Economics and the Commons?!
Silke Helfrich gave an important introductory talk on the Economics and the Commons Conference (May 22 – 24, 2013, Berlin). The presentation reflects the progress of self-understanding of the commons movement. After some remarks by the moderator Armin Medosch the talk starts around 5:00 showing some commons projects illustrating the variety of the commons. At 21:30 Silke enters the more conceptual part discussing what all the different approaches have in common. The presentation ends at 54:00 and is followed by a discussion. Below, I summarize some of the conceptual statements.
These are some theses Silke developed in her talk (without discussing them here):
- Commons is beyond (categories of) resources
- Every commons is a social commons
- Every commons is a knowledge commons
- Every commons needs protection and is thus beyond (unconditional) openness
- Commons do not scale up, but rather crystallize
- Going forward to Commons Creating Peer Production
At the very end of the talk (45:00) Silke phrased six principles of a Commons Creating Peer Economy:
- Use value trumps exchange value
- He/she takes from the commons has to contribute to the commons
- Commoning includes self-organization and self-healing
- Share what you can and defend the right to share
- Produce commons first, not commodities
- Foster relationships, not transactions