Saturday, May 06, 2006

Affluenza, by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss

This book is more manifesto than anything else, preaching to the converted. I found it pretty slight actually. If you really want to read a good book about the western world’s mad drive for profits read Naomi Klein’s exhaustive No Logo.

Having said that, if this book inspires people to stop over consuming and take a look at better ways of living, then this book has done some good in the world.

One good point the authors make is about the rampant growth of middle class welfare under the Howard Government, and how ironic that this is defended as helping responsible parents who care for their families, whereas welfare for poorer people is derided as encouraging dependency.

Another good point was Latham’s campaign to win government, which the authors described as ‘schizoid’ – that is, encouraging consumerism, whilst also trying to redress the societal imbalances caused by globalisation.

A salutary book, but devoid of new research or ideas.

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