Jeremy Rifkin's Books

The Zero Marginal Cost Society

Jeremy Rifkin The Zero Marginal Cost Society

On April 1st, 2014 Mr. Rifkin published his twentieth book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, and The Eclipse of Capitalism.

In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.

Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces.

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The Third Industrial Revolution

Jeremy Rifkin The Third Industrial Revolution

In 2011, Mr. Rifkin published the New York Times best seller, The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World.

The price of energy and food is climbing, unemployment remains high, the housing market has tanked, consumer and government debt is soaring, and the recovery is slowing. Facing the prospect of a second collapse of the global economy, humanity is desperate for a sustainable economic game plan to take us into the future.

Here, Jeremy Rifkin explores how Internet technology and renewable energy are merging to create a powerful "Third Industrial Revolution." He asks us to imagine hundreds of millions of people producing their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories, and sharing it with each other in an "energy internet," just like we now create and share information online.

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The Empathic Civilization

Jeremy Rifkin The Empathic Civilization

In 2009, Mr. Rifkin published The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis. 

In his new book, The Empathic Civilization, Jeremy Rifkin contends that we are at a seminal turning point in human history and that the coming decades could well determine our future survival on earth.

While Mr. Rifkin argues that a sustainable, post-carbon Third Industrial Revolution must be quickly adopted in every country if we are to avert a catastrophic change in the climate of the earth, he cautions, nonetheless, that new technologies and business models alone will not be sufficient to address the enormity of the crisis facing the human race. What we need is a change in human consciousness itself.

In his role as an advisor to heads of state and companies around the world, Mr. Rifkin has come to believe that the global discussion must move beyond market incentives and government sanctions, codes and standards.  In order to address the triple threat of the economic crisis, energy security, and climate change, we must rethink human nature itself and reconceptualize the meaning of the human journey.

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The European Dream

The European Dream

The European Dream
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 2004 by Tarcher/Penguin

The American Dream is becoming ever more elusive. Americans are increasingly overworked, underpaid, squeezed for time, and unsure about their prospects for a better life. One third of all Americans say they no longer even believe in the American Dream. While the American Dream is languishing, says bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin, a new European Dream is capturing the attention and imagination of the world. Twenty-five nations, representing 455 million people, have joined together to create a United States of Europe.

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The Hydrogen Economy

The Hydrogen Economy

The Hydrogen Economy
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 2002 by Tarcher/Putnam

In The Hydrogen Economy, best-selling author Jeremy Rifkin takes us on an eye-opening journey into the next great commercial era in history. He envisions the dawn of a new economy powered by hydrogen that will fundamentally change the nature of our market, political and social institutions, just as coal and steam power did at the beginning of the industrial age.

Rifkin observes that we are fast approaching a critical watershed for the fossil-fuel era, with potentially dire consequences for industrial civilization. While experts had been saying that we had another forty or so years of cheap available crude oil left, some of the world's leading petroleum geologists are now suggesting that global oil production could peak and begin a steep decline much sooner, as early as the end of this decade. Non-OPEC oil producing countries are already nearing their peak production, leaving most of the remaining reserves in the politically unstable Middle East. Increasing tensions between Islam and the West are likely to further threaten our access to affordable oil. In desperation, the U.S. and other nations could turn to dirtier fossil-fuels - coal, tar sand, and heavy oil - which will only worsen global warming and imperil the earth's already beleaguered ecosystems. Looming oil shortages make industrial life vulnerable to massive disruptions and possibly even collapse.

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The Age of Access

The Age of Access

The Age of Access
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 2000 by Tarcher/Putnam

Imagine waking up one day to find that virtually every activity you engage in outside your immediate family has become a "paid for" experience. It's all part of a fundamental change taking place in the nature of business, contends bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin. On the horizon looms the Age of Access, an era radically different from any we have known.

In the hypercapitalist economy, buying things in markets and owning property become outmoded ideas, while "just-in-time" access to nearly every kind of service, through vast commercial networks operating in cyberspace, becomes the norm. We increasingly pay for the experience of using things-in the form of subscriptions, memberships, leases, and retainers-rather than for the things themselves. Already, millions of Americans have give up ownership of their automobiles in favor of leasing cars as a service and are renting everything from software to furnaces.

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The Biotech Century

The Biotech Century

The Biotech Century
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1998 by Tarcher/Putnam

In this provocative and far-reaching book, Jeremy Rifkin argues that the computer revolution is merely a prelude to a far more significant change taking place in the global economy. We are in the midst of a great historic transition into the Age of Biotechnology.

Rifkin notes that after more than forty years of running on parallel tracks, the information and life sciences are fusing into a single powerful technological and economic force that is laying the foundation for the Biotech Century. The computer is increasingly being used to decipher, manage, and organize the vast genetic information that is the raw resource of the new global economy. Already, transnational corporations are creating giant life-sciences complexes from which to fashion a bio-industrial world.

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The End of Work

The End of Work

The End of Work
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1995 by Tarcher/Putnam

In this compelling, disturbing, and ultimately hopeful book, Jeremy Rifkin argues that we are entering a new phase of history — one characterized by the steady and inevitable decline of jobs. Worldwide unemployment is now at the highest level since the great depression of the 1930s. The number of people underemployed or without work is rising sharply as millions of new entrants into the workforce find themselves victims of an extraordinary high-technology revolution. Sophisticated computers, robotics, telecommunications, and other cutting-edge technologies are fast replacing human beings in virtually every sector and industry-from manufacturing, retail, and financial services, to transportation, agriculture, and government.

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Voting Green

Voting Green: Your Complete Environmental Guide to Making Political Choices in the 90s

Voting Green: Your Complete Environmental Guide to Making Political Choices in the 90s
by Jeremy Rifkin and Carol Grunewald Rifkin
published in 1992 by Doubleday

The upcoming elections could well determine the fate of the earth in the coming century. This time you can make a real difference when you mark your ballot. Let Voting Green be your guide to making the most informed and meaningful decision.

Voting Green contains the most comprehensive congressional report card ever compiled on Green issues. The 535 members of Congress are scored on their performance on nearly 300 pieces of Green legislation. Find out who are the best and worst members of Congress-and how your senators and representatives scored on the Green report card.

Voting Green presents a sweeping new political platform touching on a wide range of concerns you care about, including the development of a sustainable economy, global environmental security, clean air and water, healthful food, a safe workplace, animal protection, preserving biodiversity, and the future direction of science and technology, to name a few.

Voting Green gives a complete checklist of Green positions by which to judge political candidates in the upcoming primaries and general election.

Voting Green provides the most detailed and incisive analysis available of the Bush Administration's performance on Green issues.

If you're fed up with traditional politics, now there's an alternative: Vote Green!

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Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture

Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture

Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1992 by Dutton Books

Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1992 by Dutton Books

"There are currently 1.28 billion cattle populating the earth. They take up nearly 24 percent of the land mass of the planet and consume enough grain to feed hundreds of millions of people. Their combined weight exceeds that of the human population on earth."

Beginning with this startling and unsettling set of facts, Jeremy Rifkin interweaves anthropology, history, sociology, economics, and ecology in a brilliant and devastating examination and indictment of the cattle culture that has come to shape and warp our world.

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Biosphere Politics: A New Consciousness for a New Century

Biosphere Politics: A New Consciousness for a New Century

Biosphere Politics: A New Consciousness for a New Century
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1991 by Crown Publishers, Inc.

In Biosphere Politics Jeremy Rifkin lays the groundwork for a compelling vision of the twenty-first century. The author takes us into a new world in which the biosphere itself becomes the framework for rethinking personality, politics, and culture.

Rifkin notes the irony that we live in a culture obsessed with the notion of security, yet we feel less secure than any society in history. Biosphere Politics challenges the conventional vision of the future, which promises security through military might and high technology. Rifkin sets a revolutionary new course for science, economics, and politics that is grounded in humanity's newfound responsibilities to the living earth. In the process, the author provides the first comprehensive postmortem on the death of geopolitics and Cold War concepts of security.

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The Green Lifestyle Handbook: 1001 Ways You Can Heal the Earth (Editor)

The Green Lifestyle Handbook: 1001 Ways You Can Heal the Earth

The Green Lifestyle Handbook: 1001 Ways You Can Heal the Earth
edited by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1990 by Owl Books

Twenty-three environmental experts have placed the survival of the earth in your hands.

Authoritative, wide-ranging, and comprehensive, The Green Lifestyle Handbook suggests hundreds of steps that all of us can take in our personal lives to develop a green lifestyle at home, in our diet, at the marketplace, in the office, on the road, in our communities, at our places of worship, and in our leisure pursuits. It offers an alternative way of living and acting that will help create a sustainable future for ourselves and the planet.

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Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History

Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History

Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1987 by Henry Holt and Company

Time Wars: Not since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring has one book tackled a subject of such importance.

A battle is now brewing over our present conception of time. Its outcome will help determine the future of our society in the coming century. On one side are the power-time advocates, who would have us enter a hyperefficient computerized world where time is taken beyond human conception and recorded in nanoseconds (billionths of a second)-an artificial time world where past, present, and future blur together to create a simulated paradise divorced from the organic and seasonal time orientation of the planet. On the other side stand the time rebels, who question society's capitulation to the nanosecond time frame. They argue instead for an ecological time orientation that would resynchronize our social and economic activities to the biological and physical rhythms of the natural world.

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Declaration of a Heretic

Declaration of a Heretic, by Jeremy Rifkin

Declaration of a Heretic
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1985 by Routledge and Kegan Paul

Jeremy Rifkin represents a new breed of heretic. He is best known for his opposition to genetic engineering and nuclear technology. But to the scientific and corporate elite, he stands for a far more dangerous and long-term threat. He is the man who is saying 'No' to the scientific world view and the Age of Progress.

Jeremy Rifkin has committed the ultimate heresy. He has dared to question many of the most fundamental assumptions of contemporary Western civilization. In this Declaration Rifkin at last answers his critics, explains exactly what he opposes and why, and describes the alternative world view which informs his own vision of the future.

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Algeny

Algeny

Algeny
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1983 by Viking Press

* Algeny — New Word, New World

Algeny is a challenging and controversial reevaluation of Darwinism, a critique of the coming era of bioengineering, and a critical examination of the way we view our relationship with nature. Jeremy Rifkin, author of the best-selling Entropy, reasons that our decision to develop biotechnology is potentially far more dangerous than our decision to split the atom. Beyond the promise of miracles may lie the reality of extinction.

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Entropy: A New World View

Entropy: A New World View

Entropy: A New World View
by Jeremy Rifkin
published in 1980 by Viking Press

(with Ted Howard)

Once in a great while an idea changes the course of history.

The Entropy Law--or the Second Law of Thermodynamics--is such an idea. It states that all energy flows inexorably from the orderly to the disorderly and from the usable to the unusable. According to the Entropy Law, whenever a semblance of order is created anywhere on earth or in the universe, it is done at the expense of causing greater disorder in the surrounding environment. This law was first propounded in the 19th century, but its full implications are only now being felt and explored. Entropy tells us that the world is winding down, and is to the future what the theories of Copernicus and Newton were to the 16th and 17th centuries-a concept both simple and earth-shattering. It is an idea that is already changing the values and goals of philosophers, politicians, scientists, businessmen, and economists. The Entropy Law is about to become an integral part of our world view.

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Emerging Order: God in the Age of Scarcity

The Emerging Order: God in the Age of Scarcity

The Emerging Order: God in the Age of Scarcity
by Jeremy Rifkin (with Ted Howard)
published in 1979 by Ballantine Books

(with Ted Howard)

America has entered an age of scarcity: The "unlimited wealth" on which the American dream is based is now clearly a delusion, and the coming bad years have plunged the nation into a spiritual void.

In this provocative book, the authors provide a blueprint for American culture that is staggering in its implications. Beyond being yet another indictment of the liberal welfare state, their thesis points to a major cultural reformation in which religion will play a leading role in the rearrangement of our nation's priorities. Today's Christian renewal movements — particularly the Charismatics and evangelicals — could end up challenging the assumption behind the state's economic definition of man, namely, that we are all wholly predictable materialists, driven by a consuming desire to maximize profit and consumption. Such a viewpoint has been used to justify the unrestrained pillage and exploitation of the natural world.

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The North Will Rise Again: Pensions, Politics and Power in the 1980s

The North Will Rise Again: Pensions, Politics and Power in the 1980s

The North Will Rise Again: Pensions, Politics and Power in the 1980s
by Jeremy Rifkin (with Randy Barber)
published in 1978 by Beacon Press

This is an eye-opening look at economic power in America today and the political struggle among the major power blocs — the unions, the corporate/financial community, the northern industrial states, and the sunbelt — to control it. Jeremy Rifkin and Randy Barber provide a completely new approach to solving the growing economic crisis in America and answer the questions millions of Americans, particularly workers in the depressed Northeast, are asking about it. They argue that the economic decline of the industrial North and of organized labor are intertwined, the crux of the problem being the massive migration of capital from North to South and abroad. A substantial part of this capital comes from some $400 billion of employee pension funds: the very money designed to protect the economic security of the workers is being used to destroy it.

The authors have documented an array of astounding facts about the way the American economy operates and have developed a strategy for revitalizing the labor movement as well as the industrial North.

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Who Should Play God? The Artificial Creation of Life and What it Means for the Future of the Human Race

Who Should Play God? The Artificial Creation of Life and What it Means for the Future of the Human Race

Who Should Play God? The Artificial Creation of Life and What it Means for the Future of the Human Race
by Jeremy Rifkin (with Ted Howard)
published in 1977 by Delacourte Press

(with Ted Howard)

In 1953 two young biologists succeeded in cracking the DNA code, unlocking the secrets of the basic genetic structures of all life. Now, only twenty-five years later, scientists possess the awesome power to upset billions of years of natural evolution. With the discovery in 1973 of recombinant DNA-a laboratory technique for splicing together genetic material from unrelated organisms to manufacture new and unprecedented life forms -genetic engineers can create monstrosities beyond imagination. In a few years, they will be able to propagate a super-race of beings as easily as they will be able to create a docile, subhuman breed of servants and slaves. Scientists claim that in ten years they will be able to clone an unlimited number of exact replicas of any living organism from a single cell of its body. Their research may already have produced new renegade bacteria and viruses that could destroy all life on this planet.

Who Should Play God? is the first full-fledged report on recombinant DNA research in America-what it is, how it developed, where it may take us, and who is leading the way. A glimpse at any aspect of the issue readily shows how precariously we are perched on the genetic powder keg: Leading genetic engineers are proposing that only people with superior genotypes be licensed to have babies. Corporations engaged in present recombinant DNA research have the right to own and sell all new life forms that they create in their laboratories. Experimenters are exploring the possibility of increasing brain size to produce a new super-species of human beings. If this unbridled research and experimentation continues, the question of the future of life on this planet becomes painfully simple: Who will be chosen for life in the post-evolutionary world? And who will do the choosing?

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Own Your Own Job: Economic Democracy for Working Americans

Own Your Own Job, by Jeremy Rifkin

Own Your Own Job

by Jeremy Rifkin

"Who really is in charge of this country? Who is calling the shots? Who is raking in the money? You see injustice and you think sometimes that we should start it all over and make the country better; make it more like the people said it should be, the people who wrote the Declaration of Independence." - Statement by a G.E. factory worker, Boston, Massachusetts

 


Common Sense II: The Case Against Corporate Tyranny

Common Sense II: The Case Against Corporate Tyranny

Common Sense II: The Case Against Corporate Tyranny

Common Sense II by the People's Bicentennial Commission shatters the myths that giant corporations use to rule our lives. It points the way to a democratic economy.