Review: Conscious Capitalism–Principles for Prosperity

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad)

Conscious CapitalismStraight from the Author: Systems are Value-Neutral, June 25, 2009

David A. Schwerin Ph.D.

Am in a UN design seminar and have been listening to the author, whose next book is Conscious Globalism: What’s Wrong with the World and How to Fix It, and am enthralled. We are on a break. Here are the highlights:

+ Economic crisis we are experiencing is a blessing. We NEEDED this kind of large systemic failure to wake us up.

+ Systems, such as capitalism, are value-neutral. It is the individuals whose personal and social and cultural values determine the direction and nature of the system.

+ Values are a means of teaching what works for the long run. Individuals that cheat others know deeply that they are less worthy and soiled, but they get away with it, and the community does not protest, provided there is a certain level of global stabilization. When everything goes bad, then values re-assert themselves as “timeless.”

+ Politicians follow rather than lead. In the absence of public engagement, they follow the money.

+ “There is an influx of consciousness coming into the planet.” The new generation of young people have a different consciousness and appear to be ready to adopt longer views, less selfish views.

I really like the above point, and am reminded of Will and Ariel Durant, and their Lessons of History, that specifically isolated morality as a strategic value that is priceless.

The author is a phenomenal speaker and the message in this book is not out of date at all, but I do want to alert Amazon customers to the imminent availability of his new book, “Conscious Globalization.”

From my own reading, I am listing below 5 books for each of two groups:

Predatory Immoral Capitalism:
The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War
The Working Poor: Invisible in America

Conscious Moral Capitalism Creating Infinite Wealth
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
In addition to the author’s two books, see also
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Infinite Wealth: A New World of Collaboration and Abundance in the Knowledge Era
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

This book has been translated into Chinese and is in its second mass printing in China. From my own listening to this author in person, I draw out the lesson that capitalism is a system for innovation and individual entrepreneurship, and that no system is sustainable that seeks–as the USA does–to consume 25% of the earth’s resources for the benefit of 5% of the global population.