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By Marni Walsh
A life rich in learning and ideological study led Arnold De Graaff to publish “The Gods in Whom They Trusted, The Disintegrative Effects of Capitalism.”
The book, based on extensive multi-disciplinary research and first-hand accounts will be launched at Westminster United Church in Orangeville on January 24.
De Graaff, and his wife, Rita Reitsma, both psychologists, settled in Mono Township in 1989 where they operate the Mono Therapy Centre, providing a wide range of counselling services from their home.
An expansive work, “The Gods in Whom They Trusted” combines Mr. De Graaff's study of the prophetic messages of social justice and the summary of laws in the Old Testament with deep ecological research.
The author focuses on “recapturing our basic human values” out of the “ecological decline and disintegration” that he says “is the inevitable result of global capitalism.”
In his book, Arnold De Graaff challenges neo-liberal ideology – “the obsessive drive for profit and unlimited growth which worships the economy and free market as a sociopolitical focal point above all concepts,” including “love your neighbour as yourself.”
He refers to neo-liberal ideology as “one dimensional,” whereas the viewpoint he expresses in his book is a multi-dimensional one.
“Every area of life should get equal attention,” Mr. De Graaff says, and that physical health and personal wellbeing should be as important as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers and the stock market.
His book delves into, “The on-going violation of nature's and society's thresholds has resulted in the degradation of land, water, air, oceans, and has created untold human suffering, social injustice, corruption, violence, inequality, dispossession, enslavement, and millions of climate, food, water, and war refugees.”
Mr. De Graaff insists that he is not just presenting a “Utopian dream” in his book, but a guide that translates ideas for world change in “down to earth terms.” He addresses ecological, economical and ethical alternatives at a grassroots level.
“A radical, but practical way of relating to nature, economics and ethics that leads to healing,” he says.
“The Gods in Whom They Trusted, The Disintegrative Effects of Capitalism” is already available at Booklore, and over 50 review copies are going to various organizations, magazines, and professors like David Suzuki and Maude Barlow and the Council of Canadians.
The book and the table of contents can be seen on Heathwood Press' website: www.heathwoodpress.com.
Mr. De Graaff will be available for discussion at the book's launch, sponsored by Booklore, at Westminster United Church, at 247 Broadway in Orangeville, from 7 – 9 p.m. on January 24.
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