Surviving the future Culture, carnival and capital in the aftermath of the market economy

David Fleming, 1940-

Book - 2016

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White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing 2016.
Item Description
"A story from Lean logic".
Physical Description
xv, 279 pages ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
David Fleming, 1940- (author)
Other Authors
Shaun Chamberlin (author)
Review by Publisher Summary 1

Drawing excerpts from the late Fleming's Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It, this paperback version presents the excerpts in a more conventional format than a dictionary. It describes Lean thinking for creating a future economy as the current industrial economy declines, unemployment rises, and government revenues decrease, in the context of the effects of climate change and other changes. He argues that this is the opportunity to shift to a new mode of production and resource use and outlines a framework for a community of inventive, cooperative self-reliance in a Lean economy and culture; a community focused on place and play; and the transition to a post-growth world, in which growth, population and food, and other aspects will change. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, inviting readers to choose their own path through its radical vision.Recognizing that Lean Logic’s sheer size and unusual structure can be daunting, Fleming’s long-time collaborator Shaun Chamberlin has selected and edited one of these potential narratives to create Surviving the Future. The content, rare insights, and uniquely enjoyable writing style remain Fleming’s, but are presented here at a more accessible paperback-length and in conventional read-it-front-to-back format.The subtitle—Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy—hints at Fleming’s vision. He believed that the market economy will not survive its inherent flaws beyond the early decades of this century, and that its failure will bring great challenges, but he did not dwell on this: “We know what we need to do. We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.”Surviving the Future lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world. One that relies not on taut competitiveness and eternally increasing productivity—“putting the grim into reality”—but on the play, humor, conversation, and reciprocal obligations of a rich culture. Building on a remarkable breadth of intellectual and cultural heritage—from Keynes to Kumar, Homer to Huxley, Mumford to MacIntyre, Scruton to Shiva, Shakespeare to Schumacher—Fleming describes a world in which, as he says, “there will be time for music.”This is the world that many of us want to live in, yet we are told it is idealistic and unrealistic. With an evident mastery of both economic theory and historical precedent, Fleming shows that it is not only desirable, but actually the only system with a realistic claim to longevity. With friendliness, humor, and charm, Surviving the Future plucks this vision out of our daydreams and shows us how to make it real.