Tag Archives: Next System

Thinking about the Next System: David Bollier on the Commons

 

The Great Sandy Desert (Ngurrara) as viewed by the original Australian inhabitants of northern Western Australia. Bollier included this “map” in his presentation to illustrate the difference between a commons-based interpretation of a place that prioritizes cultural and ethical values and a scientific map that is all about geographic and topographic accuracy. For more on the Ngurrara map. See this page.

At a lunch seminar at the Next System Project last week, David Bollier reviewed some of the  work he has done on the various expressions and formations of “the commons.”  It’s a fascinating area of inquiry that offers a helpful way to think about how a more just and humane economic and social system can counter the hegemony of the market in capitalist societies. This post talks about Bollier’s presentation and also draws from his paper Commoning as a Transformative Social Paradigm,  published by the Next System Project in 2016.

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Progressive Visions: The Pluralist Commonwealth

Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth

To date, I have not said much about what progressives should be striving for as opposed to what they may be against. But without articulating a direction, any kind of political strategy is attempting to fly with one wing. As this site develops, I’ll be engaging with many progressive ideas about how to make America a more democratic country–economically and politically–that can work for everyone.

One intriguing vision is provided by the work of the Democracy Collaborative and its Next System Project. Two weeks ago, I attended a book signing at Busboys and Poets in DC for Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth by Gar Alperovitz, political economist, historian, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of the Next System Project.  Alperovitz studies democratic forms of economic organization as an alternative to the current system of corporate capitalism based on extraction, profit maximization, a skewed distribution of wealth, and the impoverishment–financial and spiritual–of a large majority of Americans, along with other negative results such as climate change and pollution.

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