by Peter A. Zuckerman
Holocaust: Great or total destruction, especially by
fire; a great disaster;
the genocide of European Jews and others by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Only the fearless can look into the eye of the tiger and still come away unvanquished. This is what I am asking the reader to do.
The 20th century is reaching its end, and both a new century and a new millennium beckon humanity. The past ninety-odd years were a confusing period of major triumphs and tragedies for the human species. Great discoveries in sciences and technologies gave an unmatched level of comfort and enjoyment to those living in fortunate circumstances. Huge disasters and catastrophes struck many millions who were simply unlucky in living at the wrong place at the wrong time. What can we make out of the seemingly perplexing history of the 20th century? Even more importantly, what will be our future in this emerging new century and millennium?
Looking at past and current events without an organizing principle will result quickly in an information overload. But employing an analytical methodology will help us make sense out of the many confusing, apparently irrational occurrences -- wars, revolutions, massacres, famines -- that frequently interrupted and even set back human progress.
Throughout this volume I am using an approach that seems highly sensible when used in everyday relatively trivial affairs, but is apparently overlooked in the far more important areas of governing society and the interactions of nation-states. When we go to a contractor to renovate a neglected house, or to a mechanic to restore an automobile, a similar process usually takes place. A competent specialist is selected. The house or the car gets inspected in detail. Depending on the damage, a plan is prepared to repair or replace components. Costs are projected, and a schedule of implementation is prepared and submitted to the owner for approval. After the plan is approved the appropriate repairs take place, and the subject of our concern is restored to a good operating condition.
When it comes to governing this approach is not followed. Mismanagement by a virtual "political class" is a worldwide characteristic of government. Although there is now a recognized discipline of public policy analysis and development, foresight is seldom practiced by governments. The results are a seemingly endless succession of wars, economic recessions, domestic unrest and other negative conditions. Much of the tremendous knowledge and information obtained through scientific and scholarly research is ignored or misused. Consequently, the human condition is getting worse throughout much of the world, along with the planetary environment that is the real basis of our existence. Hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution is being reversed in the 20th century by human devolution and decline.
The purpose of this book is to summarize the conditions that threaten human survival. The starting point examines what are our problems. Next, an analysis is made of why we have the problems. Finally, a viable solution is offered for solving the problems. Because an analytical and investigative approach is followed, the proposed solution is bound to be effective.
In the first chapter a case study is offered of a seemingly inexplicable, highly complex event: the Jewish-Slavic Holocaust that occurred during World War II. By analyzing the environment and the events that preceded the catastrophe, the ultimate causes are discovered: the interlinked conditions of political mismanagement and the war institution of modern society.
The brief second chapter shows how the patterns that created the Holocaust remain in existence and could cause other, even greater tragedies in the future.
The third chapter discloses the human weakness that caused or contributed to wars, genocides and other catastrophes, and now even threatens human survival.
The fourth chapter explores in greater detail the future dangers to human survival by political mismanagement and the war institution. The urgency of these current and emerging problems points out the need for vigorous actions by concerned citizens and organizations.
The final chapter outlines the specific actions and programs needed to overcome the problems, dangers and threats to humanity. While the previous chapters have a somewhat pessimistic tone, the final chapter is optimistic because a window of opportunity is emerging for the feasible solutions outlined.
The Summary and Conclusion not only review the thesis of the book, but also develop the ultimate remedies to the negative conditions that now exist on our planet.
The main points of the text are supported by exhibits of charts, tables and sample documents. The intent is to show that the ideas outlined can be further developed into practical, specific solutions. Thus, the information presented provides a "survival manual," designed to advance the continuing development of the human species. Ultimately the message of Beyond the Holocaust: Survival or Extinction? is meant to be both positive and encouraging.
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