In 2012 New Society Publishers released a new, expanded, updated, widely endorsed and handsome edition of Life Rules in the US and Canada. Even more timely as a survival manual and sustainability manifesto than it was then, the lead title in New Society’s fall 2012 catalog, Life Rules is available from the publisher, booksellers and on Amazon in paper, for Kindle and in an Amazon free-app e-version.
Life rules. We don’t. And that’s an ultimate truth.
The fact that we’ve assumed we rule, that we’re in charge has lead to economic and polar meltdowns, inept, corrupt and bankrupt governments, long-term double-digit unemployment, climate instability, failing social services, collapsing ecosystems, a widening wealth-poverty gap, unprecedented species extinctions, mass migrations, peak fossil fuels, religious, ethnic and resource wars, extreme weather disasters, spreading hunger, poverty, chaos and disease. . .
Why is so much going wrong everywhere at once? The global economy has gone viral. It is ravaging Earth’s immune system, triggering a Critical Mass of mutually reinforcing environmental, economic, social, cultural and political crises that are compromising the ability of Earth’s human and natural communities to provide for, protect and heal themselves.
The prognosis? If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, Life will last but Life as we know it—and a lot of us—won’t.
What should we do instead? We should remember that Life rules, we don’t. The global economy operates as if it were larger than Life. It isn’t. As if it had multiple Earth’s to supply its appetites. It doesn’t. Life learned how to deal with global economies two billion years ago: It put them out of business. It encoded in other-than-human species an adaptable protocol of economic rules that help them to avoid causing Critical Mass and survive Critical Mass when it occurs naturally.
What are those rules? Among the rules written into Life’s Economic Survival Protocol are local self-reliance, intercommunity and regional functional cooperation, non-carbon energy sourcing, resource conservation, sharing and recycling, and organically democratic methods of self-organization and governance. These rules have worked for Life for two billion years. We can make them work for us, too.
How? We can learn Life’s rules and adopt lifeways that mimic Life’s ways.
Take back your future! A tool for community transition and cultural and personal transformation, Life Rules offers a clear and compelling context for understanding our global crisis and a treatment plan for Critical Mass that is at once authentically conserve-ative, deeply green and profoundly liberating.
With a Foreword by John Robbins, Diet for A New America, 25th Anniversary Edition and The New Good Life