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No commons without a community

Community Dev J (2014) 49 (suppl 1): i106-i117 :Commons Sense New thinking about an old idea

Maria Mies, 201401/

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The present interest in new commons is a very welcome development. It shows that more and more people understand that our present capitalist world system cannot solve any of the problems it itself has created. Most people who want to create new commons are looking for an altogether new paradigm of economy and society. Yet I think it is necessary to look more critically at the main concepts and arguments used in the contemporary discourse on ‘the commons’. Today there is a new hype about the ‘new commons’, including myths about the Internet as a commons and that it has created new communities. In this article I ask: what do we mean when we speak of ‘new commons’? What can we learn from the old commons? What has to be changed today? Is there a realistic perspective for new commons?

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Community Development Journal cdj.oxfordjournals.org