365 Books #3 – "The Subsistence Perspective"

Sharon July 31st, 2009

Ok, I’ve already probably pimped this book so many times that y’all are bored, but it is a brilliant, important, and deeply under-rated book, and I don’t want anyone to miss it.  Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen and Maria Mies have put together a truly necessary analysis of what is available to us, once we acknowledge that in their industrial forms, both capitalism and socialism have failed us. 

That we believe that there’s no other choice but a few industrialized, huge scale economic options leads us to make terrible choices.  With their emphasis on small scale and humane models, they argue that there are other choices, all emerging from cultures of subsistence. 

The authors are feminists, and they take as given that subsistence models must include basic justice issues, and must stop erasing the contributions of women and the poor.  But don’t let that turn you off – nor the fact that it is translated from the German.  This book is worth your time and effort.

 Sharon

2 Responses to “365 Books #3 – "The Subsistence Perspective"”

  1. risa b says:

    She’s right, folks. The authors put their finger on why there has been such an insistence on globalization — to make the world safe for megacorporations, one must convince the general populations the world over that they cannot take care of themselves. Much of the attack on self-reliance is carried out through an attack on women from pulpits, legislatures, board rooms and advertising agencies — to get us to “know our place,” leave the smallholding, work in the factories and then buy the factory products — including factory-farmed “food” — with our low (non-union of course) wages. The age of industrialization brought with it the deliberate deprecation of “women’s work” and subsistence economy (which are close to identical) in order to facilitate the extraction of value from our lives and into the pockets of the very, very few.

    Get it, read it. Plan your life accordingly.

    risa b

  2. shoshana says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I LOVE this book. I want this world.
    -Shosh

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