The MWS Podcast 91: Peter Block on the Abundant Community

Our guest today is Peter Block  who is a consultant and speaker in the areas of organization development, community building, and civic engagement. He’s the author of several books including Another Kingdom: Departing the consumer culture, The Community: the structure of belonging and perhaps his most well-known work The Abundant community which he co-wrote with John McNight and which has now become a fully grown project in itself beyond the book. The broad themes discussed in these books will form the topic our discussion.

MWS Podcast 91: Peter Block as audio only:
Download audio: MWS_Podcast_91_Peter_Block

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About Barry Daniel

I live in the Lake District in the UK where I run a guesthouse with my partner Kate and my cat Manuel. I enjoy painting, hillwalking, reading, visiting and entertaining friends, T’ai Chi and playing the guitar. I’m engaged to a certain degree in the local community, as a volunteer with Samaritans and I’m a fairly active member of the local Green party. I’ve had a relatively intuitive sense of the Middle Way most of my adult life but it found a greater articulation and a practical direction through joining the society. It’s also been interesting and great fun engaging with other people with a similar outlook. My main contribution to the society is conducting the podcast interviews, something that gives me a lot of satisfaction and that I’ve learnt a lot from.

One thought on “The MWS Podcast 91: Peter Block on the Abundant Community

  1. Peter Block is an inspiring, deeply grounded voice. I feel challenged by his kind of Middle Way, as being highly involved in my local community is not a particular strength of mine. But I also didn’t feel that he wanted to prescribe communitarianism as another potentially oppressive ideology, just that he was concerned with counterbalancing all the dogmas that threaten community. It’s perhaps worth remembering that small communities have been highly restrictive, conforming places in the past (and there are even some that are still so in the present): but corporatism is far worse today, with its narrow instrumentalism, commodification, hierarchy and exploitation. His central points about how absolute the demands of corporations have become are important ones to make, but I felt there should also have been some acknowledgement of the benefits they have brought in terms of communication, culture, and education for example. Consumerism may stop us recognising and sharing our abundance, but the capitalistic forces that created it have also helped to create a good deal of that abundance.

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