Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The Bright and the Dark side of Economics

Posted Nov 4, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

I appreciate David Korten’s call for a new vision of economic life (see New Economy Network). I also agree with him that many groups around the world are putting such a vision into practice. The question I have been asking is what is preventing us from moving in the right direction.Korten suggests it is deception, which I also agree with. But what does the deception hide. I think it hides the misery of the many who are suffering from this economy–not only in the United States, but globally. I call our current economic practice an economics of dissociation where the misery of those who suffer from our economic “progress” is split off from consciousness. This allows us to entertain a certain optimism about market dynamics. If that is the case, then we need to not only have a vision, but also a clear acknowledgement of the harm our economic practices bring to others and to the planet, We need a way to bring together the bright and the dark side of economics.

Leave a Reply


Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

Adam Smith Atlantic trade banks biosphere citizen Citizens United city civic civic conversations civic economy civic membership civilizing the economy common citizen Commons corporate citizen corporation as property corporations democracy disagreement economics of dissociation economics of provision Egypt future health care reform invisible hand John Locke Kant libertarianism membership money moral equality ownership property property relations protection reciprocity Scotland slavery Smith and slavery Smithian economics sustainability taxes the civic tobacco trade Wall Street

Cambridge University Press
Local Bookstores
Barnes & Noble