Created page with " =Discussion= Adam Arvidsson: "The commons were not simply an economic institution. They also supported a new ideological outlook centred on the notion of individual freedo..."

New page



=Discussion=

Adam Arvidsson:

"The commons were not simply an economic institution. They also supported a new ideological outlook centred on the notion of individual freedom and social equality, whatAntonio Negri calls a ‘first modernity’ (Hardt & Negri, 2000:70 ff.) These ideas were presentalready in the early millenarian movements inspired by the thought of Joachim of Fiore. They would inspire the humanist thought that flourished in prosperous Italian city states in the 13th and 14th centuries, culminating in the Renaissance. In the wake of the Black Death theywould guide radical social revolts leading up to the protestant reformation that emerged out of the German peasant struggles of the 16th century. In the English 17th century, these ideas guided the defence against growing enclosures on the part of movements like the Levellers

Some took the side of the oppressed in important social struggles, such as the revolt to theartisan guilds in Ghent, or the Ciompi rebellion in Florence in 1381.Conversely the rural commons were also an effect of the marketization of rural society.The penetration of market relations into the countryside favoured new forms of free association and facilitated the cooperation between village communities. This drove the emergence of a new ‘rural middle class’, like the English gentry that used the commons as aresource for market participation and in affirming their position against feudal lords (Maddicott, 1984:25). In the European Middle Ages the relation between commons and markets was complicated . On the one hand, guilds and commons developed as a consequence of resistance to marketization, and for rural commons in particular, resistance to the intensified seigneurial exploitation that resulted from this. On the other hand the commons and in particular the guilds enabled the expansion of a new market society, both by offering the kinds of protection that enabled market participation and by providing the legal and institutional framework necessary for the expansion of commerce and manufacture. However the commons were not simply an economic institution. '''They also supported a new ideological outlook centred on the notion of individual freedom and social equality, what Antonio Negri calls a ‘first modernity’''' (Hardt & Negri, 2000:70 ff.) These ideas were present already in the early millenarian movements inspired by the thought of Joachim of Fiore. They would inspire the humanist thought that flourished in prosperous Italian city states in the 13th and 14th centuries, culminating in the Renaissance. In the wake of the Black Death theywould guide radical social revolts leading up to the protestant reformation that emerged out of the German peasant struggles of the 16th century. In the English 17th century, these ideas guided the defence against growing enclosures on the part of movements like the Levellers and the Diggers, who would invoke, among other things, the Magna Carta as a bulwarkagainst new forms of appropriation and exploitation (Rees, 2017:55, cf. Cohn, 1961, Hill,1972). Throughout the Late Middle Ages and the early modern period, the guilds along with fraternities and social movements would support the development of a modern civil society, along with imaginations of modernity centred on ideas of freedom and justice (Black, 1984).Such early commonism was based on a vision of a more egalitarian commons based market society. Here market exchange and communal sharing were thought to be complementary,and commercial exchange was understood as an integral component of a new civil societyfounded on reciprocity, freedom and a new kind of secular individualism. This vision wassupported by the guilds and new universities that acted as sources of legal and institutional innovation. It also affected the development Franciscan economic thought and inspiredinnovations like the Monti di Pietà and the rural monti frummentari that combined an embrace of markets with new kinds of solidarity and reciprocity. Arguably it remained influential also for 18th century thinkers like Genovesi, Ferguson and Smith, who envisioned a kind of market society that was radically different from the industrial capitalism that was emerging around them as they wrote. This tradition became an important source of the ‘protestant ethic’ dear to Weber and his followers (Linebaugh, 2008, cf. Bruni and Zamagni,2004, Nuccio, 1983, Rothschild, 2013).The commons developed as part of a process of social acceleration put in motion by feudalism, and as that system entered in crisis, intensified social struggles would both invoke and strengthen the institution of the commons as the fundamental element to a social vision that combined market exchange and new kinds of solidarity and civic culture. This vision did by no means always correspond to reality- on the contrary social inequalities and levels of exploitation intensified during the growing crisis of feudalism starting in the mid-13th century and, again in the mid-15th century after a brief period of higher levels of social equality due to forms that they supported (particularly by targeting women as ‘repositories of communal knowledge’, Federici, 2018). With this came a transformation of the radicalism of the Renaissance ‘First Modernity’ into a commercial mentality marked by the overall framework of ‘possessive individualism’ (Macpherson, 1973)."
(https://www.academia.edu/40231280/CAPITALISM_AND_THE_COMMONS?)

=Source=

* Article: [[Capitalism and the Commons]]. By Adam Arvidsson.Theory, Culture & Society, 2019

URL = https://www.academia.edu/40231280/CAPITALISM_AND_THE_COMMONS?

[[Category:P2P History]]

[[Category:Commons]]

[[Category:P2P Theory]]

Published Date

Categories