Book of the Day: The Good of Everyone. The Sharing Economy as a Way Out of the Crisis
This is a very important book, in the process of being translated from the Italian:
“The thesis of this book is that, to overcome the current dramatic economic and ecological crisis, it is necessary to create and develop a polycentric economy based on common goods and not just on market monoculture or state intervention1. We firmly believe that neither the spontaneous market forces nor a public intervention alone can solve the problems created by this double crisis. Quite the contrary, things could even get worse. It is necessary to promote a different type of economy based on the sharing and the self management of common goods, that is, those goods that need to be shared by communities due to their very nature – such as science, the Internet, information, the environment, air and water, currency, natural resources, means of communication, transport, etc.. It is also necessary to encourage economic democracy and the workers’ participation on company boards to thwart speculation and develop a stronger, fair, sustainable economy.”
“Grazzini’s book is inspired by Nobel prize Elinor Ostrom’s studies on the Commons, and is based on the seminal works of some preeminent authors, such as: Peter Barnes, who, in his book Capitalism 3.0, sustains that non profit trusts should own and manage the Commons in behalf of public interest and concerned communities; Yonchai Benkler, who advocates a new horizontal mode of production that rests upon “peer to peer” relationship; David Bollier, co-founder of the Commons Strategy Group, a partnership to help advance the commons as a paradigm in diverse settings, both in theory and practice; Lawrence Lessig, who promotes Creative Commons, Open Science and more balanced intellectual property rights.
The essay argues that, in order to come out of the current dramatic crisis – wich is both economic and enviromental –, we need to develop a polycentric economy which should comprise three main sectors: the commons, the market and the public sector. The new sector of the commons – which includes the resources that are shared by large communities, such as knowledge, Internet, information, water and environmental resources, software, communications and networks – should be open to everyone without discrimination. The new economic sector should acquire a pivotal role (and not a subsidiary one, as the current so called Third Sector). The basic common resources should be safeguarded and available to everyone and allow a real market competition.