Robert MacNeil Christie takes us on an unprecedented intellectual journey to understand the complex societal causes of the converging crises of climate, economic, ecological, and political systems. His forthcoming book, At The Edge Of Illusion, explains that the roots of our problems lie in our addiction to fossil fuels and industrial consumerism.
We dodge our deep predicament by clinging to abstractions like “sustainability” or by engaging in diversions like “greenwashing” our failing economic system. We hold to illusions that we can somehow solve our problems in ways that allow us to continue our wasteful lifestyles with little inconvenience. Meanwhile, power elites corrupt our politics while our leaders lack the courage to face the truth of what we must do.
Dr. Christie explains why the only viable answers lie in our ability to move away from the techno-industrialized culture by reorganizing our communities and our institutions at the deepest levels. Our survival requires nothing less than a “Great Transformation” of our lifeways, greater in scope and scale than the Industrial Revolution, yet grounded in local communities. We must live in harmony with our local ecosystems by transforming the way we live. That requires us to abandon industrial civilization now, rather than allowing its catastrophic collapse to destroy us.
Dr. Christie is professor emeritus from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He spent his professional career conducting community research and while studying how societies rise, evolve, and sometimes collapse.