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, Bangladesh-s 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 Gandhi-s 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.
About the Author
Rajni Bakshi was born in Delhi and grew up in India and Jamaica, West Indies. She studied at Delhi University (India), George Washington University (USA) and Rajasthan University (India). Since 1985 Rajni has made a home in the fertile ground between journalism and activism - chronicling struggles for more humane and ecologically sound ways of life. Her first book, "Long Haul: the Bombay Textile Workers Strike 1982-83" (1986), was an account of one of the longest and largest strikes in history. Her second book, "Bapu Kuti: Journeys in Rediscovery of Gandhi" (Penguin, 1998), was a tribute to a wide variety of social and political activists working in India. This book inspired the Hindi motion picture 'Swades', which was directed by the Oscar nominated Ashutosh Gowarikar.
The decade since 2000 has been dedicated to listening to a wide range of innovators, in the realm of business, politics and philosophy - who are exploring ways to re-configure how 'The Market' works. This journey of exploration is captured by Rajni's latest book "Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom: for a market culture beyond greed and fear" (Penguin, 2009).
Rajni is also the author of several booklets, including: "A Warning and an Opportunity: the Dispute over Swami Vivekananda's Legacy" (1994), "LETS Make it Happen: a backgrounder on New Economics" (2003) "An Economics for Well-Being" (2007)
Rajni is based in Mumbai, India, where she serves on the Boards of Child Rights and You (CRY) and Citizens for Peace (CfP). She is also a long term associate of Centre for Education and Documentation (Mumbai & Bangalore).