Status Report 3

“The Market and State, once very separate realms of morality and politics are now joined at the hip: a tight alliance with a shared vision of technological progress, corporate dominance and ever-expanding economic growth and consumption.  Commoners realize that this is not just a morally deficient, spiritually unsatisfying vision for humanity; it is a mad utopian fantasy.  It is also ecologically unsustainable, a crumbling idol that can no longer command the respect it once took for granted.

“In response, the commons sets forth a very different vision of human fulfillment and ethics, and invites people to achieve their own bottom-up, do-it-yourself styles of emancipation.  It has little interest in hidebound party politics, rigid ideologies or remote centralized institutions.  It seeks to build anew, or, as R. Buckminster Fuller memorably put it, ‘to change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’

“That’s what a robust commons movement around the world is doing.  It is pioneering new forms of production, more open and accountable forms of governance, innovative technologies and cultures and healthy, appealing ways to live.  It is a quiet revolution – self-organized, diversified and socially minded.  It is pragmatic yet idealistic and, for now, only occasionally engaged in mainstream politics or public policy.  Yet it has been steadily growing, in most instances outside the gaze of the mainstream media or the political establishment.  It seems poised to ‘go wide,’ as they say in the movie business, because the various tribes of transnational commoners are starting to find each other.  They are coordinating their work and thinking and developing ways to make common cause in the face of the growing dysfunctionalities and anti-democratic paranoia of the Market/State.”

–David Bollier, Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons, p.5.

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