Re-Imagining the Left Through the Lens of Post-Capitalist Commons

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* Article: Re-imagining the left through an ecology of the commons: towards a post-capitalist commons transition. By Michel Bauwens and Jose Ramos. Global Discourse, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought, 2018

URL = https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23269995.2018.1461442 free download version


Abstract

"Our main hypothesis in this paper is that in the current conjuncture, we are moving towards a ‘dominance’ of a ‘commons’ format for societal development. The commons format assumes a ‘third’ mode of development that indicates civil society and community as critical initiators and guardians of common value. The emerging commons model should be distinguished from both the regulation of capitalism by social-democracy, and state-centric Soviet types of socialism. Just as a full-fledged capitalist system could be seen as starting with the seed forms developed in the medieval city-states, so a future commons-centric society can be hypothesized from currently emerging commons-based seed forms. We believe that just as the revolutions bringing full-fledged capitalism were preceded by the development of capitalists and their seed forms, so a commons-based systemic change is necessarily the result of commoners developing their own seed forms. Therefore, the creation of a systemic ecology of the commons becomes an essential strategy for social change. The key approach for emancipation is no longer a redistribution of market value, or a state-centric appropriation of productive assets, but an interweaving of commons-based production and redistribution."