The return of subsistence knowledges

Published on ZNet, by Majid Rahnema and Jean Robert, July 8, 2009.

… Analogically, an epistemology based on the history of economic ideas seems to us far more important than all the micro- and macro-economics presently proposed as a rapid “solution” of the crisis. To quote a thought attributed to Albert Einstein, “one cannot solve the problems with those who have created them.”

Be fearful of fear:

To search for the true causes of the present crisis requires therefore warding oneself from the panic fear foisted by economic experts wanting people to believe that the “solution” requires more measures from their domain of expertise. The path to the truth about the economy is rather an invitation to touch the ground, that is to ask radical questions about all the “received ideas”.  It is also to painfully and sometimes joyfully recover the perception of concrete things: not only how hard it can become to make a living, but also of the soil and of the other elements and of the ever open possibility of conviviality. It means cleansing one’s vision of fashionable mirages and, perhaps, of an excess of abstractions, in order to remember and to rediscover how, for millennia, the poor have actually been able to defy misery and destitution by obtaining directly from nature and their human surroundings most of what they needed for their livelihood. Not in solitude, but in solidarity.  Not in competing with one another for increasing productivity and personal profit, but intensifying their human and convivial bounds with others with a view to redefining their living riches according to Necessity … (full long text).

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