discussing the commons

The concept of the commons is one that needs to be discussed more often in political dialogue. I was quite pleased to see a forum in London during the European Social Forum. The forum, Life Despite Capitalism, “is a project/forum to approach the question of alternatives to capitalism in the here and now not ‘after capitalism’ has been abolished. This means a capacity to do and relate to each other, in ways rooted in dignity, respect and common access to resources.”

I was also pleased to see that my Virtual Enclosures article is one of the recommended readings for one of the panels. It’s always good to know that my work is rippling outward and that others see the value of discussion around commons. As I wrote in the conclusion of the article:

The virtual commons, I have argued, is a crucial element in the process of “globalizing resistance.” Empire is, of course, resisting this process; in response they are imposing the virtual enclosures. Information infrastructure is a key battleground in the struggle against neoliberalism, and even today the dominance of proprietary software and closed standards in fortifying the virtual enclosures is troubling. But there is an alternative. Globalized resistance can still organize itself within the virtual commons, strengthening both itself and the commons the more it is used and its fundamental values as a commons (no one owns it, everyone can use it, anyone can improve it) are embraced, celebrated, and foregrounded in the dialogue within globalized resistance.

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