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Posts tagged ‘Ron Paul’

Ron Paul Questioned the US Policies for Decades


Opposing US Policies

The “What If?” speech to the US Congress on February 12, 2009. (Text and video).

Ron Paul: “Madam Speaker, I have a few questions for my colleagues:
What if our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interest?

What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is the predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others, and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?

What if propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel?

What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan is directly related to the hatred directed toward us?

Senator Dr. Ron Paul

What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair tradeoff with the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghan people are killed or displaced?

What if we finally decide that torture, even if called “enhanced interrogation technique”, is self-destructive and produces no useful information and that contracting it out to a third world nation is just as evil?

What if it is finally realized that war and military spending is always destructive to the economy?

What if all war-time spending is paid for through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing?

What if we finally see that war-time conditions always undermine personal liberty?

What if Conservatives who preach small government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government?

What if Conservatives understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world?

What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?

What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations?

What if Obama has no intention of leaving Iraq?

What if a military draft is being planned for the wars that would spread if our foreign policy is not changed?

What if the American people learned the truth, that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security, that it never changes from one administration to the next?

What if war in preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests?

What if President Obama is completely wrong about Afghanistan and it turns out worse than Iraq and Vietnam put together?

What if Christianity actually teaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression?

What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes in protecting America?

What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded?
Nothing.

But what happens if my concerns are justified and ignored?
Nothing good.

And I yield back the balance of my time.”

The Ad That May Kill the Next USA President


Senator Dr. Ron Paul

Dr. Ron Paul, the Republican Party senator seeking nomination for 2012 presidential elections in the USA, maintained his strong stands against the deeply unpopular and continuous US violent defense policy and the very intrusive foreign policy running for decades. The team of Senator Paul produced a superb advertisement titled “Imagine!” or “Just Imagine” presenting his alternative peaceful and constructive defense and foreign policies; and it is powerfully challenging US military adventurism.

The wealthy and extremely influential war business establishment in the USA is definitely extremely worried from such campaign promises. This business which involves arms, oil, minerals, banking, security, entertainment, organized crime, intelligence, media and many other lucrative ventures are at stake.

The main stream media as affiliated to the defense business is trying hard to ignore the campaign of Ron Paul and even negatively influence public support. They are working to reduce the chances and even prevent any possible outcome that may install Ron Paul in the White House. But the most dangerous scenario is a repeat of the assassination of Anti-war heroes like John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963; and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968.

“Imagine!”/“Just Imagine” advertisement says:

[Imagine for a moment that somewhere in the middle of Texas there was a large foreign military base, say Chinese or Russian. Imagine that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of “keeping us safe” or “promoting democracy” or “protecting their strategic interests.”

Imagine that they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized innocent Americans, including women and children, most of the time with little to no repercussions or consequences. Imagine that they set up checkpoints on our soil and routinely searched and ransacked entire neighborhoods of homes. Imagine if Americans were fearful of these foreign troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would be better off without their presence.

Imagine if some Americans were so angry about them being in Texas that they actually joined together to fight them off, in defense of our soil and sovereignty, because leadership in government refused or were unable to do so. Imagine that those Americans were labeled terrorists or insurgents for their defensive actions, and routinely killed, or captured or tortured by the foreign troops on our land. Imagine that the occupiers’ attitude was that if they just killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop, but instead, for every American killed, ten more would take up arms against them, resulting in perpetual bloodshed. Imagine if most of the citizens of the foreign land also wanted these troops to return home. Imagine if they elected a leader who promised to bring them home and put an end to this horror.

Imagine if that leader changed his mind once he took office.

The reality is that our military presence on foreign soil is as offensive to the people who live there as armed Chinese troops would be if they were stationed in Texas.

Shutting down military bases and ceasing to deal with other nations with threats and violence is not isolationism. It is the opposite. Opening ourselves up to friendship, honest trade and diplomacy is the new foreign policy of peace and prosperity. It is the only foreign policy that will not bankrupt us in short order, as our current actions most definitely will. I share the disappointment of the American people in the foreign policy rhetoric coming from the administration. The sad thing is, our foreign policy WILL change eventually, as Rome’s did, when all budgetary and monetary tricks to fund it are exhausted.]

[Click here to learn how Ron Paul is America’s strongest presidential candidate on national defense; or get involved and click here to register to vote in 2012]

(Imagine! : Is a speech written & given by Ron Paul on March 11, 2009; while the ad is of recent production.)

Senator Ron Paul also said: [We would not stand for it here, but we have had a globe-straddling empire and a very intrusive foreign policy for decades that incites a lot of hatred and resentment towards us.

According to our own CIA, our meddling in the Middle East was the prime motivation for the horrific attacks on 9/11. But instead of re-evaluating our foreign policy, we have simply escalated it. We had a right to go after those responsible for 9/11, to be sure, but why do so many Americans feel as if we have a right to a military presence in some 160 countries when we wouldn’t stand for even one foreign base on our soil, for any reason? These are not embassies, mind you, these are military installations. The new administration is not materially changing anything about this. Shuffling troops around and playing with semantics does not accomplish the goals of the American people, who simply want our men and women to come home. 50,000 troops left behind in Iraq are not conducive to peace any more than 50,000 Russian soldiers would be in the United States.]

Will the war establishment in the USA allow Ron Paul to come to power and implement his policies?

Who will win? – knowing that Obama’s job approval rating dropped to 40% in October 2011 and the curve is downward.

For more details on Jim Garrison’s, the District Attorney of New Orleans, Kennedy assassination investigation please see JFK, a 1991 American film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner); and how his office was blocked from successful prosecution by a federal government cover-up defending the two official investigations: the Warren Commission, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Why I’m suing Obama administration over Libya; Says: Ron Paul


TheDailyCaller.com published on 16 June 2011 this article written by Dr. Ron Paul, the American physician, author and US Congressman, who is running for Republican Party candidacy for 2012 US presidential elections:

Why I’m suing the Obama administration over Libya

US Congressman Dr. Ron Paul to Sue Obama over Libya

There is no issue more serious than war. Wars result in the loss of life and property. Wars are also expensive and an enormous economic burden.

Our Founders understood that waging war is not something that should be taken lightly, which is why Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives Congress — not the president — the authority to declare war. This was meant to be an important check on presidential power. The last thing the Founders wanted was an out-of-control executive branch engaging in unnecessary and unpopular wars without so much as a Congressional debate.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the situation we have today in Libya.

That’s why I’ve joined several other members of Congress in a lawsuit against President Obama for engaging in military action in Libya without seeking the approval of Congress.

Of course, in 2007, then-Senator Obama spoke passionately about the need to go after the Bush administration for violating the War Powers Act — the very same thing he’s doing now. In fact, while speaking at DePaul University in October of 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama said the following:

“After Vietnam, Congress swore it would never again be duped into war, and even wrote a new law — the War Powers Act — to ensure it would not repeat its mistakes. But no law can force a Congress to stand up to the president. No law can make senators read the intelligence that showed the president was overstating the case for war. No law can give Congress a backbone if it refuses to stand up as the co-equal branch the Constitution made it.”

We are now taking Barack Obama’s past advice and standing up to the executive branch.

Of course, the War Powers Act is hardly an improvement on the U.S. Constitution because it does allow the president to go to war without the approval of Congress. But President Obama refuses to follow this law.

If a president does go to war unilaterally, the War Powers Act requires him to seek Congressional approval within 60 days. The president can get an extension of up to 90 days if he asks for more time — but President Obama did not do this.

His time is up.

The Obama administration recently issued a 38-page paper stating that Obama is not in violation of the War Powers Act because “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.” Under this argument, President Obama could preemptively launch nuclear weapons against any country in the world without Congressional approval. Obviously, this is not what the Founders intended!

But even aside from violating the Constitution, it makes no economic sense for us to be engaged in yet another war overseas — especially during such tough economic times. For years now, we’ve been sending foreign aid to the very same Libyan government we’re now spending $10 million a day to fight. And it has been recently discovered that the Federal Reserve’s bank bailouts even benefited the Libyan National Bank. Now, we’re taxing the American people to bomb the very nation that we taxed them to prop up.

This makes no sense at all.

The Founding Fathers did not intend for the president to have the power to take our nation to war unilaterally without the approval of Congress.

It’s time for the president to obey the Constitution and put the American people’s national interest first.

Is Obama America’s First Elected Dictator? says: Ron Paul


RonPaul.com. A website maintained by independent grassroots supporters for Dr. Ron Paul’s Republican Party candidacy for 2012 US presidential elections posted the following article written by Dr. Ron Paul (American physician, author and US Congressman) on its website today:

Ron Paul: Is Obama America’s First Elected Dictator?

US Congressman Dr. Ron Paul

These are frustrating times for the President. Having been swept into office with a seemingly strong mandate, he enjoyed a Congress controlled by members of his own party for the first two years of his term. However, midterm elections brought gridlock and a close division of power between the two parties. With a crucial re-election campaign coming up, there is desperation in the president’s desire to “do something” in spite of his severely weakened mandate.

Getting something done is proving to be a monumental task. This may be news to the supposed constitutional scholar who is now our president, but if the political process seems inconvenient to the implementation of his agenda, that is not a flaw in the system. It was designed that way. The draftees of the Constitution intended the default action of government to be inaction. Hopefully, this means actions taken by the government are necessary and proper. If federal laws or executive actions can’t be agreed upon constitutionally which is to say legally such laws or actions should be rejected.

The vision of the founders was to set up a government that would remain small and unobtrusive via a system of checks and balances. That it has taken our government so long to get this big speaks well of the original design. The founders also knew the overwhelming nature of governments was to amass power and grow. The Constitution was to serve as the brakes on the freight train of government.

But the Obama administration, like so many administrations in the 20th century, chooses to ignore the Constitution entirely. The increasingly broad use and scope of the Executive Orders is a prime example. Executive Orders are meant to be a way for the president to direct executive agencies on the implementation of congressionally approved legislation. It has become increasingly common for them to be misused in ways that are contradictory to congressional intent, or to bypass Congress altogether in enacting political agendas. The current administration has unabashedly stated that Congress’s unwillingness to pass the president’s jobs bill means that the president will act unilaterally to enact provisions of it piecemeal through Executive Order. Obama explicitly threatens to bypass Congress, thus aggregating the power to make and enforce laws in the executive. This clearly erodes the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. It brings the modern presidency dangerously close to an elective dictatorship.

Of course, the most dangerous and costly overstepping of executive authority is going to war without a congressional declaration. Congress has been sadly complicit in this usurpation by ceding much of its war-making authority to the executive because it wants to avoid taking responsibility for major war decisions, but that is part of our job in Congress! If the President cannot present to Congress and the people a convincingly strong case for going to war, then perhaps we should keep the nation at peace, rather than risk our men and women’s lives for ill-defined reasons!

This administration certainly was not the first to behave in ways that have defied the Constitution to overstep its bounds. Sadly, previous administrations have set precedents that the current administration is only building upon. It is time for Congress to reassert itself and its constitutional role so that future administrations cannot continue on this dangerous path.

  1. Ron Paul: Why I’m suing the Obama administration over Libya There is no issue more serious than war. Wars result in the loss of life…
  2. Ron Paul: Obama Violated War Powers Resolution Transcript This is a rush transcript. Can you help us out and proofread the transcript…
  3. Ron Paul: Understand, Respect, Follow and Uphold the Constitution Understand, Respect, Follow and Uphold the Constitution by Ron Paul I am pleased that the…

About: Living Economies Forum


This is a re-posting compilation of three pages of the very informative website Living Economies Forum about: The People-Centered Development Forum (PCDForum) organization:

The People-Centered Development Forum

LOOKING FOR THE PCDForum WEBSITE?

Our former pcdforum.org, davidkorten.org and greatturning.org sites are now integrated into this livingeconomies.org site. Most material from thse sites of current or historical relevance is available here. You will find most of the content from pcdforum.org (also pcdf.org and developmentforum.net) under the “About Us” or “Library” sections. If you having difficulty finding a particular favorite item, try our site search function at the top right of this page.  Also see “About Us.

Our History

David Korten

The People-Centered Development Forum (PCDForum) [see also “About Us“] is the legal name of our organization. We trace our origin to March 1987, when more than a hundred leaders of non-governmental organizations and other development professionals from forty-two countries met in London for a Symposium on “Development Alternatives: The Challenge for NGOs.” Participants concluded that conventional development has failed and that officially favored prescriptions disempower and impoverish the majority of people and destroy the environment.

It became evident to many of us that the leadership for change would not come from the World Bank, the IMF or official agencies that remained committed to failed prescriptions. Change would depend on voluntary citizen leaders acting outside the establishment.

The founders of the PCDForum were among a then small and lonely band that stood up to challenge the prevailing growth-centered economic development mode. Recognizing the need for a global support group, we launched the PCDForum on January 1, 1990. Our office was in the Makati financial district of Manila, Philippines. A few months after our founding we released Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda authored by David C. Korten, to carry our framing message to the world:

The human burden on the earth’s ecosystem already exceeds sustainable limits. Growth-centered economic policies increase this burden, accelerate the breakdown of the earth’s regenerative systems, and intensify the competition between rich and poor for the earth’s remaining real wealth. The result is a three-fold human crisis of increasing poverty, environmental destruction, and social disintegration. Growth-centered development must be replaced with a development that strengthens the self-reliant capacity of people and communities to better use their own resources to meet their own needs. Because official aid agencies are captive to internal structures and imperatives that serve the flawed logic of growth-centered development, leadership for change must come from citizen volunteers motivated by life-centered values rather than conventional economic and political rewards.

From 1990 through 1997 the Forum maintained an Information Service that distributed path-breaking think-pieces to cooperating publications around the world. By the end of 1991, the Forum had signed on 86 leading intellectual activists from 31 countries to as contributing editors who made regular contributions. By the end of 1997, some 200 people had served as PCDForum Contributing Editors at one time or another. They were, however, no longer a lonely and isolated band and the PCDForum Information Service no longer fulfilled a distinctive role.

Recognizing that the issue went well beyond the dysfunctions of myopic official aid agencies that the United States is the primary driver of the dysfunction, we moved the Forum’s office from Manila to New York City in 1992 and gradually began to focus our attention on the institutions of corporate globalization.

In 1994 we joined a parallel conversation with a global group of activists who formed the International Forum on Globalization (IFG). For nearly 10 years, the IFG served as the leading voice of a growing global citizen resistance against corporate globalization.

The PCDForum launched When Corporations Rule the World, by David Korten in October 1995. It become an international best seller and opened the Forum’s access to radio, television, and mass print media reaching millions of people. The second edition, which was released in April 2001, documented the global resistance movement that emerged subsequent to the release of the first edition.

It became increasingly evident that although resistance against a destructive economic system is essential, it only slows the damage. Change depends on active citizen engagement in building alternatives. To this end, the Forum took a lead role in establishing YES! Magazine dedicated to advancing awareness of positive alternatives and assisting individuals in finding their place of contribution toward their realization.

In March 1999 we released The Post-Corporate World:
Life After Capitalism
, which applies principles derived from the study of living systems to the creation of economies that serve life rather than money. This led to our contribution in 1991 to founding the Business
Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) to support local organizers in rebuilding local economies grounded in living system principles.

A few months later, the historic November 1999 Seattle protest against the World Trade Organization (WTO) by a broad alliance of labor, religious, environmental, youth, peace, women’s, gay and lesbian, human rights, sustainable agriculture, food safety and other groups marked a defining moment in the emergence of what eventually became known as global civil society. Successful disruption of the WTO negotiations inspired millions of people around the world to participate in similar protest actions in an expression of global solidarity.

In 2005, we launched The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community to put these events into a larger evolutionary and historical context. We focused on communicating and mobilizing around the Great Turning framework until the global financial collapse of September 2008. The collapse focused global attention on Wall Street excesses and opened an unprecedented window of opportunity to address the need for economic system transformation.

We launched the 1st edition of Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth in January 2009 to make the case that reforming the Wall Street system is not an answer. It must be replaced. We simultaneously joined with the Institute for Policy Studies in DC, YES! Magazine, and BALLE to form the New Economy Working Group to further develop the New Economy framework and advance its implementation.

The updated and expanded 2nd edition of Agenda for a New Economy was released in June 2010 as a report of the New Economy Working Group.

The Forum’s Defining Books

These books represent the progression of my primary contributions to framing a New Economy grounded in living system principles. Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, The Post-Corporate World, When Corporations Rule the World, and Getting to the 21st Century defined critical stages in the Forum’s now more than 20 year campaign to change the stories that frame the economic discourse of our time. <See The Forum and the Economic Story Revolution> Note that this list puts the most recent first. To follow their story in chronological sequence, start from the bottom with Getting to the 21st Century.

Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth
A Declaration of Independence from Wall Street.

Agenda for a New Economy 2nd edition cover“The most important book to emerge thus far on the economic crisis. David Korten provides real solutions.”

— Peter Barnes, cofounder of Working Assts and author of Capitalism 3.0

This updated and expanded 2nd edition of Agenda is my most current and comprehensive effort to lay out a holistic New Economy agenda and a path to its realization. It brings together the spiritual, evolutionary, and historical perspectives of The Great Turning, the living systems perspective of The Post-Corporate World, and the critical organizational systems analysis of the failings global corporate capitalism of the 1st edition of When Corporations Rule the World, and the insights into the emergence and dynamic of global civil society of the 2nd edition of Corporations. The underlying message is clear and simple: Wall Street is corrupt beyond repair and serves no useful functions now better addressed in other ways. It must be replaced.

This new edition of Agenda is issued as a report of the New Economy Working Group (NEWGroup), which I helped to form following the financial crash of 2008 to take to the next level the policy framework outlined in the first edition of Agenda. The result of a year and a half of NEWGroup effort is a considerably more coherent and holistic systems agenda. It launched on June 12, 2010 in Washington, DC in the shadow of the capital building.

Perhaps the most significant advance is in the treatment of the money system as a system of power and the examination of critical money system design options and their implications. This provides the basis for a more systemic and nuanced treatment of key design choices needed to shift the values focus from money to life and the locus of power from global financial institutions to people and place based communities—call it a transition to real markets and democracy.

The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community:

(2006) I wrote The Great Turning to put the economic crisis in its deeper spiritual, evolutionary, and historical context. It became evident following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers that the global citizen movement that emerged in response to the devastation wrought by corporate globalization needed a larger organizing framework. Events following the attack, drew attention to the fact that  the  rise of modern corporate power is only a modern manifestation of much deeper psychological, cultural, and institutional forces that have shaped the dominant human societies for 5,000 years. I joined with Nicanor Perlas from the Philippines and Vandana Shiva from India to examine the implications. We presented our conclusions in a discussion paper titled “Global Civil Society: The Path Ahead” released in November 2002. This paper in turn became a foundation for The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.  For more on this book and why I wrote it see “Everybody Wants to Rules the World: David Korten on Putting an End to Global Competition,” an interview by Arnie Cooper published in The Sun, September 2007.

David Korten never fails to shake me out of my complacency, and reveal complacencies I didn’t even know I had. This work is a stunning and compassionate tour de force, calling on history, science, economics and our human goodwill to illuminate the fact that we are at a fundamental choice point. I can’t stop thinking about the issues he raises nor what I’m going to do with my awakened consciousness. Thank you David.
—Margaret J. Wheatley, author Leadership and the New Science

Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible

The International Forum on Globalization (IFG) played a defining role in exposing the reality of corporate globalization and inspiring the global resistance movement. It was one of my primary affiliations during this period and a major influence on my work. The IFG formed around a shared critique. As that critique gave impetus to popular mobilization around the world, other IFG members joined my call to move beyond resistance and seize the initiative by framing and advancing a positive alternative to the free-trade, market deregulation regime being advanced by the world’s transnational corporations. We decided to produce a book length report presenting such a framework. I was an active member of the international team of 21 movement leaders who produced Alternatives to Economic Globalization under the editorial leadership of John Cavanagh and Jerry Mander. Our report spells out a more coherent and fully developed alternatives to the current rules and institutions of economic globalization than any previous such effort.

The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism  (1999)

This visionary, life-affirming sequel to When Corporations Rule the world sold over 25,000 copies in eight languages.

As the emerging global resistance movement against corporate globalization’s assault against democracy, community, and the natural environment gained momentum, it became clear that any individual victory would be only temporary until the life-destructive economic system is replaced by a life-serving system. We needed a compelling framework to demonstrate the power and natural potential of a radically decentralized community rooted economic system that defines a positive alternative to the ills of both capitalism and socialism.

I found the needed framework in insights from a small band of biologists working at the cutting edge of biology who were unraveling the secrets of life’s extraordinary capacity self-organize, innovate, and ever advance the boundaries of the possible. Their path breaking findings about life’s capacity for creative self-organization became the foundation of The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, which makes the translation from biological systems to economic systems to demonstrate the true potential of rule-based market economies that honor the foundational assumptions of grounded market theory.

When Corporations Rule the World (1995 & 2001)

Classic international best-seller with worldwide sales over 120,000 copies sold in fifteen languages.

As Fran and I moved from Manila to New York City in 1992, it was becoming ever more clear that the economic dysfunctions we witnessed in Asia were systemic, global, and a consequence a global consolidation of corporate power. Far from bringing universal prosperity, peace, and democracy, corporate globalization was spreading deprivation, violence, and political corruption.

I flew back to the Philippines in October for a ten day retreat in Baguio with a small group of Asian NGO leaders to reflect on  Asia’s development experience and its implications for future NGO strategies in the region. The conclusions of this retreat became the basis of a collective report titled “Economy, Ecology & Spirituality: A theory and Practice of Sustainability,” which outlined many of the ideas developed in my subsequent books and served as the foundation for  the first edition of When Corporations Rule the World.  One conclusion of this retreat that has shaped the work of the Forum ever since is that the need is not for an alternative theory of development, but rather a theory of a just and sustainable society that embraces the spiritual dimension of life and community.

I became involved in the earlier gatherings of the International Forum (IFG) in 1994 as I was completing the manuscript for the book, which was in turn influenced by those conversations with many of the leaders of what was to become a global resistance movement against corporate globalization, which was in turn shaped in part by the messages of the book. The first edition was launched in the Fall of 1995, just before the historic IFG teach-in at New York’s Riverside Church that brought the issue of corporate globalization to the fore of the consciousness of progressive leaders from throughout North America.

The first edition makes no mention of a global resistance movement, because it was not yet visible by the time of the launch. From the Fall of 1994 forward the resistance quickly grew in size and visibility. The success of the November 1999 demonstrations against the WTO in Seattle gave the movement global visibility, disrupted the process of multilateral trade negotiations, and energized ever larger protests. By 2000, When Corporations Rule the World had become an international classic. At the urging of my publisher I wrote an updated 2nd edition that launched in early 2001 with five new chapters on the further advance of the global corporate takeover and the nature and dynamic of the then powerful global resistance.

Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda (1990)

I wrote or edited 6 books prior to Getting to the 21st Century, all addressed primarily to people working on problems of Third World development. This one represents a critical transition to a focus on global systems failure and the essential role of citizen action in addressing it. I was critical of the drive for growth at all costs, but growth was so at the forefront of the consciousness of the audience I hoped to reach that I equivocated with a call for a different kind of growth that begins with policies to increase equity and builds growth on that foundation. I largely finessed the larger issue, as so many economists still do, of what Herman Daly famously called the “impossibility theorem” that infinite growth is possible on a finite planet.

I continue, however, to hold to the book’s central message that our most powerful government institutions lack the capacity for self-transformation. Therefore, the essential transformational system change necessarily depends on the leadership of people willing to forgo conventional institutional financial and political rewards. Getting to the 21st Century thus anticipated the emergence of global civil society as a people power counter to the forces of corporate empire and framed the initial guiding vision of the People-Centered Development Forum (PCDF).

About Us

Our Website

This website integrates three previous sites maintained by David Korten and the People-Centered Developments Forum (PCDForum): davidkorten.org, greatturning.org and pcdforum.org. It serves as the web home of David Korten, the PCDForum, and the Forum’s work on the themes defined by our two most recent books: Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.

Most websites reflect the chaos and clutter of modern sound-bite communication. Our goal with this Living Economies Forum Website is to help our visitors cut through the clutter to see and understand the big picture from a systems perspective. We undertake this challenge not as an academic exercise, but because we believe a systems framework is essential to effective action to create a future that works for all our children.

In addition, we have designed this site to serve as a portal to our partner organizations and to David Korten’s current thoughts and commentary on Twitter, Facebook, and his blog at yesmagazine.org.

Founded in 1990 as the People-Centered Development Forum, the Living Economies Forum works with and through partner organizations and a circle of extraordinary colleagues to articulate and communicate framing ideas that light the path to a New Economy grounded in positive living system principles that recognize life’s extraordinary capacity for cooperative self-organization.

We are a small organization with an ambitious vision and a proud history paralleling the historic emergence of global civil society. [See The Forum and the Economic Story Revolution.] We are currently based  in the United States near Seattle, Washington on Bainbridge Island.

Since the time of our founding, we have been a global leader in efforts to expose the fallacies and illusions relating to economic growth models, corporate led economic globalization, and the Wall Street phantom-wealth machine. We are currently focused on advancing awareness of New Economy alternatives based on real-democracy and real-markets.

Our Logo

Our spiral logo symbolizes life’s continuing process of renewal as the dying of the old gives way to the birthing of the new. It is evocative of the Ollin, an ancient Aztec symbol for movement and evolution. Here it signifies this historical moment when we humans may perceive and actualize new possibilities latent in our being.

Our Name

When the Forum was founded in 1990, our defining concern was that Third World development programs and policies too often gave greater priority to producing financial returns than to improving the lives of people. We observed millions of people being displaced from the lands and waters that were their source of livelihoods to make way for “development” projects that served those already better off.

We founded the People-Centered Development Forum to advance a dialogue aimed at making people the centerpiece of development. That was more than 20 years ago.

Our analysis, language, and reach have since evolved. To serve people, the economy must serve the whole of life and the very meaning of the term development has become corrupted beyond redemption. We must come to think of economies as flows of life energy rather than flows of money. Thus, we present ourselves here as the Living Economies Forum devoted to defining a living future of living communities, service by living economies comprised of living enterprises with living owners. We support living markets of the sort envisioned by Adam Smith, who recognized that markets work best when they are predominantly local and operate within a framework of shared moral principles and sensible rules.

Our Organization

We have two full-time staff. David Korten serves as president and Kat Gjovik serves as director of communications and outreach. We have a five member governing board, an international advisory board, four primary partner organizations, and a advisory panel of of Great Turning navigator advisers. We remain small by choice to maintain our ability to respond quickly and flexibly to emergent opportunities. We achieve scale by working with and through other organizations and influential colleagues, which allows us to achieve a level of influence far beyond our modest size.

Our Vision

We envision a planetary system of interlinked locally-rooted, living-wealth economies that mimic the living structures and dynamics of Earth’s biosphere and support ecological balance, a just distribution of Earth’s real wealth, and a living democracy inclusive of all beings.

Our Mission

We contribute to creating a New Economy supportive of this vision by working with and through partner organizations to:

  • Articulate its cultural and institutional design characteristics;
  • Raise public awareness of the possibilities, requirements, and path to its realization;
  • Develop supporting theory and practice;
  • Provide tools for civil society organizations engaged in advancing the necessary cultural and institutional transition.

Our Theory of Change

We believe that transformational system change is most likely to be achieved through a process of emergence and succession that draws inspiration from forest ecology. Organizational change practitioner Margaret Wheatley says it well.

Once an emergent phenomenon has appeared, it can’t be changed by working backwards, by changing the local parts that gave birth to it. You can only change an emergent phenomenon by creating a countervailing force of greater strength. This means that the work of change is to start over, to organize new local efforts, connect them to each other, and know that their values and practices can emerge as something even stronger.
—Margaret Wheatley

We see virtually no prospect that the Wall Street system will transform itself from within. Change depends on citizen’s working from outside the establishment to create from the bottom up a New Economy based on new values and institutions. As they grow the New Economy into being, it provides others with ever more  diverse and attractive opportunities to redirect their investment, employment, and shopping choices from the old to the new. As people thus redirect their life energy to the New Economy from the Old Economy, the New Economy becomes ever stronger and more vibrant.

Our Strategy

We think of ourselves as a movement building catalyst working with a select group of individual and organizational partners to advance a three-fold strategy for navigating a Great Turning from Empire to Earth Community.

The Forum Archive of selected publications and presentations provides a record of the earlier phases of our work when our focus was on the patterns of economic development in the world’s low income countries.

  1. Change the framing stories of the culture to accelerate the awakening of a new consciousness of our species potential to create vibrant self-organizing, life-serving societies and economies based on real markets and real democracy. YES! Magazine is our lead partner on changing the story.
  2. Create a new economic reality through citizen action to build from the bottom up a global system of local living economies. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies is our lead partner on creating a new living economy reality.
  3. Change the rules to favor behavior and institutions that support ecological balance, equitable distribution, and living democracy over behavior and institutions that support environmental destruction, wealth concentration, and political corruption. The Institute for Policy Studies is our lead partner on changing the rules.

Historically, our primary contribution has been to element #1: changing the framing stories of the culture.  This aligns with our distinctive competence and will continue to be our primary focus. Geographically, our focus is on advancing the awakening in the United States—the world’s one remaining self-proclaimed Empire.

The source: the Living Economies Forum

You will find many articles of David Korten, co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, on his blog which is on YES! Magazine Blogs

YES! Magazine has Ongoing coverage of the people’s movement #OccupyWallStreet to take back our democracy and build a new economy.

“End the FED” and Ron Paul Political Positions


After the obvious and miserable failures of Barack Obama to deliver honest changes and his military assaults and interventions in Africa and other developing countries, now it is the right time to start supporting more friendly and Republican US presidential candidate in 2012 elections.

Congressman Ron Paul Republican 2012 Presidential Candidate

Ronald Ernest “Ron “ Paul is an American medical doctor, author, Republican U.S. Congressman of the House of Representatives and candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination. Paul is currently the U.S. Congressman for the 14th congressional district of Texas.

Paul serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Joint Economic Committee, and the House Committee on Financial Services, and is Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, where he has been an outspoken critic of current American foreign and monetary policy.

He wrote End the Fed book published in 2009. The book debuted at number six on the New York Times Best Seller list and advocates the abolition of the US Federal Reserve Bank System.

End the FED by Ron Paul

Paul is United States presidential candidate in 1988, 2008, and 2012, have been described as conservative, Constitutionalist, and libertarian. Paul has been nicknamed “Dr. No” reflecting both his medical degree and his assertion that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution” and “Mr. Republican”. This position has frequently resulted in Paul casting the sole “no” vote against proposed legislation. One scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science found Paul the most conservative of all 3,320 members of Congress from 1937 to 2002. Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution during 2002.

He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations, and from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty. He endorses free trade, rejecting membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization as “managed trade”. He endorses increased border security and opposes welfare for illegal aliens, birthright citizenship and amnesty; he voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

He voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in response to the September 11 attacks, but suggested war alternatives such as authorizing the president to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal targeting specific terrorists. An opponent of the Iraq War and potential war with Iran, he has also criticized neo-conservatism and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, arguing that both inadvertently cause terrorist reprisals against Americans. Paul has stated that “Israel is our close friend” and that it is not the place of the United States to “dictate how Israel runs her affairs”.

Paul is a proponent of Austrian school economics; he has authored six books on the subject, and displays pictures of Austrian school economists Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises (as well as of Grover Cleveland)[85] on his office wall. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes; he cast two thirds of all the lone negative votes in the House during the 1995-1997 period. He has pledged never to raise taxes and states he has never voted to approve a budget deficit. Paul believes that the country could abolish the individual income tax by scaling back federal spending to its fiscal year 2000 levels; financing government operations would be primarily by excise taxes and non-protectionist tariffs. He endorses eliminating most federal government agencies, terming them unnecessary bureaucracies.

Paul has a consistent record as an inflation hawk, having warned of the threat of hyperinflation as far back as 1981. While Paul believes the long-term decrease of the U.S. dollar’s purchasing power by inflation is attributable to its lack of any commodity backing, he does not endorse a “return” to a gold standard – as the U.S. government has established during the past – but instead prefers to eliminate legal tender laws and to remove the sales tax on gold and silver, so that the market may freely decide what type of monetary standard(s) there shall be. He also advocates gradual elimination of the Federal Reserve System.

Paul endorses constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees. He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national identification card, warrantless domestic surveillance, and the draft. Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states’ rights to decide how to regulate social matters not cited directly by the Constitution. Paul terms himself “strongly pro-life”, “an unshakable foe of abortion”, and believes regulation or ban on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is “best handled at the state level”. He says his years as an obstetrician led him to believe life begins at conception; his abortion-related legislation, like the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade and to get “the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters.” Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”

He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty (although he opposes capital punishment), of education, and of marriage, and endorses revising the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to concern mainly disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual). As a free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention.[citation needed] He also opposes the federal War on Drugs, and believes the states should decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs such as medical marijuana. Paul pushes to eliminate federal involvement with and management of health care, which he argues would allow prices to decrease due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market. He is an outspoken proponent for increased ballot access for 3rd party candidates and numerous election law reforms which he believes would allow more voter control. Referring to the federal government, Ron Paul has also stated that “The government shouldn’t be in the medical business.” He is also opposed to federal government influenza inoculation programs.

Paul was critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arguing that it sanctioned federal interference in the labor market and did not improve race relations. He once remarked: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society”.

On April 15, 2011, Paul was one of four Republican members of Congress to vote against “The Path to Prosperity”.

Foreign policy

Paul’s stand on foreign policy issues has drawn support across the political spectrum. His views are generally attributed to those of non-interventionism, which is the belief that the United States should avoid entangling alliances with other nations, but still retain diplomacy, and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial self-defense.[citation needed] Paul is quoted as stating “America [should] not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations”, while advocating “open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations”. Ronald Reagan spoke in support of Paul’s foreign policy views, stating “Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country.” Daniel Ellsberg, famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers, has said of Paul: “On foreign policy, on the Constitution, on Homeland Security, on intervention, he speaks very well.” Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has said that he and Paul “agree tremendously on international policy”.

Non-intervention

Paul’s stance on foreign policy is one of consistent non-intervention, opposing wars of aggression and entangling alliances with other nations.

Paul advocates bringing troops home from U.S. military bases in Korea, Japan, and Europe, among others. He also proposes that the U.S. stop sending massive, unaccountable foreign aid. The National Journal labeled Paul’s overall foreign policies in 2006 as more conservative than 20% of the House and more liberal than 77% of the House (28% and 72%, respectively, in 2005). For 2008, his ratings were 57% more conservative and 42% more liberal (48% and 52%, respectively, in 2007).

In an October 11, 2007 interview with The Washington Post, Paul said, “There’s nobody in this world that could possibly attack us today… we could defend this country with a few good submarines. If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of the face of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we’re acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapons.”

The World Trade Organization

Paul states that the WTO is a barrier to free trade and that the economic argument for free trade should be no more complex than the moral argument. “Tariffs are taxes that penalize those who buy foreign goods. If taxes are low on imported goods, consumers benefit by being able to buy at the best price, thus saving money to buy additional goods and raise their standard of living. The competition stimulates domestic efforts and hopefully serves as an incentive to get onerous taxes and regulations reduced…. By endorsing the concept of managed world trade through the World Trade Organization, proponents acknowledge that they actually believe in order for free trade to be an economic positive, it requires compensation or a “deal”. Paul introduced HJR 90 to withdraw membership from the World Trade Organization.

International trade

Paul is a proponent of free trade and rejects protectionism, advocating “conducting open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations”.[49] He opposes many free trade agreements (FTAs), like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), stating that “free-trade agreements are really managed trade” and serve special interests and big business, not citizens.

He voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), holding that it increased the size of government, eroded U.S. sovereignty, and was unconstitutional. He has also voted against the Australia–U.S. FTA, the U.S.–Singapore FTA, and the U.S.–Chile FTA, and voted to withdraw from the WTO. He believes that “fast track” powers, given by Congress to the President to devise and negotiate FTAs on the country’s behalf, are unconstitutional, and that Congress, rather than the executive branch, should construct FTAs.

Paul also has a 57% voting record in favor of free trade in the House of Representatives, according to the Cato Institute.

Lower spending and smaller government

Paul believes the size of federal government must be decreased substantially. In order to restrict the federal government to what he believes are its Constitutionally authorized functions, Paul regularly votes against almost all proposals for new government spending, initiatives, or taxes, often opposed by a heavy majority of his colleagues. For example, on January 22, 2007, Paul was the lone member out of 415 voting to oppose a House measure to create a National Archives exhibit on slavery and Reconstruction, seeing this as an unauthorized use of taxpayer money.

Lower taxes

Paul’s campaign slogan for 2004 was “The Taxpayers’ Best Friend!” He would completely eliminate the income tax by shrinking the size and scope of government to what he considers its Constitutional limits, noting that he has never voted to approve an unbalanced budget; he has observed that even scaling back spending to 2000 levels eliminates the need for the 42% of the budget accounted for by individual income tax receipts. He has asserted that Congress had no power to impose a direct income tax and supports the repeal of the sixteenth amendment. Rather than taxing personal income, which he says assumes that the government owns individuals’ lives and labor, he prefers the federal government to be funded through excise taxes and/or uniform, non-protectionist tariffs. However, during the 2011 CPAC conference, he said he would support a flat income tax of 10 % at 19:23 of that speech. A citizen would be able to opt out of all government involvement if they simply pay a 10 % income tax.

Inflation and the Federal Reserve

In the words of the New York Times, Paul is “not a fan” of the Federal Reserve. Paul’s opposition to the Fed is supported by the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, which holds that instead of containing inflation, the Federal Reserve, in theory and in practice, is responsible for causing inflation. In addition to eroding the value of individual savings, this creation of inflation leads to booms and busts in the economy. Thus Paul argues that government, via a central bank (the Federal Reserve), is the primary cause of economic recessions and depressions. He believes that economic volatility is decreased when the free market determines interest rates and money supply. He has stated in numerous speeches that most of his colleagues in Congress are unwilling to abolish the central bank because it funds many government activities. He says that to compensate for eliminating the “hidden tax” of inflation, Congress and the president would instead have to raise taxes or cut government services, either of which could be politically damaging to their reputations. He states that the “inflation tax” is a tax on the poor, because the Federal Reserve prints more money which subsidizes select industries, while poor people pay higher prices for goods as more money is placed in circulation.

Free-market environmentalism

As a free-market environmentalist, Paul sees polluters as aggressors who should not be granted immunity or otherwise insulated from accountability. Paul argues that enforcing private property rights through tort law would hold people and corporations accountable, and would increase the cost of polluting activities—thus decreasing pollution.

The sources:

The Political positions of Ron Paul

The Wikipedia on Ron Paul

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