Commentaries: Infrastructural Revolutions and the Age of Resilience: A conversation with Jeremy Rifkin

June 12, 2024

The American economist Jeremy Rifkin has had a major influence on the theory and practice of the green energy transition, both as the author of numerous books on technological changes and as an advisor to China, the European Union and the Biden administration. Rifkin is perhaps best known for his futurist predictions, famously analysing digitalization and the labour market in The End of Work (1995) and predicting smart networks of renewables in The Third Industrial Revolution (2011). He has authored specific critiques on topics such as genetic engineering and beef production, as well as numerous critical books on cultural history and the future of civilization, such as Entropy (1980), Time Wars (1987) and The Empathic Civilization (2010).

In his latest book, The Age of Resilience – Reimagining Existence on a Rewilding Earth (2022), he unites these two tendencies to formulate a new, and in many ways, original review of environmental and economic thought. Drawing on natural science, original historical analyses, and political theory, he presents a profound critique of modernity, but nevertheless retains a strong belief in technological solutions and moral progress carried forward by new generations. Anders Dunker, Technophany’s commentary correspondent, interviewed Rifkin in a long conversation over Zoom. This interview is also complementary to Technophany’s Special Issue “Entropies.”

by Anders Dunker

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