Monday, October 07, 2019

"Nurturing our Humanity" from Riane Eisler and Douglas P. Fry; fending off authoritarianism with cooperation



I received a free review copy of a new text from Oxford University Press, “Nurturing our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future”, by Riane Eisler and Douglas P. Fry. The copy came from the Center for Partnership Studies, where JD Riane Eisler is president; Fry is a professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at UNC in Greensboro.



The book runs 370 pages, comprises twelve chapters and offers endnotes at the end of each chapter.


The book challenges the position that human beings are hardwired for selfishness or narrow forms of tribalism, and that partnership and cooperation, instead of populism and strong-man rule, should develop naturally.  The book also looks at where various societies fall on the “partnership – domination” scale.  This idea sounds conceptually related to the Nolan chart, particularly the line between authoritarian and libertarian.

There are not a lot of review previews out there, but here is one from the Netherlands.
  
It sounds as if some of this has to do with the problem of whether people will do (for others) what they ought to do because they are “free to do so” or because there is a formal expectation that everyone else has to.

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