Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

Can the Egyptian people in Liberty Square get what they want?

Posted Feb 7, 2011 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 1 Comment

This is a very difficult question to answer. If they can get what they want, then why can’t we?   If they can’t, then can we?  Our answer to this question might reveal not only our understanding of the situation in Egypt, but also our understanding of our own circumstances.

To Belong or Not to Belong: That’s not quite the right Question.

Posted Jan 30, 2011 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

At a recent session on Socio-Economics in Berkeley, I argued that a civic economy would be superior to our current property-based economy because it would include everyone.  A participant asked if I thought that civic membership should be voluntary or forced.  Given the two choices, I said forced.  On further reflection, I think the question was a set-up.  A better question is whether everyone belongs to the civic or not.

What Controls the Economy

Posted Nov 29, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 1 Comment

If we see the economy is a social system, then like other social systems, the economy does not have its own self-organizing principle—like some invisible hand—but is influenced by both positive and negative feedback loops that reinforce and resist specific trends.  Once we understand the trends of our economic-social system, then it is possible to identify the persons, groups, and institutions located at different places in this system.  If you are located in a bank in Basel, Switzerland, for example, you will have a larger possibility of controlling the economy than someone on the street in Oakland, California, even though both locations belong to the same global economy.

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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