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The Commons

Economic and Social Liberation (contents)
Resources and Organising skills
Creative Politics
Growing Vegetables
Global Warming
The NSW Student Environment Activist Network (SEAN)
Refugees in Australia
Militarism and Social Justice
Poetry & Music
Books to Read
One rainy day, we shut down the World Economic Forum.


'The Commons' are those parts of our world, those institutions and resources that should not be privately and exclusively owned: to do so would interfere with our potential as a society. Everybody depends on resources such as water, and parks, hence they need to be collectively owned and openly operated, to contribute most effectively to the wellbeing of our community. Recently, UTS and James Arvanitakis launched its Commons Institute at the Sydney Social Forum

Knowledge: a very important common

A philosophy of sharing academic knowledge is essential to the progression of any theories. Here is a website about CopyLeft philosophy, which preceded the fast growing legal alternative to Copyright: The Creative Commons.

The Wikipedia represents the most exciting frontier of the internet, in encouraging collaboration.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a contributer to the development of the internet, was quoted in the SMH saying "If I had tried to demand fees...there would be no World Wide Web. There would be lots of small webs." Hence the internet is built on a philosophy of open sharing of knowledge. At the moment there is a great contest between those who seek to keep it open, and those who aim to restrict it, or enclose the commons. No Software Patents is an excellent European campaign on this, which has just been endorsed by Linus Torvalds, who founded Linux. Also, here is an interesting page about the social ontologies of open source. And a fascinating conference in Europe.

The Neoliberal economy, for all its boastings about 'innovation', now is nipping the capacity to innovate in the bud. New attempts by large corporations to own knowledge itself, mean that academic inquiry is becoming seriously compromised. All knowledge builds upon, or reacts to, previous knowledge. If thinkers have to pay royalties every time they use an idea, they will be discouraged from taking that idea further.

Colin Tudge, in New Statesman, writes an excellent article on The Privatisation of Science

[ to be updated }

The Global Seed Commons- Vandana Shiva

Analysis/ Critique of Tragedy of the Commons

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New Yorker Article: Water Privatisation in Bolivia.

Water privatisation in Uruguay


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