transcript of Rob Kall Interview with David Korten broadcast on Sept 24, 2008.
Our next guest is going to be coming on very shortly, that's David Korten, the author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community ;WHEN CORPORATIONS RULE THE WORLD and The Post Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, and I'm very excited to have him on. He's a visionary; he's really what we need talking to congress right now. People like him have a picture of what happens after capitalism. And that's a good thing.
Every week I talk about Bottom Up. Bottom Up is the opposite of top down; the universe is bottom up; nature is bottom up; cultures were bottom up until civilization.
With civilization it was convenient for kings and emperors, high priests, slave masters to have a top down control and domination system. Think about it; humans and their predecessors have been around for at least 2 million years. About eight, ten thousand years ago civilization came to the earth. With civilization came domination. Domination led to circumstances where certain people had power and were in charge and the rest, didn’t.
David Korten has written a lot about this. And he's thought about what it's going to look like after it's over. So we're going to be talking to him in just a minute and I'm waiting for him to phone in and we'll get started with that shortly. Meantime, if I may, I'm going to talk a little bit more about what I've been saying.
Kall: Oh-- David?
Korten: Dave Korten here, yeah.
Kall: Great! Good to have you here; I've just been talking a little bit about what you've said in some of your books. Did you get to hear Bernie (Sanders)?
Korten: Yes, I was listening to the two of you on the web stream.
Kall: Oh great. So you put together an article; it's really fun, I had a fortuitous opening today, thinking, God, I wish I could get an opening 'cause I would really like to have you on, and I worked to reach you and you tell me you've been up 'til two in the morning writing an article to respond to this (economic crisis) and in a lot of ways—did you ever look at what I wrote?
Korten: No, I looked at the website, but I didn't find specifically the—
Kall: I wrote a piece: Reject the bailout, reinvent the lending system to maximize liquidity. What I basically was saying is that we've got to come up with something new. That rewards the companies that did things right, that takes care of people from the bottom up, the small people we've got to take a look at new solutions and we got to have new people talking to members of 'congress: visionaries who know about what things could be and I specifically mentioned you.
Korten: Well, I appreciate that. I was very struck on Bernie's comments and his realism about what Congress can't do; partly of course, because of the Republican roadblocks and a totally incompetent President, but the other reality is that in that kind of situation of Congress that there's so many issues coming at you so fast from so many different directions, so many competing demands that we really can't look to Congress to step back and take the long term view and ask the kind of questions about what's really going on with our financial system and what do we need to do to create a system that actually works for people.
So I think he's absolutely right and you talked about change from the Bottom Up, that it really depends on citizen movements framing the debate and coming up with a new vision of our possibilities as you know, I'm co-founder and Board Chair of Yes! Magazine and one of the things we see as our mission is to frame the issues of the "New Mainstream" and the possibilities for moving forward beyond the terrible messes that we're in, from healthcare to foreign policy to a totally dysfunctional financial system.
Kall: And you come to this world your vision, from having a lifetime of experience working all over the world engaging with all different cultures too. Can you talk about that a little bit about some of that experience you bring to us?