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5.0 out of 5 starsOutlines a value set for a "New Economics" which can serve us all fairly
Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2014
From the perspective of someone who's read many books on the nature of our economic system in the USA (and global capitalism), I must say that this author does a marvelous job of holding up a much different and more holistic set of values than those which presently undergird our economic-political system and are wreaking social and ecological havoc - power and domination. The values she espouses as a necessary foundation if we are to survive well into the future are mutual caring and cooperation. If you think about it, those are the very values which come from the foundations of all the (credible) world religions. And by extension, those values are the ones which are truest to our common Divine true inner nature and therefore are the very best for our lives on the planet with and for each other and the "natural order." I am simply in awe of her insightfulness and brilliance, not to mention caring.
4.0 out of 5 starsCaring Wealth Optimizes Cooperative Economics
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2015
Brilliant. This would make an interesting conversation partner with Laura Brown's feminist therapy for a therapeutic economy and a cooperative economic sociotherapy. The only reason I chose 4 stars, rather than 5, is because I was surprised that all the economic performance research on cooperative economics was not highlighted as a dipolar point of contrast with Eisler's well-articulated critique of dominant-competitive Business As Usual economics. A strategic and logistic comparison of Win-Lose assumptions in competitive value-choice environments, with Win-Win cooperative economic and ecological logistical assumptions and values would only further articulate a brilliant position advocating thrival of the interdependently fittest investors over the painfully obvious limitations of fully understanding economic ecology as survival of the fattest depositors.
Eisler's evolutionary view of economic theoretical development is also spot-on, resulting in her highly intelligent choice of title for this essential reading for anyone wanting to invest more effectively in the economic and ecological dynamics of their own lives. We are all economists, choosing to invest in real nutritious wealth or in that other toxic short-term sugar rush of beating down the Joneses.
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat ideas, stops short of reaching actionable conclusions
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2010
Riane Eisler's book collects and amplifies on many strains of her long-time research into social and personal relationships. The key theme is that of transitioning from socio-economic wealth creation and exchange based on domination/hierarchical arrangements to those founded primarily on cooperation. This theme is restated multiple times. Examples of successful cooperative business and social situations are presented. The writing is clear, passionate, yet controlled. This book is yet another in a series of treatises and Jeremiads which seek to undermine the perceptions held by too many self-satisfied citizens of wealthy nation-states that their primary economic arrangements (global corporation-dominated paternalistic capitalism) are the epitome of evolution of wealth creation. While the points Eisler makes seem comnon sense to the already converted (of whom I am certainly one), I wonder whether they are quite as convincing to those who have a vital psychic stake in adhering to the myths and perceptions of the world economic system ubiquitously pervasive in well-to-do societies.
Where this very good book/manifesto comes up short for this reader is in making the obvious conclusion: a system which is the result of thousands of years of male dominance socio-economic patterns, and which relies on coercion, criminality and corruption will not change just because yet another very-well written analysis of its faults has appeared. As we well know, Power concedes nothing without a demand - never did and never will. All of the gains (such as they are) made by people in terms of decent working conditions, reasonable employment terms, restrictions on child labor, proper staff-management relationships, equal opportunity, etc., came from real struggles, strikes, sit-ins, demonstrations, boycotts, active, persistent pressure on the few who deny well-being to the many.
In other words, the book is short on "naming names" and does not ultimately have the force of Zola's "J'Accuse"-type statement of facts to point the finger squarely at the economic injustice perps and their tacit support for corporatist-mentality group-think by the brain-washed public and defacto takeover the governance of the planet. For indeed the current inequity and inhumanity of wealth distribution and use are not "natural" or inevitable at all.
Definitely read the book for its excellent scholarship, positive tone and general clarity of argument. It's a good "teach-in" tool for re-orienting one's thinking about what *ought* to be the proper methods for generation of the Real Wealth of Nations. Its historical overview and recommendations for alternative metrics and differentiation of life-enhancing from life-stifling economic activities are spot on. However, suggestions of how to FORCE these changes to come about are scant. The impact of Eisler's work is therefore likely to be primarily academic and not revolutionary in nature. While a slow, evolutionary, step-by-step approach to reversing humanity's fortunes (literally and figuratively-speaking) is certainly a preferred path, the powers-that-be simply won't allow it to happen that way. Just look at the response by the various Governments to the current financial crises - they rushed to cover the Banksters' private gambling losses caused by greed and imprudence, and left the populace with the bill: to be paid by John and Jane Q Public for generations to come. In the absence of true concerted action against the entrenched dominance systems, the current state of affairs, of mostly-unbridled exploitation of natural mineral and living resources, devaluation of women, poor, weak and unlucky will continue apace.
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2007
In The Real Wealth of Nations, Dr. Riane Eisler has created a powerful piece of critical literature for the 21st century. By peeling away layers of social unconsciousness and tradition, Eisler reveals what is fundamentally wrong with today's global economic measurements and explains what is required for humankind to create a sustainable economy and peaceful future for the world.
Changing the world requires more than changing the way we act; it requires changing the way we think. In easy-to-read language, Eisler helps readers do this by challenging traditional systems of thought and urges us to consciously reflect on our personal as well as societal actions. She shows how quality of life is an infinitely more important measure of happiness than monetary prosperity and that partnership rather than domination is the social structure that will allow humanity not only to survive, but to thrive.
I highly recommend this thought-provoking book to anyone who wants to help create a more peaceful and fulfilling life for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren.
--Ken Beller, lead author of Great Peacemakers and The Consistent Consumer
4.0 out of 5 starsShifting our view of economic value
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 3, 2010
This book is an expression of a broader movement calling for us to re-evaluate human activity and think about economics in a more inclusive and balanced way.
Riane Eisler moves from classic economic thinking - about markets and traditional value-generation - into a way of framing value that challenges cultural norms and assumptions. The examples of alternative 'partnership' models, particularly in Scandinavia, show that 'caring economics' are possible, viable and indeed preferable.
This Real Wealth of Nations provides a very useful source of thinking to innovators who are seeking to shape new models of exchange and bring about deeper cultural and social transformation in our communities and businesses.
5.0 out of 5 starsHits the nail on the head. Finally, in a nutshell, how we got here, and how to get out of this mess.
Reviewed in France on October 31, 2010
We all live in a bit of a fog. Bombarded by advertising, brain washed from birth by indoctrinisation, swept along by the wave of testosterone and oxytocin, we all try desperately understand why we are here, how life got to be so unfair, why some people have to pay such hard prices to exist and why others get to live so easily, either materially or morally. After When God was a woman (Merlin Stone) we were able to question the opium we are fed, on a planetary scale. Then when the Chalice and the Blade came out, we were shocked by the far reaching repercussions that have affected our "modern" civilisations and how badly women have been tortured, burned at the stake, openly, secretly, and how openly it has all been so approved of.
Now, finally, we have spelled out for us, in black and white, step by step, multi faceted, concrete, spelled out, easy to understand, one-plus-one-equals-two solutions to the domination, warrior civilisation that is still blinding us. The system that has evolved from our brutal beginnings.
This is not an order, tablets chiseled out by "god" and ordained by a bearded man for all to obey. This is inspiration fuelled by information, not dogma. How could mothers and fathers all over the planet continue to carry out such diabolic methods of domination over our own kind for so long? Fear, scarcity, competition for survival. Now, the time has come to allow caring to overcome the fear, artificial scarcity created precicely to maintain domination, and competition for survival. Caring is now a recognised value. Caring spells out the truth. We are all here to help. Now we can. This is the reason you are reading this, this is the reason you have noticed the book. Its your chance to participate, to help. Everyone can. The information in this book provides options, possibilities, for everyone to participate in the universal awareness thats hitting us all, and contribute to making it legislation. Domination benefits a few. We are many. Charlotte Yonge