Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

Disagreement, Ownership, and Language

Posted Jan 29, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

In memory of W. Barnett Pearce

A commonsense way of thinking about disagreements is that they arise when people have opposing opinions, they have an invested interest in maintaining them, and they have to make a decision.  In this framework, our positions are seen as things we own—as our property.

The Power of Negative thinking (A note for Newt Gingrich)

Posted Jan 22, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 2 Comments

If there is an ounce of truth in the idea of American exceptionalism, it is our exceptional disdain for negative thinking.  In fact, the only thing one should be negative about is negative thinking.  But what is negative thinking: the opposite of positive thinking?  Isn’t it the case that positive and negative thinking belong together, and when they are separated, we move ourselves from the concrete circumstances in which we live to the abstract ideas into which we escape?

The Everyday Dog (God): For the South Carolina GOP primary

Posted Jan 17, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

Suppose you have your hand holding a rope that is attached to a dog’s collar, and you follow the dog as it wanders down a path.  From a bird’s eye view, it looks like the dog is guiding you.  One of the better understandings of the word “god” is that it refers to whatever is guiding us, such as happiness, wealth, power, recognition, or even fear.  The problem, of course, is when talk about “god” prevents us from knowing where we are really going.  So how can we tell if your “god” is in need of serious repair?  Here are a few telltale signs:

DISINTEGRITY and How to Treat it

Posted Jan 11, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

“Disintegrity” affects much of our social, political, and economic life, and until we have a picture of what it looks like, an accurate analysis of what causes it, and a way to find relief from it, our future looks pretty bleak.  It actually takes different forms, can infect almost any conversation, and is sometimes quite resistant to change.  The greatest threat of disintegrity today is that people take it as normal.  So the first step is to recognize its existence.

A Review of “Civilizing the Economy” in Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice

Posted Jan 2, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

A Review of “Civilizing the Economy”
by Heidi Garrett-Peltier, Political Economy Research Institute at the University of
Massachusetts, Amherst

To link to this article:

Opening Paragraph:

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.

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