Change Everything: Creating an Economy for the Common Good

Change Everything: Creating an Economy for the Common Good

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 1783604727

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Few people would contest that modern capitalism comes with major costs: it damages the environment, harms workers, and increases inequality, to name just a few. Yet we’re told time and again that those are simply inevitable side effects of the constant need for profit and growth—and that while they may be regrettable, there’s no other way.

Christian Felber disagrees. In Change Everything, he lays out a wholly new vision for a humane economic model—the Economy for the Common Good, or ECG. Not just an idea, but a rapidly growing international movement, ECG is a practical, detailed blueprint for a new way of doing business, a people-centered approach that could sweep away austerity, support human (and humane) development, repair our damaged environment, and utterly reorient our relationship to work, money, and the purpose of both. Its vision is just short of breathtaking, but it remains grounded in reality, as evidenced by the fact that more than 1,700 companies around the world have already endorsed its principles.

Nothing less than a call to re-examine all that we’ve ever been told about how economies work, Change Everything is a ringing manifesto for a new, better age.

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who have reflected on solidarity-oriented, democratic and sustainable ways of doing business, contributed to the discussion concerning them and/or practise them in their daily lives. … Gaia and Pachamama, custodians of the Common Good. FOREWORD Christian Felber thinks big. Not content with marginal change, he proposes a thorough overhaul of our capitalist system. In his world, companies still earn profits. But they are driven not by revenues and costs, but by their Common Good balance

example, in the past Attac and I have been referred to by the media and public figures as “stuck in adolescence”, “martial”, “communist”, ”nauseatingly populist”, “swaggering hero of anticapitalists” and also as “a spiritual mentor of terrorism”. Apparently some opinion leaders are unable to tolerate different opinions. Yet a democratic and nonviolent culture of discourse is characterized by the very fact that we treat those who think differently with respect – by arguing exclusively on a

correct the sovereign! How could an EU treaty come about in a democratic fashion? Seventeen European chapters of the activist organization Attac have made a concrete proposal for how this could be achieved. To build people’s trust in the EU and enable them to identify with it, these people would have to be involved in building the “House of Europe”. If someone else builds the house and lays down the house rules, this home will not be as cosy for its inhabitants as it would be if they helped

decide what it should look like and which rules should apply to it. The proposal made by Attac is as follows: a democratic assembly should be elected, from the population, which is made up of representatives of all member states and consists of at least 50 percent women, whose task would be to write the new basic treaty, whether it is called a constitution or not.22 It is customary for such assemblies to be called conventions. The constitutional treaty was in fact written by a convention but and 14 Jackson (2011), 106. 15 Gallup (2013), 13. 16 Barber (2007), 239. 17 Austrian Chamber of Labour, “Kaufsucht in Osterreich – 2011”, study, 24 pp. Available online. 18 Barber (2007), 236. 19 Fromm (1992), 129. 20 Felber (2006), (2008), (2009) and (2012). Two: Defining the Economy for the Common Good 1 Constitution of Bavaria, Art. 151. 2 German Basic Law, Art. 14 (2). 3 Constitution of Italy, Art.

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