Commons

Shared collective resources and/or spaces, and the relationships and institutions that facilitate collective stewardship of these resources/spaces.


This presentation was part of the "Alternatives to Capitalism: The Solidarity Economy Perspective" event run by The Institute for Solidarity Economics & STIR Magazine on October 18, 2016.

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The public, the people, will find a way to create forms we cannot even imagine, forms that could solve problems that seem insuperable to us. So what is needed is this constant creative activity from the public, and that means mainly everybody’s passion for public affairs. ~Cornelius Castoriadis [1]

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Professor Arun Agrawal of the University of Michigan responds to a number of questions about the importance of common pool resources, their use and their governance.

 

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This article was originally published in Critical Asian Studies on 18 August 2010, available online here.

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[Editor's note: The following is the latest backgrounder from Food First's Dismantling Racism in the Food System series. It is excerpted from a section on Black Agrarianism included in 2017’s forthcoming book Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons. GEO thanks the authors and Food First for allowing us to share their work.]

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This paper conceptualizes socialist construction as a process of incremental reclaiming from capital of those resources that can best be held in common so that members of a community can achieve their fuller human development*.  Under democratic rules the community regulates the commons so as to ensure its accessibility and sustainability.  The formation of cooperatives is an instance of the socialization of the workplace.  By bringing workers together into self governing collectivities, cooperatives also contribute to the socialization of workers to a socialist moral order.  In Cuba a

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cross-posted from Shareable

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cross-posted from Commons Transition

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[Editor's note: we at GEO wish to extend our deepest condolences to the people of Ecuador who recently experienced a devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of hundreds of people.  The following article from our archives (originally published in 2004) recounts the beginnings of the Kallari Cooperative, a co-op composed of Kichwa farmers and artisans in the Ecuadorian Amazon.  From their start as a small handcraft cooperative, as detailed by Fernandes below, Kallari has grown into a successful bean-to-bar choco

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The commons offers a framework and a process for effectively and equitably stewarding the resources communities need to live in dignity. If we have a collective right to a resource, we should be able to participate in decisions about that resource’s use.
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Today, man is still, or more than ever, man's enemy, not only because he continues as much as ever to give himself over to massacres of his fellow kind, but also because he is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting: the environment.
Cornelius Castoriadis 1

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People called commons those parts of the environment for which customary law exacted specific forms of community respect. People called commons that part of the environment which lay beyond their own thresholds and outside of their own possessions, to which, however, they had recognized claims of usage, not to produce commodities but to provide for the subsistence of their households.”

~Ivan Illich 1

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[Editor's note: this article first appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Washington History (volume 26, number 2), and is reprinted here with permission.]

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As we have tried to show elsewhere, the emergence of commons-oriented peer production has generated the emergence of a new logic of collaboration between open productive communities who created shared resources (commons) through contributions, and those market-oriented entities that created added value on top or along these shared commons.

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cross-posted from Commons Transition

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