Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations provided the first, most influential and lasting explanation of the workings of modern economics. But with his focus on "the market" as the best mechanism for producing and distributing the necessities of life, Smith's concepts only told part of the story, leading to flawed economic models that devalue activities that fall outside of the market's parameters of buying and selling. The real wealth of nations, Riane Eisler argues, is not merely financial, but includes the contributions of people and our natural environment. Here, Eisler goes beyond the market to reexamine economics from a larger perspective--and shows that we must give visibility and value to the socially and economically essential work of caring for people and the planet if we are to meet the enormous challenges we are facing.
Eisler proposes a new "caring economics" that takes into account the full spectrum of economic activities--from the life--sustaining activities of the household, to the life-enriching activities of caregivers and communities, to the life-supporting processes of nature. She shows how our values are distorted by the economic double standard that devalues anything stereotypically associated with women and femininity; reveals how current economic models are based on a deep-seated culture of domination; and shows how human needs would be better served by economic models based on caring. Most importantly, she provides practical proposals for new economic inventions--new measures, policies, rules, and practices--to bring about a caring economics that fulfills human needs.
Like her classic The Chalice and the Blade, The Real Wealth of Nations is a bold and insightful look at how to create a society in which each of us can achieve the full measure of our humanity.
““An essential tool for government leaders, politicians, economists, and everyone looking for ways to halt environmental destruction, eradicate poverty, stabilize population, and build a better future, The Real Wealth of Nations shows us how to construct a sustainable new economy—and a good quality of life for generations to come.” —The Honorable Vigdis Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland 1980–1996 “The Real Wealth of Nations is a call for nothing less than a ground shift in consciousness. I urge you to read this profound and important book.” —Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and Insecure at Last “In this brilliant new look at economic systems and how they interact with culture, Riane Eisler has created what is sure to be a classic and—hopefully—world-changing book.” —Thom Hartmann, author of Screwed and The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight “Riane Eisler is one of the most important and influential thinkers of our time. In The Real Wealth of Nations she turns her attention to the importance of caring and issues a clarion call for contemporary societies to recognize and value the essential contribution of caregiving to human well-being.” —David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World “Eisler has done it again—producing an exciting and urgently needed guide to the economic realities that face our society. Those of us who hope for a new direction in dealing with issues like poverty and global warming need to read and re-read Eisler’s analysis. The Real Wealth of Nations is a necessary handbook for the 21st century.” —Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun and author of The Left Hand of God “The real wealth of nations has always been in people, yet the vast economy of caring (over half of all economic activity globally) is still ignored and unpaid—largely relegated to the world’s women. Eisler sets the record straight, showing us an array of new options for creating sustainable, caring societies. Must reading!” —Hazel Henderson, author of Building a Win-Win World and Ethical Markets “This is a wonderful, hopeful book, not about where we have been economically, but about the potential for economics to reflect what we truly value—quality of life and quality of the environment.” —Daniel Kammen, Co-Director, Berkeley Institute of the Environment, University of California “Why has conventional economics been so slow to offer compelling, useful responses to our most threatening challenges, such as environmental degradation or raging inequalities? Riane Eisler answers this question, and in doing so, reinvents the dis- mal science, infusing it with the essential ingredients it needs to get us out of the terribly narrow box in which we’ve been stuck.” —Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute, author of All Together Now “Riane Eisler speaks from the heart, showing how we can make a better world for our children and our children’s children. It is time to love our planet, love our neighbors, and heed Riane's call to action . . . it’s time for a caring revolution.” —Joan Blades, cofounder, MoveOn.org and author of The Motherhood Manifesto “From third world poverty to climate change, it’s become increasingly clear that traditional economic thinking is not only unable to solve today’s myriad of problems, it’s responsible for many of them. Riane Eisler’s brilliant new book expands the scope and practice of economics beyond capitalism and socialism to a new economics in which equity, justice, and environmental sanity prevail. Must reading!” —Morris Dees, cofounder, Southern Poverty Law Center “In this brilliant new book, Riane Eisler hits the nail on the head. She points out exactly how and why the only sustainable economic systems are those that include the cost of human caring and happiness in the bottom line. Better yet, she provides us with practical steps toward implementing this crucial economic shift.” —Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and Mother-Daughter Wisdom “The Real Wealth of Nations outlines a new economics—one that inspires us to fulfill the dream envisioned when the United States’ Founders declared independence from that earlier empire.” —John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man “This book should be read by every member of Congress, and its practical ideas incorporated into economic policy.” —The Honorable Claudine Schneider, former member of the United States Congress “This book is an essential, practical and loving survival guide to the future.“ —Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science “Listen to Riane Eisler! No one is better at conveying the urgent message that we must abandon our economic double standard, and start valuing the essential work of caring for and investing in ourselves and our environment.” —Ann Crittenden, author of The Price of Motherhood “Riane Eisler is one of the great wisdom voices of our times. In The Real Wealth of Nations, she gives us the vision and understanding —and the tools we can use—to shift our economics to a path where greed and violence no longer prevail, but are replaced by creativity and generosity. If you want to be part of the solution, read this magnificent book!” —John Robbins, author of Healthy at 100 and Diet for a New America “Riane Eisler has provided an accessible, fascinating, and persuasive argument for a caring perspective on economics. Brilliant.” —Nel Noddings, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University and author of The Challenge to Care in Schools and Starting at Home “The Real Wealth of Nations will challenge you to reconsider not just where our nation is going, but also what role you want to play in its future. This is a call to action that should be read and discussed by parents with their children, in our schools, and throughout any and all not-only-for-profit organizations.” —Mark Albion, cofounder, Net Impact and author of True to Yourself and Making a Life, Making a Living “Brilliant and inspiring! Riane Eisler is one of those few extraordinary people whose insight and ability to express complicated ideas in simple language help the rest of us to understand the human condition. The Real Wealth of Nations updates the dismal science of economics to the complex realities of the 21st century and points the way to a sustainable future.” —Mal Warwick, coauthor of Values-Driven Business and board chair, Social Venture Network “What if the world’s economic system supported everyone and Mother Earth, too? This is now possible thanks to Riane Eisler’s The Real Wealth of Nations.” —Dr. Robert Muller, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General “Riane Eisler has always been a revolutionary who has forced us to confront our conventional conceptions with unconventional thought. In her new book she applies her revolutionary insights to that most ‘dismal science,’ economics, and in the process shows us how, with a bit of caring and a great deal of imagination, it need not remain dismal for long. A tour de force!” —William F. Schulz, former Executive Director, Amnesty International USA and Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University “The Real Wealth of Nations describes, illustrates, and animates a new perspective on economics. Chock full of examples and compelling facts on how to strengthen the quality of human and natural capital, it shows what is possible and necessary.” —Jane Dutton, Chair, Management and Organizations Department, University of Michigan School of Business and author of Energize Your Workplace “In this lively and wide-ranging book, Riane Eisler once again powerfully shows that we need to replace relations of domination with relations of partnership.” —Julie A. Nelson, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University and author of Economics for Humans “The Real Wealth of Nations is a must read for all of us. At a time when we desperately need a new voice for a new kind of economics, this great piece of work arrives, rigorously researched, passionately written, and clear as a bell.” —Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money “This highly accessible, reader-friendly book will be helpful to business people and entrepreneurs interested in the organizational learning, organizational development, new science, and new leadership arenas. It’s a must for anyone who wants a better future for our world.” —Barbara G. Stanbridge, former President, National Association of Women Business Owners “This is one of the most important books to be published since the beginning of the new century, crucial at this moment to the well-being of our troubled planet. The Real Wealth of Nations is a source of great hope and resolve.” —Susan Griffin, author of A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War “Nothing is more important today than the reinsertion of caring into our political commitments and our economic decisions. Nothing less than the future of our nation is at stake.” —Jim Garrison, cofounder, State of the World Forum “Based on rigorous research, Dr. Eisler’s new book offers an integrated approach to decrease inequities in society through business, policy, and community changes, as well as the metrics to measure the changes it recommends.” —Charlyn Belluzzu, FilmAid International “Breaking new ground, with keen insight and brilliance, Eisler charts the journey to freedom and well-being.” —bell hooks, author of All About Love “Every Eisler book breaks new ground and identifies more caring, alternative pathways. From a position of vast experience and expertise, she here takes on the urgent question of economics and once again points us forward with passion, erudition and hope.” —V. Spike Peterson, Professor of Political Science and author of A Critical Rewriting of Global Political Economy “Riane Eisler has lent her powerful and unique voice to a topic as significant as it is overlooked. Caregiving has always played a key role in societies. How it is accomplished in our culture will define this generation and profoundly impact the next.” —Sandra Burud, PhD, coauthor of Leveraging the New Human Capital “Combining her powerful intellect with far-ranging life experiences, Riane Eisler has written a powerful book that answers the big question, ‘What’s the economy for, anyway?’ If you need any further evidence that the ‘you’re on your ownership society’ the United States has pursued relentlessly for the past 30 years isn’t working, or just want to figure out what will, read this book.” —John de Graaf, coauthor of Affluenza “Riane Eisler takes on what may be the deepest issue of our time, showing us why systems that ignore caring lead to environmental and social catastrophe. She then gives us a six-step process for building an economy that serves our deepest needs and guides us to a civilization that dissolves problems instead of fueling them.” —Gifford Pinchot, III, President, Bainbridge Graduate Institute and author of The Intelligent Organization “This is a most important work. A caring economy would benefit every child, woman, and man, by valuing the immeasurable currencies that make us human.” —Raffi Cavoukian, CM, author, singer, and founder of Child Honoring “When there’s a Nobel Prize in Caring, Riane Eisler should be the first recipient. With the skill of a world-class therapist, she puts the dismal science of economics on the couch, pierces through its double-speak, and offers practical ways to make it a powerful tool for humanizing our planet. There’s no better act of caring than giving this book to every politician, civil servant, CEO, professor, and decision-maker in your life.” —Michael Shuman, author of The Small-Mart Revolution ”