Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The Civic as the Foundation for the Commons, Markets and Governments

Posted Feb 14, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 1 Comment

I know, many people think of three spheres: market, government, and civil society.  Well, most of these people are on automatic pilot.  Like unmanned drones, they attack anything that proposes a different framework.  OK, this is one way of sorting things out, but it now prevents us from directing the market to make provisions for all, from controlling our government, and from protecting the commons.  Actually, I suspect the idea behind this triad is that if we give a place for the good guys (civil society), they will leave the bad guys (business and government) alone.  Well, we need a different framework.

Fair Labor Association Begins Inspections of Foxconn

Posted Feb 13, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

Good News from Apple Press

Civic Justice

Posted Feb 6, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

As a general principle, one can say that justice means treating equals equally and un-equals unequally or treating people as they deserve to be treated.  What this formula does not disclose, however, is who is deciding how to treat whom.  “Who are we when we decide who is equal and who is unequal?” 

Civic Membership

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

What is the meaning of civic membership?  Most of us have some experience with membership.  We are members of families, associations, teams, religious communities, and so on.  We became members of some of these groups by birth or tradition, and some by choice.  In either case, active membership entails at least three things:  having a connection with the story or narrative that gives members an identity, consenting to the member’s key values, and participating in the activities of the members.  These characteristics of membership, of course, do not eliminate disagreement and controversy.  Just the opposite; they provide a shared platform for dealing with disagreement.  So what is the civic story? 

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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