Financial wizards, economists, business persons and social activists around the globe have been challenging the free market orthodoxy. They seek to recover the virtues of bazaars from the tyranny of a market model that emerged about two centuries ago. This book is a chronicle of their adventures.
From Wall Street icon George Soros and VISA card designer Dee Hock we get an insider critique of the malaise. Creators of community currencies and others, like the father of microfinance, Bangladeshs Muhammad Yunus, explore how money can work differently. The doctrine of self-interest is re-examined by looking more closely at Adam Smith through the eyes of Amartya Sen. Mahatma Gandhis concept of Trusteeship gathers strength as the socially responsible investing phenomenon challenges the power of capital. The Dalai Lama and Ela Bhatt demonstrate that it is possible to compete compassionately and to nurture a more mindful market culture.
This sweeping narrative takes you from the ancient Greek Agora, Indian choupal, and Native American gift culture, onto present day Wall Street to illuminate ideas, subversive and prudent, about how the market can serve society rather than being its master. In a world exhausted by dogma, Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom is an open quest for possible futures.