Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 pm
The Economics of Happiness
by Helena Norberg-Hodge
This comprehensive documentary describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, an unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. The film shows how globalization breeds cultural self-rejection, competition, and divisiveness; how it structurally promotes the growth of slums and urban sprawl; how it is decimating democracy. We learn about the obscene waste that results from trade for the sake of trade. We hear about the demise of land-based cultures in every corner of the world.
At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance — and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm — an economics of localization. The film provides not only inspiration, but practical solutions. Arguing that economic localization is a strategic solution multiplier that can solve our most serious problems, the film spells out the policy changes needed to enable local businesses to survive and prosper. We are introduced to community initiatives that are moving the localization agenda forward. We see the benefits of an expanding local food movement that is restoring biological diversity, communities, and local economies worldwide. We hear from a chorus of voices from six continents, including Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Samdhong Rinpoche, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Michael Shuman, Zac Goldsmith, and Keibo Oiwa. They tell us that climate change and peak oil give us little choice: we need to localize, to bring the economy home. The good news is that as we move in this direction we will begin not only to heal the earth but also to restore our own sense of well-being.
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