The Wealth of the Commons


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A World Beyond Market & State
Edited by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich

We are poised between an old world that no longer works and a new one struggling to be born. Surrounded by centralized hierarchies on the one hand and predatory markets on the other, people around the world are searching for alternatives. The Wealth of the Commons explains how millions of commoners have organized to defend their forests and fisheries, reinvent local food systems, organize productive online communities, reclaim public spaces, improve environmental stewardship and re-imagine the very meaning of “progress” and governance. In short, how they’ve built their commons.

In 73 timely essays by a remarkable international roster of activists, academics and project leaders, this book chronicles ongoing struggles against the private commoditization of shared resources — often known as market enclosures — while documenting the immense generative power of the commons. The Wealth of the Commons is about history, political change, public policy and cultural transformation on a global scale — but most of all, it’s about individual commoners taking charge of their lives and their endangered resources.

David Bollier is an American author, activist and independent scholar who has studied the commons for fifteen years and blogs at

Silke Helfrich is a German author and independent activist of the commons who blogs at Bollier and Helfrich co-founded the Commons Strategies Group in 2010 with Michel Bauwens of the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives.

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Weight 1.3 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in

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