The commons: beyond the market vs. state dilemma | openDemocracy

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What are we talking about when we refer to ‘common goods’? We are talking about goods and resources that, rather than being bound by ideas of property or belonging, assume by their own natural and economic vocation functions of social interest, serving the interest not of public administration but those of a given collectivity and the people who make it up. And so, common goods require a different rationale to the one that has dominated the economic, social and political debate for so long. We refer here to the binary logic that always forced us to choose between public and private property. In the case of commons, the direct relation between common goods and the people making up the totality tells us what needs there are and what are the necessary goods for satisfying them, thus modifying the juridical conception that has held up structures of property since the establishment of Roman law. People have needs that are not met by the rigidity implied by property structures. We are not talking about just another type of property: this is the very opposite of property, the non-transmissibility of common goods being a key element in the debate.

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