Commons

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1 What is it?

The Commons is a means of provisioning and governance that generally doesn't need the permission of legislatures or courts to move forward.

David Bollier, Stir to Action Issue 30

The commons are cared for by the those that directly inhabit and gain from its wealth.

Seeding the Wild

The commons is a social form that enables people to enjoy freedom without repressing others, enact fairness without bureaucratic control, foster togetherness without compulsion, and assert sovereignty without nationalism.

Free, Fair and Alive

A commons … gives community life a clear focus. It depends on democracy in its truest form. It destroys inequality. It provides an incentive to protect the living world. It creates, in sum, a politics of belonging.”

Free, Fair and Alive

The commons is a robust class of self-organized social practices for meeting needs in fair, inclusive ways.

Free, Fair and Alive

The commons is not simply about “sharing,” as it happens in countless areas of life. It is about sharing and bringing into being durable social systems for producing shareable things and activities.

Free, Fair and Alive

Commons are living social systems through which people address their shared problems in self-organized ways.

Free, Fair and Alive

Each commons depends on social processes, the sharing of knowledge, and physical resources. Each shares challenges in bringing together the social, the political (governance), and the economic (provisioning) into an integrated whole.

Free, Fair and Alive

The world of commoning represents a profound challenge to capitalism because it is based on a very different ontology.

Free, Fair and Alive

Despite vivid differences among commons focused on natural resources, digital systems, and social mutuality, they all share structural and social similarities.

Free, Fair and Alive

So instead of conceiving of commons as closed systems of common property managed by a “club,” it is more productive to see them as social organisms who, thanks to their semi-permeable membranes, can interact with larger forces of life — communities, ecosystems, other commons.

2 Related

3 Elsewhere in the garden

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