Dear Commoners

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Our last session was really interesting, enjoyable; it prompted me to really think.

Also as I read blogs, comments, issues tackled, there is a lot that I can relate to, a lot that has been mentioned applies also to part of the world where I come from, Balkans.

Issues that we question are issues that we know about or are passionate about. Interesting is the mentioning of the politician who directly or indirectly through his cronies hinders efforts to help the infected and also efforts to stop the further spreading of the Ebola disease. How can somebody be so selfish and heartless, when others are risking own lives to help? Not to mention the fact that the virus is very contagious and himself or his loved ones might get infected.

Throughout history we encounter individuals who turn freedom fighters to fight against rulers, tyrants, dictators, etc. They are ready for the ultimate sacrifice for their ideals or liberty and the liberty of the commoners. But it seems that at a later stage, given the chance, they become themselves what they hated the most.

Philosophers, economists, scientists, revolutionaries etc. called upon ”Proletariat, working class or commoners to unite”. And boy did they listen!!!

Vast parts of the globe, hundreds of millions of commoners joined in effort to overthrow the bourgeoisie, the rich elites. Socialist “or communist” nations, flourished like mushrooms.

But why it did not last, why commoners did not manage to build on and sustain communities?

Is it that it was premature; the society was not ready for such a change? Can we blame the human nature to dominate, or is it outright the human greed?

When will our society or when will we, the commoners, be ready to unite?

How likely is it that such scale movements will happen in our lifetime? Who will trigger it; philosophers, scholars, politicians, music stars, religious leaders…?

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5 Responses to “Dear Commoners”

  1. chibwehenry Says:

    Good questions Beqir. Commoner revolts are more often than not driven by passion and need. This is unsustainable in the long run because once the movement has taken place, the need for the creation of new inclusive systems and structures arises. Not many commoners would possess, at this moment in time, the requisite skills to bring this into existence. This then becomes an opportune time for ‘neoliberals’ to emerge from within the common, driven by a motivation that goes beyond achieving common good for all. Consequently, the lack of awareness of the presence of this discourse and the need for increased capacity leads to inequality, which could be easily averted through the adoption of a capability approach going forward.

  2. leutha Says:

    Yes, I agree, you raise very good points. Are we as human beings up against our own unchangeable nature? Or are we more flexible? As a species which transforms its environment, rather than merely finding a niche within what nature has to offer, do we also modify our own nature, as we adapt to the environment we have created?

  3. Beqir Says:

    Thank you for your comments Chibwe and Leutha

    The Global North or merely the G8 countries preach but fail to realize that the market reform alone will never lift the Global South from their economic situation and other difficulties in relation to basic life necessities; sanitation, health, education…
    We are witnesses, in occasions, of an abundance of goods and services in Global North. Such a disparity is impossible to rectify with market reform, open market and so on. Especially if the developing countries are indebted to the hilt; and the subsidising of let’s say farmers in the developed world takes place. Because if they do not get subsidies we know what happens with hmmmm, let’s say, French farmers and road blocks.

    There is arguments and counter arguments that commoning is possible only in high structured societies, or only among indigenous people like the ones we mentioned in South America.
    How about small enclosures and as Chibwe says “being biased”.
    For arguments sake let us all be biased, let us all belong to and contribute to our enclosures, wherever they may be. Let these small enclosures be places where commoners are treated equally, responsibilities are shared, decisions are consensus based; let commoners excel wherever they might be.

    I am going to stop here as I might be getting too carried away; is this the way forward , is this achievable, doable?
    What can be done now or do we procrastinate and hope that future generations will deal with this mess as now it is not the right time. Having filled the atmosphere with green house gases, used and abused natural resources, perhaps they can sort out as well the social injustices that we have created so far.

  4. sianericadavies Says:

    I think we have to start by trying to live our own lives as ethically and as authentically as we can.This means thinking carefully about our actions – the way we spend our money – the things we choose to give our attention, In other words we must try to lead by example.

    With regards to what happened in the eastern bloc and the fall of communism, well, I am certainly no expert on the subject, but maybe the fact that it was a bloody revolution which eventually resulted in the oppression of the very people it was designed to liberate is significant. What I mean by this is, that not all of the people chose the communist way of life – how is that liberation?

    For me communism is in many ways like a religion – it is something you instinctively know to be an expression of man’s true nature.

    When I was young I was angry and impatient – I wanted to change the world and couldn’t understand why other people didn’t see things the way I did. I guess that was the way of the revolutionaries in Russia in 1917.

    Now I am older, I am more patient and forgiving of others who don’t see things quite the way I do (that’s not to say I never get angry). I guess this would have been Gandhi’s way – ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’

  5. victoriaevbuomwan Says:

    in my opinion, i believe, yes commoning is here to stay, known writers/activists like Winstanley fought to make this happern. We should all begin by thinking like a commoner, says David Boiler.

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