The 21st Century Revolution: A Call to Greatness
Oxford Alumni November 2016 Book of the Month
We are in the midst of a great revolution. Every century has its revolutions and ours is no exception. It is multi-faceted and interconnected. There is a revolution in science, medicine and technology. The scientific and technological revolution will transform our lives, our work and the world as we know it. Undoubtedly, many of these developments will bring enormous benefits, particularly in human health, and also shorter hours and more rewarding work. However, equally, it could result in the even greater concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few. The danger is we’ll be deluded by techno-fixes.
The economic and political revolution. All over the West, neoliberal economic ideology, austerity, consumerism, free-market capitalism and top-down politics are being challenged, especially by younger people. The internet is transforming politics by facilitating dialogue and giving power to people. There are growing calls for a fair voting system, radical reform of outdated democratic institutions and a different way of doing politics. Syriza in Greece, Power to the People in Italy and the Gilets Jaunes in France have much in common with Spain’s Podemos, Scotland’s independence campaign and Jeremy Corbyn’s successful bid to lead and transform the UK Labour party. These developments, a stagnant economy and mass migration will force the EU to rethink itself.
We face the biggest challenges in our history. Science and technology will not help us unless we are determined to act urgently on the need to tackle climate chaos, conserve a living planet, resolve gross economic inequality and break entrenched power structures. Will the necessary action be finally acted upon in time to prevent catastrophe? Will we learn to live lightly on the planet soon enough? Will we learn to collaborate and resolve conflict without war? Like all species, human beings are evolving.
The greatest obstacles are the lack of farsighted, courageous leaders who are well-informed and will speak the truth, together with disempowered citizens who think there is nothing they can do. Hence the subtitle of this book – A Call to Greatness.
This accessible book will help you make sense of the situation. It offers ways forward and practical solutions. It will help you decide how you want to engage with others in creating a better world through a peaceful revolution. Above all it will give you hope.
Professor Katherine Willis Endorsement of The 21st Century Revolution: A Call to Greatness Oxford Alumni November 2016 Book of the Month
“I am greatly enjoying it; you write beautifully”. Professor Katherine Willis, CBE, Principal of St Edmund Hall and Professor of Biodiversity, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.
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Contents and Introduction:
Please click to download and enjoy the table of contents and the introduction from The 21st Century Revolution.
What people say about the book
This is a book jam-packed with solutions – hurrah! And, it all starts with the self; great change calls on each of us to step up and respond to the call of greatness. Whether it be changing our politics, our monetary system, our laws, our business ethics – at the heart of each resides something truly great. Bruce Nixon brings to life not only what is possible, what is already emerging, and also what could yet come into being.
Polly Higgins, Barrister, International Ecocide law advocate
This is an amazing book – not just because it tells us what’s wrong with our society and how to put it right – but because it is full of hope and love for people and our planet. The world is a better place for The 21st Century Revolution – A Call to Greatness and its author Bruce Nixon – the book inspires me to help make the 21st century revolution happen.
Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass
A fascinating read and a really good contribution to the debate about the future of democracy.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society
The greatest problem of our age is disempowerment – part of a political project to shift ordinary people out of power and out of politics, to leave them content to judge their identity by the brand of smart phone they rent. Bruce Nixon lays out the fullest dimension of this disempowerment and its fatal consequences. But he also outlines a way out; a way for all of us to become real citizens in a real democracy. The call to greatness not only refers to our own personal liberation from the shackles of disempowerment, but to the scale of the collective endeavour it will allow us to embark on – saving our species. It doesn’t get much bigger.
Nick Dearden, Director, Global Justice Now
Read this excellent analysis of what’s gone wrong, take heart and fight for positive change!
Yvonne Roberts, Journalist and Fellow of the Young Foundation
I am greatly enjoying it; you write beautifully. Professor Katherine (Kathy) J. Willis, CBE, Principal of St Edmund Hall and Professor of Biodiversity, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
Don’t despair – read this book! We can have a new economic system that works for people and planet, if enough of us meet the current (huge) challenges head-on and summon the greatness that each of us are capable of. Bruce Nixon brilliantly sets out a course of action and hope.
Stewart Wallis, Executive Director, New Economics Foundation
We need to be both planning for a better world and actively setting out a route towards it. That needs the input of the many – and the democratic focus of this book is very much welcome, as is its understanding that our economic, social and environmental crises – and the solutions to them – are interlinked.
Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party of England and Wales
Bruce highlights the harmful consequences of our debt-based money system and the need to change the way money is created.
Ben Dyson, Founder of Positive Money
Bruce’s book is a comprehensive account of the social and political obstacles standing between us and a more sustainable future. In response to that, he proposes a collective approach, and that’s absolutely right – if we want change, people power is going to be at the heart of it.
Dale Vince, Ecotricity Founder
This is an important and timely book and will be of great interest to trade unionists fighting austerity and inequality. The focus on a sustainable economy and good green jobs is particularly welcome. At a time of rising social, economic and environmental injustice, this book gives ordinary working people hope that a better, fairer future can be within our grasp.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC
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