Book review

14:   How to be Rich

By Kevin Jackson; illustrated by Hunt Emerson Ruskin Comics – The Ruskin Foundation –

This little 24-page booklet is in the form of a comic-strip story, but with a serious message. Based loosely on the book, Unto this Last, by John Ruskin, which influenced the early Labour Party as well as Gandhi, the moral it teaches is that as Ruskin put it, ‘there is no wealth but life’ – that is, given security of basic economic needs, money does not bring happiness; in fact, covetousness can destroy happiness – for both the rich and the very poor, who suffer indirectly because of the wealth of the rich. Equitable distribution of the World’s resources has to be the basis for a ‘happy’ World; and ethical business can bring grater happiness, even if not greater financial success.

It is a clear message against the current thrust of ‘globalisation’ and the influence it has on common aspirations for great wealth, though it does not analyse the reasons for this thrust.

Probably a good starter for encouraging the young to think about political economy and personal ambitions; though it does not delve any deeper into causes.

Brian Leslie