Just read The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel, and wanted to record some quotes before I forget them.

In the words of Herman Daily, one of the pioneers of ecological economics, “Current economic growth has uncoupled itself from the world and has become a blind guide”.  In short, the economy takes a great deal for granted, for free, and is constitutionally unable to pay for it. (page 20)

The book talks about British economist John Maynard Keynes and some of his comments/findings:

Professional investment may be likened to those newspaper competitions in which the competitors have to pick out the six prettiest faces from a hundred photographs, the prize being awarded to the competitor whose choice most nearly corresponds to the average preferences of the competitors as a whole; so that each competitor has to pick, not those faces which he himself finds prettiest, but those which he thinks likeliest to catch the fancy of the other competitors, all of whom are looking at the problem from the same point of view.  It is not a case of choosing those which, to the best of one’s judgement, are really the prettiest, nor even those which average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. (page 71)

Also interesting:

Defense spending is increasing among a range of more and less democratically elected governments around the world (though none at the scale of the United States, which spends almost half the planet’s total)… When the biggest crisis facing the planet require education, training, health care and investment in sustainable energy and agriculture, governments are piling record sums into guns, not butter. (page 79)


In .. Fight Club, the first and second rules are that you don’t talk about Fight Club. The cardinal rule of genuine democracy is that you have to talk about it.  It needs meetings at which people can shape the terms on which value is set.  Participating in these meetings isn’t something you learn in school. (page 187)