with Guy Standing, SOAS University. Part of Anthropology spring term seminar series
Society is based on three types of property – private, state and commons – and several forms of work, including commoning. The commons have always provided informal social protection, access to shared resources and the means to lessen inequalities. Yet since 1980, especially in the austerity era, the commons have been plundered, by encroachment, enclosure, neglect, privatisation and what is best described as colonisation.
There has been an erosion of five types of commons – natural, social, civil, cultural and the knowledge or ‘intellectual’ commons. More have been passing into the hands of elites or have been commercialised or reduced by neglect. The neo-liberal attack on all commons has vastly increased inequalities, making conventional measures of inequality increasingly misleading. The book on which this presentation is based draws up a Charter of the Commons to revive the commons and to compensate commoners for their loss.
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