From the Conclusion: Property, Commoning and the Politics of Free Software

The concept of property is obviously central to the essay. Here is an excerpt from the conclusion that sheds some light on the position developed in the essay with respect to the relations between property and cyberspace, as well as land, its resources and the means of production:

Cyberspace is disembodied not only in the sense of being technologically mediated, or virtual, but also because it is continuously represented as if it were not highly dependent on the material realm for machines and minerals and energy. Understanding the dynamics of cyberspace in terms of property – the language of social relations with regard to things – is a good starting point for exploring the concept of property. It is a recursive process that generates a new understanding of property, which in turn might facilitate the emergence of further permutated relational modalities. If the world were a commons and property an open-ended toolbox for the self-articulation of value practices, then commons would probably blossom. Property seen through the lens of spontaneously emerging social relations – whether in cyberspace or landless movements in Brazil – opens the black box of property and reveals building blocks that can be recombined in very many ways. With an enriched understanding of property, private property might – in line with the anti-capitalist hopes that have animated this essay – be limited to (something like) personal possessions. Rights of commoning can then be substituted for private property in land, its resources, and the means of production and distribution (p. 290).

Pedersen, J.M. (2010) ‘Conclusion: Property and the Politics of Commoning‘, The Commoner, Special Issue, Volume 14, Winter 2010, 287-294.

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