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A map for the future by David Murrin
The complete collection of the Book of the Past, Book of the Present and Book of the Future.
In this prescient book of astonishing breadth - the culmination of decades of
personal research across a wide range of disciplines - Murrin offers a conclusion as brilliant in its simplicity as it is complex in its workings. Human behaviour, he argues, is not random, but determined by specific, quantifiable and predictable patterns fuelled by our need to survive and prosper. As individuals and collectively, we have been governed for thousands of years by unconscious responses that repeatedly mire us in catastrophe.
According to Murrin, to resolve the issues confronting us today we cannot merely study the past. We also need to understand the precise algorithm of behaviour that has caused us to re-enact the same destructive cycles in ever-greater magnitudes.
Murrin takes the reader on a journey from the first civilising impulses of early humans to the modern era, offering evidence of how civilisations develop, wax and wane in a five-stage replicating process. These
'Five Stages of Empire' are repeated the world over as regional powers accumulate resources, expand, mature, overextend and finally decline, no longer able to master the supply of finite resources that feed imperial ambition.
Set within a framework informed by careful analysis of geopolitical strategy and commodity theory, Murrin's masterful thesis is also a work of prophecy. His starting point is the slow decline of the American empire juxtaposed with the rapid and accelerating ascent of China. From there he shows us a world in which new and surprising alliances will render today's international relations obsolete
- with religious polarisation, war, disease and climate change acting as additional, dangerously combustible factors. Yet, he argues, we can save ourselves, as long as we take the necessary first steps towards consciousness.
The philosopher George Santayana famously wrote: 'Those who cannot remember
the past are condemned to repeat it.' Murrin takes this idea further. We must not only remember the past, he says, but understand it. Only by deciphering the code of history and breaking age-old patterns can we transcend our destructive cycles and rise to the immense challenges facing humankind.
This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 14 December, 2010.