For African-American farmers -- afflicted by the legacy of slavery, racism, and land theft -- the struggle for emancipation has not been easy. I was therefore excited to learn about Jubilee Justice, a fledgling project that is trying to reclaim farmland for BIPOC farmers and secure their economic livelihoods. Besides embracing cooperatives and community land trusts, Jubilee Justice is dedicated to an open-source, climate-friendly type of rice farming and to courageous "transformational learning journeys" for racial healing. You can learn more about these experiments in commoning in my interview with Konda Mason on the latest episode of my podcast Frontiers of Commoning models of restorative economics and finance.
Even though the oceans cover 70% of the Earth's surface and provide half the oxygen we breathe, they tend to be "out of sight, out of mind," especially in landlocked nations or regions. It's therefore important to recognize that the market/state system is hard at work ravaging this sector of the natural world, too. Industrial-style fish trawlers are overexploiting fisheries, pushing many to the brink of collapse, and mining companies are chewing up the ocean floor in search of oil, gas, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and rare-earth minerals.
Through the organization Fashion Act Now, a growing band of dissident fashionistas want to make the clothing industry more ecologically responsible, relocalized, and culturally in sync with this moment in history, especially with respect to climate change, economic justice, and decolonialization. This means greatly reducing the industry's resource and energy use, and moving away from hyper-consumerist "fast fashion" business models that generate colossal waste and ecological harm. My podcast interview with Arnold and Niessen is a spirited, often surprising conversation. It's not often that I've heard the words "fashion," "biodiversity" and system-change" uttered in the same sentence.
United Kingdom - There are thousands of community-powered initiatives in action across the UK. Projects to bring broadband to a rural place that wasn’t expecting it to arrive for years, generate renewable energy, or make the most of treasured local spaces or assets. Schemes to deliver addiction services, protect neighborhoods from natural disasters, or manage social housing in an equitable way. In none of these have the communities in question needed supervision from the state or transactions with big businesses.
The American people own most of the wealth – private and public – and most of the information in the country. The top one percent do not. The American people have most of the power in the country. The top one percent do not. These assertions may surprise you, because the top one percent and the giant corporations work overtime to control what you own. This means they do not have to seize what you own so long as their control provides them with both riches and power over you.
Basic services like water, energy, health care and education build the foundation for healthy, just and sustainable communities. All over the world, citizens, public authorities and labour unions have been mobilising to bring these vital services and infrastructures back into public hands after a period of privatisation, where financial profit was put before social need and communities’ wealth. A new generation of public organisations is emerging to provide the basis for livelihoods in sustainable, democratic and affordable ways.