The Empire Story
PCDForum Campaign IV: Changing the story that social order must be imposed either by a domineering government or by unrestrained market forces (2002 to 2009).
The New Story: Although we humans we have a well demonstrated capacity for individualistic greed and violence, in adults is a sign of psychopathology. It is the nature of the mature adult human to be caring, sharing, and non-violent and it is within our means to create deeply democratic caring, sharing, non-violent societies that provide a healthy, secure, and meaningful life for all in balance with Earth’s biosphere. The social and environmental devastation created by the dominator system make this an immediate imperative.
The Book: The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (2006)
The Forum’s Role
Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, U.S. administration officials and neoconservative policy analysis spoke openly of American Empire, announced their intention to impose a Pax Americana on the world by military force, equated dissent with terrorism, and provided political cover for governments around the world looking for an opportunity to roll-back civil liberties. Global civil society, which had mobilized around resistance to corporate-led economic globalization based on the analysis framed and popularized by the IFG and others.
The U.S. response to 9/11 was a wake up call to the deeper reality that global corporate rule is but one modern manifestation of 5,000 years of Empire during which a privileged few have ruled by fear and violence to maintain monopoly control of society's resources for their exclusive benefit. To move forward toward the realization of true democracy and self-organizing market economies, required a larger framework. The Forum responded with The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, which launched in May 2006 backed by an intensive speaking and media tour across the United States and Canada.
The Great Turning traces the 5,000 history of organizing human societies by hierarchies of domination grounded in violent chauvinisms of race, gender, religion, nationality, language, and class. The result, as now, is always the same; fortune for the few and misery for the many. Increasingly destructive of children, family, community, and nature, the way of Empire is leading to environmental and social collapse. This framework ties together a great many issues about which people are deeply concerned, but have lacked a framework to understand and address in a coherent way.
The Great Turning exposes the dynamics of a system that gives inordinate power to the few, in turn providing a powerful incentive for the ruling classes to expropriate ever more resources to defend their position of privilege. It further illuminates the simple, but elegant truth that we humans live by stories and are held captive to the ways of Empire by a cultural trance of our own creation maintained by stories that deny our capacities for compassion, cooperation, responsible self-direction, and self-organizing partnership. Changing the human future begins with changing our stories—in particular the stories that guide our efforts to find prosperity, security, and meaning.
Through the book and related articles, presentations, and media outreach, the Forum and its partners have reached hundreds of thousands of people who are integrating it into their conversations, organizing, and advocacy work.
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