Seven Ethics Against Capitalism: Towards a Planetary Commons

Due to be published in the Summer of 2021 with Polity Press…

Synopsis from publisher (also available on their website):

Capitalism has become so dominant that it is difficult to ever imagine a world in which its injustices and inequalities are not violently present. In this ambitious and compelling book, Oli Mould turns his diagnosis of capitalism’s perversions towards defining the new set of ethics we need to succeed in organizing a more just society.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, capitalism has been rocked to its foundations and ‘the commons’ as a means of providing for all people in our world has come crashing into the foreground. However, in order for the commons to be a viable alternative to the injustices of capitalism, it needs to be grown to a planetary scale. This is not an easy process, but if we can commit to act ethically in the world, then suddenly anything is possible. Blending theoretical thinking and real-life examples of commoning in action, Mould guides the reader through a suite of ethical mind sets – mutualism, transmaterialism, minoritarianism, decodification, slowness, failure and love – which can stand firm against capitalism’s seemingly inexorable ability to co-opt and subsume all before it. When thought of collectively, these ethics can offer tantalizing visions and practical approaches toward a world beyond capitalism.

You can pre-order the book (from an independent seller) here (please don’t use Amazon).

Below is the video abstract.

The book has been reviewed by Jeremy Williams on the Earthbound Report, by Colin Crouch in Social Europe, and by Christians on the Left. I gave a talk about the first ethic of ‘mutualism’ for SOAS CCIMSS seminar series. and KGNU radio in the US devoted an episode of ‘It’s the Economy‘ about it. There is also a short excerpt as an Antipode intervention.


“In times when everything from nature to desire is being privatized, to shift our attention towards planetary commons is an essential ethical duty. Oli Mould’s timely Seven Ethics Against Capitalism is an urgent and passionate call not only to deeply rethink our dire present but to create the conditions for our common future beyond capitalism.”

Srećko Horvat, author of After the Apocalypse

“A conceptual toolkit and survival guide for outliving capitalism. Through an original, compelling and readable account of the commons, Mould distils a set of ethical dispositions for building a more convivial and democratic future.”

David Madden, London School of Economics and Political Science

“Seven Ethics Against Capitalism sharply reveals the multiple crises being generated by the capitalist mode of production – from climate breakdown, to inequality, to the erosion of democracy – and how impossible it would be to fix any of these problems without a radical transformation in the way we organise society. Mould convincingly argues that values such as solidarity, stewardship and radical love must be at the heart of this new vision for the world, as well as the movements aiming to bring it into being.”

Grace Blakeley, author of Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialisation

Reviews from the academic world

“An impassioned call for an anti-capitalist ethics of commoning. Provocative, timely, and fun.”

Kai Heron, University of Manchester