Stefan Merten about “Com’on!”

Stefan Merten reported to oekonux mailinglist from “Com’on!”:

“Last Saturday I attended the workshop “COM’ ON! – Die alte Eigentumswelt dreht sich”.

The workshop has been organized by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung which
is the foundation of the party “Die Linke” in Germany. “Die Linke” is
the socialist party in Germany. As far as I understood the Keimform
people co-organized this event.

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Pirate Utopias

During the ‘Golden Age’ of piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries, crews of early proletarian rebels, dropouts from civilization, plundered the lucrative shipping lanes between Europe and America. They operated from land enclaves, free ports; ‘pirate utopias’ located on islands and coastlines as yet beyond the reach of civilization. From these mini-anarchies – ‘temporary autonomous zones’ – they launched raiding parties so successful that they created an imperial crisis, attacking British trade with the colonies, and crippling the emerging system of global exploitation, slavery and colonialism. Read more about “Pirate Utopias: Under the Banner of King Death”.

Democratizing Production: Semco, Brazil

A company full of crazy people? A Group of nutters? If you think that Semco is something along these lines, you’re not entirely wrong. However, it is not by chance that unconventional ideas are created at this company. They are created and managed within an open management model, different from conventional models and this is exactly what we want. You can now find out more about the Semco Way.

New Book: Commonwealth by Negri/Hardt

Negri/Hardt: Common WealthCommonwealth is the latest collaboration between Michael Hardt, a Duke University professor who specializes in Italian literature, and Toni Negri, an original member of the radical Autonomia group in Italy. Negri is the more colorful of the two, having at one time been accused of being the intellectual leader of the Red Brigades terrorists who in 1978 kidnapped and murdered former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro. Negri fled to France and lived in exile before returning to Italy in 1997 to serve out the remainder of a reduced prison sentence on a lesser charge.)Commonwealth concludes the trilogy that started with Empire (2000) and continued with Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004), both also from Harvard University Press. Read more

What is the Common? An International Conference

Gothenburg, Sweden: “The Kurrents‘” program for 2009 is organized under the title “What Is the Common?”. It is again a co-organized event together with invited artists, researchers and internationally leading intellectuals. The intention is to investigate different axes related to the common as both a real force and an idea. As such the common permeates such diversified domains as artistic practice, law, economy and gender relations.
From the Call for Papers:

In the shadow of the global crisis of capitalism, the common, somehow obliterated in the recent past, has emerged as an indispensable and central notion. The conference addresses this notion both as a real movement and as an already present horizon, a dynamic principle, for societal life. It is a critical topic today, not only because the public, administrated by the state, is reduced to expendable assets for regulating a supposedly self-regulating machine called Market, but more importantly because the emerging forms of the common impose themselves with an unprecedented acuity and in opposition to the doxa of the private property.

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Neoliberalism in the oceans: ‘‘rationalization,’’ property rights,

Neoliberalism, with its emphasis on privatization and marketization, is becoming a dominant mode of ocean governance. In this paper I show that neoliberalism in ocean fisheries has a specific form and history based on the ways that, for the last 50 years, regulation debates have centered on the question of the commons. Focus on the role of the commons in problems such as overfishing and overcapacity has contributed to convergence of different viewpoints around neoliberal, market-oriented approaches that try to harness the profit motive to conservation and economic efficiency. I trace the idea of property rights in fisheries from the point in the 1950s when economists first identified the commons as the underlying cause of fisheries problems, through extended political jurisdiction, to recent emphasis on the benefits of common property. Despite their differences, proponents of these different viewpoints all take property as their central problematic and contribute to the idea that creating market incentives, by specifying property rights, is the foundation upon which proper use of ocean resources rests. I illustrate these ideas with a description of the shift toward privatization in the fisheries of the US portion of the North Pacific, which have a direct annual value of almost $1 billion. Neoliberal approaches to fisheries regulation are not simply spillover from larger trends toward market-based governance, but instead are influenced by the ways that past policy orientations toward fisheries have centered on enclosing the oceans within carefully delimited regimes of property rights, be those regimes of collective, state, or private control. Download the article as PDF