Brown’s book, co-authored by individuals with varied backgrounds in economics and public policy, delves into the idea that “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, resilience, and beauty of the commonwealth of life.” The authors propose an equation and use it to ask some basic questions about economics; what is the economy for, how does it work, is it too big, can it be supported by the “commonwealth of all life,” and what is fair?
The book also highlights four potential “global” institutions, intended to implement the book’s collective vision of a more ethical future. The authors conclude by suggesting four steps that can be taken to bring about necessary change, modeled on the campaign for the abolition of slavery in England in 1787.
Reviews suggest that the discussion of these issues is well-informed and insightful. Dr. John Scull in Ecopsychology wrote that by shifting the goal from economic growth and sustainability to a “right relationship,” the book allows for a cooperation between the principles of the Earth Charter and the world economic, political and ecological systems. Scull calls this a “superb” analysis of the environmental situation. Reviewers agree that the book is well-researched and informative, providing a meaningful concept of this “right relationship” that gives readers a useful measure of their personal and collective decisions.