What people are saying...

  • Recapturing the commons is going to be one of the century’s biggest battles. Peter Barnes makes the case for the commons in a straightforward and unsentimental way. An indispensable book on a critical topic.

    Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature

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Our current version of capitalism—the corporate, globalized version 2.0—is rapidly squandering our shared inheritances. Now, Peter Barnes offers a solution: protect the commons by giving it property rights and strong institutional managers.

Barnes shows how capitalism—like a computer—is run by an operating system. Our current operating system gives too much power to profit-maximizing corporations that devour our commons and distribute most of their profit to a sliver of the population. And government—which in theory should defend our commons—is all too often a tool of those very corporations.

Barnes proposes a revised operating system—Capitalism 3.0—that protects the commons while preserving the many strengths of capitalism as we know it. His major innovation is the commons trust—a market-based entity with the power to limit use of scarce commons, charge rent, and pay dividends to everyone.

Capitalism 3.0 offers a practical alternative to our current flawed economic system. It points the way to a future in which we can retain capitalism's virtues while mitigating its vices.