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Copy of The Commons as a Transformative Vision

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Peter Law

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of Copy of The Commons as a Transformative Vision

The Commons as a Transformative Vision
‘It has become increasingly clear that we are poised between an old world that no longer works and a new one struggling to be born.’

Potential paths are highlighted by the following specific types of essay
- Critiques of the existing dysfunctional market/state partnerships
Beyond the Market and State
- For generations the two have a had a close, symbiotic relationship known as the market/state duopoly
Traits of These Systems
- Minimal transparency
Neoclassical economics classify goods into
- Private Goods
- The classification system is not simply worked
by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich
Bollier and Helfrich, 2012
Definition of "Commons"
The cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately.

- Theories that enlarge our theoretical understanding of the Commons and how it can change our world
- Factual essays that describe innovative working projects that show the feasibility of the Commons in every day life
5 Distinct Parts
Part I – The importance of the Commons to contemporary political economy

Part II – Highlights the commodification and privatisation of shared resources around the world

Part III – A worldwide explosion of Commons based experimentation, ‘Collaborative Consumption’ – swaps, barter and sharing

E.g. Chilean fishing commons, stabilizing declining Pacific fisheries

Part IV – commons innovations in the digital world, for example the regional digital commons in Linz, Austria
Part V – bottom-up commons depends on supportive institutions, policy regimes and law. The commons can develop its own new bodies of law and policy to facilitate the practices of communing on the ground
- Since the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 the model of democratic capitalism has become largely a ‘sham’
- ‘Free-market’ no longer self-regulating and private as it is dependent on public interventions
- The state no longer represents;
The sovereign will of the people
Enacts on the preferences of small investors and consumers
- Regulation corrupted by industry interests
- No accountability due to political manipulation
- Self-determination of the public confined to choosing between two names at election time – rather than real choices between policies

- Bollier and Helfrich stress the importance of the Commons in kick starting this change,
Leads to
‘By using a new language, the language of the commons, we immediately begin to create a new culture. We can assert a new order of resource stewardship, right livelihood, social priorities and collective enterprise.’

Bollier and Helfrich, 2012
- What matters is what happens in practice
- Classifications of those goods can be changed over time
- Just a conceptual reorientation
- Goods themselves do not have any characteristic
- Common Goods
- Club Goods
- Public Goods
- The For-Profit Paradigm
- The Commons Paradigm
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