Don’t Miss These Recommended Readings
The basis of global humanism is founded on the works of several individuals. These readings are highly recommended and deserve close attention. In descending order of importance:
Moser, John The Supercivilization: Survival in the Era of Human Versus Human (HHW Publishing 2015)—This is the founding document for global humanism. This work introduces the Mission Statement for Humanity and explains its theoretical justification in great detail. The major theoretical book goes into precise detail to support global humanism’s existence; the abridged edition goes into a less comprehensive analysis of the theory; and the essential concepts version lays down the argument in a briefing format.
IPCC Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-- https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/ (downloadable PDF IPCC 2014). This is the official site of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change commissioned by the United Nations. It should be at the fingertips of all humans in our world. This is a must read reference about our survival as it is the most comprehensive look at climate change to date by the world’s leading Earth scientists.
Diamond, Jared Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (WW Norton 1977)—This is a profound look at why some societies are more successful than others. Diamond convincingly argues that Western societies were more successful due to a variety of situational factors and sheer circumstance. It was the physical environment of the Western world that gave it its preeminent position in the world’s civilizations. This is critical in understanding the Supercivilization as our individual fortunes are not due merely to our individual actions; environmental circumstances largely determine our fates.
Diamond, Jared Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Penguin 2006)—Diamond argues that societies collapse due to a variety of reasons that are well within their capabilities of avoidance. These societies chose not to survive in spite of multiple opportunities to avoid collapse. Diamond believes they often failed because individuals often put themselves and their own interests ahead of society as a whole.
Kuhn, Thomas The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago 1996 [Orig Pub 1962])—Science is not truly objective but is conducted subjectively and has a social structure that makes it subject to human manipulation. Science is never truly objective, but takes on institutional structures that control what we choose to study. This is a profound work as it shows that science is never purely objective and as we have larger institutions that control more scientists in the twenty-first century, science breaks down.
Lukes, Steven Power: A Radical View (Palgrave MacMillan 2005 [Orig Pub 1974])—Lukes argues that power in society takes several forms and the most effective forms of power are the least observed and least obvious. The Supercivilization now has interests that have the power to control us now which we don’t even realize exists. We cannot escape the Supercivilization and we don’t realize we are without this option as their forms of power are far more effective today than ever.
Axelrod, Robert Evolution of Cooperation (Basic Books 2006)—Axelrod looks at the various forms of cooperation and why cooperation is an absolute necessity for our existence as a species. Trust is fundamental to cooperation and without the formulation of trust, cooperation is impossible. He examines how trust can develop most effectively. As we rely on our basic livelihood through distant relationships with others, trust must be fuel that powers our Supercivilization. Trust is more critical than ever and one must now fear that fundamental trust is breaking down.
Weber, Max The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Dover 2003 [Orig Pub 1904-5])—Weber argues that ideas and culture have great influence on socioeconomics. While Marx argues that economics is everything to humanity, Weber argues ideas influence our material world. This is in contradistinction to the historical materialism of Marx and notion of ultimate, unmitigated class warfare based upon predetermination. Weber argues ideas are created in our brains (we have the freedom to think) as well as the environment around us and nothing therefore is predetermined unless we allow those circumstances to dominate our thoughts.
Durkheim, Emile The Division of Labor in Society (Free Press 2007 [Orig Pub 1893-4])—Durkheim presents a functionalist/organismal view of society which is critical for understanding the social contract and how it affects all of us as members of The Supercivilization. We are all bound to the Supercivilization and can no longer escape its bonds. We have developed such a high standard of living that creates much dependence upon the institutions of society that we all are dependent upon the Supercivilization for our survival. This dependence creates unique opportunities for control by vested interests never before experienced.
Popper, Karl The Logic of Scientific Discoveries (Taylor & Francis 2002 [Orig Pub 1959])—Popper argues that science must be conducted through a hypothesis that is falsifiable. In today’s world of subjectivity, Popper’s arguments are critically important: science is breaking down due to the subjectivity that we are creating around us that does not allow science to resolve our most pressing problems as it once did in our past. Science is not being conducted in the strict sense. Some would call it pseudoscience now.
Popper, Karl Poverty of Historicism (Taylor & Francis 2002 [Orig Pub 1957])—Popper’s critical argument is that the scientific method applied to the social sciences is futile. History is a single unique event that cannot be replicated, studied, or relied upon to predict our future and reflexivity (our responses to our own predictions) makes the understanding of human behavior impossible. Science is breaking down due to the rise of human interconnectedness or as Moser calls it “The Supercivilization.”
Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels Marx-Engels Reader ed Robert C. Tucker (WW Norton 1978)—Marx argues that pure capitalism cannot exist for long. Marx relies on historical materialism to show that the environment that we engage in determines our ideas/thoughts/imaginations/dreams. Whoever controls our environment purely determines our ideas, thoughts, views and perceptions of the world and therefore controls us. Those capitalists who control the means of production will control the agenda which will further their wealth through manipulation of propaganda. As capital is more concentrated (a growing inequality) in a smaller and smaller class (bourgeoisie), workers (proletariat) will become impoverished and overthrow the government in a revolution. Today, one may equate this, as an example, to American corporatocracy using Fox News, Donald Trump, and Republicans in Congress to convince American citizens to give them a tax cut in order to “trickle down” those advantages. Most economists feel “trickle down economics” is nonexistent. Most economists and sociologists feel that pure Marxist theory is not reality (more dimensions to society than merely identification with class), but that its basic premise of concentration of wealth as a byproduct of capitalism is problematic and is a major impediment to its ultimate success.
Sachs, Jeffrey End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Times (Penguin 2005) and Common Wealth Economics for a Crowded Planet (Penguin 2008) –-Sachs is a master at evaluating the economics of the world and showing the fundamental ways to reduce world poverty that would prove beneficial to all people, even those with the most wealth. It should not be a sacrifice to help the poor; it should be a necessity for all of us. He brilliantly shows us the way and why we all benefit when there is less poverty in the world.
Gore, Albert An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (Rodale 2006)—This is the book that brought the awareness of climate change into the main stream. For those who want a simplified introduction to a basic understanding of climate change there is no better reference.
Sagan, Carl Contact (Random House 1980), Cosmos (Simon and Schuster 1985), and The Demon-Haunted World (Ballantine 1996)—Sagan brilliantly lays out the existence of the possibility of life in the universe and the implications for us as a species. He also promotes the scientific method and the need to think rationally in a world of irrationality. He offers dire warnings to us as a species about the possibility of a human-induced die-off.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the Economic, Environmental, and Other Challenges of an Increasingly Complex and Unpredictable World (Random House 2002)—He argues very convincingly that although we may think we are all independent thinkers and our actions can be predicted through rational discourse and contemplation, he shows that rational thinking is impossible, especially when we apply rational thought to the social world.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization (Knopf 2006)—He argues that catastrophic failure of society is quite probable especially due to synchronous events. The key is to acknowledge that this can and probably will happen and that new growth can occur afterward if we are prepared.
Mayr Ernst Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist (Harvard University Press 1988)—Mayr lays out the argument that the biological sciences are completely different from the physical sciences. He argues that there are no laws in the biological sciences like there are in the physical sciences. Unpredictability makes biology so hard to study that there is very little chance we will ever be able to apply laws to predict the future. It is exactly this philosophy that is making the Supercivilization so problematic: science is breaking down due to the unpredictability of problem solving as humanity densifies.
Dawkins, Richard The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (Free Press 2009) and The God Delusion (Houghton Mifflin 2006)—Dawkins argues that religion’s existence is functional and an important aspect in offering cohesion in a society that thrives on emotion . He makes the most powerful argument for evolution to date with extensive study of empirical data. He offers a stark, even brutal reality for those individuals trying to use empirical data and scientific methodology in support of religious dogma.
Dubos, Rene Mirage of Health: Utopias, Progress, and Biological Change (Rutgers University Press 1996 [Orig Pub 1959]) —This landmark book effectively demonstrates that our improvements in health over the 20th century are not due to medical advancements but advancements in public health. Although written in the 20th century, this book continues to demonstrate its relevance well into the 21st century.
Peele, Stanton Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control (Jossey Bass 1999)—Peele argues that diseases of behavior are created because we allow society to blame the individual for that behavioral problem. When some questionable individual behavior is of value to others (like drinking alcohol or abusing drugs benefits the sellers), we create a disease model for it. By doing so, corporations can continue to sell their products to society in general so as to not impact their profits. By blaming the individual and not the product for the problems, corporations continue to sell dangerous products without retribution for them.
Robb, John A Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and The End to Globalization (John Wiley & Sons 2007)—Robb argues that terrorists will continue to gain control in the world by acting in an ad hoc fashion to undermine larger nation-states. By looking at key points in our infrastructure, terrorists can cause the demise of a much larger nation-state in a war of attrition.
Ehrlich, Paul and Anne Ehrlich The Population Bomb (Buccaneer 1968) and The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment (Island Press 2008)—Paul Ehrlich, in 1968, was the first person to popularize the potential crisis of overpopulation in the world and has gone on to popularize the idea that it is consumption by humans that is destroying the planet and human civilization. While some of his predictions have been criticized as being “wrong”, most of his warnings for humanity are quite valid and should be taken seriously today. Some even argue that his warnings have provided a foundation to curb population growth.
Soros, George The Crash of 2008 and What It Means: The New Paradigm for Financial Markets (PublicAffairs 2009) –Soros argues that reflexivity guides us in our most basic interactions. Reflexivity, in the view of Karl Popper, means that studying something scientifically causes the scientist to affect the results of the study and vice versa. Reflexivity means that bubbles become a reality in unregulated markets, when we study them and treat them like objective, isolated truths. Markets must be regulated most effectively by third party governments that oversee the markets, not by the vested participants in those markets. Thus, for Soros, pure capitalism will lead to bubbles, implosions, and repeated dire consequences in an unrelenting fashion.