The Death of Industrial Civilization

The Limits to Economic Growth and the Repoliticization of Advanced Industrial Society

By Joel Jay Kassiola

Subjects: Political Science, Environmental Politics
Series: SUNY series in Environmental Public Policy
Paperback : 9780791403525, 297 pages, August 1990
Hardcover : 9780791403518, 297 pages, August 1990

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Table of contents

Part I Advanced Industrial Society in Crisis: Experiencing the Consequences of Economic Growth Addiction

1 The Contemporary Industrial Crisis and the Limits-to-Growth Controversy

2 The Death of Industrial Illusions

Part II Modern Economics as the Reductionism of Politics

3 The Modern Rise of Economics and the Demise of Politics

4 Industrial Economic Reductionism: Depoliticization through the Addiction to Unlimited Growth

5 Liberalism and the Economic Reductionism of Politics

6 The Concept of "Relative Wealth": A Social Limit to Growth that Destroys the Addiction to Growth and Spurs Repoliticization

Part III The Values of Industrialism: Unlimited Competitive Materialism and the Normative Limits to Growth

7 Beyond the Biophysical Limits to Growth: Assessing Industrial Values

8 Materialism and Modern Political Philosophy

Part IV Transindustrial Values: Replacing the Addiction to Unlimited Economic Growth with Nonmaterialism, Noncompetition, Participatory Democracy and Community

9 Social Transformation into a Transindustrial Community

10 Conclusion: Towards a New Transindustrial Society





The Death of Industrial Civilization explains how the contemporary ecological crisis within industrial society is caused by the values inherent in unlimited economic growth and competitive materialism. Kassiola shows that the limits-to-growth critique of industrial civilization is the most effective stance against what seems to be a dominant and invincible social order. He prescribes the social changes that must be implemented in order to transform industrial society into a sustainable and more satisfying one.

Joel Jay Kassiola is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College.


"Kassiola swims against the stream of modern thought, not only challenging its current course, but pointing in new directions and urging others to join the rethinking process. " — Lester W. Milbrath

"It fills a void in the literature on the future of industrial growth by synthesizing a tremendous amount of material into a coherent package. …a first-rate book of intellectual brilliance. " — Dennis Pirages