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Friday, 5 March 2010

Book Reading Goal : Week 5

This week's book is  The Value of Nothing: How to reshape market society and redefine democracy, by Raj Patel. I had not read his first publication, so I came across this fresh and ready to be challenged. To cap it all off, I was fortunate to find myself on a trip to Paris again. Plenty of time to read!

Value of Nothing aims to challenge conventional approaches to the problem of resource allocation - his artillery is aimed at profit driven markets, and as an alternative he proposes a move a towards more common allocation that lifts all boats. The book is divided in two parts. The first is a rather an inept and misrepresented intellectual attack at conventional economic thought. The second, although largely ungrounded by the first, provides the most interesting material, specifically case studies where democracy is being "re-defined". A wonderful story in there about South African shack dwellers.  However, in terms of substance and new credible ideas, the contribution of the Value of Nothing appears to be nothing. But if you are into Marxist thought or you are a tree hugging environmentalist (sorry!) or seeking seeking to unite economics with Buddhism, you will love the book! Some weird paragraphs in there! Naturally, I am very interested to hear from someone who has an opposite view of the book.

Memorable Quote : "In moving to a more just and sustainable world, direct action that tests the boundaries of private property in the name of global justice will undoubtedly be necessary". [page 177]

Book Reading Goal Review
Books Read So Far : 7 books
Remaining Books to Achieve Target : 43 books
Weeks Remaining to Achieve Annual Target : 43 weeks

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