commons

The anarchist commons

Introduction

Common as silence

All this – all the meanness and agony without end
I sitting look out upon
See, hear and am silent.
- Walt Whitman, ‘I Sit and Look’

Thinking beyond neo-liberalism: A response to Detlev Zwick

To do critical theory used to be fairly straightforward. The existing order of things – Global Capitalism, Consumer Society, Late Capitalism or State Monopoly Capitalism – could be criticized for its shortcomings in relation to an actually existing alternative. This alternative did not have to be fully realized to exist. It was enough that the ideas that it embodied (socialism, free love, authentic human relationships) moved the imaginations of a multitude of people for the alternative to be real (at least in the Hegelian sense of that term).

Utopias of ethical economy: A response to Adam Arvidsson

When sociologist Adam Arvidsson writes about marketing and consumption we should pay attention. His 2005 essay ‘Brands: A critical perspective’ and his 2006 book Brands: Meaning and value in media culture have become seminal pieces in the field I call the critical cultural studies of marketing, which includes scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines such as critical management studies, sociology, history, marketing, media and cultural studies (see e.g. Zwick and Cayla, 2011).

Open education: Common(s), commonism and the new common wealth

 

Introduction

There are two distinct forms of Open Education: Open Education itself, and Open Educational Resources; these two terms are often used interchangeably, yet retain subtle differences.

The commons and their im/possibilities

In recent years a familiar mantra has been recited through media channels, government reports and related sources, namely that of austerity. By now, the images of protest movements of various stripes have been well-documented, which has given the Left a renewed notion of opposition and resistance to a seemingly unperturbed neoliberal encroachment on almost all areas of life (e.g. Bonefeld, 2012, this issue; also Hamann, 2009; Read, 2009).

The commons and their im/possibilities

This open issue addresses the question of the (im)possibilities of the commons within contemporary capitalism. It considers the commons within a variety of manifestations, including the Open Software movement, Open Education movement, housing, academia, the arts and art education. The contributions of this issue discuss specific concerns and tensions around capitalist exploitation and commodification of practices of political and creative organizing that go beyond commodification and logics of strategic exchange.

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