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New Age Politics ... stands as the first comprehensive articulation of a transformational political ideology.  It shows, in great and systemic detail, how we can depthfully understand our world of crisis and get to a world of collaboration and wholeness.”
– David Spangler, “Foreword” to the 4th edition of New Age Politics (2015)

New Age Politics, by Mark Satin:
Excerpts from the Fourth Edition

Some people think that my New Age Politics: (originally 1976, fourth edition 2015) was the first book to weave ideas from the ecology, feminist, human-potential, spiritual, decentralist, world order, and similar movements into a holistic new political philosophy, or ideology.

To find out more about the book, please go to its  MAIN PAGE.  There you can find an introduction from me d. 2014, excerpts from 50 reviews and media mentions, a PDF of the press release from the fourth edition, and more.

On this page I have reproduced two excerpts from the fourth edition  - the Table of Contents and the first part of my "Introduction, 2015."  I hope they whet your appetite for more. - M.S.

Mark Satin working on New Age Politics at his Vancouver B.C. commune in 1975.


I. Table of Contents

Foreword by David Spangler

Introduction, 2015

Introduction from the 1970s

Part I: The Prison Within Us

1. A New Kind of Politics

2. The Six-Sided Prison

a. Patriarchal attitudes

b. Egocentricity

c. Scientific single vision

d. The bureaucratic mentality

e. Nationalism

f. The big-city outlook

3. The Prison’s Sweetest Gifts to You and Me

a. Racism

b. Ecocide

c. Emotional repression

4. Tri-Level Analysis: How to See Through to the Prison

5. The Prison in History

a. Stage #1: Old Age people

b. Stage #2: “Civilized” people

c. Stage #3: New Age persons?

Part II: Monolithic Institutions Outside Us

6. How the Prison Is Institutionalized

a. “Deep monopolies”

b. Prison-born, and growing stronger

c. Vicious circle

7. Ten Monolithic Institutions That Dominate Our Lives

a. Industrial institutions

b. Professional institutions

c. Churchly and interpersonal institutions

Part III: Who Will Break Free?

8. Should We Look to the Proletariat – or to All Who Love Life?

a. Roll over, Marxists

b. Psychocultural class analysis

c. Life-, thing-, and death-oriented classes

9. Are We Economic People – or Self-Developing Persons?

a. Develop or die

b. The stages of Self-development

c. Our higher needs are often blocked

Part IV: Jailbreak! – New Age Society

10. New Age Ethics and Values

11. Prison-Free Consciousness

a. Androgynous attitudes

b. Spirituality

c. Multiple vision

d. The cooperative mentality

e. Local and planetary consciousness

f. The human-scale outlook

12. Ten Biolithic Institutions

a. Neo-industrial

b. Neo-professional

c. Godly and interpersona 

13. New Age Governance

a. Synergic power: the win-win approach

b. Localization

c. Planetization

14. New Age Economy

a. Communities in the saddle

b. Corporations and entrepreneurs

c. The ABCs of New Age economic theory

Part V: Getting There

15. Reform, Revolution – or Evolutionary Transformation?

a. Inner before outer … but don’t dawdle

b. Beyond the ballot and the bullet

c. Political power rests on our consent

16. Inner Work

a. Breaking out of the Prison

b. Voluntary simplicity

c. Intentional communities

17. Outer Work

a. Joining relevant organizations

b. Electoral politics

c. Nonviolent action  

18. “Critical Mass”

19. Beyond Hope and Despair

Appendix: The New Age Political Tradition

A. The 100 Books I Used Most Here, All Published from 1956 – 1976

B. The Tradition Deepens: A Second Hundred, 1977 – 2015

C. One Hundred New Age-Relevant Political Organizations

D. Forty New Age-Oriented Political Proposals

E. Twelve Attempts to Suggest Guiding Political Principles Since 1976



Don’t let the title of this book fool you.

New Age Politics is not about crystals (though I did hang one in my window once).  It is not about the politics of the 1970s (though it was first published then).  And it is definitely not about adding a dollop of spirituality or ecology to the old progressive politics.

No. This book is about a whole new politics – a politics I think you might share.

A common ground on which to stand

Hardly anyone uses the term “New Age” anymore.  Even I don’t use it.  Heartless prison guards at places like Time magazine and The New Republic bullied it into the ground.

But millions of us are now using similarly fresh-faced, paradigm-busting, and life-affirming terms to describe the emerging new politics.  Among them: communitarian, evolutionary, green, holistic, integral, radical centrist, transformational, and transpartisan.

New Age Politics was the first book to take the ideas from the then-emerging movements of our time (feminist, ecological, spiritual, decentralist, etc.) and weave them into a coherent new political perspective.

Some dare call it a new ideology, as I do in this book.

Drawing on nearly 200 texts, and at least as many late-night conversations with movement activists spanning 13 years, it is all here –

·       our focus on consciousness and values (not just institutions),

·       our critique of “deep monopolies” (such as the private automobile) as distinct from brand-name monopolies,

·       our vision of a diverse, decentralized, and collaborative future, and

·       our commitment to an evolutionary, transformational strategy that calls for “inner work” (personal change) as well as relevant “outer work.”

This new edition of New Age Politics – stripped-down and updated for the 2010s – has been launched to reassert, in thunder, that the movements of our time have created a perspective or ideology of their own.  It’s as coherent an ideology as liberalism in Marxism – and far more relevant to our needs as life-loving human beings on a finite planet.

In other words, New Age Politics gives us a foundation, a bedrock, a common ground on which to stand.

Many, many people have added to and deepened the ideas in New Age Politics over the years – over the decades (see Appendices B and E below). There is nothing stagnant about our movement!

I’d do some things differently if I were writing this book from scratch today.  I would be more nuanced in the history sections.  I’d be less inclined to see everyone at “Self-development Stages Six and Seven” as the cat’s meow.  Above all, perhaps, I would emphasize that some of what I call “monolithic institutions” are evolving (i.e., are being shoved by us) in a positive direction today – so I’d bend over backward to encourage immersion as well as resistance. We need transformers everywhere, inside “The System” as well as outside it.

But even with such flaws (mainly the flaws of youth), I think New Age Politics is still the best single expression of the new politics as a coherent, systemic, integral whole.

It is also a great starting point for thinking through your own politics: your own analysis, vision, and strategy.

Even if hardly anyone uses the term “New Age” anymore.

How I put this edition together

Lorian Press could have simply reprinted the first edition of New Age Politics, from 1976.  I liked its length (only 50,000 words), it covered almost all the ground I do here, and I wanted to prove to you that the perspective I synthesized – the perspective of many people in the social change movements of today – goes back to the Nixon-Ford era, when the traditional left and right both lost their way.

It was not spontaneously generated by any single social movement of the last 40 years.  Rather, all our movements have been re-inventing, adding to, and deepening a perspective that already in the 1970s stood as our only real alternative to More Of The Same.

The second edition of New Age Politics – more than twice as long as the first – was published in 1978.  But I wrote it at feminist filmmaker Bonnie Kreps’s indoor picnic table in Vancouver during the spring and summer of 1977, entirely from notes I’d made at the McGill, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia libraries from 1972 – 1976.  So I knew I could use material from the second edition and still not step out of the Nixon-Ford era.

And that’s what I did. I took the two texts, totaling 160,000 words, and whittled them down to the 50,000 that await you here.

In that process, I made no substantial changes in content or perspective.  I even kept most of the original language.  That’s why I sometimes sound like a twentysomething American Vietnam War resister in Canada.

Anyway. Here are the alterations I did make:

·       Updated certain facts [and put them in brackets];

·       Did some rearranging;

·       Added sub-chapter titles and improved some chapter titles;

·       Added explanatory passages to improve clarity or coherence;

·       Added some new material – but sparingly, and always within brackets;

·       Added two sections from the third edition, published by Dell in 1979 – the “Third Force” section in the next chapter, and the mock political platform in Appendix D;

·       Added updated lists of intentional communities, New Age-relevant books, and New Age-relevant groups;

Last but not least, I streamlined the citation method.  Whenever you see an author’s name in the text, you can count on finding their book in Appendix A … unless you see the book and year right there in the text.

The idea, always, was to make this edition easily readable and maximally useful for a new generation of thinkers and sctivists.   I hope I’ve succeeded.

[Introduction continues in book.]  



There have been four distinct editions of New Age Politics.

A 50,000-word edition, subtitled The Emerging New Alternative to Marxism and Liberalism, was published by “Fairweather Press: A Non-Profit Publishing Collective” (Canada) in 1976.  Abridgements were published in New Age Journal (U.S.), April and June 1977, and New Directions magazine (Canada), April 1977.

A 110,000-word second edition, subtitled Healing Self and Society, was published by Whitecap Books (Canada), now an imprint of Fitzhenry and Whiteside, in 1978; and a 150,000-word third edition with the same subtitle by Dell Publishing Co. (U.S.), now Ballantine Bantam Dell, an imprint of Random House, in 1979.  Portions of the Dell edition were featured in The Sun, a U.S. literary magazine, in April 1981.

Foreign-language versions of the Dell edition were published by Wahlstrom and Widstrand (Sweden) in 1981, and Arbor Verlag (Germany) in 1993, the latter with a foreword by Fritjof Capra.

A condensed, updated, and “revitalized” 50,000-word fourth edition, subtitled Our Only Real Alternative, was published by Lorian Press of Seattle in November 2015, with a foreword by David Spangler.  Besides being available as a quality paperback, this edition is available on Amazon Kindle.


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