Review: Capitalism 3.0–A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons

4 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Coherent and Simple, Not the Whole Story,

December 27, 2006
Peter Barnes
I concur with all the 5 star reviews with respect to this book presenting a vision for the next level of capitalism nurturing the commons rather than destroying it, but it is not the whole story. It is simple without being simplistic, but the terms “ecological economics” (see my reviews of books by Herman Daly) and “natural capitalism (see my reviews of books by Paul Hawken) are not an integral part of this story. Neither is public philosophy, although the author clearly has an ethical public policy of his own.

Like the work of Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, and Herman Daly, it does not accuse nor seek repatriation of benefits as much as it seeks to educate and demonstrate why respect for the commons is good for business.

I recommend Michael Sandel's “Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics,” and Paul Hawken's “The Ecology of Commerce,” in addition to this book, but those deeply interested in this topic might wish to expand their range by browsing some of my lists on democracy, capitalism, and security.

The book ends with numerous ideas, some easy to implement, like time banks (I see a rush to displace banks, money, credit, and interest coming down the pike), and some more difficult but essential, such as reversing the spectrum licenses and land licenses awarded to corporations under Capitalism 1.0, and putting those resources to work for all of the people.

The author spends some time noting that government is not the complete answer, and I not only agree, I am eagerly waiting for a book called Government 3.0 or Democracy 3.0, something that brings together the diverse literature on the need to localize agriculture and energy again, stop the global corporations, e.g. Wal-Mart, from destroying communities, and restore integrity and trust in human transactions. In a sense, this book is a model that could be applied to other areas in need of revitalization.

Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics
The Ecology of Commerce
Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming
Wal-mart: The High Cost of Low Price
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

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