PRINT November 2008



A Dymaxion Car, designed by R. Buckminster Fuller, in front of the US Capitol, Washington, DC, July 20, 1934. Photo: Corbis

IN THE UNITED STATES over the past three months, it has become abundantly clear that the points for debate between the two major political parties’ presidential candidates are not nuanced matters of policy but rather the most basic tenets of the country’s social and economic infrastructure. Yet most remarkable about this particular election season is that such attention to the very contours of civil society has been prompted less by abstract ideology than by concrete circumstance. The credit crisis, for instance, required government intervention on a scale unseen since the Depression, forcing a public renegotiation of free-market principles and, as the crisis spread quickly to other regions of the world, a tacit acknowledgment of globalism as a contemporary reality. Even before that, rising gas prices (and the attendant increased costs of production) were underscoring the nation’s

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