5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Intricate, Non-Violent, and Optimistic, November 4, 2014
In relation to the 2,000 plus non-fiction books I have reviewed here at Amazon, this book is brilliant. Normally I would consider giving it four stars for lacking an index and endnotes, obviously needed for the poorly educated morons that cannot grasp the many (many) direct references to top authors and thinkers. For crying out loud, Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century is received by the author in his home and cited in this book, as are so many others. So a solid five stars for impact and self-made erudition.
Let me state very clearly that the publisher has sodomized this author by not including an index, a bibliography, or endnotes. As the top Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, reviewing books across 98 distinct non-fiction categories, I am blown away by the clever, poetic, and pointed manner in which the author has integrated a vast (vast) range of reading and personal conversations into this book.
Here are a few meta-observations, followed by some detailed notes. I found this book absorbing and moving. Those that say the author does not offer specific solutions are clearly illiterates who have not actually read the book.
01 Poetry and philosophy. Will Durant's 1916 thesis, now available as Philosophy and the Social Problem: The Annotated Edition, fits easily with this author's panoramic book of both the problems and the possibilities.
02 If Russell Brand can be clean for 11 years, We the People can overturn our blind addictions to toxic corporations and absentee corrupt governments. There is a marvelous personal story woven throughout this book, the bottom line being that the author has chosen to be clean and deal with reality, something 80% of the public will not do — their drugs of choice being slave wages, alcohol, gambling, and pornography.
03 We ALL want to be delivered from evil, including the 1%. I am charmed by a brief report from the author of his encounter with Lady Lynn Rothschild (who is originally from New Jersey) — not mentioned in the book is the fact that she sponsored a May conference on Inclusive Capitalism, and together with the Mars Family (Mutuality Economics) and the “black sheep billionaires” (Redemptive Capitalism), represents the fraction of the 1% that “gets it” — restore public agency or get a pitchfork up your ass.
04 Citing Fawzi Ibrahim, we have a choice: capitalism or the planet. Restoring community is how we cope. I am reminded of two books in particular, Lionel Tiger's The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System and Human scale.
05 Overall the author comes across as a loving conscious spirit who means no ill to the 1% but is sharply focused on achieving dignity and fairness for the 99%. He has completed his own Hero's Journey, has climbed out of the abyss, and is now a voice for public healing.
01 Control and hold accountable all corporations, scrapping the World Trade Organization (WTO) and creating the World Environmental Organization (WEO).
02 Re-localize food and farming (the UN just announced that this is the only sustainable agricultural solution)
03 Prioritize life over profit by rejecting Gross National Product (GNP) in favor of more community and life-affirming measures.
04 Individual debt jubilee.
05 Route around governments with autonomous community-based organizations
06 Get the money out of politics, participate instead of voting, move toward Liquid Democracy
07 Shift the energy paradigm to include shutting down all nuclear.
08 Make society, not economics, central to how we organize.
09 Open information, open eyes, open mind — restore public power with transparency.
10 Demand 70% affordable housing from any development.
11 Direct most government funding to social enterprises.
12 Free Wi-Fi everywhere
01 This book is hilarious.
02 Among key intellectual influences worth noting are Joseph Campbell and Sir James Goldsmith. I would add two recommended books, Peter Linebaugh's Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance (Spectre) and Matt Taibbi's Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.
03 What US Government paid in bank bail-outs would have provided $50,000 a year to each homeless person in the USA.
04 60,000 of the homeless in the USA are veterans (independent fact check shows no fewer than 50,000).
05 Our attitude toward homelessness (obliviousness) is symptomatic of our attitude toward genocide, war, and general political and economic corruption.
06 Pedophilia is politics and politics is pedophilia. This is a nuclear grenade. Buy the book. I will certify that it applies in the USA as much as it may apply in the UK and across Europe.
07 Among the many corporations that should be killed (put out of existence) are Apple, Boots, Coca Cola, Disney, Exxon, Goldman Sachs, General Motors, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Time Warner.
08 The author lionizes Daniel Pinchbeck, whom I also worship, he was the publisher of my book in the signature line, and is a cultural and spiritual guru of the first order.
09 Among the most interesting elements of the book for me were sections deconstructing the Lord's Prayer, dismantling “Manifest Destiny,” and sections throughout the book on the intersection between science, religion, and consciousness. There are so many books I would like to recommend, here I must limit myself to two: Quantum Jumps: An Extraordinary Science of Happiness and Prosperity and Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution.
10 I have MANY books annotated in the margins of this book, I mention this to make the point that anyone who demeans this author's erudite and poetic essay — never mind the crap publisher screwing over the details — is simply not well-read. With my two remaining links I offer Theresa Amato's Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny and the UK's only utterly genius Philip Allot of Cambridge, The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State.
The author concludes with a strong statement, very detailed, on the need to migrate toward community-based social enterprises and self-governance — a Nobel Prize was awarded to Elino Ostrom for her book on Governing the Commons that made many of these points.
I am very happy to stand with the author on the substance of this book. It serves us all.
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust