Worldviews: How We See the World, Part 4

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. 00-bent-tree

The Center for Global Awareness is pleased to announce a forthcoming conversation program to enhance global awareness for adult learners called GRASP (Global Awareness Adult Study Program). GRASP’s mission is to enhance adult learners’ global awareness by offering conversation materials that present significant global topics using a unique four dimensional approach: see, know, evolve, and engage (SEEK). Participants will be able to see different perspectives and views, know more about significant global topics, evolve attitudes and shift behaviors, and engage more actively in helping to solve pressing global concerns through interacting more deeply with others.

We at CGA think it is as important to see different perspectives and views of global topics as it is to know about the topics. Therefore, we are developing new materials to enhance this “see” skill for adult learners. One of the ways to help us see different perspectives is to understand different worldviews. One of our forthcoming books, Worldviews: How We See the World, addresses the see dimension. I would like to share with you a condensed version of the first chapter of this book: An Introduction to Worldviews. Please follow our 4-part blog series on worldviews.


Worldviews: A Tool for Understanding Other Perspectives

When worldviews are not in our awareness nor acknowledged, stronger parties with more dominant worldviews may advertently or inadvertently try to impose their worldviews on others. Therefore, understanding worldviews can be a tool for recognizing and analyzing conflicts and tensions when fundamental differences divide groups of people. 12-burning-ritualsWhen each side of a conflict is understood according to their particular worldview, places of connection and divergence may become clearer, leading to a better understanding of the conflict or situation.

Worldviews, with their embedded meanings, can be the seedbed from which new shared meanings may emerge. By looking at the stories, rituals, myths, and metaphors used by a group of people holding a similar worldview, we can learn efficiently and deeply about their worldview and what matters to them and how they make meaning. These shared meanings may arise as people co-create new stories, design new rituals, establish shared values, and find inclusive metaphors. In any given contentious debate or conflict, established societal values, such as security, family, and responsibility, will emerge. Because people relate to these values differently when they hold different worldviews, misunderstandings and negative judgments about “the other side” may follow. As people become aware of the existence of different worldviews, they may stop expecting “the other” to make sense of the way they perceive the world, and realize instead that “the other” makes sense of the problem from their own worldview. In other words, the other side’s perceived outrageous or nonsensical ideas may actually become reasonable and sensible when seen from their point of view.

Below is an example of recognizing common values and shows the existence of divergent worldviews in conversations between advocates on both sides of the abortion conflict in Canada and the United States.

Both pro-life and pro-choice advocates value benevolence, universalism, and security, but their worldviews lead to them to see these values differently. Pro-life advocates, for example, may see all life as sacred from the moment of conception, and suggest that no human being should second-guess God or the Universe in its life-creating and life-ending capacity. Their idea of benevolence thus extends to the unborn fetus as well as to the other people involved in an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Pro-choice advocates are no less benevolent, but are apt to focus their efforts to improve and enhance welfare on those already born. 13-pro-life-demonstratorsTheir worldview may place more credence in science, or involve a different notion of when human life begins, such as at the point the fetus is viable outside the womb or when a woman first discerns life within.

Part of the reason that the abortion debate has become so heated and volatile is that it is bound up with social and legal rules. Both sides would like their views to be universal, at least within the countries of Canada or the United States. Many pro-life advocates argue against public funding for, or provision of, abortion services. Many pro-choice advocates argue for public funding and universal availability of these services. As these two directions for universal application of norms, standards, and public services have clashed, the intractable conflict between the two sides has escalated. The value of security also plays out in the pro-life, pro-choice conflict. Pro-life advocates are concerned about the security of unborn children and the families into which they are born. Pro-choice advocates focus on the security of those involved with unwanted and unplanned pregnancies. While both are concerned with security, they differ in some important ways on what security means.

How did pro-choice and pro-life advocates come to see each other’s worldviews, thus building a base of respect for each other that was broad enough to support dialogue and discover shared values? Dialogues convened by the Network for Life and Choice helped pro-life and pro-choice advocates become aware of their differing worldviews, and made the process of uncovering shared aspects of values possible. The facilitators asked participants to do two things that helped reveal their worldviews. They were asked to share personal stories of how they came to their views and to tell each other about their heroes and heroines. In doing so, they revealed things about their identity, what they found meaningful, their ideas about the nature of life, relationships, and “right living.” Listening to these stories, the dialogue participants found it harder to sustain negative images of the other, recognizing instead commonalities that had previously been closed to them. From this base of empathy, they were able to explore shared values with more ease, while not losing sight of the aspects of values they did not share. Similarly, sharing heroes helped participants see what was precious to others, and find values they shared.

Through dialogue, advocates from pro-life and pro-choice perspectives came to see that they shared some values. Both sides agreed about some aspects of security, for example that action to alleviate female and child poverty is desirable and necessary. Similarly, both pro-life and pro-choice advocates agreed on benevolence in the form of adoption services and on ways to limit behavior outside clinics that might hurt or intimidate. 14-pro-choice-demonstratorsThey also agreed that some values should be universal: dignity and respect for all, including the right to advocate for a point of view without fear of violence or reprisal.

As mentioned above, those with different worldviews may find shared meanings as they co-create new stories, design new rituals, and find inclusive metaphors. One of the ways that the pro-choice and pro-life advocates came to see these shared values was through the dialogic process of creating new stories and new identities. Participants in ongoing pro-choice/pro-life dialogue groups reported no diminishment of their ardor as advocates, but they did report that they assumed additional identities as participants in the dialogue. These new identities led them to humanize each other even as they pursued their social and legal agendas about the issue of abortion and ways of dealing with unwanted, unplanned pregnancies.

Worldviews influence how we see ourselves and others and how we make meaning of our lives and relationships. Since resolving conflict and negotiating through a multi-cultural, complex world necessarily involves some kind of change or accommodation, it is essential to understand the operation of worldviews. When people are asked to change their worldview, identity or what they find meaningful, they will often resist. Worldviews keep our lives coherent, giving us a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection. Conflict resolution processes need to help people look into each other’s worldviews without trying to change them. As illustrated by the abortion dialogue example, it is possible to uncover shared values without fundamentally changing worldviews. Developing approaches to uncover shared values is an important area for future development in conflict analysis and resolution.

As long as life continues to be lived, a worldview is susceptible to alteration. An adult’s worldview may, but need not, remain consistent. As a person precedes through his/her life there may be events that compel a radical reformation of outlook. For example, exposure to new ways of thinking through education may induce varying degrees of a changed perspective. Vivid experiences or persuasive encounters may engender dramatic alteration of outlook. Exposure to different cultural practices or mores, or changes in geography or living circumstance, or significant tragedy or success—such experiences may revamp one’s way of thinking about life and meaning. 15-darwin-and-jesus

Purposeful attempts to modify another person’s worldview may not be successful. Stress and internal conflict (for the one who is the target) may show up such an endeavor. For example, when an educator teaching evolution challenges a student who believes in creationism the result may be the student resists or opposes the intrusion. Even a person intimidated or persecuted to change his/her worldview may privately hold fast to his/her outlook. Presenting facts that reinforce a particular worldview does little to persuade other’s to change their worldview to the one that is perhaps more factual accurate.

World views have common components. It is important to keep these in mind as you establish your own worldview, and as you share with others.

1. Absolutes. This is a value or principle that is regarded as universally valid or that may be viewed without relation to other things; good and evil are presented as absolutes. Examples of this concept include, democracy is the best government, individualism is better than collectivism, power always corrupts, competition leads to best outcomes, and economic growth is essential.

2. Infinite Reference Point. Although many will try to deny this fact, all of us seek an infinite reference point. Whether it is God, science, power of the Universe, Man, the nation/state, Agnostism, love, mother Earth, 16-mother-earthor other types of reference point, arguments fall back on this point.

3. Faith. All of us presuppose certain things to be true without absolute proof. There are many inferences or assumptions upon which a worldview is based. This becomes important, for example, when we interact with those who allege, for example, that only the scientist is completely neutral. Some common assumptions are: a personal God exists; man evolved from inorganic material; man is essentially good; reality is material, beliefs form our behaviors.

4. Provides Meaning. All worldviews provide meaning to those who hold fast to their principles. A New Age adherent firmly believes that science does not hold all the answers but quantum waves of energy shape our destiny. Those protesting social injustice believe they have the moral high ground in supporting the downtrodden. Donald Trump supporters believe that a “strong man” can most effectively help their lives.


Even though the globalized worldview seems to have emerged as the most dominant at this time, I have come to the conclusion that none of the worldviews will disappear. If this is so, it means that it will behoove all of us to understand and learn to negotiate different worldviews in order to have a more peaceful, tolerant and viable future. We all have a voice and a critical stake in the future outcome.

questions-to-consider

  1. How would you engage with someone from a different worldview to resolve a contentious issue?
  2. How would this engagement make you feel?

 

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Worldviews: How We See the World, Part 3

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. 00-bent-tree

The Center for Global Awareness is pleased to announce a forthcoming conversation program to enhance global awareness for adult learners called GRASP (Global Awareness Adult Study Program). GRASP’s mission is to enhance adult learners’ global awareness by offering conversation materials that present significant global topics using a unique four dimensional approach: see, know, evolve, and engage (SEEK). Participants will be able to see different perspectives and views, know more about significant global topics, evolve attitudes and shift behaviors, and engage more actively in helping to solve pressing global concerns through interacting more deeply with others.

We at CGA think it is as important to see different perspectives and views of global topics as it is to know about the topics. Therefore, we are developing new materials to enhance this “see” skill for adult learners. One of the ways to help us see different perspectives is to understand different worldviews. One of our forthcoming books, Worldviews: How We See the World, addresses the see dimension. I would like to share with you a condensed version of the first chapter of this book: An Introduction to Worldviews. Please follow our 4-part blog series on worldviews.


Within the Global Wave there is not one all-pervasive, homogenous way of thinking and seeing reality. Instead I have identified five often contentious and conflicting worldviews, with contradictory ways of knowing and understanding the world, each promoting dissimilar visions for the present and future. In the United States and throughout the world, most people identify with one or another of these worldviews or hold a combination of ideas from these five worldviews. The following is a brief summary of the five major worldviews: indigenous, modern, fundamentalist, globalized, and transformative.

1. An Indigenous Worldview
Very few people today hold an indigenous worldview. Indigenous peoples share a similar ethnic identity and usually inhabit a geographic region with which they have had an early historical connection. “Indigenous” means “from” or “of the original origin.” 07-kung-huntersOther terms used to describe indigenous peoples are aborigines, first people, native people, or aboriginal but the United Nations prefers the term, “indigenous peoples.” The world population of indigenous peoples is hard to estimate, but recent counts range from 300 million to 350 million. This would be just under 5 percent of the total world population. This number includes at least 5,000 distinct peoples in over 72 countries.

Indigenous peoples today live in groups ranging from only a few dozen to hundreds of thousands or more. Many groups have declined in numbers and some no longer exist, while others are threatened. Modern populations have assimilated some indigenous groups, while in other cases they are recovering or expanding their numbers. Some indigenous societies no longer live on their ancestral land because of migration, relocation, forced resettlement or having their land taken by others. In many cases, indigenous groups are losing or have lost their language and lands, and have experienced intrusion and pollution of their lands and disruption of their traditional ways.

2. A Modern Worldview
The modern worldview traces its history back more than 500 years to the expansion of Western European power and influence 08-industrial-machinesaround the world. The modern worldview has been especially powerful over the last two centuries and has today expanded to the farthest reaches of the world.

A modern worldview continues today as a way of understanding the world and solving problems. It has ushered in a host of astonishing achievements such as the equality of women, medical breakthroughs, technological successes, educational progress, a high material standard of living for some, and the advancement of human rights. But it has also promoted terrible failures, such as values of rampant consumerism, cut-throat competition, unlimited economic growth, the use of punishment as a way to correct behaviors, military force to resolve conflict, and individualism over community.

3. A Fundamentalist Worldview
Fundamentalism is a strict belief in a set of principles that are often religious. Many who hold to these ideas wish to defend what they see as traditional religious beliefs of the past. Although fundamentalists believe they are following the exact traditions of the past, this would be impossible in a modern society. 09-iranian-womenInstead their beliefs have grown out of a rejection of modern ideas along with a response to the unsettling effects of globalization. They see their religion as true and others as false. There are fundamentalist sects in almost all of the world’s major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. Across cultures, fundamentalists share several common characteristics including a factual reading of scripture, a mistrust of outsiders, a sense of separation from modern culture, and a belief in the historical correctness of their religion. Some religious fundamentalists are politically active, trying to shape the political and social order in line with their beliefs. Many feel that the state should be run according to religious principles. Fundamentalists see the choices for organizing their nation as limited to a Western/modern society or a traditional society. Since they reject a modern society, the only other choice they see is the continuation of their traditional ways. Also many people in modern nations find that their traditional values give comfort and security in a rapidly changing and complex world.

4. A Globalized Worldview
A fourth worldview, a globalized worldview, is sweeping the world today. It has grown out of the modern worldview and has many of its characteristics. But one of the differences is that in the globalized worldview “time has speeded up” 10-mcdonalds-mega-mac-in-malaysiaand the pace of growth and development has spread to the farthest reaches of the earth. A globalized worldview affects all aspects of society and individuals’ daily lives.

In a globalized worldview, global capitalism is the dominant economic system. One global economic system governed by capitalist principles has enveloped national and local economies that governments have regulated and protected in the past. A global economic marketplace conducts business, currency exchanges, and trade policies that ignore national boundaries. Global multinational corporations make many of the economic rules and conduct the business of the world marketplace. They promote a consumer-focused economy and support a powerful financial sector. As we will find out, the globalization process, and in particular economic globalization has both negative and beneficial aspects.

5. A Transformative Worldview
At this point in time, diverse people are actively challenging the negative parts of the four other worldviews. These people say a different worldview or a different story is needed to make sure our human species and life as we know it on earth continues. 11-mexican-organic-farmersLeaders from diverse fields – religious leaders, students, entrepreneurs, international political leaders, indigenous farmers, political activists, environmentalists, entertainers, scientists, working people, artists, writers, academics, educators, economists, concerned citizens, and others – are contributing to the creation of what I call a transformative worldview.

Critics say that none of the other worldviews are able to meet the challenges of the 21st century. For example, some think that fundamentalist beliefs will not help build a more culturally tolerant atmosphere in an increasingly interracial world. Yet, they admire the sense of community fundamentalists support. Some people advancing a transformative worldview admire the sense of local place and the importance of the environment that many indigenous people have connected with for millennia but don’t want to lose a shared awareness as global citizens. Some people say that we need to move beyond the modern worldview without losing the value of scientific inquiry and rational, logical thought. Many people supporting a transformative worldview admire the advances in technology, transportation and communication, while rejecting the despoiling of our planet. They draw upon the globalized worldview idea that we are all global citizens yet want to limit the dominance of the world’s economy by giant, multinational corporations.

questions-to-consider

  1. What worldview do you most closely identify with? Least identify with?

 

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Worldviews: How We See the World, Part 2

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. 00-bent-tree

The Center for Global Awareness is pleased to announce a forthcoming conversation program to enhance global awareness for adult learners called GRASP (Global Awareness Adult Study Program). GRASP’s mission is to enhance adult learners’ global awareness by offering conversation materials that present significant global topics using a unique four dimensional approach: see, know, evolve, and engage (SEEK). Participants will be able to see different perspectives and views, know more about significant global topics, evolve attitudes and shift behaviors, and engage more actively in helping to solve pressing global concerns through interacting more deeply with others.

We at CGA think it is as important to see different perspectives and views of global topics as it is to know about the topics. Therefore, we are developing new materials to enhance this “see” skill for adult learners. One of the ways to help us see different perspectives is to understand different worldviews. One of our forthcoming books, Worldviews: How We See the World, addresses the see dimension. I would like to share with you a condensed version of the first chapter of this book: An Introduction to Worldviews. Please follow our 4-part blog series on worldviews.


Much of any person’s worldview is shaped by his or her culture and upbringing. But, a worldview is not merely a philosophical byproduct of a person’s culture. Worldviews are constructed by society that is they are more collective than individual. I am also distinguishing worldviews from cultural views that I describe in another book. A worldview is a person’s internal mental framework of cognitive understanding about reality and life meaning. No infant has a worldview. Each person’s worldview takes shape over time as an individual grows and develops and as s/he engages in new events and experiences, interacts with others, and derives answers to inquiries about life and living from others.

Those involved in the early formation of a worldview for any child vary across cultural and other variables that influence a child’s upbringing, such as living in a nuclear family or collective, extended family. In the United States, those who supply answers to questions and facilitate the formation of a youngster’s worldview are usually parents and/or close family of the child. Their influence during formative years is powerful. Youngsters hold to their formulation of a worldview with varying degrees of firmness and cognitive maturity. Influences in modern society such as television, social media, and pop culture have an increasing bearing on worldview formulation and outcome.

Those involved in shaping a youngster’s worldview hope to produce a preferred outcome by exposing s/he to selected experiences and providing instruction by way of narratives, rituals and behaviors. 05-infantThis indoctrination process may involve screening out alternative worldview narratives and experiences, or at least careful managing a youngster’s acquaintance with them. Even a broad-minded approach, one which does not seek to restrict exposure to alternate worldviews, will involve instilling certain interpretations and offering guidelines that direct youngsters to accept a particular worldview. These guidelines may be regarded as helpful for understanding the universe living life well, and gaining meaning, but the unconscious intention is to frame the youngster’s worldview.

The process of education, by its very nature, conducted in public and private schools instills a particular worldview. Public education concentrates on interpreting the world in secular fashion according to authenticated, scientific standards of knowledge and molding conduct around common values of civilized society and a respect for individualism. The authentication process involves training experts in the peer-accepted standards of scientific knowledge and research. Religious schools may accept some of the scientific standards of knowledge found in the public schools, but also infuse religious ways of knowing that may conflict with scientific standards.

For those instilling a worldview, the picture is more complicated than in the past. No longer can a family as readily control major interactions of the child within a general locale and accepting local mores. The complexity and rapid changes within today’s culture are bringing many more factors to bear. 06-chinese-studentsTechnological developments and advertisers of a commercial marketplace may increasingly hold sway in shaping a youngster’s worldview. The contemporary situation presents intense conflicts for those parents who seek a high degree of command over shaping their child’s worldview. Even the most liberal of parents may be challenged by an inability to channel experiences for their progeny toward what they hold as a hoped-for outcome. If worldviews are so important in influencing what we do, what are the prevailing worldviews that we all hold so dearly?

A unique period of human history is occurring at this time, a fifth turning—what I have called the Global Wave—that is transforming our human story as this new millennium dawns. The Global Wave, as outlined in my book Waves of Global Change: A Holistic World History, is characterized by rapid technological, intellectual, psychological, spiritual, economic, social, cultural, political, and ecological changes that are profoundly altering familiar patterns of the past. coverjpgsmrevAs is often the case when deep changes occur there is today a great deal of anxiety, tension, conflict, and disruption as well. The deep changes occurring today are organized, in this holistic world history, into a fifth wave, the Global Wave. Deep transformations are not new in our human history, for punctuations of human rhythms have shifted the flow of history in the past as well. Periods of discontinuity alter the balance of continuity and create change. Now, once again, is a time of ground-breaking change.

Within the Global Wave there is not one all-pervasive, homogeneous way of thinking and seeing reality. Instead I have identified five often contentious and conflicting worldviews, with contradictory ways of knowing and understanding the world, each promoting dissimilar visions for the present and future. In the United States and throughout the world, most people identify with one or another of these worldviews or hold a combination of ideas from these five worldviews. The next blog gives a brief summary of the five major worldviews: indigenous, modern, fundamentalist, globalized, and transformative.

questions-to-consider

  1. In what ways do you or society in general socialize children to conform to a worldview? What are some characteristics of that worldview?

 

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Worldviews: How We See the World, Part 1

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. 00-bent-tree

The Center for Global Awareness is pleased to announce a forthcoming conversation program to enhance global awareness for adult learners called GRASP (Global Awareness Adult Study Program). GRASP’s mission is to enhance adult learners’ global awareness by offering conversation materials that present significant global topics using a unique four dimensional approach: see, know, evolve, and engage (SEEK). Participants will be able to see different perspectives and views, know more about significant global topics, evolve attitudes and shift behaviors, and engage more actively in helping to solve pressing global concerns through interacting more deeply with others.

We at CGA think it is as important to see different perspectives and views of global topics as it is to know about the topics. Therefore, we are developing new materials to enhance this “see” skill for adult learners. One of the ways to help us see different perspectives is to understand different worldviews. One of our forthcoming books, Worldviews: How We See the World, addresses the see dimension. I would like to share with you a condensed version of the first chapter of this book: An Introduction to Worldviews. Please follow our 4-part blog series on worldviews.


Why is it that one experience or situation can elicit so many different responses? Police often find that different eye witnesses can have wildly different interpretations of the same crime that their testimonies are virtually worthless in determining the outcome of a case. Proposals to demolish an old, decrepit building in the middle of a town can create a firestorm of reactions or the building of a Walmart on the outskirts of town can raise the blood pressure of the entire community.

Another contentious issue involves the rights of indigenous people to claim their artifacts. Natural history museums before 1990 often had exhibits depicting land before European colonization. These exhibits often included artifacts and possibly skeletons of Native Americans; they could claim no ownership rights to artifacts that were taken from their land. 01-native-headressTheir burial grounds were dug up by archaeologists, and the findings were dispersed to museums across the country and world. Many artifacts were either purchased, often below the value of the object, or stolen, with little legal recourse for the Native groups. Although these exhibits may be informative to the museum-goer, many Native Americans see them as a source of resentment. This changed in 1990 when the federal government passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which gave them the legal authority to reclaim artifacts from federally funded museums. Museums are often asked to return objects that are sacred, meaning they are used in present-day ceremonies. Institutions also must give back artifacts that have “ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American group or culture itself.” Tribes can claim ownership of the objects, and if a review determines their claim is justified, ownership of the artifact is given to the tribes. However, the question remains, “Who should own Native American artifacts?” The essence of the question is also being asked globally. Should Egypt be able to request the return of their plundered antiquities from the British Museum in London or the Berlin Museum? It is not the purpose of this example to answer this question but to show that how one answers this question reflects, in part, one’s particular worldview.

A worldview is a way of understanding or a lens through which one explains events, phenomena, and actions that happen in our everyday lives. It refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it. The term worldview comes from the German world Weltanschauung: welt means world and anschauung means outlook or view. 02-reading-glassesA useful way to think of how a worldview shapes our reality is to think of a pair of glasses. We can see through the glasses without actually being aware of them, yet the prescription of the glasses is focusing the world for us. So too are worldviews. Every book read, policy statement enacted, vote cast, problem solved, class taught, Congressional bill passed, religious sermon preached, the way children are raised, and even the approach used to write this book are shaped as much, if not more, by our worldview as by any objective data or analysis.

A worldview is an overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world; a set of simplifying suppositions about how the world works and what is seen and not seen. It is an internal collection of assumptions, held by an individual or a group that are firmly believed to be self-evident truths. These assumptions shape an individual’s beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and values, which, in turn, affect behaviors and actions. A worldview is a paradigm, a fundamental way of looking at reality which functions as a filter. When people look out through a filter, such as a pane of colored glass, they usually see through it, rather than seeing it—as so with worldviews. It admits information that is consistent with our deeply held expectations about the world while guiding us to disregard information that challenges or disproves these expectations. A worldview acts as a built-in “operating system.”

Each of us has a worldview. It develops in part because we seek some understanding of our own significance. People desire certitude by which to live their lives. There are universal queries for understanding important aspects of life. Through the lens of our worldview an individual is able to answer these universal queries, such as the notions of the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural and a deity or deities; the origins of the universe and of human life; 03-subconscious-mindthe source of morality and values and identification of what is good or evil; how to live one’s life; the meaning of life and of death; and so on. To greater or lesser degree, people are able to obtain reassurances from worldview coherency.

Worldviews are rarely brought out into the light of day, so people are not usually aware of them. They are hidden deep in our human consciousness, all the while quietly shaping our reactions to new ideas and information, guiding our decisions, and ordering expectations for the future. For example, our worldview guides us to answering questions such as is free trade good for the economy, is universal health care a human right, is our clan always right, or does land always have a monetary value. A worldview consists of basic assumptions and images that provide a more or less coherent, though not necessarily accurate, way of thinking about the world.

Worldviews deeply influence the kind of political, economic, cultural and social patterns we build, and those, in turn, reinforce the events that occur around the world. An iceberg serves as a good way to better understand worldviews. At the tip of the iceberg, the 10-20 percent seen above the surface represents events that occur around the world. These events are reported on the television news, headlined in the newspaper, or featured on the Internet. But looking beneath the surface level of the iceberg’s events are the episodes. For example, we see the event of Hurricane Katrina on the news, but the hurricane is not an isolated event; it is part of larger episodes of hurricanes that are wreaking havoc along coastlines. 04-icebergAnd if we look further below the surface of the iceberg’s events and episodes, we see that a society’s political, economic, technological, social, environmental, and cultural patterns have an impact on the events and episodes (I call these patterns “currents” in my holistic world history). Many scientists attribute such violent and extreme weather conditions as Hurricane Katrina to global warming, which is caused by our burning of fossil fuels. The modern economic system, the current or pattern, is based on the burning of fossil fuels for our energy consumption, which drives our modern way of life, while the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels is an unfortunate but necessary byproduct.

Farther down towards the base of the iceberg is what I call worldviews, which, in turn, influences the events, episodes and patterns. On worldview extols is fashioned around the idea that unlimited economic growth is the unquestioned path to prosperity and well-being. However, the environmental repercussions of this worldview are finally revealing the unintended consequences of this unquestioned belief in unlimited growth. Finally, at the very base of the iceberg we see the great mass of ice supporting the whole iceberg; these are our human behaviors, the universal human commonalities that shape who we are as a species. Therefore, if we want to change events, episodes and patterns we need to change our worldview that created them in the first place.

These worldviews are not merely the latest psychological profile fad but deeply entrenched mental constructs of how we see the world. It is the lens through which we make sense of reality, arrive at solutions to problems, create a way of living our lives, or structure our government and other institutions. In other words, we make both big decisions and little decisions through the lens of our worldview.

questions-to-consider

  1. In what ways do worldviews deeply influence the kind of political, economic, cultural and social patterns in your country? Think of examples.
  2. Do you feel the worldview/s that influence these patterns reflect your values and beliefs?

 

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Twins and the Next Generation

Dr. Denise R. Ames

“Twins,” I screeched. This was my first reaction to the news that my daughter, Mia, was pregnant with twins. She told me the news that she was pregnant a few months earlier but she wanted to actually see me in person to give me the twins’ news. Actually, it was my granddaughter, Lilly, who conveyed the numbers by shyly holding up her two little fingers to indicate that she was going to be a big sister to two babies, not just one.  

I am elated that I will have two more grandchildren but, to be honest, my first reaction was how is this going to impact my life. My daughter and son-in-law certainly had that reaction as well. Even my son, the new uncle, and daughter-in-law were in shock. I guess it is natural that our first reaction to such a life-changing announcement is a practical one, how are we going to care for these two new babies? How much work will it involve (everyone says a lot)? Especially given the fact that they live in a four-story (with basement) brownstone in Brooklyn that has limited space and a tiny backyard.

After the shock wore off a bit and I agreed to help out for a couple of months with the newborns and household, I began to think about the event more philosophically and in a larger picture than poor me, I will have to change a lot of diapers. These are two new children being added to a world that was far different than mine and my children’s world. Although they are entering as privileged children of well-educated parents who have a house, security, and the wherewithal to navigate a complex and ever-changing world; their future still seems uncertain to me and cause for concern.
questions-to-consider
Actually, the upcoming birth of my grandchildren coincides with the reasoning behind the impetus to make some changes at the Center for Global Awareness. My partner Nancy Harmon and I have decided that we as elders of society have a real contribution to make in helping to make a bright future for the next generation, my three grandchildren included. Of course, we are just a small non-profit trying to provide alternative educational resources to students and educators grades 9-university, but these small efforts collectively make a large movement.

As veteran educators, Nancy and I have thought our best efforts were sharing our educational experiences and expertise with students and educators, especially in the areas of cross-cultural awareness and infusing global perspectives. Yet, as the years have floated by, we feel less connected with the educational community as we did in the past. The standards, testing craze and STEM emphasis have left us more marginalized as enthusiasts of globally-focused curricula. Instead of packing up the shop though, we have decided to channel our energy and focus into a new initiative.

We feel that the elders need to step up to be real leaders in forging a bright, sustainable and peaceful future. As elders, we want to do our part. Therefore, we are developing an initiative called GRASP (Global Awareness Adult Study-Group Program). The mission of GRASP is to enhance adult learners’ global awareness by offering conversation materials that holistically present significant global topics using a unique four dimensional approach: see, know, evolve, and engage. By participating in this inspiring conversation program, adult learners will be able to see different perspectives and views, know more about significant global topics, evolve attitudes and shift behaviors, and engage more actively in helping to solve pressing global concerns through interacting more deeply with others.

Our purpose in developing GRASP is that we feel the world has become more polarized, confrontational, uncivilized, and uncompassionate. Many of us don’t listen well to each other and many righteously believe their way or the highway. We feel that informal study groups of significant global issues are a way to inspire thoughtful conversations, deep listening, changing attitudes and engagement in participants’ communities.

We are hard at work adapting some of our books, materials and website to an adult group study program format. Although we will continue to have our books and resources available to students and educators, our new program will consume most of our time.

We ask that you, our loyal blog followers, help spread the word for our fall launch. We hope that the program is successful, not for our own sake, but for the sake of my still developing twins and all those of the next generation.

 

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A Clear Choice in the American Election: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

This has certainly been an unusual election season! I am sure almost all Americans would agree. It has brought out every faction, interest group, and ideological stance in America. There have been the free traders, neoliberals, socialists, nationalists and globalists, isolationists and interventionists, evangelicals, small and big government supporters, those against the 1%, environmentalists, feminists, libertarians, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and the list goes on. The old right and left divides seem to be shaken. Is this really a change election?

The call is for change, and the status quo is something to ridicule by many. But when asked for details beyond, “well, things have just got to change,” most are unsure – on the right and left – what that change entails. I do think this is a change election, but not the kind of change that most people hope for.

We are down to two major contenders: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who have emerged victorious from bruising primary battles. Since there has been mountains written about this election, I wondered what I may contribute that has not already been repeatedly talked about. I came up with an idea after reading George Lakoff’s recent article, watching parts of the Republican National Convention, and watching the Democratic National Convention, especially a segment featuring Mothers Against Gun Violence. What has clearly emerged is that the two nominees have significant styles of leadership and governing. The big question is, “Which one do you think is best for the country?”

I see the two sides as 1.) community/mother as portrayed by Hillary Clinton and 2.) authoritarian/father, represented by Donald Trump. Two starkly different styles of leadership with very different results for America.

Donald Trump exemplifies every characteristic of a strong, authoritarian leader – bullying, caustic language, threatening charges, belittling opponents, and the list goes on. It is a style of leadership that we have seen before in strong-men from Joseph Stalin, Juan Peron, Benito Mussolini to Adolph Hitler; our history books are full of these leaders as they sweep to power and control those they rule. I think it is a reach to compare Trump to these historical dictators, but I think it is fair to point out the authoritarian streak that runs through Trump’s campaign. It is tempting for people who feel they have been marginalized by society to turn to a strong-man ruler who offers reassurances that he will solve all problems, and return the country to a place of security and respect as it was in an imaginary past. They see a direct link to their problems with solutions the strong-man promises, such as blame the immigrants, get rid of trade deals, or numerous other easy solutions to complex problems. Strongman rule has always resulted in disaster. You can’t solve complex problems with easy solutions, violence, and coercion.

Let’s spend some time on the style of leadership that Hillary Clinton shows flashes of governing by: communitarian/mother. In fact, her campaign slogan is “Stronger Together.” Many people see problems with direct causes and solutions; issues as primarily black and white with understandable solutions – inequality is caused by the concentration of wealth among the 1%, then tax the 1% more or trade deals have caused the loss of manufacturing jobs, then get rid of all trade deals. Instead, most problems are complex and part of a system in which multiple factors cause inequality and simple solutions will not solve them. It is easy to say A causes B and all we have to do is do is C, and all will be solved. It is more difficult to look at A,B,C,D, and E as causes with indefinite solutions.

I thought the Mothers Against Gun Violence provided an excellent model for a different way of solving problems. Adults who are sharing a common problem join together to address solving that problem by looking at and exploring all the factors that went into creating the problem. In this case, the proliferation of guns, police biases, social and family breakdown, violence in society, lack of community services, and gang warfare are some of the factors contributing to the death of their son or daughter. In giving their comments at the DNC, some mothers drew on their deep faith in God, others said it wasn’t all police that caused harm, and others spoke of how their dead child was giving voice through them to make a difference in the world. Hillary Clinton is closely aligned with this group of women and seems to embrace their particular approach to the problem. The DNC showcased a similar group supporting slain police. The two groups sure have a lot in common.

I am very drawn to this style of collective/community/mother leadership. If implemented at the national level it would be a revolution. Commentators chastise the Clinton campaign for not having big ideas, such as Trump’s building a wall or Sander’s campaign for free college education, but community/collective problem solving IS a big idea, it has never been done before on a large scale. It would be the political revolution that Sanders called for but at a grassroots level and not causing big headlines. The results of community-based actions are promising and hopefully a national champion supporting this effort, such as the president, would help it grow.

We often want quick and simple answers to our complex problems, but to have long-lasting solutions often takes a long time and more than federal legislation. Community based solutions bypass the gridlock in the government. To me breaking the final glass ceiling that Hillary Clinton hopes to do in November, will not only be celebrating the first woman to govern in the White House but also breaking the glass ceiling of the authoritarian/hierarchical type of leadership that is paralyzing our nation and creating havoc around the world. A community-based leadership style and collective solutions would indeed be the BIG idea or the political revolution that many Americans so desperately crave.

questions-to-consider

  1. What is community-based organizing?
  2. Do you think it would work?
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The Brexit Vote in a Historical Context: Part II 1945-1970s

A second part discussion of the historical context of Brexit.

BrexitThe recent Brexit vote has certainly created lots of uneasiness among not only people in the United Kingdom but around the world. The event is complex and the repercussions are multifaceted. It is hard to talk about the complexity of it without getting bogged down in emotional tirades or mind-numbing detail.

What appears to be happening is that a major shift in the current economic/political/social structures seems to be underway. Since the 1980s, the twin forces of neoliberalism and economic globalization have expanded and now hold sway in the West. Neoliberalism is the modern politico-economic theory favoring free trade, privatization, minimal government intervention in business, reduced public expenditure on social services, balanced budgets, free movement of labor, and others. Economic globalization refers to the increasing integration and expansion of the capitalist (neoliberalism and state) economy around the world. Trade, investment, business, capital, financial flows, production, management, markets, movement of labor (although somewhat restricted), information, competition, and technology are carried out across local and national boundaries on a world stage, subsuming many national and local economies into one integrated economic system. There is also a growing concentration of wealth and influence of multi-national corporations, huge financial institutions, and state-run enterprises.

These twin forces have shifted the economy to favor those at the top of the economic ladder while the working and middle classes have either experienced stagnation or declining wages. For years, the backers of neoliberalism and economic globalization have been able to hold off complaints and protests about the inequality generated by these two forces, but it appears those on the “losing” end have made their voices heard. In the U.S., Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have loudly voiced their displeasure with the status quo and the Brexit vote also showed that a majority of the UK wanted to get out of the European Union and forge their own path.

The problem with any type of protests and calls for change, as this seems to be, is what kind of system will replace the current one. Of course, there seems to be wide disagreement on what that replacement should look like. Here lies the problem. Those on the right, represented by Donald Trump in the U.S. call for protectionist policies, cuts in immigration, closing borders, and heightened nationalism, while those on the left, represented by Bernie Sanders, call for more government programs, such as free college tuition, an increased minimum wage, spending for infrastructure, and higher tax rates on the wealthy. Although these programs may sound good to their followers, the repercussions of high tax rates or protectionist trade policies are unclear. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, represents the status quo, liberal democratic policies with some tweaks.

To give some historical light to this debate I would like to insert an edited section from my book: The Global Economy: Connecting the Roots of a Holistic System that explains the post-war economic order and the chaos of the 1970s, in which various forces vied for economic supremacy. Perhaps now is such a time again, as neoliberalism is being battered from various sides and may reassert itself or fall into the dustbin of history as it did in the 1930s.

The Post World War II Economy (1945-the 1970s)

Bretton Woods Resort

Bretton Woods Resort

In the spirit of wanting to avoid another Great Depression and world war, the major world economies met to discuss the post-war economic order in 1944 at the New Hampshire resort of Bretton Woods. Over the next three weeks, the delegates made plans for a postwar economic order, simply called Bretton Woods. The delegates forged three institutions to stabilize the post-war order: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Bank. The delegates settled upon a modified dollar/gold standard fixed at $35 to an ounce of gold. Many felt the dollar was a good monetary anchor for international trade, finance, and investment. The compromise brought stability to the world economy for 25 years. It also meant that labor was a powerful force in shaping policies that benefited them. The post-war years turned out to be a golden age for nations across the globe. Prosperity increased for many, and economic progress appeared to be limitless. It was generally a time of optimism and confidence in the future.

  1. The Golden Age of Capitalism

In the classical era of global capitalism, the elite generally had little concern for social or moral issues but said the market was a solution to all problems. After the war an ethical shift occurred. The West’s policies aimed to create more equal social policies in a new social democratic state. This ethic continued until the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980s. Managed capitalism reigned in the 1950s and 1960s. Some state-owned enterprises, usually large public services, coexisted with small businesses and free markets. Government was involved in the economy, along with a broad social safety net and powerful labor movements. A blend of active markets, strong governments, big business, and organized labor resulted in rapid rates of economic growth and stability. All prospered in this arrangement, but labor made the greatest strides. The golden age was a time of order and optimism.

  1. The Golden Age of Communism and Socialism

These nations made the case that central planning needed to replace global and national markets. They thought that the needs of poor people and poor countries for equality and a better standard of living could not be met by integration with world markets but adopting a command economy. From 1948-1973, the centrally-planned economies, such as the Soviet Union and Cuba, did quite well, and the results impressed many unhappy with the inequities of capitalism. Illiteracy dropped, and education improved. Medical care was free. Infant mortality dropped, often below that of wealthier countries. Communists and socialists ruled one-third of the planet and had millions of devout followers.

  1. The Golden Age for the Middle and Periphery Countries
ISI policies, built cars in Argentina

ISI policies built cars in Argentina

The middle and periphery nations took two economic approaches. Most countries followed inward economic development of Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI). Others turned outward and promoted exports, such as in South Korea. The decision to adopt one or the other approach differed among countries.

The ISI countries largely closed themselves to foreign trade and industrialized. They met with general success. The newly independent colonies, likewise, kept out foreign goods and often foreign capital to build up their independent national economies. ISI governments’ aim was to make domestic manufacturing more profitable, and they provided tax breaks to investors in the favored industries. These policies resulted in industrial development, but at the expense of the primary exporting sectors, such as farming and mining. Farmers and miners paid more for tariff-protected manufactured goods, but had to sell their own products without government assistance at world market prices, which were usually low. Taxes on the primary exporting sector, in effect, subsidized favored national industries. ISI policies shifted resources and people from farming and mining to manufacturing, from the countryside to the cities, in an effort to help industry flourish.

export oriented industrialization

Export oriented industrialization

In the mid-1960s four East Asian countries, the so-called “Asian tigers” – South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong – tried a different form of ISI: they pushed exporting their manufactured goods to core countries. The East Asians turned to export-oriented industrialization (EOI) in part because they had few natural resources to export, and the only way to earn foreign currency was to export manufactured goods. They specialized in exporting labor-intensive goods, using their hard-working and large pool of cheap labor as their comparative advantage. The government gave help to export industries and created plenty of jobs, and low wages kept exports cheap. Their exchange rates were also undervalued to make their exports more competitive on the world market, which also resulted in depressing consumers’ purchasing power.

For capitalists, communists/socialists, ISI and EOI nations, the early 1970s was the high-water mark of the postwar world economy. Almost all nations, including former colonies, grew rapidly and consistently. Prosperity reigned. But things were about to change.

The Crisis of the 1970s

The 1970s, like the 1930s, proved to be an important era in economic history. Looking at all the following factors as a holistic system we can see how all contributed to the 1970s crisis, it is hard to pin-point the major one. The United States’ position as the superpower of the capitalist world was suddenly hit from all sides, and the Bretton Woods system lay in disorder. Would the ruling powers be able to patch together the old Bretton Woods order again? Or would the old order be overturned and a different one established? The answer in the turbulent 1970s was not clear.

gold

Gold

  1. The Dollar and Gold.  Since 1944, the U.S. had been committed to the post-war international economic order –Bretton Woods. It was about to be undone. After 25 years of stability, its collapse unleashed a host of problems. Confidence in the dollar declined. Holders of dollars wanted to exchange them for gold, which led to a run on U.S. gold reserves. The dollar’s fixed rate of $1= 1/35oz. of gold needed to be undone and the dollar devalued. In August 1971, the U.S. decided that the dollar was not exchangeable with gold. The dollar dropped compared to other currencies by about 10 percent and devalued again by 10 percent in 1973.
  1. International Financial Flows. When the dollar/gold standard was undone, currencies were allowed to float; a nation’s currency value varies according to the foreign exchange market. As a result, the growth of currency speculation skyrocketed. International finance returned, along with economic instability. It had been inactive since the Depression years, with governments managing their own domestic monetary policies and capital controls to prevent currency speculation. Because of the collapse of the Bretton Woods order, speculators could now move money around the world in search of profits.
  1. Overcapacity. By the mid-1970s, the key problem for core economies was overcapacity or overproduction of goods. Capitalist economies have a tendency to build up more capacity to produce goods and services relative to consumption. Overcapacity was found in the U.S. and Europe. Also, newly industrialized countries like Brazil and South Korea added to overproduction. Yet, incomes limited the demand for the overproduced goods. Thus, overcapacity resulted in a steady decline in profitability for business.
  1. Stagflation. Inflation picked up in the U.S. in the late 1960s, going from about 3 percent in 1966 to nearly 6 percent in 1971. These rates were considered high at the time. Inflation spiked to over 10 percent in 1974 and again from 1979 to 1981. Adding to the economic misery, the unemployment rate topped 8 percent in 1975 and reached nearly 10 percent in 1982. Growth in the core countries slowed. Governments tried to stimulate their economies by increasing spending, but then inflation raged. The economy seemed trapped in the new, cleverly-termed nightmare of “stagflation:” a combination of low economic growth and high unemployment (stagnation) with high rates of inflation. Policymakers seesawed back and forth between trying to solve high inflation and then trying to solve high employment. Nothing seemed to work.
  1. Low Labor Productivity. The combined effects of rising wages and declining productivity growth resulted in large increases in labor costs per unit of output. While unit labor costs were constant in the first half of the 1960s, they grew at nearly 2 percent per year from 1966 to 1967, and at over 6 percent per year from 1968 to 1969. These rising labor costs, in turn, ate into business profits and added to inflation.
  1. Oil. The increase in the price of oil contributed to economic uncertainty and inflation. To some, the world price of oil had lagged behind inflation for decades, and was merely “catching up” in the 1970s. The major oil producing nations were tired of supplying cheap oil to the core nations and formed the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) that regulated the price and production of oil. Since oil supplied half to three-fourths of the industrial world’s energy, oil importing countries were at OPEC’s mercy.
  1. Gas station lines, 1979

    Gas station lines, 1979

    Decline of U.S. International Authority. The U.S. continued to be a major superpower in the world through the 1970s but it no longer enjoyed the dominance it had once experienced. The recovery of manufacturing in Western Europe and Japan meant more competition for U.S. firms in industries like steel and automobiles. Also, U.S. decline in the periphery undermined U.S. companies’ easy access to cheap materials and energy resources.

  1. Womens Liberation March, 1970

    Women’s Liberation, March 1970

    Social Movements in the United States. Mass social movements of the 1960s and 1970s – civil rights, women’s liberation, anti-war, gay rights, anti-nuclear, consumer rights, Native American rights and the environment – contributed to the crisis. Increased pressure for social reform gave rise to greater government regulation of private business. Before, government agencies had just regulated specific industries, but new social regulations included environment, consumer-protection, occupational safety and health, and anti-discrimination laws.

  1. Debt and Poverty in the Middle and Periphery Nations. With the return of international finance, middle and periphery nations could borrow money from private international bankers. And borrow money they did. Tens of billions of dollars a year flowed from banks and bondholders in the core nations to the borrowing middle and periphery nations. Inflation exploded. Their debts and interest payments soared.

ISI national economies were breaking under a number of problems. ISI nations favored industry over agriculture, which worsened rural poverty in countries that were heavily rural. Farmers migrated to the cities to look for jobs in the new industries. But ISI growth was very capital-intensive, and industrialists did not need much labor. Poverty awaited farmers who flooded into the cities seeking non-existent factory jobs. ISI countries often ended up as dual economies. Skilled workers earning fairly high wages worked in industries, government policy froze out a majority of struggling farmers and urban poor from the modern economy.

The socialist economies primarily relied on the export of natural resources – petroleum, gold, timber, minerals – but these would not be enough to pay for necessary imports. Although the socialist countries were not in crisis in the 1970s, signs warned of problems ahead. Socialist reform programs had stalled, and the central planners struggled with poor living standards, lagging technology, and declining growth rates. The 1970s signaled that the glory days of socialism would soon be over.

The Uncertainty of the 1970s

The postwar order (1948-1973) had achieved its goals. The capitalist countries got economic integration, coupled with a welfare state and a well-managed economy. Some of the middle and periphery countries built their industrial base, along with protection from foreign influence. The socialist countries got rapid industrial and economic growth and a somewhat equal distribution of income. But by the late 1970s, these goals had become more difficult for all three groups. The way forward was not clear.

The Shift to the Right

The late 1970s and early 1980s looked like the 1930s. Different interest groups fought each other over how to restructure national and global economies. There were the nationalists and globalists, free marketers and managed capitalism supporters; there were leftists who wanted socialism and rightists who wanted less government. Compromise appeared impossible. When the dust settled, it was the political right, the free-market supporters, who had gathered political and popular support. It wasn’t an over-night victory, the right had been working on its agenda throughout the 1970s and even before, but its victory was decisive and shaped the economic and political landscape to the present day.

The crisis of the 1970s marked the end of the “Golden Age” and the rise of neoliberal capitalism. Neoliberals wanted an end to social welfare programs, deregulation, and the dismantling of labor unions. It blamed government regulation, taxation, and social programs for what it thought to be the economic and moral decay of society. It tapped into and fueled a backlash against the civil rights and women’s movements. It also drew on the power of patriotism, since many Americans thought that their country was in decline. The right promised to restore the country to its rightful place of global supremacy.

Shift to the Right, Ronald Reagan

Shift to the Right, Ronald Reagan

Even though many Americans supported the turn to the right, it was largely a movement of the powerful. Some of the very largest corporations organized a campaign to make sure that they settled the crisis in a way that favored them. First, they set up “think tanks” which outlined a conservative economic agenda. Second, they stepped up their lobbying efforts of friendly government officials and put money into supportive business organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Third, they financed conservative candidates for public office. These efforts in the 1970s played a big role in bringing about the “turn to the right.” The conservatives gradually displaced the managed, social democratic form of capitalism followed for over four decades in the U.S. with an agenda similar to the classical era. It would fall to Republican Ronald Reagan, elected president in a decisive showing in November 1980, to forge a new economic agenda in the U.S.

The crisis of the 1970s had ended with the emergence of a neoliberal version of capitalism. It was a well-planned change to a system that benefited specific groups of people. The golden era of post-war capitalism in the U.S. was a time when there was a balancing act among government, labor, the middle class, and business interests. Although not perfect, all groups generally profited from the cooperation. Yet, many business groups felt they were limited in their ability to make more profits. Big business interest group organized and funded an agenda to take the lead in shaping the future economic system. For them, their hard work and investments paid off.

As the world’s leading economy, the U.S. had a more significant role in shaping the global economy than other countries. Three dimensions to the global economy took shape out of the disorder of the 1970s – neoliberalism, economic globalization, and financialization.

Today, Europe clings to the social democratic policies since the 1930s with a generous social safety net, but it also competes with countries practicing neoliberalism, such as the U.S., that has seen a fraying of the social safety net. State capitalism, a carryover from communist command economies, continues in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere. Perhaps the Brexit vote will mean a move to more nationalistic, protectionist economies, reminiscent of the ISI economies in the 1950s and 1960s. Or perhaps the supporters of neoliberalism will once again assert that their principles govern the world economy.

questions-to-consider

  1. Why did different economic models exist during the post-war years?
  2. Why was there a return to the classical era of laissez-faire capitalism (neoliberalism) in the 1970s?

 

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