Planetary service

A Way Into the Third Millenium

by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, as Dienst auf dem Planeten.

Every technological advance shortens time, widens space, and destroys a familiar living group.

The three gifts of technology: the acceleration of time, the widening of space, and the destruction of the existing peace must be offset, and they must be offset with the help of people who have nothing to do with technology.

Planetary Service


Modern technology is causing space to shrink and time to become shorter. This has raised the issue of changing borders in the increasingly acute forms of having some disappear while others are strengthened to offset the effects of the shrinking world. Borders cannot simply be dismissed, if only because they protect their societies’ most important cultural heritage. Changing borders is nearly always accompanied by war.

So the question is how borders can be changed without going to war or starting a civil war. What tangibly can become a “moral equivalent of war” in William James’ sense? The author’s answer is work service. Borders, he tells us, can be overcome by freely and openly talking together after sweating together.

This little book is important for everybody who is interested in non-nationalistic, universal work services; but it has some flaws. Rosenstock-Huessy was asked to write it in 1965 in German and for Germans. We offer this book to the American reader in translation because work service was at the core of Rosenstock-Huessy’s life and work.

Paperback, 144 pages.