Set the Prairie Ablaze


I am just revisiting the third in the series, and I expect there will be lots of nice nuggets that present themselves.  Just in the preface:

The standard view…assumes that the only alternative to the private [of the capitalist market] is the public, that is, what is managed and regulated by states and other governmental authorities…

They propose instead a third alternative, the common, which is the affects, information, knowledge, codes, language, and wealth that we produce ourselves, together, in common.  What we must do is to recognize the common, learn what it can do, win it back, and expand its powers.  It is the common we must struggle for, not capitalism or socialism:

The seemingly exclusive alternative between the private and the public corresponds to an equally pernicious political alternative between capitalism and socialism…Socialism and capitalism, however…are both regimes of property that exclude the common.  The political project of instituting the common, which we develop in this book, cuts diagonally across these false alternatives–neither private nor public, neither capitalist nor socialist–and opens a new space for politics.

They want us to focus on and expand our capacities for collective production and self-government, “not only to define an event but also to grasp the spark that will set the prairie ablaze.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s