Greg and Mike dive into the intellectual origins of private property, and how the idea of private property was justified (or combatted) by different philosophers and theorists. Then, they relate the question of private property to different forms of utopia, and with that, return to the question of human nature as inscribed in the differing stories around private property and the nascent theory of liberalism.
Greg and Mike discuss two utopian texts—Thomas More’s Utopia and Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis—to think about how envisioning alternative societies casts light both on possibilities for other worlds, and changes the way we view our own. In particular, both texts envision the commons, or a common wealth, in ways still relevant for our society today. Greg and Mike also touch on the question of education, as currently embodied in institutions, and the kinds of education we need going forward.
After an extensive dive into recent history, Greg and Mike try to define just how radical a change we need, and then look forward to two possibilities for change—the commons as an alternate way of conceptualizing property, and education as an alternate means of revitalizing democracy.