Think Resilience Chapter 6: Political & Economic Management – Resilience


Published on May 22, 2017

Think Resilience – Chapter 6    By Richard Heinberg,
May 22, 2017

Every society has institutions for making decisions and allocating resources. Some anthropologists call this the STRUCTURE of society. Every society also has an INFRASTRUCTURE, which is its means of obtaining food, energy, and materials. Finally, every society also has a SUPERSTRUCTURE, which consists of the beliefs and rituals that supply the society with a sense of meaning.

How do these three systems interact with one another, and which is most important?

Here, Richard Heinberg explores how our current systems of political and economic management — the things that we tend to think of as the driving forces behind the way our society works — are actually a byproduct of our interaction with the physical world, especially our sources of energy. And we’ll explore very briefly explore what a shift to different energy sources might mean for the politics and economics of future societies.

This is the sixth video in our 22-part online course, THINK RESILIENCE: Preparing Communities for the Rest of the 21st Century.

Sign up for the online course to access all the chapters, along with additional resources, right away:

See also:


Published on Dec 14, 2016

This is the first of a series of 22 short videos that explore the interrelated crises of the twenty-first century, and what we as citizens, students, and community leaders can do to respond to them. The videos can be watched individually (and will be released serially over the coming weeks and months) but are best viewed as part of the Think Resilience Course:



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