Agrarian Trust

The Commons are Making a Comeback

The land has not always been owned, or able to be owned, and it is not just in recent history that citizens have rebelled against the very idea of land as property. An article from AlJazeera America by Nathan Schneider uncovers some of what’s new with the old school idea of the commons.

From the article:

The commons is an old, simple idea but one that we have never needed so urgently. It’s whatever a community of people shares and manages together. A commons can be anything from a lake that has been fished for centuries to a folk song no one owns to a neighborhood garden to the planet itself. Commoning goes back as long as human history, and it was a basic assumption of the Byzantine emperor Justinian’s legal code and the Magna Carta. It forms the basis for a kind of economics run by neither state nor market but rather by community relationships in which everyone has a personal stake in a shared property or project.

Now, after centuries of being obscured by industrial smoke and no-trespassing signs, people are learning to recognize the commons again. I saw this firsthand at a historic conference last weekend at the Omega Institute — a retreat center in Rhinebeck, N.Y. — called Building the Collaborative Commons.


Read the rest here!