The show this week looks at the gift economy. We look at a range of reasons to challenge the cynical, capitalist view of the human as 'red in tooth and claw', listening to evidence from speakers including Alfie Kohn, Genevieve Vaughan & Jeremy Rifkin.
The capitalist system is based on homo Economicus, an unflattering picture of humans as universally selfish, greedy, calculating manipulators of others. Today's show challenges this from several perspectives. We start with OtherWorldsArePossible.org's short reminder from Mali that in many of the so-called 'under-developed' parts of the world, gift culture continues to thrive. After a review of Gift Economy, we have a half hour interview with Alfie Kohn in which he discusses his book "no competition", questioning the assumptions that intense competition is both beneficial and innate to humans. We conclude with an introduction to an interview of Genevieve Vaughan.
The second hour starts with the majority of Genevieve Vaughan's interview. The remainder of the second hour is taken up by the first half of Jeremy Rifkin's keynote speech to the Global Urban Summit in Rotterdam, December 2009. This part of his talk is a pretty stark reminder of the state of the planet, in terms of climate change & peak oil. It sets the scene for the second half, which we shall hear next week, drawing heavily from his book entitled Empathic Civilization, subtitled "The Race to Global Consciousness in A World In Crisis".