Alternative World
Nares Craig

First published: March 1997; Housmans Bookshop Ltd.


Vanessa Baird,  (Editor, “New Internationalist”): “The encyclopaedic grasp of the world's ills and injustices provides a useful, fact-packed reference . . the sections on money and politicians – and how we should abolish both – are thought-provoking”.

Tony Benn:   “ This excellent, seminal work will give essential information and hope to inspire young and old alike “.

George Bull, (Editor, “International Minds”):  “A most impressive book”

Kenneth Campbell (one time Chief Housing Architect to the Greater London Council):   “Craig sets out starkly the road the First World is following to self-and-global destruction and shows, just as rigorously, the way out – if the world will take it.”

Noam Chomsky: “ An impressive piece of work:  I hope very much it receives the attention it deserves “.

Dr. Peter Draper (emeritus consultant in public health to Guy's Hospital, London) : “ The survey of global problems provides a masterly overview; comprehensive, well documented and easy to read “.

 Zac Goldsmith  (Editor, The ”Ecologist”):  The reasons why the need exists for an alternative world are set out terrifyingly well “.

Commander Robert Green, R.N.(Retd), (The Peace Foundation):  “A magnificent book”.

Professor Robert Hinde F.R.S.:  “ This is a work of enormous scope and immense vision ;  a mixture of hard facts and idealism “.

Tony Heath (“Tribune”):  “A fine book, “Alternative World” pulls no punches”.

Wayne Madden,  (Teacher; Alberta, Canada):  “ The best comprehensive identification of world social, economic and political problems I have ever read “.

John Platts-Mills, QC:  “ I have probably never read anything about the world's affairs which has made me feel so much at home.”

Richard Rogers (Architect ):  “ An inspiring and challenging book “.

Robyn Williams,  ( Producer: Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Science Show): “ A remarkable compendium of information; original, timely and a marvellous source of facts and figures “.

Howard Zinn,  (Author, “A Peoples’ History of the United States”):  “A very fine piece of work – a devastating portrait of the world as it is ;  and of the ecological catastrophes caused by runaway technologies and greed.   I hope it will be widely read and spur people to action “


Dedicated to everyone open-minded enough to question traditions, and consider totally new ways of ordering our lives and the world as a whole.


It has been suggested to me by critics, both sympathetic and less sympathetic, that throughout this book I have apparently assumed that the ‘open-minded’ are equivalent to ‘like-minded’. In all but one vital respect I would answer that I have made no such assumption, appealing though it may be.

My wish and intention has been two-fold. Firstly to provide the reader with a realistic, though necessarily depressing, description of the current state of the world - together with some historical background and some widely accepted predictions as to the future. Secondly to outline alternative modes of economic and political organisation such as I believe essential for the survival of humanity in any viable form.

I fully appreciate that much of what I propose is controversial. It is for this reason that I dedicate it to the open-minded in the hope that it may act as a catalyst in the evolution of a new and truly positive approach that can be embraced by a whole range of people who currently hold widely disparate views.

The one respect in which the ‘like-minded’ criticism may well be justified is because I believe that every human being is essentially as important as every other.

Please Note
The book has been split into chapters each in PDF format. To read these you will need Acrobat Reader which is free and available from Adobe by clicking the link to the right.


Introduction by Christopher Hill

Part One: Existing World 'Order' - Compelling reasons for change

Chapter 1         Rich World, Poor World
Chapter 2         The Tyranny of Money
Chapter 3         Political Aberrations
Chapter 4         Environmental Crises
Chapter 5         Population Explosions
Chapter 6         Food and Famine
Chapter 7         Criminal Waste on Weapons
Chapter 8         The Critical Factors

Part Two: Alternative World - Utopian? - No! - Achievable and Essential

Chapter 9         Basic Principles
Chapter 10       World Society Reorganised
Chapter 11       World Without Money
Chapter 12       Constructive Work For All
Chapter 13       Human Rights, Justice
Chapter 14       Lifelong Education
Chapter 15       Universal Health Care
Chapter 16       Natural Resources, Food, The Environment
Chapter 17       Energy, and its Uses
Chapter 18       Built Environments
Conclusion       A Way Forward


The author wishes to record his sincere thanks to his daughter Tina and her husband David Hodson for initiating the idea of putting the book on the Internet;  and to their sons Ben and Charlie, and to Ben’s wife Helen, for their dedication to the technical work involved.   He also wishes to record that his late wife Thora's experiences as the first British nurse to volunteer to join the International Brigade against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War,  and later to found the first UK Trade Union for Nurses, made her an invaluable adviser and critic.

Biographical Notes


Nares Craig was born in 1917 in the week of the Russian Revolution. He was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge, and served as a captain in the Armoured Engineers in the 1939-45 war. While commanding tanks adapted to carrying special assault equipment, he re-designed the Bailey Mobile Bridge to increase span capacity and reduce operating casualties. After qualifying as an architect, he worked at the UK Building Research Station on investigations into housing design, production and erection processes, which were recorded in over fifty technical publications. This work resulted in invitations to lecture in various Third World centres, and later to the development of the low-cost Brecast system which was used widely in earthquake- and hurricane-prone areas. He thus gained first hand experience of the harsh realities of lives both in the villages and shanty towns, particularly in Latin America and the Far East. In 1984 he wrote Preventing the Holocaust.

Christopher Hill is former Master of Balliol College, Oxford. He is the foremost historian of the English Revolution and his many books include God's Englishmen, The World Turned Upside Down, The Experience of Defeat, A Nation of Change and Novelty, Liberty Against the Law, England's Turning Point and The English Revolution 1640.


The author may be reached at