Wooden footbridge over river in dutch countryside near Groningen under amazing dark sunset during a sunday afternoon stroll

3) What are Natural COMMONS

In order to better familiarize yourself with the notion of COMMONS, and in particular of COMMONS called Universal and Natural and also called Physical COMMONS, here is a short presentation, which is not intended to be exhaustive, of what are Natural COMMONS.

  1. Natural COMMONS are all COMMONS that are based on a natural resource, abundant or not, on Earth or elsewhere.
  2. The notion of Universal means, either a Common Good present throughout the Earth (Air for example). Or a Common Good whose benefits of exploitation must be shared by all. (i.e Gold Mine underwater outside the Territorial Waters)

Here is therefore, on the basis of these two criteria, a beginning of the list of Universal Physical COMMONS:
– Air
– Water
– All Raw Mineral Materials in the broad sense, initially located outside Territorial Waters.
– All forms of oil (liquid, bitumen,…) and Gas (liquid, shale,…) outside the Territorial Waters initially as seen above. Parks, Reserves and biological and ecological preservation areas, such as what Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or the Amazon could be.
– Mountains that are symbolic for Human Culture such as Mount Everest, Mont Blanc, Elbrusz, Mount Ararat, Sinai, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali, Puncak Jaya, Mount Kosciuszko to name but the highest and most culturally known. But many other Mountains, or hills, have cultural significance or are remarkable beauties to add to the list of COMMONS.
– Important Lakes and Rivers such as the Nile or the Amazon.

P.S 0 Agricultural Resources (fields, orchards, etc…) are not among these types of Universal Goods.

1) What are COMMONS ?

Usually, COMMONS are defined as Cultural and Natural resources accessible to all members of a Society.

COMMONS can be of different kinds. The most Known and Historical COMMONS are COMMONS based on NATURE. But they can also be Cultural, Social or Digital.

The most important are the Governance and sharing outcomes mechanisms.

Indeed, Commons are defined by a Community of users, whatever its size is (local, national, continental, World), which self-governs the resource and the sharing of its outcomes (whatever its form, natural, digital, social) through institutions that it creates and control.

2) Why COMMONS are the best to come of the New Civilization?

Of course, most of the time, once the first notions on the subject have been integrated, we quickly understand the relevance of COMMONS for the Collective part. Whether for contributions to the Company in general or for the actors concerned in the sense of the collective, all persons, groups, the Community.

But we must NOT reduce the impact of COMMONS to this aspect of the Collective alone!
This would suggest that COMMONS do not profoundly influence the lives of all of us as individuals.

Currently, for the best to set up and build, COMMONS are the most appropriate and relevant form for the creation of a New Civilization. Because the most appropriate economic and social organisations for one era are not the same as those for another, which will itself have its own context and developments to put in place. It just so happens that at this particular moment, at this particular crossroads of evolutions, or possible regression[In case of doubt about this eventuality, refresh your News aggregator], COMMONS are the most relevant way.

Because not only do they allow a better Collective, but also (and I am even trying, or even forcing to write) and above all they allow the best for individuals in their own lives. The strength of the Collective is of no interest if it does not lead to a better for each individual. That is the purpose of this Collective. It only makes sense if it makes it possible to set up, for each individual, his Best Specific. Everyone has a better specific. Some may call it career objectives, personal development, life choices, others Destiny. It doesn’t matter what the word means as long as the reality of the individual’s achievement of the best is there. And COMMONS are the best way to allow and facilitate this personal accomplishment. And this in three forms:

First, everything that is a Common Good, shared services; whether at the local, National or Universal level; is an additional layer of resources, well-being, ease, civilizational evolution for each of us. Whether it is the invention of electricity, or even older, of running water (which, in countries that are equipped with it, we no longer perceive the “magic” that allows us to have abundant water in our homes with a simple gesture), all inventions (Automobile, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, television, computer, telephones, Internet etc…..) passed into the Public Domain (in the sense that no Company has a monopoly on the manufacture of the type of object or service) allow an improvement in the life of all human beings who use them. Whether it is time saved, physical energy expended less, efficiency more, tasks that could not be done before, etc…. COMMONS of this type have made it possible to improve Human Civilization in general. And likewise all the norms of security, social minimums (Pensions, paid leave, medical insurance, etc…) are also forms of COMMONS (Even if we have not yet understood much that these Norms, Laws, decrees, circulars, are indeed COMMONS of Civilization).

It is clear from these examples that the individual impacts of COMMONS are real and relevant. But they are exerted through the benefits coming from the Collective, from COMMONS from which everyone benefits. But the presence and existence of COMMONS will also, in the long term (because it has to be implemented), allow each individual to participate differently in the Goods and Services Production process.

Because secondly, in addition to the individual benefits of COMMONS, in a world where they prevail over other organizations, there are opportunities for each individual to exercise their full creative potential. The existence of COMMONS or the possibility of creating them will make it possible for each of us to better express and live our creative potential by allowing a better compensation (Fair and equitable) for our actions. Indeed, if the individual carries on his activity within the framework of a COMMONS, he does not carry it out for the (too often alone) benefit of one or more shareholders. But for himself. In the context of a COMMONS, the benefits of a person’s activities are proportional to his or her efforts and creative abilities. Let us take the example of a fishing area dedicated to COMMONS with very precise operating rules, in particular to ensure the renewal of natural resources by setting maximum catch limits. Any individual with a fishing concession in COMMONS will be able, depending on his work, to obtain a share of the resources, and the income that goes with it, in proportion to his efforts. He fishes a little, he will get a little fish and therefore a little income from the sale. He fishes moderately, he will get an average income. He fishes as much as possible of what is allowed, without exceeding the quota (remember that one of the first objectives of Physical COMMONS is to manage natural resources over time), he obtains the maximum possible income.
One could argue that this limitation of income, due to the preservation of natural resources, would be an obstacle to maximizing possible income per individual. Let’s say that the maximum fish quota is 100 Units per year (no matter what the unit, 1 fish, 1 quintal, 1 ton) and that a talented, voluntary fisherman reaches this quota in 3 months. Wouldn’t there then, by the very form of COMMONS, be a limitation on income per person? A type of organization that would limit genius and individual work capacity? To that 3 answers.
1) Isn’t it better to focus on the sustainability of a Resource rather than its hasty plundering in the short term? As we have seen before, this is precisely one of COMMONS’ objectives. Some behaviours are antagonistic to this functioning and must therefore be blocked.
2) Moderate, or at least regulated, gaps (Because what does it mean to be moderate? a gap of 1 to 3, 1 to 10?) in income between actors is it not desirable from the point of view of justice, ethics and social issues?
3) The contribution of the New COMMONS is decisive in the argumentation of this question. If the individual in question feels frustrated or limited in not having the maximum earnings he thinks he can have in a COMMONS because of the intrinsic regulations present there, nothing prevents that individual from participating in MANY different Commons. ! Whether it is other Natural COMMONS, such as forests or mining operations. Or COMMONS of other types such as Digital COMMONS. We will give an example of this type of COMMONS below. Thus, if his strength, ability, genius, allows him to quickly reach a quota in a COMMONS, nothing will prevent him from exercising his talent in another one or in several others.
So the Commons allow each individual to express their creative abilities and reap the rewards.

 

To illustrate this point, we will take two other examples; the first will be dedicated to Vegans who do not feel concerned by the example of the fishing area. Let’s take a COMMONS which is a territory made up of different fields. Each of the surfaces, on the basis of a call for tenders, is allocated to a Concessionaire (Alone or in association, cooperative), for a sufficient number of years (5, 10 or others, to be seen according to each context) which must also respect precise specifications. In particular in terms of soil and plant treatment. Thus this Territory is a COMMONS whose overall surface area does not change. But whose distribution (such lot, such field), can vary in the different calls for tenders. The first call for tenders in year 0 will have 10 lots, each of which will be made up of 2 fields of 1 hectare. The second call for tenders, in year +5, will still have 10 lots but some will have only one field of one hectare and others 2, and some 3. the field area can also be modified (reduce, aggregate, ..) between each call for tenders. When it comes to COMMONS, it is easy to see that you can have a lot of flexibility and diversity. In any case, on the basis of the lots awarded, the Concessionaire will then be able to work with the intensity he wants on his Concession to get the most out of it, or not. And he can also claim to have other lots to earn even more income from these activities.
COMMONS are therefore not obstacles to maximization
1) If some are surprised at the lack of land ownership by the Farmers who would exercise in this Type of COMMONS and at the relevance of this mode of operation, let them take the time to learn about the Tragedy (on all levels, including first human, by the number of suicides in recent years among Farmers) of Land Transmission in the Paysannerie (At least in France. But it seems to be a global phenomenon. But for different reasons such as the purchase of the Lands by Multinationals or Countries).
2) In the context of an COMMONS of this type, it is also possible to consider a Tibor LISKA auction system. But that is not the main point of the article.

The second example will be a Digital COMMONS. Let’s imagine, which is desirable, a Spotify or a Deezer COMMONS. On the one hand, the artists in COMMONS would certainly receive a higher remuneration than they currently have. But it is also very clear that, unlike Physical COMMONS, this remuneration has no limit or cap in a Digital COMMONS. Not only, the more successful the artist will be for a song, the more he will receive. But he will also be able to do other songs and then other albums. Then Lives performances. And/or songs with other artists etc…. COMMONS are therefore not a limitation on individual income. But on the contrary, they can be maximized in relation to the current yield between Work and Wage.

The third form is the social form. As a result of the fact that we are now moving to a new economic and social form, we are de facto going beyond the main redistribution of benefits that was organized in the form of Capitalist dividends. There is no longer any dividend or separation between the “Workers” and the shareholders. We are in another situation where the individual’s potential and responsibility can be better expressed. With COMMONS, we change the type and forms of gears between work-creation and fallout. More fundamentally, some gears are even being removed. We’re no longer in direct contact.

These are the first elements in this first version of the article (May 2019) to demonstrate the positive impact of COMMONS. Whether at the level of the Collective or at the level of individuality. They’re the best marriage between the two of them!

Alpharis
Alchemist of Commons

Golden Rules of COMMONS

4) The Golden Rules of a Good Commons! Basic and principles of effective Commons.

A good Commons is in other words an effective Commons.
And what is an effective Commons ?

A Commons which :
– Brings prosperity to People
– Responsibility
– The Durability of the exploited Resources
– Inner Joy and enlightenment (OK, my personal definition 🙂  )

Rule number 1: No prime to Pervert actions.
A pervert action is an action against some participants or the Commons ressources by other participants.
Like for instance an action which significatively alter and modify the shares or incomes of other People on Commons’ Ressources.
Or an action which prevent other people to use the Commons.
Or by ruining and/or altering the resources of the Commons or the Private Resources which give birth to Commopns ressources.
Or an action against the durability of Resources.

Rule number 2 : Durability and sustainability in Times of the Ressources.
A good Commons is a Commons which can be enjoyed for Centuries! And even more.
Whatever it is Natural or Digital Commons.
Until a New Commons takes its place, a Good Commons is a Commons which perdure in Times.
Because it means what it is effective and bring common wealth (in two words) over time to its participants.
And whether the resources are renewed or sustainable.

Rule number 3 : (Yes, there is a rule Number 3. This is not Fight Club!)
Fair sharing. Fair meaning Equitable. Not egalitarian.
The more you, as a person, exploit, the Resources, the more you receive.
But without ruining or dramatically spoiling the Resource.
It’s why COMMONS is also an Art. An Art of Subtlety.

 

Alpharis.
Alchemist of COMMONS