The function of private property has not changed: It confers economic power on the few; and in parallel, it necessitates the coercion of the many to serve those economic rights in order for most people to survive.
Coffee, the addictive obsession of the affluent class, can tell us more about modern society than just retail trends; it is an indicator for how the modern neoliberal system operates, and its current shift toward new economic extremes.
Since the heyday of technological determinism in the 1960s, many authors have written eloquently about how developments in technology are more typically the outcome of particular social and economic arrangements.
In the age of the ‘self-made’ millionaire, the lottery of birth is more important than ever. As George Monbiot once said: “If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.”
The biosphere and econosphere are deeply interlinked and both are in crisis. Industrial, fossil-fuel based capitalism delivered major increases in living standards from the mid-18th through late-20th centuries, but at the cost of widespread ecosystem destruction, planetary climate change, and a variety of economic injustices.
The debate about global poverty is important. But our collective understanding of this matter will only be served by intellectually honest and sincere engagement with the arguments at hand.
Chris Martenson’s recent article about collapse and the plummeting of biodiversity made me think about what it feels like to be left behind. Few people living in affluent countries or communities understand what this means.
The fires raging on moorland outside Manchester have fallen off the front pages of the national press. But they tell a vital story of climate change, land management, and our broken economic system.
In 1899 the maverick economist Thorsten Veblen portrayed the power elite of his day in The Theory of the Leisure Class.
A transition to renewable energy is often given a significance that goes well beyond its immediate impact: it would somehow make our exploitative relationship to Nature more environmentally sound, our relationship to each other more socially equitable.
An alarming new study has shown that the world’s forests are not only disappearing rapidly, but that areas of “core forest”…are vanishing even faster.
This chapter explores the features of sustainable commons and the extent of commons today. It describes the practice of commoning as a possible response to the ecological crisis.