Robert Heilbroner

in Visions of the Future

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780195102864
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854974 | DOI:

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This chapter suggests that there are three distinct ways of looking at the future—the Distant Past, Yesterday, and Today, which includes some portion of Tomorrow. It contends that science, economics, mass political movements—the three most powerful carriers of those future-shaping influences—are the stuff of everyday headlines nowadays. What differentiates them from those of Yesterday is that they now appear as potentially or even actively malign, as well as benign; both as threatening and supportive, ominous as well as reassuring even in the most favored nations—that is, the most fully capitalist, science-oriented, and politically democratic. It also cites The Real World Order: Zones of Peace Zones of Turmoil, by Max Singer and the late Aaron Wildavsky, two respected political analysts.

Keywords: Distant Past; Yesterday; Today; Tomorrow; science; economics; mass political movements; Max Singer; Aaron Wildavsky

Chapter.  3321 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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