Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

Libertarianism and slavery

Posted Feb 28, 2011 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

We need to keep exploring the box we are in if we want to change it.  Much of the box’s construction occurred during the 18th century emergence of capitalism, or at least the ideology of capitalism, and the reality of slavery.  The box belongs to the Atlantic bordered by Europe, Africa, and the Americas.  It is a box supported by the labor of slaves and mystified by stories of liberty based on the ownership of property.

Civilizing the Economy: what we can do if the myths of capitalism don’t add up to the facts

Posted Apr 6, 2010 by Darilyn Kotzenberg in Uncategorized, 108 Comments

If you want to prove capitalism works, you might think back to 18th century Glasgow.  That’s where Adam Smith was when he created the theory of market capitalism – he looked around, saw open markets, saw competition, saw the industriousness and prosperity that resulted, and correctly concluded that a system of free markets based on competition benefits everyone.

Everyone, that is, except the slaves.

Because what Smith’s famous example leaves out is the fact that Scotland’s prosperity was the result not just of free markets, but of slaves in the Americas producing tobacco that could be shipped to Scotland for processing.  Without the slaves, the system wouldn’t have worked.  To read more click here

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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