a. summary

Kurt Vonnegut: On the Shape of Stories


Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things. (Kakuzō Okakura: The Book of Tea, 1956)

Since we don’t really have a language for naming commons – real commons- they tend to be invisible and taken for granted. The commons are things that no one owns and are shared by everyone, such as shareware, the human genome, urban squares, forests, wikipedia, creative commons licenses, the commons of language itself, etc. Unfortunately, due to the dismal performance of corporate capitalism and government, countless public resources are getting privatised. In response, the commons sets forth a very different vision on human fulfilment and ethics, and invites people to achieve their own bottom-up, do-it-yourself styles of emancipation.

The concept of the commons is not a dogma, it is a political critique to the status-quo-system and a new way of managing resources.  […] Basically the commons is shared resources that a given community wants to manage for the collective benefit of everyone with a focus on fairness and sustainability of the resource. 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 – organised, diversified and socially minded. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 1–9)