Commons not Capitalism

As the do-it-ourselves occupations that have swept across the globe from Egypt to United States are proving, direct democracy and cooperation are becoming powerful everyday experiences for millions, with people self-organizing everything from civic defense and trash collection to tent encampments and general assemblies. This compelling and quirky, beautiful and at times messy experimentation has cracked open a window on history, affording us a rare chance to grow these uprisings into the new landscape of a caring, ecological, and egalitarian society--a world of our own collective making and doing. This talk will draw out some of the promise as well as dilemmas of the occupy moment, focusing specifically on the anticapitalist/antistatist opening of notions and lived practices of "the commons," and then facilitate a conversation, in hopes of better strategizing toward increasingly expansive forms of freedom. Cindy Milstein, an active participant in Occupy Philly and Institute for Anarchist Studies board member, has been involved in numerous anarchist projects, including the USSF's New World from Below convergence, the “Hope from People Not Presidents” effort, and Black Sheep Books collective. She's the author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations (AK Press), and coauthor with Erik Ruin of the book Paths toward Utopia: Explorations in Everyday Anarchism (PM Press).
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Cindy Milstein