Core Principles of the Commons

“A commons arises whenever a given community decides that it wishes to manage a resource in a collective manner, with a special regard for equitable access, use and sustainability. It is a social form that has long lived in the shadows of our market culture,  but which is now on the rise.”  – David Bollier

Principles

  • Without exception, we all belong to our community, and we each have an equal stake in what happens.
  • We must recognize and repair the damage that has been done, and the inequities that have been created, by our current, market-based society.
  • The things that belong to all of us must be named, claimed, defended, protected, and improved. We have a mutual responsibility to take care of these commons and pass them on to the next generation in better shape than we found them.
  • We must honor our full humanity. We are not merely individuals and consumers—we are neighbors, community members, citizens, and experts on the places we live.
  • We are surrounded by abundance and opportunity that the market does not recognize or value. We must see and claim this abundance for the benefit of all.
  • Everyone should have the chance to participate in defining, restoring, creating, managing, leading, governing, and owning anything that is important to the future of the community.
  • People most affected by critical decisions must be included in the process of making them.
  • History, cultural distinctiveness and people’s personal stories are important factors in setting goals and making decisions, as well as simply understanding our community.
  • Sufficiency and resilience are the opposite of the folly of growth.

Reposted from On the Commons

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