I'll never forget the moment, during an undergraduate class, when the instructor drew a graph on the board representing capitalism's inevitable decline. "This is an unsustainable system," he told us, "one that is completely dependent on limitless resources on a planet that will eventually run out of resources to offer." I realized right then, with grim clarity, that capitalism is not an infinite system and that someday, probably sooner than later, it's going to flatline.
Bolinas-based social critic Jerry Mander has taken on this reality and more in his latest book. Once called the "patriarch" of the anti-globalization movement by the New York Times, Mander has written The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws in an Obsolete System, in which he argues against capitalism and the unsolvable environmental and social problems inherent in an anti-democratic, morality-bereft system that promotes permanent war as a key economic strategy.
In 1977, Mander published the bestselling book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, which explained, among other things, that television makes people more prone to falling under autocratic control. A former advertising executive, and current board chair of the International Forum on Globalization, Jerry Mander speaks about his latest book on Saturday, July 7, at Point Reyes Presbyterian Church in an event sponsored by Point Reyes Bookstore. 11445 Shoreline Hwy., Point Reyes Station. 7:30pm. Free. 415.663.1542. Mander also appears Monday, July 23, at the Sonoma Community Center. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 7:30pm. 707.939.2973.—Leilani Clark