ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
As we've indicated in the Old Normal section, one reason not to 'get back to normal' is the economic injustice laid bare by the COVID19 pandemic: "essential workers" having to risk their health in meat packing factories, in health care facilities, in prisons, often living in crowded conditions and therefore falling victim to the virus in higher numbers. In addition, other workers with limited (or no) backup resources as small businesses have been closed.
As PCRG considers its next actions, one choice is to team up with local organizations and businesses that might be interested in developing and expanding new relationships and new methods of exchange to maximize the county's resources and meet the counties needs.
A number of community organizations are growing alternatives to the mainstream corporate-capitalist economic system. One of these movements can be thought of under the broad concept of "Commoning."
The term “commoning” has been popularized by historian Peter Linebaugh, whose book The Magna Carta Manifesto showed that the founding document of Anglo-American democracy repeatedly affirms people’s right to use the commons to fulfill their basic needs. A majority of English people, known as “commoners,” derived at least part of their livelihoods from the commons before the brutal onset of enclosures by wealthy landowners. Hence the word “commoning” describes people living in close connection to the commons. “I use the word because I want a verb for the commons,” Linebaugh explains. “I want to portray it as an activity, not just an idea or material resource.” Read more
Besides the physical commons, other community alternative community relationships, methods of exchange, or ways of living, and creating knowledge can also be thought of as "Commoning:" Complementary currencies, Timebanks, Mutual Aid Societies. The digital world has also explored communing with open source software and openspace platforms.
Some general introductions to the idea of commoning:
( Ethan Miller 14 min.
By clicking on the boxes below, you can discover more about a number of different kinds of commoning.