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The Natural Order of Money
Roy Sebag
Arguing that economic theory operates “in a mathematical vacuum, removed from its wider ecological environment,” entrepreneur Sebag’s polished, eye-opening debut examines the relationship of money to our natural world—and suggests that the “real economy is beholden to a natural standard of measure and reward.” This natural standard, he writes, means that there is “a primary and objective judgment of nature upon the actions of the real economy,” a judgment that we can better understand and prepare for by following the lead of farmers, who know best how to prosper in the natural world. Their example can teach us savings, frugality, preservation, but also points to bigger ideas, too. Sebag’s biggest: “ecological accountability,” which describes “the fact that the cooperative system is always and everywhere tethered to the natural order.”

In clear, inviting prose that will appeal to lay readers as well as economic theorists, Sebag presents ecological accountability as a fact of life. Ignoring it—believing in an unnatural prosperity driven by desires rather than the reality of nature—results in a “parasitic” economy, threatening not just our economic systems but the sustainability of humanity’s very relationship with nature. Though the book is brief, demonstrating but never belaboring its insights, Sebag digs deeply into how economies become parasitic, and offers an impassioned call for what it would take to rise above it: “a faithful respect for nature’s limits and edicts” and a willingness to operate within the parameters of ecological accountability.

That’s heartening, but it’s not necessarily pragmatic in a system that incentivizes quarterly earnings and continual growth. The more practical solution that Sebag presents is the tighter binding of our money to nature via a gold standard. Gold, he writes, reminds the system “of the primary negotiation between man and nature that must take place if cooperative society is to exist and prosper.” Engaging and illuminating, Sebag’s treatise introduces a vital new argument wilth precision and power.

Takeaway: This illuminating treatise calls for an economy in closer balance with the natural world.

Great for fans of: Tim Jackson’s Prosperity Without Growth, Hans Christoph Binswanger’s Money and Magic.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A