Sunday, October 02, 2005

Friends of the Commons

From Friends of the Commons
The market has its advocates. They're called conservatives.

And the government has its backers. They're called liberals.

But who's looking after the commons — the vast realms of nature and society that we inherit together and must pass on, undiminished, to our children?

We are. And we hope you will, too.

Friends of the Commons is a new citizens' group that reports on the state of our commons and supports other citizens working to protect and expand our commons.
And from their future page
In the 20th century, the market triumphed over all. It defeated communism, leveled national boundaries to trade and brought material abundance never seen before.

But the market’s triumph was accompanied by huge unpaid costs — bills that are now coming due. Of these, the most momentous are those owed to nature and the poor.

The 21st century must not only pay these bills. It must, at the same time, solve two systemic problems: How can we share a crowded planet with billions of other humans, other species and ecosystems? And how can we improve the quality of life for rich and poor alike?

The unbridled market can’t solve these problems alone. It needs a counterpoise with a different calculus. The ideal counterpoise isn’t, as many thought in the 20th century, the state. It’s the commons.

Government’s job in the 21st century is to restore the balance between the commons and the market that grew so distorted in the 20th century. This can be done without raising taxes or expanding bureaucracy.

No comments: