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Fabian Scheidler The End of the Megamachine - A Failing Civilization? Brainwash Festival Amsterdam

vor 10 Monaten

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Fabian Scheidler presents key theses from his book "The End of the Megmachine. A Brief History of a Failing Civilization", which was published in German in 2015 and in Dutch in 2018 ("Het einde van de megamachine"). The english version will be published by Zero books in autumn 2019. This lecture was recorded at the Brainwash Festival in Ansterdam on October 27, 2018.
"The End of the Megamachine" brings to light the roots of the destructive forces threatening the future of humankind today, especially climate chaos, rapid species extinction, extreme inequality and nuclear arms. While the first part leads us to the very origins of economic, military and ideological power 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia and ancient empires, the second and key part retraces the formation and expansion of the capitalist world-system through the last 500 years. Dismantling Western progress mythologies, Scheidler shows how the logics of endless capital accumulation have devastated both human societies and ecosystems from the outset. With the growing instability and looming collapse of the Megamachine in the 21st century new possibilities for systemic change as well as new dangers open up.
“The End of the Megamachine” shifts the point of view from a “history of the winners” to a “people’s history”. The book expands economic and social history by integrating science, technology, culture, and religion into the picture. It is original in revealing the closely interlaced development of state power, capital accumulation and ideological frameworks in their historical co-evolution. It highlights the key role of the “metallurgical complex” linking military and financial systems and fostering the evolution of technocratic visions of the world from antiquity to modernity.
Fabian Scheidler studied history and philosophy in Berlin and theatre directing in Frankfurt/Main. He works and lives in Berlin as a writer for print media, television, theatre and opera. In 2009 he co-founded the independent newscast Kontext TV (, producing broadcasts on global justice issues; guests include Noam Chomsky, Vandana Shiva, Immanuel Wallerstein, Jeremy Scahill, Amy Goodman, Yanis Varoufakis and many others. As a dramaturge and playwright he worked for the world-renowned Grips Theater in Berlin for several years. In 2013, his opera Death of a Banker premiered. His new book "Chaos. The New Age of Revolutions" was published iin German in 2017.
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