The Great Turning
I think at this point anyone who isn’t trying to rethink what the US
is about and why it seems its core values and political systems have
come to a major crisis, a crisis of proportions that may echo the imagery of The Great Depression, might be inclined to follow the Obama promise of hope and feel disinclined to critique the path he has begun, one questionable step at a time.
I haven’t yet openly critiqued the notion of hope that Obama has come to represent,
but I do have concerns about it. So I’ll start with that. My concerns
are somewhat personal, and also more fitting to this forum which
accentuates spiritual issues from The Prophet’s Way.
Hope to me is something one abandons, not in despair, but because one faces the twin of hope, fear, and the behavioristic forces those twins represent, which also beckon an inner urge to run away from the truth of what’s really experiential fact of our daily existence, and that’s the basic uncertainty that life really is for us, depite all our dogmatic efforts to convince ourselves otherwise. Much of our efforts as societies of human beings, I feel, involve an understandable and very human urge to manipulate that uncertainty into various fabrications of security. As children our parents helped to fulfill that urge and delay our own eventual requirement
to face it full on, with all the courage we can muster, as they took on
the adult role of providing us with a secure environment.
As adults, we have to face the uncertainty ourselves and deal with it. This is what I see as the basis for a self actuated and personally responsible society. This is not the same order of personal responsibility formulated into the competitive market based society that has formed the economic basis of our modern global neoliberal
states, though the words might sound similar. As I see it, this is a
different order of thought, therefore a different paradigm for us to
work from. This is the true stuff of revolutionary thinking. In this case the revolution is revolving to a time envisioned as some five thousand years ago. So we get to the term "turning."
David Korten in his work is talking about a society that I find reflects that particular form of self actuation. A self actuation that recognizes our connectedness to each other and the world. With such recognition goes an embracing of an egalitarian, partnership way of being with others, spurning the thousands of years of habituation to the dominator styles of societal organization we’ve endured, societies based on a parental dominator figure, often metaphorically represented in our theological myths as a god image, and which we can also trace to the many institutions in the world and much of the violence that comes with them as this metaphorical, paradigmatic figure takes on the role of protector.
But let me allow Korten to tell you about his vision himself: