Starting in the early 1970s, I began autodidactic raiding parties into general systems theory, cybernetics, and genetic structuralism, what is now often called nonlinear or complexity theory, seeking to understand complex interactive processes and systems. This project was influenced by such thinkers as Norbert Weiner, Ludvig von Bertalanffy, and especially Jean Piaget. Over the course of forty years I integrated the results with my own historical research and experience into a manuscript called Common Preservation. The heuristic that emerged from this study guided my earlier work at least tacitly and my later work more explicitly.
The first volume derived from this longer study was published in 2012 as Save the Humans? Common Preservation in Action. Save the Humans? argued that “Today, self-preservation depends on common preservation – cooperation in service of our mutual well-being. For any of us to survive, we must preserve the conditions of each other’s existence.” I described the book as “The story of a lifelong search for the means of common preservation.”
Save the Humans? analyzed many historical cases in which new forms of common preservation had emerged, and found them often to be related to what it called an “ecological shift” like the shift in worldview from isolated to interdependent organisms introduced by the science of ecology. In this shift, people come to recognize apparently separate, independent entities as part of larger wholes. This often involves the self-organization of people who have been isolated or even antagonistic.” It often overcomes powerlessness by making use of various forms of “people power” based on a refusal to obey those currently in charge.
I am currently completing a companion volume tentatively titled The Common Preservation Toolkit intended to provide a heuristic for how to understand and nourish common preservation. I expect it to be available in 2017.
 Provide link to the manuscript.
 Jeremy Brecher, Save the Humans? Common Preservation in Action (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2012).
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