Among these conditions, trade must be fair and balanced financially and environmentally—and ownership of the means of production must be national. So long as trade is balanced and ownership is local, there will be little of the economic instability and colonization that come with long-term flows of financial capital. The only legitimate reason for a government to issue a corporate charter is to serve a public purpose.
If a business seeks only to serve a private, personal interest, then its rights and powers should be limited to those of a self-interested individual. Ethical behavior and an ethical culture are essential to both the efficient function of the market and the general health of the society. This should be a central premise of any valid economic theory and an essential subject of public, religious, and scientific education. Government is the necessary guardian of many of the conditions essential to efficient market function, such as maintaining public infrastructure, protecting the rights of living persons, limiting the growth of individual firms, assuring that costs are internalized and equity is maintained, providing incentives for full disclosure and sharing knowledge, and managing border cross border flows.
We grant government coercive powers specifically because they are essential to its role in protecting our rights and freedoms from those who would abuse them. These ten rules for healthy, efficient markets frame the essential elements of a New Economy policy agenda. Ten Essential Principles for Healthy Markets.
Ten Essential Principles for Healthy Markets In every aspect of civilized society we assume that mature adults will act responsibly in their relationships with others. David T September 18th, Categories: Uncategorized. Related Posts. November E-Newsletter. June E-Newsletter.
Companies with high balance sheet scores could be rewarded with tax benefits, lower tariffs, better terms on loans, and priority in public procurement. As a result, ethical and environmentally friendly products and services would become cheaper than ethically questionable ones. Unlike today, where businesses are punished if they try to pay fair wages and protect the environment, responsible businesses in a common good economy would have an advantage in the marketplace. By reversing goals and means, the rules of the economy would be in line with human rights, justice, and democracy.
In Spain, Italy, Germany, and Austria, cities and state legislatures have already taken the first steps towards giving preferential treatment and grants to common good-oriented companies. Profits like money or capital, are economic tools. How a company uses its profits should be completely transparent and limited in scope. We as a society regulate business and individual activity in a multitude of ways.
In order to drive a car on the highway we have to follow certain rules, like speed limits. A car manufacturer is required to ensure the safety of workers at its plants. The use of profits should not be an exception. These proposals would help eliminate the constant drive towards profit-maximization and continual growth that is so prominent in our present system. The reorientation of profits would encourage businesses to shift their strategies towards increasing their contribution to society and the environment. Business would no longer be plagued with the ominous threat of failure if they did not increase shareholder value.
The compulsion to grow and continuously gain more market share would also disappear. This would liberate businesses, allowing them to determine their optimal size and to focus on producing great products and services. Today, this focus has shifted to personal monetary benefits going chiefly to upper management and shareholders.
Key Components of Civilization | National Geographic Society
ECG is, of course, not opposed to private companies and entrepreneurship. It simply proposes that they need to reorient towards serving the public good and abiding by values like human rights, human dignity, cooperation, sustainability, and democracy. The result is a free market economy, but capital accumulation is not the driving force. One cornerstone of the capitalist market economy is the concept that competition is necessary for business. People, including most economists, just assume it to be true.
Research has shown, however, that cooperation, not competition, is much more effective in terms of motivating workers. Without motivated employees, one will not see improved innovation and efficiency. Competition does, of course, motivate people and market capitalism has proven this, but it motivates them in very problematic ways. Competition can be seen as a win-lose situation. One person is only successful if another person is unsuccessful. Competition primarily motivates people through fear. Fear is a widespread phenomenon in market capitalism.
Millions fear losing their job, their income, their social status, and their place in the community. Is this something we want to encourage? There is another interesting aspect of motivation when it comes to competition. Competition elicits a form of delight in being better than someone else. This can, of course, have serious ramifications. The purpose of our actions and our work should not be to be better than others, but rather, to perform our tasks well, to enjoy our work, and to see that it is helpful and valuable.
If you derive self-worth from being better than others, you are dependent upon others being worse. This actually constitutes pathological narcissism. Feeling better because others are worse off is sick. If we look more closely at the term competition, we can see that its meaning has actually been largely distorted. Today, however, competition means to search and act against each other, excluding others from the benefits of a new innovation or product.
The ECG fosters true competition according to its original, literal meaning of working together. In the Economy for the Common Good, competition would not be eliminated. Aggressive behavior against competitors, such as hostile takeovers, price dumping, advertising via mass media, or enclosure of intellectual property, would reflect negatively on their ethical scorecard and harm their chances of succeeding in the market.
The more cooperative their conduct was, and the more helpful they were with customers and competitors—for example, being transparent and sharing know-how, resources, and means of production—the better their common good score would be. The current win-lose paradigm would be replaced by a win-win paradigm.
If enterprises were rewarded for cooperation, destructive competition would turn into peaceful coexistence at the very least. In some cases, proactive cooperation among businesses would result. The pursuit of an optimal company size and thus the abandonment of the growth imperative would in itself encourage enterprises to engage in cooperation.
A company that has reached its desired size has a much easier time sharing knowhow and even passing on contracts it cannot fulfill. From the theory of evolution, we have learned that a more and more species are evolving and b that certain species do not always endlessly grow until they die. Like all other ideas proposed, these reforms are meant to be changes in the legal framework of the economy.
In order to make this happen, governments and parliaments should first be encouraged to implement the reform proposals directly through legislation. The starting point here is an historical dualism of two extremes. Socialist economic theories, on the one hand, place a very high value on public property. Capitalism, on the other hand, argues that private property is the most important form of property. The Economy for the Common Good envisions all types of property, putting none above the other, but placing limits and conditions on all of them.
Economics for a Civilized Society
We argue, for instance, that it is good for a society when the government provides a broad range of basic infrastructure, ranging from water, energy, and transportation to health services, and education. If these services are free, at least for low-income individuals, they are an effective measure against poverty and exclusion. They strengthen social cohesion and the democratic community.
On the other hand, there is no clear argument as to why government-run organizations would have to produce furniture, clothes, or food. Private companies can do this just as well, if not better, but under three conditions: the size of companies is regulated, common good balance sheets are compulsory, and inheritance is limited. These limits and conditions would, for example, prevent excessive concentration of private property and ensure that it be used for the common good.
The commons are another form of property and constitute a cultural practice that enhances both ecological and social values. The commons should be protected by law. As we will discuss below, a national constitution can provide guidelines as to the role private property, public goods, and the commons should play. By social property, we mean companies that are controlled by their stakeholders— workers, customers, suppliers—but not investors that play none of these other roles.
The Common Good Balance Sheet and its consequent incentives encourage all companies to become more like social businesses, or even like the commons. There is one important exception to property rights and that involves nature.
It was not humans who invented and created nature. We are creations of nature. In order to respect our origin and fertile earth, ECG proposes that there can be limited and conditional use of nature for commercial use, but no ownership of nature. That would prevent phenomena like land grabbing, real estate speculation, intellectual property rights on living organisms such as genetically modified organisms , or massive deforestation.
This is an overview of the most important types of property, their function, limits, and conditions. These reflections and proposals are rooted in the idea that all types of property are not ends in themselves, but basic rights that serve higher values such as human rights and social justice. In the ECG we argue that it is of utmost importance to put limits on inequality. This can occur on many levels: income, property, inheritance, or the size of companies. According to a survey in the Financial Times and the Harris Poll, 78 percent of respondents in the US felt that inequality had increased too much.
In the UK it was 79 percent, in China 80 percent, and in Germany 87 percent. The international ECG movement uses an effective decision-making method called systemic consensus. It is a variant of consensus decision making and measures the amount of resistance to a proposal within a committee or larger group. Using this method, voters could, for example, determine the amount at which income should be limited.
In systemic consensus, the first step is that all proposals presented to a given committee or group are voted on and the amount of opposition or aversion is measured. Each voter can express their opposition in three ways. By not raising any arms, a person expresses her lack of any aversion or resistance. By raising one arm, a person expresses that she has some opposition.
By raising both arms a voter says she is totally opposed to the proposal and cannot accept its passage. Usually there are various proposals on the same issue. The proposal wins which has the least opposition. ECG speakers have practiced this method with about 50, citizens from Sweden to Argentina to Chile.
Usually, a factor of ten was the most popular. The extremes of unlimited inequality as well as full equality frequently meet with strong resistance. Not surprisingly, a Swiss canton passed a law in limiting the highest salaries in public banks to ten times the amount of the lowest paid employee in the same bank.
The minimum wage and maximum income are meant to be legal limits, whereas everything in between can be left to negotiation in free markets. Similar to the business level, where profits become the means and the common good the end, priorities need to change in the realm of money and finances. Money should only be a means to reach a higher goal. In order to accomplish this, money needs to become a public good. This means first and oremost that the rules of the monetary system are set by the sovereign citizens. In emocratically organized assemblies, the people define the cornerstones of a new monetary and financial system.
In order to accomplish this, loan requests will be assessed not only according to financial risks but, more importantly, according to their common-good creditworthiness. Economists and finance experts regard an investment as successful if it generates a financial return. If the return on investment is double-digit, they regard it as particularly successful. This concept of success is flawed. We cannot know how the investment affects working conditions, human rights, cultural diversity, or democratic principles.
It is possible, in fact, that an investment yields extremely high returns but leads to job loss and environmental degradation. It could harm society in general and still be determined a success. For this reason, financial institutions in an Economy for the Common Good will behave differently. The concept of return on investment will be reexamined. The validity of an investment will no longer be determined by monetary figures alone.
The impact the loan plan has on a community, on the environment, and on working conditions will come to light. The return has to be beneficial to society and nature. A new bottom line comes into play. Before granting a loan to a business or an individual, a bank will check the ethical creditworthiness. The customer will have to prove that the loan will not have a detrimental effect on the common good. Only if this ethical assessment is found to be positive, will the bank continue with the financial assessment.
If the loan request passes both examinations, the bank grants the loan. As a result of this new approach, borrowing costs will go down when the ethical value of an investment program goes up. Presently, borrowing costs go down when the financial credit risk goes down. Borrowers are rewarded when they prove they present little financial risk.
In an ethics-based system, the borrowers are rewarded when they can prove that their project will benefit the public good and the environment. If the investment is found to benefit the common good but the financial assessment is negative and the credit risk too high, the bank will probably refuse to grant the loan. In such cases, the loan plan could be handed over to cooperative banks or a crowd investment platform. When higher financial returns are the main motive for investment decisions, we again see a twisted interpretation of means and ends.
Financial gain is falsely viewed as a goal while the true goal, a safer and saner world, is lost. If we end the practice of judging creditworthiness strictly in financial terms, the logical goal and benefit for investors will become to increase the common good. All in all, this new financial system will discourage investment decisions that endanger our fundamental values and encourage investments that have the most positive impact on the common good.
They will not only be rewarded with a peaceful mind, but also with regional employment, meaningful jobs, strong and resilient local economies, reduced inequality and exclusion, and a large range of commons and companies that increase the common good.
These concepts do not need to remain theoretical. These policy recommendations for the banking industry can already be implemented at the local or regional level. In the future we further envision these ideas being implemented at the national and international levels. In order to continue operating in the market, banks can be given a choice. They can either become community-oriented, ethical, or cooperative banks, or they can be given access to the free market. Those banks that want to continue operating according to the old, capitalist model would be denied access to the public central bank, and would have reduced business with public authorities.
If the sovereign citizens decided such, these banks could also be cut off from deposit insurance. They would probably have difficulty surviving on the market under such circumstances. As a consequence of the implementation of the principles and tools of the Economy for the Common Good, we foresee more diversity in the makeup of business entities, including:. The ECG represents a new type of market economy. This can be seen in three areas:. First, it is a fully ethical market economy. Economic success will no longer be judged in strictly financial terms. We will, therefore, see the emergence of a social, sustainable, cooperative, democratic, human market economy.
Second, it will be a truly liberal market economy in the sense that all market players will have equal rights, liberties, and opportunities. Japan is usually considered its own civilization. Representatives from the G7 usually meet once a year, and discuss international issues, including the spread of disease, economic development, terrorism, and climate change. The European Union is also included in the G8.
Also spelled quipu. Monsoon usually refers to the winds of the Indian Ocean and South Asia, which often bring heavy rains. Peat can be dried and burned as fuel. The United States is a republic. Also called "the country. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.
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Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives. Ancient Greek politics, philosophy, art and scientific achievements greatly influenced Western civilizations today. One example of their legacy is the Olympic Games.
Use the videos, media, reference materials, and other resources in this collection to teach about ancient Greece, its role in modern-day democracy, and civic engagement. Egypt was a vast kingdom of the ancient world. It was unified around B. Today Egyptologists, archaeologists who focus on this ancient civilization, have learned a great deal about the rulers, artifacts, and customs of ancient Egypt. Use these resources to teach your students about the ancient Egyptians. Others say that Aeneas and some of his followers escaped the fall of Troy and established the town. A people known for their military, political, and social institutions, the ancient Romans conquered vast amounts of land in Europe and northern Africa, built roads and aqueducts, and spread Latin, their language, far and wide.
Agricultural communities developed approximately 10, years ago when humans began to domesticate plants and animals. By establishing domesticity, families and larger groups were able to build communities and transition from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle dependent on foraging and hunting for survival. Select from these resources to teach your students about agricultural communities. Hunter-gatherer cultures forage or hunt food from their environment. Often nomadic, this was the only way of life for humans until about 12, years ago when archaeologic studies show evidence of the emergence of agriculture.
Human lifestyles began to change as groups formed permanent settlements and tended crops. There are still a few hunter-gatherer peoples today. Explore the lifestyle of hunter-gatherers in your classroom with these resources. Mesopotamia is thought to be one of the places where early civilization developed. Use these classroom resources to help your students develop a better understanding of the cradle of civilization.
The silk road was a network of paths connecting civilizations in the East and West that was well traveled for approximately 1, years. Merchants on the silk road transported goods and traded at bazaars or caravanserai along the way. They traded goods such as silk, spices, tea, ivory, cotton, wool, precious metals, and ideas.
Use these resources to explore this ancient trade route with your students. Humans relied on hunting and gathering practices to survive for thousands of years before the development of agriculture. This more reliable food supply meant humans could stay in one place and gave rise to settled communities and cities. These urban civilizations had larger populations, unique architecture and art, systems of government, different social and economic classes, and a division of labor.
Learn more about the rise of cities with these resources. For thousands of years, this area was populated by groups such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec peoples. Cultural traits that define the region include the domestication of maize, beans, avocado, and vanilla, and a common architectural style. Learn more about the rich cultures and lives of these early civilizations.
Demography is the study of demographics, the social characteristics and statistics of a human population. This study of the size, age structures, and economics of different populations can be used for a variety of purposes.
Political candidates use the information to inform targeted campaigns. Scientists employ the data to answer research questions, and marketing teams use it for advertising purposes. Government and business policymakers use it to craft ideas and plan for the future. Help your students understand demographics with these classroom resources. Ancient China is responsible for a rich culture, still evident in modern China.
From small farming communities rose dynasties such as the Zhou B. E , Qin B. E , and Ming C. Each had its own contribution to the region. During the Zhou Dynasty, for example, writing was standardized, iron working refined, and famous thinkers like Confucius and Sun-Tzu lived and shared their philosophies. Learn more about the history and rich culture of Ancient China with this curated resource collection. Hundreds of years before the arrival of European explorers, the ancient civilizations of South America developed rich and innovative cultures that grew in and amongst the geographic features of their landscape.
The most famous of these civilizations is the Incan Empire. Emerging in C. The Inca relied on the Pacific Ocean and major rivers originating in the Amazon Basin for fishing and trade, as well as rich plant and animal life that they supported. The Inca constructed inns, signal towers, roads, and massive forts such as the famous Machu Picchu, the ruins of which continue to teach archaeologists about the Incan Empire.
Learn more about the history and rich culture of the Inca and the ancient civilizations of South America with this curated resource collection. The development of human civilizations was supported by large numbers of people who lived in sparsely-populated rural areas defined by agriculture, fishing, and trade. Over time, as these rural populations grew, cities began to develop. Urban areas are defined by dense populations, the construction of multiple and often large buildings, monuments and other structures, and greater economic dependence on trade rather than agriculture or fishing.
- Islamic Civilization?
- Early civilizations (article) | Khan Academy.
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Even the ancient Incan, Egyptian, or Chinese civilizations, changed their environment in order to urbanize. Modern urban cities like New York City, Beijing, Dubai, and Paris are bustling centers of business, entertainment, and trade. However, the modifications humans make to their surroundings in order to urbanize such places can impact the environment in negative ways: pollution, disruption of water flow, deforestation, and desertification.
Explore the effects of urbanization on the environment and help students explore how human cities impact the world around us with this curated collection of resources. Skip to content Donate Account. Article Vocabulary. Civilization describes a complex way of life that came about as people began to develop networks of urban settlements.
The earliest civilizations developed between and BCE, when the rise of agriculture and trade allowed people to have surplus food and economic stability. Many people no longer had to practice farming, allowing a diverse array of professions and interests to flourish in a relatively confined area.
Civilizations first appeared in Mesopotamia what is now Iraq and later in Egypt. Civilizations ultimately developed on every continent except Antarctica. All civilizations have certain characteristics.