Friday, October 17, 2008

Riane Eisler

At the Women and Spirituality conference in Mankato I was motivated to return to a recurrent theme in my writing—the global shift from POWER OVER to POWER WITH.

Keynoter at the conference was Riane Eisler, social scientist, recipient of many awards, and author of the international bestseller The Chalice and the Blade, as well as many other articles and books. She is one of the authors I credit for my realization of the power shift needed, as she puts it, from domination to partnership. I read Chalice and Blade many years ago, but I plan to reread it as well as dive into her latest book, The Real Wealth of Nations.

It corrects Adam Smith’s exclusive focus on unfettered markets in his The Wealth of Nations; Eisler includes the life-supporting activities of households, communities, and nature to sum up the real wealth of nations. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) features not at all, or very little, the caring work performed disproportionately by women, but their work is absolutely essential to it.

A few of us were fortunate to attend a luncheon with Riane Eisler, and that’s when I saw her activist strain as she worked to ensure that her vision has legs in the real world. I intend to contribute to her effort by spreading understanding of her thoroughly researched insights. We need to seize this opportunity of our nation’s financial crisis to build a more caring, equitable, and sustainable economic system.

April 5, 2009
For an indictment of Republicans and Democrats, of past and present American governments despoiling our entire financial system, watch
Rob a bank.
Bill Moyers interviewed Bill Black, the man who uncovered the S & L scandal and is author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. The transcript is also available at transcript.

I got several emails in response to this video, reacting strongly to it.

April 6.
I’ve been getting more feedback on the Moyers interview with Bill Black. One supplied the URL for another Moyers-economist interview a while ago. At American Oligarchs you’ll see Simon Johnson, whose message closely intertwines with Black’s.
One hopeful note from his statements: He said the IMF (International Monetary Fund) does NOT agree with the insider financial elites who got us into this mess. This bodes well because the IMF was given new power and new funds at the G-20 summit.

Gary Younge, a columnist in The Nation, pointed out that the media hullabaloo over AIG bonuses sends the wrong message. It says we envy the rich. That’s not it. It’s about injustice, not envy.
We need to focus on the system that lets the wealthy enrich themselves at the expense of the middle class.

What to do? That’s the response from some. I think Obama sincerely wants to hear from ordinary people. If we communicate with political leaders, I hope our message reaches him through the din of noise echoing in the beltway. If you have good ideas for how to do that, clue us in, please.

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