howard bloom the philosopher at the end of the universe Sun, 22 Nov 2015 02:08:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sample Chapter Wed, 19 Aug 2015 11:06:05 +0000 ]]> 0 The Mohammed Code by Howard Bloom Tue, 23 Apr 2013 02:18:45 +0000  

A Deep Dive into the Mind of ISIS

The Mohammed Code w out secondary title edited 8-26-14 copy

Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, and Adolph Hitler tried to take over the world. All of them failed. Yet an illiterate desert prophet enabled his followers to hammer together an empire 11 times the size of Alexander the Great’s conquests, 5 times the size of the Roman Empire, and 7 times the size of the USA. How did Mohammed pull it off? And how does his success threaten you and me?

The Mohammed Code is keeping me up at night. It’s a terrifying book—like a horror novel. It’s the best book I’ve read on Islam…and the most elegantly written.” David Swindle, lifestyle editor, PJ Media

The Mohammed Code is a story you are not supposed to read.

The Mohammed Code is based entirely on Islamic sources: the Quran, the Hadith, Ibn Ishaq, al Tabari, and lives of Mohammed written for Moslem eyes only by Islamic religious leaders, Islamic scholars, and Islamic journalists. The Mohammed Code tells one of the most important and riveting stories in history. The hidden story behind the headlines from shock-spots in Asia, Africa, Europe, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And the inner secrets of the mosque down the street.

If you are a Moslem and you want to be righteous, just, and pure, you are required to follow in the footsteps of Mohammed. What kind of footsteps did Mohammed leave you? His example as the commander of 65 military campaigns. His example as a participant in 27 of those battles. His example as the architect of ethnic expulsions and genocides.

Explains Osama bin Laden, Mohammed was “a Prophet of Conquest.” And Pakistan’s Universal Sunnah Foundation agrees. It says proudly that under Mohammed’s generalship, “Islam spread on an average of 822 square kilometres per day.” Behind that conquest is an astonishing story. The story of Mohammed’s life as a militant. The story of Mohammed’s two favorite tools of war, “deceit” (deception) and “terror.” The story that led to the assembly of the biggest empire in human history…an empire eleven times the size of the conquests of Alexander the Great, five times the size of the Roman Empire, and seven times the size of the United States.

The Mohammed Code is the story of how Mohammed laid out a simple goal–seizing the entire world. A goal so dependent on violence that one of Mohammed’s leading modern interpreters, Islamic Revolutionary Iran’s founding father, the Ayatollah Khomeini, says proudly that “Islam has obliterated many tribes.” The Mohammed Code tells a story unknown in the West, the story that led the Ayatollah to declare that, “Moslems have no alternative… to an armed holy war. …Holy war means the conquest of all non Moslem territories. …It will …be the duty of every able-bodied adult male to volunteer for this war of conquest, the final aim of which is to put Koranic law in power from one end of the earth to the other.”

If you want to know the story of Mohammed’s ten years as a militant, read The Mohammed Code. It is more than just amazing. It is a story whose aftershocks are quaking your life.

Read a sample for free at



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Isolation-The Ultimate Poison Sat, 01 Dec 2012 23:06:11 +0000 excerpted from Howard Bloom’s
The Lucifer Principle
A Scientific Expedition Into The Forces of History

Isolation: The Ultimate Poison

Remove the sponge cell from the sponge, prevent it from finding its way back to its brethren, and it dies. Scrape a liver cell from the liver and in its isolation it too will shrivel and give up life. But what happens if you remove a human from his social bonds, wrenching him from the superorganism of which he or she is a part?

In the 1940’s, the psychologist Rene Spitz studied human babies isolated from their mothers. These were the infants of women too poor to care for their children, infants who had been placed permanently in a foundling home. There, the children were kept in what Spitz called “solitary confinement,” placed in cribs with sheets hung from the sides so that the only thing the babies could see was the ceiling. Nurses seldom looked in on them more than a few times a day. And even when feeding time came, the babies were left alone with just the companionship of a bottle. Hygiene in the homes was impeccable. But without being held, loved, and woven into the fabric of a social web, the resistance of these babies was lowered. Thirty four out of 91 died. In other foundling homes, the death rate was even higher. In some, it climbed to a devastating 90%. A host of other studies have shown the same thing. Babies can be given food, shelter, warmth and hygiene. But if they are not held and stroked, they have an abnormal tendency to die.

Two means have been discovered to produce depression in laboratory animals: uncontrollable punishment and isolation. Put an animal in a cage by himself, separated from his nestmates, and he will lose interest in food and sex, have trouble sleeping, and undergo a muddling of the brain.

Tampering with bonds to the larger social organism can have powerful consequences. In humans, feeling you’re unwanted can stunt your growth. The flow of growth hormones, according to recent research, is affected strongly by “psychosocial factors.” Monkeys taken away from their families and friends experience blockage of the arteries and heart disease. On the other hand, rabbits who are petted and hugged live 60% longer.

When their mates die, male hamsters stop eating and sleeping, and often succumb to death themselves. They are not alone. A British study indicated that in the first year after a wife dies, a widower has a 40% greater risk of death. In another study at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, men who had lost wives to breast cancer experienced a sharp drop in the activity of their immune system one to two months after the loss. A survey of 7,000 inhabitants of Alameda County, California, showed that “isolation and the lack of social and community ties” opened the door to illness and an early demise.

An even broader investigation by James J. Lynch of actuarial and statistical data on victims of cardiovascular disease indicated that an astonishing percentage of the million or so Americans killed by heart problems each year have an underlying difficulty that seems to trigger their sickness: “lack of warmth and meaningful relationships with others.” On the other hand, research in Europe suggested that kissing on a regular basis provides additional oxygen and stimulates the output of antibodies.

Closeness to others can heal. Separation can kill.

The cutting of the ties that bind can be fatal even in the wild. Jane Goodall, the researcher who has studied chimpanzees in the Gombe game preserve of Africa since 1960, saw the principle at work in a young animal named Flint. When Flint was born, his mother adored him. And he, in turn, doted on her. She hugged him, played with him, and tickled him until his tiny, wrinkled face broke out in the broad equivalent of a chimpanzee smile. The two were inseparable.

When Flint reached the age of three, however, the time came for his mother to wean him. But Flo, the mother, was old and weak. And Flint, the chimpanzee child, was young and strong. Flo turned her back and tried to keep her son away from the nipple. But Flint flew into wild tantrums, lashed about violently on the ground, and ran off screaming. Finally, a worried Flo was forced to calm her son by offering him her breast. Later, Flint developed even more aggressive techniques for ensuring his supply of mother’s milk. If Flo tried to shrug him off, Flint struck her with his fists, and punctuated the pummeling with sharp bites.

At an age when other chimps have freed themselves from parental apron strings, Flint was still acting like a baby. Though he was a strapping young lad, and his mother was increasingly feeble, Flint insisted that his mama carry him everywhere. If Flo stopped to rest and Flint was anxious to taste the fruit of the trees at their next destination, the hulking child would push, prod and whimper to get his mom moving again. Then he’d climb on her back and enjoy the ride. When shoves and whines didn’t motivate his mother to pick him up and cart him where he wanted to go, Flint would occasionally give the exhausted lady a strong kick. At night, Flint was old enough to build a sleeping nest of his own. Instead, he insisted on climbing into bed with his mommy.

Flint should have turned his attention from Flo to the other chimps his age, forging ties to the superorganism–the chimpanzee tribe–of which he was a part. But he did not. The consequence would be devastating.

Flint’s mother died. Theoretically, Flint’s instincts should have urged him to survive. But three weeks later, he went back to the spot where his mother had breathed her last and curled up in a fetal ball. Within a few days, he too was dead.

An autopsy revealed that there was nothing physically wrong with Flint: no infection, no disease, no handicap. In all probability, the youngster’s death had been caused by the simian equivalent of that voice which tells humans going through a similar loss that there’s nothing left to live for. Flint had been cut loose from his single bond to the superorganism. That separation had killed him.

Social attachment is just as vital to human beings. Research psychiatrist Dr. George Engel collected 275 newspaper accounts of sudden death. He discovered that 156 had been caused by severe damage to social ties. One hundred and thirty five deaths had been triggered by “a traumatic event in a close human relationship.” Another 21 had been brought on by “loss of sta- tus, humiliation, failure or defeat.” In one instance, the president of a college had been forced to retire by the Board of Trustees at the age of 59. As he delivered his final speech, he collapsed with a heart attack. One of his closest friends, a doctor, rushed to the stage to save him. But the strain of losing his companion was too much for the physician. He, too, fell to the floor of the platform and died of heart failure.

Our need for each other is not only built into the foundation of our biological structure, it is also the cornerstone of our psyche. Humans are so uncontrollably social that when we’re wandering around at home where no one can see us, we talk to ourselves. When we smash our thumb with a hammer we curse to no one in particular. In a universe whose heavens seem devoid of living matter, we address ourselves skyward to gods, angels and the occasional extra-terrestrial.

Our need for other people shapes even the minor details of our lives. In the early 1980s, a group of architects decided to study the use of public spaces outside modern office buildings. For over twenty years, architects had assumed that people long for moments of quiet contemplation, walled off from the bustle of the world. As a consequence, they had planned their buildings with solitary courtyards separated from the street. What the architects discovered, to their astonishment, was that people shunned their secluded spots. Instead, they parked themselves on low walls and steps near the packed sidewalks. Humans, it seemed, had an inordinate desire to gawk at others of their kind.

Even mere distortions in the bonds of social connectedness can affect health. According to a study by J. Stephen Heisel of the Charles River Hospital in Boston, the activity of natural killer cells–the body’s defenders from disease–is low for people who, on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test, demonstrate depression, social withdrawal, guilt, low self esteem, pessimism and maladjustment. Those who withdraw have pulled away from the embrace of their fellows. Those with guilt are certain that their sins have marked them for social rejection. The maladjusted have failed to mesh with those around them. And those with low self-esteem are convinced that others have good reason to shun them. In the study, low natural killer cell activity wasn’t linked to use of medication, alcohol, marijuana or recent medical treatment–just to measures of impaired social connection.

Meyer Friedman, the doctor who delineated the Type A and Type B personality and its relationship to heart disease, says, “If you don’t think what you do is very important, and if you feel that if you died, nobody’s going to mourn, you’re asking for illness.”

Even the well-being of the men we would imagine to be most invulnerable to social forces depends on the sense that the superorganism needs them. When President Dwight Eisenhower had his heart attack on September 24, 1955, mail came in by the sackful from all over the world. Ike said, “It really does something for you to know that people all over the world are praying for you.” Eisenhower’s doctor sensed that the president’s position in the social network could heal him. He insisted that Ike’s aides continue to discuss business with the recuperating president, making him feel he was still important. Eventually, Ike went to Camp David for five weeks of rest. It was the worst thing he could have done. Stripped of his sense of social purpose, he went into severe depression. It was the first setback Eisenhower had experienced since his heart attack. The ailing chief executive eventually recovered…when he was allowed to go back to work.

Finding himself necessary to the social organism had a similar impact on another warrior–Colonel T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia. In the Middle East, Lawrence had been a dashing, energetic figure. He had dressed as an Arab, and worked hard to win the respect of tribal leaders. He had taught himself to jump nine feet onto the back of a camel, something few Arabs could accomplish. He had steeled himself to ride across the desert for days without food. He had stretched his limits until he’d gained an endurance far beyond that of the average desert dweller, and he was admired greatly for it.

At the same time, Lawrence convinced the British that he could successfully mobilize the Arab nomads into a unified fighting force. With that force, Lawrence argued, he could help defeat the Germans and Turks in the First World War. The success of his argument boosted his power. When he rode into a circle of bedouin tents, his camels frequently carried several million dollars worth of gold–a gift to cement his negotiations with the desert chieftains.

Using bribery and the force of his personal reputation, Lawrence drew together the widely-scattered Arab tribes to storm Akaba. His force took the city despite seemingly impossible odds, defeating a small Turkish army in the process. After riding the desert for days, and leading the charge in two suc- cessful battles, Lawrence was totally exhausted. Yet when he realized his troops in Akaba were starving, he mounted his camel and rode three days and three nights, covering 250 miles, eating and drinking on his camel’s back, to reach the Gulf of Suez and summon help from a British ship.

The sense that he was critical to the success of the social organism had given the young British officer an almost unbelievable physical endurance. When at last the war was over, Lawrence rode into the city of Damascus in a Rolls Royce as one of the conquerors of the massive Turkish Empire.

But once the fighting ended and Lawrence was forced to pack his Arab robes away and return to England, he felt totally out of place. True, he had friends in high places–Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw, among others. But he felt wrenched from the social body into which he had welded himself. He was bereft of purpose–unneeded by the larger social beast. Lawrence went back to live in his parents’ home. His mother said that the former war hero would come down to breakfast in the morning, and would still remain sitting at the table by lunchtime, staring vacantly at the same object that had occupied his gaze hours earlier, unmoving, unmotivated.

Eventually, at the age of 47, Lawrence died on a lonely country road, victim of a motorcycle accident. Or was he really the victim of something far more subtle?

Not long before his death, Lawrence wrote to Eric Kennington, “You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle me and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That’s the feeling.” Experts on suicide explain that vehicular accidents often occur to those who are depressed and courting death. Was it mere chance, then, that T.E. Lawrence, a man of almost superhuman physical skills, was killed by a bit of sloppy driving on a vehicle he had used for years? Or had the former leader of the Arabs’ inner calculators come to the conclusion that, like the un-needed cell in a complex organism, it was time for him to simply slip away?


Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History

natural selection, social evolution, cultural evolution, evolution of cooperation, history, Lucifer Principle cover

available from


“A fascinating new evolutionary theory which could deeply change our view of life,
and a new worldview which could radically change our interpretation of social structures.” -Florian Roetzer


Howard Bloom’s latest book


The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

natural selection, social evolution, cultural evolution, evolution of cooperation, history, Global Brain cover

more on science, art, and history, visit


natural selection, social evolution, cultural evolution, evolution of cooperation, history,


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Jericho-If Only Walls Could Talk Sun, 11 Nov 2012 23:03:35 +0000 Jericho, the world’s first city, was built in the Stone Age sometime between 11,000 and 10,000 years ago. The wild grasses its inhabitants gathered were later domesticated. That is, they were genetically engineered via selective breeding to produce ever fatter seeds. We know the results today as wheat and barley.

Jericho Walls Wide View

Jericho Walls Wide View
photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Modern excavations of the walls of Jericho.

Jericho Walls

walls of Jericho, courtesy of The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology

walls of Jericho, courtesy of The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
Bryn Mawr College

The innkeepers of early Jericho served their guests–and their own families–the meat of an animal seldom seen on the menus of today. The town’s steaks and chops came from gazelles.

Jericho Walls Black and White

Photo of Jericho’s walls courtesy of the Jericho Excavation Fund

click here for Encyclopedia Britannica article on Jericho

Lorenzo Ghiberti's 15th Century visualization of the Hebrews' attack on the walls of Jericho.

Lorenzo Ghiberti’s 15th Century visualization of the Hebrews’ attack on the walls of Jericho.
Photo courtesy of Georgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, online version
click photo for life of Lorenzo Ghiberti

click here for life of Lorenzo Ghiberti

The most prominent literary record of Jericho’s existence appears in The Old Testament. In its pages Joshua’s priests blow seven trumpets on seven days to bring the walls of the city down. By the time this could have taken place, Jericho was an old city, a very old one. During its previous 7,000 years, its walls had crumbled many a time. Some collapses had been caused by earthquake. Others had apparently been the result of military assault. Little do those who read of Jericho in the Bible suspect that the real importance of the place lays not in its appearance in a holy book, but in its status as the world’s first metropolis and in its role, as Global Brain shows, as a catalyst which would change the nature of human identity.

Jericho - Woman Reading Bible

Gerrit Dou. Old Woman Reading a Bible c. 1630.

For more on Gerrit Dou, click here.


for more on Jericho see:
Jericho on Wikipedia
Arther Ferrill’s Neolithic Warfare

for Jericho’s contribution to the modern mind, click here and order


Global Brain
The Evolution of Mass Mind From the Big Bang
to the 21st Century

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

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Superorganism-You Are a Cell in a Social Beast Fri, 09 Nov 2012 02:51:51 +0000 excerpted from Howard Bloom’s

The Lucifer Principle
A Scientific Expedition Into The Forces of History



natural selection, social evolution, cultural evolution, evolution of cooperation, history, slime mold, dictyostelium
It looks like a single being. But it’s a society of former individualists…the slime mold.

ver a hundred years ago, Matthius Schleiden, the German botanist, was pondering the recently discovered fact that beings as simple as water fleas and as complex as human beings are made up of individual cells. Each of those cells has all the apparatus necessary to lead a life of its own. It is walled off in its own mini-world by the surrounding hedge of a membrane, carries its own metabolic power plants, and seems quite capable of going about its own business, ruggedly declaring its independence. Yet the individual cells, in pursuing their own goals, cooperate to create an entity much larger than themselves. Schleiden declared that each cell has an individual existence, and that the life of an organism comes from the way in which the cells work together.

In 1858, pathologist Rudolph Virchow took Schleiden’s observation a step further. He declared that “the composition of the major organism, the so-called individual, must be likened to a kind of social arrangement or society, in which a number of separate existencies are dependent upon one another, in such a way, however, that each element possesses its own peculiar activity and carries out its own task by its own powers.” A creature like you and me, said Virchow, is actually a society of separate cells.

The reasoning also works in reverse–a society acts like an organism. Half a century after Virchow, entomologist William Morton Wheeler was observing the lives of ants. No ant is an island. Wheeler saw the tiny beasts maintaining constant contact, greeting each other as they passed on their walkways, swapping bits of regurgitated food, adopting social roles that ranged from warrior or royal handmaiden to garbage handler and file clerk. (Yes, at the heart of many ant colonies is a room to which all incoming workers bring their discoveries. Seated at the chamber’s center is a staff of insect bureaucrats who examine the new find, determine where it is needed in the colony, and send it off to the queen’s chamber if it is a prized morsel, to the nursery if it is ordinary nourishment, to the construction crews if it would make good mortar, or to the garbage heap kept just outside the nest.)

Viewed from the human perspective, the activities of the individual ants seemed to matter far less than the behavior of the colony as a whole. In fact, the colony acted as if it were an independent creature, feeding itself, expelling its wastes, defending itself, and looking out for its future. Wheeler was the man who dubbed a group of individuals collectively acting like one beast a superorganism.

The term superorganism slid into obscurity until it was revived by Sloan-Kettering head Lewis Thomas in his influential 1974 book Lives Of A Cell. Superorganisms exist even on the very lowest rungs of the evolutionary ladder. Slime mold are seemingly independent amoeba, microscopic living blobs who race about on the moist surface of a decaying tree or rotting leaf cheerfully oblivious to each other when times are good. They feast gaily for days on bacteria and other delicacies, attending to nothing but their own selfish appetites. But when the food runs out, famine descends upon the slime mold world. Suddenly the formerly flippant amoeba lose their sense of boisterous individualism. They rush toward each other as if in a panic, sticking together for all they’re worth.

Gradually, the clump of huddled microbeasts grows to something you can see quite clearly with the naked eye. It looks like a slimy plant. And that plant–a tightly-packed mass of former freedom-lovers–executes an emergency public works project. Like half-time marchers forming a pattern, some of the amoeba line up to form a stalk that pokes itself high into the passing currents of air. Then the creatures at the head cooperate to manufacture spores. And those seeds of life drift off into the breeze.

If the spores land on a heap of rotting grass or slab of decomposing bark, they quickly multiply, filling the slippery refuge with a horde of newly-birthed amoeba. Like their parents, the little things race off to the far corners of their new home in a cheerful hunt for dinner. They never stop to think that they may be part of a community whose corporate life is as critical as their own. They are unaware that someday they, like their parents, will have to cluster with their fellows in a desperate cooperative measure on which the future of their children will depend.

Sponges in the wild.

Another creature enlisted in a superorganism is the citizen of a society called the sponge. To you and me, a sponge is quite clearly a single clump of squeezable stuff. But that singularity is an illusion. Take a living sponge, run it through a sieve into a bucket, and the sponge breaks up into a muddy liquid that clouds the water into which it falls. That cloud is a mob of self-sufficient cells, wrenched from their comfortably settled life between familiar neighbors and set adrift in a chaotic world. Each of those cells has theoretically got everything it takes to handle life on its own. But something inside the newly liberated sponge cell tells it, “You either live in a group or you cannot live at all.” The micro-beasts search frantically for their old companions, then labor to reconstruct the social system that bound them together. Within a few hours, the water of your bucket grows clear. And sitting at the bottom is a complete, reconstituted sponge.

Like the sponge cells and the slime mold amoeba, you and I are parts of a vast population whose pooled efforts move some larger creature on its path through life. Like the sponge cells, we cannot live in total separation from the human clump. We are components of a superorganism.

For the next chapter of The Lucifer Principle
Isolation: The Ultimate
–click here.


Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History

natural selection, social evolution, cultural evolution, evolution of cooperation, history, Lucifer Principle cover

available from


“A fascinating new evolutionary theory which could deeply change our view of life,
and a new worldview which could radically change our interpretation of social structures.” -Florian Roetzer


Howard Bloom’s latest book


The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

natural selection, social evolution, cultural evolution, evolution of cooperation, history, Global Brain cover

more on science, art, and history, visit


natural selection, social evolution, cultural evolution, evolution of cooperation, history,


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The Future Wed, 24 Oct 2012 06:03:35 +0000


click here for

Bills itself as “Civilization For the virtual Age.”
Takes you to the year 2088 and gives you 3D Chat
with virtual pets,virrtual homes, and changeable cyber identities


The Tech Museum of Innovation Robotics Exhibit
Robot Art, In-Depth Information on Robotics,
and the opportunity to pilot your own Remotely Operated Vehicle.


Marshall Space Flight Center
Advanced Space Transportation Program.
Where the future of space flight is now.
g–The Digiital Biology Project

for more on what the future holds, order
Global Brain
The Evolution of Mass Mind From the Big Bang
to the 21st Century




go ask alice song Sweden

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A Grand Tour of the Universe Wed, 24 Oct 2012 06:03:25 +0000 home

Interactive tour of the Universe

click hyperlinks below to
tour the universe

Interactive tour of the Universe

Gaseous Pillars in M16 – Eagle Nebula -giving birth to stars
click caption for more information

for your next hop into hyperspace

news and resources from the
Space Telescope Institute

NASA’s Cosmology 101
The Story of the Big Bang
and the Cosmos

Interactive tour of the Universe
for the social implications of the Big Bang, order
Global Brain
The Evolution of Mass Mind From the Big Bang

to the 21st Century home

Interactive tour of the Universe

Israel . syria

]]> 0–The Case of the Conversational Cosmos Wed, 24 Oct 2012 06:03:03 +0000 0 Beyond the Supercomputer: Social Groups as Learning Machines Wed, 24 Oct 2012 06:02:37 +0000 The following is
The formal academic paper
In which the theory
Laid out in
Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century
Was first was introduced to the scientific community.
It was presented before a joint session of
The European Sociobiological Society, The International Political Science Association,
And The Association for Politics and the Life Sciences,
And later appeared in the book
Research in Biopolitics, Volume 6, 1998.
Sociobiology and Biopolitics.
Edited by Albert Somit and Steven A Peterson.
Greenwich, CT: JAI Press Inc., 1998: 43-64.

Sociobiology and Politics

by Howard Bloom

photo by Howard Bloom


In the new evolutionary disciplines there is a debate with major implications for the way in which we view politics, citizenship, emotions, health, ideology, and even the perceptual processes that produce a consensual reality.

In one sense, the scientific argument resembles that between the Lilliputians and the Blefuscudians who, in Gulliver’s Travels, warred over whether a breakfast egg should be opened at the large or at the pointed end. Dominating the field are individual selectionists, those who believe that the emergence of all behavior must be explained by forms of self-interest which embody what author Robert Wright, in his summation of “the credo of the new paradigm,” calls “head to head competition” between individual genes and often between individual animals or humans (Wright, 1985: 188). Group selectionists, on the other hand, are convinced that new evolutionary forms can emerge both from the battle for personal advantage and from the competition between social coalitions.

The formulae upon which individual selectionism rests were enunciated by biologist William Hamilton in the early 1960s. Hamilton’s conclusions were based on an analysis of bees and other Hymenoptera. The view that all behavior is ultimately based on self-interest had strongly taken hold. How, then, could one account for altruism? Hamilton focused on the selfless manner with which female worker bees sacrifice their reproductive rights and chastely serve their queen. His triumph was a mathematical demonstration that the workers were carrying essentially the same genes as the queen. Hence when an individual lived out her life on behalf of her monarch, she only appeared to be ignoring her own needs. The genes she carried were closely related to those in the eggs laid by her mistress. By pampering the colony’s egg-layer, each worker was coddling replicas of her own internal blueprint. Altruism, asserted Hamilton, was self-interest in disguise.

Hamilton’s ideas and those built upon them have contributed mightily to our understanding of evolutionary mechanisms in fields from psychology, medicine, and ecology to the study of animals in the wild.

But roughly twenty-five years after the Hamiltonian epiphany, examination of real world bee colonies demonstrated that Hamilton’s mathematics did not correspond with fact. There was far more genetic variety in clusters of unselfish insects than the equations would allow (Queller et al., 1988; Seeley, 1995: 7). Individuals were not abjuring their interests simply to protect near-clones of their own genomic material. Apparently something else was going on. Nonetheless, concepts based on what became known as the selfish gene (Dawkins, 1976) are now dogma.

Many scientists have been tempted to propose non-Hamiltonian approaches to the activities within and the competition between groups. For decades, these thinkers have been stopped by the quiet threat of exclusion from professional respectability, expulsion from career advancement, and banishment from the possibility of academic tenure.

However it is becoming increasingly obvious to a small group of heretics that a new breed of evolutionary insights can emerge if one accepts the coexistence of both group and individual selection. In other words, indications are that the social and biological sciences may benefit enormously from a truce between the Blefuscudians and the Lilliputians.

In my book The Lucifer Principle: a scientific expedition into the forces of history (Bloom, 1995), I’ve attempted to show the many ways in which we are both selfish competitors and pawns of the social group. For example, The Lucifer Principle presents evidence that individuals are biologically wired as expendable cells in a social “superorganism.” The book goes on to contend that human groups follow the rules of dominance hierarchies uncovered by naturalists but normally applied primarily to individuals. The Lucifer Principle combines naturalists’ observations with those of psychoendocrinologists and others to shed new light on phenomena from the bickering of local cliques to the machinations of nation-states and from the maneuvering of economic competitors to the butchery of armies.

But perhaps the best way to demonstrate how far one can move if one accepts both individual and group selection is to reveal one of the many potential approaches to a post-individual selectionist sociobiology. I propose to outline five elements which turn virtually every form of social group–from a teenage gang to a multi-national culture–into a collective intelligence, a complex adaptive system whose powers of perception and invention both utilize and transcend those of the individuals within it. Next I’ll show how social groups at every level on the evolutionary ladder operate as group brains. Finally, I’ll present examples to suggest how the five principles can throw individual passions, mass mood swings, geopolitics, fashion, fads, and health into surprising new perspective.

A great deal of work has been done since 1980 on complex adaptive systems–biological and electronic learning machines. Most of this scholarship has taken mathematical form. However, it is possible to sum up a complex adaptive system’s quintet of key elements entirely without equations. These elements are (1) conformity enforcers, (2) diversity generators, (3) utility sorters, (4) resource shifters, and (5) intergroup tournaments.

Conformity enforcers impose sufficient similarity on group members to give the social structure coherence, relative permanence, and the ability to carry out large-scale, integrated, multi-participant projects.

In humans, conformity enforcers lead, among other things, to a collective perception, a socially constructed view of reality which influences both childhood brain development and adult sensory processing, and which produces a Weltanschauung displaying many of the characteristics of a shared hallucination.

Diversity generators spawn variety. Each individual represents a hypothesis in the group mind.It is vital for the group’s flexibility that it have numerous fallback positions in the form of individuals sufficiently different to provide approaches which, while they may not be necessary today, could prove vital tomorrow. This can easily be seen in the operation of one of nature’s most superb learning machines, the immune system. The immune system contains different antibody types, each a separate conjecture about the nature of a potential invader (Farmer et al., 1985: 188). However diversity generators take on their most intriguing dimensions among human beings.

•Next come the utility sorters. Utility sorters are systems which sift through individuals, favoring those whose contributions are most likely to be of value. These pitiless evaluators toss those whose presence represents excess baggage and faulty guesswork into biological, psychological, and perceptual limbo. Some utility sorters are external to the individual. But a surprising number are internal. That is, they are involuntary components of a being’s physiology.

•Fourth are the resource shifters. Successful learning machines shunt vast amounts of assets to the individuals who show a sense of control over the current social and external environment. These same learning machines cast individuals whose endowments seem extraneous into a state of relative deprivation. Christ captured the essence of the algorithm when he observed “For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath” (Mark 4:25).

•And bringing up the rear are intergroup tournaments, battles which force each collective entity, each group brain, to continue churning out fresh innovations for the sake of survival. Psychoneuroimmunologists have found that we come complete at birth with a myriad of seemingly self-defeating and maladaptive physiological reactions. It is currently fashionable to suppose that self-destructive built-ins are misplaced leftovers from our hunter-gatherer days. But there is an enormous amount of evidence that each of these biological handicaps gives the group intellect a competitive edge. In fact, there is good reason to believe that autonomic shut-down devices help produce an even more positive byproduct: the constant enrichment of the environment, the complexification of the planetary biomass.

To understand how these five principles affect you and me, it may be helpful to examine the workings of a group brain in an organism normally thought to have no intelligence at all: the bacterium.

Simulation of a colony of P. dendritiformis bacteria,
Eshel Ben-Jaob’s Bacterial Cybernetics Group

In the late 1980s, University of Tel Aviv physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob and the University of Chicago’s James Shapiro were perplexed. Bacteria, which we are popularly regarded as loners, are extraordinarily social, clustering in highly structured colonies. Traditional neo-Darwinism says that bacteria stumble from one innovation to another by random mutation. But a growing body of evidence has accumulated to indicate that bacterial mutations are not completely random (Kiely, 1990; Weiss, 1990; Lipkin, 1995a; Lipkin, 1995b). Seemingly every month fresh studies suggest that these mutations may, in fact, be genetic alterations “custom-tailored” to overcome the emergencies of the moment.

Ben-Jacob detoured from normal physics and spent five years studying bacillus subtilis. Meanwhile Shapiro focused on such organisms as E. coli and salmonella. Unlike the traditional biologists who had preceded them, both Shapiro and Ben-Jacob applied an unconventional tool to their data: the insights they had absorbed from the mathematics of materials science. Gradually their work indicated that, rather than being a mere carrier of construction plans, the package of genes carried by each individual subtilis functions as a computer. What’s more, the genetic bundle seemed to accomplish something even computers cannot achieve. Says Ben-Jacob, “the genome makes calculations and changes itself according to the outcome.” Unlike a silicon chip, the genome adapts to unaccustomed problems by remodeling itself (Eshel Ben-Jacob, personal communication, 1996; Ben-Jacob, 1993; Ben-Jacob, 1997; Ben Jacob, 1998; Ben-Jacob and Dworkin, 1997; Shapiro, 1991).1

Reaching this conclusion left a puzzle. Gödel’s theorem implies that one computer cannot design another computer with more sophisticated computational powers than its own. So how does the individual bacterium’s central processing unit confront large-scale catastrophe, natural disaster so overwhelming that it dwarfs the bacteria’s solo computational abilities? The answer, Ben-Jacob hypothesized, lay in networking–in knitting the colony’s multitude of genomic personal computers into something beyond even the massively parallel distributed processor known as a supercomputer. A supercomputer is only faster than its less sophisticated cousins, but does not transcend many of the smaller machines’ most basic limitations. However the “creative net” of the bacillus, unlike a machine, can recast its form to face an unfamiliar challenge.

Ben-Jacob has now analyzed thousands of colonies of bacillus subtilis to find out if his creative network hypothesis is true, and if so what makes the collective information-processor work. His conclusion: bacilli are in constant contact, communicating through a wide variety of means, measuring their environment’s limitations and opportunities, and feeding their data to each other, then finally summing the product through collaborative decision. In short, bacilli engage in many of the basic activities we associate with human beings.

Here’s how Ben-Jacob’s work appears when filtered through the lens of a social learning machine’s five principles:

1) Bacillus subtilis colonies utilize the most basic conformity enforcer–the genome, which restricts the range of forms and of operating methods among the colony’s individuals. The resulting semi-uniformity makes it possible for each and every member of the community to “understand” a common collection of “languages.”

2) Bacillus subtilis colonies employ a variety of diversity generators. Says Ben-Jacob, bacterial clones (genetically identical offspring of the same mother) can assume intriguingly different variations. Which each dons depends on the chemical signals it picks up from the herd around it. These cues activate or deactivate individual genes, redrawing a bacterium’s design and replacing its old operations manual (Ben-Jacob, personal communication, 1996). In the best of times, when food is plentiful, the colony clumps together for the feast. Divergent appetites and digestive abilities are vital to a gorging group’s survival. The bacteria which concentrate on mining the new food source produce a poisonous by-product–bacterial excreta, the equivalent of feces and urine. Other bacteria adopt an entirely different metabolic mode. To them the excrement is caviar. By snacking heartily on toxic waste, they prevent the colony from killing itself (Ben-Jacob, personal communication, 1996).

More diversity generators kick in when the colony’s banquet runs out. As famine approaches, individuals send out a chemotactic signal of repulsion, a signal that says “spread out, flee, explore.” This prods roughly 10,000 groups of cells to act as scouting parties, setting forth in a trek which looks to the human eye like a spreading circle of fractal lace. Meanwhile other cellular cohorts apparently set up posts in the wake of the outward advance and channel the findings of the explorers toward the center.

3) At this stage the teams of pioneers (technically called “random walkers”) utilize the third principle of a complex adaptive system: the colony’s utility sorters. Those exploration parties which find slim pickings have an internal device, the bacterial equivalent of what British theorist Michael Waller, writing about human beings, has called a “comparator mechanism” (Waller, 1995). This gauge determines that the outriders have chanced across parched and dangerous territory. Their mission, in short, has failed. The unfortunates send out an altruistic repellent which makes others in the group avoid them, leaving them to starve in isolation.

Conversely, discoverers which encounter a cornucopia of edibles have their comparator mechanisms tweaked in the opposite direction. They disperse an attractant which makes them the star of the party.

4) Now the fourth principle of the complex adaptive system enters the petri dish: the resource shifters. Those stranded in the desert are deprived of nutrients, which their location cannot provide, of companionship, and, most important from the point of view of the group brain, of what might best be termed popularity. Meanwhile, those who find an overflowing buffet eat their fill and command the attention and protection of a gathering crowd. They are transformed into leaders, guiding the group mind. “For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath” (Mark 4:25).

Should things prove truly grim, however, and even the most strenuous searchers confirm that food is nowhere within reach, another diversity generator, the most startling of them all, may rouse to meet the challenge. It is a mechanism which James Shapiro calls the “genetic engineer.” Explains Ben-Jacob, “the cell carries a complete set of tools for genetic self-reconstruction: plasmids, phages, transposons, and too many others to mention,… the same tools, in fact, used in the lab today for genetic engineering.” A microscopic research and development squadron goes to work recrafting its own genetic string.

Which raises a question: does the genomic skunk works merely trot out pre-fabricated parts which have worked in the past? Or is it capable of true innovation?

Explains Ben-Jacob, “We’ve tried exposing bacterial colonies to conditions so novel that the creatures could never have encountered them before. Tough conditions, conditions of life and death. We wanted to know how inventive the colonies could be in reworking their genetic code. For example, we took bacteria that can’t move on agar but are able to roam freely in liquid. We put them on the wilderness of their worst nightmares, agar, and deprived them of food. The need to branch out in search of grazing land was a true creative challenge.” By forming a modular network beyond the supercomputer, by assembling a group mind, the massed genetic engineering teams were able to solve the problem.

Thanks to the synergy of the conformity enforcer, the diversity generator, the utility sorter, and the resource shifter, the colony was capable of something numerous humans never achieve–creativity.

5) In a natural environment, the fifth of a complex adaptive system’s principles would presumably come into play: the intergroup tournament. Alas, Ben-Jacob has studied each colony isolated in its own petri dish, sealed off by glass walls from competing groups. But as the resources which feed the bacillus subtilis run out, imagine what might happen if a spore of another bacterial species were to drop in, a species which found the inedible plateau on which the subtilis was stranded to be more nourishing than roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The race would be on. While the bacillus subtilis reworked its genome in an effort to gain sustenance from the now (to it) barren waste, the newcomer would rush to reproduce, taking advantage of the fact that subtilis‘ inedible slabs are its entrée du jour.

As the two groups struggled to take over the petri dish, would a new innovation emerge from the contest, an innovation of the sort which enriches the fate of a species for eons? One which transforms ever more of this once entirely barren planet into food for life?

Ample evidence indicates that complex adaptive systems, with their enormous competitive advantages, have progressed from kin‑groups through to mega-societies with little or no regard for the interests of solitary selfish genes. This is particularly apparent in large-scale human societies, societies seemingly ruled by the same five principles which structure colonies of bacillus subtilis:

CONFORMITY ENFORCERS. Humans are biologically programmed to “fit in”. For example, an infant’s brain is shaped by the culture into which it is born. Six-month olds can either distinguish or produce every sound in virtually every human language. But within a mere four months, this capacity has decreased by roughly two thirds (Werker, 1989; Werker and Desjardins, 1995; Werker and Pegg, in press). This slashing of ability, like other cultural blinkers of perceptions (Eisenberg, 1995; Segall, et al. 1996; Shi-xu, 1995, Lucy, 1992; Berridge and Robinson, 1995; Lancaster, 1968; Emde, 1984; Belsky et al. 1996; Bower, 1995; Caporael, 1995; Nisbett and Ross, 1980; Shweder and D’Andrade, 1980), is accompanied by extensive alterations in the cerebral tissue. During human development, brain cells are measured against the requirements of the physical and socio‑cultural environment. The 50% of neurons found useful thrive. The 50% which remain unexercised literally cease to be (Gould, 1994; Young et al. 1994; Nadis, 1993; Levine, 1988; Elbert et al. 1995; Barinaga, 1994; Pascual-Leone and Torres, 1993; Holden, 1995; Korein, 1988.). The cerebral floor plan underlying the mind is redrawn to conform to a larger social pattern.

Experiments by memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus (Loftus, 1980), psychologist Solomon Asch (Asch, 1956), and numerous others have demonstrated that even among adults there is a propensity to form a shared perception of the world, a view so distinctive that it can give outsiders the impression of a mass delusion. Pressures to conform arise from the urge to belong, the fear of social ostracism, and the appeal of role models. Nearly forty years ago sociologist Erving Goffman (Goffman, 1959) demonstrated that even much of what we think of as our most willful behavior is guided by scripts drafted for us by the social organism of which we are a part.

DIVERSITY GENERATORS. All cultures impose conformity. Yet all benefit from the contribution of their marginal personalities–those who do not fit the mold. Numerous tribal groups turn their cross-dressers and their insane into shamans or seers and use the quirks of their vision as a guide in times of uncertainty. Large-scale societies benefit even further from singular individuals and unorthodox subcultures. Between 361 and 206 BC, the Chinese empire gained its unity, its bureaucratic structure and its standardized writing system from the most eccentric section of the future country, Ch’in, a territory constantly nourished by the input of traders shuttling between one culture and another. The religious non-conformists of 17th and 18th century England were excluded from the country’s official schools. Formulating their own educational substitute, they abandoned the traditional Latin trivium and quadrivium in favor of the newly emerging sciences. Forbidden to participate in traditional high-status occupations, they turned their attention to such déclassé new enterprises as canal building and the mining of coal. The result: the non-conformists saved Britain from possible stagnation and helped usher in the Industrial Revolution.

Productive deviants frequently benefit from “field independence” and a strong “internal locus of control” (Lefcourt, 1982). All too often, one era’s despised tinkerer–an isolate like Gregor Mendel–will lay the groundwork for a later generation’s innovative whiz kids.

Additional diversity generators include impulses toward self-assertion, individuation, and youthful rebellion, not to mention Sigmund Freud’s “narcissism of minor differences”(Freud, 1989; Scherer and Ekman, 1984; Boorstin, 1953; Birenbaum and Lesieur, 1982; Stevens and Price, 1996), Eric Erikson’s “pseudospeciation,” and the closely related ecological phenomenon of “character displacement” (Grant, 1994; Schluter, 1994). In all of these, fundamentally similar individuals seize on petty discrepancies and magnify them until they become insurmountable barriers (Stevens and Price, 1996). Even in tribal societies, the resulting differences of opinion easily overleap genetic barriers, turning brother against brother (Johnson and Johnson, 1995; de Waal, 1989: 247f.). In the last two and a half millennia, these forces have often gone one step further and created camaraderie among those of wildly varying chromosomal background.

Human diversity generators are shifted into high gear by precisely the type of signals which trigger diversity generation among bacteria‑‑signs that the environment is overcrowded, under‑resourced, or lacking in other critical requirements for survival. A large body of studies demonstrates how stressors ranging from a rapid rise in taxes to a dramatic increase or drop in temperature and even an intolerable noise level can break down group cohesion, increase conflict, and encourage restlessness. The result is often a group split which provokes dissenters to search for a new environment, a new world view, and/or a new modus operandi (Griffitt, 1970; Griffitt and Veitch 1971; Weber et al. 1988: 129, 341; Horney et al. 1995; Roberts, 1983: 558-562; Ferguson and Rogers 1981: 141; Dollard et al. 1957: 44; Braudel, 1981: 144f; Weber, 1968: xxiii; Russ et al. 1979). These mechanisms and their effects eerily parallel the chemotactic repulsers which drive stressed bacteria apart, turning human migrants, malcontents, and rebels into feelers who scour the technical, social, and geographic landscape in search of a new way forward for the wider group.

UTILITY SORTERS. The evidence, at this point, is not looking good for the selfish gene and its promoter, the individual selectionist. Among bacteria, a built-in comparator mechanism requires each forager to let the world know whether it has succeeded or failed. If its quest has been productive, physiology drives the bacillus to broadcast the message “follow me.” If its expedition has failed, it has no choice but to signal “leave me to my fate.” Voluminous evidence indicates that comparator mechanisms are virtually standard equipment in all social animals, from the microbial level (Ameisen, 1996) to that of crustaceans (Lange, 1996; Barinaga, 1996; Kravitz, 1988; Adler, 1996), birds,2 and mammals. At each evolutionary level these internal and external sensors of adaptation become more varied and complex. Are humans slaves to similarly implacable biological impulses?

Through a variety of means, among them a sense of control (Lefcourt, 1982: 3-18; Miller et al. 1977; Shors et al. 1989; Shavit, 1983; Davis et al. 1980; Buchsbaum et al. 1982; Sagan, 1988; Davis et al. 1979) over circumstance and the intake of social feedback (Bloom 1995: 60-70, 140-145; Kemper, 1990: 7, 54, 197; Freedman, 1979: 100f; Kroeber, 1952: 43-47; Holmes, 1979), comparator mechanisms indicate to you and me our utility to the social group. A sense of being unneeded leads to a collapse of our self‑esteem (Brown et al. 1986; Price, 1988; Barkow, 1989; Festinger, 1944; Aronson and Linder, 1965; Goleman, 1988; Bloom, 1995: 47-72, 140-145; Maslow, 1973; I.H. Jones et al. 1995) and a range of physiological changes which, in the natural world, would sharply increase the odds of death. Our immune system is impaired (Bower, 1986; Ader, 1983; Sapolsky, 1990; Sapolsky, 1988; Davidson, 1992; Bower, 1988); our perceptions are dulled (Miller et al. 1977; Gazzaniga, 1992: 191-193); our sexual drive diminishes (Sapolsky, 1987; Miller et al. 1977); in males, sperm count and motility both fall; our appetite shrinks or is lost (Gallagher, 1992: 12-15; Lefcourt, 1982: 10; Thomas and DeWald, 1977: 229; Seligman, 1990: 69); our social magnetism evaporates (Gilbert et al. 1994: 149-165; Bloom, 1995: 140-145); and we tend to experience a profound sense of lethargy, negativity, and hopelessness (Dabbs and Leventhal, 1966; Gilbert and Allan, 1994).

A multitude of psychophysiological and psychoneuroimmunological deactivators contribute to these effects, among them “learned helplessness” and the chronic secretion of glucocorticoids and endogenous opiates. A persistent bath of glucocorticoids, for example, literally kills tissue in the hippocampus–a part of the brain vital to memory.

Comparator mechanisms in those who feel un-needed go a step further. They produce a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle signals which drive others away, thus marginalizing the victim as thoroughly as the bacteria whose quest has failed (De Vries et al. 1994: 108; Bloom, 1995: 47-49, 55-56, 60-66, 110-115, 325).

By contrast, those of us who’ve continuously had a handle on our fate:

  • are blessed with chemical tonics like androgens and serotonin, which boost health, sexual appetite, and energy (Sapolsky, 1988);
  • experience heightened acuity and independence of perception (Triandis 1993, Hollander 1958, Kandel and Hawkins 1992, Herskovits 1965: 39, Ezzell 1992);
  • become socially captivating (Thibaut and Riecken, 1995; Freedman, 1979: 68; Hurwitz et al. 1953; Torrance 1954); and
  • send out variants of the successful bacterium’s chemotactic “gather round and follow my ways,” using such devices as postural cues, verbal subtleties (Erikson et al. 1978), body languages (Henley, 1977; Thayer, 1989: 22; Hurwitz et al. 1953; Strodtbeck, 1957; Freedman, 1979: 96; K.R.L. Hall, 1967: 270; McGinley et al. 1975; Mehrabian 1981), and status symbols (Sahlins, 1986; Veblen, 1934; Johnson and Earle, 1987: 219; Galbraith, 1976; Fraser, 1989: 50; Braudel, 1981: 333).

In other words, the folks with the firmest grasp on the challenges facing their group become its opinion-makers. They are given the privilege of steering the collective mind. The bumblers and wrong-guessers either submit to the leadership of others, or, if the community undergoes a severe lack of resources, succumb to disease or suicide.

This concept and the empirical data from which it is derived run directly counter to the tenets of individual selectionism and current neo-Darwinism. In many instances, the victims of self‑perceived failure damage or eliminate, not only their own evolutionary interests, but also those of their kin. For example, a business failure can result either in suicide or other patterns of behavior equally damaging to both spouse and offspring. The case of the hospitalized is even more illustrative. Studies show that depressed patients become withdrawn (Zuckerman, 1995), cranky, inarticulate, lacking in wit, and deprived of verbal flexibility (E.E. Jones and Berglas, 1978; Paloutzian and Ellison, 1982; W.H. Jones et al. 1981). Even their facial gestures and body language drive others away (Altman and Vinsel, 1977; Raven, 1983: 253, 685; Argyle, 1989: 60; Kalin, 1993; Clore and Byrne, 1974; Gotlib, 1992; Myers and Diener, 1995; Emmons, 1986; Myers, 1993; Veenhoven, 1988; Seligman, 1990: 187-198; Bull, 1986: 121; Mehrabian and Williams, 1969; Kiritz 1971). The depressed also suffer from a severe reduction of immune function. They become sitting ducks for illness. In a hospital setting, studies show that depressed patients’ avoidance cues are nearly suicidal. Those in the throes of depression receive far less care than others with a more cheerful demeanor (H. Hall, 1989; Lerner, 1980; Tavris, 1982: 233f).

What causes depression in humans and other vertebrates? Two factors…an isolation which signals that one is socially dispensable (Raven and Rubin, 1983: 56f; Stolzenberg et al. 1995: 85; Lynch, 1979; Lynch and McCarthy, 1967; Lynch and McCarthy, 1969; House et al. 1988; Pelletier, 1983; Sarason and Pierce, 1988; Cohen et al. 1992: 301; Durkheim, 1951: 217, 241; Martin, 1968; Phillips, 1979; Phillips and Lu, 1980); and the loss of control which indicates that one is not capable of coping–that the hypothesis represented by one’s “personality” is inappropriate to current circumstance. The result: depressive humans suffer the utility sorter’s most extreme negative effects and are those most likely to die. (Depressive monkeys, rats, grouse, and numerous other creatures are subject to a similar fate.)

RESOURCE SHIFTERS take over where the utility sorters leave off. Those who demonstrate the ability to generate or accumulate resources are given even more. It may be yams and pigs among Polynesians, copper and blankets among the Kwakiutl (Benedict, 1934: 178; Johnson and Earle: 1987: 168f; Harris, 1978: 94-98; Harris 1977: 104-108; Sahlins 1986: 308), cattle amongst the Masai and the Xhosa (Mostert, 1992), and cash, Lamborghinis, and yachts in the West. But most humans are inordinately drawn to the material indications of success.

Resources are shifted in great quantities to those like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Wal-Mart’s Sam Walton, who become the apotheosis of business success. People shower them with luxurious gifts. Hotels attempt to lure them with free rooms and restaurants with free meals. Men and women of exceptional talent take pride in becoming members of their team. And, most important, like the pay‑dirt‑striking bacteria who find themselves the center of a crowd, successful humans become hubs of influence (Johnson and Earle, 1987: 52; White, 1993; Freedman, 1979: 36; Bernays, 1928), commanders of what primatologists call the social “attention structure” (Chance, 1967; Tiger and Fox, 1971: 39f; Washburn and Hamburg 1968: 471; Fossey, 1983: 64; Altmann, 1967: 349). In short, their attitudes, thoughts, and styles set the trend for the group.


photograph by Howard Bloom

Success produces the equivalent of the bacterium’s chemotactic attractant; failure generates the counterpart of a chemotactic repellant (Lipkin, 1995; Zullow and Seligman, 1990; Seligman, 1990: 187-198). As the old song says, “Nobody loves you when you’re down and out.”

THE INTERGROUP TOURNAMENT. Everything from the subtle warfare between colonies of sea anemones to the territorial machinations of wolf packs and the outright pillage inflicted by armies of ants indicates the universality of intergroup strife. The forms of competition and bloodshed between troops of monkeys or apes are nearly innumerable. And then we have those primates who have left us eloquent histories, elaborate tapestries, equestrian statues, oil-on-canvas masterpieces, and heroic friezes testifying to their battles. “It is well that war is so terrible…”, said one member of this species, “or we should grow too fond of it.” The name of that Homo sapien was Robert E. Lee.

Beating the opposition is central even in peaceful commercial enterprise. Two decades ago the supercomputer company led by Seymour Cray seemed invincible. But Cray’s last enterprise was shattered well before his death, the victim of a new technology, the microprocessor. This superchip made possible a silicon version of what bacilli long ago evolved–the massively parallel computer (Verity, 1995). As Cray Computer Corporation fell, Bill Gates’ Microsoft rose. Cray had been admirably adapted to the environment of the mainframe. But Gates was a creature of a new ecology–that of the microprocessor-powered personal computer.

These are small‑scale battles compared to those which constantly unleash their brutalities across the face of this planet. Zoology, ecology, history, and current affairs abound with examples of competing group brains using their individual members as modules, sensors, parallel‑distributed information processors, pawns, and experimental test components in relentless battles for supremacy. The largest of them, we call nation states. These collective intelligences have frequently reengineered their organizational blueprints as thoroughly as the bacterial colony retooling its genome.

Individual selectionists have two major fallback positions to account for the otherwise difficult to explain–kin‑selection (the surrender of self to benefit those who carry genes like your own) and reciprocal altruism (the swapping of generous deeds). But a plethora of studies indicates that among humans, the victims of elimination are the group members with the fewest family ties or close friends (House et al. 1988; Severino, 1983; Pelletier, 1983; Jarvinen, 1955; Arnetz et al. 1983; Cohen and Syme, 1985; Broadhead et al. 1983; Berkman, 1984; Bloom, 1995: 60-65; Konner, 1990: 27f; Catanzaro 1995: 393.).The self-sacrificers’ pre-programmed renunciation does not add a scrap of benefit to genes identical to their own, nor does it store up favors for the future. This makes accounting for the survival of utility sorters ,and resource shifters in terms of individual selectionism exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

Group selectionism can provide a richly productive alternative explanation. Individuals within a social unit are ranked on the basis of perceived relevance to a larger community. They either move to the sidelines or to the center depending on the verdict rendered by their psychophysiology and by their social or environmental milieu. Thus they become components of a communal intelligence. Put yet another way, conformity enforcers, diversity generators, utility sorters and resource shifters aid in the construction of competitive machines far more powerful than mere individual organisms. When matched against genes whose disguised selfishness restricts them to family support and reciprocal exchanges, genes free to participate in the computational and inventive power of a group brain will roll over their rivals like a tank flattening a Volkswagen.


Eshel Ben-Jacob has been forced to infer from his data on bacillus subtilis that we may be viewing “a new picture of cooperative evolution” (Corning, 1983; Corning, 1996; Smillie, 1993; Smillie, 1995), one entirely “orthogonal” to standard neo‑Darwinism (Ben-Jacob, 1998; Ben-Jacob, Cohen, and Czirók. In press.). What does “orthogonal” mean? In Edwin A. Abbott’s classic book, Flatland, creatures operating on only the two-dimensional axes of depth and width felt their world was infinite (Abbott, 1953). Yet there was an even larger infinity above them–if only they had been able to look up.

When using the light of both group and individual selection, the new evolutionary sciences are able to lift their eyes and see our kinship with three-and-a-half billion years of precursors, thus vastly expanding their range of explorable evidence and explanatory mechanisms. The world of the petri dish sheds light on the conference halls of the Hague. The mathematics of materials science and of such non-linear newcomers as fractals and chaos theory, the insights of cell biology and endocrinology, and the mysteries of psychology find a new place in the puzzle. If the evolutionary dogmatists of Lilliput and Blefuscu will simply recognize the equal importance of each end of the egg, they may finally make it possible for science to reveal something far more fascinating–the workings of an egg’s interior. The inner workings of you and me.


photograph by Howard Bloom



1) See unpublished papers by Ben-Jacob and Shapiro listed in bibliography.

2) Amotz Zahavi first proposed that assemblages of birds act as “information-centers” in Ward and Zahavi. 1973. Since then, avian experts like P. de Groot (de Groot 1980) and John and Colleen Marzluff with their sometime collaborator Bernd Heinrich have done much to probe the operation of bird roosts as collective brains, group intelligences (Marzluff et al. 1995).

3) Credit for pointing out that isolation and lack of control are the two factors which consistently produce laboratory models of depression in experimental animals goes to Pulitzer-Prize-winning science journalist Jon Franklin in his Molecules of the Mind: The Brave New Science of Molecular Psychology, New York: Atheneum, 1987.

for more on social groups as learning machines order

Abbott, Edwin A. 1953. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, with Illus. by the author, A Square. New York: Dover Publications.

Ader, Robert. 1983. “Behavioral Conditioning and the Immune System.” in Emotions in Health And Illness: Theoretical and Research Foundations, edited by Lydia Temoshok, Craig Van Dyke, and Leonard S. Zegans. New York: Grune & Stratton, 137-151.

Adler, T. 1996. “A shrimpy find: Communal crustaceans.” Science News, June 8.

Altman, I., and A.M. Vinsel. 1977. “Personal Space: An Analysis of E. T. Hall’s Proxemics Framework.” In Human Behavior and the Environment: Advances in Theory and Research, Vol. 2, edited by Irwin Altman and Joachim F. Wohlwill. New York: Plenum.

Altmann, Stuart A. 1967. “The Structure of Primate Social Communication.” In Social Communication Among Primates, edited by Stuart A. Altmann. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Ameisen, Jean Claude. 1996. “The Origin of Programmed Cell Death.” Science, May 31.

Argyle, Michael. 1989. “Innate and Cultural Aspects of Human Non-verbal Communication.” In Mindwaves: Thoughts on Intelligence, Identity and Consciousness, edited by Colin Blakemore and Susan Greenfield. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Arnetz, B.B., T. Theorell, L. Levi, A. Kallner, and P. Eneroth. 1983. “An Experimental Study of Social Isolation of Elderly People.” Psychosomatic Medicine 45: 395-406.

Aronson, Eliot, and Darwyn Linder. 1965. “Gain and Loss of Esteem as Determinants of Interpersonal Attractiveness.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 1: 156-171.

Asch, Solomon E. 1956. “Studies of Independence and Conformity: I. A Minority of One against a Unanimous Majority.” Psychological Monographs 70(9) (Whole No. 416).

Barinaga, Marcia. 1994. “Watching the Brain Remake Itself.” Science, December 2.

Barinaga, Marcia. 1996. “Neurobiology: Social Status Sculpts Activity of Crayfish Neurons.” Science, January 19.

Barkow, J.H. 1989. Darwin, Sex and Status. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Baron, R.A., and V.M. Ransberger. 1978. “Ambient Temperature and the Occurrence of Collective Violence: The ‘Long, Hot Summer’ Revisited.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 36: 351-360.

Belsky, Jay, Becky Spritz, and Keith Crnic. 1996. “Infant Attachment Security and Affective-Cognitive Information Processing at Age 3.” Psychological Science, March: 111-114.

Ben-Jacob, E. 1993. “From Snowflake Formation to the Growth of Bacterial Colonies. Part I. Diffusive Patterning in Azoic Systems.” Contemporary Physics 34: 247.

Ben-Jacob, E. 1997. “From Snowflake Formation to the Growth of Bacterial Colonies II: Cooperative formation of complex colonial patterns.” Contemporary Physics, 38(3): 205-241.

Ben-Jacob, E. 1998. “Bacterial wisdom, Godel’s theorem and creative genomic webs.” Physica A, 248: 57-76.

Ben-Jacob, E. In preparation. “Cooperative Evolution and Genome Cybernetics.”

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Reinventing Capitalism: Putting Soul into the Machine Wed, 24 Oct 2012 06:01:58 +0000

The Holy War of militant Islam against the West and the current crisis of confidence in the American economy have hit the citizens of the Western World with a challenge of an unprecedented kind. They have given you and me–readers, culture-makers, publishers, editors, journalists, pundits, and thinkers–what may be our greatest opportunity and our greatest responsibility since the Depression and the Nazis threatened to topple the Western Way of Life in 1933.

There’s a void in our sense of meaning. We have come to regard “the Western System” as one in which the rich stoke artificial needs to suck money, blood, and spirit from the rest of us. We’ve been told that the barons of industry work overtime to turn us from sensitive humans into consumers—mindless buyers listlessly watching TV while growing obese on the hydrogenated fats, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and the cheap sugars of junk food. And some of that is true.

Anti-capitalism poster by the early Marxist/Leninist artist Victor Deni, 1919. The vocabulary of Marx subtly dominates the way we see The Western System. This Marxist legacy unwittingly encourages a capitalist error–greed


But the problem does not lie in the pistons of the Western Way of Life—it does not lie in industrialism, capitalism, modernism, pluralism, free speech, unfettered information exchange, and democracy. The problem lies in us—in you and me. It also lies in our bosses, in our corporate CEOs, in our intellectual elite, in our super-rich, and in our political leaders. We fail to see what’s under our nose—a set of moral imperatives and of heroic demands that are implicit in The Western Way of Being. We fail to see our magic, our gifts, and our utopian capacities.

The engines of the Western System lie in the emotional core of you and me.


We are saviors who must wake up to our powers. We have to grab the rush of satisfaction that comes from liberating other human beings. We have to see the line of Holy Grails that we’re achieving. And we have to see the spires and the cliffs between idealism and greed.

Self-revelation can make leaders liberators of their fellow human beings.


Howard Bloom’s Reinventing Capitalism: Putting Soul In The Machine shares something in common with his two previous critically-acclaimed books, The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century. Reinventing Capitalism is what author Leon Uris called, “An act of astonishing intellectual courage.” It is what leading business author Dr. Alexander Elder called, “A brilliant, thrilling book on the human condition.” It is what Gear Magazine Publisher Bob Guccione, Jr called, “an epoch-making and culture-defining treatise.” It is what self-help author Kevin Hogan called, “The Bible…a monumental work…that has instant application in the world.” And it’s what reviewer Michael B. Leach called “nothing less than a reinterpretation of the history of civilization.” Reinventing Capitalism offers a perceptual lens with which to view our culture and our values in new ways.

Howard Bloom’s The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from The Big Bang to the 21st Century.


Business, commerce, and exchange, Bloom says, are at the heart of Western Civilization. We spend more time at work than at any other activity. Capitalism is what we do each day. But capitalism is not at all what we think.

Bloom’s Soul In The Machine: Reinventing Capitalism reveals a deeper meaning beneath what we’ve been told is crass materialism. It shows how profoundly our obsessive making and exchanging of goods and services has upgraded the nature of our species, has given it new powers, has endowed it with the equivalent of new arms, legs, ears, eyes, and brains. Reinventing Capitalism reveals the ethics, the morality, and the ideals implicit in what we think of as demeaning—in our labors and in our ways of selling them. It shows why what we have is worth living and dying for and why what we do will continue to ennoble the human race. Reinventing Capitalism explains why The Western System nurtures visions far more sublime than those of its enemies, whether those enemies are the global forces of militant Islam, the cynics who use capitalism to cheat, the postmodern anti-Globalist anti-Capitalists, the local Maoist guerrillas of Nepal, the Che-Guevarist guerrillas of Colombia, or the Neo-Indigenous-Culture Revolutionaries of Zapatista Mexico.

Reinventing Capitalism reveals an implicit code by which we live—a code that demands that we uplift each other. Though we don’t know it, capitalism condemns those who use it criminally. Capitalism punishes its thieves and charlatans—those like the wheeler-dealers of Enron who stuffed their pockets but failed to make the contribution they were paid to make.

Capitalism calls for heroism…a fact we must learn to perceive.


Reinventing Capitalism tells the story of the rise of civilization in a way you’ve never imagined before. It stresses new concepts:

  • Stored vision
  • microempowerment
  • Tuned empathy
  • mass moodswings
  • Messianic Capitalism
  • Prophetic Leadership
  • Emotional exchange
  • The hells and heavens created by our neurobiology seven times a day
  • Secular salvation
  • The hungers in the fissures of our brain
  • Management by walking outside
  • Creative capitalism vs. criminal capitalism
  • And visioneering.

Reinventing Capitalism shows the vigor in what we’ve seen as dull. It glistens with new ways to perceive the power hiding in the everyday.

“Anything you conceive and believe you can achieve.” This quote from singer/preacher Al Green expresses a basic Western imperative.


Who is this book at aimed? It is aimed at you and me.

It is a how-to and a manifesto for readers, for rebels, for thinkers, for office workers, and for CEOs…for executives, for managers, for investors, for dreamers, and for everyone who works or contributes to the lives of others—or who wishes
that she offered something of value, something worth the price of daily life. It says that what you’re doing matters. And it tells you how and why. More important, it shows you how to make your labor matter more.

Reinventing Capitalism is designed to generate spinoffs that will continue to sell the book long into the future. It is designed to provide the core message for CEO-coaching sessions, for business seminars, and for motivational seminars directed at individuals.
Six experienced CEO coaches and seminar leaders are lined up to participate in the creation of these Reinventing Capitalism businesses:

Michael Clauss, CEO of a joint venture for business consulting through Howard Bloom

and The Clauss Group

Barbara Annis, Founder and President of Barbara Annis & Associates, Inc.


Randy Revell, Founder and President of Context Associated.


Jeffrey Gitomer—President of BuyGitomer, Inc.


Lynn Johnson—President of Solutions Consulting Group, Inc.


Ahmed Yehia, Chairman and CEO, and Laurie Yehia, President Quantum Leadership Solutions, LLC


Neil McEvoy — Founder and CEO, Genesis Forum
(and Web Services Strategy)



James Santagata, Founder and CEO, Tribal Noise!



Reinventing Capitalism lets you in on a secret Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and today’s mainstream economists, eco-critics, and business pundits never dreamed—forget greed and dedicate yourself to your own passions, to your ideals, and to others’ needs and you’ll unleash the power hidden in our civilization, a power that can make you a shaper of meaning, a maker of warmth, a creator of new wonders and abilities, and can offer you a new way to succeed.

A Sample of

Soul In the Machine
Reinventing Capitalism

Howard Bloom

The Western World is in a new war, a war for its heart, a war for its head, a war for its values, a war for its identity, and a war for its very right to be. This is not a war of bombs, munitions and military might. It is a War of Faith & Culture. A slew of separate Fundamentalist Islamic movements have come together with a common aim—to displace the U.S., Western Civilization, and Global Capitalism. These are the modern Jihadists, the makers of Holy War, Jihad. The warriors of Jihad are winning hearts and minds. They’re setting fire to the passions of adolescents and of young adults thirsting for something to believe in, for something to live and die for, for purity, faith, and ideals. Meanwhile we are in danger of defeating ourselves. We don’t know who we are and what we stand for. We fail to have a vision of our future possibilities.

This Holy War of competing faiths and cultures is not one we can fight with the old-time American strategy of walling ourselves off behind the Atlantic and Pacific Seas. The Jihadists are using our own infrastructure against us-bombing us with our passenger jets and our Rider Rent-a-Trucks, using our Constitutional freedoms to infiltrate our prisons, our slums, our middle-class districts, our universities, and our very minds. We’re facing the prospect of random terrorist body blows at the very time when the fundamental tenets of American-led Global Capitalism are experiencing a crisis of faith. Key corporations from Enron and WorldCom to Arthur Andersen are falling for a reason few perceive. America is being undone by those best able to save it, betrayed by the lack of something vital in its leadership elite.

Cultures live and die by where they choose to live their emotional lives. Dying cultures dream of the glories of the past and yearn to travel backwards, reclaiming the safety of a mythical golden age. Living cultures look forward to building futures better than any past they’ve ever seen. Our first choice after 9/11 and the corporate crash of the early 21st Century was to look backward. We feared the next bit of bad news and asked the wrong questions-who’s accountable, who’s to blame, who can we pin our woes on, and who can we cast out and shame.

A new frontier that we’ve abandoned but to which we must return. Chesley Bonestell painted a future he longed for in 1944, 25 years before the first man walked on the moon.
He was paid to share his visions by the Western System, specifically by Life Magazine, which ran this illustration in its May 29, 1944 issue.
(Image above is Copyright (c) Bonestell Space Art)


We should have asked what lessons can we learn, what can we invent, what can we upgrade and create? What new twists of culture, of technology, of insight and technique will help us leapfrog over our assailants and carry us forward toward new ways of being? How can we take the values of our Founding Fathers to even higher peaks? How can we loft the best that’s in us into the next two centuries?

The answer lies in giving capitalism a heart and a soul. More specifically it lies in giving all of us something only saints have previously been required to possess—something Bloom calls “tuned empathy.”

Discover the desires you’ve never dared express. Then make their achievement possible—for others and for yourself.


There’s a new form of capitalism struggling to be born among us. In reality it’s been here all along, but we’ve failed to see it. It’s Emotional Capitalism, a capitalism vibrant with the power of something that has to seize the heart of every boardroom meeting—the power to care, the power to feel the emotions of the people you serve, and the power to feel your own emotions in new ways.

The true businessman is a seer and servant. He is not trafficking in inanimate goods sold to anonymous “consumers.” He nourishes human souls. When he helps those souls catch fire, money flows. Those who look deep into their passions can anticipate the needs of others. A bone-deep love for others’ needs is the secret to personal growth, to profits, and to prosperity.

The capitalism of passion demands that we tap a power only saints have been asked to achieve. Bloom calls it “tuned empathy.”


If given a choice between earthly goods and emotional nourishment, humans will tighten their belts and go for emotional meat. Capitalism offers more things to believe in than any system that has ever come before. Capitalism lifts the poor and the oppressed and helps them live their dreams.
  • In the mid 1700s, cotton clothes were a luxury import only the very rich could afford. The masses worked from day to day in stiff fabrics that scratched and tortured the skin. In roughly 1800, capitalism introduced the cotton mill and changed the
    very nature of the shirt upon man’s back. By the 20th century, capitalism had made a cotton t-shirt the norm even for the poorest Sub-Saharan African.

French painter Jacques-Louis David’s portrait of his wealthy sister-in-law—Emilie Seriziat. The year was 1795—shortly before the invention of the power loom
and the mass-production of cotton fabrics. An “elegant” outfit like the one Mme. Seriziat is wearing was available only to the super-rich.

  • In the early 1800s, sending an urgent letter to a relative half a continent away could take months or weeks. Then capitalism built the telegraph system, and made sending messages across continents and seas a matter of hours.

Samuel F. B. Morse’s first telegraph, 1832. Telegraph lines. Telegraph boys. The telegraph system dramatically upgraded the distance-crunching power of our species.

  • In the mid 1840s, a trip from New York to California took a year and a half by either wagon or by sailing ship. Your odds of dying on the way were roughly one in five. Then in 1868 there came a capitalist masterpiece, the transcontinental railway, and snipped the trip down to a week. In the 20th century, capitalism gave the average citizen jet wings and slivered the New York-LA trip from roughly 100 hours to five.

Mankind has been transformed by its machinery. Canyon-crossing took days when we relied on the transport mechanism evolution gave us—legs.

Every one of these capitalist leaps changed the nature of being human. And every one of them set new forces of emotion and of imagination free. But without leaders
who can preach, these techno-deeds have been devoid of meaning. Without inspired citizens like you and me, there will be no meaning even for tomorrow’s most elevated dreams.


It’s time for all of us—for those in our offices and our homes, and for culture-leaders in boardrooms, universities, and editorial headquarters–to wake up and see that humans are nourished by perception, nourished by passion, nourished by feeling. It’s time for us to see the emotional substance in what we’ve mistakenly labeled with a dehumanized vocabulary, the language of clods, lumps, stones, and numbers—the language of “materialism,” “commodification,” “consumerism,” “derivatives,” “transfer agents,” “utility maximization,” “quarterly profits,” “products,” “markets,” and “supply and demand.”

Norman Rockwell’s art was despised by the intellectual elite while he was alive.
But Rockwell saw something many of us in offices, boardrooms, and conference rooms fail to see–the people we serve, the fellow humans to whom we must dedicate our passions, our visions, and our moral commitment.

People are the ones who demand. We do it because we desire, we hanker, we hunger, we’re eager, we’re roused. Or we’re deadened, we’re hurt, we’re unsatisfied, we need. Wanting is an emotional thing. Value is emotionality. So is price. And so is profit. Coin is massed attention. Cash is emotional need.

The task of the capitalist is to feel and to fill others’ unspoken needs.

It’s not the plastic or the silicon in what we make that counts. It’s the passion, stupid! It’s the emotional boost, the emotional satisfaction, the emotional soar, the emotional swiftness, the emotional whisper, the emotional roar, and
the emotional solidity.

We desperately need a reinvention and a re-perception of the system that has given Western Civilization its long-term strength and its recent weaknesses. We need the Capitalism of Passion. Those who struck us on 9/11 peddle passion brilliantly. They feed the hunger for meaning with the junk food of emotion—violence and righteous fury. Reinventing Capitalism: Putting Soul In the Machine reveals how The Capitalism of Passion offers those of us who are emotionally starved a more solid meal—the
exuberance of satisfying others, the exhilaration of feeling wanted, and the elation of creativity. If we don’t learn to smell—and sell—this plate of steak and cup of coffee, you and I may well soon cease to be.

The Knife At Our Throat

Evolution has given us the legacy of war. It has also given us the capacity to compete creatively.
We feed and elevate each other when we compete economically.

Here’s the Death-of-Western-Civilization Report as of early 2003. Islam’s been crusading against Dar El Harb, the Land of the Unbeliever, since the first Mohammedan armies swept from the Arab Peninsula in roughly 634 A.D. Those conquering forces took Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Syria, Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, India, Afghanistan, the Western edge of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Central Asia, Somalia, the Sudan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. For most of that time, Islam had the Western world penned in—keeping Europeans out of the vast Islamic Imperium, ruling Spain and Portugal, seizing control of Sicily, Sardinia, and entire regions of Italy, raiding England, Ireland, and the Caucasus Mountains for slaves, conquering lands in Bosnia, Sarajevo, and Albania, and repeatedly attacking Vienna.

Osama bin Laden, in nearly every speech, laments the day in 1922 when the West dissolved the Moslem Empire of the Turks and took Islam’s power to attack away. It is the fondest dream of Osama and of those who follow in his wake to return Islam to the offensive, but this time to do it with Western technology. 9/11 was sent as the merest foretaste of future deeds.

A proud symbol of the ancient Islamic empire: a Turkish harem guard…probably a slave seized in Africa and castrated to eliminate his interest in the women he helped imprison.

The Osamaites are something new doing something very old. They are wireless warriors, masters of the World Wide Web and of the Internet. They are the flower of modern Islam—its rich and privileged kids, its top university students, and its growing middle class. With laptops and airline tickets, they’ve invented a new World War—a global, cyber-based Jihad—one in which the attacking army can hide in the central cities of its enemies. The approach is a parallel-distributed conspiracy. It hangs together not because a central leader has command. It percolates independently in nooks and crannies, held together by common beliefs.

The Jihadists—the preachers of Holy War—want everything. The world! As Osama sees it, the boundaries of Islam’s nation-states are dividing lines that Westerners contrived to weaken the Ummah—the vast family of Islam. It is time, says Osama, for a global caliphate.

Mujahed (Holy Warrior) with rocket propelled grenade.

Can Jihadists win this new world war? You bet. Jihadist Islam has been winning for more than 1,350 years. It’s won an empire that spans the 10,000 miles from the Philippines to Nigeria.

A book sold on the website of the Islamic Society of North America, which brags about early Islam’s 7th Century “defeat of the most powerful empires of the era.”


It’s won a third of the population of Africa. It’s won all up and down central Asia. Its biggest wins have been in three huge states—India (where Islam has held sway periodically from the 11th Century on), Indonesia, and Malaysia. Islam’s won more than fifty nations and is infiltrating Europe furiously. Islam is the second-biggest religion in Britain. There are six million Moslems in France, and many of them are kicking up a fuss. There are Islamic communities and Islamic terror centers in Belgium, Holland, Spain, Germany, and Denmark. And they’re growing rapidly. 1.2 billion Moslems are spread around the world. They are urged by a mass of worldwide Islamic websites to perform Dawa—to resist assimilation and to convert you and me—peacefully with words if possible, otherwise violently.

The logos of a World Wide Website that promotes violent Jihad. Jama’at ud Da’wa explains to the world’s Moslems that there is no choice in the matter. “ Allah made it binding on the Muslims to fight in His way. Warfare is ordained for you, though you dislike it. ”

One of Jama’at ud Da’wa’s many web pages is titled “Dr. Mohsin Farooqi takes a look at the history of Muslim rule in Europe to remind the Muslim Ummah of its glorious past.” Dr. Farooqi crows about the days when, “Muslims from North Africa ravaged the coasts of Spain, Italy and France and even occasionally of England and Ireland devastating the cities and villages and carrying away booty and captives.
The terror of Muslim Invaders…hung over Europe for centuries.” Farooqi’s detailed history ends with an ominous phrase: “…… to be continued.”

Many of the Moslems in the West are peaceful and productive. Some of them are not. Do the militants among those in Europe and America want to eradicate the Western way of life? You bet. Do some of those militants see the Moslem communities of
the United States, Britain, and Europe as beachheads and as launch pads for conquest?

So what do we have to lose? Everything. The current crisis of capitalism isn’t just a normal economic rise and fall. It’s part of a bigger picture. We are fighting for our very way of life.

What Do We Stand For?

The deconstructionist and postmodernist view of capitalism.

But is our way of life worth fighting for? The deconstructionists, post-modernists, post-colonialists, and anti-capitalists say no. Capitalism is a game in which the rich manipulate the rest. Capitalism steals the very soul and replaces it with artificial needs. Capitalism thrives on sucking lifeblood. Capitalism, say these thinkers, is the enemy.

And guess what? This segment of the intellectual elite has framed the terms of the debate. We use their language and buy into their tale of capitalism’s history.
We have been too lazy or too unaware to know that our language and our history determine the way we see our roots, our ideals, and our long-term goals. History’s tales are our modern myths. They are the molders of belief. They are the source from which we take our zeal and our sense of meaning.

The story the anti-capitalists tell is WRONG. Since its first beginnings, capitalism has been a non-stop liberator, an emotional-upgrader, and a full-speed-ahead creator of new forms of empowerment, new frontiers of human possibility.

Indications are that the production of goods and services—and their trade—began two million years ago in Africa. In those early days humans bartered lumps of slate and of obsidian, the stuff from which the best stone tools were made. A system of trade from tribe to tribe to tribe carried stone from areas where it was common-as-dirt to territories where it was coveted as luxury.

Stone Age obsidian arrowhead.

That’s something trade has always done—taken one man’s boring overflow and passed it to those who hungered for it dearly. In modern terms we hide this human element behind words like arbitrage. But trade that seeks out surpluses and satisfies deep physical and emotional needs is one of the capitalism’s unspoken central creeds.

Trades are emotional exchanges. They’ve always been. You can get a sense of the earliest swap meets on this globe from the primitive tribes scrutinized by anthropologists in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Sheer eagerness drove every man, woman, and child in a tribe to trek 200 miles or more so they could trade their everyday possessions for the rare things of their neighbors.

Ancient Mayan marketplace in Mexico before Columbus discovered the Americas. The Mayans rain of plenty came from commerce and from trade.

Modern Mexican marketplace in Guadalajara…a phantasmagoria of delights.


Eagerness and exaltation must have flowed like manna two million years ago when a man or woman could abandon a clumsy, blunt hammer made from a local stone and could chip at imported flint or obsidian to make a blade. What new horizons were opened to humanity by the ability to use a sharpened edge to cut! Homo sapiens with their stubby teeth could not bite and squeeze the body of a beast to liberate its treasure trove, its meat. Humans armed with cutting stones could slice a carcass into steaks and chops, skin the pelt in a single piece and use it for clothing, carrying bags, baby slings, tents, and huts.

A human with a chipped stone tool was no longer a weakly-muscled upright fool. He was a radically different beast—one who had made his own fangs and claws.

Acheulian stone axe from Algeria made by Homo erectus.

raw material—the mammoth. The tool—the obsidian blade.

The human upgrade—the home built of mammoth tusks, mammoth ribs, and mammoth hide. The mammoth-bone-and-hide hut on the right was built roughly 15,000 years ago.

Was there joy in this new ability? Was there celebration of this newfound mastery? Were there games to see who could make the best stone blades and who could skin the fastest? Did fans and clans feel passion as they urged their champions on? The tools remain. The cheers are gone. But I suspect they happened.

One thing we know for sure. The ability to predict your destiny and to control it changes hormone flows in the body and the brain. It ups the level of immune system activity, hikes the level of health, tweaks the ability to see and think, and makes humans stand up straighter. Stone tools were humanity’s first handmade hormone boosters. They were also the first form of Capital.

Let’s take a minute out to rewrite Adam Smith and the potent but outmoded concepts with which he helped found economics in 1776. Capital has traditionally meant machines, buildings, tools, shafts, hafts, instruments, plans, savings, and the training that we use to make things that others wish for. Smith called capital stored labor. And he was right. But he picked up just one piece of the puzzle and left the others scattered on the floor. Breakthroughs come from more than just the work of those who carry out another’s intention. Every piece of capital begins as a new invention.

Capital is stored imagination. Capital is stored stress, stored vision, stored diligence to persist, and stored ability to inspire others to complete a task that seems impossible or frivolous. Capital is stored passion! The Acheulian hand axe of 1.5 million b.c. was a stone tool humans used for over a million years. It owed its existence to a mob of innovators and creators—

  • the first man or woman insane enough to try to chip one stone with another
  • the crazed obsessives who tried one stone after another and discovered that some can hold an edge far better than others
  • the gossipers and promoters who spread the skill and made the strange behavior of the chippers universal
  • the lunatic 900,000 years later who realized you could flake not just one side of a blade but two…and could double your cutting power.

In 110,000 B.C. the first totally emotional industry sprang up. This one catered to human vanity. In Spain, early humans developed makeup—complete with a palette of 70 shades—all of them red. We don’t know whether this ochre rouge was used to improve the natural pink that makes a woman seductive or to highlight the bright red that accompanies a mano a mano battle. The many shades hint to those of us in the evolutionary sciences that humans used this skin-paint to fill another basic emotional craving—the desire to both blend in and to stand out—the need to show that I’m a part of this group, I’m one of you, but I’m also someone special you must pay attention to, I’m me. The markings of fashion and of makeup serve these same emotional needs today.

carved with what may be the first human art.
70,000 BP (Before the Present).

Emotions are the heart of capital and trade.

Late Stone Age Natufians 11,000 years ago. The Natufians lived in caves in the Near East and gathered the seeds of wild grasses with a new invention, the sickle—a curved blade made of flint set in a handle made of bone.

Twelve thousand years ago the Ice Age ended, the glaciers melted, and the Near East became a paradise. Its seas of grass were top-heavy with delectable seeds. Its meadows were grazed by armies of roastable, stewable red deer and of the nine-foot-high, bakeable wild bull Bos taurus. Nature had granted humans a new summertime, and the living was easy. But even in the laziest of days humans thrive on challenge, on creating new opportunities, new ways. Emotional brain-centers like the nucleus accumbens and the mossy fibers of the hippocampus drive us to seek and to create new novelties.

Ten thousand years ago, in the late Stone Age tribes of hunters contrived a new civilization-knitter. This culture-weaving forward leap satisfied the human need to meet, to greet, to clump, and to cluster. It also slaked the thirst for new amazements. It did it with capital–with stored imagination and stored emotion. It took capitalism to new levels of the impossible…to what Dallas CEO coach O. Woodward Buckner—who helped inspire this book–calls “unreasonable future outcomes,” inconceivable utopian realities.

If you scrimped, saved, traded, swapped, and slaved, you could make a stone axe on your own. But cities were the product of vast teamwork done on stone.

Excavation of another radical invention.
These were the first stone walls and watch towers in human history—the walls of Stone-Age Jericho, built 10,000 years ago.

The inspiration that gave birth to the first city—Jericho–10,000 years ago was the notion of shaping stones bigger than a giant’s torso. For a hundred thousand years, boulders had been obstacles men and women had tripped on, had walked around, had hidden behind, or had leaned against when it came time to sit. Boulders were nature’s cast-offs, overgrown pebbles too big for any use. The first human who thought of employing them for a grander purpose was a prophetic leader, a redeemer to the nth degree. Think of all the impossible steps he had to foresee:

  • Leveraging a massive rock out of the ground or from the base of a nearby cliff.
  • Chiseling its surface with mere stone tools. Hammering for weeks or months if that’s what flattening its surface would take.
  • Organizing teams to do the chiseling. Persuading others to take time out from hunting and gathering. To do what? A task that must have seemed worse than useless at the time.
  • Getting those teams to lug each hulking hunk to a central place—again, for what? For no practical purpose anyone with common sense could see.
  • Piling the stones atop each other, fitting them into each others’ jigsaw shapes. For what? Just to make a heap? What in the world could a heap of boulders be good for? Who could tell? A boulder-pile had never proven useful for a thing—not in the entire time this planet had hosted human beings.
  • Extending the heap upward and outward until, years later, it finally made some sense. Aha, it was something formerly only made of wood—a palisade, a mega-fence.

The result was a masterpiece of capital–of stored inspiration, stored imagination, stored leadership, stored persistence, stored labor, and stored organization. It was a radically new way of housing humans in something better than a cave. It was a new way to gain control over where your homes were placed. It was a new way to protect you from more than cold and rain. It was a new way to defend yourself when your rivals came to raid. It was a new way to gather many tribes in one common place. It was a new way to lead lives…a way in which you could pick and choose your calling, your career, your specialty.

And it was a new way to upgrade the art of trade. This masterpiece of stored emotion, stored vision, and stored promotion was a form of capital we mistakenly take for granted–the stone wall, the stone building…and the entire stone city.

The creation of stone walls had an unintended consequence—it led to the lifestyle breakthrough called city living.
And it pulled this off in the Stone Age, a whopping eight thousand years before the heyday of ancient Rome.

A notion like this must have seemed a manic, raving dream. It must have felt insane even to the man or woman who first daydreamed it.

We humans don’t take kindly to insanities. Wild ideas scare us, they fill us with anxiety. They make us fear we’re losing it, straying grotesquely from the beaten path we call reality. Grandiose ideas riddle us with doubt, a feeling that sets our body churning in a frenzy—filling it with self-destructive hormones—glucocorticoids. To have an idea so long-term and so complex, to stick with it, to preach it with such fervor that you make others see it too, to recruit a team, to teach them, to organize them, to evangelize them, to reaffirm the goal in their emotions day after seemingly-useless day and year after year seemingly-useless year with nothing to show for the sweat and pain–that is what CEO-coach Buckner calls “leadership beyond reason, leading from the future,” beckoning from a vision so vividly that you can make others taste a paradise they’ve never seen. Jericho required seeing an absurd goal so intensely that you can take it from mere daydream into being. This is what leadership at its truest means—leading from the future toward unreasonable expectations, leading past the impossible to the point of victory.

It’s the passion, stupid! Jericho was a treasure trove of human emotionality. Its mortarless boulder walls provided a feeling for which the human soul cries out—security.

Norman Rockwell’s visual statment on the importance of security.

These Stone Age hi-tech fortifications were 6.5-feet thick and four times the height of a man. They were surrounded by a trench nine-feet deep and 27-feet wide, and protected by lookout towers.

The citizens of Jericho were the first humans to be freed from the narrow limitations of living in a tribe. They could exult in strolling down the street to meet and greet the folks of other clans, swapping knowledge, skills, arts, crafts, beads, pottery, and, in all probability, stories, song, and poetry. This was capitalism’s gift—empowerment—taken to the nth degree.

Jericho looked for other dreams and found them. It was built on the site of an oasis, so it had a monopoly on the local water supply. Jericho turned itself into a rest-stop, a paradise on a trail that traders followed. The capitalists of Jericho invented inns and transformed their town into the grand hotelier of its time, offering new forms of relaxation and haven in the midst of travel.

is critical to prophetic leadership.

The mere existence of Jericho upscaled the ambitions of the human enterprise. There’s a good chance that Jericho’s presence inspired the traditional hunter-gatherer groups in its vicinity—the Natufians–to stop harvesting seeds at random and to deliberately plant them, thus inventing farming. Agriculture fed more than the stomach—it satisfied the human need to know where your next meal was coming from. Capital did what it does today—it raised the level of desire. It empowered mightily.

We take the bounty given us by the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago for granted. We should never be blind to basic satisfactions.
Filling them is one of capitalism’s implicit commandments.

Within two thousand years, other cities had sprung up. Catal Huyuk, 1,500 miles from Jericho in today’s Turkey, was based on another act of unbelievable imagination. Take mud. Yes, mud, that irritating stuff that slows you down when you walk the fields in the rainy season, that stuff that wells up to your ankles and leaves its track wherever you put your feet.

Here’s a little secret evolution used long before the first human arrived. Where others see garbage, you must see gold. Where others see an irritant, you must see an opportunity. Why? So you can delight, satisfy, and upgrade your fellow humans’

The inventors of Catal Huyuk took mud and shaped it in rectangles of a standard size and shape. Then they left these geometric lumps in the sun to dry. Catal Huyuk’s inventors inspired many of their clan-mates and acquaintances to do the same. Like the wall-builders
of Jericho, they created teams from what were tribes. They gave others a vision of new possibilities in their lives. They excited others with their flame. When enough bricks were made, they fired up the passions of the masses that they’d gathered, and proposed a new form of collaborative enterprise–piling these modular mud units in carefully-planned straight lines. Once the baked-mud rectangles had all been slid in place, the leaders and the teams they inspired must have looked with awe at what they’d done. They’d created the first brick housing complex—two stories high by roughly a quarter of a mile long.

A neighborhood in one of the first brick cities, Catal Huyuk, founded roughly 8,500 years ago.
Catal Huyuk’s 35 acres of apartment complexes were made from seven ingredients: imagination, persistence, passion, evangelization, organization, wood, and mud.

Oh, how the place was made to satisfy. Each family had an apartment of three rooms—one for sleeping, one for cooking and for eating, and one for storage. Every apartment came complete with a carefully crafted hole in the eating room floor–a built-in hearth and oven. This first garden-apartment development catered to feeling—to the need not just for security from marauders, but for a place to sleep, for a roof over your head, and for a place to call your own. For the first time ever, it guaranteed a nuclear family’s privacy. Once again, capitalism had upgraded the range of human possibility. It had made the unreasonable an everyday mundanity. Capitalism had given a frontier of new empowerments to humankind.

Interior decoration in Catal Huyuk 8,000 years ago—5,000 years before the rise of Greece’s city-states.
The walls were painted with vivid images of goddesses, hunters, and, in the bottom right hand corner, of the city’s ground plan and the nearby volcano that gave Catal Huyuk its rich store of exportable treasure: obsidian.

When humans upgrade their powers, they upgrade their species. Thanks to emotional exchange, by 8,000 years ago, when Catal Huyuk’s first brick was cast, humanity had outpaced biology and put itself through three radical upgrades. It had gone from Homo sapiens sapiens—man equipped by nature with a brain that could store and create new knowledge—to Homo silex fabrica—man the stone trader and manufacturer–to yet another incarnation, what some in evolutionary science would call another extended phenotype—Homo urbanis–man reinvented by his own invention, the city.

New technologies, new abilities, and new forms of teamwork generate new dreams. Yes,

One of mankind’s perpetual aspirations—The Garden of Allah. The creator of this illustration was a contemporary of Chesley Bonestell’s–Maxfield
Parrish (1870-1966). Bonestell and Parrish helped energize Western men and women to lift their sights, imagineer, and dream.

there is a soul, a passion, inside of the economic machine. Our most personal desires and schemes sometimes scare us with their strangeness, with their lunacy. But some dare make them public—just as the first stone-chipper, the first stone-wall builder, the first brick-maker, and the first brick-city-planner did. Some risk looking foolish with the tales, the songs, and the fantasies they share. Others stare with wonder—they see their own unspoken feelings, their chaotic longings, echoed in a mirror there. Then we and our allies recruit, we proselytize. We make the masses see what we have seen. We organize believers to throw themselves with idealism, passion, commitment, and deep faith, into creating something that this cosmos has never previously seen. We organize others so they can make a reality of what is now shared fantasy, shared lunacy, a communal and a corporate dream. And we do it all to tickle and to please that wisp, that ghost, emotionality. We do it to satisfy, to excite, to cause the human spirit to ignite. That is the essence of leadership, and it’s the process to which capitalism gives flight.

A dream we’ve begun to turn into reality. An illustration by Chesley Bonestell, who longed for the new frontier of space in the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s, when rockets had not yet reached the fringes of space.

Capitalism at its best saves souls by elevating them. It makes one generation’s fantasies the next’s launch platform, the next’s ho-hum realities. Capitalism empowers generations down the line to search for new excitements, for new futures from which to pull new powers and new upgrades for humankind. Capitalists who know their mission lead from their dreams of a future and make the unreasonable happen in our time. Capitalism at its best’s a wonder-drive. Capital is imagination. Capital is emotion solidified. Long may we, the Capitalists of Passion, thrive.

Thanks to the invention of the Rogallo wing, we humans can now fly. Hang-gliding over Paris.

Table of Contents

Soul In
the Machine

Reinventing Capitalism

Howard Bloom

Maxfield Parrish caught the spirit of Emotional Capitalism when he used Prometheus—the Greek god who stole fire and brought it to man—to advertise Thomas Alva Edison’s new invention, the light bulb (1919).

Moses Before The Burning Bush, by Domenico Feti 1613.
Moses was forced to look deeply into himself and to sell his visions passionately. His next task was to sense and fill the needs of those followed him through 40 years of what often seemed like lunacy.


The silent scream of History

The Businessman As Seer And Servant
The Evolution Of Trade
Adam Smith’s Error—Capital Is More Than Just Stored Labor, It’s Stored Vision And Persistence, Stored Passion And Persuasion, Too
Marx’s Seductive Muzzle

Taylorism And Scientific Management
Sloan’s Place In Corporate History—“Decentralization With Coordinated Control”—1957
False Synergies Are Suicide—The Merger-And-Acquisition Craze
Deming, Peters, Quality Circles And Management By Walking Around
Messianic Capitalism—Management By Walking Outside


The Case For Consumerism
Two Evolutionary Needs—Control And Novelty
The Hungers In The Fissures Of The Brain

Reinventing CAPITALISM
The care and feeding of emotion

Economics—Cash Is Massed Attention, Coin Is Emotional Need
Value Is A Passion Called Desire—Massmoods And Markets
Credit Is A Feeling Called Belief
Small Business And Explorer Bees
Global Competition—He Who Feels Will Lead

Passion Points
The Science of the Human Soul

Passion Points—Imprinting And Soul
The Presence of The Ancestors
Rousing The Soul of a Company
Selling Secular Salvation–Profits Through Self Revelation
Don’t Be Deceived By Your Mask
The Secret Of Tuned Empathy
When Selfishness Is A Blessing
Soul And The Art Of Selling
Prophetic Leadership—Feeling The Group You Serve Within You

This dollar is my body and my blood

Transubstantiation—Making Spirit Flesh
Microempowerment—Reinventing The Mundane
Inventions That Turn Garbage Into Gold
Offering An Ego-Stake
Guerilla Meeting Mastery
Visioneering—Dare to Use Your Fantasies


The Poisonous Power Of Greed
The Big Lie Versus The Big Truth—In Business, Honesty Is The Force
Don’t Just Pitch, Deliver
Seeking The Golden Mean—Caring Capitalism Vs. Criminal Capitalism
Corporations In A Coma—Rousing the Dead from Bureaucracy
Let Us Save The Hollow Men—Set Your People Free

A child hang-gliding—a product of the spare time, the vision, and the
technology of Western Civilization.

About the author

Howard Bloom

for which The Howard Bloom Organization, Ltd. generated billions of dollars in
gross revenues.

Howard Bloom, a visiting scholar in the Graduate Psychology Department at NYU, is the author of two critically acclaimed books, The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass
Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century.

From 1968 to 1988, Bloom did fieldwork in the world of business and mass media. As a $3,500/day consultant, Bloom’s applications of his theories generated billions of dollars in revenue for companies like Sony, CBS, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, EMI, ABC, Gulf and Western, MCA/Universal, Manesmann, Polygram, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, and Disney.

Bloom helped Sony launch its first software operation in the U.S. (Sony Video), helped establish the three films that put the new Disney on the map, and advised the strategists putting together a new venture called MTV.

Reinventing Capitalism incorporates the techniques Bloom honed to help clients like Warner Brothers, Polygram, and CBS open revenue streams of over $200 million per year per company from projects that would otherwise have been shelved or sidelined.

Gear Magazine, Spring 2001.


Bloom is also the founder of two scientific fields, mass behavior and paleopsychology. He is the founder of three international scientific groups: The Group Selection Squad, The International Paleopsychology Project, and The Science of the Soul Initiative. He is a founding member of the Epic of Evolution Society, a Founding Council Member of The Darwin Project, a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Political Science, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, and the International Society of Human Ethology.

Bloom is an advisory board member of, and executive editor of two books by his scientific colleagues: William Benzon’s Beethoven’s Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture (Basic Books) and Dorion Sagan and Dr. John Robert Skoyles’ Up From Dragons: The Evolution of Human Intelligence. Bloom appears in Who’s Who In America and has been featured in every issue of Who’s Who In Science and Technology since the publication’s

From 1968 until 1988, Bloom infiltrated the highest levels of corporate and popular culture to research what he calls “the dark underbelly of mass emotion.” In the process, he generated profits by turning business on its head. In 1968 he co-founded the leading avant-garde commercial art studio on the East Coast and was featured on the cover of Art Direction Magazine. In 1971 he became head of an obscure music magazine, Circus. This monthly covered a musical form Bloom had never listened to before—rock and roll.

Bloom from the cover of Art Direction Magazine, 1972.

Using correlational studies, focus groups, empirical surveys, ethnographic expeditions into suburban teen subcultures, and other scientific methods, Bloom boosted the publication’s sales 211% and made it the highest-circulation music monthly in America. Bloom was credited by veteran Rolling Stone editor Chet Flippo with inventing a new genre-the heavy metal magazine. In 1975, Bloom created a Public and Artist relations department for Gulf & Western’s fourteen record companies. He was credited with increasing the value of these
companies dramatically—so dramatically that Gulf & Western was able to sell its music operation to ABC for a hefty profit.

Dazed n Confused Magazine, Britain, July 2001

In 1976, Bloom founded The Howard Bloom Organization, Ltd. and helped guide the careers of Michael Jackson, Prince, John Cougar Mellencamp, Queen, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, AC/DC, Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Joan Jett,
Billy Idol, Simon & Garfunkel, Diana Ross, and Bette Midler, among others. Bloom specialized in establishing new subcultural movements within the music community—crossover country music, heavy metal, rap, disco, punk, and black crossover.

Bloom is featured in such basic texts as The Billboard Guide to Music Publicity, which contains 20 pages on his “perceptual engineering.” techniques. He has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, the CBS Morning News, CBS Nightwatch, CNN, BBC-TV, Spanish Public Television’s Redes, and the Australian Broadcasting Company’s equivalent to 60 MinutesLateline. Holland’s VPRO-tv aired a three-hour special on Bloom’s theories about violence; Holland’s KRO starred Bloom in a one-hour television special based
on his book Global Brain; and Britain’s Channel4 profiled Bloom in a half-hour segment that increased ratings from a normal eleven to a sixteen share in its time slot.

Bloom’s video lectures and live electronic speeches have been used at conventions of businessmen, scientists, media professionals, information specialists, and avant-artists from Amsterdam, New York, Houston, and Boulder, to Nevada’s Burning Man Festival,
San Francisco’s Exploratorium, San Francisco’s 21st Century Leadership Program, and Australia’s Electrofringe Festival.

Illustration of Bloom by artist Will Robertson, used for Bloom’s electronic appearance
at the San Francisco’s Exploratorium’s QuantumVIZ: Social Networks, Planetary Visualization & Dynamic InfoScapes.

Dr. Christopher Boehm, Director of The Jane Goodall Research Center, says that, “Howard Bloom should be taking notes on what he is doing every minute of the day. He is single-handedly creating a scientific revolution.” Gear Magazine says,
“Howard Bloom may just be the next Stephen Hawking. But he’s not just interested in science, he’s interested in the human soul.” And Britain’s Channel4 TV concludes that, “Howard Bloom is next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Freud, and Buckminster Fuller…he is going to change the way we see ourselves and everything around us.”

One of the many things Bloom is poised to change is the perception and the practice at our culture’s core—its business.



Howard Bloom
His Books
Media Appearances

Blooms video lecture on “Leadership in a Networked Age”

“For those who worry that our ingenuity has upset nature’s equilibrium, Bloom has a message that is both reassuring and sobering. ‘We are nature incarnate,’ he writes. ‘We are tools of her probings and if, indeed, we suffer and we fail, from our
lessons she will learn which way in the future not to turn.'”

“Readers will be mesmerized by the mirror Bloom holds to the human condition, and dumbfounded by the fusillade of eclectic data that arrives with the swiftness and intensity of a furious tennis volley. His style is effortless, engaging, witty and brisk…. He draws on a dozen years of research into a jungle of scholarly fields…and meticulously supports every bit of information….”

“Provocative…explosive…feisty…a string of rhetorical firecrackers that challenge our many forms of self-righteousness.”

“Howard Bloom is a) for real, b) with brilliant ideas, c) more fun than a pair of mongooses.” Dr. Alexander Elder, author, Trading for a Living: Psychology, Trading Tactics, Money Management.


“When organizing our international conferences, an electronic appearance by Howard Bloom is a must. In all my research, reading, and exposure to complex ideas, I’ve never encountered a person who has Bloom’s reach and depth. He seems to know things nobody else in the world knows, and he delivers his insights with a personal passion that is Messianic. Unlike other great thinkers, Bloom has ventured into the real world-in harm’s way-to test his ideas and confront the Dragon in his own lair. What’s more, he’s survived to tell the tales. Howard Bloom is a global treasure.” Don Beck, Ph.D., co-director, National Values Center, co-author of Spiral Dynamics:
Mastering Values, Leadership & Change, and creator of ® : The Search for Human Cohesion in a World of Fragmentation

“Draws heavily on biological and anthropological evidence to show that human beings are not by nature isolated, self-interested individuals but have powerful natural inclinations toward social groups, and that much of the violence and cruelty that has characterized human history is rooted in competition between groups for status and domination.” Francis Fukuyama,

“Howard Bloom may just be the new Stephen Hawking, only he’s not interested in science alone; he’s interested in the soul.” Aaron Hicklin, Gear

“Howard Bloom is the Buckminster Fuller and Arthur C. Clarke of the new millennium.” Bonnie De Varco, former archivist for the Buckminster Fuller Archive

“Bloom takes a broad —make that very broad —view of history, closely examining, in a manner never explored before him, the biological and psychological roots of mass behavior with his science of Paleopsychology. What Bloom gives his readers is a new and extremely compelling revisionist history of the entirety of the history of life on this planet —microbial, mammalian and otherwise —and nothing less. His books are absolutely essential —and riveting —reading. Yes, it’s true, missing out on Bloom would
be like missing out on Newton, Darwin, Freud or Fuller. You’d lack a fundamental cornerstone of modern intellectual life….” Richard Metzger, creative director, the Disinformation Company, author of Disinformation: The Interviews


“I have finished Howard Bloom’s two books, The Lucifer Principle and Global Brain, in that order, and am seriously awed, near overwhelmed by the magnitude of what he has done. I never expected to see, in any form, from any sector, such an accomplishment. I doubt there is a stronger intellect than Bloom’s on the planet.” Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Evolution’s End and The Crack in the Cosmic Egg


“A soaring song of songs about the amorous origins of the world, and its almost medieval urge to copulate.” Kevin Kelly, Editor-at-Large, Wired, author New Rules for the New Economy and Out of Control

“arresting…deft…graceful…Howard Bloom is something we do not much encounter anymore:…a polymath. ‘The Lucifer Principle’ is a corking good read, the sort of book that fills the reader with a desire to grab the phone and pick a fight with the author roughly every three
pages, just to see what will happen. …heretical …infuriating …entertaining and challenging –which, now that I think of it, is a fair description of a good companion.” L.J. Davis, author of The Billionaire Shell Game: How Cable Baron John Malone and Assorted Corporate Titans Invented a Future Nobody Wanted




“Unlike anything you’ve ever read before. An act of astonishing intellectual courage.” Leon Uris, author of Exodus, Trinity, and The Haj

“Powerful” Ellen Langer, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, author of Mindfulness

“Controversial yet compelling,” Howard Gardner, Harvard University, author of Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century

“You are a true inspiration, a model of the leader who gives to his people, a secular prophet. Your contributions are like diamonds! Brilliant! As the diamond refracts light better than other transparent substances, so your intellect creates rainbows of insight.” Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D., President, Solutions Consulting Group, Inc., author of Psychotherapy in the Age of Accountability

“Howard Bloom is the only person I know with knowledge of and interest in the behavior of all organisms, processes in evolution that have been going on for billions of years, but also the most ephemeral cultural phenomena. Bloom’s probably the only person alive today who can make original and insightful comments on current political developments in the US, Far East or Middle East with the benefit of knowledge of the evolution of the universe in the past 13 billion years. It’s as if Bloom were an immortal observer from a different universe.” Marcel Roele, science writer for Holland’s Algemeen Dagblad, Intermediair, and HP/De Tijd. Former board member of European Sociobiological Society and former book review editor of the Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems. Author of: De
eeuwige lokroep: Over seks, sekseverschillen en relaties; and De mietjesmaatschappij: Over politek incorrecte feiten.

“In the ’70s, celebrities went to feel good doctors for ‘Super vitamin’ shots; b complex or something. The celebs usually felt euphoric and exhilarated for days. My six interviews with Howard Bloom have made me feel the same way. Our chats leave my brain spinning with so many new ideas, I’m inspired to push harder and think deeper. Howard, keep thinking, and above all, keep writing!” Jon Beaupre, KPFK-FM and KCET-TV, Los Angeles

More Quotes

“Many thanks for appearing at the RLG Annual Meeting in Amsterdam. …It was the call to a future many in this community have imagined dimly. How you managed to echo what you hadn’t seen—the other speakers talked of agents, simulations, virtual communities and context as knowledge—astonished me. I was a fan before, now I’m an admirer and grateful advocate.” James Michalko. President. Research Libraries Group, re video lecture on the Future of Knowledge-Generation, Amsterdam, April 23, 2002.

“Thank you so much for such a stimulating, awesome convention last weekend. I have to admit the most powerful piece, the one that really moved me and literally brought me and my girlfriend to tears, was the video of Howard Bloom.” D. Shawn Bosler, The Village Voice, writing to the organizers of the DisinfoCon 2000 convention.


“Congratulations on last night’s show. I have honestly never seen anything like this before. It’s televisual narcotics for the spirit. Howard Bloom is quite probably a genius.” Bill Fairhall, viewer, Channel 4, Britain’s half-hour profile on Howard Bloom.



“I just watched the Channel Four TV show for the first time last night with some of my best friends. I just wanted to let you know that you made me cry. You are simply one of the most wonderful human beings I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. You put so succinctly, so poetically, and so powerfully a message I have long been trying to articulate–a message of the wonder and hope that is finally close for all of us. Your appearance on that show, Howard, moved me beyond words. It just resonated inside of me, with something I have put my faith in since I was a little kid. You are going to touch so many people, Howard. You touched me dearly, and I wanted to thank you for it. Even now, tears are coming to my eyes. Thank you so much. You are such a brilliant light, Howard, a fantastic, brilliant, light. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Nick Hodulik

“Why am I scared? Because I am 18 years old and used to think of myself as liberal through and through. Now I can’t. I used to spit on the American flag because of political blunders, now I can’t. I used to forgive ultra-Conservatives, excuse away religious fundamentalists, cheer on pacificists. I thought I had a mind! I thought I had free will! I thought I had goals and dreams and wonders and I thought I was ALIVE! Now nothing matters. Nothing. I am a hairy lad, and I have read more books on more subjects on more opinions than I have hairs. And none have sent me into the crazed spiral of self-doubt and worry that this book has. I am nothing now. Nothing. Everything is useless. Everything is pointless. But now I have eyes.

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