a. summary

Monty Python: An Apology

THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION:
THE HISTORY OF THE COMMONS.

The history of the commons is very much the history of enclosure, not only of our shared resources and valuables, but also the enclosure of our very political imagination. How can we think beyond the “eroded present” of a failed neo-liberalism that a corporate culture has given us? How can we imagine that something different is around the corner when we are only defined as ‘homo economicus’, merely drilled into the role of consumer? 

What happens when markets become so powerful that they disrupt natural ecosystems, reorder how people conduct their lives and claim ownership of life-forms? This process is often called enclosure of the commons. It’s a process by which corporations pouch valuable resources from their natural contexts, often with government support and sanction, and declare that they be valued by market prices. The point is to convert resources that are shared and used by may to ones that are privately owned and controlled, and treat them as tradeable commoditites.(David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 37)

The real aberration in human history is the idea of Homo economicus and our globally integrated market society. Never before in history have markets organized so many major and granular elements of human society. Never before has the world seen so many societies organized around the principles of market competition and capital accumulation, which systematically produce extremes of selfish individualism, inequalities of wealth and crippling assaults on natural ecosystems. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 81)