Affluence without Abundance

The Economist reviews a new book: Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen, by James Suzman.

The book is more than an ethno-biography of the Bushmen, it explores an alternative view of life and a possible path for human development. As the Economist puts it:

Farming teaches people to accept inequality and to valorise work. But for the vast majority of human history there was little point in accumulating, since most of what was needed could easily be got from the surrounding environment. Nor was there anything heroic about work; spending time getting more food than one could eat was a foolish waste.

it also concludes:

Having created countless problems by turning to agriculture, rich societies have little choice but to press on: working, striving and inventing, even as this progress creates more problems in need of solving.

It definitely sounds worth a read.

It reminds me, in its description of the pre-agricultural life, of Richard Donkin’s excellent book The History of Work.

Author: Andrew Munro

A writer, communicator and sovereign professional.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

w

Connecting to %s