The Imaginary Economy: A New Conception
by Mario Fabbri
La fabbrica delle illusioni s.r.l.s.

"But because productivity has greatly increased, the aspirations of the many people who want to work today can only be realised in the imaginary economy."

It doesn’t take an economist to wonder why, with the constant increases in technology, people still make the same amount of money, or work the same number of hours, despite progress offering relief or opportunity. However, the author of this book uses his expertise in economics as well as insight from the study of sociology to provide an answer to this question. By examining the so-called “imaginary economy,” this book details how societal norms and values, as well as the need for people to consume any produced goods, create a perfect storm where things like inefficiency and non-productive behaviors actually serve as a backbone by which many world economies function. Full of relevant quotes and historical parallels, this book identifies this strange anomaly and outlines ways in which it could be replaced while also pointing out its necessity.

Economics can be a daunting subject for the average reader and radical economics even more so. The author of this book breaks things down simply, though, using real-world examples, plenty of classic ideas from celebrated thinkers, and even a little bit of fictional storytelling to make his observations clear and easily digestible. Each section of this book is clearly defined and used to build its argument, investigate the situation, and then answer some lingering questions. Standing out as a revolutionary idea while also an effective means of getting his point across, the story at the end of the book, “Story of Ytali Land,” does a surprisingly capable job of explaining the core idea of the entire text in just a few, short, entertaining pages. The author wisely points this out in the book’s introduction, giving readers an easy access point to the thoughtful ideas in the rest of the text.

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