Archive for March, 2010

March 14, 2010

“Hegemony or survival”? Survival!

Out, here on the edge, the empire is fading by the day…” – Dave Dobbyn, Welcome Home

I may soon starting blogging regularly – this got me excited enough to jumpstart with a version 0.8.

I plan to write often on Otto Scharmer’s Theory U methodology. I along with some others see this as a  landmark book, part of a … no, potentially THE  **Paradigm Shift** of the 21st century. I wish I could find a way to give that over-used phrase its due emphasis.

Scharmer, like many others, is interested in Berlin-wall-like events, where something for a long hard time insurmountable is suddenly and easily dismantled. Imagine if that happened with not just the currently dominant “empire”, but with capital-E “Empire” itself. In contrast to many of my online friends, I don’t see civilisation as a problem in itself; step out of Empire and civilisation is transformed.

Most of a decade ago, in the book ‘Hegemony or Survival’, Noam Chomsky posited that there were two remaining superpowers, the United States and world public opinion (or the U.S. and US as I like to say).

All of this leapt to mind when I read Alice Slater’s article in yes! magazine on the “extraordinary momentum behind calls to abolish nuclear weapons“, particularly the conclusion on the implications should Obama go on to earn his Nobel peace prize:

Nearly 25 years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev unleashed the forces of perestroika and glasnost in the Soviet Union. These forces kindled people’s aspirations for freedom, resulting in the fall of the Berlin Wall and dissolution of the Soviet empire. Despite the formidable array of powerful interests lawlessly brandishing their missiles and refurbishing their nuclear arsenals, Obama and Medvedev’s call for a nuclear-weapons-free world may similarly have unleashed forces that will transform the 20th-century paradigm of perpetual war and terror.

I’ve been cynical about this whole business of Obama’s Nobel. A crucial element of the Theory U methodology is resisting the voice of cynicism. Hope is now indeed urgent.