Human Ecology

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 131–134

Environmental Values, Human Nature, and Economic Democracy


DOI: 10.1007/s10745-016-9877-y

Cite this article as:
Mikkelson, G.M. Hum Ecol (2017) 45: 131. doi:10.1007/s10745-016-9877-y


Recent social science indicates that the public at large behave more ethically, and favor environmental protection more strongly, than do the wealthiest minority. Yet the latter group exerts predominant control over the economy. This suggests that shifting power away from this minority and onto the majority would yield a better ecology. In this paper I spell out the implications of these considerations for “economic democracy” (ED), a well-developed alternative to capitalism that shifts power from wealthy shareholders onto ordinary citizens and workers. I contrast this rationale for ED with some thinkers’ defense of “sustainable capitalism”, and with others’ ecological arguments for ED based on economic stability and self-interest, rather than ethical behavior per se.


Economic democracy Capitalism Economic growth Ethical behavior Environmental values 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et culture (CA)
  • 2015-RG-179123

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and School of EnvironmentMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada

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