RECLAIMING THE COMMON

by

They hang the man and flog the woman
that steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
that steals the common from the goose.
—English folk poem, circa 1764

The word ”Common” to many is an everyday reality provides sustenance security and independence, to others a medieval village pasture which villagers did not own but had to graze their livestock.  It is neither private nor public and not open to all, the local community decides who uses it and how, however, a new vision of the society has crept in, one that has stripped and dismantled the commons and harnessing the fragment to build  up new economic and social patterns responsive to the interest of a dominant minority.  The market economy has expanded enabling state and commercial interest to gain control of territories that was used and nurtured by others for exploitation. Could we reclaim the Commons from this industrial development?

Canadian author, Heather Menzies, 2014[1] seems to suggest that we could. Firstly, as memory and heritage and as practices to build capacity.  Her reasoning was  that,  peoples ideas of commons has changed, not only in the sense of communal land being taken away, but in the ways technology and globalization divide people from one another.  She claims that the increasingly disconnected societies that have developed over time are unnatural.

However, Prof Massimo[2], if is of the view, that changes in climate patterns are certainly going to impact on peoples across the globe to a large extent is graded by power and monetary affluence. He believes that climate change, transforms the pool of resource available to humanity to go about social reproduction and that there is need to change the social cooperation of labour and who speaks for the Global Community.

Accordingly, his opinion was that,  there are many solutions to global climate change but needs to be understood in terms of distorted commons, the products of our doing and being in common and recognition is crucial.  He described the process of reclaiming the commons as complicated by the fact that “we reproduce our lives through many distorted and ‘non-distorted’ commons simultaneously which is where we return to common interests: we need to do more than simply postulate them – we need to construct them in struggle.”(Prof Massimo[3])

Drawing on professor Massimo point, I am equally of the opinion that we all need to cooperate and  revive this tradition. “The silent theft of our shared assets and civic inheritance need not continue. But first we must recognize the commons as such, name it, and understand the rich possibilities for reclaiming our common wealth, D.Boiler, 2002[4]

[1] Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good

[2] Professor Massimo De Angelis, Tragedy of the Capitalist Commons, turbulence.org, founder of the Commoner,  Author, beginning of History

[3] Massimo De Angelis is Professor of Political Economy at the University of East turbulence.org.uk/turbulence-5/capitalist-common,

[4] David Boiler is author of Silent Theft: the Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth and co-founder of Public Knowledge, a public-interest advocacy group.

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One Response to “RECLAIMING THE COMMON”

  1. celcocourier1 Says:

    It is well research and good reflexion referring to professor Massimo De Angelis without his passion, you will agree with me that you will not have been aware of the commons well done

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