Michel Bauwens and Robert Conan Ryan on Developing Autonomous Commons Magisteria
Robert Conan Ryan:
"In this first video in a series, Bauwens and I discuss how my own take on world-systems theory relates to his conceptualization of "the commons" as a form of institutional behavior. We explore the notion that our global challenges for the next 50 years center around institutional failures, particularly the sustainable, safe, and fair management of the data environment and the natural environment. We discuss how personal and economic justice are limited by the shape of our world system of institutions. Currently we have Four Global Magisteria - systems of global institutions that create facts/laws, do long term planning, and legitimize formal organizations. These four are (state) politics, (heavy tech) industry, (ethical/aesthetic) culture, and (academic/basic) science. In the current world system, all four of these Global Magisteria are growth engines. None of them are primarily commons-based, or concerned with globally sustainable production and activity. We discuss how elevating the "commons" to the same level of power - i.e., a Fifth Commons Magisteria - would create a check on unsustainable growth trends, and provide a global labor class of stewards with full legitimacy of its own logic and lifestyles.
For example, cities could mutualize the control of data. rather than entrust it to either the state or to Big Digital companies like Google. Instead, sharing cities could require government, industry, science, and cultural enterprises to cooperate directly with the citizenry that owns its own data in a mutual trust. This would improve both ethics and also efficiency, and would actually improve the performance of the other four types of activity. But if we really wanted to have such a world of sharing cities, there must be global coordination of standards, rules, and best practices, and the inter-city coordination of data."