Black folks in the South had been struggling for freedom since before slavery ended and continued to resist Jim Crow laws through the s, when legal segregation was finally defeated though de facto segregation and racism continue today. It wasn't enough to set up separate Black-owned schools or restaurants as refuge from the white supremacist realities of America, although this helped and is a positive step.
Taking down legal segregation required direct confrontations with power - sit-ins at "Whites Only" restaurants, legal action which brought about Brown v. Board of Education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, voter registration drives, and many, many other manifestations of mass-based popular struggle. To take down global capitalism and U. This movement already exists, thankfully, so let's celebrate it and talk about how to strengthen it to achieve our common goals! From Empire to Earth Community is a much-needed book, which accomplishes a surprising amount despite its limitations.
We can all be thankful that David Korten has compiled such wisdom from many different sources of inspiration in order to present a holistic vision of the world we want to lose and the world we need to gain. By translating radical concepts into everyday language, Korten widens the appeal of the fundamental transformation of society that is needed. Moreover, he points towards a common-sense, radical politics by highlighting the strong majority of Americans supporting progressive change.
For example, he quotes from various polls to show that, "Nearly nine out of ten U. Seventy-six percent of Americans reject the idea that the United States should play the role of world police officer, and 80 percent feel it is playing that role more than it should be Eighty-eight percent distrust corporate executives, and 90 percent want new corporate regulations and tougher enforcement of existing laws.
This is the common ground held by Americans that should be seen as the base for moving in the direction of Earth Community. If the United States can transform itself, than surely every other nation will follow. This Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for our friends, families and communities, as well as our spiritualities for enriching our lives.
And let us be grateful for the planet which sustains all that we do and all that we work towards. But let us also give thanks for those who speak and act boldly for justice and sustainability. From the generations that came before us and won so many victories, like ending segregation so that we might strive for unity, to the new generation currently struggling to save education in California and clean energy in Appalachia, millions have been struggling so that we might continue working towards a future worth living in. By giving thanks, we honor that challenge.
Apr 21, Keith Akers rated it it was ok. I actually led a book discussion group on this book last year. The discussions were interesting but the book is, I think, inadequate. For anyone with vaguely leftist inclinations, It's sort of like going to see a romantic comedy starring oh, say Meg Ryan. You know what to expect, and you will probably enjoy it, but the plot is predictable and it is not going to really challenge you or add to your knowledge. He's pretty sharp about social inequality, but less so about the environment.
But the w I actually led a book discussion group on this book last year. But the whole contrast between "empire" and "earth community" is just too simplistic and overdone. Empire is evil, evil, evil, but suddenly, we're going to turn around and everything will be wonderful! Moreover, I cannot agree with his environmental ideas either. There is something unsettling about his first example of a "good" industry -- a cattle ranch where they treat the workers well. Korten says at one point that rulers learned to domesticate people after they domesticated animals. Do you think that these two forms of exploitation are related?
So we're all in solidarity while we kill animals and destroy the climate. There does not seem to be any awareness, either, about peak oil, the financial crisis, and related issues. I've heard him speak: So, you might want to flip through the book to keep current with what people are saying, and Korten really is a good speaker, but his analysis lacks weight. Jul 14, Polly Trout rated it liked it.
Korten reads like George Lakoff rolling on a tab of ecstasy: American society is gripped by a polarized culture war between Empire what Lakoff would call the Patriarchal Authoritarians and the Earth Community Nurturing Parents -- and the good guys are definitely going to win, any second now. Here's the polarized divide as Korten sees it.
In the worlview of Empire, life is hostile and competitive, humans are flawed and dangerous, order is maintained through a dominator hierarchy, we must comp Korten reads like George Lakoff rolling on a tab of ecstasy: In the worlview of Empire, life is hostile and competitive, humans are flawed and dangerous, order is maintained through a dominator hierarchy, we must compete or die, and power, masculinity, and individualism are core values. In the Earth Community, life is supportive and cooperative, humans have many possibilities, order is maintained through partnership, we cooperate and live, we love life, we defend the rights of all, and we are gender balanced.
These "competing narratives" are locked in a winner takes all armageddon struggle: What is manifold is often frightening because it is not neat and simple. Men prefer to forget how many possibilities are open to them. They like to be told that there are two worlds and two ways. This is comforting because it is so tidy.
Almost always one way turns out to be common and the other is celebrated as superior. Those who tell of two ways and praise one are recognized as prophets or great teachers. They save men from confusion and hard choices. They offer a single choice that is easy to make because those who do not take the path that is commended to them live a wretched life Not all simplicity is wise. But a wealth of possibilities breeds dread. Hence those who speak of many possibilities speak to the few and are of help to even fewer. The wise offer only two ways, of which one is good, and thus help many.
I don't think reality is tidy enough to reduce to two categories, and I'm suspicious of all dualism. Korten recommends that we Earth Communitarians ignore the Empire and concentrate our energy on building an alternative reality based on our own values, secure in the faith that the Empire is doomed to self implode anyway in I hear through the grapevine, although Korten does not give a specific date. I personally advocate a toolbox approach to social change: Problem solving, like ethics, is contextual.
Sometimes ignoring the status quo and building alternative structures is the best plan, but sometimes we need to work to reform existing structures, and sometimes an existing structure will be so dangerous that we need to focus attention on defanging that system, bringing it down or at least doing what we can to cripple it so that the oppressed people in its shadow have time to regroup for the next battle. It would be lovely if Korten were right. My worldview is very much aligned with his Earth Community, and I do what I can to fight the evil empire.
From Empire to Earth Community In The Great Turning he argues that corporate consolidation of power is merely one manifestation of what. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community Paperback – October 14, In his classic international bestseller, When Corporations Rule the World, David Korten exposed the destructive and oppressive nature of the global corporate economy and helped spark a global.
But I don't believe the good guys always win, especially before they buy guns, as the Zapatistas discovered. Returning to Kaufman's essay, he continues: The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire. Not all deceptions are palatable. Untruths are too easy to come by, too quickly exploded, too cheap and ephemeral to give lasting comfort. Near the bottom of the ladder is journalism: On a higher level we find fictions that men eagerly believe, regardless of the evidence, because they gratify some wish.
Near the top of the ladder we encounter curious mixtures of untruth and truth that exert a lasting fascination on the intellectual community. Feb 25, Meghan Humphreys added it Shelves: I'm an environmentalist tree-hugger. It's what I do all day, every day. But this book was too woo-woo for me, if you know what I mean. I believe there are those of us, especially here in Portland that could band together to create Korten's "earth communities".
But it's, sadly, going to take a major crisis like declining oil supply or other catastrophe to make it happen. And we're just as likely, given Americans' penchant for guns and self-centeredness, to devolve into Mad Max-style Darwinism. I t I'm an environmentalist tree-hugger. I think Korten's just too judgmental to really get people behind his ideas at this time. Maybe ten years from now, he'll be considered a genius. Or his book will be out of print. Nov 12, Dave rated it liked it. One of the many books out there that basically gets what's wrong but doesn't go far enough with solutions.
Although it's a little New Agey, similar to Charles Eisenstein's stuff, he at least does a pretty good job trying to make his explanations tolerable to different audiences. He points out the need for balance between science and religion, liberals and conservatives, competition and cooperation, "the feminine" and "the masculine" I generally find these good female and bad male stereotypes th One of the many books out there that basically gets what's wrong but doesn't go far enough with solutions. He points out the need for balance between science and religion, liberals and conservatives, competition and cooperation, "the feminine" and "the masculine" I generally find these good female and bad male stereotypes that feminists use really irritating , etc.
The solutions he does offer are probably okay for a temporary transition stage but even that's questionable in my opinion considering how much it would take to totally transform our industrial infrastructure. That might be more like jumping off a cliff while holding hands and singing. We're probably better off just phasing it all out as is. That's not exactly the most popular idea though, I'm aware. Anyway, it's just a lot of words to get through for a relatively mediocre analysis and obscure solutions without any way to make them happen besides "changing our stories" and awakening "higher consciousness.
It's things like this that really bother me. He also comes out against the idea that free will is an illusion, pointing to quantum physics as evidence of choice. Personally, I don't mind the body as machine metaphor that so many are trying to distance themselves from or thinking about intelligent behavior as just complicated reactions based on programming. If free will is just an illusion, which seems almost undeniable to me, does that really change anything?
It's not like there weren't any harmonious traditional cultures that believed in destiny. And it's not like they refused to discuss decisions because "who cares? God's already decided" or something. I mean, I understand that seeing things different ways can have an influence on behavior but a lot of these arguments people are getting into over these things are pretty pointless, which he actually seems to agree with based on other things he said. Then, despite understanding the need for balance in other areas, he pretty much condemns anger and violence as inherently irrational responses to things, emphasizing a need to just "walk away" from empire.
Because clearly that always works out so well for people. And one reason he gives for being hopeful that the majority will awaken to higher levels of consciousness is that a higher percentage of the population is aging, implying that we have more wise elders.
Sorry but I don't find that encouraging at all. With how many members of that generation watch Fox News all day and consider it a sacred responsibility to always vote against their grandchildren's futures we should probably take more comfort in them starting to die off than anything. And just to mention one more issue I had, he actually glorifies some accomplishments of empires as great contributors to the progress of culture, democracy and "civilization" he should know that civilization does not mean peaceful society even if that is how most people use it , then mentions how these discoveries coincide with ancient indigenous understandings.
So why are you giving atrocities credit for what clearly could be figured out without them? I was just really back and forth with this guy. So he has good things to say but it's not exactly the masterpiece that others claim. Any reader of The Great Turning must remember one key fact: You're not reading this book because Korten is a noteworthy psychologist or theologian or anthropologist. Korten has some keen insights and his experience with international NGOs and in academia ensure that the telling of his vision is effective, grounded in reality, and at times inspiring.
He finds great metaphors to convey concepts that otherwise might hover just above true comprehension. Korten not only defines and describes a new ec Any reader of The Great Turning must remember one key fact: He equates love with tolerance, elevates the feminine above the masculine, and believes that knowledge is power. If his economic ideas start taking hold, hopefully theologians whose theology is better equipped to bolster his communities will have more of an impact on his thinking.
Jun 04, Daniel rated it really liked it. Does a good job documenting the course of human evolution and the choices made for culture along the way. Provides a good framework on empire. Leaves some operational definitions unclear but you pick it up eventually through the supporting text. Seems to have a slight misunderstanding of atheism and a couple of questions remain but you can tell he has evolved his views through time and has a Pretty good.
Seems to have a slight misunderstanding of atheism and a couple of questions remain but you can tell he has evolved his views through time and has a good foundation.
Operationally defines the political spectrum kind of wrong but it's a common error and not that consequential. Gives plenty of compare and contrast examples of what he calls earth community which is functionally self determination small cities operating on the principles of sustainability, family, and justice versus empire. A lot of good ideas and definitely helped me hone some concepts and strengthen cross discipline theories. Apr 24, Kate Lawrence rated it really liked it Shelves: I participated in a five-session discussion series on this book.
It gives a good overview of how we can respond positively to the many changes that will be brought about in the not-too-distant future by a deteriorating enviroment and peak oil. Korten has a background in international development and has clearly thought about these issues over many years. Drawing on the ideas expressed in The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler, about dominator and partnership societies, he points out that the I participated in a five-session discussion series on this book.
Drawing on the ideas expressed in The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler, about dominator and partnership societies, he points out that the dominator model, fraught with economic injustice and war, has only been in place for about the last 5, years, out of the , years humans have been around on the planet. We had more peaceful and egalitarian societies earlier, and can develop them again if we have the will to do so. Feb 09, Catherine rated it really liked it. Korten posits that we're on the cusp of worldwide change. He spends much of the book examining history, focusing on humanity's tendency to dominate others, exploit natural resources and value power over all else.
The best part of the book comes near the end, when he describes ways to help your community embrace sustainability and equality. I would recommend this book with the caveat of starting a discussion group to go along with your reading. Your debates and real-world solutions will greatly e Korten posits that we're on the cusp of worldwide change. Your debates and real-world solutions will greatly enrich The Great Turning.
Sep 13, Marie rated it liked it Shelves: I appreciate what Korten has to offer to the future world. I also want to believe that we are in the midst of shifting our view points and perspectives on the world. However, his oversimplistic, repetitive, and theory-only writing had me more often pointing out the flaws in his argument over the possibility and inspiration that it was should have had me thinking about.
I think Korten is onto a good idea.. Apr 25, Taylor rated it it was amazing Shelves: I support this book whole heartedly! I feel that it is one of those books that everybody should read Korten gives a historical review of the last years in which we have been a patriarchal society. Over all, it is just really well written, inspiring, and powerful!
Feb 20, Rochelle rated it really liked it Shelves: Bill recommended this book. It was very good. I've been trying to find time to go back and listen to it again ever since. I haven't felt that I could give it the proper attention yet. One day I will! Jan 29, Rebecca Hecking rated it really liked it Shelves: I once had lunch with Korten at a conference.
He's a nice guy, very soft spoken in person and a great speaker and writer. The premise of the book is completely valid in my opinion, and I would parallel his "empire" to Riane Eisler's dominator societies and his "Earth community" to her partnership societies.
I am less optimistic than Korten but that's neither here nor there. Oct 07, Andrew rated it it was amazing Shelves: A Road Map for Change. People fear change and politicians are afraid to scare away voters by talking about change. Earth community must lead from below to remove power from Empire. People fear change for the most part, therefore, politicians who promise maintenance of the status quo retain power, even when the status quo is bad for the majority of earth'e people.
Mar 11, Christian rated it it was amazing. Good exposition of the proposition that a "drive to empire" is not innate to humans, rather an historic phenomenon. Coupled with a picture of an evolution of consciousness, well-presented, with most of us in a middle state, on one side or the other of a labile center, the "younger" side being self-centered, the other more actively social.
Aug 17, Bill rated it it was ok. But, way too simplistic and too heavy on rah rah without any practical ideas. Changing our future begins with changing our stories. A work already underway, it ultimately calls out for the participation of every person on the planet. The Great Turning points the way to the inspiring outcome within our reach. Choosing Our Future 1. Sorrows of Empire 5. When God Was a Woman 6.
America, The Unfinished Project 9. People Power Rebellion Struggle for Justice Wake Up Call Prisons of the Mind. The Great Turning Joys of Earth Community Stories for a New Era. Birthing Earth Community Leading from Below excerpt Building A Political Majority excerpt Liberating Creative Potential Change the Story, Change the Future. To purchase The Great Turning. The discussion guide is designed for five, two-hour sessions, which are aligned with each of the five parts in the book. In When Corporations Rule the World Korten called attention to the corruption of corporate-led economic globalization and helped to launch a powerful global resistance movement.
In The Great Turning he tells us that the scourge of economic globalization is but a contemporary manifestation of 5, years of rule by imperial elites. In The Great Turning , Korten sets forth a compelling, devastating, and ultimately profoundly hopeful story that addresses this need and provides a framework for the new, unifying political conversation our nation so desperately needs.
A must read for every person of conscience. Korten stands as an insider-outsider to American culture, able to mirror back to the American empire of power and money what an ugly face it shows to the rest of the world. In this well-written and thorough story of the crises of late Modernity, Korten gives us a beautifully reasoned, carefully researched look at why we absolutely have to turn away from imperial power and wealth and, instead, create an Earth Community.
This is a must-read for activists, for lovers of contemporary American studies, and for Cultural Creatives. Ray , co-author of The Cultural Creatives. Fascinating, compelling, wonderfully readable, and broad-reaching in its arc of history and significance, The Great Turning will keep you up nights reading, fill your notebooks with insights, and give you the ammunition to win the water cooler wars.
It is brave in its sweeping breadth of vision, and radical in going to the root of the corporate pathologies his previous works unmasked.
Here Korten provides powerful tools for an understanding of Empire and shows, that in learning to recognize its logic and its enormous cost, we gain a perspective on Empire that opens us to the possibility of choice. We are not doomed to domination and suicidal competition. We can choose another story for ourselves—Earth Community. This is the Great Turning. The Great Turning situates us in history while calling us to transcend its limitations. As one reads this rigorous book, one is moved by its sacredness.
The spiritual reflection with deep political and economic implications demands we move with grace and dignity into the new space of equity, dignity and above all abiding love. In the end, may we all be turned. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou , author of Urbansouls. Employing history, psychology, economics, spirituality, and common sense, Korten not only critiques the dilemma we are in as a species, he also shows us doable and workable ways out of our morass.
He has created a tour de force — a call to compassion as much as a blueprint for survival, a revelation of where we might travel if we have the moral imagination and the courage to choose and act wisely. Through careful and painstaking historical analysis, personal reflection and myth-busting, The Great Turning challenges U. David Korten has done it again — created a masterpiece of big-thinking to help us find our way in this death-or-life historical moment. With fascinating analogies, intriguing stories and eloquent analysis, Korten engages and emboldens us to believe that we can trust and cultivate the best in ourselves and, despite the lateness of the hour, choose life.
Weaving together culture patterns, politics, economics, and history, Korten demonstrates how U. The time has come for a change…we need to move on and empower a different kind of story!