Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 211 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Podcast    H1'ed 10/15/17

George Monbiot Discusses Creating a New Story to Replace Neoliberalism

Broadcast 10/15/2017 at 7:49 AM EDT (48 Listens, 53 Downloads, 2704 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

Check out More Podcasts


listen on iTunes

listen on SoundCloud


View on Stitcher
View on Stitcher

Copyright © Rob Kall, All Rights Reserved. Do not duplicate or post on youtube or other sites without express permission. Creative commons permissions for this site do not apply to audio content or transcripts of audio content.

George Monbiot and Rob Kall
George Monbiot and Rob Kall
(Image by Rob Kall)
  Details   DMCA

George is a columnist for the UK's Guardian and was a BBC radio producer AND WINNER OF THE United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding environmental achievement.

Author of numerous books, including Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding, and his newest book Out of the Wreckage; A new politics for an age of crisis

Very rough interview prep notes and interview notes-- not meant to give you anything more than the desire to watch or listen to the audio or video.

Indigenous, bottom up, story"

Power of stories

Two stories with same narrative of restoration.

Keynesian Social Democracy failed in the 70s. Why?

Neoliberalism--vicious ideology.

Extreme individualism, extreme competition

Getting everything out of the way of the market means getting everything out of the way of the wealthy.

Belief that it is better for the wealthy to have their way at expense of middle class.

Friederich Hayek

Ludwig von Mises

Supposed to get the state out of the way but requires intense state involvement

What about Globalization?

Democrats, Hillary, Obama, leaked emails".



Politics of belonging

Retake the commons

Rentier vs. enterprise economy?

Overthrow the current forms of political funding

. Require a low maximum donation--force political parties to re-engage the public.

Introduce much more participatory democracy into the political systems.

Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin campaigns

Becky Bonds, Zack Exley

Rotterdam Reading Room (Lesal)

Thick Network

Participatory Budgeting Porte Allegre Brazil


Ewan McLennan Breaking the Spell of Loneliness

Katrin Marcal Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner

Audro Linklater Owning the Earth

Marion Shoard This Land Is Our Land

John Clare poet; The Mores, The Fallen Elm

automatically generated, unedited transcript from Youtube:

my guest today is George Monbiot. he's

a columnist for the UK's Guardian and

was a BBC radio producer and winner of

the United Nations global 500 Award for

outstanding environmental achievement

he's the author of numerous books

including fear all searching for

Enchantment on the frontiers of

rewilding and his newest book just out

is out of the wreckage and new politics

for an age of crisis his website is mon

viacom they say that right mama mom do

mom be oh okay so welcome to the show

great to have you here thanks so much

Rove it's them it's a real pleasure

so the book is out of the wreckage and

it's this is a great book it's really it

pushes so many of my buttons and I love

it you know you start off talking about

story and that we need to change the

story and that you need a story to make

change happen and you come up with the

narrative that we're dealing with that

it's really how to change the narrative

is a change in the story that goes with

a narrative I love story I run a

conference - a story for six years right

yes and so I'm fascinated with the whole

thing about story so but I want to kind

of do this backwards all right okay so

first off having said what what I've

said is a kind of preface so for what do

you want this book to accomplish mm well

I feel that we're at a moment of great

danger and great opportunity we have

seen the sort of playing out of the

crisis that really began in 2008 it's

taken a long time for that all the

rupture that that is caused to really

coalesce into this a great chasm between

people and politics chasm in the middle

of economics a chasm through society and

and what we've got now that we did not

before is the recognition that the

existing system is bust that it's not

working is not working for people it's

not working for the the living world

it's it's not

sustainable in any sense at all and is

almost destined to lead to resurgent

fascism and so we desperately need to

grasp this opportunity basically before

the fascists do because we see the

growth of this very dark response to

crisis of the kind that we saw in the

1930s and the only way to stop that from

happening is to produce a better and

more compelling narrative of change

ourselves before the other side does

before the fascists do and and and this

really was so what went well what went

wrong before that you know unless you

can show people a better future and a

way of reconnecting and a sense of

belonging and a sense of having control

over their lives then you'll get all

sorts of buckets on broomsticks standing

up and saying we can give you the answer

we got the answer now it doesn't matter

what they say they'll make false

promises but the answer is basically

crushing other people and and we will

become dominant and we will crush those

other people and in doing so we will

solve the problems that afflict our

lives and so what I'm trying to do here

is to provide a peaceful and generous

and inclusive solution to the crisis

that we face and give us a thumbnail

sketch of what that is and then we'll

get into the details and enjoy sure well

the book begins with the observation

that you cannot take away someone's

story without giving them a new one and

the reason that we're stuck with this

broken model which has caused so many

crises from the financial crisis to the

environmental crisis to the political

crisis this model of neoliberalism of

market fundamentalism is that we have

not produced a sufficiently compelling

new story with which to replace it and

if you just try to confront a story with

facts and figures all you get is

reactive de nanã because we are

is a narrative we confront a world which

is phenomenally complex we can't

understand it by trying to make sense of

all the facts and figures we understand

it by looking for a story that makes

sense to us you know I mentioned before

we started I ran a conference one story

for six years in the first time Britt

came to the conference a storyteller and

he told a story about how truth went

into a city and people threw garbage out

and trash and they kicked him out and he

was miserable and went to another city

and they did the same thing and he's

sitting outside the city and and and

story came along resplendent in the

beautiful robe and and smiling and happy

and story went into the city and

everybody greeted him and loved them and

he came back out and said the truth

what's the matter guys nobody likes me

they hate me

says it's come with me walked into the

town and when truth went with story

people embraced him and loved him and

and I think that's what what you're

saying really yeah exactly that's a

beautiful way of putting it is a

beautiful way of putting it and that

rings true to me and and you know you

just told a story about a story you know

and and it it comes across it jumps out

at you far more than if you just

described what the story is you know you

because telling a story you've

immediately engaged our minds and and

that is the power of narrative and and

and what I've noticed is that it's not

just that and this is well known it's

not just that we are prepared to hear

stories and we're constantly looking out

for them but there are particular

stories which we listen for and in

politics and in religion the most

successful stories are all have

basically the same format which is what

I call the restoration story disorder

afflicts the land caused by nefarious

and powerful forces acting against the

good of humanity the hero of the story

who may be one person may be a group of

people may be an institution confronts

those powerful and nefarious forces

against the odds overthrown

and restores order to the land now that

is the successful story which has worked

again and again and again over centuries

and and yet you know I mean this isn't

hard to see you know this is this is a

fundamental truth about politics but

also about successful religious

revolutions and yet here we are

confronting this very powerful virulent

story of neoliberalism by saying well

that's not entirely true you know

because I've got the following facts and

figures and I looked up this paper in

Geophysical Research Letters and it says

the following and we just get nowhere at

all with that

it's hopeless and and just as bad is

where we say well there's this issue

we've got to deal with and that issue

we've got to deal with we are Haring

around chasing after all those

individual issues without any

overarching narrative framework within

which to place them well I you know as I

mentioned I really got into story and

one of the things that I learned early

on is that with the preacher taught

first tell him what I'm going to say

then say it and tell him what he said

okay what I really want you to get to is

your solution yes you get into depth

into neoliberalism and the stories but

between the middle and the end of the

book you get into how to deal with it

and we're talking about the commons

we're talking about community and real

ocol ization and belonging and the

politics of belonging so I want you to

put it out up front so that we can have

that in our minds as we're talking about

going through the rest of it surely so

I'll tell the basic structure of the

story the rest of the new restoration

story and then we can fit that other

stuff in as we go along great so the

story goes like this that over the past

20 years has been an amazing convergence

of findings in all sorts of different

disciplines in psychology and

neuroscience and anthropology and

evolutionary biology and they all point

to the same result that humankind by

comparison to any other species is

spectacularly altruistic we're way out

there beyond the end of the spectrum of

the rest of the animal kingdom we don't

see it like this because our minds are

attuned to danger we see the bad stuff

that human beings do

but we don't see the good stuff that

human beings do every day we commit

countless acts of economically

irrational altruism little things and

big things and that is the standard way

in which humans behave for psychopaths

among us or 1% of the population who

unfortunately tend to dominate and your

current president is a good example of

that they do not share those values but

the basic human values are shared by 99%

of the population and they are altruism

empathy kindness community feeling

benevolence we are an extraordinary

species but that good nature has been

thwarted by powerful and nefarious

forces who are the neoliberal group of

economists and politicians and

journalists who have done everything

they possibly can to push selfishness

and greed to the front of our minds and

to tell us not only that we are

inherently above all other cat tips so

fish greedy intensely competitive

intensely individualistic there's no

science behind it all so I'm not getting

mad with the end of this story but it's

ok I want to get into neoliberalism

anyway I knew a lot about neoliberalism

already but what did a nice job I'm

putting a history together and you know

you basically describe the roots as

being high Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig

von Mises those are the gods of

libertarians here in this country and

what you described they believed in and

they then led to Milton Friedman who is

one of the evil people on this planet

who I frequently refer to what but what

do you describe them as believing in is

horrific and monstrous really the idea

that democracy is not so good that that

people who inherit money are really

great and and that we should value them

because they have the free

of time I mean it since any tough tell

us a little bit more about them the the

absolute worst sure but most parts of

neoliberalism and one of the things you

also mentioned just to be briefly a hand

it back to you is it's a secret

neoliberalism is a secret which please

talk about that as well

first the evils of it and then the

secret sure okay so so the the

description that you're coming up with

really is a condensed version of

Friedrich Hayek's book the constitution

of Liberty and in this book he describes

very rich people regardless of how they

made that money if they inherited it it

doesn't matter then very rich people are

the pioneers the scouts who blazed the

trails that the rest of us should follow

nothing should be allowed to interfere

with that role so they should be subject

to almost no tax to no regulation to no

Democratic constraints it should be able

to behave exactly as they want and the

more extreme their behavior the better

the trail that they will blaze for the

rest of us to follow and while their

freedom which is our captivity while

their freedom must be absolute democracy

I quote is not an absolute or ultimate

value in other words that is subordinate

to the absolute freedom of the very rich

and their freedom translates into our

loss of freedom so if they are free from

all forms of regulation from all forms

of public protection for the rest of us

we find all local rivers have been

polluted our buildings of burning down

with us inside them our workers are

having their arms pulled off by

industrial machinery the consumers are

being poisoned by the stuff in the

products that they're eating there's you

know so many ways in which their freedom

translates into our captivity and

freedom isn't a neutral thing you know

there's some certain freedoms which we

neutral or certain freedoms which are

zero-sum games but the great majority of

them that one person's freedom will

remove freedom's from other people

and what you must seek is a balance of

freedoms but there is no balance of

freedoms in the Constitution for liberty

it says the freedom should all accrue to

the very rich which means no freedom

basically for anyone else and and this

book I mean it's it's utterly mad I mean

it really is completely raging bonkers

as we say in the United Kingdom for

instance it says everything should be

treated as capital on an equal basis so

soil for example should just be treated

as a commodity which can be traded for

any other kind of capital in it and if

you just strip all the soil off your

land while making as much money as

quickly as you possibly can and then use

that money to buy something else some

industrial machinery or something that's

fine there's no problem with that at all

it doesn't specify what happens with

everybody strips a soil off the land

which unfortunately is what's happening

at the moment and according to the Food

and Agriculture Organization we have 60

years of soil left I don't I hope I

don't need to explain why I'm sure that

there's a whole list of different yeah

anyway this is a book we're running out

of I'm sure that and the reality is

neoliberalism is an extractive system as

compared to generative yeah that is

basically strip mining humanity and the

planet so so I'm gonna just bounce back

a little bit so the Liberals include

Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Barack

Obama Jimmy Carter Margaret Thatcher

Blair I mean nobody conversation we've

used three different terms rooms it's

their new liberalism I've said market

fundamentalism you've said

libertarianism other people say facture

ism or Reaganism or militarism and it

has so many names because is gone to

great lengths not to be recognized and

not to be defined and when we say

neoliberalism those who defend the

systems they are you conspiracy

theorists there's no such thing you just

invented this insult well this is the

term which was a

used by Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von

Mises and Milton Friedman and the rest

they called themselves neoliberal they

invented this term but in common with

all hegemonic systems which are both

hegemonic and secretive it becomes so

big that we're unable to see it and it

becomes universalized it becomes

internalized and then we then reproduce

it in our own lives and our own thinking

and our own speech without even being

aware that we're doing so give the

elevator pitch description of

neoliberalism well if somebody wanted to

describe neoliberalism they're just

learning about it and they want to be

able to tell their friend about it what

would you tell them is the brief waited

so the neoliberalism conceives human

society is basically being a market and

it's a market which determines who the

winners are and who the losers are and

that government should not seek to

change those social outcomes whoever

comes out on top deserves in this sort

of social Darwinist framing to come out

on top and whoever comes out of the

bottom deserves to come out on the

bottom and if you don't have a job if

you don't have an income that's your


structural issues like mass unemployment

or the closing down of the industries in

your town or whatever that's got nothing

to do with it you are unemployed because

you are lazy and feckless and you just

want to suck the tea to the state that's

you described it as extreme

individualism and extreme competition as

well yeah that's right and and the idea

is that those are the mechanisms by

which this market society proceeds and

and through the extreme competition in

individualism certain people are going

to come to the top and become extremely

wealthy and their wealth is going to

trickle down and enrich everyone so it's

going to be good for all of us that's

that's the story but inequality is a

good thing under neoliberalism because

that allows the rich the total freedom

to blaze those trails and to do what

they want and and the richer they become

apparently the richer all

we'll come despite the fact that it's

creating massive inequality nothing

should be allowed to interfere with them

there should be a trade unions should be

basically stamped out taxes on the rich

should be stamped out to the greatest

extent possible and all public

protections should be removed which

possibly can be in order to grant them

that freedom and if this sounds like a

self-serving racket that is because it's

a self-serving racket now okay but do we

need to take a little break this just a

little ID this is the rob car bottom-up

show sponsored by op-ed on

Pacifica Radio on progressive radio

network on iTunes and iPad

slash podcasts and you're listening to

Jorge Mamba who's got a new book out out

of the wreckage and new politics for an

age of crisis and we've been talking

about neoliberalism so but neoliberalism

and your book you describe is coming

into full power in the 1970s because


which is kind of social democracy

collapsed after having been the dominant

economic model since the depression so

talk about a little bit about the key

jainism in that model and why it

collapsed and why neoliberalism took

over and I guess tie in to how the

story's changed sure sure okay well

let's look at them both the stories and

the interesting thing about them is that

while they are starkly opposed to each

other and and basically are this are the

two great conflicting models of the past

seventy years they have exactly the same

narrative structure this is interesting

so the King Z and social democratic

model tells its story as follows

it says the land was thrown into

disorder by the nefarious activities of

a powerful economic elite who threw

their lady fair ideology in the 19th and

early 20th century basically grabbed all

the wealth of society for themselves and

DeVoe grabbed tremendous political power

and beggared very large numbers of


with dessert secuence this for those

people and the state by remaining out of

the frame was unable to change those

outcomes at all these the crises caused

by that culminated in the Great

Depression which basically broke society

and and broke the prospects of of of the

world's people many of the world's

people but the hero of the story is the

enabling state supported by

working-class and middle-class people

and this state will create a strong

society through building robust public

services and and a rigorous social

safety net so that no one Falls to their


everyone is looked after and in spending

money into the economy to build those

public services and that social safety

net it circulates the income which then

generates jobs which then generate more

income which then increases and sustains

economic growth and brings back restores

order to the lands as a classic

restoration story the neoliberal story

says the world

the land was thrown into disorder by the

nefarious activities of the over

powerful state the collectivizing state

which even in its apparently benign

forms like the u.s. New Deal or the

British welfare state will inevitably

take us to totalitarianism this is my

Hayek called his first famous book the

Road to Serfdom and he says that even

the New Deal was on a spectrum with

Nazism and Stalinism it was because it

crushes individualism it crushes

opportunity and freedom by creating by

some interfering with the natural

hierarchy of winners and losers and

therefore throws the land into disorder

and and will lead to - - to dictatorship

but the hero of the story is yatra

preneur the the the free market

businessperson who by creating space

within the

hit through buying and selling confronts

those nefarious and powerful forces of

the state and restores order in in the

form of the free market society in which

individualism and freedom and

opportunity will be returned therefore

bringing order back to the land and the

interesting thing in both cases is that

hate each other as they might it is the

same narrative arc and the reason for

that is it's a basic narrative arc which

works in politics again and again very

and now I've been very into the Joseph

Campbell's hero's journeys and there's a

lot of archetypal connection to the

hero's journey and it applies across

cultures are there archetypes that are

associated with this well I'm not an

expert I mean I have read Campbell's

series with a hero with a thousand faces

but years ago so I don't think I'm

qualified to talk about how I'm gonna

dig it up and I'll get back to you I

have a feeling because you're right it

is so powerful and it is such a central

political element that there probably

are archetypes associated ya know I'm

sure there are but I would have to I

would have to learn more about it than I

do but timidly with the list but the

other question I had was why did the

story change in the 70s why did the

Keynesian switch to liberal what

happened there sure so there were two

reasons first of all Keynesianism ran

into crisis a number of crises some were

sort of internal endogenous crises like

cost-push inflation and stagflation

others were imposed on it basically by

this a long-term assault by global

finance on the model pulling down

capital controls pulling down fixed

foreign exchange rates for ting the

attempts to create a balanced local

trading system through cases proposed

international clearing Union and

basically vitiate the modern

and so so it was already running into

major trouble but the new Liberals have

been working for 30 years on provide on

creating a new narrative and they've

created a sort of international they've

built up with massive requests from

billionaires a network of think tanks of

academic departments of journalists of

government advisers who had refined and

refined the story through this Mont

Pelerin society that they'd created was

for the one kind of society it was

called the Mont Pelerin Society founded

by friedrich park in 1947 seventy years

ago and so they've spent seventy years

they were really clever you know they

did it with great panache with great

skill and and and Friedman himself said

you know we knew that we weren't going

to get anywhere at the height of


it everybody was Akane's you know

Richard Nixon is alleged to have said

we're all Kansans now because the story

it's the story is no it's not parties or

political leaders who run the world

it's powerful political stories and when

you tell the right story it infects the

minds of people across the political

spectrum and everybody accepts it as a

common sense and in the 1950s and 1960s

everyone accepted Keynesianism as as

common sense and Friedman said we'll

just wait it's going to get into trouble

there's going to be crises and he was

quite uncanny in his predictions of when

and how that crisis would strike and he

said and when the time comes we're just

going to move in and that's what they

did and and they came along and said hey

look it's all right we got a new story

take this and and the government said oh

thank goodness as a new story we'll have

it thank you now the difference between

that and what happened in 2008 when the

neoliberal story hit the rocks even more

spectacularly than the Keynesian story

did in the late 1970s was there's no

story we wish to replace it you know

here is this wide-open opportunity just

waiting for someone to come along and

say okay the old story has failed here's

the new story were rich we replace it

instead people say oh right I'm right

okay that's falling apart what do we do

either we double down on neoliberalism

or maybe we trying to dig up some

Keynesianism from before and so really

what you're trying to do with this book

is you're trying to generate that story

and in Currys and that's a really big

deal yeah yeah it looked it's a highly

ambitious attempt but you know I'm not

alone here

I mean I've built this on the basis of

some fantastic work of lots of different

people and what I hope is that people

will refine and refine what I'm doing

and build on what I'm doing and together

we're going to do this because all the

best things in life are done together

and I think the age of the sort of the

grand persona stroking his beard and

writing his manifesto which alone is

going to change the world that age is

over you know we've got to do these

things together so what what I'm doing

here is is saying look here's a template

here's a framework of thought that we

can start to apply is not the end of it

you know I've laid down some lines here

and I've filled in a few of the colors

within those lines but there's a lot

more to be done and maybe the lines

aren't exactly in the right place maybe

you can help me get them it's so

slightly better aligned but you know so

what I'm trying to do is to tell a new

grand narrative as big as sweeping as

comprehensive as but either Keynesianism

or neoliberalism and because that is the

only thing which is going to bump us out

of this crisis and into the new era that

we need to move into now in your

beginning chapters you talk about Hell

for a political story to work and and

you're saying that any of these

political stories are restoration

stories for support a new restoration

narrative to work it has to be built on

principles yes well that's we built on

values which then build principles and

with and use those principles to inform

that the story and that's what happening

and it's not happening I mean at the

moment you know if I can just describe

these treats

three different things that work here

the values are the bedrock of any

person's politics and and a value is

generally something you can describe

with a single word and it is and your

values are the qualities which you push

forward most as being the things that

are most important so for instance your

values might be composed of strength

resilience courage or they might be

composed of of of wisdom or of empathy

or benevolence but you know one of the

extraordinary things about our movements

is we we haven't identified the values

which I'm to pin them we haven't said to

ourselves okay what are our values let's

list them and let's be able to describe

them without embarrassment so that's

your bedrock is is your values and you

know I think the values which should

underpin our movement are altruism

empathy community feeling

self-acceptance kindness towards others

so that those should be the bedrock

values so that you know we can always

refer back to those who say I'll be I'll

be living by our values do our

principles reflect our values and does

our story reflect our values so the

principles then are the soil derived

from the bedrock and the principles are

the basic and unchanging notions are on

the grounds of which we want to run

society so we might say we want to live

in a world in which everyone has access

to good education throughout their lives

that's a principle and it's a principle

which can arise from the the basic

values that we have we want to live in a

world in which the needs of everyone are

met without exceeding the carrying

capacity of the living planet and

therefore destroying our own lives

that's another principle sustainable was

that system yeah I mean our value can be

sustainability whatever that me

it's visible it's a bit of a woolly word

so I tend not to use it but you can say

okay my value is sustainability so the

principle a principle arising from that

value is that everything we do should

operate within the environmental limits

of the natural world so no so that's

value translated into principle so we

should also be able to list our

principles to name them to do this to be

able to explain them without hesitation

or embarrassment but the values were

decreased reached in the beginning of

the book yeah so I've listed about 16 or

17 basic do you want me to revonnah two

of them two to two years sure the show I

mean maybe I should dump maybe I should

have memorized them but we want to live

in a place guided by empathy respect

justice generosity courage fun and love

so in this case it's a principle which

is overtly mentioning values number two

we want to live in a place governed by

judgments that are honestly made

supported by evidence accountable and

transparent number three we want to live

in a place in which everyone's needs are

met without harming the living world or

the prosperity of future generations and

it goes on like that so there's sixteen

of them but and so basically what those

principles do is to describe the world

in which we want to live that's the sort

that that's the that's the promised land

we're trying to reach but the principles

themselves are not the story the values

are not the story the story should

reflect those principles and those

values it can't incorporate all of them

because it would be a very clunky story

if they tried to overtly incorporate all

of them but it should create the

overarching narrative framework into

which the values and principles are

embedded and can easily be brought

forward so the story is that basic

framework of the restoration story and

and the way I tell it is we're the

spectacularly altruistic species our

capacity our good nature our capacity

for altruism and kindness towards others

is has been

sorted by this ideology which puts

selfishness and greed first to the

extent that we start to internalize that

to believe that and to behave like that

but we the heroes of the story are going

to restore our good nature not change

human nature reveal human nature reveal

ourselves for the really amazing

creatures that we are by rebuilding

community from the bottom up it's we're

going to do this by creating real

community communities with real power

communities with real resources at their

disposal communities which are not

community in name but community in

action and building those communities we

rebuild a generous inclusive politics

which allows us to express our better

nature we at the same time must change

governments and and ensure and we've got

some clever strategies for doing this

now that we get governments that reflect

that as well but in creating this in

restoring our good nature we restore and

all those fundamental principles that we

want to see equitable economists living

within the means of the Living Planet

everybody treated with respect and

dignity all of those fundamental

principles can then be applied once we

restore the amazing thing that is human

nature and you know I'm always bringing

up one of my favorite researchers and

dharshan or vias wrote a book about the

neurobiology neurobiology and the

development of human morals and what she

basically said is that before

civilization humans are all the things

you described and when they were living

in small hunter-gatherer bands even

before thrives and there are hundreds of

different genetic character kinetic

elements that are part of making us

those incredibly altruistic beings no

civilization came along and domination

of and domestication of animals and

ownership of land and domination of

people and ownership of people

that really blocked all these elements

of being the altruistic wonderful humans

we are and and you use the word return

and so you know the fact is there's a

lot of research that shows that our

neurobiology is built for that but a lot

of it is repressed and yes that's so

true and I agree with you the community

is and going back to local going away

from centralization is is the way to do

it and the thing that makes sense of

community and this is crucial turtle I

mean one of the grand mistakes that

almost everyone has been making is is

that we position us eles politically

along a linear scale we say like there's

a state at one end of the scale there's

a market at the other end of the scale

how much state do you want how much

market you and if you want a lot of

state you're on the left if you want a

lot of market you're on the right and

that's how we define ourselves

politically and that seems to make sense

it's set for an inconvenient fact that

there are four sectors to the economy

there's a state there's a market there's

a household and there's the Commons but

we only ever talk about the state in the

market now the result of only over

talking about the state in the market is

the number one the household which is

the core economy and without the

household there would be no economy

because children wouldn't go to school

and they wouldn't be fed and they

wouldn't be loved and they would be

incapable of being functional adults and

that means that when that is disregarded

women's work is disregarded because

women still do most of that work and and

it's unrewarded and women are basically

just seen as almost invisible in the

economy in fact there's a wonderful book

by Kettering Marcel called um who cook

Adam Smith's dinner and it describes how

while he was writing The Wealth of

Nations the invisible hands of his

mother were doing all the work and he

come-to written the modern The Wealth of

Nations felt the invisible hands of his

mother but he didn't knowledge at all

and she just didn't exist and the whole

household economy did not exist as an

economic driver in his worldview so

that's the household the food

that secretary the economy but then

there's a Commons and the Commons is so

neglected that you had to explain to

people what it is because people have

never heard of it and they can't define

it I know you I go to meetings of really

source mobs politics students they're

all economic students and say hands up

who knows what the Commons is you know

one or two hands will go up at a

remember four hundred people it's an

extraordinary thing and yet it's one of

the four sectors of the economy so the

Commons a Commons is a resource which is

controlled and managed by a community

for the benefit of that community

through a set of rules and negotiations

which decide how that source can be

sustained in perpetuity and and how the

benefits can be shared on an equitable

basis among its members it's a non

capitalist economy in its true form it's

it's based on something and I want to

throw in a little bit more you yeah

you've you've written a book you've done

a lot of work with indigenous people and

Papua New Guinea and when you talk about

the Commons and all these rules for

shared ownership ownership itself is is

a concept that we have kind of taken to

an extreme hmm in indigenous cultures

that ownership doesn't even exist just

putting that on the table that ownership

is your option sure so I use the words

controlled and managed

you could also say stewarded or God you

could call it a guardianship you but I

you know that word ownership you're

quite right is not the right word so um

and and so and the idea that you own the

land for example is just completely

alien to most indigenous people I mean

this was an idea which only really took

root in the 16th century in England it's

a very recent idea and then was spread

when you know landowners in the people

who cooked said that they owned the land

for grabbing it from everybody else do

you know the history you know the

history at the beginning of land


you just said there's a great there's a

great book called owning the earth by

Andrew Linklater which which discusses

this it's really fascinating there's

another one called this land is our land

by Mary Ann short and and they both give

really powerful descriptions of what

happens so and it started in England

which is interesting from my point of

view because I live in England and then

the model was spread to Ireland and to

Scotland and basically millions of

people were dispossessed a land was

grabbed the the big landlord said this

is no ours you're off no trespassing

signs anyone comes back you're going to

get beaten up or you're going to get


to clear off into the slums where you

belong and and what happened in those

circumstances was that everything fell

apart community was ripped apart these

very rich communities with their

ceremonial lives with their festivals

with their with all working together a

very rich community culture was just

completely destroyed and people were

scattered to the four winds many people

died of starvation many were arrested

for vagrancy branded for vagrancy some

people were transported many people

transported t

Size: 84,926,089 -- 0 hrs, 58 min, 58 sec


listen on iTunes

listen on soundcloud


Must Read 4   Valuable 4   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend