Raj Patel Talks About The Value Of Nothing

I first saw Raj Patel when he was on the Colbert Report. He was first a guest back in January and this appearance led to a religious cult declaring him as a messiah because…he stuttered in that interview.

Obviously he isn’t he’s a very naughty boy, but he has some good ideas. The latest ones he put into a book called: “The Value of Nothing: How to reshape market society and redefine democray”.

“This is a deeply thought-provoking book about the dramatic changes we must make to save the planet from financial madness” — Naomi Klein. Opening with Oscar Wilde’s observation that “nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing,” Patel shows how our faith in prices as a way of valuing the world is misplaced. He reveals the hidden ecological and social costs of a hamburger (as much as $200), and asks how we came to have markets in the first place. Both the corporate capture of government and our current financial crisis, Patel argues, are a result of our democratically bankrupt political system.

This short, timely and inspiring book reveals that our current crisis is not simply the result of too much of the wrong kind of economics. While we need to rethink our economic model, Patel argues that the larger failure beneath the food, climate and economic crises is a political one. If economics is about choices, Patel writes, it isn’t often said who gets to make them. The Value of Nothing offers a fresh and accessible way to think about economics and the choices we will all need to make in order to create a sustainable economy and society.

“The opposite of consumption isn’t thrift. It’s generosity.”

– Raj Patel

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