Author presentation: John Michael Greer

In Swedish / på svenska.

The first author to be featured on the blog is John Michael Greer, an American who’s written several books on our near (and not-so-near) future. I’ve read two of these, The Long Descent and The Ecotechnic Future. They describe Greer’s view of the problems we’re facing, such as peak oil, climate change, ecosystems in crisis and more, but Greer has a nearly unique historical perspective. He draws on the fate of previous human civilisations for lessons relevant to our own future. I recommend both these books. They aren’t available in Swedish and can’t be found in brick-and-mortar book shops (at least in Gothenburg) but most Internet book stores carry them. The publisher used to sell them but no longer ships outside the US and Canada.

Greer also has a blog, The Archdruid Report, which I also recommend. He’s been writing for a few years and has covered a huge range of subjects (or perhaps one and the same subject from a great many different perspectives). A few months ago he set a new focus and is now developing what he calls a “Green Wizard” curriculum in his posts, intended as a practical, individual response to the myriad of inter-connected problems we’re facing.

Glancing at Greer’s other books quickly leads to the “alternative” section of the book store, with subjects such as magic, UFO:s and old pagan religions. The further discovery that he calls himself, in full seriousness, Archdruid, heads the Ancient Order of Druids in America and appears on photo with a long beard at Stonehenge, might lead to some raised eyebrows. What sort of weirdo is this? I can’t comment on his other books, since I haven’t read them, but from his blog I know Greer takes a great many things seriously that most Westerners dismiss out of hand. This, to me, is part of what makes his writings so important, since he has a very different perspective. He’s also a very capable writer with an impressive ability to synthesize different perspectives.

This breadth does however make it tricky to present his writings in a good way. I’ve chosen a three-fold path:

Track A, the larger picture: where are we heading? I will here translate 8 texts that paint an outline of Greer’s view of our current situation and the future.

Track B, practical aspects: how to think about future challenges? Here I will translate 9 texts that deal with common objections as well as practical ways of responding to the view presented in part A.

Track C, stories, religion and culture: as mentioned above Greer comes from a very different direction than most who discuss these subjects and I have chosen 14 texts that I will translate.

Taken together, I hope this will provide a decent overview of Greer’s views of the future. I’m aware he’s not wholly unknown in Sweden but he deserves more attention.

I will start with the larger picture and I’ve chosen a text which in ecological terms paints one possible image of the future.

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