In Orbit Around the Web's Mini-Web Dedicated to
In 1983, Buckminster Fuller was awarded the Medal of Freedom (the highest award given to civilians) by then-President Ronald Reagan. The citation read: "A true renaissance man, and one of the greatest minds of our times, Richard Buckminster Fuller's contribution as a geometrician, educator, and architect-designer are benchmarks of accomplishment in their fields. Among his most notable inventions and discoveries are synergetic geometry, geodesic structures and tensegrity structures. Mr. Fuller reminds us all the America is a land of pioneers, haven for innovation and the free expression of ideas."
Earlier that year, Fuller had published his book Grunch of Giants, in which he wrote:
The "overwhelming majority" that President Reagan repeatedly claims legitimizes his "mandate" for sweeping executive and legislative change consists, in fact, of only 14 percent of the people of the United States.... There is nothing in the words or spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution which states or suggests the U.S.A. is committed exclusively to the success of the rich. The U.S.A. we have known is now bankrupt and extinct.
Fuller believed that human evolution could best be promoted by reforming the living environment through design on all levels rather than by reforming people through economics and/or politics. His Design Science also addressed energy harvesting, transporting and food gathering, all informed by his concept of ephemeralization ever-increasing performance using ever less investment of materials and energy. Through this human trend of doing-more-with-less, Fuller argued that by the turn of the 21st Century, the whole of humanity would experience more change than it had in all its previous two-thousand.
Applying this principle to economics, after his numerous stints as advisor to the U.N. and consultant to various national governments, it became evident to Fuller that the wealth currently generated by hundreds of small, competing national economies is paltry compared to what the synergized wealth of the entire planet would be, if we were to dissolve our geopolitical boundaries and their attendant military industries. In the early 1970's, Fuller claimed that for the first time in history, the human race has the technology and resources to feed, clothe, house, educate all its members, at a standard of living well over what modern-day billionaires enjoy -- and to sustain it completely on solar power!