Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Great Delusion: A Mad Inventor, Death in the Tropics, and the Utopian Origins of Economic Growth (Steven Stoll)

Now here's a controversial (if not fresh) idea - unending growth as a modern myth at the service of the capitalist system, trying to save it from self-destruction and to overcome its internal contradictions. This book is clearly not going to make it into the top 20 bestsellers in economic and financial circles - nor is it going to go down in history as a major piece of economic writing. The chapters on Etzler's ventures in South America drag on a bit too long without really bringing anything to the argumentation, yet the book manages to totally upset the contemporary framework in which we think about growth, progress, economic and social development and the environment. Disturbing - could have been revolutionary if the author had drawn a correct conclusion from his findings instead of wrapping up his theory on itself.