Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Two new books reviewed by John Lanchester

How civilisation started by John Lanchester in The Newyorker
The two books are Against the grain:A deep history of the earliest states by James C. Scott, and
Affluence I thought abundance:The disappearing world of thebushmen by James Suzman
An excerpt
"When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession—as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life—will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease."

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