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Vol 23 No 1 Jan/Feb 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of The Law of Privilege

The Law of Privilege

Edited by: Bankim Thanki
Price: £195.00

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Property for People, Not for Profit

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Ulrich DuchrowProfessor of Systematic Theology, University of Heidelberg, Germany, Franz J. Hinkelammert

ISBN13: 9781842774786
ISBN: 1842774786
Published: January 2004
Publisher: Zed Books
Format: Hardback
Price: £55.00

The issue of private property and the rights it confers remain almost undiscussed in critiques of globalization and free market economics. Yet property lies at the heart of an economic system geared to profit maximization. The authors describe the historically specific and self-consciously explicit manner in which it emerged. They trace this history from earliest historical times and show how, in the hands of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke in particular, the notion of private property took on its absolutist nature and most extreme form - a form which neoliberal economics is now imposing on humanity worldwide through the pressures of globalization. They argue that avoiding the destruction of people's ways of living and of Nature requires reshaping our notions of private property. They look at practical ways for social and ecumenical movements to press for alternatives.

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Absolute property creates poverty, debts and slavery - the origin of the property economy in antiquity and biblical alternatives - Ancient Greece, Rome, Ancient Israel, the Jesus movement and the early church as counter-cultural; Homo Homini Lupus - the emergence of the capitalist possessive market society in the modern age, property and its consequences, the first comprehensive theory of the possessive market society - Thomas Hobbes; the case of John Locke - the inversion of human rights in the name of bourgeois property, the world of John Locke, Locke's central argument - eliminate those who encroach on property, the state of war, the legitimation of forced labour by slavery, the legitimate expropriation of the indigenous peoples of North America, Locke's method of deriving human rights from property, regaining human rights in the context of postmodernism; the total market - how globalized capitalism is eliminating the commitment to sustain life, the struggle to make property owners accountable to society - the example of the German constitution; the fall of the towers - the absolute empire - the implementation of the total market - fighting for all the power, the coordinates of good and evil collapse, the global civil war, from hopelessness to despair, is there a way out?; it is life-enhancing production that must grow, not capitalist property - Latin American approaches to a renewed dependency theory - development policy as a policy of growth, the new polarization of the world, problems of a generalized development policy; another world is possible - rebuilding the system of ownership from below from the perspective of life and the common good - what is meant by life and the common good?, how can the ownership system be rebuilt from below?, means of production, corporations and labour; God or Mammon? a confessional issue for the churches in the context of social movements - the social movements, the ecumenical context, becoming a confessional church?, the political demands of the church with respect to a new property system.