“Sacred Economics” by Charles Eisenstein

book cover

Subtitle: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition

Recommended to me by: Tina Tau

This book has a hopeful story about our current disastrous economic and political situation. In reaching for connection rather than separation, we can build a new sustainable world to emerge from the ruins of the old. I love that story, and the support it gives me for the ways I choose to live my life.

The book itself is repetitive, and attempts to convince by comparing an unsubstantiated idyllic past with an admittedly problematic present and attributing the difference to charging interest on money, as well as monetizing the Commons. I’m not convinced that ceasing to charge interest will return us to the idyll, nor am I convinced that it’s possible to wrest the world from the interest-charging people in power.

My doubts were awakened when the author blithely states in passing that poor people are fat because they are addicted to food because of scarcity. When I see such a blatantly false unsubstantiated statement in his book, I start questioning the rest of his narrative.

I also noticed that the book makes no mention of sexism or racism as it describes the appropriation of the commons. I didn’t notice any mention of most of the appropriation being done by white men. Seems like an egregious omission not to have that truth front and center. The Resistance is being led by middle-aged women, many of them of color. It rankles to be erased twice, first in being the ones who are stolen from, and second being the ones who are rebuilding.

I like the impulse to envision what we do want, rather than fighting what we don’t want. We need people to do both, and I am more suited to the former than the latter.

Available at Powell’s Books.

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