Academic journal article et Cetera

A House Divided: Six Belief Systems Struggling for America's Soul

Academic journal article et Cetera

A House Divided: Six Belief Systems Struggling for America's Soul

Article excerpt

In 1858, at the Republican Convention, Abraham Lincoln said, in regard to slavery, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." One hundred years later Mark Gerzon echoes Lincoln's sentiment. Gerzon, a former Sixties idealist, is cofounder of the Rockefeller Foundation project "The Common Enterprise," a network of community-building efforts to find common ground. He worries that America's future is in jeopardy because its citizens are angry and polarized over a variety of social issues.

After listening to "scores" of citizens explain their beliefs about themselves and society, Gerzon constructed composite descriptions of six adversary belief systems that, taken together, "provide an overview of the hostility that exists in our country today." These belief systems make up the "Disunited States of America." Each belief system has a Latinized name: Patria (The Religious State); Corporatia (The Corporate State); Disia (The Disempowered State); Media (The Super State); Gaia (The Transformative State); and Officia (The Governing State). Each state has core beliefs, sacred texts, channels of communication, advocacy groups, jargon, and leaders. …

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