Professor of Political Economy at Manchester University, John O'Neill has written widely on philosophy, political economy, political theory and environmental policy. His books include Markets, Deliberation and Environment (2007, Routledge, London), The Market: Ethics, Knowledge and Politics (1998, Routledge, London) and, as co-author with Alan Holland and Andrew Light, Environmental Values (2008, Routledge, London).
'It is not just the history of ecological thought and socialist thought that are intertwined. So also is their future. This is not just because any defensible form of socialism will have to be one that is ecologically sustainable, but also both require the rethinking of alternatives to market mechanisms for solving environmental and social problems. Recent work within the ecological tradition on the use of non-monetary decision tools, the integration of these with deliberative institutions and the defence of institutional and cultural pluralism, address problems central to future models of socialism.'
'The mistake of market approaches to environmental problems is that they transform an issue that requires public deliberation by citizens into one to be resolved by consumer preferences… The market responds only to those preferences that can be articulated through acts of buying and selling. Hence the interests of the commercially inarticulate, both those who are contingently so (the poor) and those who are necessarily so (future generations and non-humans) cannot be adequately represented. Moreover, a competitive market economy is necessarily oriented towards the growth of capital, and therefore is incompatible with a sustainable economy… Public deliberation needs to be taken into the economy itself.'
John O'Neill, 'Money, markets and ecology' in Life Without Money, pp. 71 and 87.