Commons

The miracle is this ~ the more we share the more we have.

Leonard Nimoy – actor, director, photographer, author, singer, songwriter and Spock

Chrysalis Commons Earth

The purpose of Chrysalis Commons Earth is to use business to buy back the commons, which begs the question, what exactly is the commons?

The commons may best be summed up as access over ownership, with collective responsibility. 

Go back far enough, & everything was a commons, the air, the water, the land, nature’s abundance, shared among indigenous tribes, nurtured with future generations in mind. At some point however, someone said, ‘this land is mine and mine alone’; followed swiftly by, ‘this land is mine, you work for me’. Arguably it has been all downhill since then.

Slowly but surely over millennia, the commons has been relentlessly squeezed, by markets on one side and the state on the other, working together but with shifting degrees of emphasis, enclosing everything for private profit, turning the natural world into either a product or a service, packaged, and sold back to us, just as long as we can afford it.

Our innate propensity to share and to cooperate around the commons has been subjugated by the necessity to compete for survival. Put simply, the world has turned into one giant game of Monopoly.

What makes this game different from all other games is a much repeated message that it is supposed to go on forever, and if we will all just keep playing, and not question or challenge the rules of the game, then somehow, miraculously, we can all win. All around us, evidence would suggest otherwise.

For a while, whilst we exploited the earth for all it was worth, with no thought for the consequences, the message may have appeared true to many, as we bought into a mass consumer culture with a very narrow materialistic definition of success that atomised us all into individual units of production and consumption.

Today, however, there is a growing sense that this game, like all games, is indeed coming to an end, especially as the awareness grows that our planet, where the game is played out, is not happy with us.

And so more and more of us are seeking out a new game, genuinely conducive to all our needs, as well as to all other living things, and our biosphere.

The irony is what we are turning to is not new at all, but is simply a new appreciation of the commons, and a return to a sharing cooperative ethos that rejects the lie that progress is to be found in a dog eat dog, survival of the fittest competition based economy. 

It is only those who still believe they are winning, despite the inescapable irony that we do in fact all lose, who continue to insist that we persevere with this tired old game and that there is no alternative. But of course, there is.

Embracing it is ours to choose.

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