Solving the problems of our times together by reviving the commons
Anyone looking for an excellent description of the damaging effects of austerity will find it in this book. Anyone looking for an analysis of the ecological crisis and what to do about may be disappointed. It seems to be very difficult to find both sides of the crisis of modern times integrated in the writings of any contemporary author – or in policies of any political parties. This fragmentation is an integral aspect of the crisis. It is a major part of our problems.
That is not to say that Guy Standing has not tried to provide an integrated answer to all the problems and his theme, the plunder of the commons, and the need to protect and share public wealth, is a good place to start from. As he writes in chapter one, “It is not just land. Everything we hold or use in common or intended for public benefit – from parks to police, from schools to sewers, even the air we breath – is under attack” (p 14 )
The attempt to span all the issues and put them into a single charter for our times is laudable. But you need to know your stuff if you are going to propose meaningful policies to go in a Charter in which a central part is to protect the ecological system. More than that….you need to realise that when it comes to protecting the ecological system any such Charter is already very overdue – and perhaps too late.
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