The Secrets of Culture by Dr. Paul Schafer.
Humanity’s future depends on the adoption of culture as the central organizing principle of society.
Decades of investigation, reflection and research have led cultural scholar Paul Schafer to this conclusion. Originally trained as an economist, Schafer came to realize that, despite all its benefits, the current “economic age” must soon give way to a new “age of culture” that places the highest priority on people and the natural environment, rather than materialism and the marketplace.
The Secrets of Culture describes Schafer’s personal and professional journey toward this crucial conclusion. Beginning with a lively account of his education in the arts as a child, Schafer discusses his academic training as an economist and how he came to realize that economics, however important and influential it might be, was in itself insufficient to serve as the sole framework for society.
Schafer argues that culture as a concept, as well as individual cultures, must now become the centrepiece of human development if the substantial gains of the current economic age are not to be lost in environmental and civilizational collapse. Only if the focus is on the development of the potential of all the world’s cultures and peoples does humanity stand a chance of moving beyond its present Time of Troubles to a more fulfilling future.
The past several decades have seen the concept of culture achieve ever greater prominence throughout the world, culminating in “culture” being named Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Year” in 2014 because of its importance in both public and private discourse. The Secrets of Culture paints a compelling portrait of the new world that awaits us, while also providing revealing insights into Canadian and global cultural policy and development as Schafer recounts his many and varied experiences as a teacher, writer, policymaker, and futurist. The result is a book that is not only enlightening but also entertaining and intriguing.