Transcript: David Korten, Tom Hayden. Dubrovnik 10. Jun 07 2007
Thom was at the Dubrovnik Conference: Transforming Culture: From Empire to Global Community Dubrovnik, Croatia, broadcasting live from the studios of Radio Dubrovnik, Croatian Radio. In the tenth segment he talked with David Korten and Tom Hayden.
Sailin' away on the crest of a wave
It's like magic
Rollin' and ridin' and slippin' & slidin'
"Livin' Thing", ELO.
[Thom]: Ah, it's magic being here in Dubrovnik, Croatia at Radio Dubrovnik, broadcasting live on Air America Radio. Thom Hartmann here with you. 21 minutes past the hour.
[Thom]: Frances Moore Lappé, her books "Democracy's Edge" and "Getting a Grip" her new book coming out. David Korten, "The Great Turning" and "When Corporations Rule the World". Tom Hayden, "Ending the War in Iraq" and Swami Beyondananda and Steve Bhaerman and the author of...
[Steve]: "Swami for Precedent"; that's Precedent, "a 7 step plan to Heal the Body Politic and Cure Electile Disfunction".
[Thom]: Ah, yes. A fine thing. David Korten, I wanted to get your take here. We've been talking about the G8, what's going on with the G8 and, you know, pulling back the curtain. Who is that man behind the curtain? What do you see?
[David]: Well I think we've got to put this whole thing in a little deeper perspective, and part of part of the excitement of my life has been participating in and seeing the whole evolution of what we call global civil society as a new dynamic political force. And at least in my experience, this began to come together in 1992 with the Rio Earth Summit which was the first time that you had very large numbers of
ordinary citizens from every country, religion, linguistic group and so forth meeting together to share their vision of the world that can be; the new world.
[Thom]: A new movement emerging.
[David]: A movement emerging. Now, that was the time that the Internet was really kicking in and we began to get truly costless instantaneous communication among ordinary people all around the world. Now that began to coalesce originally around these issues of free trade, global corporate takeover, which is in many ways a democracy issue at its heart, but it was focussed around the particular trade agreements kinds of issues and the rewriting rules of global commerce.
[David]: That was gaining enormous momentum and of course creating these massive demonstrations every time there was a WTO meeting or there was a
meeting of G8 or any of those kinds of get-togethers of the elite to decide how they're going to divide up the world's wealth. Now, Bush came in, we had 9/11. After 9/11 we had this crackdown and we actually had the members of the punditocracy and of the Bush administration saying; 'you know, it's not just about trade, this is about empire. It's about imposing America's will on the world by naked military force'. Now this began to reengage the development of a larger framework within the movement. You know, the next set of expressions as Bush was pursing his wars focused on the peace issue although many of the demonstrators and the groups defined themselves as peace and justice.
[Thom]: So the movement began to morph.
[David]: The movement began to morph in terms of a broadening agenda.
[Thom]: But peace and justice, I mean that goes back to Emerson. I mean Thoreau was talking about peace and justice.
[David]: Yeah, absolutely. It's not a new idea but it is,
you know, got this enormous traction with growing millions of ordinary people all around the world who are mobilizing politically but they are also organizing around all kinds of other positive initiatives; to rebuild their local economies, rebuild community, exploring the relationship between spiritual awakening and the building of community. It's, you know, it is becoming a multi issue force, which kind of the meta frame in which all this is taking place.
And I think, you know, I think very much as what Frankie was saying that it's it's moving into becoming a living democracy movement. And that is about shifting, reframing the whole distribution of power in the world. And within societies. So, you know, one of the immediate manifestations of course is, you know, the financial system, the concentrations of financial power, which is one of the powerful systems of creating this dominator system to undermine in gaining, buying out democracy and which of course is all creating a rapidly growing awareness that what we have is not democracy. We could debate whether it has ever been a democracy. But clearly it is now a plutocracy; a system of rule by people of wealth. And as people are waking up to that, these movements, this political energy, is really taking on the whole system of a hierarchical dominator structure.
You know, this is...
[Thom]: And you're very optimistic that this is a real movement and that this is...
[David]: Oh absolutely, and it's not going to go away.
[Thom]: Tom Hayden, as our resident kind of political analyst, I mean, you've been on the inside, you've been on the outside, you've been all around this thing, do you think that this is cosmetic?
[Tom]: I think that there's a very large movement as David has described it that is inspired, it's inspirational, it has very generalized demands, but whether the hierarchical system of the Machiavellis will be overthrown is dependent on whether the current system, the G8 types deliver on ending global poverty. Do you think they will?
[Tom]: Deliver on ending environmental destruction? Do you think they will?
[Thom]: Not a chance.
[Tom]: Well if they can't deliver, then that means there will be.
[Thom]: But that means the movement...
[Tom]: No, the movement will become about a power shift, not just about single issues, you will see.
[David]: It's about withdrawing power from the system. A very wise friend of mine named Thom Hartmann once talked about 'walking away from the king', and I think that that's a concept that is right on target here.
[Thom]: All right. we'll continue the conversation and take your calls as well in just a minute. 27 minutes past the hour.