A monthly conversation with creative activists pioneering new forms of commoning.
Peter Barnes Makes the Case for 'Universal Property'
Can property law be used to reclaim our common wealth and transform capitalism in the process? In his new book 'Ours', Peter Barnes, a socially minded entrepreneur and commoner, proposes inventing a new class of property rights -- "universal property" -- to protect land, watersheds and the atmosphere as well as co-inherited civic infrastructures such as our financial and communications systems. The point is to stop investors from privatizing the benefits of this wealth by instead instituting trusts (and other forms) to manage it as universal property. These alternatives can both protect common assets and generate reliable revenue streams shared by everyone.
Caroline Shenaz Hossein on 'Black Banker Ladies' and the Social Economy
Among millions of Black women in Africa, the Caribbean, and North America, ROSCAs, or 'rotating savings and credit associations', are trusted alternatives to racialized, exclusionary systems of formal banking. The self-organized, informal pooling of money among friends and neighbors offer a way to help people amass the money to buy a used car, pay for school, and meet other household expenses. Professor Hossein of the University of Toronto at Scarborough, in Ontario, Canada, discusses the resourcefulness and resilience of the Black social economy despite attacks by many state authorities and mainstream banks.
Tim Jackson & the Quest for Post Growth
Ecological economist Tim Jackson has spent over three decades investigating what a post-growth economy might look like and how to pursue it. His 2009 book 'Prosperity without Growth' became a landmark exploration of this topic. Now, more than a decade later, Jackson’s thinking has evolved in some new and unexpected ways. His new book, 'Post Growth: Life After Capitalism', urges economics to expand its narrow, hyper-rational frameworks, and draw on insights from the worlds of art, culture, philosophy, storytelling, and the human quest for meaning.
Jeremy Lent: Wisdom Traditions, Science & the Search for Meaning
Jeremy Lent, author and self-described "integrator," has spent years exploring the "cognitive history of humanity" as expressed in diverse civilizations. Lent continues this investigation with a new book 'The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe," which can be succinctly summarized: "Our mainstream worldview has expired. What will replace it? A world of deep interconnectedness."
Kate Raworth on Why Our Times Demand 'Doughnut Economics'
Kate Raworth's 2017 book 'Doughnut Economics' has become an international phenomenon by debunking the many half-truths of standard economics and offering a new framework for dealing with 21st Century realities. Her reconceptualization of the economy as a doughnut accents two vital concerns that economics often ignores -- the importance of meeting everyone’s basic human needs (the inner ring of the doughnut) and the importance of staying within the planet's ecological limits (the outer ring). Economics should not focus on market and state alone, says Raworth, but also on households and commons, and the trust, reciprocity, and creativity that they engender.
Peter Linebaugh: What the History of Commoning Reveals
Professor Peter Linebaugh, the acclaimed historian of commons, discusses the social and political histories of English commoners caught up in their struggles with state power and early capitalists. He explains the importance of Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest; the criminalization of customary practices as early capitalism arose; the special relationship of women to the commons and therefore their persecution; and the role of commoning in struggles for political emancipation.