24 Oct 2009

Elinor Ostrom inspired chapter in People First Economics book



Toxic debt, rising job losses, collapsing commodity prices and expanding poverty. How can we rein in these beasts unleashed by the free market economy?

People First Economics takes a long, hard look at the mess globalized capitalism is in, and shifts the focus back to where it belongs – putting the needs of people and the environment first.

Vanessa Baird and David Ransom have gathered a passionate group of writers, activists, leaders and thinkers to seize this opportunity to replace deep-rooted problems with well-founded solutions.

People First Economics buzzes inspiration and action. Evo Morales promotes his 10 step programme to save the world, life and humanity... Michel Albert advocates a classless alternative to capitalism... Naomi Klein encourages public revolt...

It’s about radical changes that are social, moral and ecological it provides the opportunity to rethink what really matters in life.


I was pleased to be asked to write a chapter for the New Internationalist 'People First Economics' book. It's under the title 'Open Source Anti-Capitalism' arguing that commons, etc, provide an alternative to market based economics and top down socialism.

Commons is based on common pool property rights so it promotes equality and access to resources, that equals prosperity.

Access is based on the rule that resources are maintained in a sustainable way, this adds up to a built in ecological ethic.

Once the property rights that maintain access and ecology are established, people are free within these broad parameters to do their own stuff.

Commons was until last week ignored by the economics profession, Elinor Ostrom's Nobel win, has changed that.

Well if you believe in a top down paternalistic state that takes control or rule by corporations you will find Ostrom's work challenging....

My Chapter is inspired very much by Ostrom and Hugo Blanco, it's in a book full of essays on alternatives to the present failed economic model.

I am amazed to be in a book with such important thinkers and activists as Evo Morales and Naomi Klein.

There is book launch on 7th November in London, more details here.

Its not free but at £9.99 its pretty much a steal and of course you can order from the library which makes it commons.

If you want to buy it click here.

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