The Crisis of Civilization

The new feature length documentary from Dean Puckett (The Elephant in the Room) featuring international security analyst Dr. Nafeez Ahmed (The War on Truth: Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism [2005], The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry [2006]) is out to watch online, download and buy.


“A unique film. Everyone should see it.” – Nick Broomfield (Bafta award winning documentary filmmaker)

“A powerful critique of a failed global system and a manifesto for constructive social change” – Leeds International Film Festival

“A really fantastic overview of the global situation. I don’t think I’ve seen a more comprehensive ‘welcome to the 21st century’.” – Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow-in-Residence, Post Carbon Institute

“Peak Kitsch…fun, funny, engaging and ultimately a powerful call-to-action” - Transition Voice

“Through interviews, found footage, and animation, the film actually manages to make the unwinding of our conventional, fossil-fueled, more-is-more industrial civilization accessible” -

“This film is necessary viewing, not just for activists but for anyone who’s planning to hang around this planet for the foreseeable future. Yes, I’m looking at you.” – Ceasefire Magazine

“A film which offers a glimmer of hope to the overwhelmed.” – Little White Lies Magazine


The Crisis of Civilization is a documentary feature film investigating how global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system.

Weaving together archival film footage and animations, film-maker Dean Puckett, animator Lucca Benney and international security analyst Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed – author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It – offer a stunning wake-up call proving that ‘another world’ is not merely possible, but on its way.

Like the book on which it is based, the film consists of seven parts which explore the interconnected dynamic of global crises of Climate Catastrophe; Peak Energy; Peak Food; Economic Instability; International Terrorism; and the Militarization Tendency – with a final section on The Post-Peak World.

The film reveals how a failure to understand the systemic context of these crises, linked to neoliberal ideology, has generated a tendency to deal not with their root structural causes, but only with their symptoms. This has led to the proliferation of war, terror, and state-terror, including encroachment on civil liberties, while accelerating global crises rather than solving them.

The real solution, Nafeez argues, is to recognise the inevitability of civilizational change, and to work toward a fundamental systemic transformation based on more participatory forms of living, politically, economically and culturally.

Also featuring clowns, car crashes, explosions, acrobats, super heroes, xylophones and much, much more!


- Arrange a screening, help subtitle the film, enter the 'Remix Challenge, or donate and help us raise the profile of the film:

- Articles by Dr. Nafeez Ahmed and others

- Excerpts from the film, Artwork, Reviews, Interviews, The Crisis of Civilization Podcast

Some comments from Scott Noble

Noble is the creator of the critically acclaimed Metanoia films

"Outstanding work [...].

The kitsch footage and whimsical animation was a perfect counterpoint to the alarming, even apocalyptic subject matter. I also like the fact that the film retains a positive outlook despite the exceedingly dire prognosis. Please extend my congratulations to Dean and Nafeez.

I read a book a few years ago by Ronald Wright entitled "A Short History of Progress". Examining the collapse of past civilizations, including Easter island, Sumer, Rome and the Mayans, he concluded that "Civilization is a Pyramid Scheme".

As each society began to collapse, elites did not recognize the error of their ways and change course -- even though they had ample opportunity to do so -- instead, they engaged in increasingly extravagant consumption, more wars, and more repression of domestic populations. The same pattern is evident today.

In each of these cases, the "apocalypse" was averted because "civilization" was able to migrate to new territories. Today, however, there are no such escape routes. So Fukuyama was right, in a sense, about the "end of history", just not in the way he envisioned.

Most of us here are aware of the Alex Jonesian worldview -- that the world is run by a secret cabal which desires to create a "world government" without borders based on (horrors!) environmental sustainability.

The problem with Jones' theory, in a word, is that there is no evidence to support it. As David Graeber has documented, "globalization" is not premised on the elimination of borders, but rather their militarization. It is only capital that is transnational. So that while we do indeed see a marked increase in supra-national institutions, creating a de facto "world government", we also see people increasingly confined within militarized nation states. If there wasn't a border between Mexico and the United States, Nike would have no reason to move production.

Moreover, there is no evidence that elites are pursuing some sort of radical environmentalism. Quite the contrary, they are literally subsidizing the obliteration of the natural world. The oceans will become a gigantic dead zone within a few decades, yet they can't even pass a ban on BlueFin Tuna.

So much for omnipotence.

Jones is unable to acknowledge or come to grips with this reality because it contradicts his belief that "freedom" is based on nationalism and capitalism. If the environmental crisis was real, it would require systemic changes that are distinctly at odds with libertarian notions of "individual freedom".

We see the same sort of "in the box" thinking with Ronald Wright and other mainstream environmentalists.

In his closing remarks, Wright states that "The reform that is needed is not anti-capitalist, anti-American, or even deep environmentalist; it is simply the transition from short-term to long-term thinking."

Again, this is a common view amongst "mainstream" environmentalists, and can be attributed to denial and/or the desire to remain "respectable" in bourgeois society. The problem is that "Long term thinking" is simply not possible in a system that demands perpetual growth, immediate returns on investment and -- most importantly -- rigidly hierarchical structures that dispossess the vast majority. In other words, capitalism.

This fatal error is repeated in most documentaries and books dealing with the environment. While lip service is paid to localism and democracy, the overriding theme is that "we're all equally responsible", and that we need to alter our consumer choices. Structural or root problems are almost completely ignored.

"The Crisis of Civilization" takes the opposite approach, rightly addressing the root rather than the branch. It successfully links the various crises facing humanity to an unsustainable system, and advocates for decentralized, participatory models."


I'm sure this will be excellent

I look forward to seeing it.