Week with “The Economist”
by Chetan Parikh
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This is what we found interesting from the current issue of the “The Economist” (July 28th – 03rd August 2012).


Humanity can only consume what exists, and what exists is provided by Nature.  However, Nature does not have unlimited resources to provide for our unquenchable urge to fuel growth, greed and consumption. The focus of 21st century economics ought to be: how to preserve Nature’s depleting resources for the wellbeing of our future generation. That is our prime responsibility.


Are the present politicians, economists performing their duty?


  1. “Flight to Spain” (page 9): This article states, “the worst nightmares are the ones that you cannot wake up from”. We are in the midst of a nightmare where there may be a population of 9.5 billion and a greedy, growth and consumption driven economics that may not be able to provide adequately for the future. We are not waking up to this nightmare.


  1. “Another fine mess” (page 10) is about two presidential candidates in the United States, one conservative, and the other liberal.. They continue to pursue the outdated 20th century mindset.


  1. “Free Exchange | What would Milton Friedman do now?” (page 60). ‘The Chicago economist was a critic of a mighty state (which has got mightier since his death in 2006). He was a passionate critic of public-school monopolies (which remain as resistant to reform as ever).  He was the quintessential engaged intellectual’


  1. Finally, page 74 is an obituary of Alastair Burnet, the former editor of “The Economist” from 1965- 1974. “He was the broadcaster and a highly successful commentator. He changed “The Economist”…to make its appearance less austere, its headlines and captions more chatty and its style more punchy…This was his dream and he performed it.”


Let’s consider what is needed then. As George Schaller puts it “conservation from our selfish stand points will save humanity from extinction from the planet”. To provide for this conservation we need a multi-disciplinary team consisting of biologists, cosmologists, paleontologists, historians and liberal intellectuals like Karl Popper, Jacques Derrida, Peter Drucker and Stephen J. Gould who will imbibe in us the necessary toolkit, vision and instinct that is needed for survival.


Unfortunately, today, that survival instinct is missing.



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