Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The Capitalist, Commoner, and Citizen

Posted Sep 27, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

As a Capitalist was driving to the supermarket to go shopping, he hit a Commoner, who was riding her bike to the same supermarket to fetch some milk.  Luckily the Commoner was not hurt, but her bike was a mess.  The Capitalist was devastated, because he knows that bikes are expensive.  The Commoner was furious because she is sick and tired of drivers not sharing the road with bikers. 

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?

What is a citizen? And the civic?

Posted Dec 8, 2011 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 8 Comments

A citizen is one among the many—one among others.  Citizens are members.  We are always citizens “of.”  “Of what?”  Of the many?  Yes.  But citizens are not mobs or crowds.  Citizens are members of  civic communities, and citizens create and re-create civic communities.  The civic, in other words, comes into existence when we participate in civic conversations as citizens.

There’s work, but no jobs. What’s wrong here?

Posted May 30, 2011 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 2 Comments

As we look at high unemployment figures in Northern Africa, or in Spain or in the United States, it should make us wonder what is going on when there is so much work to be done.

Born to be a citizen

Posted Jun 1, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 59 Comments

According to Aristotle, even though families and clans preceded the emergence of the city, the city was the end that human communities aimed for.  To be a good member of the city—a good citizen—was the human telos or final end.   In some ways I think he was right.

How different from the world that Adam Smith created for us that treats everyone as traders, engaging in the exchange of properties to become wealthy.  The truth is that we today live more in the legacy of Adam Smith than of Aristotle.  We tend to define the good life in terms of ownership instead of membership.

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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