Buzzsawed in Berkeley (and What I Should Have Said)

Berkeley, California is a place of great originality but also of an accusatory and tendentious certitude that could drive you to the political Right if the same thing didn’t flourish […]

The Original Intent of the Postal Service

Before the internet there was the postal service; and nothing showed with such clarity the views of the Founders on the importance of a free flow of information than the […]

Social Ecology: Prozac or Park Benches

Ecology isn’t just about the natural world. It’s about the world we all live in, wherever that might be.

The Cosmic Cop-Out of “the Market” (with a Nod to Henry George)

Stephen Schwarzman is the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, which is one of those Wall Street operations that is described as a “private equity firm.”  He was on the […]

The Vanishing Commons

The Vanishing Commons, a chapter from Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences Edited by James Lardner and David A. Smith The New Press, spring […]

Commons Language: Provide the Words and They Will Speak

Language is a silent commisar in our political and economic life.  What we can say – what we even can think about – is a function largely of the words […]

Space Waste: As Below, So Above

We humans tend to think that things would be better if only we could be some place else.  The alcoholic would stop drinking if only he could move to California, […]

Steve Jobs, Encloser

There are numerous ways to enclose a commons.  You can expropriate it, such as by selling off the national parks. You can despoil it, such as by dumping crap into […]

The Second Death of Great American Cities (and How the Commons Can Help Bring Them Back)

America’s cities are dying, but not the way they were a generation or two ago. Some still contend with poverty and decay. But many now have the opposite problem — […]

Rural Post Offices and the Hidden Productivity of Common Space

One of the great allies of the canny dictator is the human tendency to forget. Bring about a new normal with sufficient skill, and people gradually forget that things ever […]