📚 node [[free fair and alive]]

Free, Fair and Alive

URL : https:://freefairandalive.org

Subtitle : The insurgent power of the [[commons]]

Authors : [[David Bollier]] / [[Silke Helfrich]]

I read it in 2021. I loved it.

Partly as it draws threads between topics of great interest to me - commons, complexity science, commons-public partnerships, digital commons, patterns. It even ticked my wiki box.

It's also a very practical manifesto for political / social organising. I really like this about it. Its feel like a guidebook to (one form of) [[Anti-capitalism]].

As they say:

this book is not just to illuminate new patterns of thought and feeling, but to offer a guide to action.

It also full of real-world examples of commoning already in action.

Since reading it I'm dipping back in to it and looking at the specific patterns and ideas in more depth. The pattern-style they use makes it really usable. See [[Triad of Commoning]].

It has three main parts:

  • part 1, discussing the commons and commoning and what they are and their insurgent potential.
  • part 2, outlining a whole bunch of patterns for commoning that you might use. See [[Triad of Commoning]].
  • part 3, about how to grow the Commonsverse and challenge the hegemonic power.

Some sections I particularly liked:


How does it relate to Ostrom / Governing the Commons?

Not a reinterpretation - but a shifted orientation, yes. Subtitle of FFA is "the insurgent power of the commons". Ostrom is certainly not insurgent! Somewhat propertarian in her basic framing, akin to 'Austrian' economics (Hayek etc). Whereas FFA is counter-enclosure, counter-extractivism, post-propertarian. Hence common-ING as its pivot, the radical, situated practice, rather than commonS, the co-optable, abstract, political-economic form.

– @mikehales - https://social.coop/@mike_hales/106280463656699063

How it was written

I found it great to discover that this book was researched and composed using [[FedWiki]].


What's the title about?

This is reflected in our title, which describes the foundation, structure, and vision of the commons: Free, Fair and Alive. Any emancipation from the existing system must honor freedom in the widest human sense, not just libertarian economic freedom of the isolated individual. It must put fairness, mutually agreed upon, at the center of any system of provisioning and governance. And it must recognize our existence as living beings on an Earth that is itself alive.

Bit of similarity to [[Doughnut Economics]] there - free and fair is a bit like the social foundation, alive is a bit like the avoidance of planetary overshoot.


You will find many quotes from FFA dotted around my wiki. Check out the backlinks.


What we really need today is creative experimentation and the courage to initiate new patterns of action. We need to learn how to identify patterns of cultural life that can bring about change, notwithstanding the immense power of capital.

The new structure can help us envision different sorts of community, social practices, and economic institutions — and above all, a new culture that honors cooperation and sharing.

We came to realize that if we aspire to social and political transformation but try to do so using the language of market economics, state power, and political liberalism, we will fail.

[https://www.amazon.com/Free-Fair-Alive-Insurgent-Commons/dp/0865719217 amazon]

Free, Fair, and Alive presents a foundational re-thinking of the commons ― the self-organized social system that humans have used for millennia to meet their needs. It offers a compelling vision of a future beyond the dead-end binary of capitalism versus socialism that has almost brought the world to its knees.

Written by two leading commons activists of our time, this guide is a penetrating cultural critique, table-pounding political treatise, and practical playbook. Highly readable and full of colorful stories, coverage includes:

  • Internal dynamics of commoning
  • How the commons worldview opens up new possibilities for change
  • Role of language in reorienting our perceptions and political strategies
  • Seeing the potential of commoning everywhere.

Free, Fair, and Alive provides a fresh, non-academic synthesis of contemporary commons written for a popular, activist-minded audience. It presents a compelling narrative: that we can be free and creative people, govern ourselves through fair and accountable institutions, and experience the aliveness of authentic human presence.

📖 stoas
⥱ context
⥅ related node [[a platform designed for collaboration federated wiki]]
⥅ related node [[anti capitalism]]
⥅ related node [[book]]
⥅ related node [[cognacore]]
⥅ related node [[commons]]
⥅ related node [[complexity science and commoning]]
⥅ related node [[david bollier]]
⥅ related node [[doughnut economics]]
⥅ related node [[fedwiki]]
⥅ related node [[flancian]]
⥅ related node [[neil]]
⥅ related node [[silke helfrich]]
⥅ related node [[the nested i and ubuntu rationality the relational ontology of the commons]]
⥅ related node [[triad of commoning]]