There Are No More Passengers On Spaceship Earth

There Are No More Passengers
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“There are no more passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.” – Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan (1911 -1980) was a Canadian philosopher known for his media analysis and communications theory that are now deemed extremely useful in today’s society. He was a professor in English and taught in several universities. It was in his early teaching days that he became interested in the “training of perception” which became the basis of some of his later works. His first book “Understanding Media” was widely accepted, making him the most publicized teacher in the 20th century.

Mcluhan said the quote in 1965 in reference to Buckminster Fuller’s book “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”. Fuller created the metaphor of Earth as a spaceship with finite resources that cannot be resupplied. The book contains environmental, economical, as well as political implications that reflected the society’s condition in the 1960’s. The two were close friends and both are recognized as two of the greatest minds in the 20th century.

To understand the quote deeper, a supplementary knowledge of Fuller’s book is essential. In his book, all humans have an important role in ensuring the health of mechanical vehicle otherwise known as “Earth”. The mistake of one affects the others. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of what they have that other people don’t, hence the existence of capitalism and other forms of oppression. Fuller then concluded that “only complete world desovereignization can permit the realization of an all humanity high standard support.”

John James Audabon captured its whole essence in few words: “A true conservationist is a man knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”

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