Haiven, Max. 2017. “Commons as Actuality, Ethos and Horizon.” In Educational Commons in Theory and Practice, edited by Alex Means, Graham Slater, and Derek Ford, 23–37. London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
The idea, and the ideal, of the commons has encountered a surge in popularity in recent years. But the concept itself is at risk of enclosure. While it has become a rallying cry for grassroots, anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist revolt, today it is also being conscripted to the service of capital’s reproduction. This short essay explains how this is happening, then outlines a three-part method for imagining the commons in a more radical fashion: the actuality of the commons, the spirit of the commons and the horizon of the commons. It doesn’t provide a guide or a blueprint, but it does suggest a way to make some important distinctions at a very crucial time.