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Ii. Foreword by Charles Eisenstein

Ii. Foreword by Charles Eisenstein
FOREWORD by Charles Eisenstein Going into my first conversation with Mark Boyle a year ago, I was feeling a little bit defensive. “He probably thinks he is better than the rest of us,” I thought. “More ethical, more pure, less complicit in the sins of civilization.” His very lifestyle was an implied accusation. When we actually began talking, though, I found Mark to be free of sanctimoniousness or self-congratulation. One contribution of this book is to open that path to others. While we might for very good reasons choose to use money, we may not actually have to. Here, then, is another illusion: we cannot actually achieve independence via money. Mark Boyle offers us one way to do this. None of this means that living moneyless is the only way to enter the spirit of the gift. What about the collective level? That is why I believe Mark’s work has a significance beyond merely describing a more joyful, connected way of living.

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The End of Employment Nothing is easier, as the Long Descent begins to pick up speed around us, than giving in to despair—and nothing is more pointless. Those of us who are alive today are faced with the hugely demanding task of coping with the consequences of industrial civilization’s decline and fall, and saving as many as possible of the best achievements of the last few centuries so that they can cushion the descent and enrich the human societies of the far future. That won’t be easy; so? The same challenge has been faced many times before, and quite often it’s been faced with relative success. The circumstances of the present case are in some ways more difficult than past equivalents, to be sure, but the tools and the knowledge base available to cope with them are almost incomparably greater. All in all, factoring in the greater challenges and the greater resources, it’s probably fair to suggest that the challenge of our time is about on a par with other eras of decline and fall.

Free science and engineering in the global public interest A follow up to my bitcoin magazine interview on natural monopolies, cartels and power law distribution of wealth. Nothing special is required to constitute the State within strict libertarian thinking. It is simply a monopoly landowner: that is the _definition_ of the State if we are honest. You do not like this, but it is [...] Read more → 5 Dirty Secrets About the U.S. Economy - Umair Haque If there’s one thing I hate these days, it’s discussing the U.S. economy. Will raising wages by seventeen cents destroy humanity? Will edible deodorant add 0.000007 percent to GDP? Who Are Indigenous Peoples According to the United Nations, there are approximately 400 million Indigenous people worldwide, making up more than 5,000 distinct tribes. Together we are one of the largest minority groups in the world, spanning over 90 countries. While Indigenous Peoples total only about 6% of the world’s population, we represent 90% of the cultural diversity. DEFINING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES There is no rigid definition of what makes a group Indigenous, but the United Nations and the International Labour Organization have outlined a few characteristics that usually define an Indigenous group: ● We are descended from the pre-colonial/pre-invasion inhabitants of our region. ● We maintain a close tie to our land in both our cultural and economic practices. ● We suffer from economic and political marginalization as a minority group. ● A group is considered Indigenous if it defines itself that way. Each Indigenous group is unique.

Orthodox economists have failed their own market test From any rational point of view, orthodox economics is in serious trouble. Its champions not only failed to foresee the greatest crash for 80 years, but insisted such crises were a thing of the past. More than that, some of its leading lights played a key role in designing the disastrous financial derivatives that helped trigger the meltdown in the first place. Plenty were paid propagandists for the banks and hedge funds that tipped us off their speculative cliff. Acclaimed figures in a discipline that claims to be scientific hailed a "great moderation" of market volatility in the runup to an explosion of unprecedented volatility. Others, such as the Nobel prizewinner Robert Lucas, insisted that economics had solved the "central problem of depression prevention".

7.soft_development_paths A tangible solution to global poverty and environmental degradation Sustainable development means different things to different people. This is a plan for making sustainable development completely tangible and real for the poorest half of the human race by creating a "soft development path" akin to the "soft energy path" presented by Amory Lovins et al. in the 1970s. The soft development path starts by facing real, tangible limits to growth. The environmental footprint of an American is said to be around 30 times the footprint of a Bangladeshi. If the world follows the American, or even the European development model, even with significant new environmentally benign technologies, there is little hope for striking an equitable balance between rich and poor, or humans and nature.

It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? Top 10 Policies for a Steady-State Economy by Herman Daly Let’s get specific. Here are ten policies for ending uneconomic growth and moving to a steady-state economy. A steady-state economy is one that develops qualitatively (by improvement in science, technology, and ethics) without growing quantitatively in physical dimensions; it lives on a diet — a constant metabolic flow of resources from depletion to pollution (the entropic throughput) maintained at a level that is both sufficient for a good life and within the assimilative and regenerative capacities of the containing ecosystem.

It's Growthism, and It's Bad for Us - Umair Haque You know the alien cults that announce to their followers that next year, on October 28th, at precisely 4:05 pm, the master race will arrive, and save humanity? Of course, the aliens never arrive. But that doesn’t stop the cult from believing. It only strengthens their belief.