NON-FICTION BOOKS BY PAUL ADKIN

DISMANTLING THE PARADIGM

Dismantling the Paradigm cover

We are driving a juggernaut along a road which leads directly to a cliff edge. If we go straight, we will topple into an abyss. Obviously we cannot continue the way we are going. To avoid annihilation, we have one of two choices: we can either turn left toward a Utopia, or right into a Dystopia. It seems obvious which decision needs to be made. And yet … most of those on board are screaming to the driver to turn right. Why? Why would we choose a Dystopia before a Utopia?

I am proud to announce the publication of my book Dismantling the Paradigm after more than six years of preparation. The English version was ready to be published two years ago, but I have delayed its appearance until now in order for it to coincide with the presentation of the Spanish version. The fact that this deferral has brought the book out into this pandemic world, seems almost propitious: the Covid-19 crisis has stripped our already shabby and dangerous system, our capitalist paradigm, of its armour and left it looking bedraggled and feeble in its underclothes. The benevolent effects of a massive human lockdown and the dramatic reduction of our economic activity has shown us how quickly we can clean the polluted air of our cities and make the world a cleaner and ecologically safer place. A progressive, and revolutionary, sentiment of not returning to the old normal has emerged, which demands a radical rethinking of the voracious paradigm we have been immersed in for the last half-century. But the question still remains of how to step cleanly away from this system.  

Dismantling the Paradigm attacks this question head on, revealing the perverted nature of our now globally effective, WEIRD civilisation, with the premise that we can only change things if we can objectively understand what needs to be changed.

If the dawning post-pandemic era is not going to fall into the constraining negativism and wall-building, anti-human authoritarianism of the far-right, and for the future to be a positive step forward from the disaster of the global affliction, it is necessary that we comprehend the real nature of the system we are emerging from. Dismantling the Paradigm was contrived before Covid, but it has become even more imperative that it finds readers in order to imagine the world coming next.

 Dismantling the Paradigm is now available from the Amazon online store:

At Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-David-Adkin/e/B0082UK618

At Amazon.es: https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B08B35QJ63/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

At Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dismantling-Paradigm-Tracking-Pendulum-One-ebook/dp/B08B1X7GXJ/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Dismantling+the+Paradigm&qid=1592128068&s=books&sr=1-2

Also available in Spanish …

en español …

DESMANTELANDO EL PARADIGMA

Me enorgullece anunciar la publicación de mi libro Desmantelando el paradigma después de más de seis años de preparación. La versión en inglés estaba lista para ser publicada hace dos años, pero he retrasado su aparición hasta ahora para que coincida con la presentación de la versión en español. El hecho de que este aplazamiento haya llevado al libro a este mundo pandémico parece casi propicio: la crisis del Covid-19 ha despojado al sistema de su armadura y a nuestro paradigma capitalista, que ya estaba peligrosamente en mal estado, lo ha dejado en ropa interior,  con un aspecto desaliñado y débil. Los efectos benévolos de un bloqueo humano masivo y la reducción dramática de nuestra actividad económica nos han demostrado cuán rápido podemos limpiar el aire contaminado de nuestras ciudades y hacer del mundo un lugar más limpio y ecológicamente más seguro. Ha surgido un sentimiento progresivo y revolucionario de no volver a la vieja normalidad, que exige un replanteamiento radical del paradigma voraz en el que hemos estado inmersos durante el último medio siglo. Pero aún queda la pregunta sobre cómo alejarse limpiamente de este sistema.

Desmantelando el Paradigma ataca esta pregunta de frente, revelando la naturaleza pervertida de nuestra civilización globalizada, con la premisa de que solo lograremos cambiar las cosas si podemos entender objetivamente lo que necesita ser cambiado.

Si queremos evitar que la era posterior a la pandemia no vaya a caer en el negativismo restrictivo y el autoritarismo antihumano de la extrema derecha, debemos conseguir que el futuro de un paso positivo hacia adelante. Desde las cenizas del desastre de la aflicción global es necesario que comprendamos la naturaleza real del sistema del que estamos emergiendo. Desmantelando el paradigma se ideó antes de la aparición del Covid, pero se ha vuelto aún más imperativo que encuentre lectores para imaginar el mundo que venga después.

 Desmantelando el paradigma ya está disponible en la tienda en línea de Amazon:

En Amazon.es: https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B08B35QJ63/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

En Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-David-Adkin/e/B0082UK618

En Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dismantling-Paradigm-Tracking-Pendulum-One-ebook/dp/B08B1X7GXJ/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Dismantling+the+Paradigm&qid=1592128068&s=books&sr=1-2

Recent Posts

The Past (and our present Quixotic condition)

The historical past, our anti-human historical process (that which we call civilisation), has been a great mistake that has led us to the existential precipice we stand on today, but that does not mean that any revolutionary response to the disaster should obliterate it and create a new, sanitised collective memory as the Soviets tried to do under Stalin.

Despite the tragic exploitation and anti-human goals of the Wealth-driven historical process, the past is still humanistically glorious: primarily through the arts and sciences. The greatness of humanity lies in the fact that, despite the constant anti-human aggression we have suffered, the human spirit has always been able to find ways of expressing itself in a universal and atemporal way that will always be enriching for all who are willing to spend some time discovering and positively deciphering the achievements and eternal messages that are there. In fact, for the present and future to be humanistically positive spaces, they must be interwoven with the past, i.e., with the words, sounds and images embedded in the dreams and realisations that surge from that deep well that lies behind us. While the past has been an anti-human historical process, at the same time it has, until now, always managed to carry the great shadow of humanity forward and without human hope it would never have sustained itself for so many millennia. The past gives substance to the present and gives form to existence, and because of that we are duty bound to never ignore it nor deprecate it, although, at the same time, our relationship to this past should never be a Quixotic one that blindly defends an undefendable idea. Our relationship with the past needs to be tempered by a constantly critical approach through which the lumpy, anti-human motives of Wealth are forever being sifted out from the smoother deliberations and desires of the human.  

We need to remind ourselves that authentic human existence is part real, and part fictional. Humanity has, and should always have, one foot in the practical and one foot in the mythical; one foot in the realistic and the other in the allegorical. Only then will be able to unravel the reasons of our current predicament and form the more positive view of humanity that is needed to pull us out of the mess we are so deeply swamped in.

Likewise, any analysis of the human condition has to take a concerted look at the environment we find ourselves locked in. Human fulfilment has traditionally always been hanging in a state of suspension, but at the moment we are strung up over a particularly woeful and an enormous abyss. As such, our present circumstances demand that we haul ourselves in and suspend our hopes over a more desirable landscape again. But even this would not be enough: human progress will only take place once we have been able to lower ourselves into the landscape itself and, with our feet on the ground, concentrate our efforts on reaching the other side of the horizon. By so doing we could revitalise the epic spirit of the human soul (for the epic needs horizons to cross). For pragmatism to work, therefore, it needs to be anchored to a positive vision of a possible, better human future and divorced from the needs of immediate, personal gratifications.  

Of course, we are where we are now as a result of the accumulated errors of humanity’s past, errors which have crept up on us and now manifest themselves as one big collective disaster. Seen in this way, the present is like the second part of Don Quixote in which the hero meets characters who have read the first part of the novel and recognise him. And by doing so, make him the object of his own narrative. Likewise, in our current Quixotic reality, the present is the object of the past’s narrative, and this is what creates the paradigm or, at least, allows the paradigm created by Wealth to be perpetuated. Like Don Quixote, humanity is trapped by a need to be faithful to the narrative, albeit a very bad one, that we find ourselves existing as a prolongation of. When we read Don Quixote (or properly exam our present condition) we see that this situation is absurd, but we are incapable of appreciating the real absurdity which is that, with regard to our own reality, we act in the same Quixotic manner. Just as Don Quixote was a mere, absurd shadow of an epic-hero dream, so humanity has become a deviant image of the great dream of wealth.

Through society’s newfound addictions to social networks and its discovery of a new home within the borders of the smartphone screen, humanity has become trapped in a huge advertising campaign in which all truth lies in the campaign itself and its quality control is measured within the quantitative success of the campaign’s exposure. Within this campaign is recorded everything that each one of its members have done, said, seen and thought, and its success depends on its ability to automatically self-reproduce itself, more and more in the mode of the image rather than the word, with the subsequent result that reality becomes more and more pornographic (in the literal sense of that word). The new language is the photo – the complexity of words being swallowed by the simplicity of the photo. The social network experience is a new madness that is being palliated by posing as ‘the real’. In it people take things and other people for what they are not; they break off with their friends and embrace complete strangers; users think they are revealing themselves when in fact they are putting on new masks, and they are constantly encouraged to alter and re-shape themselves, distorting themselves so deeply that any authenticity has become lost forever. The social-media anthropoid wants to be the same as everyone else, even though the sameness that brings them together lies in a quest to be different from all the rest; sameness is upheld by the common search for pseudo-individualism. Ours is a present-tense world devoid of any future and delusional about our history.

 In the world of social media, society and madness blend into each other as never before in any other human society. It is an anti-poetic reality in which all words are swallowed up by images that ultimately erase all authentic meaning from the social narrative. It is a world of identities and differences in which everything is the same. Despite the seemingly political and social polarisation, everything is the same.

In this sense, that which is considered ‘reality’ lacks authenticity and the systemic paradigm we live in today is an absurd fabrication of the real: the great illusion of capitalist realism. Capitalist realism is an alternative reality of alternative truths that are so skilfully embedded that they are seldom questioned. But as the gravity of our disassociation from authenticity has worsened, so has the insanity spread to potentially suicidal extremes. Currently we exist in a massive illusion, fermented by social media madness, that masks authentic reality, the authenticity that spins about a two-pronged foundation entwined around the tragedy of the climate emergency fed by the insane ideology of growth on the one hand, and the tremendous, systemic class divisions, promulgated by the tyranny of wealth on the other.

Through the power of social media, the realism of this alternative reality has been able to render any revolutionary forces driven by the real problems impotent. In a sense then, the mad Quixotic dream is that which dominates societies and propagates ostrich-cultures of downward staring people with their heads in holes in the ground. Because of this, survival depends on our ability to see beyond the present and focus on the future, but without ignoring the glorious and meaningful moments buried in the better parts of our unfortunate past.

 

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