The existence of a pope has never squared well with how we do business in the United States. In The Nation this week, as the United States anticipates and dreads the arrival of Pope Francis, I offer a report on the economics of the so-called radical pope. I draw from my decade-plus experience in the contradictions of papism, plus interviews with leading Catholic economists and economic innovators. The Nation even saw fit to include a list of some of my favorite classics of Catholic economic thought, forthcoming along with the article in the next issue.
For more on Francis, don’t miss my latest column for America magazine on the idea of the commons in the pope’s thought, as well as a controversial blog post about the ecology encyclical and an interview about just how far the Vatican has come on environmental issues.
As much as I still love getting invited to awesome things friends are doing in New York (I do), it turns out that I don’t live there anymore. A few weeks ago my family arrived in Boulder, Colorado, where I am now serving as a professor of media studies at the University of Colorado’s new College of Communication, Media, and Information.
And what’s that book in the way of the mountains? Well, just in time for hauling my books halfway across the country, my dear God in Proof has been released in a lighter, convenient paperback edition—the perfect companion for adventuresome bike rides. Get your copy today!
Debts worth having
We’ve lost our language for talking about debt—for knowing the usurious from the upbuilding, the good from the bad. That’s why you should be sure to pick up Yes! Magazine‘s current “debt issue”, full of stories and wisdom from people like Charles Eisenstein, Laura Gottesdiener, and Raj Patel. I’ve got an essay in there too on the question of what debts are actually worth having. Pick up the issue from newsstands today, and look for my essay online starting September 15.
You might have noticed that a lot of my articles over the past year have dealt with efforts to build a more democratic Internet. Those efforts are now building toward a first-of-its-kind event at the New School on November 13-14: Platform Cooperativism: The Internet, Ownership Democracy. Featuring co-op developers alongside tech CEOs, venture capitalists alongside domestic workers, my co-organizer Trebor Scholz and I are trying to throw an historic coming-out party for the cooperative Internet. Register now.
To learn more about what we’re up to, see my new manifesto in Pacific Standard‘s “future of work” series, “Owning What We Share.”
One last thing I’d like to share with you is a story that appeared recently at Killing the Buddha, an oral history I recorded last year while working on an article for The Nation about a group of hackers modeling their commune in Italy on a medieval monastery. One evening when the others were gone, one of those hackers, elf Pavlik, recited a detailed account of living for the past five years without money or government documents. Read what he told me here.