Category: Economics

Not Socialism, Not Capitalism… Distributism Seeks Community Power

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 Creative Commons license.) In the early-to-mid-20th Century the Distributists — led by English authors G.K. […]

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The Pricing of Everything

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 made for readability, but it’s more or less as given. You can watch the video […]

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“We’re running out of oil!” – Formidable Vegetable Sound System Live on BBC London

A couple of days ago after breakfast we had the great pleasure of going on prime-time London radio to announce to the world through song that "We’re running out of oil!"

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Global Inequality and Its Ills

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 argues that the natural tendency of capitalism is to generate ever increasing inequality. We, lay […]

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Permaculture Business, Part 3: On Barriers

If you haven’t done so already, you can read Part I and Part II of this series. by Rob Avis A personal take on barriers to success As with any career or business, there are barriers to achieving success. It is important to be aware of as many of these barriers as possible so that you can avoid the pitfalls. One of Darren Doherty’s sayings is that you need to […]

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Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

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 things — it’s increasingly heralded as the only way to organize our society. The market […]

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A Legal Duty to Maximise Greenhouse Gases

Buried in the Infrastructure Bill is an astonishing and hitherto-unnoticed contradiction. Sometimes there’s nothing to do but sit there and laugh. That’s what happened last week while I was reading the Lords debate on the Infrastructure Bill, and stumbled across something so amazing that I had to go back over it three times to ensure I’d read it right. The bill, as several peers complained, is an odd one: published […]

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Towering Imbroglio

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 off with less regulation, less discussion and more speed. Try telling that to the people […]

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

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."

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The Promise of the Commons

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 even thrived for centuries in close relation to each other and the land that sustained […]

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Ripping Apart the Fabric of the Nation

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 are the foundations of their livelihood, and many do. There are some excellent farmers in […]

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A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

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 Heart of Gold. Its major consequence was rescuing Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect from open […]

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