Rethinking the World

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

* Book: Rethinking the World. By Peter Pogany.



Integral Permaculture:

“In 2006 Pogany’s major work was published: Rethinking the World, “the result of several years of full-time, independent, transdisciplinary research.”

In Rethinking the World, Pogany delved deep into his understanding of history as a thermodynamic process, and named his approach New Historical Materialism, informed by Hegel and Marx, but quite distinctly different, and heavily influenced also by Nicholas Georgescu Roegen‘s ideas about the relationship between thermodynamics and economics, as outlined in his classic treatise on “The Entropy Law and the Economic Process,” and by Ilya Prigogine’s theories about dissipative structures, order out of chaos, and the irreversability of time (i.e. Order Out of Chaos and The End of Certainty).

From the blurb about Pogany’s book:

“The still expanding human biomass and mindlessly pursued economic expansion are straining against the planet’s physical limits. Oil! Energy! Ecology! Growing vulnerabilities in hyperlinked national economies! The transformation of the current global system, “mixed economy/weak multilateralism,” into a radically new one, “two-level economy/strong multilateralism,” looks like the only way to avoid drifting toward extinction…

History has recorded two distinct global systems thus far: “laissez faire/metal money,” which spanned most of the 19th century and lasted until the outbreak of World War I, and “mixed economy/weak multilateralism,” which began after 1945 and exists today. The period between the two systems, 1914-1945, was a chaotic transition. This evolutionary pulsation is well known to students of thermodynamics. It corresponds to the behavior of expanding and complexifying material systems. The exhaustion of oil and other natural resources is pushing the world toward a third global system that may be called “two-level economy/strong multilateralism.” It will be impossible to get there without a new chaotic transition. No repeated warnings, academic advice, moral advocacy, inspired reforms, or political leadership can provide a shortcut around it. But if it took “1914-1945″ to make a relatively minor adjustment in the global order, what will it take to make a major one?” (