Review: A Cross-Polity Survey (1963)

5 Star, Atlases & State of the World, Country/Regional, Culture, Research, Economics, Games, Models, & Simulations, History, Insurgency & Revolution, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, True Cost & Toxicity, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
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Arthur S. Banks (Author), Robert B. Textor (Author)

5.0 out of 5 stars

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.

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See Also:

A Cross-Polity Survey (Free Download)

Search: revolution theory preconditions

Review: SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa

6 Star Top 10%, Associations & Foundations, Autonomous Internet, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Communications, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Public), Media, Mobile, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Survival & Sustainment, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Six Stars–Hugely Important Useful Collection

February 20, 2010

Edited by Sokari Ekine

Contributing authors include Redante Asuncion-Reed, Amanda Atwood, Ken Banks, Chrstinia Charles-Iyoha, Nathan Eagle, Sokari Ekine, Becky Faith, Joshua Goldstein, Christian Kreutz, Anil Naidoo, Berna Ngolobe, Tanya Notley, Juliana Rotich,  and Bukeni Wazuri

This book will be rated 6 Stars and Beyond at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, where we can do things Amazon refuses to implement here, such as sort useful non-fiction into 98 categories, many of the categories focused on stabilization & reconstruction, pushing back against predatory immoral capitalism, and so on.

When the book was first brought to my attention it was with concern over the price. The price is fair. Indeed, the content in this book is so valuable that I would pay $45 without a second thought. I am especially pleased that the African publishers have been so very professional and assured “Look Inside the Book”–please do click on the book cover above to read the table of contents and other materials.

This is the first collection I have seen on this topic, and although I have been following cell phone and SMS activism every since I and 23 others created the Earth Intelligence Network and put forth the need for a campaign to give the five billion poor free cell phones and educate them “one cell call at a time,” other than UNICEF and Rapid SMS I was not really conscious of bottom-up initiatives and especially so those in Africa where the greatest benefits are to be found.

I strongly recommend this book as a gift for ANYONE. This is potentially a game-changing book, and since I know the depth of ignorance among government policy makers, corporate chief executives, and larger non-governmental and internaitonal organization officials, I can say with assurance that 99% of them simply do not have a clue, and this one little precious book that gives me goose-bumps as I type this, could change the world by providing “higher education” to leaders who might then do more to further the brilliant first steps documented in this book.
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