from   Rowman & Littlefield

The Postindustrial Alternative to Corporate Globalization

Brian Milani

with a Foreword by Thomas Berry

What they're saying about Designing the Green Economy
Book Description
Table of Contents
About the Author
About the Publisher

What They're Saying About Designing the Green Economy

"Brian Milani's Designing the Green Economy is a very timely and courageous book. The author not only gives us a very convincing and well documented analysis of the reasons for the collapse of the post-war Fordist economy, the rise of neoliberal Casino Capitalism and why this economy produces more ‘illth’ than wealth. He also shows that a transition to an alternative Green Economy is both necessary and possible. For all those who begin to question the promises of those who, in the face of global economic, ecological and social crises, still continue with just ‘more of the same’, this book is a must."
    Maria Mies, co-author, The Subsistence Perspective;
                                   and Ecofeminism;
Patriarchy & Accumulation on a World Scale

"A concise, deeply-researched, practical guide for shaping sustainable economies."
    Hazel Henderson, author, Beyond Globalization;
Building a Win-Win World

"What a surprising mix of theoretical ambition and practical experience! Reading this book sharpens your view on the post-materialist society in the making".
     Wolfgang Sachs,Wuppertal Institute, Germany, author, Planet Dialectics
                                       co-author, Greening the North

"Brian Milani's work is a pathbreaking contribution into the alternatives opened up by the 'new materialism' and how it can enhance environmental and social justice."
    Robin Murray, author, Creating Wealth from Waste,
                                    and  Breaking With Bureaucracy

"This is an important book, both in terms of its content and its intent. Soundly rooted in today's social and political context, it offers a crucial perspective on technology that all people should consider very seriously."
   Ursula M. Franklin, author, The Real World of Technology

"Brian Milani has given us an excellent design manual - ‘a complete strategy for regenerative finance’—including a first class analysis of community money and its part in building the sustainable community."
  Michael Linton, Landsman Community Services,
                               LETSystem founder

"An experienced builder, Milani provides not just a painstaking deconstruction of industrial capitalism, but a positive ecological vision: the windows on, and doors to enter, a new age of ecology."
  Wayne Roberts, co-author, Get a Life! ;
                          and Real Food for a Change

"Protesters are still needed to raise flags, but as Milani says, change will come from getting lots of grassroots green projects under way.  [His] contribution is to help us imagine a green economy long before we can see it."
 DAVID DODGE,  EnCompass, journal of the
  Pembina Institute

"In reading the book, I was reminded of John Kenneth Galbraith. Through everything he wrote ran the theme that economics should be the servant, not the master...Milani is on the same wavelength. He wants quality of life and ecological renewal to replace accumulation of money as the goal of our economic system, a change that would totally transform the system."
    CAMERON SMITH, Toronto Star


Click  here to read the entire first part of Cameron Smith's two-part review of Designing the Green Economy in the Toronto Star.

Click  here to Download an interview with Brian Milani on David Dodge's "EcoFile" program on Alberta's CKUA Radio   (look for show #239, March 17, 2001)


Book Description

Designing the Green Economy looks at the ecological economy as a stage of human development, as real postindustrialism. The author argues that new productive forces based in human cultural development have redefined the nature of wealth—from quantitative to qualitative. Real development can now only be defined in terms of individual, community and ecological regeneration—and yet these growing potentials have been increasing suppressed or distorted by industrial institutions over the last century. Archaic definitions of wealth—as money and material—threaten to destroy the planet and what remains of human community, creating crisis, inequality and environmental destruction.
           The author argues that real social change today involves not just opposing exploitation and injustice, but implementing social and ecological alternatives which directly target human development and ecological regeneration. Postindustrial social movement strategy involves a fundamental shift in focus from opposition to alternatives. These alternatives must inextricably involve individual/spiritual change, community development, and ecological renewal.

Designing the Green Economy attacks the dominant pop interpretations of postindustrialism--which reify computer hardware and the information revolution--as propaganda which justifies current trends of superindustrial globalization. By contrast, real potentials for qualitative development, for "doing more with less", and dematerialization of economic life, depend on an ecological restructuring which would make information, like money and matter, simply a means to the end of serving human and planetary need. The author argues that mainstream forms of economic development serve to support corporate profit through the reproduction of scarcity.  Since the Great Depression, waste has played the primary role of artificially generating scarcity.  The creation of waste has also acted to suppress growing human and ecological potentials, and to reinforce relationships of domination. But this waste has also become a major source of crisis and stagnation for the System.

  • Part I describes industrial capitalism as a system of quantitative development, based in a definition of wealth as money and matter. It also looks at industrialism as a class society, which has had to maintain scarcity to perpetuate class relationships.   It highlights the role of waste in artificially maintaining scarcity after the collapse of the classical market system in the Great Depression.  After looking at the role of waste in the postwar Fordist/Keynesian economy, and that system's collapse in the late seventies, it goes on to examine new forms of waste and exploitation in the emerging global Casino Economy.
  • Part II examines the alternative to Post-Fordist corporate globalization--which goes far beyond industrial state socialism. It surveys potentials for human and ecological development in key sectors of the economy.  Part II identifies real postindustrialism as an egalitarian, knowledge-based economy in which human and environmental need are prioitized, as money and material are confined to a role as MEANS of economic development, not the ends.  After reviewing principles of green economic development, key sectors of the economy are considered: the built-environment, energy, manufacturing and resource use, money and finance, and finally the state.

        Special attention is paid to strategies for economic conversion, and to the new postindustrial "ecology of politics" which necessitates that social movements prioritize the creation of concrete alternatives over narrowly oppositional activity.



  • Foreword by Fr. Thomas Berry


  • Introduction: Dimensions of Green Economics

Wealth vs. Illth
From Quantity to Quality
Post-Industrialism and Ecology
From Opposition to Alternatives: the Strategy of Design


  • Chapter 1. Industrialism and Quantitative Development

Industrialism and Capitalism
The Industrial Definition of Wealth: Matter
The Industrial Definition of Wealth: Money
The Divided Economy: Subordinating Reproduction
Cog-Labor and the Megamachine
The Separation of Politics, Economics and Culture

  • Chapter 2. Crisis & Waste: Fordism & the Effluent Society

The Great Depression and the Threat of Abundance
Fordist Capitalism & the Reintegration of Politics & Economics
The Production of Monetary Scarcity: Keynesianism, Debt & the Paper Economy
The Production of Material Scarcity: The Waste Economy
Military Keynesianism: the Military-Industrial Complex
Space to Consume: The Auto / Suburb Complex
The Synthetic Economy: Oil and Materials
Fordism and Alienated Labour

  • Chapter 3. Post-Fordism: Casino Capitalism & the Production of Illth

The Decline of Mass Consumption
The Collapse of Keynesianism: From Inflation to Austerity
the Casino
Technology and Megabyte Money
Debt, Illth and Power
Space of Flows: the Geography of Disempowerment
Flexploitation: McWork in the Global Economy
The Cancer Stage of Capitalism

  • Chapter 4. New Productive Forces & Emerging Human Potentials

Civilization: Progress Against Nature
Individuation, Development and Gender
Rationalism and Alienation
Post-Industrial Perception
Mass-Consumption as People-Production
Prosumption and the Resurgence of the Informal Economy
Ecology as a Productive Force
Dematerialization and Labor

  • Chapter 5. The New Ecology of Politics

Working Class Autonomy & Cultural Production
Politics and the Withering Away of the Left
New Social Movements & the Redefinition of Wealth
Three Movements
The Ecological Service Economy


  • Chapter 6. Eco-Design: Principles of the Green Economy


  • Chapter 7. The Ecological Space of Flows: The Built-Environment

Patterns of Human Development
The Centrality of the Landscape
Ecological Infill and Patterns of Eco-Development
Green Building

Power, Money and Built-Form
Strategic Opportunities in the Built-Environment

  • Chapter 8. Transformative Energy: the Soft Energy Path

Historical Trends: from Quantity to Quality
Decentralization, Integration and the Landscape
Renewable Energy and Distributed Generation
End-Use and Dematerialization
Deregulation: Competition for What?
The Green Municipal Utility
Elements of Green Energy Strategy

  • Chapter 9. Living in De-Material World: Manufacturing, Resource

             Use and Media
Scale, Craft and Community
The New Industrial Eco-Structure
The Closed Loop Economy
Product Design and Product Stewardship
Beyond Petrochemicals: Benign Materials & the Carbohydrate Economy
Community Consumerism and Sharing
Advanced Technology and the Information Economy
Eco-Infostructure: Gaia’s Nervous System

  • Chapter 10. True Value Software: Regenerative Money & Finance

Scarcity, Power and Commodity-money
Going Local
Money as Information
LETS: Storing Value in Community
Money, Value and Production
Indicators: Vital Signs of Real Wealth
Regenerative Finance & Community Self-Regulation

  • Chapter 11. The State and Beyond: Post-Industrial Forms of Regulation

Green Community Self-Regulation
Scale and Accountability
Participatory Planning & Green Municipalism
New Rules and Regulation
Designing Markets for Regenerative Exchange
Ecological Tax Reform
Knowledge and Self-regulation
Beyond the Bioregion: Planetary Transformation
Business, Labour and the State
Economic Conversion and (R)Evolutionary Strategy

About the Author

Brian Milani is

  • a co-founder of the Toronto’s Eco-Materials Project, an environmental building materials advocacy and information project. The EMP is concerned not only with fostering regenerative practices in construction, but also with encouraging green industry for bioregional development.
  • A writer & teacher, instructor of The Green Economy: Practical Strategies to Create Community-based Eco-economies, for the Metro Labour Education Centre, the labour studies programme of the Labour Council of Metro Toronto and York Region. Instructor of Ecological Crisis and Sustainable Community Development, at OISE/UT's Transformative Learning Centre.  He  also teaches graduate- and undergraduate-level Ecological Economics at York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies.
  • A former builder & designer, and ticketed carpenter, founder of Green City Construction & Design.
  • A labour activist, involved with the Carpenters union, the Labour Council and the Metro Labour Education Centre.
  • Environmentalist & community activist, a member of the Coalition for a Green Economy.

About the Publisher

FOUNDED IN 1949, Rowman & Littlefield has been an independent press devoted to publishing innovative, thought-provoking scholarly books for college courses and crossover trade books intended to convey scholarly trends to an educated readership. From our traditional strengths in philosophy, political science, and political theory, our scope has expanded to include anthropology, area studies, communications, cultural studies, education, geography, history, international relations, and sociology.

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