The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy

http://www.amazon.com/Value-Nothing-Reshape-Redefine-Democracy/dp/031242924X/ref=pd_sim_b_2

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Expanding on his analysis and recommendations in Stuffed and Starved, which located the horrifying imbalance in the world’s food system in its profit-driven framework, activist and academic Patel critiques free market culture at a moment of universal crisis, both economic and environmental. Beginning with a historically grounded account of market society’s operative assumptions, the way capitalism sets the terms of value, Patel takes aim at the notion of Homo economicus: a vision of human beings as self-interested utility-maximizers integral to market society’s dollar-valuation of everything. Through a shrewd and absorbing discussion, Patel exposes the flaws in the model of the world in which people are… prepared to override their own better judgment in service of their selfish natures and the nominal separation of the economy and the state, describing the relationship as compromised but also more plastic then we are often led to believe. With due attention to the developing world as well as Europe and North America, the author offers examples of the countermovement underway and urges us to build on a vision of ourselves far more extensive, generous and hopeful than that confined to market society’s Homo economicus. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“With great lucidity and confidence in a dazzling array of fields, Patel reveals how we inflate the cost of things we can (and often should) live without, while assigning absolutely no value to the resources we all need to survive. This is a deeply thought-provoking book about the dramatic changes we must make to save the planet from financial madness — argued with so much humor and humanity that the enormous tasks ahead feel both doable and desirable. This is Raj Patel’s great gift: he makes even the most radical ideas seem not only reasonable, but inevitable. A brilliant book.”–Naomi Klein, author The Shock Doctrine

“As we confront the crisis in the worldview of orthodox economics, Raj Patel offers us a whole new way to think about price and value.  Bracingly written and full of surprises, The Value of Nothing is itself invaluable, showing us a path out of the darkness of the economic woods.”–Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma

“With THE VALUE OF NOTHING, Raj Patel has done something of great value: in language utterly clear, concise, literate, and engaging, he takes readers through the murk and mess of the economy’s collapse. He shows the hows and whys, how we seem bent on a repeat (no real substantive changes to the practices that got us where we are, at the policy level), but also how we, in our communities, if not larger concerted efforts, have some power to right the course. What Raj Patel did so brilliantly with food in STUFFED AND STARVED, he now does so with money and the economy.”–Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company

“In this riveting eye-opener of a book, Patel dismantles with great fluidity and precision the reigning theory of the free market and its applications: how it creates in our global society deep inequalities of power, based solely on the diktat that our fundamental  needs (water, decent food, housing, health care) are worthless because not profitable, and thus leading to economic chaos and a loss of community empowerment. But there is also hope in the emergence of social groups around the world who are insisting and reclaiming ‘the right to have rights’ through their democratic engagement. Patel brilliantly shows us how both a fairer society and a sustainable economy are possible as long as we are willing to seize back our freedom to choose from colluding governments and corporations.  ‘The Value of Nothing’ should be required reading for any self-respecting citizen of the world.”–Marie du Vaure, Vroman’s Bookstore

“It’s only January 2010, and we already have a candidate for the most important book of the year. Raj Patel’s The Value of Nothing takes aim at the conservative orthodoxy that has dominated American politics and economics for the last several decades, and he scores a direct hit.”–Bill Petrocelli, Book Passage

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031242924X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312429249
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s