The Wheel of Society by A.C.B. Wilson @quartetbooks

Out in paperback 4th February 2021


I was contacted by publicist Grace inviting me to highlight a book being published this February – A.C.B. Wilson’s The Wheels of Society. A book in which the author proposes how society can, must move forward and as the publisher says it is…

‘A Timely Vision and Theory Of Change For The Future Of Humanity’.

Quartet Books

It is certainly food for thought. Understandable in such strange times when health, nature, environment and money matters are taking centre stage that we should look to educate ourselves, consider what is happening, our relationships to each other, to nature and look to provide answers to all our questions. In this book A.C.B. Wilson puts forward his thoughts on what is needed and how it can be achieved.

Do come back on the 18th February when I am delighted to be hosting an excerpt of The Wheels of Society.

The Book

Written with verve and a mordant wit, The Wheels of Society is a vivid, cogent, ground-breaking proposal for us to re-think ourselves in order to steer civilisation back to safety.

As a species we seem to cling on to the power and influence of ‘the old normal’. Forests and valleys are decimated so that businessmen can be in Manchester 30 minutes faster; thousands of airline seats are sold for the price of a free-range chicken so that hundreds of short-haul planes can devastate the atmosphere and enable drunken escapades in Barcelona rather than Soho; the rich get even richer and the poor get Covid 19. Bankers conspire in the fraudulent abuse of people’s savings, yet can keep their loot, saved by governments supposed to protect their citizens but who fail to hold a single perpetrator to account. Is this how we are supposed to be?

Our cooperating groups, which make up the hierarchy of society, are living things in their own right. This only becomes clear when we reject the daft and monstrous Platonic fallacy that man and the individual are the pinnacle – the whole purpose even – of creation. This hubris has effortlessly deceived us into a philosophy which asks: how do I look, am I popular, how can I make pots of money and be a ‘success’? But a society based on such egoism must eventually lose out to those in which individuals seek success for their group rather than for themselves.

The biology of society becomes visible when hubris is side-stepped. First, natural selfishness must be overcome before individuals can assemble altruistically into a working group – a rather wonderful achievement. Then, once assembled, the group must perform trial-and-error cycles to do life’s vital functions. Wilson’s ‘assembly-and-performance thinking’ combines these two mechanisms into a simple scientific theory of society which applies, with variations, to all cooperating creatures – not just to humans.

Tony Wilson’s first book The Universe on a Bicycle, published in 2007, was proclaimed

‘a thought- provoking delight’

The Daily Mail

Finally – all you need to know.

Published: Quartet (Paperback 4th February 2021) | ISBN9780704374829

Buy: Your local bookshop | AmazonSmileUK | Quartet Publishing


Tony Wilson was born in Dublin in 1931 and studied economics at Trinity College before qualifying as a chartered accountant. After six years in Paris with Price Waterhouse he went to England working as financial controller in the Avon Rubber Company, GKN, and British Oxygen.

He lives near Bath where he paints, writes and makes beer. He has had five one-man exhibtions and has shown in the RA Summer Exhibition.

One Comment on “The Wheel of Society by A.C.B. Wilson @quartetbooks

  1. Pingback: Excerpt: The Wheels of Society by A.C.B. Wilson @quartetbooks – Love Books, Read Books


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