George Monbiot, and exploring “the ways in which we could restore political life by restoring community life.”


These things sneak up on you, and it’s all part of the unceasing learning curve — and if you really believe you learned everything you need to know in kindergarten, you’re doing it wrong.

George Monbiot has been writing for The Guardian for two decades, but only during the past two or three years (sadly, belatedly, stupidly) have I found myself seeking not to miss a word he writes.

Perhaps this paragraph at Monbiot’s web site sums it up.

Here are some of the things I try to fight: environmental destruction, undemocratic power, corruption, deception of the public, injustice, inequality and the misallocation of resources, waste, denial, the libertarianism which grants freedom to the powerful at the expense of the powerless, undisclosed interests, complacency.

Monbiot introduces yesterday’s column.

This is the third in my occasional series on possible solutions to the many crises we face. It explores the ways in which we could restore political life by restoring community life. This means complementing state provision with something that belongs neither to government nor to the market but exists in a different sphere, a sphere we have neglected.

Here they are, in reverse order.

3. This is how people can truly take back control: from the bottom up

Our atomised communities can heal themselves. Through local initiatives we can regenerate our culture and make politics relevant again

2. Our democracy is broken, debased and distrusted – but there are ways to fix it

Trump and Brexit are responses to a political system that’s imploding. But could a radical redesign wrest it from the liars?

1. The case for despair is made. Now let’s start to get out of the mess we’re in

There is no going back, no comfort in old certainties. But reviving common ownership is one possible route to social transformation