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Handing the Commons Back to the People

on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 11:52

Dear fellow commoners

In the United States Thom Hartmann is the nation's #1 progressive radio talk show host and the New York Times bestseller, author of 21 books in print in 17 languages on 5 continents. Eleanor O’Rourke called our attention to a recent broadcast that Thom put out on the new message Sarah Palin has been trying out in recent weeks that has to do with taking on “Crony Capitalism”. In his summary review of Ms Palin's message he says:

Sarah Palin is right - we need to end the corruption in our lobbyist-infested government that has led us to this "for the rich, bye the rich" economy. Of course - Sarah Palin thinks the best way to do that is by electing people who'll dismantle government - which will totally leave those corporations and wealthy people to step in and fill the void. I didn't say she's bright, or that I agree with her solution - which really was just a sideways of attacking Rick Perry. But I think it's great that she's willing to identify and attack crony capitalism. But the truth is we need people who'll dismantle corporate power - and that means ending corporate personhood - getting money out of politics -handing the commons back to the people - and making corporations pay their fair share like they used to in America before Ronald Reagan.”

Can we really wait around for Sarah Palin to deliver on her message? We need visionary policy makers such as those saluted by David Bollier for introducing a bill for the Vermont Commons Asset Trust, but are there enough visionary government workers, community activists and conscious business leaders working to put an end to ‘Crony Capitalism’ and hand the commons back to the people? What is the Commons? And can the commons simply be handed back, without people’s readiness to take it?

The prevailing question therefore, is.. when the system starts creaking, accelerated by the corrosive effects of "Crony Capitalism" exposed to its own contradictions, will enough of us be ready to take the commons back and provide successful commons based solutions? It is a matter of collective imagination of what is possible alongside the development of individual and collective competences to realise it. The School of Commoning is here to help raise both.