Thursday, July 26, 2007

Silent Spring for the economy?

In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote the groundbreaking book, Silent Spring. It explored the issue of synethetic pesticides and fertilizers which were being spread in massive quantities and how this was creating the unintended consequences of environmental destruction. Most specifically, the impact of DDT on the eggs of bald eagle resulted in shells so thin they cracked and thus bald eagle populations were being decimated. When the national bird is facing extinction--it is time for action. Thus, Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' awoke a nation, the environmental movement was born and the awareness of how interconnected we are through our actions and policies led to real changes. Today, the bald eagle populations have returned and are growing and the changes instituted as a result of her work have benefited us all.

In 2007, Riane Eisler wrote a book--"The Real Wealth of Nations" (RWN) . And I think this book will prove to be the 'Silent Spring' for the economy. In RWN, we are able to see the 'unintended consequences' of economic policies that are now threatening our extinction as a nation--and possibly even as a species.

When we're facing extinction--it is time for action. Thus, Riane Eisler's Real Wealth of Nations is here to awake not only a nation--but the world.

This book is a solid exploration of the current economic model which has its foundation in a belief system of Dominator/Dominated while also providing a template for change. Eisler shows the historical context of how this dominator/dominated system emerged over hundreds of years so that today, we are all born into this value system and never question its validity. Eisler's unique ability helps you see what we so take for granted or as "normal" and view it from a new perspective. It leaves you realizing that the way we're currently running our economic systems is less than optimum--for people and the earth--and that there is another option that will be far more successful economically, socially and environmentally.

The new option is based in a new belief system--which brings back into play a 'value' which has been ignored for too long "caring". Caring as a value has been relegated as a soft/non-monetized action--therefore in a dominator/dominated economy, it has no measurable value. The future economy will shift from win/lose (dominator/dominated) to win/win (caring) and in this change, discover not only can we have a vibrant economy, we can have a world that works. For example, currently we see a 'stay at home mom' has having no impact on the GNP...but in a caring economy, her value can actually be monetized at around $134,471!

As Rachel Carson's Silent Spring showed--we can examine a policy, change it and end up in a better place than before. Riane Eisler's Real Wealth of Nations shows that in examining the dominator/dominated value, changing to a caring value, we'll end up in a better place than we are now!


Ed Darrell said...

Details? This sounds intrigueing, but I want more hints. What are Eisler's chief claims? What examples does she give? Does she have a web site?


Ann said...

Yes, she has a website OR

As for examples--the entire 200+ pages are filled with well-researched information. Eisler's background and experience (she's a lawyer, author of The Chalice and The Blade, has been an activist for many years) make her highly qualified to write this book and she does an excellent job of documenting the history and even showing that 'caring economies' are already emerging successfully.
It is well worth reading--you'll walk away realizing are workable solutions!