Charles Eisenstein spoke at Google on August 16, 2012 about his recent book, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition. You can read the book for free online, or for a gift of whatever amount you feel is appropriate.
Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme - but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.There is a short film (12 mins.) by Ian MacKenzie that explores the ideas from the book - It's posted below the Google talk.
Charles Eisenstein is a visionary scholar who maps economics, science, philosophy, psychology, and the history of civilization onto our daily activities, with inquiries like, 'How should we live?' 'What's really important?' 'How can our relationship to money be transformed?' He is the author of "The Yoga of Eating," "Ascent of Humanity," and "Sacred Economics."
Sacred Economics is Eisenstein's exploration of the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, where he reveals how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with "right livelihood" and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen and we move into a new age, a new way of being with each other and our planet.
Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. He currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and serves on the faculty of Goddard College. His writings on the web magazine "Reality Sandwich" have generated a vast online following.
True to his word, he lives in a gift economy and has made available both "Ascent of Humanity" and "Sacred Economics" to read online for free!
"After reading Charles Eisenstein's book Sacred Economics, which speaks eloquently about the return of the "gift economy", I felt compelled to gift back. The best way I knew how was to use my filmmaking skills to share Charles' work, and spread it to communities around the globe.
His vision of "the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible" is the salve that so many of us need at this time, in the age of great transition. My hope is this film catalyzes those who work with passion and dedication to live this world right now." - Ian MacKenzie, Director