I like the “fireside chat” description of this book and am providing my own summary primarily for my own benefit and the benefit of those that follow all of my non-fiction reviews at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog where all of my reviews, in 98 non-fiction categories, are more easily exploited than here at Amazon (but they all lead back to Amazon.
QUOTE (1): We live in a country where telling the hard truth with clarity has become taboo.
I have two competing views of this book. The first, beyond five stars, is earned by this quote from page 13:
QUOTE: In our history, the greatest patriots have been those leaders and ordinary citizens who have dared to hold America to our own highest standards–even at the cost of ostracism, punishment, imprisonment and, at times–e3ven death.” I would add unemployment to the list–Washington today does NOT want to hear truth about anything at all.
This might have been a four because despite the gifted genius of the author–I use the term with admiration–the book is out of touch with two thirds or more of the relevant literature and all the non-elite movements that are doing precisely what she advocates but DISPLACING governments.
HOWEVER, the recurring theme of multinational information-sharing and information-driven harmonization grabbed me by the throat. A handful of quoted phrases, generally citing others properly end-noted:
+ European agencies “are best described as ‘information agencies.' Their job is to collect, coordination, and disseminate information needed by policymakers.
+ “Modes of regulation based on information and persuasion…”
+ “Debousee also sees the European information agencies as network creators and coordinators.”
+ “In short, the ability to provide credible information and an accompanying reputation for credibility become sources of soft power.” She acknowledged here that non-governmental organization networks are doing this now, and that government networks need to do more of this. Continue reading “Review: A New World Order”
Speak the Truth, Lose the Anger, Be Part of the Whole
February 10, 2010
It took me fifty years to recognize the deficiencies of the command and control or top down elite-dominated model of governance, and to discover the spiritual and practical integrity of collective intelligence, openness, appreciative inquirty, deliberative public dilaog, and so on. It's taken another seven years to discover detachment from outcome, and that in turn set the stage for what I find to be the absolute essence of this book: speaking truth to power is half the battle, losing the anger is the other half. Harder to do than it sounds, this Westernized version of the Bhagavad Gita does help.
Here are the two paragraphs I pulled from page 129 and then 147 for intelligence (decision-support) professionals:
“Those who transcend the gunas are in essence watchers, beyond the worldly. Although constantly aware of the inevitable cycle of birth, disease, senility, grief, and so forth, they dwell above it all, and merely witness it.
My personal take on the above is that sacred dispassion is a prerequisite for both spirtual vision and professional integrity.
“Always tell the truth, Arjuna, and present it in as pleasant a way as possible. If you cannot do that, remain silent. If something absolutely needs to be said, you must uphold the truth, but find a way to do it that is gentle and obliging.”
I was watching David Walker as he served nine of his fifteen years at Comptroller General, with light-weight whimpers to Congress until he finally got Peter Peterson to bail him out of government and give him a chunk of cash for making movies and writing a book and creating a web site that very few serious under 40 pioneers pay attention to.
I was thrilled to see him tell Congress in 2007 that the US was bankrupt–both Senator McCain and Senator Obama could have cared less–and so he walked quietly back to his holding cell at the General Accountability Office (GAO). His “loyalty” to impeachable masters is just as troubling to me as the loyalty of our military leaders during the neo-con rampage.
This book loses one star for the publishers arrogance and ineptitude in failing to use all of the tools Amazon provides, so that readers like myself who read a great deal and do not buy books on whim, can actually look at the table of contents. If you want a sense what the author has to say, see the Wikipedia page on the US Federal Budget where the author's fingerprints are elegantly visible.
If and when the publisher acts more responsibly and provides Look Inside the Book information as well standard entries via Amazon Advantage (about the book, about the author, editorial reviews), I will buy the book, read it, and review it.
The book loses a second star for being wildly praised by all the unethical losers that got us into this mess in the first place by sacrificing their ethics and selling the two party system out to Wall Street. Bill Bradley in particular is a major disappointment, he slunk off to Allen and Company where George “Slam Dunk” Tenet is also in hiding, and they have profited handsomely for betraying the public trust for over a decade. Edumund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Even better is the following from Chief Justice Louis Brandeis: