11 Nov 2012

What do we mean by 'common'?


By the ‘common’ we mean, first of all, the common wealth of the material world – the air, the water, the fruits of the soil, and all nature’s bounty – which in classic European political texts is often claimed to be the inheritance of the humanity as a whole, to be shared together. We consider the commons also, and more significantly those results of social production that are necessary for social interaction and further production, such as knowledges, languages, codes, information, affects, and so forth. This notion of the common does not position humanity separate from nature, as either its exploiter or its custodian, but focuses rather on the practices of interaction, care and cohabitation in a common world, promoting the beneficial and limiting the detrimental forms of the common. In the era of globalization, issues of the maintenance, production and distribution of the common in both these senses and in both ecological and  socioeconomic frameworks become increasingly central. (Negri and Hardt 2009: vii)



1 comment:

Oranjepan said...

Err, interesting quote, but you really should offer the disclaimer that it can only properly be understood in the context of active application to the rest of the authors' work rather than as a proper definition for wider application. Otherwise you're simply promoting unacknowledged bias.

More specifically problems can be found with this definition, firstly in political prioritisation (economic, cultural, environmental and social), and consequently in debatable emphasis towards imposed rather than selective commonality.

Frankly that type of usage is a different type of common.

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