Thursday, February 15, 2007

Zinn Mind

"What does it take to bring a turnaround in social consciousness - from being a racist to being in favor of racial equality, from being in favor of Bush's tax program to being against it, from being in favor of the war in Iraq to being against it? We desperately want an answer, because we know that the future of the human race depends on a radical change in social consciousness."

-- Howard Zinn, The Progressive, March 2005


At 6:06 AM, Blogger Leifh said...


I thought you and your readers might be interested in my most recent podcast, an interview with two organic farmers from Oregon (KingFisher Farms). It was a really helpful conversation for getting over some of my own fears about slowing down and shifting into a more sustainable lifestyle. Whether you’re already far along the path of sustainability, or you, like me, find yourself stumbling along slower than you’d like -I think you and your friends will enjoy our honest dialogue as well.
Besides talking about some of the basics about the sustainable lifestyle, we talk about questions like:

* How might we be motivated to change to a more sustainable lifestyle not out of fear and guilt, but genuine desire? (What are the bennys?)
* What are CSAs and how do they work?
* Does a full embracing of the sustainable lifestyle necessitate a shift away from all global systems?
* What would the ideal local / sustainable life look like in a global context?

If you have a blog, website, etc that has readers who you think might enjoy the show -please paste the following link there, I'd greatly appreciate it.


At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you're coming back. I'm trying to set up something similar to what you've been writing - which is amazing stuff, and useful, by the way. Best wishes.


At 1:52 PM, Blogger you are amazing said...

what do you think of this...?

hope you like it?

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMAGINE THE RESULTS OF worldwide biodiversity loss....Mr. Savory brings his extensive knowledge of sustainable natural resource practices:
“Worldwide people seek good governance. No ‘isms’ (Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, Racialism, etc) provide the basis of good governance, neither can religions, personalities nor party platforms. Governments will provide good governance if they form policies holistically. In fact, those policies are more fundamental to providing good governance than is the form, structure or ideology of that government.”
— Allan Savory

"We need to understand that when we ban chemicals because they are known to be damaging to humans that we should not allow multi-national corporations to increase their manufacture and sale to third world countries so we can profit."
..."recognize that failure of the developed nations to address worldwide biodiversity loss, desertification and global climate change and social injustices will result."..

"Right now there is a need to motivate people to unite. And there is a need, that the President and his advisors are tackling well, to collaborate with other nations and go after the perpetrators determined to bring them to justice. However, this should be done without setting our people up for war and retaliation. There is a need, while unity and determination still hold, to initiate the moves to bring about a civilian strategy to win the peace we all seek. If we rely solely on our military strength in retaliating, far from ending the war "in a place and time of our choosing," we will bring about counter retaliation at some time. This has been the most massive guerrilla attack ever staged, but it will pale into insignificance with future nuclear or biological attacks unless our leaders act with understanding and wisdom as well as determination.

There have always been evil people and will continue to be such people. We need of course to share intelligence between nations and root them out. But at the same time we need also to address the causes to which they attach themselves and to dry up their source of recruits. I am sorry that many in this nation are focused only on America and seeing this as an attack on this nation and on democracy. It is not a war in which 'they' are trying to conquer America or defeat democracy. Public memory can be short. It was but months ago that thousands of peace-loving people (including prominent Americans) brought the World Trade Organization Conference in Seattle to a halt. Now, this strike at the World Trade Center as the principal target by ruthless people exploiting grievances for their own ends should have conveyed a message to all developed nations - America, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and others. If America is to provide the leadership the world is crying out for, we would be wise to try to understand how and why the Bin Laden's of the world can have such a pool of angry young people to call on who are prepared to give their lives so readily. We need to understand and heed the cries of people displaced by massive dam construction in India or Africa, or the bulk of the Mexican population who deplore the loss of their way of life and all they value most dearly as we pursue policies like NAFTA. We need to understand that we cannot call on people in poor countries to be good capitalists and then go to war against them for supplying our people with drugs they seek at any cost. We need to understand that when we ban chemicals because they are known to be damaging to humans that we should not allow multi-national corporations to increase their manufacture and sale to third world countries so we can profit. We need to understand that we cannot take thousands of years of careful nurturing of genetic material by simple people and patent the genes for the profits of our corporations and shareholders. We need to understand that in many ways it is not democracy that is under attack but rather certain aspects of our lives that others see as causing their poverty and suffering.

I know many Americans, including good friends of mine, will immediately say, "But our policies are not harming them." I am afraid if others even perceive our policies as harmful to their culture and way of life that becomes the political reality in such situations. It is essential that we look at our policies in our own enlightened self-interest as they affect our environment and other people..

..If our leaders cannot see what is happening in our own country, what hope have we of understanding the frustrations of millions who are daily affected by the policies of the US, and our fellow western powers that support corporations with economies and powers greater than whole nations. The focus will be on America as the single super power, but Britain, France, Germany and other countries are as much part of what many millions of people see as the ugly side of capitalism. Focus is on us because we are seen as having a small percentage of the world's population consuming a very high percentage of the world's resources resulting in vast impoverishment for others.

It cannot be repeated too often- poor land leads to poverty, disease, social breakdown, abuse of women, increasing violence and genocide - and ultimately war. One has only to look holistically at the many resource management policies of America, or the World Bank and other governments and organizations heavily influenced or dominated by American money and university graduates, to see that we are guaranteeing an increasingly violent future for our children and our allies.
.. While the President will politically have to respond with force in some form right now, it would be wise to look beyond starting right now. I believe to win the peace the NSC should be expanded to include men and women who understand the effects on millions of ordinary peace-loving people of such things as our agricultural policies and NAFTA as well as the actions of not only American but also multi-national corporations. Conventional economists have almost no comprehension of the effects of for instance agricultural policies on rural American families let alone families in India, Pakistan, Mexico and Africa.

When faced with situations of such enormous magnitude, where it is always easy to be a critic but never as easy if actually having to handle the full responsibility, I have a habit of asking myself, "If faced with this responsibility what would I do?"

In this instance I would do the following. No one has the answers, least of all me, but these actions would lead us toward finding solutions, I believe:

~ I would recognize the need for statesmanship rather than gut-level politics.

~ I would do all in my power, working with our allies, to bring the perpetrators of the current violent actions to face international justice.

~ I would not call it a war but rather focus on this as a struggle for worldwide peace involving our leadership of all nations.

~ I would treat it with the utmost urgency, as this horrifying act has been a bigger blow than was the strike at Pearl Harbor.

~ I would recognize that failure of the developed nations to address worldwide biodiversity loss, desertification and global climate change and social injustices will result in ever more horrifying events involving nuclear and biological weapons.

~ I would put the situation on a 'war footing' in terms of seriousness and allocation of funds and people - no price is too high to pay and, as in war, I would go beyond using only establishment bureaucrats and experts.

~ I would task an expanded NSC with developing a comprehensive civilian and military strategy and monitoring system to address over time the root cause of most worldwide violence.

~ I would, as my duty to the nation, insist that this expanded NSC have free reign to investigate all aspects of our political, economic, educational, trade and business systems - there would be no sacred cows.

~ To the expanded NSC I would appoint people who have a track record of understanding the underlying problems, social and economic ramifications of destructive agricultural and land management policies, trade policies, and more that lead to poverty, frustration, displacement, disease and violence (there are many such people in America and Europe consistently ignored at present). And I would include people with a sound knowledge of guerrilla warfare as well as conventional warfare.

~ I would urge all politicians to accept the recommendations of such a strategic group in a non-partisan manner so that implementation could proceed rapidly in the interests of all nations.

In short, I believe the surest way to guarantee Americans a future of severely restricted liberties and fear of violence is to treat this as a war that can be won with economic and military might. The war analogy focuses on what the enemy is doing when we need to focus on what we are doing to ourselves. The possibility of even more horrific acts is increased when rogue religious groups such as the Taliban (most Muslims, as well as the Koran, preach peace and harmony), and individuals like Bin Laden, can recruit people willing to commit suicide and align themselves with genuine grievances for their own ends. To let such evil people put up a smokescreen that clouds our vision and draws our attention away from addressing the real grievances of millions of peace-loving people would be the greatest tragedy and play into the hands of future Bin Ladens.

This is a battle for peace that can be won by statesmanship that ensures that while containing present violence to the best of our ability we at the same time start to address the things needed to ensure that all people feel secure and well governed."
Allan Savory, RAMBLINGS

Allan Savory is the Founder of the Savory Center for Holistic Management, Albuquerque, New Mexico ( and Chairman, Africa Centre for Holistic Management, Victoria Falls Zimbabwe (

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