Let the world know what we know:
the commons belongs to everyone.
A family purchases
light rail tickets in Portland,
W H AT Y O U C A N D O
Take a walk in your neighborhood. Notice what’s missing: a community garden?
A bike path? A wi-fi hot spot? A food buying club? Make it happen!
If there’s a river, creek or wetland near you, fall in love with it. Learn everything about it. Then join or build an organization to restore it.
Like the tide, the commons ebbs and flows over time. In our time,
it’s rising again. Not in its ancient form, but in new, 21st century forms.
The first swells can be seen around us. The models exist. The possibilities are endless. Now, we need to scale up.
To do this right, we first need a large vision. In that vision, the commons is as strong and vibrant as the corporate sector. It’s managed according to its own rules and in the interest of its own beneficiaries, future generations and all living citizens equally.
Second, we need to create common property rights that protect many of nature’s gifts. These rights should be managed and defended by trustees, bound as much as humanly possible to future generations.
Third, we need to build commons management institutions at every level, from local to regional to global.
Fourth, we need to dedicate steady revenue streams to art, science, public spaces and public transportation. We need these streams to create zones of knowledge, culture and daily life that are shielded from corporate intrusion.
A strengthened commons sector can tackle several major problems long unsolved by corporations or government:
- Protecting the atmosphere, the ocean and other threatened ecosystems;
- Ensuring that, in the richest country on earth, no one is destitute;
- Providing simple, affordable health insurance for people of all ages.And there’s no end of work to do locally.
The key is this: wherever you are, claim your birthright to the wealth we jointly inherit or create. Claim it in living rooms, at church, in chat rooms and hair salons. Let the world know what we know: the commons belongs to everyone!
And when times are dark, remember that there is an alternative. It’s rising now, and we can lift it faster.
the commons, n., gifts of nature and society; the wealth we inherit or create together and must pass on, undiminished or enhanced, to our children; a sector of the economy that complements the corporate sector.