Review: Conscious Globalism: What’s Wrong with the World and How to Fix It

4 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Righteous, Not as Deep As Some, Great Overview
September 3, 2009

David Schwerin

This book is a logical follow-on to the author’s earlier book, Conscious Capitalism: Principles for Prosperity, a book that is doing very very well in Chinese translations. Early on he points out that we need to achieve a global change in consciousness, and I am reminded of Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential as well as Steve MacIntosh’s Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution. Everything I am reading is converging, and it is not because of what I am choosing as much as it is about what there is to choose from–this is a tsunami.

The author observes that the Internet is both a people unifier, allowing for information sharing across all traditional barriers and boundaries, and it is also a source of competitive information, something I take to mean that smaller players are now competitive with larger players because of their increased access to information.

The author points out that “the rules” were made of, by, and for those with wealth, and that our challenge today is to find investment capital with a conscience. I think that is happening as Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution and Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World combine with Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and The Philosophy of Sustainable Design thinking. Further on he talks about how respecting the environment encourages innovation and reduces waste, but I am struck by the absence of references to any of the greats in this entire line of reflection.

The author follows the spiritual principles adopted by Phi Beta Iota, the Honour Society for Public Intelligence, and focuses constantly on moving us all, one individual at a time, from “Me” to “Us.”

He is spot on in his calling for a new metrics, praising the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) but not mentioned as I would have expected the more constructive definition of Gross Positive Product (GPD) that does not count prisons and hospitals and other remediation endeavors that emerge from bad ill- informed and ideologically motivated policy.

The author displays a surprising degree of naiveté in speculating that capitalists of today’s sort (predatory immoral) actually want a free press and a free flow of information, and he disappoints further in seeming to ignore completely all the negative costs of immoral capitalism that ignores two of the three bottom lines.

He touches on corruption as the single biggest killer of economies, and then goes on to extol the virtues of honesty, fairness, and transparency. I am much taken with his brief discussion of the ills of any government that promotes loyalty over merit. He also observes that government bookkeeping cannot be trusted and that protectionism and subsidies have hurt everyone–this as the Obama Administration is still trying to foist an idiotic, ill-conceived, ideologically-driven health plan on the public, which is not buying.

The author briefly discusses Israel in the context of the costs of apartheid, and I totally agree that Israel is the new South Africa.

As the book draws to a close the author focuses on “isms” as extreme positions focused on single criterion versus overall structure, and points out that the isms are the opposite of more nuanced “both or some of each”.

The book concludes with a discussion of the importance of “soul” values as a means of achieving harmonization and inter-connectedness, with a special appreciation for diversity. The core values he lists are:

+ Holistically creative

+ Either/AND tolerance

+ Compassionate generosity

+ Fearlessly honest

The Golden Rule is obviously applicable here, and the author throws in a page (198) with 13 variations of the same Golden Rule across religions and other forms of tribal or communal belief–a most useful and compelling page!

Also included are two self-assessment questionnaires.

The author’s bottom line: we need to create communities.

His most satisfying quote, dismay over “distorted often immature views of many world leaders and authority figures.”

Other books that come to mind as anti-thesis that Conscious Globalims can overcome:
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
Pathology Of Power
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World

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