Coalition of the Commons

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As described and proposed by Philippe Aigrain, at

"In my article “Pick the right modernity: Towards a coalition for the commons”, I launched in Europe the idea of a coalition for the commons that would bring together the promoters of information commons (free software and information, co-operative media, open science, creative commons, etc.) and those who fight for a better recognitition of physical (water, air, environment) and social (education, health, …) commons, Riccardo Petrella being a pioneer of the latter. My book Cause Commune has further developed the rationale for this proposal and the conditions for a commons coalition to be successful. I am available for helping to give a concrete political translation to this coalition.

The coalition for the commons is not a defined organisation : it is a slogan, and a variable geometry movement. However, the strength of its ideas and achievements has already had a significant impact in the political landscape. Some political groups explicitly position themselves in relation to it. This is the case for instance for the Greens (notably at European level) and some socialists who defend a renewed (freed from the otherwise dominant influence of a few installed economic players) approach to innovation, creation and democracy (see for instance in France Christian Paul and the Fondation Temps Nouveaux, Ségolène Royal or the TemPSRéels Internet section of the PS). The coalition for the commons reaches much further than these groups. The debates that led to the rejection of software patentability in the EP or the strong - though minority - opposition to the technological enforcement of restrictions to usage rights for cultural works have shown that the communists, republican, religion-based socially concerned groups, or libertarians can as well support commons ideas. When earlier political traditions adopt the new commons-based thinking, they may import some ways of thinking that are ill-adapted, for instance: bureaucratic economy or punctually optimising management practices in the information domain; laisser-faire in the field of physical commons; a strange mix of economicism, anti-state, bureaucracy and cost-killing management in the field of social public goods; or an insufficient understanding of how strongly the modern commons are rooted in individual freedom. Such tensions are natural for such a great reconfiguration." (

More Information

Graph with links to various initiatives at