moral and ethical

Moral (and ethical) realism

This article advocates a naturalist and realist ethics of solidarity. Specifically, it argues that human needs should be met; and that they should be met in harmony with the environment. Realism should include respect for existing cultures and the morals presently being practiced – with reasonable exceptions. Dignity must come in a form understood and appreciated by the person whose dignity is being respected. It is also argued that naturalist ethics are needed to combat liberal ethics, not least because the latter supports today’s inflexible and dysfunctional institutions. In arguing for these positions, reference is made to the naturalist realist ethics of Georges Canguilhem, C.H. Waddington, John Dewey
and David Sloan Wilson, all of whom embed the social order in the natural order. read more


The Swedish Model as Programmed for Failure

By Howard Richards

Chapter Seven [1]

Chapter Overview

  1. Introduction
  2. Social Structure Revisited
  3. The Swedish Model
  4. Bounded Social Democracy
  5. Achieving Growth as a Constraint
  6. Some Swedish Model Achievements
  7. The Government as Employer of Last Resort
  8. The Decline of the Swedish Model
  9. Assar Lindbeck’s Critique of the Swedish Welfare State
  10. Conclusions: Some Challenges for Unbounded Organization in the Light of the Decline of the Swedish Model
  11. Green New Deals
  12. Introducing a Community Approach in the Swedish Model Context
  13. Toward Making Growth (i.e. Finance) and Globalisation Governable
  14. More on Governability in the Financial Services Sector


[1] Our thanks to Dean Björn Åstrand of Karlstad University in Sweden for his helpful comments


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Kate Philip

Markets on the Margins: Mine Workers, Job Creation and Enterprise Development

By Kate Philip (2018)

This book provides an eyewitness account of South Africa’s unsuccessful efforts to end mass unemployment and mass poverty.  But it is more than an eyewitness account.  It is a participant observer account.  The author is a scholar-activist who has been deeply involved in thinking through the economic rationale, designing and implementing key programmes and projects.   She is equally at home in the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and in remote country villages.

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Building Community in the Crash of 2001

Juan Regache: In October of 2001 Argentina was in crisis.  I had to close my business.   There were no customers.    I had fixed costs I could not avoid –wages, taxes, rent, utilities.

Howard Richards: October of 2001 was two months before the complete collapse of the economy on December 14, 2001, when bank accounts were frozen and nobody could access their savings or write checks.  What kind of business did you have ?

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unb feb


By Howard Richards

New times call for new ideas.   In a desperate situation, like that of South Africa today, some people may be willing to consider the new ideas that are on offer, going on the lookout for measures that might work.  Others may have their minds already made up; they might be already sure that they know what miracle, if it would only happen, would save South Africa.  read more



The challenge- Human exploitation:

The greatest challenge facing humanity today,  I would say,  is exploitation of a group of people by other groups of people. It is I believe one of the most pressing problems today. Daily in the world we see people working hard, e.g. the domestic worker, the farm worker, the factory worker and so on. They leave home before we even get up from our beds, they walk and commute long distances to get to work because they do not have their own cars and in most cases they live far from their work places. Their work is hard and farm workers work in all weathers. Yet they earn a miniscule percentage of what we earn, and are treated as “second class citizens”. They are the working poor, they are not unemployed yet they have very little money to be able to live a comfortable life. Importantly they are not counted in the statistics of the poor. read more