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Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
 
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Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition [Format Kindle]

Charles Eisenstein
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Revue de presse

Sacred Economics:

"This brilliant and beautifully written book is an indispensable must-read for all those who believe our economic system is terminally sick and in need of radical, sacred rehaul. Charles Eisenstein has the great gift of being able to make complex ideas both thrilling and inspiring. I hope this book begins a serious, worldwide conversation on how we can reinvent our attitude to money."
—Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism

"While political pundits, financial analysts and Occupiers fumble on how to transcend the intensifying global financial crisis, Eisenstein is trailblazing bold new ideas and possibilities for how we conduct monetary exchange."
—Jonathan Phillips, Huffington Post blog

"I consider Charles Eisenstein one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time. Rarely have I met a person who combines such philosophical and spiritual depth with such practical insights into the cultural and institutional origins of the potentially terminal dysfunctions of modern society—and the potential solutions."
—David Korten, author of The Great Turning

"If you want a convincing account of just how deep the shift in our new axial age is and must be, look no further than this brilliant book by Charles Eisenstein, one of the deepest integrative thinkers active today."
—Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation

"With his breadth of knowledge, enthusiasm, commitment, diligence, and sensitivity, Charles has become a beacon of hope for others. Your heart and mind will be opened by this treasure of a book that shines with wisdom of crucial importance to our troubled world today."
—Kamran Mofid, founder of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative

“[Sacred Economics] meticulously explains why our current system will inevitably give rise to cyclical and worsening economic crises. [Eisenstein] exposes the myths and lies that sustain power structure, the social and spiritual devastation in which we are all complicit, and lays the foundation for a way of thinking that can restore hope and help us emerge to a positive future. … Eisenstein’s book provides some of the most creative and hopeful ideas out there.”
New Consciousness Review

“[Charles Eisenstein] puts his money where his mouth is. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition is published under a Creative Commons copyright. … This arrangement, similar to that of open-source software, is a tiny sample of the economic system that Eisenstein predicts for our future. … Of course, a new economy means the old one needs to go. That would be scary news if not for Eisenstein’s optimistic way of describing the transition. He effectively argues that when we dismantle monetization, we give birth to community. Together, we can help noble impulses become profitable enterprises. Money may have caused our biggest problems, but redefining it could help us solve those same problems.”
Grid Magazine

"'If anything is sacred in this world, it is surely not money.' So says Charles Eisenstein, who believes that people can act outside of the money economy, despite the power it has over their lives."
Foreword Reviews

"Eisenstein is no revolutionary or anarchist. In fact, he’s an evolutionary. While reading Sacred Economics, I realized I had not achieved an objective relationship with our money system. I don’t have money. It has me."
Common Ground


Also by Charles Eisenstein:
 
The Ascent of Humanity:

"Brilliant and original, with great depth of insight and understanding, Eisenstein's Ascent of Humanity easily ranks with the works of such giants of our age as David Bohm, Julian Jaynes, Jean Gebser, Whitehead. It is a profoundly serious, indeed somber portrait of our times, even as it opens a door of honest hope amidst the dark destiny we have woven about us. Accept the challenge of this major accomplishment and discover the light shining within it."
—Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child, Evolution's End, and The Biology of Transcendence
 
"Quite marvelous, a hugely important work... This book is truly needed in this time of deepening crisis."
—John Zerzan, author of Future Primitive and Elements of Refusal

Présentation de l'éditeur

Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.
 
This book is about how the money system will have to change—and is already changing—to embody this transition. A broadly integrated synthesis of theory, policy, and practice, Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with "right livelihood" and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen.

About the Imprint:
EVOLVER EDITIONS promotes a new counterculture that recognizes humanity's visionary potential and takes tangible, pragmatic steps to realize it. EVOLVER EDITIONS explores the dynamics of personal, collective, and global change from a wide range of perspectives. EVOLVER EDITIONS is an imprint of North Atlantic Books and is produced in collaboration with Evolver, LLC.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Knowledge is power! 20 novembre 2011
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The year is 2011. The world is in total turmoil economically and war is the name of the game for western nations eager to steal precious resources from middle-eastern states. Protests flourish globally while the 1% replace governments and install technocrat representatives to do their bidding. The people are being robbed of all their wealth ensuring that 2012 will be the mother of all battles for human survival. When people have nothing, they have nothing to lose! This book peels back the layers to expose what is happening right under our noses and provides a crucially important guide on how to survive. Forewarned is forearmed. Having a blueprint of the actions you need to take is paramount for your survival. Sadly, most will never get to read this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  75 commentaires
117 internautes sur 125 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beyond 5 Stars, an Integrative Pioneering Work 14 août 2011
Par Robert David STEELE Vivas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Sacred Economics is the second book in the new Evolver Editions imprint, following Jose Arguelles Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness. Other books in the first season include What Comes After Money?: Essays from Reality Sandwich on Transforming Currency and Community, The Secret Tradition of the Soul, The Four Global Truths: Awakening to the Peril and Promise of Our Times, The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic, Star Sister: How I Changed My Name, Grew Wings , and Learned to Trust Intuition, and Nothing and Everything - The Influence of Buddhism on the American Avant Garde: 1942 - 1962.

I read a lot, and the one word that really describes this book is "integrative." The author describes, in three parts, what is wrong with what he calls the "economics of separation," today's money and financial network economy that lacks soul or spirit; its alternative, the "economics of reunion" in which all forms of transaction have memories, gifts and reciprocal gifts and localized forms of exchange rule, and economics is fully integrated with society to produce social and cultural dividends. The third and last part closes the circle with a hundred-page discourse (double-spaced large print, this is not a hard book to read) on how to live within the new economy in which gifting, community, and beauty are integrated.

Throughout the book the author evolves his core point: money is "hard" and nurtures external diseconomies, including grave destruction of cultural and social intangible value-gradually the author builds up to his conclusion, that beauty is a tangible value, that relatedness is a tangible value, and that in the past century or two we have stripped so much value from what it means to be human as to have become less than human, less than we can be.

This is a Unitarian book, a truth and reconciliation book. Early on I make a note:

QUOTE (XVII): "What is this truth that has always existed? It is the truth of the unity of connectedness of all things, and the feeling is that of participating in something greater than yourself, yet which also is oneself."

The author goes on to make it clear that any loss of diversity, animal, vegetable, or mineral, is a direct deprivation of humanity and the ecology of life.

One subtlety that jumps out at me early on is that a gift economy is actually a stewardship economy because the gifts are constantly in motion, and therefore the brief time that one has a gift in hand before passing it on, can and should actually be considered a time of stewardship.

Greed comes from scarcity, the author tells us, and he goes on to discuss how the concept of scarcity is contrived, false, and dangerous to all of us.

I find a new and very exciting waste fact chain.

QUOTE (25): Consider the food industry, which exhibits massive waste at every level. According to a government study, farm-to-retail losses are about 4 percent; retail-to-consumer losses 12 percent, and consumer-level losses 29 percent.

He then goes on to discuss the additional waste inherent in using agriculture for biofuel, and using oil-based mechanization instead of labor-intensive farming, the latter would increase both employment and agricultural productivity.

I do the math: 45% waste. That is remarkably consistent with an excellent Price-Waterhouse-Coopers study, "The Price of Excess," which found that 50% of every health dollar in the USA goes toward waste.

The ensuing discussion on waste-including planned obsolescence, gadgets used rarely, McMansions, weapons-is very satisfying and supports his core point: there is no scarcity of resources on Earth, only a scarcity of compassion and justice among those making decisions about the distribution of resources and about the future of society.

This book is full of insights. There are new ideas for me across every page, so this book is not just integrative, it brings forth a fresh perspective, it creates new knowledge.

One example: economies of scarcity demand that those things that previously were free (e.g. village child care) be made scarce and then sold. Imagine all those people living on two dollars a day (bad) and now imagine all that they are getting from one another outside the money economy (good). I stopped reading and spent time on this one insight.

There is a great deal of Zen in this book. The author provides an endlessly provocative questioning of how we spend our time and how we spend money and how we think about our life goals-he ends up suggesting that we just "be," that we just "play," and imagine how that would feel.

This is not a book that Libertarians will love for its critique of property-as much as I myself have thought that I was leaning toward Libertarianism, mostly in reaction to a very large, very expensive, very corrupt federal government and out of control banks and corporations-this book focused on how individual sovereignty is the first step toward separation from the whole and the first step toward inalienable rights to destroy, own, and direct irrespective of the common good. Taken to its logical conclusion, in a closed system, property creates poverty. Heavy thought. For the first time, I am confronted with my own internal dichotomy-loving liberty in the ideal on the one hand, and loving communion on the other. At the same time, later in the book, I find that the author and Libertarians, particularly Ron Paul, are very much on the same page with respect to refusing to allow banks to create money and requiring up to 100 percent reserves.

The entire book is about "true cost" or what Herman Daly calls "ecological economics," Paul Hawkins "natural capitalism," others the "triple bottom line." Central to the author's call for our redirecting government back into the business of stewardship of the commons, is the belief, which I share, that ALL costs-both tangible and intangible-my own analytic matrix includes political-legal, socio-economic, ideo-cultural, techno-demographic, and natural-geographic-must be investigated, publicized, and integrated into all deliberations.

Chapter 12 on Negative-Interest Economics is completely new to me and certainly warrants being circulated on its own as a stand-alone item. This is for me a totally absorbing and very educational read. I begin to grasp the brilliance of imposing penalties on money that is not in motion, and although I am a fan of Open Money and alternative currencies, the author brings all of this to life is a very fine manner. More to the immediacy of the moment, he ties negative interest money directly into the current debt crisis, and clearly charts a path by which we can gradually (hence non-violently) draw down the concentration of wealth and get money in motion where it matters most: in the hands of those who are not uber-wealthy. This is a chapter that needs multiple readings. It provides a logic for sustainable economics that I have not seen elsewhere, and that strikes me as being "root" to our future coding. As the author describes the book in a latter chapter, it reverses the dynamic we have today, where it is profitable to deplete the commons, while restoration of the commons is not profitable, and only attractive to the altruistic.

The last third of the book is this age's version of an operating manual for spaceship earth, but also a deep philosophical retrenchment of the wisdom of the indigenous peoples whose centuries old deep knowledge has been nearly destroyed by centuries of religious dogma, feudal corruption, and predatory corporatism. Among the many chapter here two short ones, on nonaccumulation and on a new materialism, capture the essence of the paradigm shift. We are one, in one no one lacks for anything. The intangible values of beauty, knowledge, love and time are again infinite, and the tangible of our daily bread is also infinite. As one TED speaker said so brilliantly recently, "God is what happens when people are interconnected." Yes.

Other books I recommend can be found within my most relevant lists of reviews. Search for the exact title will produce instantly online, with links to all books within each list at their Amazon home page.

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Bio-Economics

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Civilization-Building

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Common Wealth

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Conscious, Evolutionary, Integral Activism & Goodness

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Evolutionary Dynamics
71 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Book I've Been Waitng For 3 septembre 2011
Par Charles A. Metcalf - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Charles Eisenstein's recent book, "Sacred Economics," is the book I've been waiting for. Finally, a brilliant scholar has produced a comprehensive and prescriptive vision for a future that promises to escape the dystopian path humanity is now embarked upon, although not without prompting my caveats.

Lucidly written, the first part of the book explains the increasingly dysfunctional workings of the grow-or-die financial economy in great (and often reiterative) detail. For some, this will be tough sledding because his analysis undercuts the Chicago School of Economics ideology that is constantly beaten into our brains by the mainstream media. The material he integrates is abstract with many independent variables.

He makes crystal clear what some of us have known for a long time about the roots of poverty, climate change, environmental destruction, wealth concentration, the erosion of democracy, and the destruction of the human spirit under corporate rule. He carefully and logically deconstructs the arguments put forward by the spokespeople for the present system.

More importantly, he combs the entire history of the world for ideas and practices that have shown us the way out of the traps set by a money system based on artificial, contrived scarcities and the theft of the commons. In Chapter 17 he puts all these together as a symbiotic interconnected program for a peaceful transition to a stable, sustainable economy in harmony with Nature. If you find the previous chapters to be preaching to the choir (the book is 469 pages long) go directly here and then backtrack to pick up the pieces.

But he doesn't stop here, and that's where I think he begins to get himself in trouble. He questions the "meta-Stories" that we tell ourselves about who we are. I would paraphrase the essential point of his inquiry as, "What underlies the evolution of the present inhumane and ultimately destructive economic system?" He identifies the biblical dominionist vision of human "Ascent", the loss of our sense of universal interconnectedness, the transfer of the wealth of the commons into private property. He counters the view that--as a "rational actor"--man is innately selfish with the proposition that what I do to you I also do to myself. He decries our general neglect of the importance of qualitative experience such as the production and appreciation of beauty

So far so good. But at this point, his moral philosopher self takes over from his scholarly economist self. He proposes the eventual transition to a moneyless "gift economy" free of commodification and quantification. He holds that such economies free us from anxiety about scarcity when we have confidence that our freely given gifts will be returned with gifts that will satisfy our needs. This will strike many as an unrealistically sanguine view of human nature. We are an inherently unpredictable animal capable of schadenfreude or misanthropy unrelated to economic injustice. He goes even further to hold that the material world will come to be regarded as sacred, thus erasing the dichotomy between the material and the spiritual.

I have no need or desire to argue with him about the validity of his philosophical and spiritual insights. What bothers me is that he makes these views central to the goals of his transitional economics proposals--to the point of choosing "Sacred Economics" as his book's title--when his eminently practical proposals for transforming our financial operating system can stand on their own merits in service to a society merely looking for a way out of the traps it has set for itself.

Eisenstein identifies the many current local initiatives that seem to be leading to a self-organizing transition to a reemergence of harmony with Nature. By and large these efforts spring from an educated elite, or from indigenous populations who have retained important connections to Nature. In so doing he neglects the tremendous weight of a seven-billion strong global population dependent on the existing interlocking web of the corporate/government technostructure hell-bent on a lemming-like trajectory. He neglects the fact that the majority of the world's population can feel their subjugation but lack the wit or the conceptual tools to do anything about it. Such people cling in desperation to the known.

Finally, the notion that the material world will come to be regarded as sacred (thus erasing the dichotomy between the material and the spiritual) will be regarded by the billions-strong adherents of the ancient messianic religions as not only a threat to their beliefs but as a proposal for the triumph of secular humanism. Ironically, they will be strange bedfellows with those who--fearing theocracy--hold freedom of religion to be a most treasured tenet of the Bill of Rights. I worry that many who would otherwise be open to his practical proposals will reject them out of hand because of these fears.

Nevertheless, I must confess that I've found personal inspiration in being immersed in the notion of the importance of giving, and that his stress on the miraculous sacredness of our world gives his book a human warmth which it would otherwise lack. With some regret, I guess what I'm saying is--throw out Eisenstein's baby--but drink deeply of the bathwater.
55 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 most important book of the decade 15 août 2011
Par dam9 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This is an absolutely astonishing book; a must read. We ordinarily don't think of economics as sacred. In a way we often see economics and the sacred as opposites. Perhaps: economics as worldly, and the sacred as otherworldly. As Eisenstein (correctly) asserts, this is part of the problem. Compactly, thoughtfully, and with feeling - Eisenstein shows how the history of economics and of our relationship to money have led us to this moment in history. This moment in history means: a time when the earth is on the verge of multiple ecological crises, and when our economic system itself is similarly on the verge.

Indeed, Eisenstein's work well predicts the current malaise and multiple crises the world is presently undergoing. Most importantly, Eisenstein shows us (and the world) the way through this mess and into a fundamentally more sane, more sound, and more soulful (sacred) economic system.

Do you ever wonder what will happen to the world in the next twenty to thirty years? This book will show you. Never has there been a more pressing time in history, and never has there been a book that so clearly shows us how we got here, what is unfolding before our eyes, and most importantly, where might we go from here? This includes, specifically, not just what will happen to our economic system if we are to survive, but what you and I can do starting today to make this more humane and bountiful future come into being.

I don't ordinarily review books, but am moved to do so because this is such a masterpiece of a book.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Prepare to be shaken to the core 5 novembre 2011
Par Benjamin Crandall - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Do you want to live in a world where humans treat each other and all of creation as the sacred gifts we are? Read this book.
Do you want to know how to protect yourself from our slow-motion train wreck that is the global debt-based economy? Read this book.
Do you want to obliterate any blocks you might have about money so that we might all share in abundance? Read this book.
Do you want to live your life as your soul intended? Read this book.
Are you prepared to unlearn everything you thought you knew about money? Read this book.

This is one of the most important books I've ever read. There were definitely some parts I didn't agree with at first reading. Some of it felt a little "utopia-ish" or "pie-in-the-sky." But then I got it. Eisenstein has seen not only the world that could be, but the world that IS BECOMING. He is a true modern day prophet. He has looked deeply at economics and discovered an understanding so deep that he has left me in awe.

This book forced me to confront and abandon many of my assumptions about the nature of reality, of humanity, and of myself. If you are like me and some of the book seems a bit unrealistic, I urge you, please keep an open mind until the end. It might just change your life. Eisenstein might just be seeing right into the heart of the world that is emerging in front of us.
24 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It's worth $20,000 and more !! 6 septembre 2011
Par Gloria Chan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I read a book a day, run a Body Mind Spirit Book Club, spent half my earnings in book stores, but I have never written a book review until now. If you still don't see how important this book is to me, maybe you should know I wrote off a $20,000 debt someone owed me and asked nothing of him in return except to read this book. And I have to add that I don't really have that sort of money to throw away. This is how bad I want everyone to read it, because on its pages are not words but a vision of hope for the future of humanity.

I will keep this short because the average person don't have time to read too many long reviews. I have no intention to expand on what others have already said about the book. While they had done a wonderful job, I don't think any summary or synopsis will do it justice. The ideas it covered are so radical and with so many ramifications that it will easily be dismissed by most as impractical and over-idealistic if read in snippets. Half way through my reading of it, I was still skeptical if ignorance, social conditioning and resistance could ever be overcome, but every chapter took me one step closer to believing that it's really the answer I had been waiting for. It's a manual for the future ! I have my work cut out for me. Everyone has a part to play and that's why everyone should read it. And like a manual, it has to be read from cover to cover !
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