Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $4.22 shipping
Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics Paperback – January 13, 1994
From Publishers Weekly
A sometimes provocative but simplistic discussion of morality in the form of a Platonic dialogue between a Manhattan publisher and his party guests.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Altogether magnificent . . . Probably no single thinker has done more in the last fifty years to transform our ideas about the nature of urban life.” —Chicago Tribune
“[With] piercing analysis, crystalline prose and [a] finely-honed sense of morality, Jacobs covers an amazing amount of ground.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Superb . . . Cobbling together a little urban anthropology, a little economic history, and a vast store of highly nuanced personal observations . . . Jacobs is an indispensable provocateur.” —Village Voice Literary Supplement
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The main theme is that humanity has implemented two systems for survival. One, guardianship, that seems to spring from our DNA and is practiced by many social animals on our planet. The other, trade or commerce, that appears to be uniquely human. These are not competing systems, they are complementary. They each have their place and they each have their rules. These rules are often, when not directly opposed, not aligned.
For me, the insight that there are two systems at work in our society and that they have different goals and require different rules has made it much easier for me to analyze and understand the forces at work in my environment. It has also made it easier to understand why some things feel "right" while other similar things don't. For example, it seems desirable to have a company creating a competing bank, but not desirable to have the state or federal government creating a competing bank.
One of the criticisms of this book is the choice to write this as a Socratic dialog. I regard this approach as superior to the typical academic approach. Stories are easier to remember and often easier to understand, but I respect the views of those that don't. If you don't like something, then it is a fact that you don't like it. It is irrelevant that I think you should. Further, other readers of these comments may feel as you do--so it is a valid criticism. Just be aware that it will not be true for everyone.
Another criticism is that Jacobs didn't explore concepts or provide guidance that they expected. While I cannot argue that their expectations were met and they just missed it, I can argue that the expectations of the critics are owned by the critics and that there is no evidence that Jacobs promised to meet those expectations. I would also add that just the fact that her book created the desire to have additional ideas covered and guidance provided is a positive thing--not a negative.
This explains much of what both sides of the political divide like and dislike about our political leaders, past and present.
This is the way we can keep our economy from sinking to 3rd world and how Developing nations can rise above and succeed.
Very hearty food for thought. I am a little surprised that I don't see folks making the connection between the duality that Jacobs outlines here and the similar duality that is described in the book "Clash!: How to Thrive in a Multicultural World " by Markus and Conner. The way tehy describe something very similar is the clash between Independent and Interdependent cultures.
The tone of this book was different than those read previously, but is similar to "The Nature of Economies."
It is set up as a didactic dialogue of varied perspectives. The conversational tone is a little difficult to take seriously initially.
However, all the observations are sensible, and Jacobs has a knack for presenting the theoretical with a solid basis of facts.
Most recent customer reviews
The first got lost in my library.
Platonic dialogues very interesting.
Is it right or wrong to lie? Of course, it's wrong -- honesty is an obvious moral ideal.Read more