20 December 2011

Imagining a world without money

The welfare of people and the environment would be better managed if we dispensed with money, according to a new book.

Life Without Money, co-edited by RMIT University Associate Professor Anitra Nelson, argues monetary values and relationships are reducing our ability to act in a humane and environmentally sustainable way.

The book brings together the contributions of 10 activist-scholars, including Harry Cleaver (Reading Capital Politically) and Ariel Salleh (Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern).

Associate Professor Nelson, from the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, said the book was a timely contribution to current debate given the environmental and financial crises the world was facing.

"Take the discussions on how to reduce carbon emissions, which focus mainly on market-based solutions," she said.

"Our book argues that over-consumption in the North has led to many damaging environmental consequences, so addressing climate change through a carbon market might well be throwing good money after bad, so to speak, and fails to acknowledge that we need to live quite differently to reduce carbon-emitting activities."

In association with the release of Life Without Money, Associate Professor Nelson has been invited as a visiting scholar to The New School University in New York early next year.

Life Without Money will celebrate its Australian launch in Melbourne on 3 February.

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