• VIDEO RECAP & Next Readings – Class #5 (2/27) – The Commons, The Public Domain, and the Sacred

    by  • February 28, 2013 • Right to the City / Free School • 0 Comments

    We were a little bit rascally last night because of the booze. Gotta respect stack a little bit more, but still some interesting conversation:


    For 2/27, we’re going to start our look at the commons. Here are the readings:

    Regenerating the Human Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment in the Commons Renaissance part II, section IV by Burns H. Weston and David Bollier (p. 78 – 119; 41 pages)

    Seeing Like A State by James C. Scott – Introduction and Chapter 1 (54 pages)

    Governing the Commons by Eleanor Ostrom – Chapter 1 (28 pages)

    Video: The Tragedy of Suburbia – James Howard Kunstler (20 mins)

    I’m aware that this is a fair bit of reading for this week, so if you have to prioritize, make sure to read section A of the Weston and Bollier article (“What is the Commons” — 3 pages) and the Ostrom reading.

    Personally, I think it’s very important to read legal ideas side by side with experiments in governmentality if we are to get a clear view of how power makes use of our land and natural resources. In that vein, the Scott reading is very important to illuminate the differences between theory (law) and practice (governmentality).

    Questions to ponder while you read:

    (1) What is a commons? Where do they come from? What kinds of things can be commonly held resources?

    (2) How does government view nature? How do governments intentionally structure nature (or attempt to)? What are the environmental and cultural consequences of these structurings?

    (3) What does law have to say about nature through private property regimes? Why is law so antagonistic toward the idea of a commons?

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