THE FAILURE OF SUCCESS by Robert & Stephanie Mills -- Eds. Theobald


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A remarkable collection of de-schooling, de-industrializing, and de-population essays, from Art Buchwald to Southern California Edison, from science fiction to pseudoscience, from Nixon's top officials to the underground ""Problem/Possibility Focuser,"" from Lewis Carroll to Ford Motors, from the former Triple Revolution Group to Limits of Growth partisans. The editors introduce the 60 selections with the familiar theme: ""We are suffering from future shock."" What we thought was success is pollution; the poor nations cannot and should not develop industrially; an ecologically sound society ""requires the creation of a new style of human being."" And many fewer of them, argues Stephanie Mills: ""More people are less individual. More people are less free""; but does she imagine that the sparsely populated Europe of feudal days was more individual, more free? Ivan Illich contends that teaching skills in underdeveloped regions make people social outcasts, while one contributor proposes that India's sacred cows are ecologically beneficial (to whom?). Paul Ehrlich, author of the discredited The Population Bomb, decries the overdevelopment of the West, presumably meaning ""overdevelopment"" of the slums in the city where he lives or the marginal industries of the advanced nations. Robert Hickerson spells out the new society: we must ""reduce our per capita consumption of energy"" and ""there is no way that society can provide enough jobs for all who need them."" The anthology encourages the reader either to ease himself into nirvana or self-destruction. Or fight, depending on temperament.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1973
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill