- Paperback: 202 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; 1St Edition edition (November 7, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0609805363
- ISBN-13: 978-0609805367
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 175 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure 1St Edition Edition
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Futurist Daniel Quinn (Ishmael) dares to imagine a new approach to saving the world that involves deconstructing civilization. Quinn asks the radical yet fundamental questions about humanity such as, Why does civilization grow food, lock it up, and then make people earn money to buy it back? Why not progress "beyond civilization" and abandon the hierarchical lifestyles that cause many of our social problems? He challenges the "old mind" thinking that believes problems should be fixed with social programs. "Old minds think: How do we stop these bad things from happening?" Quinn writes. "New minds think: How do we make things the way we want them to be?"
Whether he is discussing Amish farming, homelessness, "tribal business," or holy work, Quinn's manifesto is highly digestible. Instead of writing dense, weighty chapters filled with self-important prose, he's assembled a series of brief one-page essays. His language is down to earth, his metaphors easy to grasp. As a result, readers can read about and ponder Beyond Civilization at a blissfully civilized pace. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
With the publication of his trilogy of novels (Ishmael; The Story of B; My Ishmael), Quinn became something of a cult figure in visionary fiction. In those books, Quinn explored the self-sustaining nature of tribal societies and his belief that the current worldwide ecological and economic crises are due to the agriculture-based organization of civilized societies. He now turns his hand to nonfiction, with an appeal for universal renewal through a "New Tribal Revolution." Acknowledging that it would be impossible for most civilized humans to return to the hunting and gathering typical of tribes, Quinn argues that modern men and women need to invent a completely different mode of existence. To do this, they must question a basic assumption of all civilized societies: "Civilization must continue at any cost and must not be abandoned under any circumstances." Quinn, borrowing from Richard Dawkins, calls this assumption a "meme," the cultural equivalent of a gene. Quinn's main examples are peoples like the Maya and Anasazi, who returned to tribalism after unsuccessful attempts at other types of social organization, and the communal structure of traditional circuses. The author has a knack for stating the obvious with tremendous personal conviction. His articulation of a simpler way of life will appeal to those made frantic by globalization and all the forces conspiring to make people dance as fast as they can. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
1. Fix the system we are in by adapting it and redirecting it. Unfortunately all large civilizations have failed to do in order for it to survive before so there is no expectation or evidence we can or will do any better this time.
2. Leave the system that is failing and create new, smaller, tighter localized communities that share a common value set and form new cultures. In the simplest terms, eventually a mass of people will "walk away" from what doesn't work regardless of laws or obstacles put in the way by authorities. At that point, the system fails, and many new ones will spring up just as they always have because that is what works.
It is an easy read in a Q and A style format and my copy is jammed full of sticky notes for references. Ishmael changed my world perspective and Beyond Civilization cemented the new ideas together.
A good snack of a book.