Awakening to an Ecology of the Commons

What is the future of The Commons movement​? What are some of the pathways for a commons transition? How do we formulate an alternative political economy and livelihoods out of the ashes of neoliberalism and the covid-19 pandemic? ​And how do we understand ​all of​ this in ​the​ broader​ planetary context of the anthropocene​? ​Our book ​chapter ​​”​Awakening to an Ecology of the Commons​” ​(Michel Bauwens and Jose Ramos​) attempts to provide answers to the following questions. 

As any nuanced thinker will tell you, there are no easy answers in this world. However given the massive upheavals we are experiencing, it is incumbent on us to push forward through sense-making and connecting with our values and our visions. 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”. 

The book chapter is part of an ambitious anthology by Anne Grear and David Bollier titled ​”The Great Awakening: New Modes of Life amidst Capitalist Ruins​”  (​Punctum Books, Santa Barbara) ​​

​I​t is an ambitious ​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. 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.​” ​

The ​anthology will be available in September​ 2020 through Punctum Books here. A preprint of the book chapter can be seen here.

Lead image:  CityTree עץבעיר 
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