* summary & further research

Onions Studios: Should the Government Stop Dumping Money into a Giant Hole?



Is corporate neo-liberalism on a suicidal course penetrating every aspect of our lives? What if instead of economy determining our lives, we ourselves decide together what economy should mean and define? The glitches inherent to the capitalist reality program show that it is anything but realistic. While causing ecocide of our very biotope,  the world we inhabit, the pathologies of the market are hardly diagnosed. Profit is reaped by the corporations but the risks & bailouts are carried by the tax payer, plundering the common wealth. How to imagine monetary ecosystems? In this section we will zoom in on new open business models, sustainable economics, doughnut economics, Bhutan’s example of a GDP of happiness, participatory budgeting within government situations, time banking, alternative currencies, bartering, and the new economics of online sharing. Ironically the add-on is the emergence of a social fabric;—or would it be the other way around?

Finding a sustainable rapprochement between commons and markets is a complicated challenge. It helps to understand that markets are not necessarily the same thing as capitalism. Markets can be entirely local, fair and responsive to community needs if they are sufficiently embedded in communities and accountable to them. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 137)

So can market activity and commons coexist happily? The question is a controversial one among some commoners. David Bolier’s  view is that few commons can operate in total isolation from the rest of society. Virtually all commons are hybrids that depend in some measure upon the State or the Market. The important point, therefore, is to assure that commons can have as much autonomy and integrity of purpose as possible. If commons are to interact with markets, they must be able to resist enclosure, consumerism, the lust for capital accumulation and other familiar pathologies of capitalism, because that plunders nature with little concern for the long-term consequences. Markets need not be predatory and socially corrosive; they can become socially integrated into a community and made locally responsive. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 137)

David Bollier states that the trick in melding commons and markets consists in nourishing a distinct culture of commoning while devising “defensible boundaries” around the commons so that it can maintain its basic autonomy. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 138)

Silke Helfrich  explains that we’re in need of “a shift from commons-based peer production to commons-creating peer production. The commons is not about organizational form or property rights. It’s about the purpose. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 140)

These ideas clearly require a bold reconceptualization of the neoliberal Market/State. Michel Bauwens  has proposed that we reimagine the State and the Market as a “triarchy” that shares governance authority with the commons — the Market/State/Commons. The goal is to realign authority and provisioning into new, more socially beneficial configurations. The State must shift its focus to become a “Partner State,” as Michel Bauwens puts it, and become more than a colluding partner of the Market sector. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 145)




Bernard Lietaer: Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity + Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link (2013)

Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist (2017) 

Michel Bauwens, “The Political Economy of Peer Production, Post-Autistic Economics Review”, (2006)

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014)

Adam Arvidsson & Nicolai Peitersen, The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis (2016)

Adam Arvidsson, Michel Bauwens & Nicolai Peitersen: The Crisis of Value and the Ethical Economy (2008)

Peter Lamborn Wilson / Hakim Bay
T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (1991)

Richard Sennett, Together: The Rituals, Pleasures & Politics of Cooperation (2012)

Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man (1977)

David Bollier, Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own (2009)

Juan Friere, From the Analog Commons to the New Hybrid Public Spaces (2008)

David Harvey: Rebel Cities (2012)

Robert McChesney, “The Battle for the U.S. Airwaves, 1928-1935,” in: The Political Economy of Media:  Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas.

Snider, J.D., “The Cartoon Guide to Federal Spectrum Policy,” New America Foundation” (2004)

James CunoWho Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage (2008)

Joseph SaxPlaying Darts with a Rembrandt:: Public and Private Rights in Cultural Treasures (2006)


David Bollier & Silke Helfrich, ed.: Patterns of Commoning (2015)

David Bollier, The Commons, Short and Sweet

Donald Macon Nonini, The Global Idea of ‘the Commons’ (2007)

Tomales Bay Institute, State of the Commons:

John M. Anderies & Marco A. Janssen: Sustaining the Commons v2.0 (2013)

Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3.0:  A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons  (2006)

Massimo De Angelis: Crises, Movements and the Commons (2012)

Massimo De Angelis and Stavros Stavrides, On the Commons: A Public Interview with Massimo De Angelis and Stavros Stavrides by Anarchitecture (2010)

Peter Linebaugh & David Lloyd: Red Round Globe Hot Burning: A Tale at the Crossroads of Commons and Closure, of Love and Terror, of Race and Class, and of Kate and Ned Despard (2019)

David Bollier: Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of our Common Wealth (2002)

Michel Bauwens, The History and Evolution of the Commons – Commons Transition

The Commoner:  http://www.commoner.org.uk.

On the Commons:  http://www.onthecommons.org

International Journal of the Commons:

Digital Library Of The Commons

Library – Commons Transition Primer