Sat 29 Apr 2017 7:28AM

How to drive the commons into the mainstream.

SC Simon Carter Public Seen by 122

I was chatting to someone recently who described himself as a communist, but he sounded to me like an anarchist, Both words are of course politically loaded, but if you combine them do you get commonist? J Edgar Hoover apparently said this: "Senator, I think that commonism is as serious a menace to the United States as it ever was if not more so.". Do we have one word that would describe our advocacy?. Might that word me commonist?. It's not one I have seen widely used, but it occurs to me that more & more people describing themselves as such might be a good way to raise the conversation. I suspect many would say, 'don't you mean communist'?. A cogent explanation of the differences might create a movement free from the baggage associated with such terms as communist or anarchist. I also think it might blindside the Establishment at a time when their propaganda is increasingly seen for what it is..


Vasilis Kostakis Sat 29 Apr 2017 8:49AM



Simon Carter Sat 29 Apr 2017 11:13AM

I would say that the vast majority of peoples definition of that word is not what we would take it to mean.


Simon Grant Sat 29 Apr 2017 11:17AM

I think "Commoner" is OK for recognition between Commoners ;) but yes, sure, in the UK it won't give the majority of people a fair impression. I don't think any one word will.


Stacco Troncoso Sat 29 Apr 2017 9:54AM

I think that Commoner is more precise, it places agency on someone who performs the act of commoning, rather than a follower of a 'ism.. You'd need exquisite pronunciation for "Commonist". On the other hand Dmytri Kleiner argues that we may as well call ourselves communists, as that's what we'll get called anyway. His argument is well worth reading.


Simon Carter Sat 29 Apr 2017 11:21AM

I think this is entirely my point, We know that communist & commonist are absolutely not the same. Most peoples simplistic definition of communist is an advocate of state control, which is diametrically opposite to commonist, If someone called me a communist I would take serious issue. No one has ever called me a commonist. I wish they would.as that's a label I would wholeheartedly embrace,


Stacco Troncoso Sat 29 Apr 2017 10:08AM

As an answer to the question at the top of the thread: If we want to see the mainstrem to be driven toward the Commons -rather than the other way around- we have to create spaces for lived experience primordially; supported by memetics. As Simon explains, more cogent explanations without dumbing the complexity of the Commons are very much needed, but I think we're getting there.


Simon Carter Sat 29 Apr 2017 11:28AM

The more i think about it the more I am convinced that commoner is not a useful term for mainstream usage. It's timid, almost passive, Commonist meanwhile is challenging & provocative. It's pro-active, If we wish to accelerate awareness, we need more commonists promoting the term as a badge of honour,


miguel novik Sat 29 Apr 2017 8:22PM

1.- Stacco said:...¨If we want to see the mainstrem to be driven toward the Commons -rather than the other way around- we have to create spaces for lived experience primordially ¨

Until here I am totally agree....

..¨supported by memetics.¨ please explain it more...

I know that memetics are not metrics, but I give great importance to the ratios or measurements that will show us that ¨we are walking to achieve a ¨commoner way of relationship.¨¨. (we have to clarify what do we want to reach and be able to measure it ).

2.- Even it seams clear that we are not ¨communist¨, nobody have talked about Private Property.... And for me this is a clear and direct issue... we respect the private property, but because of we are aware of our interconnectedness and interdependence, we decide to relate in a non-extractive way (or cumulative way) and we seek to build dynamics that allow us to live "consistent" with this belief or feeling.

3.- Regarding the party proposal, Simon Carter, you introduced me to Michael Tellinger, he went into politics in South Africa and as far I understand, he concluded that the way is to create a ¨Small Town Plan of Action ¨ that enable people to ¨ behave and interact ¨with a commoner and No- scarcity dynamic ¨.

Even I do not agree 100% with Ubuntu Planet I think it has the right focus. (...enable the space, or create spaces as Stacco said).


Simon Grant Sat 29 Apr 2017 10:45AM

Public face and public image are interesting issues. Single words, along with "-isms", seem to me inherently problematic, while at the same time it would be really useful to have a label describing, maybe, what we are up to, or our shared values.

Simplicity, transparency, clarity are I believe pretty important values in the commons, (along with equality, cooperation, etc.) -- and that would, I suspect, argue against a label that is easily mistaken for something it isn't.

I agree with Vasilis and Stacco that "Commoner" is a nice term to describe our role, but that doesn't answer your request for a word or phrase that describes the belief and value system.

In terms of your title, how to drive the commons into the mainstream, I have little hope for "broadcast" media (see Gene Youngblood). What you are doing already, Simon, seems very worthwhile -- looking out for opportunities as they come up locally.

Or we could ally more closely with the "Transition" movement, picking out the really promising bits of commoner ideas and culture, and promoting those.

I really believe that "mainstream" will take time, and no quick acrobatics will get us there. But there is so much to do in any case, preparing us all for the day when collapse of the current socio-economic order suddenly pushes us, not quite into the "mainstream" or the "limelight", but into the localized, "homeworld" attention of many (see Youngblood using concepts from Husserl).


Simon Carter Sat 29 Apr 2017 11:38AM

So meantime we wait as some kind of fringe movement?. If an economic collapse is quick & cataclysmic as opposed to slow & tortuous, then surely we need to present as a viable alternative right now so that neither is necessary.. We need to differentiate ourselves as a distinct third way, not state controlled centralised hierarchies & not predatory markets. Not statists, communist or any other form, not capitalists, but commonists. I guess ultimately Commons Transition is political. Maybe we need a Commonist Party?

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