Except that isn’t what I am advocating. Commonsism is about up-ending geopolitical power, putting more control of a common shared resource, or commons, into the hands of the people closest to the commons. It’s not about owning the means of production, and it’s certainly not Marxism. It’s Ostromism/Leopoldism (after Elinor Ostrom and Aldo Leoplold).

However, mutualism, the other side of the same coin, is about people forming cooperatives, mutual aid societies, and institutions like credit unions, which are owned and managed by and for the members, which I advocate.

But I don’t promote overthrowing capitalism or seizing property, as a general principle. I’m no bomb-throwing anarchist. I’m all for capitalism with a small ‘c’. It’s hypercapitalist globalism that I oppose, where localist trade barriers and work protections are removed in the name of ‘free trade’ so that multinational corporations can cut costs (and workers’ salaries and benefits) to improve margins, pocket 100% of the resulting profits, and distribute them to the shareholders, while localized businesses go bankrupt and the displaced workers are pushed out of work.

Yes, people can buy t-shirts and kitchen tables more cheaply in a globalized economy, but they have less money to do so, now that they are making minimum wage in a service job, instead of sewing the shirts or building the tables, like they used to.

Work ecologist. Founder, Work Futures. The ecology of work and the anthropology of the future.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store