Corporate Destruction. In A World Beyond Capitalism?

The Commons as a Fount of Hope (Global Research, July 10, 2014)


Richard Swift in A World Beyond Capitalism? The Commons as a Fount of Hope (Global Rsearch, July 10, 2014) ironically argues for the same position as the private corporate right – no public funding of the commons. Like many others he ignores this implication of his rejecting the state and, therefore, the funding by taxpayers of non-profit social constructs which serve the public interest with provision of common life goods.

Thus the tired argument originating from the US and its congenital hatred of government misses the main substance of the civil commons in the modern age – publicly funded production and distribution of collective life goods from public water sources, sewers, healthcare, and higher education to enforced life-protective law, parks, sidewalks and bicycle paths and all the collective life goods of real civilization.

All the examples provided of ‘commons’ provided by Swift or the Elinor Ostrom paradigm he cites, in contrast, are private, parochial non-profit organizations typically dependent on public natural resources. These organisations should not be separated from and weakened by excluding them from public goods and public funding, but included as a distinct form of the civil commons whose common criterion is all social constructs which enable regulated public access to life goods. Without public law and funding behind them and public protection of the natural resources they depend upon, they will be the next target of transnational corporate money sequencing, and privately powerless to stop its self-multiplying spread through the world.

The bureaucratic corporate takeover of the public state is not reason to surrender it to corporate destruction, but to reclaim it and its public funding for the common life interest which includes every regulated commons there is – the reason why they are properly called “civil commons” to distinguish them from open commons like the air and oceans which are now plundered to death. For full and principled analysis of this matter, see “The Great Vehicle of the Civil Commons” in the concluding chapter of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ from Crisis to Cure (second edition, 2013).

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Articles by: Prof. John McMurtry

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]