Elza S. Maalouf, Foreword by Don Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary — Empowering, World-Changing, Rich in Substance, December 6, 2014
This book was recommended to me by Michael Ostrolenk, whom I consider one of the most inspiring transpartisan figures in America today, and endorsed by Elisabet Sahtouris, evolution biologist and “Yoda” to many of us. Given those two recommendations, my own review is pro forma, summary notes for smart people.
This is a most extraordinary book that I found deeply absorbing, inspiring, and practical. It is an original work in every possible sense of the word, and brings to the public insights, concepts, and methods that are essential to creating peace and prosperity among vastly diverse groups whose cultures, mind-sets, life conditions, and existing forms of governance and economics are not just in conflict, but downright pathologically dysfunctional.
Within this rich offering are a few things that are simply not found elsewhere, that could and should redefine and mature Western and Eastern understanding and practice:
01 Practical application of the pioneering work of Clare W. Graves
02 Practical integration of previously unpublished work by Don E. Beck
03 Most extraordinary handbook for mapping the psycho-social political-economic environment of any conflict
04 Precise articulation of a new concept in context, that of Indigenous Intelligence
05 First rate graphics including graphical depictions of leadership forms for each of the value-system bands
06 Practical model of dealing with Flamethrowers, Zealots, Ideologues, Moderates, Pragmatists, and Conciliators
07 Thoughtful conclusion on how to approach functional (hybrid) governance and (honest) capitalism
From Don Beck’s foreword:
QUOTE (xii): The goal (is) to understand the needs of all mind-sets and to begin to craft “full-spectrum” solutions, which are fundmentally different from those that a single perspective would offer.
This is not something any Western intelligence agency, international development authority, or major university is capable of doing today, not because they cannot, but because they refuse to mature.
The author begins with a very sound summary of Arab history, highlighting artificial boundaries imposed by the West at the point of a gun (boundaries that disrupted the relationships among tribes and between tribes and nature), land barons and proxy tyrants, and predatory capitalism.
See also: The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State and Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush as well as Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025
Her core focus is on teaching young men and women how to build indigenous institutions that are sustainable in the face of as well as in the aftermath of failed Western (and now Eastern) interventions that may be well-intentioned but are abysmally ignorant and often very destructive. Although the author states that educational reform is at the core of the Arab Memone Project, that aspect remains to be addressed more fully.
The discussion of the “confluence of civilizations,” a not-so-subtle slam on Samuel Huntington’s book about clashes that neglected the deep wisdom of the psycho-social practitioners such as Graves and Beck and long underappreciated Charles Hampden-Turner, is utterly fascinating, as is the author’s appreciation for Turkey as a rising model (to which I would add Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Nigeria).
There are several central values to this book, one of them being a very concise practical summary of the work of Don Beck in relation to politics, economics, and regional challenges for change. Another is the author’s articulation of just what it means to have Indigenous Intelligence.
QUOTE (109): Indigenious Intelligence (II) is the multidimensional capacity of an individual or group in a specific society to interpret its value-system’s complexity to non-natives. … Indigenous Intelligence informs governance by assessing the life conditions of the people and the challenges they face. It paints a more complete picture of the obstacles facing stakeholders in a society, not just the elite and the privileged.
Another major value within this book is the natural design process that it develops in relation to Arabia, and its pointed emphasis on the need to meet separately with each of the major mind-set categories (Flamethrowers, Zealots, Ideologues, Moderates, Pragmatists, and Conciliators) before meeting as a larger group — other practical recommendations not now understood by US and other diplomats and aid managers are offered.
As someone who has studied revolution his whole life (search for starting point Graphic: Preconditions of Revolution in the USA Today) and twice failed to get the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to understand that revolution must be studied and appreciated holistically, I find the Beck – Maalouf emphasis on deep appreciation of life conditions, memetic codes, mindsets and world views, systems & structures, and behaviors & actions to be the epitome of intelligence with integrity.
On page 177 I am charmed and inspired by a map of Israel-Palestine that charts the level of emotional and intellectual maturity of specific areas at four levels. This is precisely the kind of fundamental appraisal that is needed and not practiced today by any of the “eight tribes” or information networks that must come together to achieve hybrid understanding and wisdom (academia, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non-profit).
The author concludes with a discussion of how locally-designed and locally-suited functional governance (I would say hybrid governance) must be empowered by functional capitalism (I consider capitalism dishonest, we are better off focused on the term citizen-centered economics). This is an essential original offering and one that will merit close study in Arabia as well as around the world. This section includes some excellent charts — it does not include any reference to true cost economics or open source everything engineering. It ends with a deeply provocative chart, “Functional Democracy & the Eight Levels of Human Existence,” co-developed by the author and Don Beck for this book specifically.
See also: Global Public Policy: Governing without Government? and Critical Choices. The United Nations, Networks, and the Future of Global Governance as well as Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance (Spectre)
Two appendices, the Notes, and the Index, are world-class and make this book a reference work of lasting value.
From my vantage point, this book defines an aspect of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic (DIME) analytics that is both missing from all current endeavors and essential to crafting a future of peace and prosperity for all. This book should be required reading for diplomats, intelligence analysts, corporate commercial risk managers, and so many others. It sets a new gold standard for the integration of psycho-social analytics in local to global collaboration for constructive change. It is not sufficient in and of itself — holistic analytics addressing the ten high-level threats to humanity and the twelve core practical policy domains from agriculture to water are needed, as are true cost economics in detail and open source everything engineering — but it is certainly the “missing link” in ethical local to global engagement and a major life-affirming world-changing contribution to humanity’s forward progress.
Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability