The Eco-Spasm Report
a book by Alvin Toffler
(our site's book review)
Written in 1975 during the energy crises, when the economy threatened either depression or inflation or both, this book was completed halfway between his best-selling classics, Future Shock and The Third Wave. It explained that the crisis had economic aspects, but was much more than economic. “What is happening is the breakdown of industrial civilization on the planet and the first fragmentary appearance of a wholly new civilization.” Of course, those of us who kept reading Toffler books learned later that The Eco-spasm Report, in saying this, was merely giving us a sneak preview of his 1980 masterpiece: The Third Wave.
Toffler tried to awaken those who reductionistically saw all the turmoil as merely an economic problem. He realized that it was only one facet of a much bigger event: the crash of the Third Wave entering and the groan of the Second Wave exiting—simultaneously. Here are Toffler’s 1975 strategies for helping the country manage a kinder and gentler transition into the future:
- Re-stabilize the global economy by controlling those crucial economic forces now out of control.
- Build in more and better super-industrial (Third Wave) stabilizers for trade, money and resource flows.
- Super-industrialize (transform to Third Wave forms) employment policies so they relate to service jobs as well as manufacturing.
- Super-industrialize (transform to Third Wave forms) national economic policy-making; replace big-government social engineering and centralized tinkering with local, decentralized intervention.
We need to quit looking to social engineering superheroes and rely on local community efforts
- Accelerate the move towards anticipatory democracy—use more planning and foresight; even utilize futurism. Obtain more citizen involvement; democratize the process as we decentralize power.
Collectivism of the Left
Heroic Individualism of the Right
He sees individualism and collectivism not as antagonistic opposites, but as synergistic forces. He wants us to invent new institutions and family styles, and, eventually, a new civilization in harmony with present day realities. (And, of course, that call has been answered by the MC movement. See Why Register for an MC?.)
Note: Heidi Toffler is co-author of the Toffler books.
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