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Eisler - The Real Wealth of Nations (2008) - Synopsis

Eisler - The Real Wealth of Nations (2008) - Synopsis

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Published by Mark K. Jensen
Synopsis of Riane Eisler, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2008). Discussed at Digging Deeper (www.ufppc.org) on December 29, 2008.
Synopsis of Riane Eisler, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2008). Discussed at Digging Deeper (www.ufppc.org) on December 29, 2008.

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Published by: Mark K. Jensen on Jun 04, 2009
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10/13/2012

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UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper LXVII: December 29, 2008, 7:00 p.m. 
Riane Eisler,
The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics
(SanFrancisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2008).Introduction: Reasons to Care[January 2007].
Eisler proposes a “newperspective on economics” based on “myresearch over the past thirty yearsapplying evolutionary systems science tosocial systems” and opposing “the
 partnership
or mutual respect systemand the
domination
or top-down controlsystem” (3). Overview of book (4-5).
Ch. 1: We Need a New Economics.
Criticizes “a lack of caring” in ourapproach to personal, social, andenvironmental problems (7-9; declines todefine
caring
precisely [238-39n.7]).Economic models are flawed (10-12). The unpaid community economy, thehousehold economy, and the naturaleconomy must be integrated into themodel (12-14). Economic systems arecreated by humans (14-16). Ways mustbe found to acknowledge the value of 
caring work 
(16-19). Basic questions (20-21). Six foundations: an adequate“economic map”; cultural beliefs valuingcaring; policies rewarding caring;inclusive economic indicators; moreequitable social structures; an economictheory incorporating partnership (21-25).
Ch. 2: Economics Through a WiderLens.
To change economics we mustlook deep into society to discover theprinciples of 
 partnership
vs.
domination
as “two basic social categories”; Eislerblames
domination
(marked by rigidgender roles and other hidden values) forthe failure to value caring (27-30).Systemic change is needed (36-42).Practical steps toward this change (42-46).
Ch. 3: It Pays to Care—in Dollars andCents.
SAS Institute (Carey, NC)exemplifies caring policies (47-49).Statistical evidence (49-53). Socialscience research (53-56). The cost of notsupporting good care for children (56-58). “Ultimately, the real wealth of anation lies in the quality of its human andnatural capital” (58). Scandinavia andU.S. contrasted (58-63). The costs of “uncaring economics” are hidden bypresent methods of evaluation (63-66). The system is accepted because itacculturates people to project aninternalized “punitive father” archetypeonto government (66-68).
Ch. 4: The Economic DoubleStandard.
Dominator values have beeninscribed generally in modernity,including socialism (69-74). They are stillstrong (74-79). Theirroots are muchdeeper than the Bible (80). Economicindicators valuingcaring includeopportunity-cost, global-substitute, andthe replacement-cost methods (81-85).
 
Policy possibilities (86-87). Eislerco-authored a 1995 study showing thatwomen’s status correlates with generalquality of life (88-89). There is evidencethat a global shift is underway (90-91).
Ch. 5: Connecting the Dots.
The“dominator configuration” ischaracterized by punitiveness, violence,hierarchy, corruption, and sexism (93-101). The “partnership configuration” ismarked by rewards andpleasure, greaterequality, trust, and gender equality (102-05). Teduray of the Philippines (105-06).Minangkabau [of western Sumatra] (106-07). Nordic nations (107-11).Partnership social structures havehierarchies, but they are hierarchies of actualization oftenembodyingparticipatory mechanisms(112-14). But networks are notinherently partnership-oriented (114-16).
Ch. 6: The Economics of Domination.
“It’s not capitalism that’s the ogre; it’sthe underlying dominator beliefs,structures, and habits we’ve inherited”(117). History of dominator cultures(117-24). Their role in perpetuatinghunger and scarcity (124-34).Environmental effects (134-38).
Ch. 7: The Economics of Partnership.
 The prospect of a different kind of societycomes from a “vision of progress” thatgrew up alongside the “industrialrevolution” (139-40). There was a“capitalist vision” (140-42) and a“socialist vision” (142-46). Neither isadequate today; we need a new“partneristeconomic theory” (146-53). Two dozen economists with a broaderview named: John Maynard Keynes, JohnKenneth Galbraith, Amartya Sen, HermanDaly, Paul Hawken, David Korten, PaulKrugman, Manfred Max-Neef, RobertReich, Hernando de Soto, Joseph Stiglitz,Barbara Brandt, Edgar Cahn, NancyFolbre, Janet Gornick, Mona Harrington,Heidi Hartmann, Hazel Henderson,Duncan Ironmonger, Julie Nelson, HilkkaPietila, and Marilyn Waring(153-54).Examples of work toward revisioningeconomics (154-60). The institution of the corporation must be changed socorporations are no longer “instrumentsof the domination system” (160-64).
Ch. 8: Technology, Work, and thePostindustrial Era.
A “postmoderntechnological convergence” of biotechnology, nanotechnology, andartificial intelligence is underway (166).We must ensure that new technologiescontribute to a more humane world (165-66). Robotics offers an opportunity toredefine work (166-69). There is a greatrisk that nanotechnology will be used todominate (169-73). Science has oftenincorporated dominator values (174-77). Three basic types of technology: 1) lifesupport; 2) actualization; 3) destruction(177-80). But the most critical problemsfacing humanity are not technological(180-85).
Ch. 9: Who We Are and Where WeAre.
Our capacity for partnership andcaring is ‘wired’ into us, is part of who weare, just as much as our capacity fordomination and cruelty (187-93). Manyproblems arise from the upbringingcharacteristic of dominator families (193-

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