Free, Fair, and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons
The power of the commons as a free, fair system of provisioning and governance beyond capitalism, socialism, and other -isms.
From co-housing and agroecology to fisheries and open-source everything, people around the world are increasingly turning to 'commoning' to emancipate themselves from a predatory market-state system.
Free, Fair, and Alive presents a foundational re-thinking of the commons -- the self-organized social system that humans have used for millennia to meet their needs. It offers a compelling vision of a future beyond the dead-end binary of capitalism versus socialism that has almost brought the world to its knees.
Written by two leading commons activists of our time, this guide is a penetrating cultural critique, table-pounding political treatise, and practical playbook. Highly readable and full of colorful stories, coverage includes:
- Internal dynamics of commoning
- How the commons worldview opens up new possibilities for change
- Role of language in reorienting our perceptions and political strategies
- Seeing the potential of commoning everywhere.
Free, Fair, and Alive provides a fresh, non-academic synthesis of contemporary commons written for a popular, activist-minded audience. It presents a compelling narrative: that we can be free and creative people, govern ourselves through fair and accountable institutions, and experience the aliveness of authentic human presence.
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About the Author
David Bollier is an activist, scholar, and blogger who is focused on the commons as a new/old paradigm for re-imagining economics, politics, and culture. He pursues his commons scholarship and activism as Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and as cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international advocacy project. Author of Think Like a Commoner and other books, he blogs at www.Bollier.org, and lives in Amherst, MA.
Silke Helfrich is an independent activist, author, scholar, and speaker. She cofounded the Commons Strategies Group and Commons-Institute, was former head of the regional office of Heinrich Böll Foundation for Central America, Cuba, and Mexico, and holds degrees in Romance languages/pedagogy and in social sciences. Helfrich is the editor and co-author of several books on the Commons, and she blogs at www.commons.blog. She lives in Neudenau, Germany.