Not Socialism, Not Capitalism… Distributism Seeks Community Power

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Not socialism, not capitalism… distributism seeks community power. by Jay Walljasper, On the Commons Conservatives, progressives and everyone else likes farmers’ markets, local food, mom-and-pop stores and other qualities of a thriving community. Can they all connect around the commons? (Photo of the Barberton, Ohio, Downtown Farmers’ Market by the Barberton Community Foundation under a… Read more »

The Pricing of Everything

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

The Natural Capital Agenda looks like an answer to the environmental crisis. But it’s a delusion. Below is the transcript of George Monbiot’s SPERI Annual Lecture, hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. The lecture was delivered without notes, and transcribed afterwards, so a few small changes have been… Read more »

Global Inequality and Its Ills

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development.

Inequality is bad for most people not just the poor, bad for business and political stability; and it can be cured. by Prof Peter Saunders Two recent books deal with inequality and some of the myths surrounding it (see ISIS reviews, SiS 63). In Capital in the Twenty-first Century [1], the French economist Thomas Piketty… Read more »

Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

by Silke Helfrich The market has always been with us. What’s new about life in the last three hundred years — and especially the last thirty — is that the buying and selling of goods is the overriding goal of human civilization. The market is seen not just as an efficient way to do some… Read more »

Towering Imbroglio

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

Is the government preparing to dispose of our forests and other public land? Planning laws inhibit prosperity. That’s what we’re told by almost everyone. Those long and tortuous negotiations over what should be built where are a brake on progress. All the major parties and most of the media believe that we would be better… Read more »

Vandana Shiva Keynote Speech – Food Otherwise Conference (Netherlands, February 2014)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Conferences, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, GMOs, Health & Disease, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

World famous author and activist Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring speech at the Food Otherwise conference in Wageningen, Netherlands, on 21 February 2014. "Monopolies, centralization and monocultures go hand and hand and they are the instruments of power. We have to create instruments of democracy, diversity, resilience." If you prefer, you can read the transcript… Read more »

The Promise of the Commons

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Regular readers may remember an article I posted back in 2010 — Kings, Conquerors, Capitalism and Resilience Lost — where I covered a little historical ground for one particular former ‘East Bloc’ country; a history shared by several countries in central Europe. The article outlined how previously resilient land-based communities — which had lived and… Read more »

Ripping Apart the Fabric of the Nation

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

In an extraordinary coup, farmers’ unions and the UK government have torpedoed the European Soil Framework Directive. “British soils are reaching crisis point”. Don’t take my word for it — this is a quote from a loyal friend of the farming industry, Farmers’ Weekly. You would expect farmers to try to protect their soils, which… Read more »

A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Peak Oil, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Whenever such large shifts in temperature occurred in Earth’s history, they were not gradual but came in lurches. Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing essential functions after receiving that kind of shock. The first known use of the Infinite Improbability Drive was initiated by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on the starship… Read more »