For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The Dawning Age of Cooperation:
The End of Civilization as We Know It... and Just in Time
  • Gordon E. Moss
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
The Dawning Age of Cooperation: . The End of Civilization as We Know It... and Just in Time
Sound Bite
Rugged individualism is great for legendary heroes, but does it really shape a society that can endure for the long term? A massive social transformation is underway, driven by technology; it requires and is pushing us toward a cooperative culture. Our American competitive, individualistic culture is outmoded and increasingly ineffective. This book presents a new model of cooperation for building a cooperative American and worldwide society.

About the Author

Gordon E. Moss is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Eastern Michigan University. With a PhD in Sociology / Medical Sociology from SUNY Buffalo, Dr. Moss has taught at the University of Maine–Orono (1966–1968) and Eastern Michigan (1971–1996). 

Dr. Moss has conducted NIH funded research on the Type A behavior pattern; his research specialty is social stress and disease. His book Illness, Immunity and Social Interaction was published in 1973. He also has published a number of articles on social stress and sociological theory in scientific journals and edited collections.

About the research that led to this book, Dr. Moss says,

One result of my research was the discovery that Type A behavior was a product of our American competitive and individualistic sociocultural patterns. Further examination revealed that much, if not most, of the social stress Americans experience is generated by our competitive individualistic culture. The permanent “cure” for a great deal of our social stress is the adoption of cooperation in place of competitive individualism. The lack of adequate conceptualizations and measures blocked effective cooperation research and organizational development. This led me into years of study and research to produce a viable model of cooperation for our times and our complex organizations and societies. This book is one result of that work; it is an application of my applied theoretical expertise to the problem of creating a cooperative society in the United States.

About the Book
True cooperation is a stranger in America. The author, an expert on medical sociology, has conducted research on social stress and cooperative solutions, only to find that we call many things cooperation which are not. This includes mutual aid in...
True cooperation is a stranger in America. The author, an expert on medical sociology, has conducted research on social stress and cooperative solutions, only to find that we call many things cooperation which are not. This includes mutual aid in pursuit of shared individual goals, democratic decision making, equal sharing, and compromising.

True cooperation is a cultural pattern used to organize cooperative social systems. Participants are group centered and work to achieve group goals. True cooperation produces rapidly adapting information processing social systems that benefit all of the participants. These cooperative organizations and societies become our primary, and very effective, adaptive tools for survival. This book shows what true cooperation is and how to do it, while also showing how competition and individualism prevent us from truly cooperating and creating a cooperative American (and worldwide) society.

This book fills a huge gap in our literature on and understanding of “cooperation.” As such it is of great value to libraries, organizations, universities, a variety of specialties and professions, and concerned individuals.

The book is written at a more academic level because the material cannot be simplified further without loss of insights and information. It is a “friendly” academic level with examples and explanations while a variety of more academic issues and analyses are excluded.  

Preface
When I tell friends and colleagues what a cooperative America would look like, they generally say, “We can’t get the’ah from he’ah”: It would be wonderful, but it “ain’t gonna happen.” It does...
When I tell friends and colleagues what a cooperative America would look like, they generally say, “We can’t get the’ah from he’ah”: It would be wonderful, but it “ain’t gonna happen.” It does sometimes seem impossible to get “the’ah” from our current society that is pretty much the opposite of cooperative. The peace, harmony, and abundance of cooperation seem an unrealistic utopian dream. While these skeptics are correct that you can’t produce a cooperative society out of the self-centered individualism and adversarial competition that underpin our current American society, it is possible to create within us the seeds of a new cooperative society and nurture it until it becomes our new way of life.

Our competitive individualistic American society is giving us exactly what it is designed to give us. If we don’t like it—as many of us clearly do not—we must change the design of our society. Trying to get our society to be something different from what it is, such as more cooperative, by pushing and twisting it this way and that is as frustrating as it is futile…. If we truly want a cooperative society, we have to design one. We have to build a cooperative culture and abandon our competitive individualistic culture, which cannot produce a cooperative society.

True cooperation will require Americans to step “out of the box,” as we like to say, into a different world. It will be an experience similar to some of our fantasies where the characters step from our current world into a different one, such as Narnia through the back of the wardrobe. We will discover that life in the new world of cooperation is easy, engaging, and delightful. We will be shocked to see how hard our struggles with our old world are by comparison.

Cooperation is necessary for us to eliminate our maladaptive cultural habits that threaten our survival as a species. Cooperation is necessary for us to develop and enjoy the exciting high technology lifestyle, astounding explosion of information, and world-wide cultural community that are spreading over our planet. Cooperation is the gateway to the next level of human social evolution. It will be marvelous, and it is much easier to create than we imagine. Yes, we can “get the’ah from he’ah”.


Reviews
Journal of Applied Social Science 7(1), Mar 25, 2013 | More »
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Pages 318
Year: 2011
LC Classification: HM701.M67 2011
Dewey code: 302'.14--dc22
BISAC: PHI019000 PHILOSOPHY / Political
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-873-8
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-874-5
Price: USD 32.95
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ISBN: 978-0-87586-875-2
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