to the economic resurgence of the Russian-Chinese block, aka SCO. The scenario is precisely comparable to pre-World War I, when Germany was surging ahead of Britain, clearly to become the new dominant manufacturing, trading, and financial power in Europe. War was the only hope for Imperial Britain to stay on top, war was the decision Britain made, and the plan was implemented (with unforeseen outcomes).
The same challenge today faces the Western Empire. Either recede into the wings as the East takes center stage, or try to take them out militarily while you still can. The occupation of Afghanistan gives the US an excuse to have bases there, close to Russia and China, and to expand into Pakistan. There’s a whole circle of bases around Russia and China. No such circle is around the US. Meanwhile the US spends trillions developing space-based and other esoteric weaponry.  Clearly a first strike is being planned, simulated, strategized. Everything else geopolitical is simply positioning these days. Iran is a ‘positioning chip’. China and Russia are well aware, and making their own defensive preparations.
From: Brian Hill
Date: 14 September 2009 05:33:29 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>, 
Subject: Re: dialog re/ Utopias and transformation

rkm> …These are the promising movements, but there is an essential element missing from them. They aren’t thinking about how the macro system can be changed, and what kind of role they can play in that process. They are acting locally, but not thinking globally in the way that is needed if real change is going to be achieved.

Yes, Richard, I totally agree with your points above and apologize for not including the following;  All previous empires, e.g., Chinese, Hindu, Egyptian, Peruvian, Aztec, Mayan, Mongolian, European…. have disintegrated – returned to farming and hunting and gathering cultures too often as disgusting feudal fiefdoms.  Now, for the first time in human experience, one empire is global, so the macro system you mention must be dealt with or else we’ll rerun the feudal state/new male dominated empire cultural evolution again.  The greatest opportunity for humanity ever exists today –  to integrate the disintegration of the first global empire with the revitalization of band and tribal, pre-state structured cultures that is also a global cultural phenomenon.
Sartre and early extistentialists, Einstein, Ken Kesey, Marshall McLuhan and a few others (see esp., EST by L. Clark Stevens) well understood that humanity was on the brink of a new quantum step into a heretofore unprecedented world view (please don’t ever use Capra’s very inappropriate, over-used ad nauseum, ‘paradigm shift’ phrase in any communication with me).  McLuhan said it was the first global literacy.   Sartre said that history and the future will be dissolved into an eternal present.  Kesey said he and the pranksters were trying to live in the now.  These are the macro solutions you refer to, i.e., we of the world have to figure out how we are gonna get along with each other for the first time in human experience.  It will take computers, air planes, ships, … disgusting Western technology, and like you say, it will not happen naturally (of course who are we to say what is natural and what is not – isn’t the development of the conscious mind natural?).  For the first human time, we humans must understand and agree where we are in human cultural evolution and respond to it accordingly, i.e., integrate the dissolution of the first global empire with the revitalization of global tribes and bands.  And, Richard, the revitalization of tribes and bands is not gonna happen it is happening all over right now.  Corporate news misses it of course.
I don’t have a business plan for this integration, but I would suggest that we should open ourselves and our planning to becoming ‘conscious of our spontaneity’, i.e., integrating our conscious mind with our spontaneous being, integrating the global empire with revitalizing tribes and bands, creating a cultural milieu whereby women can trust men again, where we use technology to complement nature instead of exploiting her, like responsible mining, organic farming, sustainable forestry and fishing.
I just finished a book called Sacred Ecology which well describes and documents the interaction of science and indigenous and traditional knowledge from a cultural ecology/anthropology/ethnographic perspective.  It shines a bright light on how band and tribal knowledge can be integrated with science, which, I think, is the direct path to the macro solutions you so rightly are concerned with.

Hi Brian,
I must say, you are more-than-usual inspired today! You make a great deal of sense, and such passion, such visions of harmonization. Thanks for your contribution.
Above, I was asking for X’s, actions that move toward transformation. You mention many X’s, all of which are building the consciousness and prototyping the potential reality. I continue to look for the missing X, whatever it might be, that is preventing all the existing X’s from actually changing the system.
From: “John Bunzl” 
Date: 14 September 2009 12:00:36 IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Mumford & utopias, continued…

Hi Richard,
On the point about the relationship between worldviews, governance and economic realities, what I am suggesting is that governance structures tend to reflect people’s worldview. But techno-economic realities are a different thing because they always run ahead of worldviews and of governance structures.
  That’s because technical innovation involves changing mainly the materials of production which is relatively easy, whereas changing people’s worldview (and with it the structure of governance) is a much slower and trickier process because that involves, firstly, a change of societal consciousness and, reflecting that change, its manifestation in our social and political institutions of  governance.
  So it’s absolutely true to suggest that techno-economic realities run ahead of people’s thinking (and of their governance structures). We can, of course, argue about whether globalisation was the natural consequence of evolving economic and technical forces or whether, as you suggest, it was a deliberate project promulgated by the ‘lords of finance’. But whichever may be true, the FACT, now, is that globalisation is with us whether we like it or not.
  Given the reality of globalisation, there will, of course, be those seeking to shape it for their own ends – the banks, corporations, etc – as you suggest. But it is equally open to civil society to attempt to shape it to democratic, consensual ends. Equally again, it is alternatively open to civil society to damn globalisation, put it down to evil all-powerful manipulators, and so undercut any beneficial and democratic attempts before they’ve even started. For those taking that stance, such proper and necessary attempts will doubtless be seen  as “ironic” and will be conflated (rather cheaply, if I may say so, Richard!) with the dominating attempts of the banks and corporations.
  This all the more so because, the realities of globalisation DO demand global cooperation; i.e. some form of global consensus and governance. So it’s easy to conflate the two. The question, however, is whether it will be the undemocratic “dominator hierarchy” of the Rockefellers and the Kissingers – i.e. the New World Order – that win through, or whether it will be the democratic “actualising hierarchy” of civil society which includes all and is determined by all.
  No one is suggesting that democratic global governance would be all ‘rosy’; for life is never that clear-cut or simple. But does that mean those attempts should be branded automatically as ‘failing to take into account the malicious intentions of the New World Order’? I don’t believe so. Indeed, some of the initiatives take it into account rather well, I think. But whether they do or not, does that mean attempts at democratic global governance should effectively be precluded from the start, (especially by trying, quite unjustifiably, to conflate them with the New World Order agenda)?
  You say that the demise of the nation-state could be followed by a number of possible utopian outcomes, but if you do not see moving forward to a form of democratic global governance as desirable, presumably you see us moving back. So where would you like us to return to, Richard? To beggar-thy-neighbour protectionism and its trade wars? Or should we go back even further, perhaps to pre-industrial times where everything was local? Or to where?
  What the ‘going back’, ‘think globally, act locally’ agenda doesn’t take into account, as far as I can see, is both the emerging global realities (eg. the global free-movement of capital, global warming, etc) which demand global solutions (i.e. acting globally, and not just thinking globally), and the fact that evolution has, in the long-run view, always moved towards ever-larger social units; to ever larger-scales of democratic embrace. In the longer run, it has never been about going back or getting smaller. Apart from which, whichever point in history one tries to go back to, none were free of their problems. So one can only base the case for going back on a false and idealised picture of some past ‘paradise lost’.  This, effectively, is the Eco-romantic agenda (a ‘rosy’ view if ever there was one); and one which, for all its good intentions, simply doesn’t stack up.
 all the best
Hi John,
Thanks for your latest message. In response to that, I suppose the following two ‘claims’ are the most relevant:
1) Any global system of governance, with some kind of central administration, will always be tyrannical and never democratic. It might start out democratic, conceivably, but the inevitable dynamics of hierarchy would eventually result in centralized, arbitrary power. All of history shows this tendency of hierarchies, whether we look at business or politics. The US is a perfect example, going from nearly sovereign states, according to the wording of the Constitution, to Federal control over everything, and the Constitution in tatters. 

2) In today’s context, the direction of global society – economically, politically, and militarily – is being carefully planned and orchestrated. Within the context of the existing political system, there is nothing that can be done to modify the course that is being followed. We have no more chance of shifting things by political means than the Germans had of getting rid of the Nazis, once they got into power. 
I call these ‘claims’ rather than ‘beliefs’, because I’m always open to new information, and many of my theories have gone by the wayside over the years. But these particular claims are ones that I’ve been working with for over ten years now. And everything that has been happening in that time has only reconfirmed their validity, over and over again. Unless we talk about these claims directly, we will, I suspect, just go back and forth disagreeing on the same points repeatedly.
Given my ‘claim’ about hierarchy, you can understand why my understanding of an improved global society involves avoiding hierarchy altogether. If one nation is hierarchical, it will tend to conquer its more peaceful, cooperative, neighbors. That’s the aggrandizement tendency of hierarchy. Hierarchy is a cancer that is unstoppable once it takes root. The threads of hierarchy that started millennia ago in Mesopotamia and China now rule the world.
In the previous cyberjournal posting, “H” gave us the image of ice crystallizing, as a metaphor for what I like to call cultural transformation:
The idea that something happens everywhere autonomously, but by means of a common ‘condition’ or ‘opportunity’, so that things everywhere come together in a short time. It is a process of this kind that could freeze out the old regime (hierarchy) and bring into being bottom-up inclusive democracy at the same time.
What we need is a formula the right kind of Ice 9.