Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The Civic, the Commons and the Social

Posted May 1, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 4 Comments

Say I am walking down a street in a large city and come across a homeless person on the sidewalk, and I ask myself if that could have been my fate.  If I think that I could have been that person—except for different circumstances—then we share a common humanity.  Our differences are basically social.  If I say that I would never become such a person, then I take our social differences—class, race, religion, and so on—as essential. We have nothing in common. 

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?” 

The Civic as the Foundation for the Commons, Markets and Governments

Posted Feb 14, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 1 Comment

I know, many people think of three spheres: market, government, and civil society.  Well, most of these people are on automatic pilot.  Like unmanned drones, they attack anything that proposes a different framework.  OK, this is one way of sorting things out, but it now prevents us from directing the market to make provisions for all, from controlling our government, and from protecting the commons.  Actually, I suspect the idea behind this triad is that if we give a place for the good guys (civil society), they will leave the bad guys (business and government) alone.  Well, we need a different framework.

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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