I had an interesting conversation the other day with Charles Eisenstein, author of the book Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition.
With Charles I run into an issue I often face with progressives: we tell different stories to reach the same conclusions. Our areas of agreement:
- Modernity is marked by separation and alienation, especially compared to tribal life
- People use materialism (more stuff), to make up for that loss
- The growth economy must evolve into a sustainability economy
- The sacred world is coming
That’s a lot of agreement! And to me what makes Charles such a powerful and welcome voice in the progressive economic debate is his emphasis on the last point. He not only has a positive vision of the future but he is also doing brilliant work in helping us to create it, by articulating new concepts of economics, currency, the commons and even right-livelihood.
So where’s the rub? Again it’s the story of how and why humanity got to where we are. Did we go wrong? If so where and how? If not, why are things so screwed up?
It’s an important discussion and Charles and I had a juicy time with it. Have a listen and see what you think.