An Experiment in Gift Economics

Posted on Nov 2, 2015
An Experiment in Gift Economics

In the year 2008 I was facing hard times. I was earning maybe $300 a month from book sales, I wasn’t known yet as a speaker, and I couldn’t really get a job because I was a single dad staying at home with three children including a three-year-old. One day, a workshop came to town […]

Gift Circles and the Monetization of Everything

Posted on Aug 21, 2013
Gift Circles and the Monetization of Everything

One aspect of the monetization of life that is proceeding nearly to totality in our time is that someone finds a way to commoditize nearly any movement or concept, even those that were explicitly anti-commercial in their conception. This was the fate of “cool”: what was once an emblem of African-American and Beatnik rejection of […]

Money and the Divine Masculine

Posted on Aug 13, 2012
Money and the Divine Masculine

I recently attended a ceremony at the Tamera village in Portugal in which the officiant invoked “the healing of money.” Immediately a vivid image popped into my head of a man, vast and muscular, bound to the earth with stakes and tethers, straining with every atom of his strength to free himself and rise up. […]

Conversation with James Quilligan

Posted on Jul 27, 2012

Last month I had the pleasure of a dialog with James Quilligan on the subject of the commons, gift economies, crisis, and transition. It felt like an especially significant conversation because James and I come from two different worlds. James is an internationally known policy consultant who engages with people in the highest echelons of […]

For Facebook, A Modest Proposal

Posted on May 16, 2012

  General Motors recently reported that it will pull its advertising from Facebook, citing a low click-through rate among other indications that its advertising there isn’t effective. I’m not surprised — I for one have never clicked on a Facebook ad and in fact don’t even notice them. Like most people, I have trained myself […]

A Review of Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years

Posted on Mar 5, 2012
A Review of Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years

I was immensely impressed by this book. For as long as there has been such a thing as money, morality and debt have been intimately intertwined. We see this today in discussions about the debt crisis. Do mortgage debtors, credit card debtors, and student loan borrowers have a moral obligation to pay back their debts? […]

Gift Economics Resurgent

Posted on Mar 2, 2012
Gift Economics Resurgent

Here is an article in Wednesday’s New York Times about a small town in Spain, Higuera De La Serena, that completely ran out of money. It couldn’t pay municipal employees or contractors, nor could it provide most basic services. So the townsfolk stepped up to provide for each other. The town is basically run by […]

Sacred Economics: Money, the Gift and Society in the Age of Transition

Posted on Jan 12, 2012
Sacred Economics: Money, the Gift and Society in the Age of Transition

Transcribed Talk from January 13, 2012 at “The Hive” in Vancouver, BC.   Thank you for such a warm welcome. I’m quite amazed actually. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to this large a crowd that was just here for me. I’ve spoken to more people at conferences, but that wasn’t just for me. Part […]

Thrive: The Story is Wrong but the Spirit is Right

Posted on Nov 21, 2011
Thrive: The Story is Wrong but the Spirit is Right

“What is keeping us from thriving?” asks the new movie, Thrive. The answer it gives is “the global elite,” the people who control the financial system that in turn controls everything else. Operating through the power institutions of our society, this elite pursues a conscious agenda of total world dominance, purposely suppressing anything that would […]

A Circle of Gifts

Posted on Nov 1, 2010
A Circle of Gifts

  This essay is also available in French Wherever I go and ask people what is missing from their lives, the most common answer (if they are not impoverished or seriously ill) is “community.” What happened to community, and why don’t we have it any more? There are many reasons – the layout of suburbia, […]

The Stars are Shining for Her

Posted on Dec 10, 2006
The Stars are Shining for Her

If I say, “The reason the hawk circled over me nine times and headed East was to tell me to begin my return journey,” does that sound scientific to you? Or am I projecting meaning onto a world that is essentially random? Do the events of our lives have any meaning, or do they just […]

Human Nature Denied

Posted on Sep 10, 2005
Human Nature Denied

Have you ever had the desire to be generous but stopped yourself with the thought, “I cannot afford to”? One of the key themes in The Ascent of Humanity is the program of control. Applied to nature, control is technology; applied to human nature, control is culture. Culture, that is, in the sense of “acculturation”—everything […]