Real Wealth of Nations

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Book: Riane Eisler. The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics




"America is teetering on the precipice of economic disaster. Commentators blame deregulated markets and a few bad apples at the top. But these are symptoms of deeper problems. Eminent social scientist and bestselling author Riane Eisler points the way to a sustainable and equitable economy that gives value to caring for our greatest economic assets: people and our natural environment.

This powerful book shows that the great problems of our time - such as poverty, inequality, war, terrorism, and environmental degradation - are due largely to flawed economic systems that set th wrong priorities and misallocate resources. Conventional economic models fail to value and support the most essential human work: caring and caregiving. So basic human needs are increasingly neglected, despair and ecological destruction escalate, and the resulting social tensions fuel many of the conflicts we face today.

Eisler offers a bold reformation: a caring economics that transcends traditional categories like capitalist and socialist and offers enormous economic and social benefits. She describes business policies and practices, innovative economic indicators that incorporate caregiving activities, and new social structures. And she lays out practical steps we can take to move towards a society based on this more humane and effective economic model."


2. Irena Ateljevic:

In her latest groundbreaking work on the Real Wealth of Nations (Eisler, 2007) she deconstructs Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand of the market as the best mechanism for producing and distributing the necessities of life to unpack its deep-seated culture of domination and exploitation that has devalued all activities which fall out outside of the market’s parameters of buying and selling. Instead she proposes that the slowly emerging caring economics takes into account the full spectrum of economic activities of the household, from the life enriching activities of caregivers and communities to the life-supporting processes of nature. In juxtaposition to the overwhelming evidence of structural inequalities and social injustices of the domination system, she provides evidence and many practical proposals for new economic inventions—new measures, policies, rules, and practices— to bring about a caring economics that fulfils human needs. In the many examples given, such as high-quality care for children, she also uses a purely financial cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate how caring is one of the best investments a nation can make. In her insightful economic analysis of policies and their (in)effectiveness around the world, she convincingly shows how the dominant culture of the double economic standard of valorising ‘productive’ over caring activities actually influences economic policies and practices. Eisler’s claims of emerging critical and caring businesses is further supported by the evidence that many mainstream businesses are re-questioning the main purpose of their bottom-line existence (i.e., going for profit only) which has led to the concept of spiritual economy and spiritual entrepreneurs conscious of her/his missions towards the common good of humanity (see Allee, 2003; Harman, 1998; Stewart, 2002; World Business Academy, 2009)."


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