"This sounds great. Can anyone identify an historically documented, prosperous culture (one which had extensive interaction with other cultures) which abided more by such a philosophy than its opposite? "
Is historical precedent necessary? Can we not attempt to construct something new by looking at past societies and learning from (what we perceive of) as their errors? And even so, does it need to be applied at the societal level at first? One of the things I've seen recently is my partner moving from a corporate work environment to one that practices active programming, which pairs people as developers and has them switch around in a way that keeps people from feeling that they "own" the project. It seems to work very well to me, and I mentioned it at the panel as an example of moving from a competitive paradigm to one that encourages teamwork.
"Soldiers dying is a disaster; women dying is collateral damage."
This was (imo) more about deceptive language than feeling grief. "Collateral damage" is used to describe civilians dying, and it's a phrase used to mask some of the impact of war.
"225 people own half the world's wealth."
Fair enough on the stats, but I'd still argue that wealth is spread out across this world in a very disproportionate way, as reported in this UN study from 2006: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20856&Crl=University
"The way politics is framed is problematic. The binary obliterates any chance of real politics."
I believe the speaker was talking about the English political system at that point. Right now, (my perception is) that the two party system is broken - we see politicians adhering to party lines in a way that often appears obstructionist.
Beyond that, I think that any discussion which involves "us" versus "them" is one that won't get very far. One of the things mentioned in the panel was the need to find or establish common ground in discussions and then move from there.
"And, truly, not to be flip or glib, but what is the quantitative measure of global machismo? How do we know that it is currently too high? At what point would it be OK, in polite society, to give speeches and hold panels titled "Reducing Global Femininity: F the Effete"?"
Don't we already have this? Google around and there's plenty of critics talking about the "feminization" of American society.
As for quantitative measures, I'd love to see some arrived at. How do we know it's too high? Perhaps by looking at maternal death rates or the rate of violence against women. I think that's a superb question, though, even from my point of view I perceive an American society that does glorify machismo - take a look at some recent presidents for examples.
I'd urge you, though, to take up this discussion on the Aqueduct Press blog, where I also posted the notes and where more of the participants may see the discussion and be able to add harder figures than I can off the top of my head.
Could I also ask that you identify yourself by name, so I know who I'm talking to?