The Global Economy’s Immune System
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
JE: …First, you had some pretty challenging things to say about the concept behind this magazine.
PH: This is a wonderfully ambitious project, and you have a great team to do it with. But let me raise a provocative question around the title, Value. The magazine is wrapped around a concept of ?inclusive capitalism.? Does this mean a variant of capitalism? And if so, I?m curious to know what the ?keepers? are and what is being put aside. I?m also more than a little concerned about the thinking that there are three billion new consumers out there, that the next big thing is the ?bottom of the pyramid.? From the view of the global south that is not trained in corporations and business schools, it smacks of colonialism and imperialism all over again. From their point of view, the concept of pyramid is in itself a problem.
JE: Go deeper.
PH: From their point of view, as I understand it, it is the top of the pyramid that needs radical revision, as its appetite is unquenchable when it comes to the world?s resources. That is not to say that billions don?t deserve and need more, or that the Millennium Goals are not desperately needed. But I remember talking to Teddy Goldsmith [gadfly older brother of the late billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, and founder of The Ecologist] about a program he was proposing that would ?train? the poor in development, and I asked him very sincerely about whether or not it might be just as important to train the rich to not overdevelop. He was somewhat peeved and dismissive, but I think it is a valid point. In other words, physician heal thyself.
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