Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

How the Internet allows you to talk to yourself

Posted Apr 30, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

Who are you talking to when you do an Internet search?  It turns out, it is people just like you.  Check out Eli Pariser’s TED talk on  “filter bubbles” .


The End of Empire

Posted Apr 25, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

I asked my students today if they would rather have the Egyptian pyramids and the practice of slavery; or no pyramids, and no slavery?  They didn’t know.  So, I asked them if they would rather have the privileges of property ownership and African slavery, or no privileges and no slavery?   They didn’t know (I have few African Americans in my class).  For those of us who enjoy social privileges, this is a hard question.   But we face an even more difficult question today.  Would you rather have the next empire (Chinese?) and the destruction of the planet, or the end of empire and the preservation of the planet?

Changing the World: One World at a Time

Posted Apr 21, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

So which world do you want to change: the world of sports, or shopping, or business, or the world of work?  There are lots of worlds, and many need repair.  (See my son’s attempt to repair the world of higher education: Whose University.) What world would you begin with?

Civic membership, the Commons and Justice

Posted Apr 15, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 1 Comment

As members of the civic we have much in common.  We live in the same time.  We live on the same planet.  All our grandchildren will inherit the future we leave them.  Still, if we switch our view from the civic to the social, we see great differences.  Some have much more than they need and others have much less.  This contrast between the civic and the social raises issues of fairness or justice. So what should we have in common and when should we allow some to have more than others?

The Civic Question

Posted Apr 8, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

The civic is an answer to a question.  What question?  Well, a different question than the usual inquiry about what we have.  That is a property question.  ‘What do we own?”  “What is yours?” and “What do you hope to acquire?”  The civic question is not about having, but about relating.  “How are we related?” and “What does this relationship mean?” 

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

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