we get a government that reflects more of what this country is really about, we
can turn the century -- and the economy -- around.
What made traditional economies so radically different and so very fundamentally
dangerous to Western economies were the traditional principles of prosperity of
Creation versus scarcity of resources, of sharing and distribution versus accumulation
and greed, of kinship usage rights versus individual exclusive ownership rights,
and of sustainability versus growth. -- Rebecca
development, more than any single issue, is the battle line between two competing
world views. Tribal people's fundamental value was sustainability, and they conducted
their livelihoods in ways that sustained resources and limited inequalities in
their society. What made traditional economies so radically different and so very
fundamentally dangerous to Western economies were the traditional principles of
prosperity of Creation versus scarcity of resources, of sharing and distribution
versus accumulation and greed, of kinship usage rights versus individual exclusive
ownership rights, and of sustainability versus growth. -- Rebecca
the field of economic development, economists like to think Western economics
is value-neutral, but in truth, it is not. Success is defined according to production
units or monetary worth. The contrast with successful indigenous development is
stark. For example, since they understand the environment to be a living being,
the Northern Cheyenne have opposed coal strip mining on their reservation because
it kills the water beings. There are no cost measurements of pollution, production,
or other elements that can capture this kind of impact. There is an emerging recognition
of the need for a spiritual base, not only in our individual lives, but also in
our work and in our communities. -- Rebecca
the economy I want workers and consumers to have control over their own economic
lives. I want everyone to have fair conditions that fully utilize their talents
and potentials. I want incomes that accord with the efforts people expend in their
labors. I want what is produced, by whom, under what conditions, and with who
consuming the result--all determined in accord with enhancing human well-being
and development and all decided by the people involved and affected. I want an
end to hierarchies of power and wealth and to class division with most actors
subordinated to an elite few. To accomplish all these ends I favor the institutions
of participatory economics -- worker and consumer councils, remuneration for effort
and sacrifice, balanced job complexes, and participatory planning. If someone
should demonstrate that those institutions somehow fail to accomplish necessary
economic functions or have social or personal by-products that outweigh their
benefits -- I would simply return to the drawing board. Exploitation, alienation,
poverty, disempowerment, fragmenting and debilitating labor, production for the
profit of a few -- much less harsh homelessness, starvation, and degradation --
are not like gravity. They arise from institutional relations established by human
beings. New institutions, also established by human beings, can generate other
vastly superior outcomes. Defining and working to attain those new institutions
ought to be our economic agenda. -- Michael Albert
globalization that characterizes today’s economics goes beyond or eludes the sovereignty
of individual states, and thus the power of their rulers. It is not they, but
rather financial groups in control of vast amounts of capital, who decide upon
their vertiginous passage through nations, without taking into account the serious
crises they might generate. -- Patricio
purpose of economic theory is to make those who are comfortable FEEL comfortable.
-- Lord Balogh
We are committed with our lives to building a different model and a different
future for humanity, the Earth, and other species. We have envisaged a moral alternative
to economic globalization and we will not rest until we see it realized.
-- Maude Barlow
think it must be conceded that it is possible to create a society in which the
response to market failure is not a swing to socialism, but an exacerbation of
individual efforts to stay ahead by making and spending yet more money. Does the
public health service have long waiting lists and inadequate facilities? Buy private
insurance. Has public transport broken down? Buy a car for each member of the
family above driving age. Has the countryside been built over or the footpaths
eradicated? Buy some elaborate exercise machinery and work out at home. Is air
pollution intolerable? Buy an air-filtering unit and stay indoors. Is what comes
out of the tap foul to the taste and chock-full of carcinogens? Buy bottled water.
And so on. We know it can all happen because it has: I have been doing little
more than describing Southern California. Now it is worth noticing two things
about the private substitutes that I have described. The first is that in the
aggregate they are probably much more expensive than would be the implementation
of the appropriate public policy. The second is that they are extremely poor replacements
for the missing outcomes of good public policy. Nevertheless, it is plain that
the members of a society can become so alienated from one another, so mistrustful
of any form of collective action, that they prefer to go it alone. -- Brian
interchange gifts and favors out of friendship, but buying and selling is considered
absolutely inconsistent with the mutual benevolence which should prevail between
citizens and the sense of community of interest which supports our social system.
According to our ideas, buying and selling is essentially anti-social in all its
tendencies. It is an education in self-seeking at the expense of others, and no
society whose citizens are trained in such a school can possibly rise above a
very low grade of civilization -- Edward
Changing the structure and rules of the global economy will require a mass movement
based on messages of compassion, justice, and equality, as well as collaborative
and democratic processes ... If we stay positive, inclusive, and democratic, we
have a truly historic opportunity to build a global movement for social justice.
would do well to ask themselves how many of their ambitions and aspirations derive
from the type of economic system they inhabit and the insecurity and exhaustion
it creates, and question the sense and purpose of a society where control of a
large portion of life is abdicated under contract in the labour market, and where
immense creativity and potential is stifled by the need to do difficult and repetitive
tasks in order to earn a wage." -- Tony Benn
nature of the economic system should be a matter for public choice, and free market
capitalism should not be accepted without any discussion of the rich variety of
alternatives ... Unlike civil laws, economic laws are imposed on people with all
the authority of immutable laws of nature. But the economy is created by people,
supported by government intervention, regulation, statute and subsidy, and implemented
in such a way that it gives substantial wealth and power to a privileged few,
while the majority face a life of relentless work, stress and periodic financial
insecurity." -- Tony Benn
is no longer a single historical world--as it has been from the beginning of the
nineteenth century onwards. Nor is it any longer ours. We, in our culture of commodities,
are living our crisis; the rest of the world are living theirs. Our crisis is
that we no longer believe in a future. Their crisis is us. The most we want is
to hang on to what we've got. They want the means to live. That is why our principal
preoccupations have become private and our public discourse is compounded of spite.
The historical and cultural space for public speech, for public hopes and action,
has been dismantled. We live and have our being today in private coverts.
-- John Berger
We do need a 'new economy,' but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving
and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently
and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable
economy." ~ Wendell
choose forward. We choose inclusion. We choose growing
together. We choose American economic might and
muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the American
ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle
class. ~ Sen.
also must pull from our highest ideals of justice and
protect against those ills that destabilized our economy
- like predatory lending, over-leveraged financial institutions
and the unchecked avarice of the past that trumped fairness
and common sense. Our platform calls for significant cuts
in federal spending. ~ Sen.
are we so zealous, then, about the private sector? We persist in designating a
large part of the economy as private so that we can disavow public responsibility
for its evils and claim individual merit for its blessings. As a civic body, we
are reluctant to countenance and cure the deprivations of the poor, the damage
to the environment, and the trivialization of culture that are the depressing
concomitants of our advanced industrial economy. At the same time applauding the
rich and powerful who claim their privileges as the fruits of their rugged and
individual efforts, we sanction our positions and our aspirations -- Albert
The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things,
and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. --
has been incurably growth-oriented and addicted to everybody growing richer, even
at the cost of exhaustion of resources and pollution of the environment. --
With laissez-faire and price atomic, Ecology's Uneconomic, But with
another kind of logic Economy's Unecologic. ~ Kenneth
everything is worth money, then money is worth nothing.
-- David Byrne
"If the corporations
have their way, the Earth will be killed, and that's in your lifetime. It's revolting
to me that students are being trained to work in corporations. It's obscene to
me that the corporations are running the world. We've got to get cross. Anger
is an appropriate emotion." -- Helen
I think there are a lot of strong leaders around the world who have made very
convincing arguments about the weakness of corporate-led globalization and the
compelling nature of alternatives. -- John
have created not a Brave New World, but a vulgar marketplace, where human attributes
come with a price tag. -- Linda Chavez
is called 'capitalism'is basically a system of corporate mercantilism, with huge
and largely unaccountable private tyrannies exercising vast control over the economy,
political systems, and social and cultural life... -- Noam
should workers agree to be slaves in a basically authoritarian structure? They
should have control over it themselves. Why shouldn't communities have a dominant
voice in running the institutions that affect their lives? -- Noam
real world of American society is one which it is very misleading to call simply
a democracy. Of course, it is in a sense a democracy, but it is one in which there
are enormous inequities in the distribution of power and force. For example, the
entire commercial and industrial system is in principle excluded from the democratic
process, including everything that goes on within it -- Noam
democracy, as in, say, the United States or Great Britain, would be criticized
by an anarchist of this school on two grounds. First of all because there is a
monopoly of power centralized in the State, and secondly -and critically - because
representative democracy is limited to the political sphere and in no serious
way encroaches on the economic sphere. Anarchists of this tradition have always
held that democratic control of one?s productive life is at the core of any serious
human liberation, or, for that matter, of any significant democratic practice.
That is, as long as individuals are compelled to rent themselves on the market
to those who are willing to hire them, as long as their role in production is
simply that of ancillary tools, then there are striking elements of coercion and
oppression that make talk of democracy very limited, if even meaningful.
-- Noam Chomsky
public resources go to the rich. The poor, if they can survive in the labor market,
fine. Otherwise, they die. That's economics in a nutshell. -- Noam
a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly
governed wealth is something to be ashamed of. -- Confucius
superior person understands rightness; the inferior person
two globalizations... The elite globalization represents
minority forces. The elite globalization is about
make money... The people's globalization, the democratic
mass globalization is about life values.
global economy works for about twenty percent of
the world, for about eighty percent it doesn't.
have a global economy that is not structured around
democratizing and including people in the decision-making.
It's operated in secret.
I believe there’s an emerging American majority
for progressive economic change.
want a system in which the worker shall get what
he produces and the capitalist shall produce what
economic owning class is always the political ruling
ultimate aim of production is not production of goods
but the production of free human beings associated
with one another on terms of equality.
crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil
of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers
from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude
is inculcated into the student, who is trained to
worship acquisitive success as a preparation for
his future. I am convinced there is only one way
to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the
establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied
by an educational system which would be oriented
toward social goals."
is a need for financial reform along ethical lines
that would produce in its turn an economic reform
to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require
a courageous change of attitude on the part of political
as a means to the end of political freedom, economic arrangements
are important because of their effect on the concentration
or dispersion of power. The kind of economic organization
that provides economic freedom directly, namely, competitive
capitalism, also promotes political freedom because it
separates economic power from political power and in this
way enables the one to offset the other
-- Milton Friedman
accepted ideas of any period are singularly those that
serve the dominant economic interest...What economists
believe and teach, whether in the United States or in
the Soviet Union, is rarely hostile to the institutions
-- the private business enterprise, the Communist Party
-- that reflect the dominant economic power. Not to notice
this takes effort, although many succeed.
-- John Kenneth Galbraith
From the point of view of the economy, the sale of
weapons is indistinguishable from the sale of food.
When a building collapses or a plane crashes, it?s
rather inconvenient from the point of view of those
inside, but it?s altogether convenient for the growth
of the gross national product, which sometimes ought
to be called the "gross criminal product."
enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not
for everyone's greed.
enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not
for everyone's greed.
long as all the increased wealth which modern progress
brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase
luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House
of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and
cannot be permanent.
-- Henry George
"I feel more confident than ever that the power
to save the planet rests with the individual consumer."
think our main foreign policy is economic policy
but to think that economic policy is not environmental
policy is to sort of, miss the point. You know you
can't have economic development without impact on
Economic policy turns out to be the most important
we assume that the purpose of the economy is to serve
and improve the welfare of the entire body of citizens,
the U.S. model has clearly been a major failure. It has
served a minority, and the majority have not only failed
to share in the income gains yielded by the model, they
have suffered from reduced benefits, greater job instability
and stress, and a diminution of expectations and sense
of hope for the future.
-- Edward S. Herman
consumerism is about buying things we don't need, with
money we don't have, to impress friends we don't have
-- Leo Horrigan
act of every man is a moral act, to be tested by moral,
and not by economic criteria."
sincerely believe...that banking establishments
are more dangerous that standing armies."
for the public good must become the animating
force of our economic order.”
have words for racism and sexism, but wealth discrimination
isn’t fully recognized. It is a bias in favor
of the wealthy and against labor, the environment,
and the community. Concern for the public good
must become the animating force of our economic
gross national product includes air pollution and
advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear
our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for
our doors, and jails for the people who break them
... It does not allow for the health of our families,
the quality of thier education, or the joy of their
love of money as a possession--as distinguished from the
love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities
of life--will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat
disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological
propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the
specialists in mental disease
-- John Maynard Keynes
must recognize that we can't solve our problems
now until there is a radical redistribution of economic
and political power....[What is required is] a radical
restructuring of the architecture of American society.
Luther King, Jr
the institutions of money rule the world, it is
perhaps inevitable that the interests of money will
take precedence over the interests of people. What
we are experiencing might best be described as a
case of money colonizing life. To accept this absurd
distortion of human institutions and purpose should
be considered nothing less than an act of collective,
once we concede that people do care about status,
it necessarily follows that the status competition
that makes people buy expensive consumer goods in
order to impress other people constitutes a failure
of the market economy - a failure as real as traffic
congestion, or pollution, or any other activity
in which the individual pursuit of self-interest
leads to a collectively bad outcome. Suppose that
we could somehow agree to stop competing over who
has the fanciest car; everyone could then work a
bit less, spend more time with their families, and
raise the sum total of human happiness. Or to put
it a bit differently, Americans (or at least the
top few percent of the income distribution) have
gotten into a sort of arms race of conspicuous consumption
that, like most arms races, consumes huge quantities
of resources yet in the end changes little. "
a measure of the depth of our consumer trance that
the death of the planet is not sufficient to break
Americans hunger for a different kind of society
-- one based on principles of caring, ethical and
spiritual sensitivity, and communal solidarity.
Their need for meaning is just as intense as their
need for economic security."
focus on money and power may do wonders in the marketplace,
but it creates a tremendous crisis in our society. People
who have spent all day learning how to sell themselves
and to manipulate others are in no position to form lasting
friendships or intimate relationships... Many Americans
hunger for a different kind of society -- one based on
principles of caring, ethical and spiritual sensitivity,
and communal solidarity. Their need for meaning is just
as intense as their need for economic security."
role of globalization is to homogenize all cultures,
and to turn them into commodified markets, and therefore,
to make them easier for global corporations to control.
Global corporations are even now trying to commodify
all remaining aspects of national cultures, not to
mention indigenous cultures. -- Jerry
political system is not for the people. The people
are secondary to the economy. It's about what generates
money, not about what benefits the people.
the aim of development must be neither producerism
not consumerism, but the satisfaction of fundamental
human needs, which are not only needs of humanity...
matter how hostile the environment in which we are working
is, we must never cease to insist that development is
about people and not about objects. That the aim of development
must be neither producerism not consumerism, but the satisfaction
of fundamental human needs, which are not only needs of
humanity, but needs of being as well. We will never deny
that subsistence is a fundamental human need which must
be satisfied through adequate income, nutrition, housing
and work for all. But we will also insist that protection,
affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation,
identity and freedom are extremely fundamental human needs
confess that I am not charmed with the ideal of
life held out by those who think that the normal
state of human beings is that of struggling to get
on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and
treading on each other's heels, which form the existing
type of social life, are the most desirable lot
of human beings
is not about things and tangible material objects; it
is about men, their meanings and actions.
-- Ludwig von Mises
temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism,
seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and,
instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the
mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.
essence of globalization is a subordination of human
rights, of labor rights, consumer, environmental rights,
democracy rights, to the imperatives of global trade
"We live in such a corporate world where
everyone is passing the buck, it seems to me.
Therefore I like stories where the individual
takes responsibility for BEING the individual,
and not just for himself, but for his comrades,
his society and ultimately for his country. Ultimately,
we can all learn a lesson from that and not be
browbeaten by the corporate world which is taking
We could dramatically accelerate innovations in
sustainability and social justice just by making
choices to use our money for positive solutions.
think those of us who have extraordinary wealth
have an opportunity to leverage that wealth to stimulate
a just and sustainable economy. I know it goes against
the grain but I know it's possible. It's just about
deciding what kind of choices we want to make.
we've got a lot of work to do economically in this
country to bring about a more just and fair economy.
of having a set of policies that are equipping people
for the globalization of the economy, we have policies
that are accelerating the most destructive trends
of the global economy.
that's a large part of what economics is -- people arbitrarily,
or as a matter of taste, assigning numerical values to
non-numerical things. And then pretending that they haven't
just made the numbers up, which they have. Economics is
like astrology in that sense, except that economics serves
to justify the current power structure, and so it has
a lot of fervent believers among the powerful
-- Kim Stanley Robinson
Too many people spend money they haven't earned,
to buy things they don't want, to impress people
they don't like.
first man who, having fenced off a plot of land, thought
of saying, 'This is mine' and found people simple enough
to believe him was the real founder of civil society.
How many crimes, wars, murders, how many miseries and
horrors might the human race had been spared by the one
who, upon pulling up the stakes or filling in the ditch,
had shouted to his fellow men: 'Beware of listening to
this imposter; you are lost if you forget the fruits of
the earth belong to all and that the earth belongs to
Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1755
But while they prate of economic laws, men and women
are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic
laws are not made by nature. They are made by human
of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred
principles of liberty, which are embodied in one
maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the
exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate -- Bertrand
"The Globalization of humanity is a natural, biological,
evolutionary process. Yet we face an enormous crisis
because the most central and important aspect of
globalization-its economy-is currently being organized
in a manner that so gravely violates the fundamental
principles by which healthy living systems are organized
that it threatens the demise of our whole civilization.
are capable of regaining our reverence for life,
of replacing the drive to conquer with the will
to cooperate, of remaking our engineered institutions,
including our corporations, into living systems.
civilization is locked in the grip of an ideology - corporatism.
An ideology that denies and undermines the legitimacy
of individuals as the citizen in a democracy. The particular
imbalance of this ideology leads to a worship of self-interest
and a denial of the public good. The practical effects
on the individual are passivity and conformism in the
areas that matter, and non-conformism in the areas that
-- John Ralston Saul
acceptance of corporatism causes us to deny and undermine
the legitimacy of the individual as citizen in a democracy.
The result of such a denial is a growing imbalance which
leads to our adoration of self-interest and our denial
of the public good.
-- John Ralston Saul
Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite
world is an impossibility.
the current vocabulary of condemnation there are few words
as final and conclusive as the word "uneconomic." If an
activity has been branded as uneconomic, its right to
existence is not merely questioned but energetically denied.
Anything that is found to be an impediment to economic
growth is a shameful thing, and if people cling to it,
they are thought of as either saboteurs or fools. Call
a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation
of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being
of future generations; as long as you have not shown it
to be "uneconomic" you have not really questioned its
right to exist, grow, and prosper.
policies absorb almost the entire attention of government,
and at the same time become ever more impotent. The simplest
things, which only fifty years ago one could do without
difficulty, cannot get done any more. The richer a society,
the more impossible it become to do worthwhile things
without immediate payoff.
only way in which a nation can make itself wealthy
and prosperous is by good housekeeping: that is,
by providing for its wants in the order of their
importance, and allowing no money to be wasted on
whims and luxuries until necessities have been thoroughly
drives the employers to do their worst to the employed,
and the employed to do the least for them. And it boasts
all the time of the incentive it provides to both to do
their best! . . . The reason the Capitalist system has
worked so far without jamming for more than a few months
at a time, and then only in places, is that it has not
yet succeeded in making a conquest of human nature so
complete that everybody acts on strictly business principles.
global economy is a runaway train that is causing
more and more suffering in the world. The current
'profit before people' system is causing the gap
between the very rich and the very poor to grow
larger each year. In
order to transform the global economy into a true
global community, we need to create a Better World
Economy - an economic system that gives value to
other commodities besides money. Then we can create
more sustainable local, national and global communities.
me, people: We have now to deal with another race- small
and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great
and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to
till the soil and the love of possession is a disease
with them. These people have made many rules that the
rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes
from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who
-- Chief Sitting Bull
government, so far as it is instituted for the security
of property, is in reality instituted for the defense
of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some
property against those who have none at all.
for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in
every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of
the masters of mankind.
-- Adam Smith
is economics? A science invented by the upper class in
order to acquire the fruits of the labor of the underclass
-- August Strindberg
a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well
as the earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for
the use of his children?
Democracy and capitalism have very different beliefs about
the proper distribution of power. One believes in a completely
equal distribution of political power, 'one man, one vote',
while the other believes that it is the duty of the economically
fit to drive the unfit out of business and into economic
extinction. 'Survival of the fittest' and inequalities
in purchasing power is what capitalist efficiency is all
about. Individuals and firms become efficient to be rich.
To put it in its starkest form, capitalism is perfectly
compatible with slavery. The American South had such a
system for more than two centuries. Democracy is not comparable
-- Lester Thurow
The essence of all slavery consists in taking the
product of another's labor by force. It is immaterial
whether this force be founded upon ownership of the
slave or ownership of the money that he must get to
Markets and money must again become the servants
and not the masters of our vision and values.
It is absolutely sure that if globalization is not
founded on moral values not only will fail but will
bring about global calamities.
trickle-down experiment that began in the Reagan
years failed America's middle class. Sure, the rich
are doing great. Giant corporations are doing great.
Lobbyists are doing great. But we need an economy
where everyone else who works hard gets a shot at
tens of millions of working families who are the
backbone of this country, this economy isn't working.
These families are working harder than ever, but
they can't get ahead. Opportunity is slipping away.
Many feel like the game is rigged against them -
and they are right. The game is rigged against them."
a country calls its vital economic interests are
not the things which enable its citizens to live,
but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol
is more likely than wheat to be a cause of international
war the strong make slaves of the weak, and in peace the
rich make slaves of the poor. We must work to live, and
they give us such mean wages that we die. We toil for
them all day long, and they heap up gold in their coffers,
and our children fade away before their time, and the
faces of those we love become hard and evil. We tread
out the grapes, and another drinks the wine. We sow the
corn, and our own board is empty. We have chains, though
no eyes behold them; and are slaves, though men call us
-- Oscar Wilde
The strike, the boycott, the refusal to serve, the
ability to paralyze the functioning of a complex
social structure-these remain potent weapons against
the most fearsome state or corporate power.