Review: War, Evil, and the End of History

4 Star, Atrocities & Genocide, Consciousness & Social IQ, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, History, Philosophy, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, War & Face of Battle

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4.0 out of 5 stars Connects 9/11 to Long Era of Imperial Deceit & Predatory Looting,

September 18, 2004
Bernard Henri Levy
Edit of 20 Dec 07 to connect to more recent books.

There are some gems in this book, but it is *not* anywhere near the kind of blindingly brilliant, deeply philosophical work that the publicists would have you believe. He is a talented and very wealthy (inherited wealth) Frenchman of the Jewish faith who could be called the Bill Gates of French philosophy, fwith irst-rate marketing.

The author is clearly a courageous and inquisitive individual, and I would rank him third, after Robert Young Pelton and Robert Kaplan, in the “journalist-philosopher-adventurer” category. He has been to all of these places, he has seen with his own eyes, and he writes thoughtfully, if often tediously, about what he has seen.

The real gem in the book is the connection he makes between 9-11 and our deliberate ignorance of the many wars, genocides, crimes against women and children, torture, corruption, etcetera that we in the West have manifested. He writes with conviction and insight about the “meaningless war” across Africa, South Asia, around the globe, where entire regions have descended into a chaotic hell of kill and be killed, work and die, slavery or death, rape then death. His point, which I like very much, is that history does not end, it recycles, and in 9-11 and the global war on terrorism what we have is a “homecoming” of all these wars to America and its Western allies.

This is not, however, completely original, in the sense that the “Map of World Conflict & Human Rights” that I have been handing out to my adult students (thanks to Berto Jongman in The Netherlands for creating it, and to the European Centre for Conflict Prevention and Goals for Americans Foundation, among others, for funding its creation) ably documents all of this is a single compelling document, and many books in the 490+ that I have reviewed cover all aspects of these “ungovernable regions” in great detail.

The author is half absurd and half correct when he condemns the United Nations for its zealous pursuit of Israel as a racist and terrorist state, while the United Nations largely ignores the many genocides taking place from Russia and China to Indonesia and Brazil and Central America and onwards. He is absurd on the first count, correct on the second.

The book is fully worth four stars, definitely worth purchasing, for its articulation of a European view on “the heart of darkness” as it exists today. I was especially taken with his discussion of Buddhist versus Hindu terrorism and extremism and the use of child soldiers in Sri Lanka, since it makes the point that other religions, not just Islam and Christianity, spawn cycles of terrorism and ethnic violence.

The book concludes on a note worthy of the greatest philosophers, a reflection on the death of memory within Western civilization, the death of *moral* memory. Having just returned from Denver, where I was privileged to observe a two-week Office of Personnel Management course on National Security, a first-class endeavor, I was struck by the recurring theme, across virtually all of the world-class lecturers: “morality matters.” Morality has a tangible value in helping nations, organizations, and individuals “get it right.” The last two pages of the book are the best, and conjure up clear and frightening pictures of billions of dispossessed swarming over the European and US cities, bringing the despair we have ignored to our doorstep. Ignore history, ignore evil, and it will eventually, inevitably, come to your doorstep. We–or perhaps even more sadly, our children and grandchildren–will pay for our moral cowardice and our historical blindness. In these final reflections, the author does demonstrate a brilliance that requires us to attend to his future reflections.

More recent books supportive of this author's insights:
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush
The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Vintage)
9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, Fourth Edition
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America's Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It
Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq
Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy

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Review: Faith-Based Diplomacy–Trumping Realpolitik

5 Star, Diplomacy, Leadership, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Religion & Politics of Religion, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

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5.0 out of 5 stars Award-Winner, Mind-Altering Information, Useful, Scholarly,

April 29, 2004
Douglas Johnston
Let's start with the award. I was so impressed with this book that it received one of the ten Golden Candle Awards for most constructive and innovative work in the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) field. It represents the second book in a body of work that may eventually be worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. The citation reads:To Dr. Douglas M. Johnston, president and founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, for his path-finding efforts with regard to Preventive Diplomacy as well as Religion and Conflict Resolution. Among his many works, two stand out for defining a critical missing element in modern diplomacy: Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft (Oxford University Press, 1994), and Faith-based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik (Oxford University Press, 2003). He has restored the proper meaning of faith qua earnestness instead of faith qua zealotry, and this is a contribution of great importance.

With a foreword by no less than The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton, today a leader of the 9-11 Commission, the book drives a stake in the heart of secular “objective” negotiation and focuses on how faith (not zealotry, but earnest faith) can alter the spiral of violence in such places as Sudan, Kashmir, and the Middle East.

The editor and contributing author has assembled a multi-national and multi-religion cast of experts whose work in the aggregate completely supports the premise of the book: that the 21st Century will be about religion instead of ideology, and that what hopes we might have for reconciling “irreconcilable differences” lie in the balanced integration of religious dialog and conflict prevention, rather than in pre-emptive military action and unilateralist bullying.

I found two core concepts especially relevant to national security: the first is that we need an Office of Religious and Cultural Intelligence within the Central Intelligence Agency, and we need, as the authors suggest, to put religious attaches into every Embassy. The second, and this is a truly core concept, is “The price of freedom is cultural engagement–taking the time to learn how others view the world, to understand what is important to them, and to determine what can realistically be done to help them realize their legitimate aspirations.”

This is a brilliant, scholarly, practical, world-changing book. It joins Max Manwaring's various books, but especially “The Search for Security,” Joe Nye's earlier books on understanding the world and engaging the world with soft power, and George Soros as well as the several other books on my standard national security reading list. The conclusion of the book lists a number of means by which religion can impact on diplomacy and state-craft, and I for one have become a believer–this book completely altered my perspective on the role of religion as a peacemaker of substance and day-to-day practicality.

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Review: Breaking the Real Axis of Evil–How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025

6 Star Top 10%, America (Anti-America), Congress (Failure, Reform), Diplomacy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

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5.0 out of 5 stars Single Most Important Work of the Century for American Moral Diplomacy,

November 30, 2003
Mark Palmer
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links and new comment,

New Comment: In my view, this is the single most important work of the century with respect to American moral diplomacy. I note with concern that under Bush-Cheney “Failed States” have increased from 75 in 2005 to 177 in 2007. We've lost our mind, and our morals, as a Nation.

Ambassador Mark Palmer puts to rest all those generally unfair stereotypes of Foreign Service Officers as “cookie pushing” softies who fall in love with their host countries and blame America for any flaws in the bi-lateral relationship. With this book he provides an inspiring model for precisely what every Foreign Service Officer should aspire: to understand, to articulate, and then to implement very great goals that serve democracy and help extend the bounty of the American way of life–moral capitalism and shared wealth–to every corner of the world.

This is a detailed and practical book, not just visionary. It is useful and inspiring, not just a personal view. It is also a damning indictment of fifty years of US White House and Congressional politics, where in the name of anti-communism and cheap oil America–regardless of which party has been in power, has been willing to consort with the most despotic, ruthless, murderous regimes in the history of mankind. Still alive today and still very much “friends” of the U.S. Government are dictators that think nothing of murdering millions.

There has been some improvement, offset by an increase in partly free countries. From 69 countries not free at all in 1972 we now have 47. From 38 countries partly free in 1972 we now have 56, many of those remnants of the former Soviet Union. Free countries have nearly doubled from 43 to 89, but free and poor is quite a different thing from free and prosperous.

The level of detail and also of brevity in this book is quite satisfying. On the one hand, Ambassador Palmer provides ample and well-documented discussion of the state of the world, on the other he does not belabor the matter–his one to two-paragraph summative descriptions of each of the dictatorships is just enough, just right.

He distinguishes between Personalistic Dictatorships (20, now less Hussein in Iraq); Monarch Dictators (7, with Saudi Arabia being the first in class); Military Dictators (5, with US allies Sudan and Pakistan and 1 and 2 respectively); Communist Dictators (5); Dominant-Party Dictators (7); and lastly, Theocratic Dictators (1, Iran).

Ambassador Palmer makes several important points with this book, and I summarize them here: 1) conventional wisdom of the past has been flawed–we should not have sacrificed our ideals for convenience; 2) dictatorships produce inordinate amounts of collateral damage that threatens the West, from genocide and mass migrations to disease, famine, and crime; 3) there is a business case to be made for ending U.S. support for dictatorships, in that business can profit more from stable democratic regimes over the long-term; and lastly, 4) that the U.S. should sanction dictators, not their peoples, and we can begin by denying them and all their cronies visas for shopping expeditions in the US.

The book has an action agenda that is worthy, but much more important is the clear and present policy that Ambassador Palmer advocates, one that is consistent with American ideals as well as universal recognition of human rights. Ambassador Palmer's work, on the one hand, shows how hypocritical and unethical past Administrations have been–both Democratic and Republican–and on the other, he provides a clear basis for getting us back on track.

I agree with his proposition that we should have a new Undersecretary for Democracy, with two Assistant Secretaries, one responsible for voluntary democratic transitions, the other for dealing with recalcitrant dictators. Such an expansion of the Department of State would work well with a similar change in the Pentagon, with a new Undersecretary for Peacekeeping Operations and Complex Emergencies, my own idea.

This is a very fine book, and if it helps future Foreign Service Officers to understand that diplomacy is not just about “getting along” but about making very significant changes in the world at large, then Ambassador Palmer's work will be of lasting value to us all.

Also recommended, with reviews:
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America's Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It
The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik

Forthcoming on Amazon in February and also free at OSS.Net/CIB:
COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, edited by Mark Tovey with a Foreword by Yochai Benkler and an Afterword by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada. I have high hopes for all of us finally getting it right (Winston Churchill: “The Americans always do the right thing, they just try everything else first.”) Now is our time to get it right. We can start by electing Senator Barack Obama as our forward-thinking always listening open-minded President.

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Review: The Art of Happiness at Work

5 Star, Biography & Memoirs, Religion & Politics of Religion, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

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4.0 out of 5 stars Calming, Reflective, Worthwhile,

November 30, 2003
The Dalai Lama
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links.

Although I agree with some reviewer's who feel that this book is mostly about Howard Cutler's efforts to draw out the Dalai Lama, I also feel that the Dalai Lama is a full party to this effort, is no fool, and understands that lending his name to this book could be helpful in reaching many many more people than would every give a hoot about anything Howard Cutler, MD, might have to say. On that basis, I give the book a solid four stars.

Although Peter Drucker and I have both written about “work as a calling” and the importance of finding joy in what you do, and that could serve as a one-sentence summary of the book, there is more to this book than that. Taken with patience, and used as a mind-calming exercise to slowly read a chapter or two and then apply it to one's own (presumably uncalm) work environment, the book could serve as a touchstone for “backing off” and reflecting.

There are a number of books on Zen Buddhism, and my very own all time favorite, not by a Zen Buddhist, on Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, and they all seem to boil down to fulfillment within the circumstances, making the most of what you have, treating everyone as an equal, and being glad you are not in a Turkish jail on drug charges–life could be worse.

I bought the book, the Dalai Lama lent his name to it, it can't be any worse for you that a diet drink loaded with Nutra-Sweet.

Also recommended:
Al On America
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: How the Financial System Underminded Social Ideals, Damaged Trust in the Markets, Robbed Investors of Trillions – and What to Do About It
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming
Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage
Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik
The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right
God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (Plus)
Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit
Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart

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Review: The Tao of Democracy–Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All

6 Star Top 10%, Civil Society, Consciousness & Social IQ, Democracy, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Sensational–Basic Book for Humanity,

November 30, 2003
Tom Atlee
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links and comment.

New comment: Tom Atlee opened a door for me, and because of him I have joined the co-intelligence movement and will be publishing an edited work, COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, both free in PDF form at OSS.Net/CIB, and on Amazon from mid-February.

I see so many things starting to come together around the world and through books. The Internet has opened the door for a cross-fertilization of knowledge and emotion and concern across all boundaries such as the world has never seen before, and it has made possible a new form of structured collective intelligence such as H.G. Wells (World Brain (Adamantine Classics for the 21st Century)), Howard Bloom (Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century), Pierre Levy (Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace), Willis Harman (Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think), and I (The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen's Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption), could never have imagined.

This book is better than all of ours, for the simple reason that it speaks directly to the possibilities of deliberative democracy through citizen study circles and wisdom councils.

The book is also helpful as a pointer to a number of web sites, all of them very immature at this point, but also emergent in a most constructive way–web sites focused on public issues, public agendas, new forms of democratic organization, and so on.

Still lacking–and I plan to encourage special organizations such as the Center for American Progress to implement something like this–is a central hub where a citizen can go, type in their zip code, and immediately be in touch with the following (as illustrated on page 133 of New Craft):

1) a weekly report on the state of any issue (disease, water, security, whatever);

2) distance learning on that issue;

3) an expert forum on that issue;

4) a virtual library on that issue including links to the deep web substance on that issue, not just to home pages of sponsoring organizations;

5) a global calendar of all events scheduled on that issue, including legislation and conferences or hearings;

6) a rolodex or who's who at every level for that issue;

7) a virtual budget showing what is being spent on that issue at every level; and

8) an active map showing the status of that issue in time and space terms, with links to people, documents, etcetera.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. If the authors cited above have been coming at the same challenge from a “top down” perspective, then Tom Atlee, the author of this book, gets credit for defining a “bottom up” approach that is sensible and implementable. This book focuses on what comes next, after everyone gets tired of just “meeting up” or “just blogging.” This book is about collective intelligence for the common good, and it is a very fine book.

Five other books (all I am allowed to link):
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization
The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World

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Review: The Health of Nations–Society and Law beyond the State

6 Star Top 10%, Consciousness & Social IQ, Crime (Government), Diplomacy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, History, Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Public Administration, Secession & Nullification, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)

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5.0 out of 5 stars One of a Handful of Revolutionary Books,

October 28, 2003
Philip Allott
Edit of21 Dec 07 to add links and reassert importance of this work.

Of the 1000+ books I have reviewed on Amazon, this is one of a handful that can be considered truly revolutionary. Three others that come instantly to mind are those by Jonathan Schell, The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, William Greider, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, and E.O. Wilson, The Future of Life.

This book is not an easy read. The author, a Professor of Law in the University of Cambridge, wrote an earlier work, Eunomia: New Order for a New World, that has remained similar obscure, and that is a pity, for what I see here is a truly brilliant mind able to suggest that the Congress of Vienna, the current law of nations, and the de-humanization of state to state relations, isolating the internal affairs and inhumanities of state from global public morality and indignation, are the greatest travesty in human history.

The author joins William Greider in suggesting that the state as a corporate personality is as immoral (and irrational in terms of natural law) as is the corporate personality that allows corporations to treat humans as “goods.” In this book the author sets out to do nothing less than logically overturn centuries of absolutist amoral power institutionalized by elites in the form of state governments with sovereign rights divorced from and with eminent domain over their subjects (vice citizens), and to propose a new form of globalized human society that restores the human aspect to relations among peoples and among nations of peoples.

This is a book that requires patience. It must be slowly and methodically absorbed. The footnotes are quite extraordinary, as is the summative and explicatory survey of many different literatures over many different historical periods.

The author is critical of universities for failing to develop the public mind, and offers a lovely exposition of how sanity, insanity, and public consciousness are all subject to the mythology of capitalism and the manipulation of the elites–in this he would find fellow travelers (smile) in Chomsky and Vidal. He concludes that diplomacy (and statecraft) as an articulation of the public mind and public interest have *failed*, and looks instead to some sort of social re-ordering from the bottom up.

This book, apart from offering an enlightened vision of the law as a living thing able to encapsulate changes morality and changing interests among parties, does nothing less than reconceptualize international relations. This author is to the law of nations what Vaclav Havel was to communism.

He touches on a point Henry Kissinger makes in the last of his books I reviewed (Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century), and specifically that “The risk now facing humanity is the globalizing of the all-powerful, all-consuming social systems, without the moral, legal, political and cultural aspirations and constraints, such as they are, which moderate social action at the national level.” The world, in essence, has become much too complex and much too volatile and much too dangerous for archaic state-level forms of mandarin governance.

In the middle of the book, the author's review of how Germany previously collapsed into a patchwork of insignificant nations sounds all too much like the United States of America, where citizenship is losing its value, tyrannical minorities are in isolation from one another (and from reality), and the sense of national identity is too easily captured by a handful of neo-conservatives (modern Nazis). Interestingly, as with Havel, he notes the importance of art and culture as a means of synthesizing national identity, and would probably agree with E.O. Wilson (“Consilience”) as to the humanities being vital to the context and conduct of the sciences. His list of national “diseases” is both disturbing and timely.

He joins Jefferson and the founding fathers in focusing on the health and happiness of the people as the ultimate organizing principle (some would translate “happiness” as “fulfillment”, a more accomplished and less frivolous objective).

On page 137 he is quite clear in suggesting that capitalism as it is practiced today, is nothing less than a form of totalitarianism, and he goes on to say on page 139 that social evil is the greatest challenge facing humanity today. Instead of socializing individuals into the reduced status of “goods” we should be socializing the state into a representative and general democracy by rehumanizing humanity and rehumanizing the organizations that are supposed to provide collective voice to the people.

In following pages the author provides a brilliant catalog of the ills of democracy, reconceptualizes democracy as being based on the rule of law (for all) rather than on who rules (for the benefit of the few), and he explicitly condemns the largely unaccountable forms of concentrated power (by which we take to mean the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and other devices for perpetuating immoral capitalism irrespective of local needs).

The full force of the author's thinking comes into full stride in the concluding portions of the book as he integrates new concepts of international law, history, social relations, and new forms of intergovernmental relations truly representative of the species as a whole and the people as a moral force. He laments the manner in which an extraordinarily global elite has been able to “separate” people from morality and from one another, leading to a common acceptance of five intolerable things: 1) unequal social development; 2) war and armaments; 3) governmental oppression; 4) physical degradation; and 5) spiritual degradation.

The author concludes by proposing a new view of the human world, and his remarks must be read in the original. He ends, as do Will and Ariel Durant in their summative “The Lessons of History,” by noting that the necessary revolution is that which must take place in our minds, not on the streets.”

This is an utterly brilliant book that has been badly marketed and is grossly under-appreciated, even by the so-called intelligencia. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to cast off their slave clothes, stop being a drone, and live free.

More recent books that fully validate this superb work, with reviews:
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: How the Financial System Underminded Social Ideals, Damaged Trust in the Markets, Robbed Investors of Trillions – and What to Do About It
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

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Review: The Unconquerable World–Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People

7 Star Top 1%, America (Anti-America), Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Consciousness & Social IQ, Cosmos & Destiny, Democracy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Future, History, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Public), Military & Pentagon Power, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Public Administration, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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5.0 out of 5 stars7 Star Life Transformative  Restores Faith, Non-Violent Restoration of People Power,

September 13, 2003
Jonathan Schell

Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links

This book, together with William Geider's The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, and Mark Hertsgaard's The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World, in one of three that I believe every American needs to read between now and November 2004.

Across 13 chapters in four parts, the author provides a balanced overview of historical philosophy and practice at both the national level “relations among nations” and the local level (“relations among beings”). His bottom line: that the separation of church and state, and the divorce of social responsibility from both state and corporate actions, have so corrupted the political and economic governance architectures as to make them pathologically dangerous.

His entire book discusses how people can come together, non-violently, to restore both their power over capital and over circumstances, and the social meaning and values that have been abandoned by “objective” corporations and governments.

The book has applicability to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places where the US is foolishly confusing military power with political power. As he says early on, it is the public *will* that must be gained, the public *consent* to a new order–in the absence of this, which certainly does not exist in either Iraq or Afghanistan, no amount of military power will be effective (to which I would add: and the cumulative effect of the financial and social cost of these military interventions without end will have a reverse political, economic, and social cost on the invader that may make the military action a self-inflicted wound of great proportions).

Across the book, the author examines three prevailing models for global relations: the universal empire model, the balance of power model, and the collective security model. He comes down overwhelmingly on the side of the latter as the only viable approach to current and future global stability and prosperity.

A quote from the middle of the book captures its thesis perfectly: “Violence is a method by which the ruthless few can subdue the passive many. Nonviolence is a means by which the active many can overcome the ruthless few.”

Taking off from the above, the author elaborates on three sub-themes:

First, that cooperative power is much greater, less expensive, and more lasting that coercive power.

Second, that capitalism today is a scourge on humanity, inflicting far greater damage–deaths, disease, poverty, etcetera–that military power, even the “shock and awe” power unleashed against Afghanistan and Iraq without public debate.

Third, and he draws heavily on Hannah Arendt, here a quote that should shame the current US Administration because it is so contradictory to their belief in “noble lies”–lies that Hitler and Goering would have admired. She says, “Power is actualized only where word and deed have not parted company, where words are not empty and deeds not brutal, where words are not used to veil intentions but to disclose realities, and deeds are not used to violate and destroy but to establish relations and create new realities.”

Toward the end of the book the author addresses the dysfunctionality of the current “absolute sovereignty” model and concludes that in an era of globalization, not only must the US respect regional and international sovereignty as an over-lapping authority, but that we must (as Richard Falk recommended in the 1970's) begin to recognize people's or nations as distinct entities with culturally-sovereign rights that over-lap the states within which the people's reside–this would certainly apply to the Kurds, spread across several states, and it should also apply to the Jews and to the Palestinians, among many others.

On the last page, he says that we have a choice between survival and annihilation. We can carry on with unilateral violence, or we the people can take back the power, change direction, and elect a government that believes in cooperative non-violence, the only path to survival that appears to the author, and to this reviewer, as viable.

This is a *very* important book, and it merits careful reading by every adult who wishes to leave their children a world of peace and prosperity. We can do better. What we are doing now is destructive in every sense of the word.

Other recommended books with reviews:
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025
Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik
Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart
The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back
A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship

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