Description by Lars Muller Publishers, courtesy of The Estate of Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983) was an architect, engineer, geometrician, cartographer, philosopher, futurist, inventor of the famous geodesic dome, and one of the most brilliant thinkers of his time. Fuller was renowned for his comprehensive perspective on the world's problems. For more than five decades, he developed pioneering solutions reflecting his commitment to the potential of innovative design to create technology that does "more with less" and thereby improve human lives. The author of nearly 30 books, he spent much of his life traveling the world lecturing and discussing his ideas with thousands of audiences. In 1983, shortly before his death, he received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, with a citation acknowledging that his "contributions as a geometrician, educator, and architect-designer are benchmarks of accomplishment in their fields." After Fuller's death, a team of chemists won the Nobel Prize for discovering a new carbon molecule with a structure similar to that of a geodesic dome, they named the molecule "buckminsterfullerene"—now commonly referred to in the scientific community as the buckyball.
Fuller’s myth is no idle fairy tale, since he faces his question - the question of a technological imperative which only he could raise with the deadly seriousness of satire. That question is: Can our system of national political sovereignties and corporate profits survive the inevitable technology revolution require to obviate wars by effecting a worldwide rise in the standard of living.
One of the functions of myth is to resolve contradictions in our culture. Grunch of Giants portrays the rising of multinational corporations in the paradoxical role of function both as the epitome of capitalistic selfishness and as the inadvertent vehicle for the dissolution of national political boundaries - the last deterrent to a one-world economy.
The result is more subversive of the property and profit values of the capitalist system than anything dreamed of since Karl Marx.
This global consciousness inspires space travellers who then provide emotional and spiritual observations. Their views from outer space awaken them to a grand realization that all who share our planet make up a single community. They think this viewpoint will help unite the nations of the world in order to build a peaceful future for the present generation and the ones that follow.
Many poets, philosophers, and writers have criticized the artificial borders that separate people preoccupied with the notion of nationhood. Despite the visions and hopes of astronauts, poets, writers, and visionaries, the reality is that nations are continuously at war with one another, and poverty and hunger prevail in many places throughout the world, including the United States.
So far, no astronaut arriving back on Earth with this new social consciousness has pro- posed to transcend the world's limitations with a world where no national boundaries exist. Each remains loyal to his/her particular nation-state, and doesn’t venture beyond patriotism - "my country, right or wrong" – because doing so may risk their positions.
Most problems we face in the world today are of our own making. We must accept that the future depends upon us. Interventions by mythical or divine characters in white robes descending from the clouds, or by visitors from other worlds, are illusions that cannot solve the problems of our modern world. The future of the world is our responsibility and depends upon decisions we make today. We are our own salvation or damnation. The shape and solutions of the future depend totally on the collective effort of all people working together.