Saturday, February 23, 2013

stavros starvides - city based on commons


Venessa Miemis (@VenessaMiemis)
11/25/12 7:55 AM
RT @ehooge: Designing a city based on the Commons: pooled resources + community + #commons

oh my..
read and reread the whole thing really - i felt the urge to copy most everything.. smartest to just go to the link above..
My interest in the commons is grounded in a desire for the conditions necessary to promote social justice, sustainability, and happy lives for all. As simple as that.

One of the most important challenges we face today is, how do we move from movement to society? How do we dissolve the distinctions between inside and outside the movement and promote a social movement that addresses the real challenges that people face in reproducing their own lives? How do we recognize the real divisions of power within the “multitude” and produce new commons that seek to overcome them at different scales of social action? 

Take for example the discourse of the environmental “global commons,” or that of the oxymoron called “sustainable development,” which is an oxymoron precisely because “development” understood as capitalist growth is just the opposite of what is required by “sustainability

most important element in terms of conceptualizing the commons is the verb “to common”—the social process that creates and reproduces the commons. This verb was recently brought up by the historian Peter Linebaugh, who wrote a fantastic book on the thirteenth-century Magna Carta, in which he points to the process of commoning, explaining how the English commoners took the matter of their lives into their own hands

There is yet a third way beyond markets or states, and this is community self-management and self-government. This is another reason why it is important to keep in mind that commons, the social dimension of the shared, are constituted by the three elements mentioned before: pooled resources, community, and commoning. Hardin could develop a “tragedy of the commons” argument because in his assumption there existed neither community nor commoning as a social praxis, there were only resources subject to open access.
  • Furthermore, it is important to note that the problem of the commons cannot be simply described as a question of self-interest versus common interests. Often, the key problem is how individual interests can be articulated in such a way as to constitute common interests. 

perhaps tech placebos us into it.. just a voices like Hardin placeboes us out
common interests cannot be postulated, they can only be constructed
common interests cannot be postulated but can only be constituted through processes of commoning, and this commoning, if of any value, must overcome current material divisions within the “working class,” “proletariat,” or “multitude.” From the perspective of the commons, the wage worker is not the emancipatory subject because capitalist relations also pass through the unwaged labor, is often feminized, invisible, and so on. It is not possible to rely on any “vanguard,” for two reasons. Firstly, because capitalist measures are pervasive within the stratified global field of production, which implies that it hits everybody. Secondly, because the most “advanced” sections of the global “working class”—whether in terms of the level of their wage or in terms of the type of their labor (it does not matter if these are called immaterial workers or symbolic analysts)—can materially reproduce themselves only on the basis of their interdependence with the “less advanced” sections of the global working class. 
First, I would like to bring to the discussion a comparison between the concept of the commons based on the idea of a community and the concept of the public. The community refers to an entity, mainly to a homogeneous group of people, whereas the idea of the public puts an emphasis on the relation between different communities. The public realm can be considered as the actual or virtual space where strangers and different people or groups with diverging forms of life can meet
The notion of the public urges our thinking about the commons to become more complex. The possibility of encounter in the realm of the public has an effect on how we conceptualize commoning and sharing. We have to acknowledge the difficulties of sharing as well as the contests and negotiations that are necessarily connected with the prospect of sharing. This is why I favor the idea of providing ground to build a public realm and give opportunities for discussing and negotiating what is good for all, rather than the idea of strengthening communities in their struggle to define their own commons. Relating commons to groups of “similar” people bears the danger of eventually creating closed communities. People may thus define themselves as commoners by excluding others from their milieu, from their own privileged commons. Conceptualizing commons on the basis of the public, however, does not focus on similarities or commonalities but on the very differences between people that can possibly meet on a purposefully instituted common ground.

this whole section
add to public Ed

We have to establish a ground of negotiation rather than a ground of affirmation of what is shared. We don’t simply have to raise the moral issues about what it means to share, but to discover procedures through which we can find out what and how to share. Who is thiswe? Who defines this sharing and decides how to share? What about those who don’t want to share with us or with whom we do not want to share? How can these relations with those “others” be regulated? For me, this aspect of negotiation and contest is crucial, and the ambiguous project of emancipation has to do with regulating relationships between differences rather than affirming commonalities based on similarities.
am making this point because the key issue is not really how we conceive of commoning within the spheres of commons, but how we reclaim the commons of our production that are distorted through the imposition of capital’s measure of things.
Regarding the form in which capitalism reacts and reproduces itself in relation to the emergence of commoning, three main processes can be observed. First, the criminalization of alternatives in every process of enclosure, both historically and today. Second, a temptation of the subjects fragmented by the market to return to the market. And third, a specific mode of governance that ensures the subordination of individuals, groups and their values, needs and aspirations under the market process.
oh my ..sounds like Ed

One always has to put oneself in relation to other groups in the society
why public matters..why city as ecosystem matters

But you have to somehow deal with this problem, you cannot simply exclude those youngsters, not only as a matter of principle, but also because it would be completely deleterious to do so. If you just exclude them from the park, you have failed to make the park an inclusive space. If you do not exclude them and they continue with their practices, it would further alienate the local community and provide an opening for the police and a legitimization of their actions. So in a situation like this you can see some practical answers to those crucial questions we have discussed—there are no golden rules
Those people you refer to were not saying that they have a right as individual consumers to trash the park. They were saying that the park is a place for their community, a place for alternative living or for building alternative political realms. They certainly refer to some kind of commoning, but only to a very specific community of commoners. And this is the crucial point: they did not consider the neighbors, or at least the neighbors’ habitude, as part of their community. Certain people conceive of this area as a kind of liberated stronghold in which they don’t have to think about those others outside. Because, in the end, who are those others outside? They are those who “go to work everyday and do not resist the system.”
we often had/have no idea why people do things, but every actor has a reason.. how to lean into that

The rotation system effectively prevents any form of accumulation of individual power. This system might not be the most effective in terms of administration but it is effective in terms of building and sustaining this idea of a community of negotiation and mutual respec
perpetual beta - fully alive
, establishing rules and imposing them is more effective, but it is more important to collectively participate in the process of creating and checking the rules, if you intend to create a different society. We have to go beyond the idea of a democracy of “here is my view, there is yours—who wins?” 
But, generally speaking, until we see these new forms of society emerging we don’t know what they could be like. And I believe we have to accept that!
But the real question is: what new forms of interdependence can emerge given the fact that we will never be left alone?
develop a society of equality does not mean leveling but sustaining the ability of everybody to participate in a community, and that is not something that happens without effort. Equality is a process not a state. Some may have to “yield” in order to allow others—those more severely underprivileged—to be able to express their own needs and dreams.
or perhaps... those privileged will be the ones needing to learn ideas like community.. and commons .. from those assumed severely underprivileged 
 This points to the question of where our own responsibility and opportunity lie. If the limit posed from the outside on an arena of commoning is the “no” that capital posits to the commons “yes,” to what extent can our constituent movement be a positive force that says no to capital’s no?
Not in terms of producing enclaves of otherness surrounded by a capitalist market, but as cases of collective experimentation through which you can also convince people that another world is posible
The power of this experiment, however, lies on its possibility to spread—if it keeps on enclosing itself in the well-defined perimeter of an “alternative enclave,” it is bound to fail.
I believe that if we see and experience such experiments, we can still hope for another world and have glimpses of this world today 
Again, there is something similar we could learn from the Zapatista movement that attempted to create a kind of hybrid society in the sense that it is both pre-industrial and post-industrial, both pre-capitalist and post-capitalist at the same time. To me, this, if you want, unclear situation, which of course is only unclear due to our frozen and limited perception of society, is very important.
This was a peculiar, somehow unprecedented, kind of uprising. No center, just a collective networking without a specific point from which activities radiated. Ideas simply criss-crossed all over Greece and you had initiatives you couldn’t imagine a few months ago, a lot of activities with no name or with improvised collective signatures
This polycentric eruption of collective action, offering glimpses of a social movement, which uses means that correspond to emancipating “ends,” is, at least to my mind, what is new and what inspired so many people all over the world. I tend to be a bit optimistic about that 
Rejecting being governed and taking our lives into our own hands, no matter how ambiguous that may be, is a defining characteristic of a large array of “after December” urban movement actions. We have to conceive space not as a sum of defined places, which we should control or liberate but rather as a potential network of passages linking one open place to another. Space, thus, becomes important as a constitutive dimension of social action. Space indeed “happens” as different social actions literally produce different spatial qualities. With the prospect of claiming space as a form of commons, we have to oppose the idea that each community exists as a spatially defined entity, in favor of the idea of a network of communicating and negotiating social spaces that are not defined in terms of a fixed identity. Those spaces thus retain a “passage” character.
city as Wikipedia
network of passages.  
potentially liberating city can be conceived not as an agglomerate of liberated spaces but as a network of passages, as a network of spaces belonging to nobody and everybody at the same time, which are not defined by a fixed-power geometry but are open to a constant process of (re)definition.