The Peacebuilding Podcast : From Conflict To Common Ground

Episode 028 — Dr. Riane Eisler: Partnership or Domination-Whispers from the Past and a Way Forward

December 7, 2017

In these darker days (we are fast approaching the winter solstice in the US), and with the darkness created by the Harvey Weinstein's of the world, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un putting us on the brink of nuclear war, fires raging in Los Angeles, and the Middle East being set on fire by the Trump's decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, I bring you one of the brightest lights and clearest thinkers about a path forward.

Dr. Riane Eisler is President of the Center for Partnership Studies and internationally known as a systems scientist, attorney working for the human rights of women and children, and author of groundbreaking books such as The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future, now in 26 foreign editions, and The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics.

She has been hugely influential around the world and, if you haven’t already heard her name, you will now as she is frequently quoted by some of the most interesting thought leaders.

In this episode, Dr. Eisler will focus the relationship between gender and issues of war and peace – a topic about which I am most passionate. When I read the Chalice and the Blade in the 80’s my eyes were opened! She elegantly divided the history of the planet into models of domination and models of partnership – and observed (like Bill Ury in his book Getting to Peace) that models of domination are more recent in our history and for the vast majority of human time on earth we have been living in partnership.

Dr. Eisler clearly connects the dots of societies that have male-dominated family structures and those that support militarism and violence as a method of influence. She points out that the “regressives” in the USA (and around the world) get the connection between the family and national/international policy and have systematically pressured women back to their more traditional, subservient roles. She wants “progressives” to connect these dots as well and provide leadership for a new economic system where all things "feminine" -- child care, the environment, etc. are clearly reflected in our economic metrics of what contributes to our collective well-being.

Children get a profound imprinting when they are raised in patriarchal or dominator families, where they learn that some humans are more valuable than others and that violence and strong-man rule is an acceptable method of influence. This translates to support for a domination system that not only supports a planet in conflict but polarizes groups by gender, race, tribe, religion, etc. As Dr. Eisler points out -- "it doesn't have to be this way."

Please listen to this episode. We need people to more fully understand the brilliance that Dr. Eisler has to share with us and this path forward.

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