MCkibben's thesis is finalized with a careful examination of multiple examples across the planet where local economies are transforming the lives of individuals and communities, and providing the framework for a durable, sustainable future. Also, he highlights the ways in which reproducing the dominant economic model across the planet will lead to catastrophe: individually, communally, and ecologically. Imagine India and China on par with the production and consumption habits of the USA?!
McKibben is not ideologically blinded contra capitalism, but pragmatically committed to short term happiness and long term survival...both of which are simply not sustainable if we continue to follow the dominant economic system of "more equals better" and "efficency requires distance" and "greater profit for the few equals greater choices for the many".
Deep Economy is not simply about envisioning a better way to do economics: it is a challenge to confront the dangerous future facing all of us and imagining ways of living that will not succumb to dispair or hide in denial. I think McKibben's prescription for local economies rooted in community living guided by daily democracy is spot on: as is his understanding that no one model will suit every circumstance or provide answers for the entire planet.
I do not think McKibben's book is just a reshash of old arguments: I think it is a fresh look at multiple examples of local economies across the planet, utilizing the latest technological advances and geared to address the frightening up to date climate change indicators. Obviously, "more does not equal better" is hardly a new inisght...but the many examples from around the world of how communities work together to embody this principle is fresh and exciting and an education in itself.
I am grateful that McKibben avoided doom and gloom anti-capitalism and vitriol for the West, especially the USA. His tone was consistently hopeful and constantly bringing the reader back to actual examples and practical solutions in the real world. Still, he was clear about the responsibility the West and the USA holds in adding to the impending crisis we all will be facing, and that if real leadership were truly sought...then embracing local economies rooted in community democracy would be precisely what the USA would offer to the world. And not because we have anything to teach the world...but because our consumption and production habits are the lion's share of the problem.