ecology of the commons
Awakening to an Ecology of the Commons https://t.co/Q9Y4hgmWsY
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/mbauwens/status/1265149661125500929
In this book chapter we offer three scenarios for the futures of the commons movement and social change. We argue that we need to build a meta language for commoning – a “protocol commons”. This will allow us to weave a broader movement across many different actors that are working for commons in their own way (even when they are not calling it commons or commoning). We call this an “ecology of the commons”.
21 page chapter by Michel Bauwens and Jose Ramos in upcoming anthology (sept 2020) – by Anne Grear and David Bollier titled ”The Great Awakening: New Modes of Life amidst Capitalist Ruins”
..anthology that brings together contributions from Sam Adelman, David Bollier, Primavera De Filippi, Vito De Lucia, Richard Falk, Anna Grear, Paul B. Hartzog, Andreas Karitzis, Xavier Labayssiere, and Maywa Montenegro de Wit, as well as including our work. In their own words:
“It is clear that the multiple, entangled crises produced by neoliberal capitalism cannot be resolved by existing political and legal institutions, which are imploding under the weight of their own contradictions. Present and future needs can be met by systems that go beyond the market and state.
ie: cure ios city
With experiments and struggle, a growing pluriverse of commoners from Europe and the US to the Global South and cyberspace are demonstrating some fundamentally new ways of thinking, being and acting…. We learn about seed-sharing in agriculture, blockchain technologies for networked collaboration, cosmo-local peer production of houses and vehicles, creative hacks on law, and new ways of thinking and enacting a rich, collaborative future. This surge of creativity is propelled by the social practices of commoning new modes of life for creating and sharing wealth in fair-minded, ecologically respectful ways.”
we just have to get to a means.. where it can be all of us.. or it (common\ing) won’t work
notes/quotes from michel/jose’s chapter:
1\ the commons as mutualization for the anthropocene
mutualization signifies humanity as more than just a passive traveller on planet.. producing effects comparable to grand geo shifts.. humans as 1\ force 2\ aware of force 3\ response
The body of ideas and research on the commons is a critical part of the second movement of the Anthropocene—our capacity to interpret and understand ourselves in the current era;
i don’t know..? we keep missing this one.. ie: we keep going back to history and assuming that’s how natural humans act/respond.. when it’s really more like how whales in sea world respond/act.. we really have no idea
so.. history/research.. hasn’t really been helping us.. just analyzing/comparing/perpetuating non legit data
while the praxis of the commons, termed “commoning,” is critical to the third movement of the Anthropocene—our reflexive planetary responses
common\ing et al
This hypothesis was one of the key reasons for the creation of the P2P Foundation, as from the very beginning, we gave the following analysis of the global problematique:
1\ current political econ proceeds from pov of permanent/unlimited growth.. called this ‘pseudo-abundance’
2\ current political econ proceeds from pov that marketization and commodification are best way to manage/allocate immaterial resources as well..called this ‘artificial scarcity in world of immaterial resources.’
3\ two first mistakes compounded by fact that econ organization produces more/more human inequality
must be possible to have a political econ that respects carrying capacity of planet, and to share knowledge necessary to do so.. accompanied by econ forms that respect social justice.. what is link between societal/planetary transformation, and specific modality of the commons?
ie: cure ios city
Following Alan Page Fiske ..and Kojin Karatani ..four modes for allocating resources:
1\ Communal Shareholding or Pooling, i.e.,provisioning systems are considered as a collective resource, collectively maintained and shared by a particular community of stakeholders according to their own rules and norms. This is the commons modality, which is both a shared set of resources, a joint activity,and a governance system.
yeah.. this one needs tweaking/freeing.. or add a 5th ie: if truly free people.. they would grok enough ness.. and accounting (gov system/rules) would become irrelevant.. important.. because accounting (gov system/rules).. are cancerous to legit common\ing.. ie: tragedy of the non common
public consensus always oppresses someone(s) et al
2\ Equality Matching, i.e., the gift economy as a system based on reciprocity, in which gifting and counter-gifting create social relations and maintain balance.
3\ Authority Ranking, i.e.,redistribution according to rank, which includes state-led redistribution. This modality becomes dominant with the emergence of class-based societies characterized by state formation.
4)Market Pricing, i.e., the exchange of resources according to“equal value,”which becomes dominant in the capitalist political economy
The importance of mutualization and commons-based strategies today is strengthened by our reading of long-term historical change.. In each of these transitions, the mutualization of infrastructure is a key element of the transformation
Mutualization or mutualisation is the process by which a joint stock company changes legal form to a mutual organization or a cooperative, so that the majority of the stock is owned by employees or customers
if that.. then .. like coops.. tragedy of the non common
2\ thematic arcs of transformation
an integral part of the mantra for commons solutions in the contemporary era is stewardship for future generations,building the value of shared commons,and relational integrity—an ethos of care within an awareness of deep interdependence. Hence—today—the almost endless mantra to create a circular econ
? – capitalism et al
2\ the state
These two contradictions (authority and demo process) give rise to the state’s limitations in the governance and management of shared commons. . The state’s role in protecting ecological commons (oceans, rivers,beaches, groundwater, etc.) and building social commons (roads, services, libraries, etc.) is perpetually constrained
The second half of this cycle thus points towards the re-invention of politics, governance, and democracy. .. to a new politics of commons-based governance, where everyone can be a commoner, participating in creating, protecting, and maintaining commons that matter to them. Rather than mechanistically-defined lines of state power, ..
2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people
3\ reimagining the emergence of the commons
Here is the sequence that we propose
1\ The original format of the commons in both hunter-gathering and pre-capitalist class formations are the natural-resource commons, which connect the people to the land and its resources.
2\ Under capitalism the dominant form of the commons is the social commons,.i.e.,the mutuals, cooperatives,and other forms that were eventually taken over by the welfare state and bureaucratized.
3\ Under cognitive capitalism, with the invention of digital networks for the co-production of shared knowledge, it is the knowledge commons which comes to the fore.
4\ Under conditions of capitalist crisis and global urbanization, urban commons (and other territorial commons) become the locus where precarious workers merge physical infrastructures with knowledge commons,and urban culture merges with networked cooperation culture. Urban commons are a response to market and state failure in maintaining and constructing the infrastructures of social life.
5\ Urban commons infrastructures, such as fablabs and coworking places, are not only places where the culture of the commons become embodied, tackling social-ecological transition concerns through experimentation with new provisioning systems.
It is also where prototypal forms of production are invented, which prefigure the coming productive commons mode.
6\ This model is called“cosmo-local production,..These knowledge and production communities increasingly experiment with open and contributive accounting systems..They show the potential future of a more fully organized commons-based society and economic system
to summarize our vision of the current conjuncture: we are now in a period of “phygital” convergence, i.e.,the convergence of networked collective intelligence, which is expressed in global-local collaborations around all kinds of knowledge and their applications to local territorial contexts. However, we are at a point where citizen-commoners are starting to mutualize the use of resources, but not yet the production of them. We are mutualizing the use of houses and cars, but not yet producing these physical resources in a commons-based fashion. This then seems to us the necessary focus of transition work, i.e.,the strengthening of material-immaterial commons for provisioning, and the preparation of a better organized productive commons
3\ the commoner as emergence political subject
The awakening we require at a personal level, which has the power to re-orient us as change agents, is contingent on making sense of historical and even macro-historical changes, grasping grand shifts and our role in the transformation of society through time.
rather.. in recognized what the supposed to’s.. of school/work.. has done to us.. ie: made us like whales in sea world.. so that all data history is essentially non legit in terms of what we’re capable of
Therefore,one of the challenges in the transition towards a commons-based sociality is just this conceptualization of social change, which cannot be experienced directly by an individual through life experience, but is manifest through collective historical memory and a shared sociological understanding of change connected to images of the future
hmm.. what if it can be experienced directly.. if 8b of us are truly free.. ie: cure ios city
today we have the means to facil that chaos
In other terms, we are dealing with the de-colonization of the self. The shift needed is from“neo-liberal man,”the rational,self-interested,economic accumulator, to“commoner,”a community member whose actions reflect an embodied understanding of interdependence with others at various scales and in multiple dimensions. The specific shift in individual and collective group identity we are suggesting is one that is no longer centered on the dynamics of labor vs. capital, which is a category of socialism-capitalism, but rather centred on the dynamics of generative citizen-commoners, producers vs. extractors.
we have to go way deeper than producers/citizens/group-id et al
We believe there is a sociological grounding to this.. different studies have shown an exponential growth of urban commons subsequent to the prior exponential growth of digital knowledge commons. Contemporary precarious labor is very much linked to both an urban context
In our view, it is this ongoing interconnection and the participation in the creation of urban commons infrastructures, linked to state and market failure, that creates the conditions for a new post-capitalist subjectivity, which can drive the ongoing growth in the creation of commons.
but we keep missing a huge piece to legit commoning: it won’t work unless it’s all of us..
Personal awakening is contingent upon connecting personal experience with an understanding of broader social changes of which one is part. To know oneself and one’s place in the world is to understand a bit about the past, the present,and the future, and about how one fits into the greater scheme of things.
or just what we’re curious about today.. if we listen deep enough to that.. ie: cure ios city
(to me.. it’s a red flag we’re doing it wrong if we have to train for it.. ie: learn history et al)
Yet, there is undoubtedly a materialist aspect to this, i.e., to the degree that exaggerated extraction of common wealth is enclosed by oligarchic elites, and to the degree that the capture of institutions paralyze the state and the market’s role in solving humanity’s overshoot problems and the resulting social inequality, to that same degree, citizen-commoners are driven to commonify vital infrastructures, create parallel solidarity mechanisms based on mutualization, and to undertake the organization of provisioning systems that more adequately deal with the necessity of socio-ecological transitions.
only if we create a means for sync (ie: a leap)
commoning as the 3rd movement of the anthropocene
This is a movement of “implication,”whereby the person, through their emerging relational awareness, is “plied into” a shared concern.
plied? sounds a like a red flag we’re doing it wrong
sounds like group work in schools/job
They become aware that they share with others a common interest. A commons has shifted from something implicit, real,but unidentified, to something explicit—its reality has been relationally formulated. The explication of a commons, a domain of shared concern, is simultaneously the invocation of a community who must steward the good of that commons—commoning.
‘must steward’ .. red flag
if legit commoning.. ‘must steward’ becomes ‘can’t not’
A particular commons can only be as such because it is valued by a particular group of people.
..local inhabitants who want to protect such localized commons for their own use.These are the examples that Ostrom studied and gained fame for.
In the case of public and social commons, these are created by political entities such as municipalities, states,and federal systems, which are meant to extend a common good to a whole political community. Universal healthcare is one example of such a public commons, where a public good that a political community cares for
not the root of the problem..
ie: would need less ‘health care’.. if any.. if focus on maté basic needs
In practical terms,with respect to our atmosphere, everyone is a commoner, and this implies a radical democratization of planetary governance.
has to be everyone.. or not legit commoning..
4\ scenarios for a commons transition
three short scenarios that clarify the challenges we collectively face.
1\ “Catastrophe: Sleep Walking into Oblivion,”is developed as a continuation of the dominant system—the structural synergy of power across capitalism, the state,and consumerism. .. ineq.. eco collapse.. violence..
2\ “The disciple of the 100 schools,”explores and develops what the first disowns—the transformative, idealistic,and ideological variants surrounding the commons. Post-capitalist variants can be over-ideologized and puritanical, and various“schools”compete, creating an incoherent societal transition that is not able to support livelihoods in a post growth and eco constrained context
when have we ever supported all the livelihoods?
3\ “Catagenesis: Ecologies of the Commons,”develops an integration where the dominant system and the transformative/idealistic are interwoven, moving beyond the categorical purity and binary framing of the first two scenarios. It describes a protocol commons that interconnects and creates synergies across a variety of forms, institutions, networks, businesses,academia, etc.
scenario 1: Because of the extreme inequality, it is a world of both high structural and real violence.
scenario 2: many social forces that had been waiting in the wings for decades come forth as contenders to guide social development.. postcolonial, deep ecology, marxist, ecological economics, eco-feminism,anarchism, autonomism, socialism, etc. While each is an expression of a social ill and of social pain, the historical suffering that each represents does not become an opening and pathway to embracing a multiplicity of other types of suffering.. instead magnifies its own.. Some completely disown any form of hierarchy or institutional power, others disavow any connection with markets and profit-making, others any male leadership, others any inclusion of“white people.
we have to let go of markets/profits.. or we won’t get to legit commoning..
sad to see that mixed in the list
In this scenario,it can be seen that everything,taken to its absolute,runs the great danger of becoming oppressive.
Hence,an egalitarian-sounding idea:“let’s all start as equal traders over blockchain systems,”is a recipe for hyper-capitalism and for the near-total commodification of social life.
Furthermore, this development is internally hostile to any measure that can rebalance the distribution of power and wealth, for example,through mechanisms arrived at by democratic governance and which would balance the natural outcomes of these exchange mechanisms. In fact, the refusal to take into account any democratic governance mechanisms paradoxically leads to authoritarian outcomes once conflicts arise.
yeah.. i don’t see our democratic governance as part of legit commoning
..For all these reasons, and despite the utopian charge of such movements, they work as a preparation for even more totalizing neoliberalism, i.e.,the absolute domination of market forms, enhancing their control to ever more detailed and microscopic levels. Hence,the seemingly utopian efforts, based on the anarcho-libertarian assumptions behind the blockchain,paradoxically lead to further enclosures as whole life worlds and the ecologies they are embedded in are ensnarled into ‘smart’ contracts
agree with that.. but ‘democracy’ isn’t a way out of that
The commons too may have its own radical absolutization and generalizations. Common-ism becomes the tendency to want everything as a commons and to be radically opposed to any market or state form. Moreover, these points of view come with a predilection for the assembly format of decision-making and full consensus, creating lowest-common-denominator effects,enforcing a radical collectivism that runs counter to individual preferences and freedoms, but also imposes very heavy processing costs.
yeah.. i don’t see that.. we’ve just not ever tried legit commoning
(This is one of the reasons that assemblies often do not last very long, because participants get exhausted, or assemblies lead to the tyranny of structurelessness, i.e.,to the domination by a minority of strong leaders who can sway the collective consensus.)
again.. we’ve not yet practiced legit commoning
Both the right-wing capitalistic form of anarchism, and the left-wing version, where collectives instead of individuals make agreements to constitute society, tend to ignore the societal field in which they operate,which limits the sphere of choices.
yeah.. i don’t know.. again.. we only believe that because that’s all we’ve ever tried/believed (ie: limited set of choices)
There is no conception of a common good across a territory, which sets a framework on the coexistence of different value communities,and no conception of common good institutions, which may be necessary to guarantee common freedoms (and restraints).
well.. there hasn’t been.. but there could be..
ie: common good – maté basic needs
This results in the rejection of the democratic-state form and a refusal to think through its further democratization. Anarcho-capitalism and the value-sensitive design of the blockchain points to an ontological vision of humans as traders or as micro-capitalists, but otherwise, excludes a re-assembling of the social based on protocols of commoning.
Between the ideological purity of post-capitalist movements and the anarcho-capitalism of the blockchain, there is little coherence across communities and sectors, and building collaborations and powerful synergies is too hard. There is not enough“gravity”or“glue”to bind or stop the powerful centrifugal forces from pulling apart. Because of this, in the context of degrowth economies and ecological constraints, standards of living drop significantly, and people live lives of frugality and discipline supported by the networks and groups to which they belong.
agree that we haven’t yet gotten to legit commoning.. but that doesn’t me we pull in the reigns and insist on ‘democracy’
scenario 3: catagenesis: ecologies of the commons
In the mid-2030s, in the wake of major financial crises that crashed economies throughout the world,and which states could not find a way through, intensive cosmo-localization strategies are initiated ubiquitously. The first quarter of the century lays the groundwork for this through the creation of a “metalanguage” for the commons. Such metalanguage allows people to see how they are implicated in a number of commons, and helps to overcome the lack of political and cultural coherency experienced by twentieth-century movements. This is followed by the development of practical frameworks for generating synergies of the commons, a strategy that is early on termed“Ecologies of the Commons.” The diversity of commoning activity is established early on.
but not diverse enough
Based on the experience of urban commoning from around the world, which conceptualized a quintuple-helix strategy, those behind building the framework and strategy for a commons transition abandon notions of “essential commoning” (that there is a“true”way for commoning),
not a true way of commoning.. but has to be everyone for it to be legit
and instead focus on appreciating the broad variety of commoning strategies from around the world, and on creating practical mechanisms for exchange between ontologically distinct commoning entities, processes,and projects. This new approach expresses an understanding that synergies are possible between anchor institutions,universities, governments, businesses, and citizen-based groups and projects, even while each is quite different in form and purpose. Efforts are made to construct a language and body of concepts that can be understood by a variety of projects and organizations, which allow them to “talk to each other” in the language of commoning, and which enable processes of meta-systemic co-design—the development of new commons-based synergies.
yeah.. i don’t know
Ecologies of the Commons dovetails with efforts to create an ecology of the left, where different social projects, movements, and ideologies can see how they are part of a broader process of social change.
we just haven’t looked/seen broad/deep enough
ie: won’t work unless it’s all of us
Rather than a factionalism, people see themselves as part of an ecology of knowledges and of a “knowledge democracy,” each knowledge forming an important aspect of how the new world needs to be constructed, but in relation to the variety of other knowledges and their contextual application. As these strategies mature and their positive effects are experienced, people begin to talk about the “protocol commons,” the complex metalanguage and architecture required to form commons-based synergies—which in itself must be protected and extended.
yikes.. i don’t know..
The protocol commons helps in the reinvention of the nation-state as a community—indeed it saves it.
yeah.. not legit commoning
State-created social commons are still seen as fundamentally critical in providing basic support across populations; however they are not seen as completely exclusionary, as nations have to see themselves as part of a community with other nations to support the development and protection of our global commons(for example, atmosphere and security). The role of the state transforms—now it is seen as the partner state or a partner city charged with supporting citizens as innovators, protectors, and maintainers of a variety of commons. The protocol commons allows the state, and the various institutions embedded within the state, to understand the language that describes how the state sits within a broader ecology of societal transition, as well as the architecture that governs this system. This transformation is driven by new institutions that are in charge of public-commons cooperation at all scales, converging with the players responsible for regenerative market forms. While it was just an experimental form in the early part of the twenty-first century, by mid-century, the partner state becomes a nuanced and powerful approach to creating synergies between a diversity of citizen-initiated projects and the enabling structures that allow this diversity to thrive and to create value.
just wasn’t diverse enough
Institutions are reimagined as structures that exist to enhance the agency and creative potential of the variety of actors within civil society. This hyper-diverse and complex composition of structures, groups, individuals, and technology creates mutant synergies of the commons unimaginable years earlier.
still not deep enough
and that matters.. because if we don’t go deep enough.. just perpetuating what we already have
The ecologies of the commons are evermore diverse, complex, resilient, and generative—they cannot be pigeonholed into one category or another.
This vision stands for the human as citizen-commoners (or inhabitants-commoners, if we want to avoid the exclusionary character of national citizenship). Indeed, in this vision, citizens become productive commoners who contribute to the common good.
that word productive and contribute.. will mess with us.. let go
We envisage a society where the core are productive civil societies, where citizens belong and co-produce all kinds of commons; where they are members of economic entities which create livelihoods in an ethical market; and where the infrastructural organizations that support digital and urban commons are reflected in a new vision of the state as enabling a “partner state.”
The protocol commons—the meta languages for the commons, architecture and citizen-network-institutional synergies that generate value—begins by articulating a ‘cosmo-local production infrastructure’ across four layers:
a) layer 1 – Protocol Cooperativism Governance
The first layer is based on protocol cooperativism,which creates *dynamic synergies between cities, networks, institutions, and civil society organizations.
rather.. *nicer enclosures
Protocol cooperativism generates the possibility of a cosmo-local institutional layer. We imagine global for-benefit associations which support the provisioning of infrastructures for urban and territorial commoning. These are structured as global public-commons partnerships, sustained by leagues of cities which are co-dependent and co-motivated to support these new infrastructures and to overcome the fragmentation of effort that benefits the most extractive and centralized “netarchical” firms. Instead,these infrastructural commons organizations co-support MuniRide, MuniBnB, and other applications necessary to commonify urban provisioning systems. These are global “protocol cooperative” governance organizations.
b) layer 2 – Open Design Commons
The second layer consists of the actual global depositories of the commons applications themselves, a global technical infrastructure for open sourcing provisioning systems. They consist of what is globally common, but allow contextualized local adaptations, which in turn can serve as innovations and examples for other locales. These are the actual “protocol cooperatives,” in their concrete manifestation as usable infrastructure.
c) layer 3 – Localized Platform Cooperatives (and others commons-based platforms)
The third layer are the actual local (urban, territorial, bioregional) platform cooperatives, i.e.,the local commons-based mechanisms that deliver access to services and exchange platforms, for the mutualized use of these provisioning systems. This is the layer where the Amsterdam FairBnb and the MuniRide applications of the city of Ghent, for example,organize the services for the local population and their visitors. It is where houses and cars are effectively shared.
d) layer 4 – Open Cooperatives
The fourth layer is the actual production-based open cooperatives, where distributed manufacturing of goods and services produces the actual material services that are shared and mutualized on the platform cooperatives.
5\ institutional design for a commons-centric transformation
1\ Towards a Public-Commons Framework for the Anthropocene To close our heuristic loop for this chapter, we can consider a third movement of the Anthropocene—the planetary-coordinated response to an emerging awareness of ourselves as commoners, through some specific strategies for how we enact cosmo-local commoning. We see cities as a critical strategic locale of transformation to enact public-citizen commons synergies and transformation.
ie: cure ios city
While this does not exclude the multifaceted dimensions of commoning, the general logic of our proposals is to put forward realistic but important institutional innovations that can lead to successfully achieving basic ecological and social goals of general equity and wellbeing. For this,we conclude with specific strategies for the further progress and expansion of the urban commons,which can then be extended outward. We propose public-social or public-commons-based processes and protocols to streamline cooperation between the City and commoners in every field of human provisioning. The following figure shows the basic collaboration process between commoners and the public-good institutions of the“partner city.”
figure 1: city as convener/facilitator to commons support coalition.. to commons oriented citizen initiatives.. to city commons lab.. As we can see, commons initiatives can forward their proposals and need for support to a City Lab,which prepares a“Commons Accord”between the city and the commons initiative, modeled after the Bologna Regulation for the Care and Regeneration of the Urban Commons. Based on this contract, the city sets up specific support alliances which combine the commoners and civil society organisations, the city itself, and the generative private sector, in order to organize support flows.This first institutional arrangement described here allows for permanent ad-hoc adaptations and the organization of frameworks to enable more support for the common-based initiatives. But just as importantly, this support needs to be strategized in the context of the necessary socio-ecological transitions, which is the purpose of the second set of proposals, as outlined in the following figure:
figure 2: This figure describes a cross-sector institutional infrastructure for commons policy-making and support, divided into“transitional platforms,’’ or as we call them on the figure,“SustainabilityEmpowerment Platforms.”The model comes from the existing practice in Ghent around food transition, which is far from perfect but nevertheless has the core institutional logic that can lead to more successful outcomes in the future.The city of Ghent has created an initiative called Gent en Garde, which accepts the five aims of civil-society organizations active in food transition (local organic food, fairly produced) that works as follows: the city has initiated a Food Council, which meets regularly and contributes to food policy proposals.The Councilis representative of the current forces at play and has both the strength and weaknesses of representative organizations, but it also counts in its membership the“urban food working group,”which mobilizes those effectively working at the grassroots level on that transition. The group follows a contributive logic, where every contributor has a voice.
today we have the means to listen to 8b voices every day.. rather than ie: people responding to a finite set of choices; people spending their day in meetings giving proposals; et al
This combination of representative and contributive logic can create a super-competent Democracy institution that goes beyond the limitations of representation and integrates the contributive logic of the commoners.
yeah.. i don’t think that would go beyond limitations of rep.. and that’s a major problem.. if you want alive people.. aka: legit commoners
public consensus always oppresses someone(s)
This model mixes representative logic and its legitimacy, and the expertise available in public institutions, but, crucially, augments them with the contextually-rich experience and expertise of the grassroots experts.
The model is further augmented with the expertise of the generative businesses that are engaged in the necessary socio-ecological transitions. But how can the commoners exert significant political weight so that political and representative institutions will actually “listen”to them? This requires “voice” and self-organization.
rather.. a means to listen to 8b voices .. 1st thing.. everyday.. ie: tech as it could be
We therefore propose the creation of an Assembly of the Commons for all citizens active in the co-construction of commons, and a Chamber of the Commons for all those who are creating livelihoods around these commons, in order to create more social, economic—and ultimately political—power for the commons. This essential process of participation that we have seen in food transition can be replicated across the transition domains, obtaining city and institutional support for a process leading to Energy as a Commons, Mobility as a Commons, Housing, Food, etc. These “transition arenas” or “sustainability empowerment platforms” integrate the goals and values necessary for a successful socio-ecological transition and allow for a permanent dialogue amongst all the stakeholders involved. With this, we conclude, the model provides the minimal generic structures that we believe a partner city needs in order to support a transition towards commons-based civic and economic forms being integrated in democratic structures of representation, enriching the city and complementing its structures, *while stimulating the individual and collective autonomy of its citizens organized as commoners
*can’t do that with reps/chambers/et-al
Three-Pronged Strategy Involving the Simultaneous Transformation of Civil Society, the Market and the State Forms
But how do we get from the current market-state and market-city configurations to commons-centric institutions?
ie: short bp
We believe that the model of the Energiewendein Germany shows a strategy for social, political,and institutional change that has been shown to work. We therefore propose a strategy in three phases:
1\ emergence and formation of alt commons-based seed forms that solve the systemic issues of the current dominant political economy. For example, the carbon-producing activities of fossil fuel extraction need to be replaced by a strategy focusing on the development and expansion of renewable energy.
not deep enough to solve.. bandaid maybe
2\ regulatory and institutional phase in which the right frameworks are put in place. Without proper frameworks and supportive regulations, the commons-centric model would have remained marginal and grown much more slowly. But once the feed-in tariff was in place, the new models could expand to the broader population, as they were “facilitated” by *incentives that made the commons-based alternative economically interesting for non-idealistic citizens.
if you need *incentives .. red flag we’re doing it wrong..
to get to root of problem.. need to find something 8b people already resonate with
3\ creation of proper regulatory support and new institutional design ..i.e.,the normalization of the new practices from the margins to become the new normal.
Our era asks for no less than for us to collectively reimagine the way we live our lives, our cities, polities, and our political economies.
The hollow argument that “there is no alternative” is both callous in its disownment of future generations, and blind to the creative and generative power of citizens and communities forging new paths by walking them.
Indeed, the seeds of change that demonstrate the powerful logics of commons and commoning are no longer confined to obscure pockets of “alternative” and “pre-industrial/pre-modern” forms. Actually, today they are globally distributed, networked, and highly visible. Our challenge is straightforward. At a cultural level, we need to “slip into” and to support communities and organizations that provide the emotive platforms for commoning, and to support others to make this emotional and cultural transition. Economically, we need to use and develop new mutualizing strategies that entwine relocalism with global knowledge commons and solidarity—cosmo-localization. And politically, we need to build a protocol commons that can allow the myriad movements, organizations,and communities to see how they/we are implicated into Ecologies of the Commons that provide both practical value and the basis for human flourishing.