March 5, 2020
In this WBAI/New York City Public Radio interview Barry Seidman of Equal Time for Free Thought interviews Riane Eisler and Douglas Fry, co-authors of the new book, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future. Nurturing Our Humanity shows how we can structure our environments – from family and gender relations to politics and economics – to support our great capacities for consciousness, caring, and creativity. Can the U.S. transition from a social system that is historically a domination-based system to one of real partnership?
Eisler poses the question: “What are the conditions under which we can really thrive rather than merely survive—conditions that support a more peaceful, equitable, more sustainable future?” In the book, Eisler and Fry point out that there’s a continuum between a domination society, on one extreme, and a partnership society, on the other. Countries fall into a spectrum within this continuum.
Douglas Fry mentions how he noticed differences between the U.S. and Nordic countries, which have implemented partnership principles and caring values in many areas of their society. He lived in Finland and tells a story of his entry into that country, asking officials “Should I get some private insurance?” The reply was absolutely not— “Of course you’ll be treated in our hospitals—it would inhumane not to treat you”. He comments that Finland, like many European countries, is a more caring and humane society.
Both he and Eisler agree we need to look at our U.S. culture from the outside—more holistically—“Overall people in more partnership-oriented cultures are happier than we seem to be in the U.S. There’s other ways to thrive which are much more partnership oriented”.