There’s no doubting Zeigler’s accomplishments or the validity of his arguments in Culture Change. He has thought and read deeply about these issues, and it shows. There’s neither a single gap to be found in his logic nor a claim made without hard evidence or examples. He writes cogently, compellingly and with the fevered urgency of a peak oil messenger not content to remain a Cassandra. Now he just needs to hire an editor.
Frank gives an overview of the book:
by Frank Kaminski
Culture Change: Civil Liberty, Peak Oil, and the End of Empire
By Alexis Zeigler
136 pp. Ecodem Press – 2007. $10.00.
With superb insight, wisdom and erudition—one is almost tempted to say omniscience—Alexis Zeigler’s Culture Change charts an ambitious course for the future of our civilization. The book calls for a revolution to bring about what Zeigler terms a “conscious culture” capable of responding intelligently to our ecological crisis.
In a previous review of Culture Change, author Keenan Dakota pronounced that the encyclopedic Zeigler “has apparently read every book ever written.”* Dakota’s praise is deserved. Zeigler has a formidable grasp of ecology, anthropology, sociology, history and a variety of other disciplines, all of which he brings to bear in mapping out his vision for a sustainable future.
That’s the good news about Culture Change. The bad news is that the presentation does not match the level of the content. Not only does the book abound with typographical and grammatical errors, but it also repeats quite a bit in places. Both distract from its larger message. It is undeniably urgent to circulate information about our societal predicament; but a hurriedly turned-out manuscript runs the risk of casting doubt on the legitimacy of the message and the earnestness of the author.
Yet in spite of its mechanical failings, I can’t speak highly enough of the book’s arguments or the depth of its scholarship. In a nutshell, Zeigler contends that the Western industrialized world is a blind culture, social understanding in our society having been actively repressed by the ruling elite and other wealthy interests. If we can’t manage to rid ourselves of our social ignorance, Zeigler warns, it will be our undoing during the coming age of resource scarcity. The main point of Culture Change is thus to illustrate the ways in which we’ve been kept blind, and to propose a plan for making us socially aware, so that we’ll be able to make good choices going forward.
I knew that I wanted to be a writer by the age of thirteen. While the other kids were playing outside, I was always holed up in my room working on my latest short story or attempt at a novel. I had other artistic pursuits as well—I did a lot of drawing, sculpture-making,...