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Take Back the Economy

An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities

2013
Authors:

J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy

Take Back the Economy

An accessible guide to demystifying the economy and creating a more just and sustainable world

Take Back the Economy dismantles the idea that the economy is separate from us and best comprehended by experts, demonstrating that the economy is the outcome of the decisions and efforts we make every day. Full of exercises and inspiring examples from around the world, it shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own lives to create ethical economies.

Take Back the Economy is the single most farsighted and practical work enlightening us on the path to a steady transition toward a genuine postcapitalist world. It is based on the presupposition that reorienting the economy means much more than the control of production—it means reinventing ourselves, our communities, and our world in profound ways. Out of this act of ‘reframing’ there emerges a novel understanding of work, enterprise, market, property, even finance. In this wonderful new work in the tradition of Gibson-Graham, students, activists, movements, and communities will find a toolkit for ethical and effective action any time, any place.

Arturo Escobar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

In the wake of economic crisis on a global scale, more and more people are reconsidering their role in the economy and wondering what they can do to make it work better for humanity and the planet. In this innovative book, J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy contribute complex understandings of economics in practical terms: what can we do right now, in our own communities, to make a difference?

Full of exercises, thinking tools, and inspiring examples from around the world, Take Back the Economy shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own lives to create ethical economies. There is no manifesto here, no one prescribed model; rather, readers are encouraged and taught how to take back the economy in ways appropriate for their own communities and context, using what they already have at hand.

Take Back the Economy dismantles the idea that the economy is separate from us and best comprehended by experts. Instead, the authors demonstrate that the economy is the outcome of the decisions and efforts we make every day. The economy is thus reframed as a space of ethical action—something we can shape and alter according to what is best for the well-being of people and the planet. The book explores what people are already doing to build ethical economies, presenting these deeds as mutual concerns: What is necessary for survival, and what do we do with the surplus produced beyond what will fulfill basic needs? What do we consume, and how do we preserve and replenish the commons—those resources that can be shared to maintain all? And finally, how can we invest in a future worth living in?

Suitable for activists and students alike, Take Back the Economy will be of interest to anyone seeking a more just, sustainable, and equitable world.

Take Back the Economy

J. K. Gibson-Graham is the pen name of the economic geographers Professor Katherine Gibson from the University of Western Sydney and the late Professor Julie Graham from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. J. K. Gibson-Graham’s earlier books include A Postcapitalist Politics (Minnesota, 2006), The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (Minnesota, 2006), and the edited collections Class and Its Others (Minnesota, 2000) and Re/presenting Class: Essays in Postmodern Marxism.

Jenny Cameron is associate professor of geography and environmental studies at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Stephen Healy is assistant professor of economic geography at Worcester State University.

Take Back the Economy

Take Back the Economy is the single most farsighted and practical work enlightening us on the path to a steady transition toward a genuine postcapitalist world. It is based on the presupposition that reorienting the economy means much more than the control of production—it means reinventing ourselves, our communities, and our world in profound ways. Out of this act of ‘reframing’ there emerges a novel understanding of work, enterprise, market, property, even finance. In this wonderful new work in the tradition of Gibson-Graham, students, activists, movements, and communities will find a toolkit for ethical and effective action any time, any place.

Arturo Escobar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Take Back the Economy is a valuable, engaged accessible and very clear addition to the Community Economics Collective oeuvre, and I hope it will be read widely and--more importantly--change the world.

Antipode

Readable, practical, radical.

Sociology

A most exquisitely conducted study into the not-for-profit or other side of organisations. It impressively shows that ‘another world’ is not only possible but already here.

Organization

Take Back the Economy

Contents

Acknowledgments
Take Back the Economy: Why Now?

1. Reframing the Economy, Reframing Ourselves
2. Take Back Work: Surviving Well
3. Take Back Business: Distributing Surplus
4. Take Back the Market: Encountering Others
5. Take Back Property: Commoning
6. Take Back Finance: Investing in Futures
Any Time, Any Place . . .

Notes
Index

Take Back the Economy

Take Back the Economy on Facebook

 

Teaching materials from the authors: Teaching Take Back the Economy in Hong Kong

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UMP blog - Not Capitalism 2.0 or even 3.0, but a whole new operating system

The task of imagining and enacting a new economy is one that is being taken up by a growing number of people around the world, as our new book Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities demonstrates. Yet it is nevertheless remarkable when one so clearly a member of the 1% calls for a new economic system.

But that is exactly what Peter Buffet, son of Warren, one of the world’s richest men, has done in a recent New York Times opinion piece The Charitable-Industrial Complex.

Read the full article.