Has the Berlin Wall fallen on us?

7 November 2014

Now for something a little more serious, in fact quite serious. We are in deep trouble, thanks to the degradation of our environments, the demise of our democracies, and the denigration of ourselves, with greed having been raised to some sort of high calling. For many years, I have been working on an “electronic pamphlet” entitled Rebalancing Society…radical renewal beyond left, right, and center. An initial version was posted on this site (Mintzberg.org) last February, and will appear, revised as a book as well as on this site, in January.

The Berlin Wall fell exactly 25 years ago. This weekend we will be hearing a good deal about it. We will not, however, be hearing much about the adverse impact this has been having on so many lives ever since. While the collapse of the wall freed the East Berliners of the shackles of communism, vast numbers of people around the world have since been shackled by another dogma, thanks to a misunderstanding of what brought that wall down. In a sense, the Berlin Wall has fallen on us.

In 1989, Frances Fukuyama published a prominent article (later a book) about “the end of history”—as I see it, that we had reached perfection as a species thanks to our relentless greed. He revisited that article earlier this year, and I responded with a piece that got lost in a version of the Huffington Post. I link to it in this week’s TWOG because it serves as a good introduction to a book that I hope will not get lost because I believe it is my most important one. This TWOG exceeds my promised page or 2, but I feel that some attention to the survival of our planet and our progeny deserves an extra minute or 2.

This TWOG continues on The End of Thinking?

Rebalancing Society as a book will be up on www.mintzberg.org or can be ordered from Berrett Koehler.

For all these TWOGS (from tweet2blog, @mintzberg141) since 2 September 2014, please see www.mintzberg.org/blog. To receive regular notifications of new ones, please write to henry.mintzberg@mcgll.ca with “blog” in the subject.



Fukuyama, F. (1989, Summer). The End of History? The National Interest, 3-18.

Fukuyama, F. (1992). The End of History and the Last Man. Free Press.

Fukuyama, F. (2014, June 6). At the ‘End of History’ Still Stands Democracy. Wall Street Journal.

© 2014 Henry Mintzberg