Bibliography and online resources
This bibliography was originally published in Escaping the Matrix. It appears here with live links, and, with your help, will be evolving over time.
Most highly recommended
These are books and articles that crystallized major shifts in my own perspective, challenging important beliefs about humanity and society that had seemed "obviously true." I found these learning experiences to be energizing, whetting my appetite for more exploration.
Media and Propaganda
The mainstream global media today is clearly subservient to big-money interests and its big-government cronies—its selection of stories and its spin present a view of events which serves those same interests. These sources zoom in on the practices and techniques of mainstream media, providing illuminating case histories, and revealing ongoing patterns of deception. Armed with the right lenses, with which to read between the lines, one can begin to see the shape of what is being hidden, by the nature of the cloak being presented.
Online news and information
Even as the global mainstream media is becoming increasingly centralized and single-voiced, the world wide web is evolving into a mature and sophisticated information exchange, where information and analysis is passed on based on its value and reliability, as perceived by thousands of competing distribution custodians (the operators of blogs, websites, and email lists). In this online world, the mainstream channels also present their wares, and here they are only one voice among thousands of others. By using ones best judgement, and modern search technologies, one can keep very well informed regarding whats going on in the real world.
The current regime and how it got that way
These are serious books, and online material, written by knowledgeable researchers and analysts who are striving to understand and explain the "big picture" of historical and political events. Youll see a variety o perspectives, some more useful to you than others. A reasonable grasp of "real history" provides an invaluable context in which to comprehend the seemingly out-of-control events of todays fast-paced world.
Toward a sensible society
Envisioning a different and better kind of society is an endeavor that has intrigued peoples minds since at least the time of Plato. As civilization slides increasingly into crisis, in our modern era of globalization and peak oil, an increasing number of thinkers are taking a radical look at our society and seeking to identify more sensible societal models. This section also includes descriptions of existing and past societies that illustrate alternative models.
Dialog and community empowerment
Two themes resonate through the various societal models explored in the previous section: the revitalization of democracy, and a move toward greater local autonomy as regards political and economic decision making. This section presents resources and initiatives that are aimed at realizing these principles in our societies. Powerful forms of dialog are available, which can enable us to overcome our differences, and empower us to find our common voice as We the People. Resources and initiatives can be found aimed at empowering people in local communities to take responsibility for their own local affairs, revitalizing democracy at the grassroots level.
The Breakdown of Nations, by Leopold Kohr. Totnes, Devon, UK: Green Books in association with
New European Publications; White River Junction, VT: Distributed in the USA by
Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2001, c1957.
“So let us solve the great problem of our time, the
disease of excessive size and uncontrollable proportions, by going back to the
alternative to both right and left—that is, to a small-scale social
environment with all its potential for global pluralistic cooperation and
largely unaffiliated self-sufficiency, by extending not centralised control but
by decontrolling locally centred and nourished communities, each with its own
institutional nucleus and a limited but strong and independent gravitational
A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the
New World Order, by William Engdahl.
Revised Edition. London: Pluto Press, 2004.
People often ask me, “If there are ruling elites,’ then
who, exactly, are they? Who is it that runs the world?” In A Century of War, Engdahl meticulously documents the rise to
preeminent power of one particular elite group: the top banking interests in
London and New York. Control over global finance is their lever of power, and control
over oil sources is the underpinning of that lever. By working with their
covert contacts in the Intelligence services and oil industry in Britain and
America, this group has dictated the course of history over the past century,
arranged the two World Wars, and generally done what has been necessary to
maintain and increase their hold on global power.
The Chalice & The Blade: Our History, Our Future, by Riane Tennenhaus Eisler. Special Edition, with a
new epilogue by the author. San Francisco, Calif.: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994.
“The phenomenal bestseller, with more than 500,000 copies
sold worldwide, now with a new epilogue from the author–The Chalice and
the Blade has inspired a generation of women and men to envision a truly
egalitarian society by exploring the legacy of the peaceful,
goddess-worshipping cultures from our prehistoric past.”
The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the
Bush Administration and 9/11, by David Ray
Griffin. Updated Edition. Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch Press, 2004.
“The disturbing questions emerge from every part of the
story, from every angle, until it is impossible not to seriously doubt the
official story, and suspect its architects of enormous deception. Long a
teacher of ethics and systematic theology, Griffin writes with compelling and
passionate logic, urging readers to draw their own conclusions from the
evidence outlined. The New Pearl Harbor rings with the conviction that it is
possible, even today, to search for the truth; it is a stirring call that we
demand a real investigation into what happened on 9/11.”
—Interlink Publishing website
See also his The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and
Distortions, also from Olive Branch Press,
The Story of B, by
Daniel Quinn. New York: Bantam Books, 1996.
Besides being a good read, this novel profoundly changed
my understanding of human history and the development of civilization. Quinn
shows how the agricultural revolution brought a shift in world view, toward
what he calls the “taker mythology” which is much the same thing that Eisler
refers to as a “dominator” culture.
Toward an American Revolution: Exposing the Constitution
& Other Illusions, by Jerry Fresia.
Boston: South End Press, 1988.
If you’re an American – whether on the left or the
right – then you haven’t been fully awakened until you read Toward an
American Revolution. In 200 fully referenced and readable pages, Fresia cuts
through the matrix of American political history – revealing a continuous
pattern of elite manipulation that began even before the Constitution was
“Venezuela’s Democracy is an example for the world to follow,”
“The stitching of the fabric of the revolution is
unmatched in its strength and breadth of anything I have ever seen. Throughout
the country, not just in the urban barrios, social programs called misiones’
– a social development strategy borrowed from the Cuban revolution
– are being implemented by the people with the support of government resources.”
—From the article
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History as Mystery,
by Michael Parenti. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1999.
“Those who keep secret the past, and lie about it, condemn
us to repeat it. Michael Parenti unveils the history of falsified history, from
the early Christian church to the present; a fascinating, darkly revelatory
—Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Pentagon Papers
Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media, by Michael Parenti. Second Edition. New York: St.
Martin’s Press, 1993.
“In this passionate, provocative critique of the news
media, Michael Parenti examines the subtle but profound ways in which the media
influence and manipulate the public’s perception of reality. It attacks the
widely held belief that the news media are controlled by liberals and liberal
opinion – and clearly depicts the news media as a controlling institution
of the American capitalist system, an institution that serves the interests of
the rich and powerful while appearing to serve the many.”
—Robin Good, MasterNewMedia.org
Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment, by Michael Parenti, New York: St. Martin’s Press,
“In Make-believe Media, Parenti turns his eye to
entertainment for an absorbing, challenging look at the way America’s “free and
independent” television and film industries actually promote the ideas of the
economic and political forces that control them. Even viewers who claim to be
immune to the obvious messages of film and television will find Parenti’s analysis
provocative and compelling as he urges us to become more critical about what we
choose to watch.”
—The author’s website
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the
Mass Media, by Edward S. Herman and Noam
Chomsky. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998; Updated Edition, 2002.
“In this pathbreaking work, now with a new introduction,
Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the
news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth
and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social,
and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society,
the state, and the global order.”
See also: Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements
of Propaganda, by Noam Chomsky. (An Open Media
Book) Second Edition. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002.
Orwell Rolls In His Grave (Film). Written, directed, filmed and edited by Robert Kane Pappas;
produced by Miriam Foley. Sag Harbor-Basement Pictures, a Sky Island Films
release in association with Magic Lamp, 2003.
Director Robert Kane Pappas’ Orwell Rolls in His Grave is
the consummate critical examination of the Fourth Estate, once the bastion of
American democracy. Asking whether America has entered an Orwellian world of doublespeak
where outright lies can pass for the truth, Pappas explores what the media
doesn’t talk about: itself.
Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News
Media, by Martin A. Lee and Norman Solomon.
(A Lyle Stuart Book) New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1990.
“This is one of the single most thought provoking books
I’ve ever read. It provides the reader with a real behind the curtain look at
the media and politics. This is a must read for every American!”
—Review by a reader
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Centre for Research on Globalization – http://globalresearch.ca
“The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is an
independent research and media group of progressive writers, scholars and
activists committed to curbing the tide of “globalisation” and “disarming” the
New World Order. The CRG webpage publishes news articles, commentary,
background research and analysis on a broad range of issues, focusing on the
interrelationship between social, economic, strategic, geopolitical and
Environmental Research Foundation – http://http://www.rachel.org/
Research Foundation (ERF) was founded in 1980 to provide understandable scientific
information about the influence of toxic substances on human health and the
Independent Media Center (IndyMedia) – http://www.indymedia.org
“The Independent Media Center is a network of collectively
run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate
tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who
continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media’s distortions and
unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity.”
Journal & Progressive Press – http://www.onlinejournal.com
to providing readers with the news, views and analysis missing from today’s
major print and broadcast media.”
Truthout – http://www.truthout.org
“Covers latest international news, current political
issues and various topics. Also includes forum, editorials and contact
an editorially independent website produced by
individuals who are dedicated to disseminating news and analysis about the
current political situation in Venezuela
Our goal is to become the primary resource
for information and analysis on Venezuela in the English language.
“Very extensive online progressive magazine and community
of alternative news, opinions, discussion forums, and resources from Z Magazine.”
—Open Directory Project
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The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World
Order, by Samuel P. Huntington. A Touchstone
Book. London: Simon and Schuster, 1997.
A classic by one of the foremost spinners of matrix
illusion. In the guise of historical analysis, Huntington fabricates a
worldview designed to justify Western domination under globalization. According
to The Economist, Huntington’s civilization-clash paradigm has already become
the “sea” in which Washington policy makers swim. The book reveals the backbone
structure of modern matrix reality, putting day-to-day official rhetoric into
an understandable framework. And it clearly reveals the real intentions of
elite planners regarding the tactics of global management through selective
Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America. Edited by Jack Beatty. New York: Broadway Books,
The corporate way of doing business needed both a
revolution and the Constitution of the U.S. to succeed. While some fought
against it, the authors of the Constitution were wealthy men whose interests
lay in England, and who were involved with the East Indies Company, and saw the
opportunity that existed in America.
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler
“In his controversial book, John Perkins tells the
gripping tale of the years he spent working for an international consulting
firm where his job was to convince underdeveloped countries to accept enormous
loans, much bigger than they really needed, for infrastructure development
– and to make sure that the development projects were contracted to U.S.
multinationals. Once these countries were saddled with huge debts, the American
government and the international aid agencies allied with it were able, by dictating
repayment terms, to essentially control their economies. It was not unlike the
way a loan shark operates – and Perkins and his colleagues didn’t shun
this kind of unsavory association. They referred to themselves as economic hit
magazine, published quarterly by Covert Action Publications, Inc., Washington
Keeps you up-to-date on covert activities, cover-ups,
military affairs, and current trouble spots. Contributors include many
ex-intelligence officers who came to see the error of their ways.
See also their website: http://www.covertactionquarterly.org
Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack
Cocaine Explosion, by Gary Webb. New York:
Seven Stories Press, 1998.
“Gary Webb was a cherished friend of ours, and one of the
best investigative reporters we’ve ever known. He attacked stories with a
unique blend of zeal and skepticism. Gary had no axe to grind, and typically
Gary himself didn’t fully believe in his own stories until he’d finished them.
If he could overcome his own skepticism then he’d done his job. Anything less
than that would have been unworthy of him, and he was incapable of lowering his
standards, although he must have been tempted sometimes.”
—Daniel Simon, Publisher.
The Fed: the Inside Story of How the World’s Most
Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Market, by Martin Mayer. New York: Free Press, 2001.
Foreign Affairs, a
journal published quarterly by the Council on Foreign Relations, New York.
The best source I’ve found to track the latest shifts in
the matrix and to glean an understanding of current elite thinking. As the
publisher accurately puts it on its webage: “Since 1922, the Council has published
Foreign Affairs, America’s most influential publication on international
affairs and foreign policy. It is more than a magazine—it is the international
forum of choice for the most important new ideas, analysis, and debate on the
most significant issues in the world. Inevitably, articles published in Foreign
Affairs shape the political dialogue for months and years to come.”
See also their website: http://www.foreignaffairs.org/
Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America,
by Bertram Gross. New York: South End Press, 1980.
Illuminates the increasing collusion between Big
Government and Big Business to “manage” our society in the interests of the
The Globalization of Poverty: Impacts of IMF and World
Bank Reforms, by Michel Chossudovsky.
Second Edition. Shanty Bay, Ont.: Global Outlook, 2003.
This detailed study by an economics insider shows the
consequences of “reforms” in various parts of the world, revealing a clear
pattern of callous neo-colonialism and genocide.
The Global Trap: Globalization and the Assault on
Democracy and Prosperity, by Hans-Peter
Martin and Harald Schumann. Translated from the German by Patrick Camiller.
London, New York: Zed Books; New York: Distributed in the USA exclusively by
St. Martin’s Press, 1997.
“This remarkable book explores the spread of globalization
and the likely consequences for jobs and democracy. Written by experienced
journalists on Der Spiegel, it is informed, up-to-date, thought-provoking and
—From book jacket
The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic
Imperatives, by Zbigniew Brzezinski. New
York: Basic Books, 1998.
Brzezinski expresses his apparent worldview when he quotes
(p. 31) Samuel P. Huntington: “The sustained international primacy of the United
States is central to the welfare and security of Americans and to the future of
freedom, democracy, open economies, and international order in the world.”
Anything less than world domination, evidently, would be a disservice to
humanity! Brzezinski traces the history of the world’s notable empires,
characterizes the U.S. as being the first truly global empire, and sets out to
establish a framework for U.S. global hegemony, based on the premise that
Eurasia is the Grand Chessboard of world affairs. This book can be seen as the
academic version of the PNAC’s “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.”
The Growth Illusion: How Economic Growth Has Enriched
the Few, Impoverished the Many and Endangered the Planet, by Richard Douthwaite. Revised Edition. Dublin:
Lilliput Press, 2000.
“Douthwaite’s captivating book makes the arguments used to
support economic growth look unconvincing and indefensible.”
—David Hickie, An Taisce, the National Trust for
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond. With a New Afterword. New York:
W. W. Norton & Company, 1996, 2005.
The author traces the development of civilization, seeking
to establish the preeminence of geography as a determining factor. He perhaps
carries his thesis a bit too far, but in the process he presents a broad and
colorful account of the development of civilization in different parts of the
See also his latest book: Collapse: How Societies
Choose to Fail or Succeed, Viking Books,
New York, 2005.
Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global
Dominance, by Noam Chomsky. (The American
Empire Project) New York: Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and
Company, 2003. Paperback: Owl Books, 2004.
If you have
to pick just one book on the American Empire, pick this one. It’s Chomsky at
—Arundhati Roy, from the cover
Money and Power: The History of Business, by Howard Means. New York: Wiley, 2001.
“This sweeping business history shows the dramatic
movement of power from east to west, providing an expansive global view of
choice moguls across various industries, including finance, transportation,
communication, and more. It’s an engaging narrative about greed, money, and the
moguls and dynasties that have defined business.”
On the Rampage: Corporate Power and the Destruction of
Democracy, by Robert Weissman and Russell
Mokhiber. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2005.
“Mokhiber and Weissman again strike at the heart of
corporate power and malfeasance in this excellent book, On The Rampage. These
journalists uphold the time-honored and now all-too-rare tradition of dogged
muckraking, exposing corporate criminals and their bought politicians in the
spirit of Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and I.F. Stone.”
—Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn. New Edition. New York:
“Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its
scholarly research, A People’s History of the United States is the only volume
to tell America’s story from the point of view of – and in the words of
– America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans,
working poor, and immigrant laborers.”
The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global
Drug Trade: Afghanistan,
Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia, by Alfred W. McCoy.
Second Revised Edition. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books; Distributed by
Independent Publishers Group, 2003.
Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty
dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today.
groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe,
the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S.
involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after
the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and
Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.
Alfred W. McCoy is
a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a
doctorate in southeast Asian history from Yale University and is the recipient
of the 2001 Goodman Prize from the Association for Asian Studies.”
Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, by William Blum. Updated Edition. Monroe, Maine:
Common Courage Press, 2005.
“In Rogue State, learn about decades of ubiquitous U.S.
cruelty, kept – remarkably – from penetrating world consciousness
or shocking world conscience. Though President Clinton called America the
world’s greatest force for peace,’ William Blum shows that our Rogue State is
really a marauding Western brute.”
See also Blum’s earlier book, Killing Hope: U.S.
Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, also from Common Courage Press, 1986; Second Updated Edition, 2004.
Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite
Planning for World Management. Edited by
Holly Sklar. Boston: South End Press, 1980.
This well-researched anthology explains the role in global
planning played by such elite organizations as the Trilateral Commission, the
Council on Foreign Relations, and the Bilderbergers. Examples from various
parts of the world are used to show what kinds of considerations go into the formation
of on-the-ground policies.
When Corporations Rule the World, by David C. Korten. Second Edition. San Francisco:
Berrett-Koehler Publishers; West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 2001.
“This is must read’ book – a searing indictment of
an unjust international economic order, not by a wild-eyed idealistic
left-winger, but by a sober scion of the establishment with impeccable credentials.
It left me devastated but also very hopeful. Something can be done to create a
more just economic order.”
—Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate.
Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American
Democracy, by William Greider. A Touchstone
Book. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.
This best seller shows in detail how the American
democratic process is subverted at every stage by corporate interests. Greider
was a highly respected journalist for many years at the Washington Post and his
high-level contacts permit him to present an insider’s view of how the
influence-peddling system actually operates.
World Hunger: 12 Myths,
by Frances Moore Lappé, Joseph Collins and Peter Rosset; with Luis Esparza.
Second Edition, Fully Revised and Updated. New York: Grove Press, 1998.
Debunks Malthusian thinking, among other things. Here’s a
sample: “During the past twenty-five years food production has outstripped
population growth by 16 Percent. India – which for many of us symbolizes
over-population and poverty – is one of the top third-world food
exporters. If a mere 5.6 percent of India’s food production were re-allocated,
hunger would be wiped out in India” (Lappé, 11).
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The Battle of Venezuela, by Michael McCaughan. (An Open Media Book) First North American
Edition. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005.
“McCaughan gives a vivid eyewitness report of the
extraordinary events of the coming to power of Hugo Chavez
His book will be
welcomed by all those interested in the complexities of the most original political
experiment in Latin America since the Cuban Revolution.”
—Richard Gott, author of In the Shadow of the
“Brazil’s New Experiment: Participative democracy in Porto
Alegre,” by Bernard Cassen. Le Monde diplomatique, October 1998.
“The town has set up a parallel organisation operating
alongside the municipal council, enabling local inhabitants to take real
decisions for their city. And it works. Especially for the least well-off for
whom it offers a way to stake a claim on public funds normally spent on the
more prosperous areas of the city.”
—From the article
The Case Against the Global Economy, and For a Turn
Toward The Local. Edited by Jerry Mander and
Edward Goldsmith. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2001.
This fine collection of forty-three chapters by
knowledgeable contributors analyzes the broad structure of globalization and
its institutions, and explores locally based and sustainable economic alternatives.
Collaborative Spunk: The Feisty Guide for Reviving
People and Our Planet, by A. Gayle Hudgens,
PhD. Helena, MT: SOS Press, 2002. See: http://www.collaborativespunk.org
“For us to thrive, even survive, Hudgens contends that we
all need to take rapid, meaningful, and effective action. Her groundbreaking
strategy synthesizes two well-established systems to help that happen: the
brilliance of The Natural Step Framework, an award-winning, scientifically
rigorous initiative pioneered in Sweden that has already fostered health and
prosperity for thousands of communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals
worldwide; and, Life Coaching, the hugely popular goal-oriented, human
development technology that enables extraordinary personal success that began
sweeping the U.S. and abroad in the 90s.”
See also the author’s website: http://www.coach5.net
Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas, by Mari Sandoz. With an introduction by Vine Deloria
Jr. New Edition. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.
An account taken from the recollections of a Sioux who
lived in the time of Crazy Horse – provides an insider’s view of Sioux
society and its decision making process.
Envisioning a Sustainable Society: Learning Our Way Out, by Lester W. Milbrath. SUNY Series in Environmental
Public Policy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1989.
“The evidence is increasingly persuasive. We are changing
the way our planet’s physical systems work – irrevocably. These changes
are global and interconnected and unavoidable. They are upon us already, making
it virtually impossible for any modern society to continue its present trajectory
of growth. This book provides a penetrating analysis of how we have come to
this point, of why science and technology will fail to solve these problems,
and of how we as a society must change in order to avoid ecological catastrophe.
The scope is broad, the urgency of the message is impossible to ignore.”
Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation and People-Power, by Roy Madron and John Jopling. Totnes, Devon:
Published by Green Books for the Schumacher Society, 2003.
“Gaian Democracies would tackle the task of co-creating a
global network of just and sustainable societies that could co-exist
symbiotically with Gaia’s systems.
Throughout the Briefing, the authors stress
the systems framework on which they have based their proposals. They draw on examples
such as the Mondragon Cooperatives of Basque Spain, Visa International, the
Semco Corporation, the Athenian city state and the hundreds of Participative
Budgets initiated by Brazilian Workers’ Party to show how many of the principles
of Gaian democracies have been successfully applied in the real world.”
Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions
for Collective Action, by Elinor Ostrom.
Cambridge (Eng.), New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996, c1990.
“In contrast to the proposition of the tragedy of the
commons argument, common pool problems sometimes are solved by voluntary
organizations rather than by a coercive state. Among the cases considered are
communal tenure in meadows and forests, irrigation communities and other water
rights, and fisheries.”
The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy
“Inclusive Democracy aims to become the international
forum for the new conception of inclusive democracy. That is, direct political
democracy, economic democracy (beyond the confines of the market economy and
state planning), as well as democracy in the social realm and ecological democracy.
In short, inclusive democracy is a form of social organisation which
re-integrates society with economy, polity and nature.”
Mondragon Cooperative Corporation – http://www.mcc.es
“Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa is the fruit of the
sound vision of a young priest, Don José María Arizmendiarrieta, as well as the
solidarity and efforts of all our worker-members. Together we have been able to
transform a humble factory, which in 1956 manufactured oil stoves and paraffin
heaters, into the leading industrial group in the Basque Country and 7th in the
ranking in Spain, with sales of 10.400 million euros in its Industrial and Distribution
activities, 10.000 million euros of administered assets in its Financial activity
and a total workforce of 71.500 at the end of 2004.”
“The Mondragon Co-operative
Federation: A Model for our Time?” by Mike Long. Reprinted from Freedom, Winter 1996.
“The Mondragon Co-operative Federation (MCF) is a
community of economivcally highly successful worker-owned, worker-controlled
production and consumption co-operatives centred around Mondragon, a town in
the Basque region of northern Spain, and now spreading throughout the Basque
provinces and beyond. The MCF is an experiment in participatory economic
democracy rooted in a powerful grassroots movement for Basque cultural revival
and autonomy, but inclusive of non-Basques.”
—From the article
The Natural Step – http://www.naturalstep.org
Since 1988, The Natural Step has worked to accelerate
global sustainability by guiding companies, communities and governments onto an
ecologically, socially and economically sustainable path. More than 70 people
in twelve countries work with an international network of sustainability experts,
scientists, universities, and businesses to create solutions, innovative models
and tools that will lead the transition to a sustainable future.
A New Way to Govern: Organisations and Society after
Enron, by Shann Turnbull. (NEF Pocketbook
No. 6) London: New Economics Foundation, 2002.
“Networks of network organisations achieve economies of
scale and scope, provided that no higher level network undertakes activities
that are better carried out by a lower level self-governing unit. This principle
of subsidiary function is illustrated by the nested networks that make up the
stakeholder control enterprises around the town of Mondragon in Northern Spain
that operate more efficiently than investor owned firms. Like a mutual
enterprise the Mondragon firms do not require equity investors.”
—From the abstract
No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, No Logo: Taking Aim at
the Brand Bullies, by Naomi Klein. New
York: Picador USA, 2000.
a new Afterword to the 2002 edition. No Logo employs journalistic savvy and
personal testament to detail the insidious practices and far-reaching effects
of corporate marketing—and the powerful potential of a growing activist
sect that will surely alter the course of the 21st century. First published
before the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, this is an
infuriating, inspiring, and altogether pioneering work of cultural criticism
that investigates money, marketing, and the anti-corporate movement.”
Participatory Democracy: Prospects for Democratizing
Democracy. Edited by Dimitrios Roussopoulos
and C. George Benello. New Edition. Montréal, New York: Black Rose Books, 2005.
“This wide-ranging collection probes the historical roots
of participatory democracy in our political culture, analyzes its application
to the problems of modern society, and explores the possible forms it might
take on every level of society from the work place, to the community, to the
nation at large. Part II, The Politics of Participatory Democracy,’ covers
Porto Alegre, Montreal, the new Urban ecology, and direct democracy.”
The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, by David C. Korten. San Francisco, Calif.:
Berrett-Koehler Publishers; West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 1999.
“David Korten, amongst a few prescient others, predicted
the collapse that was set in motion in Asia and is now spreading worldwide.
[Korten] once again looks ahead, envisioning the rudiments and principles of an
economy that is guided by life rather than currency. It is an articulate and
hopeful expression by one of the leading architects for a positive future.”
—Paul Hawken, author, The Ecology of Commerce and Chairman of The Natural Step U.S.A.
See also The People-Centered Development Forum, David C.
Korten, founder & president, at: http://www.pcdf.org
The Simultaneous Policy – http://www.simpol.org
“The Simultaneous Policy is a peaceful political strategy
to democratically drive all the world’s nations to apply global solutions to global
problems, including combating global warming and environmental destruction,
regulating economic globalization for the good of all, and delivering social
justice, peace and security, and sustainable prosperity.”
Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and
Virtue in All the People, by Jim Rough.
Bloomington, Ind., AuthorHouse, 2001.
“Society’s Breakthrough! presents two social innovations
and suggests that in a particular context, they could be used to transform the
global paradigm so that all-of-us-together would act responsibly, respectfully
and intelligently. The two innovations are: 1) Dynamic Facilitation – a
proven approach to helping small groups of people address “impossible” issues
creatively and collaboratively and reach unanimous conclusions; and 2) the
Wisdom Council – a way to dynamically facilitate a whole system of people
(a city, corporation, county, high school, etc.) to do the same thing and to
create a voice of “We the People.” Used together at a national or international
level, these tools offer the prospect of facilitating a transformation in
thinking, and a shift to actions that are collectively intelligent.”
—The book’s webpage: http://www.societysbreakthrough.com/
See also: Dynamic Facilitation Skills (Jim Rough & Associates, Inc.)
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a
World that Works for All, by Tom Atlee,
with Rosa Zubizarreta. Cranston, R.I.: Writers’ Collective, 2003.
that groups, communities and whole societies can be more intelligent and wise
collectively than most brilliant individuals, Tom Atlee shows how collective
intelligence’ could revolutionize politics and governance, bringing wise common
sense to every issue – from city budgets to terrorism to global warming.
Readers will find descriptions and links to over a hundred proven approaches
to this new form of democracy – organizations, participatory practices,
innovations, books and more. The most powerful innovations – citizen
deliberative councils – have been used hundreds of times around the world
– from Denmark to India, from Brazil to the U.S.”
See also: The Co-Intelligence Institute –
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This entry, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, begins
with a definition: “Appropriate technology is a term which refers to using the
simplest and most benign level of technology which can effectively achieve the
intended purpose.” Contains cross-references (“See also”) to related Wikipedia
articles and URLs to appropriate technology websites.
Building Sustainable Communities: Tools and Concepts
for Self-Reliant Economic Change, by C.
George Benello, Robert S. Swann, Shann Turnbull, and others. Edited by Ward Morehouse.
( A Toes Book) New York: Bootstrap Press, 1989. Second Edition, Revised, 1997.
“This book presents the underlying ideas and essential
institutions for building sustainable communities. Three major sections deal
with community land trusts, worker managed enterprises and community currency
—The Sustainable Communities Network website: http://www.sustainable.org/economy/commecon.html
Citizens Jury Process
“A Citizens Jury provides the opportunity for citizens to
learn about an issue, deliberate together, and develop well-informed, common
ground solutions to difficult public issues. The Citizens Jury process also
allows decision-makers and the public to discover what people really think once
they have heard witnesses and taken a close look at a topic.”
Co-Intelligence Institute – http://www.co-intelligence.org
“Healthy communities, institutions and societies –
perhaps even our collective survival – depend on our ability to organize
our collective affairs more wisely, in tune with each other and nature. This
ability to wisely organize our lives together – all of us being wiser
together than any of us could be alone – we call co-intelligence.
Co-intelligence is emerging through new developments in democracy,
organizational development, collaborative processes, the Internet and systems
sciences like ecology and complexity. Today millions of people are involved in
co-creating co-intelligence. Our diverse efforts grow more effective as we
discover we are part of a larger transformational enterprise, and as we learn
together and from each other.”
Community Crossroads – http://communityx-roads.org
“The purpose of the Community Crossroads site is to
provide a clearinghouse for information regarding the activities of
community-building groups and individuals around the world –
announcements, information on upcoming events, reports from the field’ –
and also to provide a source of related information that may be of interest to
those engaged in the Community Building effort.”
See also facilitator listings by country and state:
Conversation Cafés – http://www.conversationcafe.org
“The Conversation Café project addresses the need to
increase social intelligence, to build social capital and generate the social
engagement so we can actually HAVE a wise democracy. I am doing this by
building a network of Cafés where people can have weekly drop-in dialogues
about the key inner and outer issues of our times.
“I envision a culture of conversation — a culture
where people talk freely — without fear or taboos — with friends
and strangers alike. I once asked a Dane how Denmark had resisted the pressures
of globalization. He said two words: study circles. Most Danes throughout their
adult lives have the habit of conversation about things that matter in small
President of the New Road Map Foundation
Culture Change – http://www.culturechange.org
“Through independent thinking and cooperative action it is
possible to attain bioregionally based economic security that would greatly
heal the Earth’s and our own wounds. We are not only “concerned” about global
climate change; we present a realistic analysis of the so-called techno-fix. We demonstrate alternatives to
sprawl and petroleum dependence while fighting unwise development such as new
Dynamic Facilitation for Group Transformation, by Tree Bressen. Eugene, Oregon: The
Co-Intelligence Institute, August 25, 2000.
“This great article about Jim Rough’s remarkable group
process was written by a student of Jim’s who is majorly involved with consensus
process and the intentional communities movement. It is the best material currently
available in writing on the process behind the Wisdom Council.”
—Tom Atlee, Co-Intelligence Institute.
See also Atlee’s brief write-up on dynamic facilitation
The E. F. Schumacher Society – http://www.smallisbeautiful.org
“Building on a rich tradition often known as decentralism,
the Society initiates practical measures that lead to community revitalization
and further the transition toward an economically and ecologically sustainable
TheFacilitator.com – http://www.thefacilitator.com/
“The Facilitator is
a quarterly publication written for facilitators by facilitators since 1993.”
See also: Facilitation User Groups Contact:
Fellowship for Intentional Community – http://fic.ic.org/
Fellowship for Intentional Community nurtures connections and cooperation among
communitarians and their friends. We provide publications, referrals, support
services, and sharing opportunities for a wide range of intentional
communities, cohousing groups, ecovillages, community networks, support
organizations, and people seeking a home in community.”
FIC Process Consultant Clearinghouse – http://fic.ic.org/process.html
Are you dissatisfied with the quality of your meetings? Is
your group confused about process agreements? Do you need help dealing with a
“hot” issue? The people listed here may be able to help.
Global Village – The Institute for Appropriate Technology
“Global Village is a non-profit organization created in
1974 and chartered as a tax-exempt charity in 1980 for the purpose of
researching promising new technologies that can benefit humanity in environmentally
friendly ways. The philosophy of the Institute is that emerging technologies
that link the world together are not ethically neutral, but often have long-term
implications for viability of natural systems, human rights and our common
Going Local: Creating Self Reliant Communities in a
Global Age, by Michael Shuman. New York:
Free Press, 1998; paperback: New York: Routledge, 2000.
Ask your family, friends, and neighbors what matters most
to them, and you’re likely to hear words like love, security, spirituality,
beauty, good health, even. This book cuts through all of the conventional
public discussions on the economy and society to make a clear, convincing case
for reviving local communities.
Horizons of Change – http://www.horizonsofchange.com
“HORIZONS is a group of experienced organization
development consultants and community organizers, specializing in “whole
system” approaches to organization and community development and change.”
International Association of Facilitators (IAF) – http://www.iaf-world.org
“The IAF encourages and supports the formation of local
groups of facilitators to network and provide professional development
opportunities for their members. Regional groups from around the world are
invited to become affiliated with the IAF to help promote the profession of
facilitation as a critical set of skills in the global society of the 21st
See also: Certified Professional Facilitators
The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
“The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation is
a network of nearly 300 organizations and individuals who regularly engage
millions of Americans in dialogue around today’s critical issues. Often led by
trained facilitators and oriented toward community problem-solving, these
groups offer one of the few hopeful signs of growth in American democracy today.”
National Issues Forums – http://www.nifi.org
“National Issues Forums (NIF) is a nonpartisan, nationwide
network of locally sponsored public forums for the consideration of public
policy issues. It is rooted in the simple notion that people need to come together
to reason and talk – to deliberate about common problems. Indeed, democracy
requires an ongoing deliberative public dialogue.”
Recreating the World: A Practical Guide to Building
Sustainable Communities, by Michael Bopp
and Judie Bopp. Calgary, Alberta: Four Worlds Press, 2001.
“Recreating the World is a comprehensive field guide to
sustainable community development. Rooted in more than 20 years of hands-on
development work in North America and around the world, it is written to be
used by people who are working to bring about change in their own communities,
and by professionals working with communities to solve critical human
Study Circles Resource Center – http://www.studycircles.org
“The Study Circles Resource Center is dedicated to finding
ways for all kinds of people to engage in dialogue and problem solving on
critical social and political issues. SCRC helps communities by giving them the
tools to organize productive dialogue, recruit diverse participants, find solutions,
and work for action and change
In addition, many colleges and high schools are
organizing study circles to engage young people in dialogue and problem
Tools for Change Institute – http://www.instituteforchange.org
“Tools for Change Institute is dedicated to inspiring a
cultural transformation in which history, heart, spirit, values, and vision are
all at the center of public life.
We work with communities and organizations,
assisting them to create sustainable and democratic structures in which people
can reclaim their wholeness and contribute their best.
We envision a time in
which decisions are made by those most affected by them while honoring the
natural world upon which all life depends – a time in which trust, care
and creativity are the currency of culture. We strive to model just relations
and inspire re-affirming leadership for building a movement to bring this
Tree Bressen’s Group Facilitation Site –
“Tree Bressen is an experienced facilitator working with
nonprofits, cohousing groups, activists, schools, and a wide variety of other
organizations. Her base is in intentional communities, groups of people who
live together and have to deal with each other every day! Her work arises from
a desire for people to learn the communication skills that will enable all of
us to build a better world together. Tree gives workshops on consensus
decision-making, meeting facilitation, conflict resolution, and related subjects.”
The World Café – http://www.theworldcafe.com
“The World Café is a flexible, easy-to-use process for
fostering collaborative dialogue, sharing collective knowledge, and discovering
new opportunities for action. Based on living systems thinking, this is a proven
approach for fostering authentic dialogue and creating dynamic networks of
conversation around your organization or community’s real work and critical
questions, improving both personal relationships and people’s capacity to shape
the future together."
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