Take Back the Economy is the single most farsighted and practical work enlightening us on the path to a steady transition towards a genuine postcapitalist world. It is based on the presupposition that reorienting the economy means much more than the control of production—it means reinventing ourselves, our communities, and our world in profound ways. Out of this act of ‘reframing’ there emerges a novel understanding of work, enterprise, market, property, even finance. In this wonderful new work in the tradition of GibsonGraham, students, activists, movements, and communities will find a toolkit for ethical and effective action any time, any place.
Readers familiar with the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham and the wider Community Economies Collective will know already that their writings and action research projects have made important contributions to the development of what we might call an ‘economic ethics.’ This latest book is no exception, announcing its mission as “taking back the economy through ethical action.” This focus on action, signaled right away by the imperative mood of the book’s title, gives Take Back the Economy a somewhat different ethical tone than its predecessor. If A Postcapitalist Politics was oriented around an ethics of thinking, the project of taking back the economy demands practical, ethical action, the “nitty gritty of creating alternative economies.” This present work thus not only inventories and documents diverse economies (although the book does do quite a bit of this) but also constitutes them, by proliferating resources for bringing them into being. In this sense, the book is generative and performative, a project aimed at creating new economic agencies and identities.
I have been thumbing through Take Back the Economy all afternoon, and find it to be an engaging, inspiring work that I can’t recommend highly enough. The book reframes the economy as a site of ethical action, not expert intervention. Not only does it provide a new way of thinking about the economy and our actions within it, it also explores what people are already doing to build ethical economies. The book is accessible and suitable for activists and academics alike.