Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

We Need Our Mothers

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

I don’t mean I need my mother.  Who wants to know about that?  I mean we need our mothers, and we need them to remember that we have been cared for—a fundamental experience that might serve as a platform for building a common civic life. (See The Ethics of Care)

A civic life is not that difficult to imagine.  It entails a change from seeing ourselves as owners to seeing ourselves as members—members of the civic.  In conversations about “civic matters,” such as how to resolve disagreements, how to organize provisions for everyone, or simply how to live together, we construct the civic and its norms of moral equality and reciprocity.  The civic is created and maintained by civic conversations.

But why should we do this?  Who cares?  Here is where we need to acknowledge the meaning of the mother-child relationship.  Not our own, but the work of caring that the relationship symbolizes.  If you “get it,” then here is a source that provides a good enough reason for caring about the construction and maintenance of the civic.  Check it out.

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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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