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Who Owns the Commons?

Peter Linebaugh on the Magna Carta and the 800 Year Fight for Public Goods

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January 9, 2015
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[Editor's note: In this episode of The Laura Flanders show, historian and author Peter Linebaugh discusses the how medieval "globalization" and marketization led to the enclosure of the commons, and replaced local production for local use with commodity production for profit.  800 years ago, the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest returned a degree of common property to the people.  Linebaugh draws connections between the events of eight centuries ago and the struggle against privatization and globalization today.  Following the interview, GRITtv takes its cameras to Caracas, where members of the youth organization Otra Beta talk about life and revolution in Venezuela, and send their messages of solidarity to activists in the U.S. and around the world. The interview with Linebaugh starts at 1:30]

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GRITtv is the online home of journalist and author Laura Flanders. After years as a media critic, radio host and TV commentator, Flanders founded GRITtv with Free Speech TV in 2008, to give “meaningful attention to the world’s most important marginalized experts.”


Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) is a worker-owned cooperative that creates imaginative and experiential resources that transform the way people think, learn, teach, work, and act. These resources address social change, economic justice, and progressive education through critical thinking and user participation.

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