pl website banner final2

Lyttelton, portal to Canterbury’s historic past, a vibrant sustainable community creating a living future

Lift Review: The Great Turning

lift book review grtturning

THE GREAT TURNING: From Empire to Earth Community David C. Korten

If you're interested in finding out how things have gone wrong for the world, after it started out so well, and how we can lead the change to a better world, read this book.

 


Korten starts by describing the basic choices in attitudes and beliefs available now in these challenging times; describes the origins of societies, some community based, but most changing over time to empire-style monarchies or bureaucracies or transnational institutions, or plutocracy (America is now a plutocratic Empire - just look at the election process); he details the problems for the majority of the world's population in this mode of control by violence, and shows how the controls have been strengthened in modern society in ways which attacked efforts to bring justice to all people, rather than power and wealth to the elite few.

 

He wrote this book in 2005, before major signs of popular revolt against Empire, both in the Middle East, and in the USA with the Occupy Movement. They bear out his theories exactly, and they're not over yet. He describes "how self-organising processes of citizen action, based on grassroots leadership, can advance an agenda of cultural, economic and political democratization that roots power in people and liberates the creative potential of the species." Family and community values, and concern for children, are the basis for development.
This is one of the most readable, detailed, convincing and inspiring books I've read.
Sure, Korten is American and does expand on American history and developments, but all the way through I kept thinking: "Is it the same here in New Zealand?" or "Oh! This is the same here!" or "How come those in power haven't eliminated this man for telling the truth about them?"
After working in business, academic, and international development institutions, he now works exclusively with public interest citizen action groups. He is a member of the Club of Rome, and founded the magazine "YES! A journal of Positive Futures" . Google that and look at some issues and actions.

LIFT's Latest Book Review

This changes everything: Capitalism vs the climate
 
klein thunberg
Naomi Klein interviews Greta Thunberg in New York - September 9, 2019.

 

Reviewed by Juliet Adams

 This is one of the most important books in LIFT.

It explains everything about what’s wrong with our world (well, almost!). It tells us about everything that is being done and that can be done to change the situation and save our future (well, almost!).  

If Naomi Klein had included any more topics the book would have been too heavy!  

Don’t let that put you off. It may take a lot of time to read; maybe you’ll even skip some  pages (I couldn’t!) But it will enlighten you with its detail, thoroughly backed by references, on so  many important topics, revealed in everyday language with clarifying examples.

She writes: “So my mind keeps coming back to the question: what is wrong with us? What is really preventing us  from putting out the fire that is threatening to burn down our collective house? 

“I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things  that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated  capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of  this crisis. We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting  catastrophe – and would benefit the vast majority – are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media  outlets.”

Not only does she explain how and why things have gone wrong with each aspect (climate  change, fossil fuels’ dominance, free market fundamentalism, big business and greenwashing,  misplaced dreams of technology, greedy exploitation of the planet and its people, to name a few) ;  she also explains for each one the actions that have been taken and are being taken to remedy  them.

She doesn’t just leave that till a chapter at the end, as many writers do.

One LIFT member has pointed out that she has not explained the rising tide of alternative money systems that could reduce the power of those controlling many of the problems.  A good  point.  Maybe that will be her next book?  This book is inspiring!

r

 

Lifelong membership for $20

The $20 fee is per person/couple/family and entitles you to borrow books, DVDs and magazines for a month at a time. Members who cannot return books personally may post them back to Juliet at 34a Voelas Road, Lyttelton 8082, as the Rec Centre does not have a letterbox.”Members who lose or damage books will be asked to pay accordingly.

A full list of books, DVDs and magazines is available from Juliet by email. Members receive regular newsletters with book reviews and the latest news and reviews.

LIFT's Reviews & Summaries

Click for more Book & DVD Reviews

 Wanting to read one of our great books but just don't have time?

Just ask Juliet for a summary, she has several available by email including:
  • "Blessed Unrest", by Paul Hawken
  • "Fleeing Vesuvius", by FEASTA and LE
  • "No More Throwaway People", by Edgar S. Cahn
  • "Sacred Economics", by Charles Eisenstein
  • "The End of Money and the Future of Civilization", by Thomas H. Greco
  • "The Future of Money", by Bernard Lietaer
  • "We the People", by John Buck and Sharon Villines