Macroshift

Navigating the Transformation to a Sustainable World

Ervin Laszlo (Author) | Arthur Charles Clarke (Foreword by)

Publication date: 09/01/2001

Bestseller over 20,000+ copies sold

Macroshift
  • Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The critical crossroad we face at the threshold of the millennium revealed by one of the world's preeminent futurists
  • Comments on today's global crisis and the challenge of change from Thomas Berry, Gary Zukav, Riane Eisler, Edgar Mitchell, and others
  • Draws on the author's profound understanding of systems theory to provide practical guidance for shaping and directing our future

We live in the midst of one of the greatest technological revolutions in history, an era of deep-seated transformation-a macroshift in civilization, says preeminent scholar and futurist Ervin Laszlo. Its signs and manifestations are all around us, from the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping Africa and the dangerous fire-trap sweatshops routinely killing workers in Bangladesh, to the environmental havoc created by genetic engineering, power plant pollution and mechanized agriculture. The application of new technologies has turned into a double-edged sword.

The world is growing together in some respects, but is coming apart in others. Worldwide economic globalization, another sign of the macroshift, all too often benefits the few rather than the many. Hundreds of millions live at a higher material standard of living, but thousands of millions are pressed into abject poverty. The richest 20% earn ninety times the income of the poorest 20%, consume eleven times as much energy, and eat eleven times as much meat.

There have been other macroshifts in human history, but they spanned centuries, allowing cultural values, beliefs, and change to occur gradually. Today, technology has reduced our time to adapt; the entire critical period of change is compressed into the lifetime of a generation.

Today's macroshift, explains Laszlo, harbors great promise, as well as grave danger. He outlines two possible scenarios: "The Breakdown," where we choose to drift without a change in our current direction toward chaos, anarchy, and destruction, or "The Breakthrough," where we collectively transform our thinking and behavior to produce creative, sustainable solutions to dangerous global problems. And he shows what each of us can do-politically, professionally, and privately-to bring about the Breakthrough and shape a humane and sustainable global future.

While technology is what drives the unprecedented speed of this macroshift, it is our vision, values, and actions now that will ultimately determine the outcome. The choice is up to us-the power is in our hands.

  • Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The critical crossroad we face at the threshold of the millennium revealed by one of the world's preeminent futurists
  • Comments on today's global crisis and the challenge of change from Thomas Berry, Gary Zukav, Riane Eisler, Edgar Mitchell, and others
  • Draws on the author's profound understanding of systems theory to provide practical guidance for shaping and directing our future

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

Hardcover:
9781576751633

$24.95
(member price: $22.46)
Free shipping on all orders from the BK Publishers store.
Or find a local bookseller with Indiebound.

Other Available Formats and Editions

9781576751787

$24.95
(member price: $17.47)

9781609943660

$24.95
(member price: $17.47)
Bulk Discounts
Rights Information


Featured Books



The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment

Thom Hartmann, the most popular progressive radio host in America and a New York Times bestselling author, looks at the real...

The Making of a Democratic Economy

Our economy is designed by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent. This book offers a compelling vision of an equitable,...

Why We Elect Narcissists and Sociopaths–And How We Can Stop!

Bestselling author, therapist, lawyer, and mediator Bill Eddy describes how dangerous, high-conflict personalities have gained power in governments worldwide—and what citizens...

More About This Product

Overview

  • Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The critical crossroad we face at the threshold of the millennium revealed by one of the world's preeminent futurists
  • Comments on today's global crisis and the challenge of change from Thomas Berry, Gary Zukav, Riane Eisler, Edgar Mitchell, and others
  • Draws on the author's profound understanding of systems theory to provide practical guidance for shaping and directing our future

We live in the midst of one of the greatest technological revolutions in history, an era of deep-seated transformation-a macroshift in civilization, says preeminent scholar and futurist Ervin Laszlo. Its signs and manifestations are all around us, from the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping Africa and the dangerous fire-trap sweatshops routinely killing workers in Bangladesh, to the environmental havoc created by genetic engineering, power plant pollution and mechanized agriculture. The application of new technologies has turned into a double-edged sword.

The world is growing together in some respects, but is coming apart in others. Worldwide economic globalization, another sign of the macroshift, all too often benefits the few rather than the many. Hundreds of millions live at a higher material standard of living, but thousands of millions are pressed into abject poverty. The richest 20% earn ninety times the income of the poorest 20%, consume eleven times as much energy, and eat eleven times as much meat.

There have been other macroshifts in human history, but they spanned centuries, allowing cultural values, beliefs, and change to occur gradually. Today, technology has reduced our time to adapt; the entire critical period of change is compressed into the lifetime of a generation.

Today's macroshift, explains Laszlo, harbors great promise, as well as grave danger. He outlines two possible scenarios: "The Breakdown," where we choose to drift without a change in our current direction toward chaos, anarchy, and destruction, or "The Breakthrough," where we collectively transform our thinking and behavior to produce creative, sustainable solutions to dangerous global problems. And he shows what each of us can do-politically, professionally, and privately-to bring about the Breakthrough and shape a humane and sustainable global future.

While technology is what drives the unprecedented speed of this macroshift, it is our vision, values, and actions now that will ultimately determine the outcome. The choice is up to us-the power is in our hands.

  • Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The critical crossroad we face at the threshold of the millennium revealed by one of the world's preeminent futurists
  • Comments on today's global crisis and the challenge of change from Thomas Berry, Gary Zukav, Riane Eisler, Edgar Mitchell, and others
  • Draws on the author's profound understanding of systems theory to provide practical guidance for shaping and directing our future

Back to Top ↑

Meet the Author & Other Product Contributors


Visit Author Page - Ervin Laszlo

Ervin Laszlo is the Founder and President of The Club of Budapest, and the Director and Co-Founder of the Laszlo Center for Transition World Studies (Denmark) and of the Laszlo New-Paradigm Leadership Center (Italy).



Foreword by Arthur Charles Clarke

Back to Top ↑


Table of Contents

Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke

Part One: Macroshift: The Dynamics of Globalization

Chapter 1: Macroshifts in History and Today

Chapter 2: The Decisive Factors in Today's Macroshift

Chapter 3: The Choice

Part Two: Imperitives of the Era of Globalization

Chapter 4: Forget Obsolete Beliefs

Chapter 5: Learn to Live with Diversity

Chapter 6: Embrace a Timely Ethics

Chapter 7: Meet Your Responsibilities

Chapter 8: Evolve Your Consciousness

Part Three: Beyond Globalization: Completing the Shift

Chapter 9: The Quiet Dawn of Holos-Consciousness

Chapter 10: Intensive Evolution from Logos into Holos

Postcript: The Holistic Paradigm in Science

Appendix: The Club of Budapest

Back to Top ↑

Excerpt

 Macroshift

9781576751787_0022_001

3

WE LIVE IN AN ERA OF DEEP-SEATED TRANSFORMATION—a shift in civilization. Its signs and manifestations are all around us. While globalization is integrating production, trade, finance, and communication, it is producing a social and ecological backlash characterized by regional unemployment, widening income gaps, and environmental degradation. The benefits of economic growth, for long the main indicator of progress, are becoming more and more concentrated. Hundreds of millions live at a higher material standard of living, but thousands of millions are pressed into abject poverty, living in shantytowns and urban ghettos in the shadows of ostentatious affluence. This is socially and politically explosive: it fuels resentment and revolt and provokes massive migration from the countryside to the cities, and from the poorer to the richer regions. In such conditions organized crime, already growing into a global enterprise, finds fertile ground with a gamut of activities ranging from information fraud to traffic in arms, drugs, and human organs.

The application of new technologies, another indicator of progress, is a two-edged sword. Nuclear power promises an unlimited supply of commercial energy, but disposal of nuclear wastes and decommissioning aging reactors pose unsolved puzzles, and the specter of nuclear meltdown, whether due to technical accident or intentional terrorism, remains unchallenged. Genetic engineering has a fabulous potential for creating virus-resistant and protein-rich plants, improved breeds of animals, vast supplies of animal proteins, and microorganisms capable of producing proteins and hormones and improving photosynthesis. But genetic engineering can also produce lethal biological weapons and pathogenic microorganisms, destroy the diversity and the balance of nature, and create abnormal—and abnormally aggressive—insects and animals.

4

Our information technologies could create a globally interacting yet locally diverse civilization, enabling all people to be linked whatever their culture and ethnic or national origin. But if these networks remain dominated by the power groups that brought them into being, they will serve only the narrowly focused interests of a small minority of people and marginalize the rest. If the Internet, television, and the electronic and print media become further commercialized, these media will cater to the demands of those who have the means to enter the global marketplace rather than giving voice to all people. Worse than that, the cyberspace of telecommunications could become a new medium for information warfare, intolerant cultural influences, pornography, and crime.

But the macroshift today harbors not only danger; it is also the cradle of opportunity. Our globalized technological civilization could break down in chaos and anarchy—or it could break through to a more humane and sustainable world. The choice between these possibilities will not be made by applying technological fixes or implementing strategies based on the same kind of thinking that created today’s unsustainabilities. As this report will show, to master our destiny we need new thinking, new values—a new consciousness.

In this opening Part we first review the nature and dynamics of macroshifts, and then describe how they came about in history and how the one we now experience is unfolding in the contemporary world. We then outline the factors that influence its unfolding and show that they are not written in the stars but depend on the evolution of our values and behaviors. The oft-neglected value-sensitivity of macroshifts is what opens for us a real opportunity to choose our destiny—and the unprecedented responsibility to choose it wisely.

Back to Top ↑

Endorsements

"This book is a challenge to the original thinker, to the pioneer, to the creative genius of mankind. Ervin Laszlo, the eminent scientist, lays before us some unexpected weapons in our armory. The concept of matter, the nature of life, and last but not least, the power of mind. I leave you in all confidence to provide your own variations on the themes he has so meticulously and majestically laid before us."

- Sir Peter Ustinov

"Professor Laszlo's powerful consciousness-raising work should guide our thinking and action at the onset of the 21st Century. His message inspires us to take charge of our destiny."

- Bela H. Banathy, Professor Emeritus Saybrook Graduate School, and author of Designing Social Systems in a Changing World

"The latest of a series of books from Ervin Laszlo, philosopher of systems and evolution theory and pathfinder to a sustainable future. This is the most convincing and optimistic plan for a sustainable, interconnected future to come down the pike so far, and should be widely read and discussed by all culture-creative planetary workers."

- Ralph Abraham, author of Chaos, Gaia, Eros

Back to Top ↑