About - Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture
“If you're looking for a book that offers BIG answers to the BIG questions and that lays it all out in concise, clear, common-sense English you have it in your hands! Hartmann both lays it out and lifts us up.” —Jim Hightower, Nationally syndicated columnist, radio commentator, best selling author and editor of the Hightower Lowdown.
“America’s most popular progressive talk show host brings his powerful political and historical insight to bear on the most important question of our time: To what may we humans aspire in this time of crisis and how can we achieve it?” —David Korten, author Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community
The Big Questions and the Big Picture
The world is right now tottering atop three major thresholds: an environment that is so afire it may no longer be able to support human life; an economic “free market” system that is almost entirely owned, run, and milked by a tiny fraction of 1 percent of us and has crashed and in many ways is burning around us; and an explosion of human flesh on the planet that has turned our species into a global Petri dish just waiting for an infective agent to run amok.
Four mistakes have brought us to this point, and the failure to recognize them at their deepest level will only push us faster toward total tipping points where we are thrown over the three thresholds and into disaster. All four of these mistakes are grounded in our culture, our way of thinking, our way of seeing the world, the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and why we’re here.
Civilizations have come and gone, and those long gone vanished mostly because they despoiled their commons, allowed small elites to control their economies and governments, and lived in ways that were unsustainable. Those that survived for centuries or millennia are the ones that learned how to protect their commons, engage in nontoxic commerce and governance, and organize their cultures and lifestyles in ways that could continue in the same place and same way down through the ages.
If we don’t learn the lessons of the latter, we face the fate of the former.