A Brief History of a Failing Civilization

English edition: Zero Books, Winchester/Washington DC 2020
French edition: Éditions du Seuil, Paris 2020
German edition: Promedia, Vienna in 2015
Dutch edition: Lemnicaat, Rotterdam 2017
Turkish edition: Aram Yayınevi, Yenişehir/ Diyarbakır 2023
Italian edition: Castelvecchi, Roma 2024

Chinese, Spanish and Kurdish editions are in preparation.

The End of the Megamachine brings to light the roots of the destructive forces threatening the future of humankind today. While the first part leads us to the very origins of economic, military and ideological power 5000 years ago, the second and key part retraces the formation and expansion of the modern world-system through the last 500 years. Dismantling Western progress mythologies, Scheidler shows how the logics of endless capital accumulation have devastated both human societies and ecosystems from the outset.

With the growing instability and looming collapse of the Megamachine in the 21st century new dangers as well as new possibilities for systemic change open up.

The End of the Megamachine shifts the point of view from a “history of the winners” to a “people’s history”. It highlights the key role of the “metallurgical complex” linking military and financial systems and fostering the evolution of technocratic visions of the world from antiquity to modernity. A particular focus is the history of “apocalyptic thinking” that has been formative for Western culture, both for capitalist projections of a “New World” and for anti-systemic movements.

The End of the Megamachine . A Brief History of a Failing Civilization
Zero Books, Winchester, UK/Washington, USA
ISBN 978-1-78904-271-9, UK £19,99, US $29,95

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"The topic could not be more important. A very valuable and surely timely contribution."
Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“A must read for everyone rising against the system that is destroying life on earth and our future.”
Vandana Shiva, World Future Council, founder of Navdanya.org

“A fascinating new take on the parts of human history that got us where we are today. It's a disturbing story, but it offers some clues on the way out of our box canyon.”
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org

“This book, a sensation in Germany when it was first published, challenges us to seek a new path for our and the planet’s survival.”
Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of the Canadians

“A magnificent book, that couldn’t be more topical. We owe gratitude, solidarity and a lot of admiration to the author.”
Jean Ziegler, Advisory Committee to the UN Human Rights Council

“What a brilliant achievement—a wonderfully coherent, cogent and gripping story of the historical origins of the political, economic, social and ecological crises of our times. You can’t be a serious activist committed to creating a new world if you haven’t read this.”
Firoze Manji, Carleton University; founder of Pambazuka News

“A fascinating book, delightful to read in spite of the grim topic. This is an excellent reflection on the terror/hope that we are living.”
John Holloway, Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico

“This book is a loud alarm that must not be ignored.”
Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nigeria

"A highly original and fascinating book. It helps to understand and overcome the global Megamachine that is threatening our future."
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, president of the Club of Rome (2012-2018)

"The book has a greater value than everything I learned about history at school."
Christian Felber, founder of the "Economy for the Common Good“

"This book tells us more than a hundred books put together. It should be required reading in every school."
Milo Rau, artistic director, Festival of Vienna

"Top 10 of non-fiction"
Robert Jungk Library for Future Studies

"A masterstroke!"
Andrea Komlosy, Yale University, Vienna University

"An extremely good read."
 Taz. Die Tageszeitung

"This well-documented analysis dismantles the myths and narratives that have glorified and naturalized relations of domination."
Le Monde diplomatique

"This book should become part of the curricula of all schools and universities."
Ulrich Duchrow in the German biweekly “Publik Forum”

"Well-founded and highly original."
Ute Scheub in the Swiss monthly “Zeitpunkt”

"Fabian Scheidler has written not only an economic but also a remarkable psychological history of capitalism."
Barbara Dyttrich in the Swiss weekly “WOZ”

"Telling the history of Western civilization from a new angle is Fabian Scheidler's successful gamble in this comprehensive synopsis. A fascinating read throughout."
Hervé Kempf, Reporterre