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)
2003, 2 min 37 sec (trailer)
The Corporation is a Canadian documentary film written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary examines the modern-day corporation, considering its legal status as a class of person and evaluating its behavior towards society and the world at large as a psychiatrist might evaluate an ordinary person. This is explored through specific examples. Bakan wrote the book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, during the filming of the documentary.
DAVID BOLLIER: THE HISTORY OF COMMONS AND ENCLOSURE
38 min 30 sec
A review of medieval commons, Peter Linebaugh’s history of Magna Carta, and Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation.
JERRY MICHALSKI ON KARL POLANYI’S 1944 BOOK, THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION
2013, 6 min 5 sec
The Great Transformation is a book by Karl Polanyi, a Hungarian-American political economist. First published in 1944 by Farrar & Rinehart, it deals with the social and political upheavals that took place in England during the rise of the market economy. Polanyi contends that the modern market economy and the modern nation-state should be understood not as discrete elements but as the single human invention he calls the “Market Society”.
PETER LINEBAUGH: WHO OWNS THE COMMONS?
AN 800 YEAR FIGHT FOR PUBLIC GOODS
The Laura Flanders Show, USA
2015, 26 min 15 sec
This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, and this weeks show marks that occasion with a discussion on the rights of the commons with author Peter Linebaugh. We also visit a community center in Caracas, and hear from youth voices about life and revolution in Venezuela.
MAGNA CARTA AND THE COMMONS
Law of the Commons Conference, Seattle, USA
2009, 51 min 33 sec
Talk by Peter Linebaugh, Professor of History at the University of Toledo on “Magna Carta and the Commons” given March 13, 2009 at the Law of the Commons Conference at Seattle University and sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
LARRY LESSIG: LAWS THAT CHOKE CREATIVITY
TED, Great Brittain
2007, 1 min 57 sec (full version)
Larry Lessig, the Nets most celebrated lawyer, cites John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights and the “ASCAP cartel” in his argument for reviving our creative culture.
BIOCULTURAL COMMUNITY PROTOCOLS:
ARTICULATING AND ASSERTING STEWARDSHIP
Natural Justice, India
2012, 13 min 01 sec
Directed by Sanjay Barnel.
Produced by Natural Justice in collaboration with Moving Images (India) with support from Shuttleworth Foundation.
FURTHER READING & RESEARCH
—Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (1957)
—Peter Linebaugh, The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for all (2009)
—Bruce Pascoe: Dark Emu (2014)
—David Bollier: Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of our Common Wealth (2002)
—Michel Bauwens, The History and Evolution of the Commons – Commons Transition
—Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons (2006)
—Tony Judt, Ill Fares The Land (2011)
—Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Are there no Alternatives? (2009)
—Massimo De Angelis: Crises, Movements and the Commons (2012)
ON THE HISTORY OF PROPERTY
—Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property (1983)
—Carol Rose, Property and Persuasion: Essays on the History, Theory and Rhetoric of Ownership. (1994) >>> ‘she coins ‘the comedy of the commons’
—C.B. MacPherson ed., Property: Mainstream and Critical Positions (1999)