Saturday, March 17, 2018

David Korten: If There Is To Be a Human Future

David Korten is courageous and wise writer and visionary who has long been among my many treasured teachers. May we all seek teachers who nourish and expand our minds, hearts, and souls and be mindful of choosing wisely. — Molly

With David Korten, Seattle, Washington

Our Defining Gift As Humans

If there is to be a human future, we must bring ourselves into balanced relationship with one another and the Earth.

There are actually very few US politicians who have integrity and vision.

Wall Street sees a social fabric or social contract as inefficiencies, which need to be removed.

Capitalism has defeated communism. It is now well on its way to defeating democracy.

An active propaganda machinery controlled by the world's largest corporations constantly reassures us that consumerism is the path to happiness, governmental restraint of market excess is the cause our distress, and economic globalization is both a historical inevitability and a boon to the human species.

As corporations gain in autonomous institutional power and be-come more detached from people and place, the human interest and the corporate interest increasingly diverge. It is almost as though we were being invaded by alien beings intent on coloniz­ing our planet, reducing us to serfs, and then excluding as many of us as possible.

When the institutions of money rule the world, it is perhaps inevitable that the interests of money will take precedence over the interests of people. What we are experiencing might best be described as a case of money colonizing life. To accept this absurd distortion of human institutions and purpose should be considered nothing less than an act of collective, suicidal insanity.

Capitalism is not about free competitive choices among people who are reasonably equal in their buying and selling of economic power, it is about concentrating capital, concentrating economic power in very few hands using that power to trash everyone who gets in their way.

To create a world in which life can flourish and prosper we must replace the values and institutions of capitalism with values and institutions that honor life, serve life's needs, and restore money to its proper role as servant. I believe we are in fact being called to take a step to a new level of species consciousness and function.

The proper goal of an economic democracy agenda is to replace the global suicide economy ruled by rapacious and unaccountable global corporations with a planetary system of local living economies comprised of human-scale enterprise rooted in the communities they serve and locally owned by the people whose well-being depends on them.

Our defining gift as humans is our power to choose, including our power to choose our collective future. It is a gift that comes with a corresponding moral responsibility to use that power in ways that work to the benefit of all people and the whole of life.

We will prosper in the pursuit of life, or we will perish in the pursuit of money. The choice is ours. 

David Korten

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Here's How To Prevent The Next School Shooting, Experts Say

This is excellent! And a powerful light of sanity and wisdom in the midst of the insanity of proposals to arm teachers while also continuing to back the toxicity of the NRA and belief systems rooted in ignorance, greed, fear, and violence. There is another way! May we all embrace it now! — Molly

After Parkland, there have been many calls to make schools a "harder target" — for example, by arming teachers. But there's a decent amount of research out there on what actually makes schools safer, and most of it doesn't point to more guns.
On the Friday after the deadly shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, Matthew Mayer, a professor at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, got an email during a faculty meeting.
The email was from Shane Jimerson, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Both specialize in the study of school violence.
That email led to nearly two weeks of long days, Mayer says, for some of the leading experts in the field. On conference calls and in Google docs they shaped a concise, eight-point "Call for Action To Prevent Gun Violence In The United States of America."
About 200 universities, national education and mental health groups, school districts, and more than 2,300 individual experts have signed on to support this document in the weeks since.
Their topline message: Don't harden schools. Make them softer, by improving social and emotional health.
"If we're really talking about prevention, my perspective is that we should go for the public health approach," says Ron Avi Astor at the University of Southern California, who also helped draft the plan.
A public health approach to disease means, instead of waiting for people to be rushed to emergency rooms with heart attacks or the flu, you go into the community: with vaccinations, screenings, fruits and vegetables, walking trails and exercise coaches. You screen and regulate environmental hazards, like a nearby polluting factory. You keep watch on reported cases of illness, to stop a new outbreak in its tracks.
A public health approach to school shootings, Astor explains, would be much along the same lines.
Instead of waiting for people to, again, be rushed into emergency rooms, you go into the community with preventive resources. You do your best to lower the background levels of bullying and discrimination. You track the data and perform what is called "threat assessments" on potential risks.
And, these experts say, you remove the major "environmental hazard" that contributes to gun violence: the guns. The eight-point plan calls for universal background checks, a ban on assault-style weapons, and something called Gun Violence Protection Orders: a type of emergency order that would allow police to seize a gun when there is an imminent threat.
What sets this call to action apart from other policy proposals is not gun control, however, but the research-based approach to violence prevention and response. This is a long haul, say the experts, not a quick fix.
"No matter what you try to do by just hardening the target, we've learned that having the armed officers isn't necessarily going to stop it," says Matthew Mayer at Rutgers. "Having the metal detector or the locked doors isn't going to stop it. The hard work is a lot more effort. You'd better start thinking in a more comprehensive manner about prevention instead of reacting."