For The Real Wealth of Nations book group: do the assigned readings before you come to class on the date listed; enter your reading homework for these three questions here (remember to enter useful comments on your topic page, as well).

Real Wealth of Nations cover

2/28 3/14 3/28 4/11 4/25
Intro, Ch 1 & 2 (to p. 46) Ch 3, 4 & 5 (p. 116) Ch 6 &7 (p. 164) and post responses for Ch1-7 Ch 8 & 9 (p. 212) Ch 10 (p. 236) and post responses for Ch8-10
  1. Explain how one idea in the reading relates to other topics already covered in class or something you learned elsewhere (another class or life experience).
  2. List what you think are the three to five most important points made in the reading.
  3. Write a question to provoke discussion among others who read the same passage.

81 Responses to “The Real Wealth of Nations

  1. […] bear the same underlying structure – the same genes as capitalism – for centralization, domination and short-term thinking.  My hope is that the new generation of activists is a movement away from […]

  2. […] enough food/energy/ingenuity to go around unless people work very hard to obtain it.  In The Real Wealth of Nations, Eisler explains that both capitalist and  have been based on a “dominator” model of […]

  3. rwetheyoung Says:

    Wow, I’m awful for forgetting to post this. My bad.

    Response to The Real Wealth of Nations by Riane Eisler, chapters 8-10.
    Renny Young

    1) Eisler mentions steps such as family planning and micro loans as ways of helping developing societies. Indeed, even in the last couple years have these methods been proven as solid ways to aid a culture or country as a whole. Countries with empowered women have been shown to have less crime, more education, less poverty and more democratic aspects as a whole. The power of small changes such as providing access to condoms is very surprising. It does seem to reinforce Eisler’s point on how opportunities for the desperate have very positive effects; it allows them to become empowered in other ways and spreads freedom in a very basic sense. Women who are able to choose the time of children and the amount are able to control their lives in immensely significant other ways.
    2) The main points of this section of The True Wealth of Nations are
    I) Technology is often both incredibly useful and liberating, as well as harmful and destructive. It can be used to hurt or help, to support systems of domination or partnership. It threatens to destroy or severally damage the environment, increases the extreme danger of advanced weaponry and KMD (Knowledge enabled Mass Destruction), but also affords opportunities to heighten welfare, improve medicine, grow more food and spread wealth.
    II) Technology upsets the established social norms, allowing changes for the good or bad of the world.
    III) People are neither inherently good or inherently evil, rather they have inclination for both. Their experiences and the manner of treatment they receive, especially as infants, is the greatest determinant in how they will act or treat others in the rest of their lives.
    IV) Choice is limited by culture, and the options available for the members of that culture. Societies of partnership reward caring and support, where as those of domination reward the opposite. Stress is one of the largest variables in how people treat others.
    V) To build a caring world, we need to attend to a number of large problems n the immediate future. The destruction of the environment, the growing gap in inequality, the simultaneous increases in poverty and population, and the religious domination systems are among the greatest problems our generation faces. In order to entirely change our economy we must restructure it to take human capital and caring as the first priority.
    3) Eisler proposes categorizing technologies into three main entities; technology of life support, actualization and destruction(177-178). She notes that technology of life support and actualization can also be used for methods of domination. An example of this might be limiting access to medical care, or making said care prohibitively expensive, therefor driving a wedge been the wealthy and the poor. Logically, the same reversal is true for technology of destruction, that it can be used in positive ways, and for the benefit of a partnership system. Take for example the many benefits of basic materials research; Kevlar, many different types of plastic, various light yet strong composites. Assuming that some military funding is beneficial, would it be more politically expedient to attempt to cut this funding and have it done through another branch of the government, or convert more military funding to basic research funding?

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