More Than Nothing

Today I would like to introduce you to Raj Patel, who calls himself writer, activist and academic (in that order). Others even call him the Antichrist, which sounds even more appealing, doesn’t it?

So who is Ray Patel? He says about himself that he “has worked for the World Bank and WTO, and protested against them around the world.” Which to me already makes him an interesting figure. He has studied in England and the United States and has written several books. His books talk about the poor and the world food system which starves people on one hand and makes them obese somewhere else.

In his newest book, the Value of Nothing, Patel explains how the prices we give to certain things are destroying our world. With the example of the hamburger, whose hidden ecological and social costs (all the waste produced, the slave-like working conditions of who produces the ingredients, the health consequences, ect) sum up to more than 200 $ according to him. So how come we can get if for a couple of Dollars/Euros?

Patel does not only tell what is wrong. He also proposes solutions. The second part of the book explains “how social organizations, in America and around the globe, are finding new ways to describe the world’s worth.” Meaning re-evaluating actions and things. The Value of Nothing simply gives us an alternative way of looking at our economic situation – maybe that is what we should be doing right now.

If you are interested, click here to get a read of the first chapter. Here you can see him introduce his book:

And for those of you who are waiting for the part about the Antichrist: well, there are some rumours (in order not to call it a conspiracy theory) which say that Raj Patel is the new Maitreya or World Teacher. It all started with a man called Benjamin Creme who proclaimed that the Maitreya has started to speak to us. Raj Patel has followingly been elected as the leading candidate for that position. You can find a much longer article about this idea in German.

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One thought on “More Than Nothing

  1. Great post, Rahel. I started actually reading his book…but did not finish. I love his work in general.

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