Common Capability

An aim which becomes available if and only if it is a collective aim—the transformation in possibility that takes place when others join your focus on achieving something. It is the opposite of the Fallacy of Composition, which deals with the case where something which is possible for one person (e.g., the pleasures of a deserted beach) is not available for all. Common capability, by contrast, underpins the whole phenomenon of civic societies in every age: it is possible to travel by train only because lots of other people want to do so; it is possible to build pyramids, viaducts or a Roman Forum because many others are after the same thing.

Common capability is critically significant for sustainable resilience because many of the things that have to be done to achieve it are only possible if many other people are involved. For example, the measures which a household can take to develop its lean energy potential are significant, but it is common capability, rather than individual best efforts, that will achieve the transformation in patterns of land use and movement—the localisation—that will become the foundation of a resilient future.C141


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Common Purpose.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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