The Road from Empire to Eco-Democracy
The Road from Empire to Eco-Democracy
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An examination of Social Awakenment, History-Long Vision, Holistic Social Understanding & Strategies of Transformation

As viewed by five United States Citizens in 2011 Lead author Gene Marshall with coauthors, Ben Ball, Marsha Buck, Ken Kreutziger, and Alan Richard

Though vast changes are necessary, we believe humanity can find a vision and plan of action that is both satisfying and realistic. Our aim is to fertilize the fruitful imagination and courage it will require to walk this Road to Eco-Democracy.

Wise, insightful, forthright, systemic, and clearly written, with moments of special brilliance. The framing of “The Forces of Transformation” and “The Role and Limitations of Electoral Politics” are particularly distinctive and useful contributions.

—David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning From Empire to Earth Community, and When Corporations Rule the World

I hope The Road is read and discussed by groups of friends and neighbors across the country. Sidestepping the political stalemates of the day, the authors name the basic problems facing our society, explain why “taking the long view” is crucial (but largely missing), and propose the processes by which we might create an eco-democracy.

—Charlene Spretnak, author of Relational Reality, The Resurgence of the Real, and States of Grace

I was enormously cheered by The Road from Empire to Eco-Democracy, which sets out a comprehensive menu of today’s myths and why they must be revisited. In contrast, these days I’m often depressed, not so much by the disasters unfolding before eyes, but rather by un-integrated, non-systemic band-aid solutions, which have become public policy staples. The Road neither trivializes the challenges nor tumbles into the trap of simplistic solutions. Yet beware, the many proposals in the book are neither trivial nor easy.

—David Sanborn Scott, Ph.D., Vice-President (for Americas) International Hydrogen Association, Founding Director, Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, Univ. of Victoria, Canada, author of Smelling Land: The Hydrogen Defense Against Climate Catastrophe

This book is not about making piecemeal repairs on understandable problems. It is about contributing to a massive social transition that we will never fully understand in our lifetimes. We who call ourselves “progressives” tend to each be doing our own good things, but in the main we lack a comprehensive overview of how we exit the deathtrap into which humanity has cornered itself and how we construct a social vehicle within which humanity can survive and thrive.

We see the fully progressive vision as an intimation of a much better future, but also as a fight against a set of illusions that characterize our age. Our fight is against a set of lies that are given “sacred” standing in the hearts and minds and commitments of most people – resulting in a set of compulsions that enslave rich and poor alike. It is a fight against a matrix of malice toward realism, toward real people, toward the real Earth – a malice that sickens the whole of humanity and undermines the wider community of Earth life.

Gene Marshall began his education as a mathematician and physicist. In 1953 he decided to leave a mathematics career and attend seminary at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas. He has served as a local church pastor, a chaplain in the Army, and in 1962 joined a religious order of families, the Order:Ecumenical, and traveled across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia as a teacher and lecturer of religious and social ethics topics. These trips included a depth study of world cultures and a vivid sense of the social conditions of the world’s peoples. He was an active participant in the civil rights revolution, serving for one year as the Protestant executive of The National Conference on Religion and Race. For six years he served as Dean of an eight-week residential Academy that trained leadership for religious and social engagement work throughout the world. In 1983 Gene and Joyce Marshall organized a nonprofit educational organization, Realistic Living, and began publishing journals, books, and essays. This book is his seventh book-length project. In 1999 Gene became a founding member of the Research Symposium on Christian Resurgence for Century Twenty-one. As a member of this organization he has headed the team of coauthors of this book.

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