Ophul's book "Plato's Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology" should be understood as the third book in his trilogy that began with the publication of "Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity" (1977) and updated in 1992. The second book was "Requiem for Modern Politics: The Tragedy of the Enlightenment and the Challenge of the New Millennium". His first book was written in the same decade that saw the publication of "The Limits to Growth" by Dennis Meadows, et al. and "Environment Power and Society" by H.T. Odum and "The Entropy Law and the Economic Process" by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. Twenty years latter "Requiem for Modern Politics" expounds on the moral bankruptcy of Enlightenment thinking and the failure economic liberalism. I think this book was his best effort and is worth reading more than once. It is a masterful work of scholarship. Fourteen years later "Plato's Revenge" picks up where "Requiem for Modern Politics" left off. Our survival on Earth will require a politics based on ecology and by understanding limits and exercising self-restraint. Unfortunately, it seems that we are pre-disposed to running into the "wall" of ecological limits at full speed, which will necessitate a significant die-off of human beings in this century. Perhaps after the collapse of industrial civilization the surviving humans will understand the importance of limits and embrace the principles of "small is beautiful" and live more appropriately on the Earth.
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In Print This Week:
Jan 12, 2017
vol XXVIII issue 2
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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