|PVAF WEEKEND WONDER...DR. RAJ PATEL COULD BE vEDik Maitreya – aka World Teacher, Messiah or Buddha or Savior to save the world from food crisis.....|
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on February 12, 2011
....THE WESTERN WORLD HAS
A SECOND COMING IN
is The Messiah (aka The Buddha, aka Maitreya, aka Brown Jesus) who got
the Colbert Bump with an unexpected result. The boost launched Raj Patel
into the Pantheon of the Divine. Clearly this is a sign that Stephen
Colbert is God, not only is he a King-maker but also a God-maker!!
After an appearance to promote his book
"The Value of Nothing - Why Everything Costs So Much More
Than We Think," on The
Colbert Report in January, 2010, Raj Patel's inbox started to fill with
“a trickle, and then a flood” from apparent followers of
International, a fringe religious group in Britain, asking if he was
the Maitreya – a spiritual leader also known as the World Teacher,
Messiah or Buddha. And then a few days after Mr. Patel's TV appearance,
the leader of the religious movement,
who had been waiting 35 years for this moment, proclaimed that the
Maitreya had just appeared on American television....Mr. Patel has made
himself fascinating to the western economy by his following thinking
the 1970s onward, our economy was hijacked by free-market
fundamentalists whose mantra was greed is good, regulation is bad,”
Patel says on his website. “But it gets darker still: We were all
along for the ride. We bought, ate and drove more. And paid for it
with debt, diabetes and pollution.
“We mortgaged our future,” he argues. “And called it freedom.”
- The economy fails to properly
value resources, Mr. Patel told them. Hamburgers, for example,
should cost around $200 when the full toll of environmental
destruction, low wages and health-care costs are factored in.
"Big business is bad, free markets are evil."
“The opposite of consumption isn't thrift,” says Patel. “It's
- He is not the Messiah, he says, before quoting the Monty Python scene
which a man is mistaken for Jesus. “I'm just a very naughty boy.”
|This weekend PVAF brings to you a this amazing zooming of
Raj Patel to attract western economic world audiences
as a globalization food activist he never would have imagined
when he graduated with Masters degree from Oxford, the London School of Economics and
a Ph. D from Cornell University, and/or when he worked at the World Bank and the World
Trade Organization, and protested against them both as a globalization
activist in his life of 38 years after being born in London to a Indian
origin father from Fiji and Indian origin mother from Kenya, and
living in Switzerland, France, Germany, Poland, India, Zimbabwe and
South Africa. and is a visiting scholar at the University of California,
Berkeley, with his wife and one-year-old son ......you can read his
biography by clicking on his name above....
|Please click on the next line to read about
this amazing personality made famous by Colbert and the recent financial
meltdown and also read the review of his best seller book....
now read this weekend's amazing faming of a global food
Who says Raj Patel is the Messiah?
Globe and Mail: Feb.
11, 2011: Tavia Grant; a reporter with Report on Business)
For a man who says he is sick to death of “the Messiah thing,” Raj Patel
is still perfectly willing to field questions about it.
The economist, activist and academic was in Toronto last week to speak
at a conference and discuss his book, The Value of Nothing, a New York
Times bestseller on how prices don't reflect the hidden social and
environmental costs of producing things.
But his fame over the past year has grown from far odder phenomena in
which he has played a starring role. After an appearance to promote his
book on The Colbert Report in January of last year, his inbox started to
fill with “a trickle, and then a flood” from apparent followers of Share
International, a fringe religious group in Britain, asking if he was the
Maitreya – a spiritual leader also known as the World Teacher, Messiah
It turns out, a few days after Mr. Patel's TV appearance, the leader of
the religious movement, Benjamin Creme, who had been waiting 35 years
for this moment, proclaimed that the Maitreya had just appeared on
American television. It was left to interested parties to figure out who
that was. Some zoomed in on Mr. Patel.
He could, presumably, have deleted the e-mails, ignored the Facebook
comments and YouTube videos. Instead, he blogged about it, pasting a
clip of Monty Python's The Life of Brian. And a month later, his story
appeared in a column syndicated by The New York Times penned by a
friend, Scott James. “He has no desire for deification,” he wrote. “But
he may not have a choice.”
A reluctant god Mr. Patel may seem, but the story has kept him in the
headlines. Devotees have made pilgrimages, a YouTube video, posted by
MarcLA13 titled “Was this the first Maitreya Interview?” has garnered
71,000 hits and some have called him the Antichrist. It landed him back
on Stephen Colbert's comedy spoof in March while The New Yorker ran a
seven-page article entitled “Are You the Messiah?” in late November.
Though apparently frustrated with the whole issue, he remains willing to
talk to the media about it. Has it helped to publicize his ideas?
“Maybe,” he says.
‘I'm a mutt of globalization'
The Messiah chatter, some might argue, is what most differentiates Raj
Patel from the left-leaning, anti-globalization crowd. His ideas seem
familiar: We should place more value on forests, pay people a fair wage
for picking our produce. But a few other things set him apart.
First, the packaging. He looks like a movie star. His slick YouTube
video has garnered nearly 100,000 clicks. He speaks in clear BBC
diction, animated, funny and articulate. He's 38 and looks younger,
active on both Facebook and his blog.
He also mirrors this globalized age. “I am a mutt of globalization,” he
says over coffee – born in London to a father from Fiji and mother from
Kenya, he has lived in Switzerland, France, Germany, Poland, India,
Zimbabwe and South Africa. He now lives in San Francisco, where he is a
visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, with his
wife and one-year-old son when he's not traipsing around the world.
He was educated at Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell
University, and, as his biography says, “has worked at the World Bank
and the World Trade Organization, and protested against them both.”
His origins are humble. Born in 1972, he helped out in his parents'
convenience store in central London. One of his favourite activities was
using the price gun “like a Glock for junior capitalists” to slap
stickers on Mars bars and one-pence tags on his little brother.
It's an anecdote in his latest book, which argues for shifting today's
market culture toward more sustainable economies. It begins with an
Oscar Wilde quote: “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the
value of nothing.”
Bits of his thinking are predictable: Big business is bad, free markets
are evil. But he draws on conversations with ordinary people around the
world, from farmers in Chiapas to shack-dwellers in South Africa and
tomato pickers in Immokalee, Fla., to ground his argument that local
democracies should be strengthened.
He also has the luck of timing. The world has emerged from the financial
crisis on shaky ground. People are looking for new models, be they
offered by the Tea Party or would-be saviours, and much of what Mr.
Patel talks about – imbalances in global food systems, the dangers of
unfettered markets – happens to be in areas where people are looking for
His global views are what brought Mr. Patel to Toronto last week. It
wasn't his usual speech to the converted. It was a gathering of
human-resources professionals. At 8:30 a.m. on a snowy Friday, about
1,800 of them turned up.
For an hour, he paced the stage, brow furrowed, speaking without notes,
draped in a green scarf with a black blazer and jeans.
“I feel a little out of place here,” he joked at the outset. “I'm
The economy fails to properly value resources, Mr. Patel told them.
Hamburgers, for example, should cost around $200 when the full toll of
environmental destruction, low wages and health-care costs are factored
in. Food protests around the world reflect how broken the market system
is. On just what the human-resources profession should do about it, he
fell a little short.
If it seemed a little incongruous – the man who helped to orchestrate
anti-globalization protests in Seattle is invited by corporate Canada to
preach his own gospel – the audience seemed fairly attentive.
His basic message, to share, be generous, co-operate, protect public
spaces, buy local, resonated with some in the crowd. “Raj Patel was
amazing!” one attendee tweeted. “Impactful and thought-provoking,”
Bill Greenhalgh, chief executive of the Human Resources Professionals
Association, which hosted the conference, said he asked Mr. Patel to
speak because his members need to have a global perspective. “It's a
borderless world and trends that are occurring in other countries have a
major impact on what's happening in Canada,” he said. “The one thing Raj
was pointing out is we are very interconnected – what happens in Beijing
one day impacts Berlin the next day.”
The making of a Messiah
Which brings us back to the stranger-than-fiction year he has had. Mr.
Creme's proclamation last year that the Messiah had appeared on U.S. TV
sent people scurrying to identify who it might be.
Mr. Patel seemed to fit for several reasons. According to Mr. Creme, the
saviour flew from India to London in 1977. He is part of the South Asian
community. He possesses a sense of humour. He's male. He speaks
“earnestly of the need for peace, achievable only through the creation
of justice and the sharing of the world's resources” – issues that Mr.
Patel happens to be quite fond of.
Share International has taken pains to distance itself from the outing
of Mr. Patel. Todd Lorentz, who lives in Edmonton and is the group's
Canadian spokesman, emphasizes that Share has never officially
identified Mr. Patel as the Maitreya. “Anyone who has carefully read the
information put out by Share International over the years would not make
If it is a mistake, the group hasn't done itself any favours by refusing
to directly deny that he is the Messiah.
Mr. Patel responded to the Messiah questions with a blog post titled
“Call Me Brian” last year, which had the effect of egging them on. “As
it happens, I do think that sharing, fraternity, justice and
co-operation are terrific things,” he wrote. “I also think that
prioritizing the needs of the poor, hungry and oppressed is a
non-negotiable part of a sustainable future.”
He is not the Messiah, he says, before quoting the Monty Python scene in
which a man is mistaken for Jesus. “I'm just a very naughty boy.”
......AND NOW TO UNDERSTAND
PATEL HAS GOT
THE ATTENTION OF THE WESTERN ECONOMY
YOU CAN READ THE REVIEW OF
TODAY'S NEWS PERSONALITY RAJ PATEL'S
NEW YORK BEST SELLER ......
Reviewed by Gordon Laird
who is the author of
The Price of a Bargain: The
Quest for Cheap and the Death of Globalization.
From Saturday's Globe and Mail Feb. 12, 2010
It isn’t every day that video trumps the written word, but the video
trailer for Raj Patel’s The Value of Nothing is such a pithy
introduction to this challenging and important book, it bears repeating:
“From the 1970s onward, our economy was hijacked by free-market
fundamentalists whose mantra was greed is good, regulation is bad,”
Patel says on his website. “But it gets darker still: We were all along
for the ride. We bought, ate and drove more. And paid for it with debt,
diabetes and pollution.
“We mortgaged our future,” he argues. “And called it freedom.” br />
Sound timely? It is.
The Value of Nothing: Why Everything Costs So Much More Than We Think,
by Raj Patel, HarperCollins, 250 pages, $26.99
This book comes at an important juncture. At a time when every major
Western nation is betting hard on a full recovery from the great global
recession, this unprecedented attempt to spend our way back to normal –
through hundreds of billions in bailout and stimulus dollars – is
creating new risk. And it’s not just because of incomplete reform of a
financial system prone to collapse: More profoundly, many nations are
depleting their very ability to govern and address critical problems
like unemployment, health care and climate change simply because they
are increasingly overspent on salvaging a broken status quo. Amazingly,
the United States now boasts an unemployed pool that is nearly equal to
Canada’s entire population, where as many as six million households
continue to live off food stamps, with no other income.
TThe cost of normal is becoming unsustainable, something that became
clearer this month when President Barack Obama reported a budget of
$3.8-trillion and unprecedented deficits for the next decade. That's
quite a price tag for a recovery attempt that has thus far failed to
rescue millions from destitution and foreclosure.
Today's financial crisis is no mere anomaly, Patel argues.
“There's a widely shared opinion that normality will ultimately return
to the world economy,” writes Patel, a renowned economist who divides
his time among several institutions. “But it is a consensus view that
rests on a narrative of [economic] bubbles being exceptions to the
standard.” If our assumptions about the stability and wisdom of markets
were flawed, as former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan famously admitted to
U.S. Congress in 2008, “then our faith in a gentle return to earth is
misplaced, for there is not, and never has been, any solid ground
beneath our feet.” br />
Patel argues that our problem isn't just the size of our stimulus
package, but a deep misapprehension about the relationship between
society and economy that dates back well before the great crash of 2008.
And, more to the point, it is our propensity to over-value destructive
things – such as financial derivatives and crude oil – and under-value
truly valuable things – such as sustainable food production, our global
climate and other so-called externalities that market society has often
neglected. This results not only in bad outcomes, but “indelible
inequalities in power.” In other words, if today's quest to regain
yesterday's growth fails under the stress of 21st-century challenges, it
likely won't be Wall Street paying the price.
Consequently, today's financial crisis is no mere anomaly, Patel argues,
but a continuation of a struggle over resources, property and government
that dates back to the privatization of common lands in the early
decades of England's Industrial Revolution. “The perpetual quest for
economic growth has turned humankind into an agent of extinction,
through the systematic undervaluing of the eco-systemic services that
keep our Earth alive,” he writes. “In short, the consumer economy takes
a great deal for granted, for free, and is constitutionally unable to
pay for it.”
With epic scope, The Value of Nothing poses a spirited exploration of
everything from the influence of market extremist Gary Becker of the
Chicago School of Economics (and contemporary of Alan Greenspan) to
social movements on food sovereignty and participatory budgeting that
show us what real democracy is, or should be, about. Even the Dalai
Lama's views on economic justice are tied into Patel's own views about
how to fix things (hint: more democracy and more activism).
What I like about this book is that is a work of engaged ideas,
particularly Patel's investigation into the consciousness of market
society. (“Seeing the world through markets not only distorts our sense
of our selves, but projects our disability onto everyone else.”) What I
like less is the book's nascent ideological assumption that readers,
alongside governments and financial elites, need to be disabused of any
attachments to markets or private property. We're told that it is
corporations, not people, who are to blame for the great environmental
disasters of our time, despite the fact that, at last count, the planet
boasted approximately 600-million climate-killing automobiles and a
great many more drivers. Private property and sustainability may seem
fundamentally incompatible, an assertion that is interesting but lacks
Patel also rejects the use of market-based tools like carbon pricing to
combat things like climate change. In other circumstances, this might be
a tremendous statement of principle, but given that we have relatively
little time to reshape whole economies in the face of advancing climate
change – and eliminate vast energy and environmental subsidies in the
process – rejecting carbon pricing or any other solution tainted by
capitalism seems, well, a little precious.
Clearly, ideology is still the catnip of the global left, and this
occasional weakness for portraying the world as a clash of malevolent
ideas versus social movements often blinkers its proponents to
over-focus on things that reflect a dialectical and neo-liberal bent,
like the World Bank, American finance and Ayn Rand. Patel is hardly the
worst offender on this point, but it does constrain his analysis. Simply
put, free-market fundamentalism is an obvious factor, but it cannot
explain the fullness of our crisis. Nor does it suitably explain major
transformations like China's rise to power – which is literally
rewriting the playbook on globalization and capitalism – or the
mechanisms behind our deep dependence on affordable consumerism.
Patel's arguments are well-crafted and will likely, and predictably,
find agreement among many who will purchase the book. But his real
contribution is something bigger than another attack on neo-liberalism
and the Chicago School of Economics. This is someone who has done field
work around the world, listened prolifically to non-experts, and come
away with a political modality that isn't just ideology, but speaks to
human flourishing itself. “The opposite of consumption isn't thrift,”
says Patel. “It's generosity.”
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