So I read this book by Raj Patel, the so-called Matreya. Anyone still remember?
However if he IS the matreya, he has not reached his full potential yet. His book is rather fragmented, deep down in the green pluralist confusion, and IMO he does not give an answer to the title of the book: "How to reshape market society and redefine democracy". He is no Phillip Goodchild, apparently. But he is very passionate, willing to learn from mistakes, and very involved in grass roots movements in Africa and India. Let's see what he can do in a few years.
However I was surprised to learn about Buddhist economy, a subject Patel writes about in a short passage in the last chapter of the book. E.F. Schumacher, a colleaeuge of John Maynard Keanes, apparently wrote the Buddhist Classic "Small is beautiful" after converting to Buddhism in Birma, before he became a christian later on.
Does anybody here know about Schumacher and his Buddhist Economics? I am interested to hear more about this
Here’s a link to Schumacher’s essay “Buddhist Economics.” He sounds a lot like Patel to me, and Schumacher is credited with being “integral” long before the prime kennilingusoro. See for example Excerpt G discussing A Guide for the Perplexed as “the best introduction to this traditional notion” of the Great Chain’s holarchy. The same sentiment was reiterated in Integral Spirituality, Appendix I.
I also found the following essay by Gar Alperovitz in the Schumacher Society archive. I’ve referenced Alperovitz before and his book America Beyond Capitalism (Wiley, 2005). See “A direct stake in economic life: worker-owned firms.” And again, this sounds much more like Patel than Wilber. Funny how there is not a trace of Wilber at the Schumacher Society. (Or Patel either, for that matter.)
I was mistaken. The Schumacher library contains two of Wilber’s books, The Holographic Paradigm and Up from Eden. No Raj Patel though.
The following excerpts are from the 2/11/10 SS newsletter. Again, sounds more like Patel or Wilber’s economics?
The Great Transition [in the UK]
The report sets out seven main interventions. These include:
- A Great Revaluing to make sure that prices reflect true social and environmental costs.
- A Great Rebalancing that sets out a new productive relationship between markets, society and the state.
- A Great Economic Irrigation that helps money and investment flow to where it is most needed.
But how do we get there? The Great Transition suggests a universal Citizen's Endowment of between £40,000 and £50,000 to give every adult an equal chance in life and the opportunity to invest in education, a business or local productive assets. This would be funded by a phased rise in
inheritance tax on all estates up to 67 per cent and would go a long way to reducing the massive inequalities of inherited wealth in the UK.
Community land trusts are also central to The Great Transition. The report also proposes redistributing working time by setting out a four-day working week for everyone that would cut GDP by a third without a major loss of jobs.
There would be a major reorganisation of business, with publicly listed companies progressively transferring shares to their staff, giving them real control over the companies where they work. This would lead to the creation of a series of co-operatives, operating in regulated markets, and subject to
competition from new companies. This is designed to change power relations within workplaces, creating a form of economic democracy.
There would be new variable consumption taxes, replacing income tax, reflecting the social and environmental costs of goods. A windfall tax on the profits of fossil fuel companies, for example, could channel funds into clean energy projects. There would be government lending for large-scale
green energy and transport projects, channelled through a national Green Investment Bank. There would be a new national Housing Bank, more along the lines of those in the USA, offering people the opportunity to transfer a portion of their mortgage debt into equity and paying social rent on the
There would be new regulations on the reserve requirements of private banks, which would be related to the social and environmental value of their investments. This is intended to engineer a 'race to the top', avoiding the more familiar race to the bottom, at the same time as reducing speculation
and credit bubbles.
Come on. Milton "I don't think I was ever regarded as evil" Friedman proved that the opposite is true. You can get away with almost anything as long as you do it in the name of growing prosperity and reducing taxes for "the people". Nobody will ever try to hang you at the end of a hemp rope. These are civilized times after all.
And then of course, what could ever be more effective than doing nothing to control the markets. Everybody knows that emptiness is the highest state of all, even Ken Wilberitis says so. You just go check it on the webz. It's the same with the ladies, give them a finger and they take your arm. Give them nothing at all and they will come running after you. Crazy shit but that's how the world keeps turing around. You better recognize this, Man. Grow up, dude. Don't be a dreamer like them frekking communists or something.
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