Life, Money and Illusion
465 Pages
English

Life, Money and Illusion

-

465 Pages
English

Description

In recent years, unchecked growth has brought us to the brink of economic and environmental collapse. Life, Money and Illusion was inspired by the dilemma of having an economic structure that has to grow to remain healthy, while facing the finite limits of our planet. This revised and updated edition launches a review of economic expansion. It examines how growth came to be a goal and how that goal, though once beneficial, is now the propellant for catastrophe. Then, by showing how the economy can be restructured to remain within planetary limits, it points the way to a sustainable future.

Life, Money and Illusion advocates change by shifting the dominant economic paradigm from growth to sustainability. Techniques include:

  • Measuring progress with social and environmental indicators, along with economic ones
  • Encouraging investment in community
  • Practical changes such as full cost accounting, tax shifting and monetary reform
  • Honoring the Golden Rule instead of the Rule of Gold
  • Focusing more on living than on stuff.

An engaging and empowering vision of a future that celebrates humanity's extraordinary ability to adapt and evolve, Life, Money and Illusion will appeal to social activists, business people, students, environmentalists, financial planners, economists, parents, grandparents and anyone else with a stake in the future.

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Informations

Published by
Published 01 September 2009
Reads 0
EAN13 9781550924411
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Exrait

Praise forLife, Money and Illusion
This book is a huge contribution; a comprehensive and visionary approach to sustainable societies and a brighter common future for the human family. ~Hazel Henderson, author ofBeyond Globalization andEthical Markets: Growing the Green Economy
This wise book is a compass to a sustainable future. ~Jim Fulton, Executive Director, David Suzuki Foundation
[Nickerson’s] insights are important beacons of hope in our world, which at times is so paralyzed by fear. Shining a light of truth on the nature of money and the opportunities for genuinely sustainable communities of well-being is of great service to humanity. ~Mark Anielski, author ofThe Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth
The present economic system is geared for perpetual growth. While economic growth was unquestionably a good thing for a long time, economic growth now causes more problems than it solves.Life, Money and Illusionhelps to explain why and offers insights for establishing a sustainable, steady state economy. ~Dr. Brian Czech, author of Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train
Ideas that might from a less thoughtful author seem Utopian, here make far more sense than the pie-in-the-sky notions of perpetual growth. ~Peter Bane,Permaculture Activistmagazine
Nickerson’s wise and readable book approaches this theme from many angles — biology, physics, money, religion, capitalism — interwoven into a fascinating narrative of where our society has gone wrong and how it might put things right. ~Jeremy Smith,The Ecologistmagazine
… an inspiration ... [Life, Money and Illusion] should be required reading in business schools! ~Alison B. Roberts, author ofClutter’s Dirty Secret
I’m not just reading it, I’m savoring it; savoring the philosopy; re-reading the book and marking the memorable analogies drawn. ~Alan Kuper, President, CUSP-Comprehensive
[Life, Money and Illusion] is fascinating; it’s an eye-opener; it grasps the essence of human life and society. ... it shows how money has been used and misused, and what steps we can take to change from a growth-dominated society to a sustainable one. ~Richard Priestman, President, Kingston Chapter, Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform
Your book is so impressive. It should be required reading for all citizens of the planet. I have so enjoyed James Garbarino's Toward a Sustainable SocietyandThe Universe Storyby Swimme and Berry, both of which are first cousins for your book. However you add an enormous amount to a true understanding of this direction. Can't thank you enough! ~Edgar H. Coxeter, Oakville, ON
Seven Generations Publishing
New Society Publishers
Cataloging in Publication Data: A catalog record for this publication is available from the National Library of Canada.
Copyright © 2009 by Mike Nickerson. Original edition © 2006 All rights reserved.
Cover design by Diane McIntosh. Cover images: Zen stones © iStock/Mark Aplet; Golden egg © iStock/Emilia Stasiak Interior illustrations by John Bianchi and Terra Nova Rubacha © Mike Nickerson Printed in Canada by Friesens. First printing September 2009.
New Society Publishers acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) for our publishing activities.
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-86571-659-9
Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part ofLife, Money and Illusionshould be addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below.
To order directly from the publishers, please contact:
New Society Publishers P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0 Canada Toll-free North America: 1-800-567-6772 Outside North America: (250) 247-9737 www.NewSociety.com OR Seven Generations Publishing 2799 McDonald’s Corners Road, RR#3, Lanark, ON K0G 1K0 Canada (613) 259-9988 www.SustainWellBeing.net
New Society Publishers’ mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision. We are committed to doing this not just through education, but through action. This book is one step toward ending global deforestation and climate change. It is printed on Forest Stewardship Council-certified acid-free paper that is100% post-consumer recycled(100% old growth forest-free), processed chlorine free, and printed with vegetable-based, low-VOC inks, with covers produced using FSC-certified stock. Additionally, New Society purchases carbon offsets based on an annual audit, operating with a carbon-neutral footprint. For further information, or to browse our full list of books and purchase securely, visit our website at: www.newsociety.com
NEW SOCIETY PUBLISHERS
Long-term Well-being; Sustainability
Well-being can be sustained when activities: • use materials in continuous cycles, • use continuously reliable sources of energy and • come mainly from the qualities of being human (e.g., creativity, communication, movement, appreciation and spiritual and intellectual development).
Long-term well-being is diminished when activities: • require continual inputs of non-renewable resources, • use renewable resources faster than their rate of renewal, • cause cumulative degradation of the environment, • require resources in quantities that undermine other people’s well-being and • lead to the extinction of other life forms.
www.SustainWellBeing.net/challengeandgoal.html
This book is dedicated to
Eliza
Benjamin
Taegan
Lillian
Conner
Raya
Fergus
Daniel
Nicolas
Anya
Zephyr
Austin
Dylan
and all the children who follow, from whom our generation borrows the Earth.
Azalea
Contents
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ix
Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii 1 Without Vision, the People Perish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 Vision for the 21st Century. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 3 Life: How It Thrives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 4 Problems with Life: Human Impacts on a Full Planet . . . . . 47 5 Mutual Provision: Money, Markets and an Orderly World . . 69 6 Magnitude and Abstraction: When We Grow Very Large . . 87
Problems with Our Market Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 7 Where Value Is Neglected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 8 Where Value Is Overstated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 9 Money: Its Creation, Management and Growth . . . . . . . . . 153 10 The Monopoly End Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Economic Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 11 First Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 12 Practical Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
vii
viii Life, Money and Illusion
13
Monetary Reform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
Transformation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 14 Cultural Foundations: Working Together as Societies . . . . . 287 15 How to Get There from Here: A Question of Direction . . . 309 16 A Crack in the Road: Motor Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357 17 What Will Become of Us? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383
Afterword: Looking Back to the Present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
Appendix: Tapping Our Collective Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
Recommended Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 434
About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 443
Acknowledgments
This book would not have been possible without help of many kinds. First, thanks go to my mother, Betty Nickerson, for instilling in me a social conscience and an awareness and love for the natural world. In addition, she taught me, and countless others, that we can create our own world. To you, the reader, I relay her words: “Keep your eyes on the stars and do what’s possible.” Credit is due to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for the seed money that enabled me to overcome my hesitation and commit to the long writing task. Special thanks to Gisele Morin-Labatut who helped me make contact with IDRC. Thanks to Richard Douthwaite, Marjorie Kelly, Rupert Sheldrake, Bernard Lietaer, Gregory Palast and Brian Czech for their permission to use substantial quotations from their works. As I set out to organize the notes from years of reading, I was living alone with my teenage daughter, Julia. Julia gave domestic purpose to my life, and occasional help around the house. I will always be grateful to our close friends, Stuart Jackson and Sheila Cook, who helped keep me from getting lost in the doldrums of solitude. Others to whom I am grateful for moral support are David Laine and Alice Ayer, Randi Cherry and Robert D’Aoust, Keith Shackleton and Diane Ziegler, Allen Villeneuve, Joel LeBlanc and Martina Flanegan, Ann Mully and Peter and Ann Bevan-Baker. In August 2002, at a Green Party Convention in Montreal, I met Donna Dillman. While there, we shared amusement around policy
ix