The Case for Community Wealth Building 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 40 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-1509539031
ISBN-10: 1509539034
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Editorial Reviews

Review

‘A new approach to economics is needed to tackle grotesque inequalities of wealth and power. Community Wealth Building offers a way for communities to confront corporate power and build a more equal and democratic economy. In this book Joe Guinan and Martin O’Neill show what inspiring action is already happening on the ground and point beyond to what is possible.’
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party 

‘Change is coming, and another world is not just possible but already within reach. Joe Guinan and Martin O’Neill show how Community Wealth Building approaches can allow every community in the country to play their part in building a new economy from the ground up.’
John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

‘Joe Guinan and Martin O’Neill present a compelling vision of a more just, democratic economy in which wealth and power are more fairly shared. This book should be read by anyone who believes that a different economic order is possible and wants to know how we start to make it happen.’
Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North and former Leader of the Labour Party 

‘If you want to make the city where you live more equal and more democratic, this is the book for you. It shows what local government, institutions, and people can do to create a better world – even without the support of central government. It is at once both practical and inspiring.’
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level and The Inner Level 

The Case for Community Wealth Building is an essential guide to a new and devolved economic movement that challenges forty years of neoliberalism and austerity. It articulates real progress towards a transformed and democratic economy.’
Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council 

About the Author

Joe Guinan is Vice President at The Democracy Collaborative and Executive Director of the Next System Project.

Martin O’Neill is Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy at the University of York.



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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Polity; 1st edition (December 31, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 140 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1509539034
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1509539031
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.9 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 40 ratings

About the author

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Martin O'Neill teaches political philosophy at the University of York. He writes about various issues at the intersection of political philosophy, political economy, and public policy.

He is the author, with Joe Guinan, of The Case for Community Wealth Building (Polity, 2019). He co-edited Taxation: Philosophical Perspectives (OUP, 2018)(with Shepley Orr), and Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)(with Thad Williamson).

His next book, Real World Political Philosophy, is forthcoming from Polity Press in 2022.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
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There are 0 reviews and 7 ratings from the United States

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D J F
5.0 out of 5 stars Argues for a fairer system that supports local communities
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2020
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Book Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of excellent ideas
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of excellent ideas
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2020
This is a paperback back book. Printed onto good quality paper with an excellent easy to read typeface. The authors certainly know their subject well. Many people are concerned that capitalism is the cause of poverty and inequality in today’s society.

In this book we are given ways in which society can operate so that all people and families can have a better standard of life.

This is what the authors call a democratic community approach, which is an excellent idea. The book gives us much to think about. My concern is the people being people will always want the best for their family which will undermine a little the authors arguments. An interesting read.
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K. Petersen
5.0 out of 5 stars The Change That Has Got to Come
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2020
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Ben Saunders
3.0 out of 5 stars Opportunity missed?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars Opportunity missed?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2020
The Enlightenment philosopher David Hume famously remarked that his Treatise on Human Nature “fell dead-born from the [printing] press”. I’m afraid that, given recent political developments, this short book may suffer the similar fate of being dead on arrival.

The back cover carries endorsements from Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Hardly surprising, given that much of the book is devoted to outlining and defending Corbyn’s economic model. However, whatever one thinks of this vision, it seems that its time has already passed.

The book carries a copyright date of 2020, but I could see no clear indication of when the text was actually written. Nonetheless, when the authors write (on p. 107) of the opportunity “in the unknown amount of time between now and the next UK general election” I assume this must have been before the 2019 election was called. Thus, the election referred to has already happened. With Labour losing that election (heavily), and Corbyn soon to be replaced as leader, it is hard to avoid concluding that whatever opportunity there was for this radical new economic model – at least on a national level – has gone.

Much, if not all, of this book is written as a call from those on the left of the political spectrum to others on the left, encouraging them to seize the opportunity created by recent crises to implement a new economic settlement. Pitched in such a manner, it’s probably unlikely to find much favour outside of Corbynistic circles. That’s probably a shame though, since – at least if the authors are right – the idea of community wealth building has much to recommend it across the political spectrum. However, the chances of anyone taking up these ideas now seem slim.

The book consists of three main chapters, which in turn address the history, justification, and potential of community wealth building. I have to say that it assumes a certain familiarity with politics and economics, for instance what is meant by Keynesianism or the neoliberal economic paradigm. Even though I consider myself more than averagely informed, I was still a little unclear on what exactly community wealth building means after the first chapter. There’s a list of principles, on p. 84, that might have been more useful in the first chapter. (Incidentally, the text introduces “eight principles” of the Democracy Collaborative, but the list that follows includes only seven.)

The second chapter was probably the most interesting, at least in my view. Here, the authors seek to defend community wealth building arguing that, even if it is less economically efficient than unregulated markets (a point that they dispute), it is a means for ordinary citizens to ‘take back control’ over their lives. Existing democratic structures seem relatively powerless in the face of global economic forces. Democratising the economy, however, offers ordinary workers the chance to have a say over decisions that affect their lives. Again, I would expect much of this to appeal not only to the radical left but also to at least some in the centre and even on the right, at least to the extent that a remodelled economy of the sort proposed here should then involve less state interference.

Unfortunately, as I remarked at the outset, the chapter on the prospects for community wealth building seems to hang its hopes on the opportunity for a Corbyn-led Labour government. While it does note that some progress can be made at local levels, without a change of national government (p. 112), even this seems to assume that Labour will be the party of change. Thus, while this book was intended as an optimistic manifesto for radical change, it now reads like an account of what might have been. An opportunity missed, perhaps – we may never know.
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Elara
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Idea for Our Times
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2020
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