Carne Ross, from UK Diplomat to OWS Proponent


Carne Ross

Carne Ross

I don’t know his Enneagram type, but I like his story.

I think of him in a similar category to Richard Alan Clarke, former counter-terrorism czar, who tried to warn Bush before 9/11 and was ignored. Then he insisted Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 so we should not go to war against Iraq and was ignored again. He left the Bush administration in 2003.

Carne Ross (born in 1966) was one of only two British diplomats who resigned over the 2003 Iraq War. He left the civil service in Britain in 2004.

Naturally competitive, Ross dreamed of becoming an international diplomat. When he took the British foreign service exam he was one of 20 out of 5,000 who were accepted.  He joined the Foreign Office and worked at the UK embassy in Bonn, Germany, then as the expert on the Middle East for the UK in the United Nations.

Ross worked on the Security Council resolution rewriting the Iraq policy and establishing the weapons inspection body. He negotiated the resolution for the UK that established the security force in Afghanistan.

Now Carne Ross runs the first non-profit diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat, from New York City. It advises governments and political groups.

As a member of the elite of the Foreign Office, Ross had been on his way toward his goal, ambassadorship, before he resigned. Once Ross had been a strong force for British policy. Then, he said, “I found myself seriously doubting the rightness of what we were doing—… above all the pretenses and disconnection from the reality of what we were trying to arbitrate. Because the one major absentee in all of our discussions was the Iraqi people themselves. I was the British lead on Iraq negotiating international law on hard-core issues of national security like how to deal with weapons of mass destruction or how to respond to Al-Qaeda after 9/11. I was catapulted to a position with real power, influence and status.”

Excerpt of Ross’ article Occupy Wall Street and a New Politics for a Disorderly World in The Nation on February 7, 2012:

“…This [OWS] is a politics of the many for the many, rather than that of a small clique of elected representatives, co-opted by the powerful few. It requires patience and work, as the Occupiers of Zuccotti Park have learned. The consensus principle is vital, and prevents the “tyranny of the majority,” but it must (and can) be engineered to allow fast decisions and discussions of complex issues. In Porto Alegre, Brazil, mass participation in decision-making has succeeded in deliberating the affairs of a city, and the results clearly indicate more equal provision of services, better environmental protection and an improved political culture, one that is open, nonpartisan and uncorrupted.

…Participatory democracy should be promoted for every public setting, from our neighborhoods to our cities and counties. As turkeys will not vote for Thanksgiving, politicians are unlikely to institute such systems. Instead, we will have to set them up ourselves, starting local—our street, our building, our school—and in doing so establish legitimacy from the ground up, a legitimacy that today’s politicians evidently do not enjoy.

The second element is equally critical: this is the politics of the personal. Our political goals must be embodied in everything we do, for this is the most direct way to produce necessary and urgent change. Despite its perpetual encouragement by over-promising politicians, the habit of asking government to produce the ends we seek is out-of-date. Given the way that Washington (and indeed London or Paris) works, there is zero chance that any politician, even one with the best intentions, will deliver a just society, where the weakest are properly cared for and where the earth that sustains us is itself sustained…

Self-organized, nonviolent action by the many, consulting all those affected: …you cannot have a fair, cohesive or happy society when a tiny few hold the vast bulk of the wealth and where companies are legally bound to maximize profits over all else, ignoring any un-costed effects to the environment or society.

… As Britain’s massive retail giant John Lewis has shown, cooperative companies can be just as successful, and can endure much longer, than the merely profit-driven. “Triple bottom line” companies give equal weight to their social and environmental impacts alongside the profit line… And we can support them by choosing them over more negligent businesses. In the OWS Alternative Banking working group, for example, we are building the elements of a new Occupy Bank, which would be democratic, transparent and egalitarian, and would offer better services than for-profit banks.

I would like to know Ross’ Enneagram type. Principled Perfectionist or Questioner? Maybe, but not enough to go on.

See my blog on Obama cartoons as the nine Enneagram types 5/8 and on my Psychology Today blog 6/19.

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Richard Branson, Enneagram Adventurer, OWS Backer


Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson (born 1950 in England), is the multi-billionaire, risk-taking entrepreneur of the Virgin Group (including Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, and hundreds of other ventures). He’s an Adventurer in the Enneagram personality system: “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”

         Adventurers are often idealists. Branson protested the Sudanese government expulsion of aid groups from the Darfur region. He joined the project Soldiers of Peace, a movie against all wars and for global peace. He’s a signatory of Global Zero, a non-profit international initiative to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide.

Branson pledged to invest the profits of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains (about $3 billion) in research for environmentally friendly fuels.

Though he belongs to the wealthy 1%, he says he identifies with the 99%. He said, “A few greedy people in the banking community nearly brought down the world, and that’s made people angry. I think not just the banking community, but the whole of the business community needs to make sure that capitalism puts on a genuinely positive face and gets out there and helps change the world to an extent that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators can feel they’ve done their jobs and go home. It’s up to every single person who works in business to play their part, even in a small way, to rectify the damage that’s been done. What they’re campaigning for is for businesses to become forces of good. If businesses can become forces of good and can grow hearts and get out there and not just be money-making machines, then, you know, I think that will be all for the better.”

Hmmm. That statement sounds a bit naïve to me. Adventurers are known for their optimism and sometimes their over-optimism. Given how entrenched the corporations and banks are with the government and the rest of the powerful, a superficial change of face isn’t relevant. As of now, capitalism has failed. A genuine change must take place deep down in the country’s gut. That’s one of the reasons we need a prolonged period of turning inward to percolate new solutions. They may include many of Branson’s ideals: non-violence, empathy, ecology; but a new way of managing our money is needed. I’m not going to hold MY breath waiting for businesses to turn kind so the demonstrators can go home satisfied. We need patience and time to think. We need to use our introversion: contemplation, planning, thinking things through. We need to do research and use our logic. We need to be in the streets talking and demonstrating, and at home (if we’re lucky enough to have a home) writing about these things. We’ll make our lists and demands and act on them later.

In 2006, Branson formed Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, an entertainment company focused on creating new stories and characters for a global audience. The company was founded with author Deepak Chopra and others. Branson launched the Virgin Health Bank in 2007, offering parents-to-be the opportunity to store their baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells in private and public stem cell banks.

In 2007, Branson also announced a new Global science and technology prize—The Virgin Earth Challenge—to encourage technological advancements for the good of mankind. It will award $25 million to the individual or group who can demonstrate a commercially viable design resulting in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases each year for ten years or more without harmful effects, contributing to the stability of the Earth’s climate. Branson will be joined in the adjudication of the Prize by Al Gore and others.

Adventurers are sometimes called Epicureans: Branson and the Natirar Resort development in New Jersey opened in 2009 with the Ninety Acres Culinary Center. It includes a restaurant run by chef David Felton, cooking school, wine school, working farm, luxury resort and spa.

Adventurers love fun and excitement: In 2010 Branson became patron of the UK’s Gordon Bennett  gas balloon race, which has 16 hydrogen balloons flying across Europe.In January 1991, he crossed the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada, 6,700 miles, in a balloon, breaking the record, with a speed of 245 miles per hour. In 2004, Branson set a record by travelling from Dover to Calais in a Gibbs Aquada in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 6 seconds, the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. In 2010 he tried for the world record of putting a round of golf in the dark at the Black Light Mini Golf in The Docklands, Melbourne, Australia. scored 41 on the par 45 course.

Richard Branson lives the life of a 1 per center but he says he’s with the 99%. He’s contributing to make the world a better place on many levels. He’s a good example to other super wealthy people, who often think they’re above concerning themselves with the problems of the world.

See my website, Wagele.com and my blog on Psychology Today for more famous Enneagram types.

Robert Reich, Spokesman for Equality


Robert Reich

Robert Reich (born June 24, 1946) has much to offer the Occupy movement as it is finding its way: “I have dedicated my life to ensuring that the economy works for everyone. A central tenet of my writings and the policies I put into place as labor secretary is that our ability to thrive as a nation depends on the capacities of our people who work productively together – both as participants in an economy and as members of a society.

He spoke to the students who were both protesting fee hikes and supporting Occupy Wall Street on November 15 on the steps of Sproul Hall at Cal in Berkeley:

“I urge you to be patient with yourself because with regard to every social movement in the last half-century or more, it started with a sense of moral outrage. Things were wrong and the actual coalescence of that moral outrage into specific demands came later.

Some people say we cannot afford education any longer, we cannot as a nation provide social services to the poor… Well how can that be true if we are now richer than we have ever been before? Over the last three decades this economy has doubled in size but most Americans have not seen much gain.

The problem with concentrated income and wealth…is an education system that’s no longer available to so many young people… We are losing equal opportunity in America. We are losing the moral foundation stone on which this country and our democracy were founded.

All of you understand intuitively that if we allowed America to go in the direction it was going, with the wealth and the income and the power and the political potential for corruption that all of that represents, that the bullies would be in charge.”

Reich served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was formerly a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University. He was also chairman, founding editor, and contributing editor of The New Republic, and contributing editor of The American Prospect, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Reich is a political commentator on Hardball with Chris Matthews, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CNBC’s Kudlow & Company, and APM’s Marketplace and other programs. In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the Ten Best Cabinet Members of the century, and The Wall Street Journal placed him sixth on its list of the “Most Influential Business Thinkers.” He was a member of President-elect Barack Obama’s economic transition advisory board.

His 13 books, include best-sellers, The Work of Nations, Reason, Supercapitalism, and Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future. He is chairman of Common Cause and writes a blog about the political economy.

Regarding a fair and sustainable income and wealth distribution, he recommends, “Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit — a wage supplement for lower-income people, and finance it with a higher marginal income tax on the top five percent. For the longer term, invest in education for lower income communities, starting with early-childhood education and extending to better access to post-secondary education.”

With little information about his personal life, I’m sticking my neck out and calling him an Enneagram Peace Seeker who makes good use of his Achiever and Questioner arrows. Please let me know if you know him well and know the Enneagram well and you have a more accurate guess.

See more about famous types on my Psychology Today blog and my web site.

Dept of Labor photo.