Scribe : I think what we need now is a radically different idea of economics based on a radically different idea of "property". We need to combine the new paradigm with the old in order to get somewhere useful.
But at the same time, it's not enough to simply come up with something *different*. If possible, a new economy should act as a "superset" of the old, a backwards compatible version 2.0 economy that fills in the holes in the old one that cause all the grief we've inherited today. A lot of what we have works, and we'd be foolish to re-invent the money wheel. Maybe shifting the idea of "property" to take into account all the things of a less tangible nature would simply be enough?
Very good, subtle thinking. Don't be afraid to be radical but don't throw away what we've got that works. Can it all be done by tweaking the idea of property?
I don't know. I think a lot could be done by thinking hard about what kinds of property there should be. Particularly the ideas of "intellectual" property, land, and companies.
Rethinks of intellectual property and companies are already going on, largely because of new technology and "internet culture".
IP is challenged by Free Software, amateur writing, music downloading, remix culture and many similar events.
The idea of companies (qua packages belonging to shareholders with certain rights) is being challenged by some of these above groups too, who are finding co-ordination and division of labour are attainable through spontaneous formations of amateur networks.
There's also a more explicitly political new wave of criticism in the wake of No Logo, corporate scandals in the US and The Corporation.
Land isn't discussed much in public in Europe or the states, but its a big issue elsewhere. Here in Brazil, the MST are the largest mass political movement.
Any other sorts of property to think about? I've been re-reading How Buildings Learn", and I'm struck by the chapter on real estate which shows how the property market, when subject to rapid booms and busts, is often destructive to good buildings. So maybe even here there is room for criticism. An ethic of "preservation" challanges the notion that liquidity is the highest virtue for built property (pace Hernando)
The built environment is part of the aesthetic infrastructure of our lives sometimes needs protection from the weather of the market.
But what about the preservation intuition in Scribe's piece. That if we only reorganize the property modules that's sufficient? Not sure ... let's think.