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Set a Standard, Modern Version Urgently Needed
December 16, 2010
When I was a graduate student in the 1970’s, “Banks & Textor” was the bible, and I could not have done my first graduate thesis on revolution without its inspiration. This reference taught me how to “operationalize” from a pre-condition of revolution (e.g. concentration of wealth) to specific measurable factors within a society (e.g. a mix of per capita income and spread).
As I just wrote in a commentary on the gap between rich and poor in the US,
In the 1970’s an era when “whole systems” thinking tried to flourish only to be crushed by the emergent merger of the two-party tyranny and Wall Street, there was a vital comparative international studies reference, “Banks & Textor,” or more properly, Arthus S. Banks and Robert B. Textor, A Cross-Polity Survey (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1963). We strongly suspect that today the USA would be qualified a failed state, certainly so if the 1% of the population hoarding the bulk of the wealth were isolated as an extraneous factor contributing little of value to the larger economy while siphoning off one fifth of the asset value through legalized financial crime. There is clearly a need for a return of the Banks & Textor model, but with the added sophistication of distinguishing between negative factors of domestic production (excessive concentration of wealth, legalized mortgage clearinghouse, Wall Street derivative, and Federal Reserve fraud, prison factories and prisons, hospitals, and marginalized enterprises among others).
I would love to see a great university somewhere take on the magnificent challenge of recreating this great work, but modernized to include the Internet factor, measures of openness across all fronts (see my Gnomedex ketone, “Open Everything”) and so on.
This book is still priceless, it was the gold standard in its time, we need it now more than ever, but completely redone and modernized.
For the past few years, in response to the topics I speak about on my television show and write about on The Huffington Post, people have asked me how they could contribute to help fight for what I call “Truth to Power.” Previously there has been no mechanism to allow people to participate in this, but it is clear that we need to form an Alliance – a formation of like-minded individuals fighting for the same ideals.
With that, let me invite you to join The Alliance to help us all fight for the truth. It is clear that our country is divided in two – not left and right, but those who wish to change the status quo for better, and those who wish to keep it to protect their interests.
The problem is that the Democratic and Republican parties have lost their focus. Instead of fighting to empower the people, they are now only fighting to keep their own power. Only through the full engagement of the people can we change this.