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Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The biggest "tragedy of the commons" is the misconception that commons are failures—relics from another era rendered unnecessary by the market and state. Think Like a Commoner dispels such prejudices by explaining the rich history and promising future of the commons—an ageless paradigm of cooperation and fairness that is re-making our world.

With graceful prose and dozens o
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by New Society Publishers (first published February 17th 2014)
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4.14  · 
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 ·  106 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Mar 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: political-action
Are the commons big, or just vanishing?

[Through my ratings, reviews and edits I'm providing intellectual property and labor to Inc., listed on Nasdaq, which fully owns and in 2013 posted revenues for $74 billion and $274 million profits. Intellectual property and labor require compensation. Inc. is also requested to provide assurance that its employees and contractors' work conditions meet the highest health and safety standards at all the company's sites.]
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Δεν ξέρω αν μπορώ να βάλω "αστεράκια" σε ένα τέτοιο βιβλίο. Είναι ενδιαφέρον, εξηγεί τι ακριβώς είναι "τα κοινά", με παραδείγματα από την ιστορία και το σήμερα, και πώς αυτά θα μπορούσαν ίσως να λειτουργήσουν για να περάσουμε σε μια άλλη μορφή κοινωνίας. Μερικά απ' αυτά που λέει τα βρήκα εντελώς ανεδαφικά, σε κάποια "κρύβει" τις αδυναμίες του "συστήματος" που προτείνει.
Πάντως χρήσιμο :-)
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-r-a-ce-2017
Εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρουσα εισαγωγή στην έννοια των "κοινών", της συν-διαχείρησης των κοινών αγαθών του κόσμου. Κατανοητό, ενδιαφέρον, με παραδείγματα και εύστοχες ιστορίες. Πολύ καλή η ελληνική έκδοση.
Kent Winward
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The idea I liked the most in this book was a new triumvirate requiring checks and balances -- the corporate, the government and the commons. A combination of the commons with the government is the proper check against corporate greed, corruption and even simply the corporate mandate for profit. Simply thinking in terms of a commons, changes the outlook on political issues and grass roots efforts. Our law has a long history of following the commons (common law) and maybe the common law needs to b ...more
Steve Bivans
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bollier reveals how the corporate world has been encroaching and usurping the resources that were once held in Common by the citizens of Earth. If you want to know how international corporations operate, this is a good book for you. Also, he gives us hope by showing how ordinary people are resisting these efforts by creating new commons. A very good read.
Russell Fox
David Bollier's brief argument on behalf of the importance of defending those places and processes in our lives which could be labeled "commons"--parks and pathways, obviously, but also all sorts of things from open-source software to natural aquifers to regular assemblies on public squares--is wonderful and important. Much of what he argues for are matters familiar to me from other works of socialist or anarchist or radically democratic theory, but he puts them all together in a wonderfully pra ...more
Ron Christiansen
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nf, ethics, open, commons, economy
I heard Bollier speak at an Open Ed conference this past year (2017) in Anaheim CA. A great talk and the book did not disappoint. It is a daring seemingly new, yet as Bollier argues, a very old vision of how society can be managed through lateral relationships rather than hierarchical governmental and business models solely focused on power and profit.

A key concept I intuitively understood but had never named: enclosures. In his chapter Enclosures of Nature, he outlines the grand illusion, "one
Max Potthoff
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Anecdotal in nature, Bollier's "Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons" is a useful text to get a grounding in the theoretical and real-life application of the "commons". Bollier provides a thoughtful and compelling antidote to the well-worn narrative of contemporary neo-liberal market ideology; homo economicus is anything but rational in this text. While the writing feels a bit like an extra-long essay at times, the engaging nature of the various ways to implemen ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Best overview of the commons and commoners that I've read. Bollier offers a welcoming introduction and exploration of many historical and contemporary commons, making a compelling case that the commons might hold answers for the future of political, economic, and social life in the 21st century. Recommended for all.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Too repetitive. It feels like a unnecessarily long blog post.

Really, the most useful part are the charts at the end.
Gordon Howard
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A refreshing way of looking at economics from a non-capitalist perspective. The author overstates the potential for commons as an alternative to capitalism and also overstates its benefits in certain instances, but there is a place for a larger role that commons can play in our lives.
Claire Mullan
Nov 15, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm going to have to read it again.
I raced through it and its been tickling my brain ever since.
But a book I want to share so that I can talk to someone about it...
Jose Sanchez
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