Professor Robert Theobald (died November 1999) in his book Free men and Free Markets (1963) stated: "Our present socio-economic system only remains valid so long as it is possible for the overwhelming proportion of those seeking jobs to find them and as long as we can assume that these jobs will provide the jobholder with a reasonable income.

  "If this condition is not met, we are no longer justified in assuming that those without jobs are lazy or worthless, or in only paying them minimum incomes on a charity basis.

  "Our present system of income distribution cannot continue if the goal of full employment ceases to be feasible or desirable.

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see below

"What is the present response to the threat of growing unemployment? It is generally agreed by labor, management and government, that the only practical answer to the problem of the worker elbowed aside by cybernation is to push him back through legislation.

"Indeed, it is proposed that through the use of retraining schemes the worker should be pushed back in just as many times as he gets elbowed out of the system." -- Professor Robert Theobald, who was in later years based in the U.S.A., Free men and Free Markets , (originally 1963, Clarkson N. Potter), 1965, New York, Anchor Books - Doubleday & Co.

Reworking Success

Here's a taste of  his 1997 book Reworking Success, which was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation but then rejected, but was broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission:

"We are moving rapidly into highly-threatening economic, moral, social, ecological and spiritual crises. Their threat is fully visible once we deny the validity of the economic language which has narrowed our vision and destroyed our compassion. It is time to create language and images which can enable us to create community, and communities, that enable us to live well in the twenty-first century."

And, from the Introduction:  "The required success criteria for the twenty-first century are social cohesion, a respect for all of nature and the maintenance of the integrity of fundamental ecological systems.  We must therefore abandon our current commitments to maximum economic growth and international competitiveness.  The most profound implication is that this change in success criteria will necessarily occur at the personal, group and community level rather than through top-down policy shifts.  One primary way in which people can grasp what this shift means to them personally is through rethinking their attitudes to work and the distribution of resources."

 To sample more before you buy this book, click:  http://www.transform.org/transform/tlc/rsuccess.html

Free Men and Free Markets

The late Professor Robert Theobald, who was based in New Orleans, U.S.A., wrote Free men and Free Markets , (originally 1963, Clarkson N. Potter), 1965, New York, Anchor Books - Doubleday & Co

A webpage formerly on The Australia Institute Website at http://www.tai.org.au/ advertising a 3 May 1999 talk by him in Canberra, Australia, said that Robert Theobald had been one of the leading voices arguing that only radical changes in direction could avoid massive breakdowns throughout the world.  His talks on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and recent lecture tours had made him one of the most sought after speakers in Australia.  He had recently been recognized by the Encyclopedia of the Future as one of the top ten living futurists. His latest book was Reworking Success, which had been on the Australian best-seller list.  Read  more: http://www.transform.org/transform/tlc/rsuccess.html  

Reworking Success was REPUBLISHED in 1999, and Amazon Books gives the following information:

The author, Robert Theobald, November 22, 1998
An update on the relevance of the book
A new edition of the book has just been published with a new introduction which connects the Y2K issue to the central argument.  It was my thesis in Reworking Success that the directions in which we have moved for the twentieth century are no longer viable.  Y2K is one of many issues that are making this statement more and more obviously true.

The implication of my argument is that the human race knows how to be successful at achieving the goals it sets for itself. If we set a new set of goals for ourselves we can hope that we shall achieve them.  I suggest that social cohesion, ecological integrity and effective decision-making can lead to a high quality of life so long as we live with a sense of the sacred and the spiritual.

The ideas in Reworking Success are now being carried forward at www.resilient communities.org  Those who want a more detailed set of ideas about required twenty-first century directions can look at Turning the Century.  The Healing Century tapes provide a base for discussion groups.

The author, Robert Theobald, November 2, 1997
A review of the history of this book.
The text of this short book was originally commissioned as lectures by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. They were then cancelled. Later they were broadcast in Australia and the book got on the Australian best seller list. You may want to find out why the talks and the book created so much disagreement AND resonance. I'll be interested in your comments. -- copied from Amazon Books 24 Dec 1999.

A satellite program was planned for late May 1999.  Details from Professor Theobald's homepage are: "On January 22nd and April 8th, 1999 Resilient Communities hosted its first live-satellite programs.  Please check the Resilient Communities site for details.  The next broadcast will be on May 27th and will feature Robert Theobald, Rachel Bagby and Vicki Robin looking at 'Making Meaning:  A Challenge for the New Century.'  Plans are being developed now for additional programming via satellite later this year"

THEOBALD IN PERTH 17-21 May 1999

SOME of WA's most influential thinkers were to meet futurist Robert Theobald at a private forum in Perth in May.
  The American-based thinker cites the gap between rich and poor, environmental degradation, global warming, ozone depletion, water shortages, the millennium bug and frustration and anger among young people as issues for the 21st century.
  He was to be heard at public forums on Monday at Christchurch Grammar School Chapel and on Friday at Princess Margaret Hospital's McDonald lecture theatre.
  (adapted from The West Australian, Saturday May 15 1999, p 48)


WITHIN a month of cancelling the rest of his Australian tour due to illness, Robert Theobald died at home, in Spokane, Washington state, on November 27.  He had esophagal  [?oesophageal?] cancer.  He was to have visited Western Australia in November at the end of this Australian tour, but in Tasmania doctors advised him to return home for treatment.

  The son of a British businessman, Mr Theobald was born in India and moved to England at the age of seven. He studied economics at Cambridge and eventually continued his studies at Harvard University.

  Working independently throughout his career, Mr Theobald argued that blind confidence in economic growth, technology and the culture of materialism destroyed the environment and failed to provide opportunity and income for many people.

  "If we do not change direction rapidly, the impact of technology will deprive many people of the possibility of earning a living and will lead to despair and disruption," he wrote in his 1997 book Reworking Success, (New Society Publishers, $18.95)

  He spent much of the last two years in Australia, where the Reworking Tomorrow organisation was set up to facilitate the kind of social changes Mr Theobald had envisaged.

  The WA branch of Reworking Success said, "Robert brought to consciousness many things which many people had previously thought they were alone in believing.

"Due to his legacy, people now understand that they are not crazy in their calls for society to be centred around ecological integrity and social cohesion."

(adapted from article by Keith McDonald with Associated Press, in  The West Australian, Monday Dec 6 1999, "Today" section p 17)
Reworking Success organisation's Sunshine Coast and Hinterland branch http://home.oasys.com.au/~rework/rt.htm

For links to these and other books by Professor Theobald, click http://www.transform.org/transform/tlc/rtbooks.html where you will be offered the chance to buy them from Amazon Books (amazon.com), or try the Transformational Learning Community at http://www.indra.com/transform/tlc/rtbooks.html  A book is briefly mentioned on http://www.progress.org/dividend/cdbib.html

In 1998 the Australian Broadcasting Commission broadcast his talk "The Healing Century."  To sample it before deciding to buy the tapes, click: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/events/theobald.htm 

See "The Post-Scarcity Economics/Culture of Abundance" Reading List at: http://www.pa.msu.edu/people/mulhall/mist/PSE-COA.html, and Council for Agricultural Science and Technology at http://www.societies.org/work-11.htm

Part of this copied off Homepage with AOLPress/2.0   20 May 1999, (15 kb), (links re-checked 24Dec99), last revised 06 June 00
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