Commons and Class Struggle

From the introduction:

“The ‘commons’ has become one of the keywords in the global class struggle against neoliberal capitalism. The term shares etymological kinship with word such as ‘community’, ‘communism’, and ‘communal’—all of which have been variously expropriated by enclosing powers from above and re-appropriated by movements from below. It invokes the language and customs of pre-capitalist social formations, implicitly negating the stadial concept of history. However, just as the ‘commons’ historically did not mean a singular, static practice but was redefined constantly by what commoners did in their subsistence economy, the future of ‘commons’ will be determined by the content and vector of our struggles, as we define who and what kind of class we will constitute, as the forces arrayed against us will attempt to do the same for their own ends. This collection aims to expand and diversify the discussion around the ongoing historical process of the ‘commons’, provoking new ways of looking at this age-old non-capitalist practice of sharing, subsistence, survival.”

• Special issue of borderlands e-journal, VOLUME 11 NUMBER 2, 2012: Commons, Class Struggle and the World. Editors: Manuel Yang & Jeffrey D. Howison.


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