9th August 2017

Back in Londres after a week away. The return to routine does not feel positive, but then it rarely does. The return to being busy is partly welcome, but I am in the mood to feel busy with things that interest me, rather than with my paid work. Many people feel this, when they have time to think, though it is considered aberrant to voice it, at least among the middle class. Thankfully I spend time with other aberrant types, and so feel comfortable with my dislike of salaried labour.

Frustratingly the rain seems to have settled in for the day. I would have enjoyed walking around outside today. I would have been thinking about ownership, specifically blended forms of democratic and individual ownership, with state systems only providing frameworks. Gar Alperowitz calls this a Pluralist Commonwealth, but I think we need a pithier term. Ideally it would convey the emotional experience of blended forms of ownership: the inbuilt community aspects of democratic ownership and the secure feelings of some individual ownership.

Unfortunately many terms have been used up. Democratic socialism and social democracy and commons economy and property owning democracy and commonwealth and mixed ownership and co-operative socialism and owning the means of production and new economy and it’s difficult to connect to any of them because of their pasts or their abstractness or vagueness. It’s possible to invent new terms. How about a ‘global community economy’ to express the multi-level democracy required on a planet of billions? But any new term needs a weight of ideas and associations behind it. For that to happen we need broad discussion of the ideas so that some version of it can become dominant. Instead public discussion is dominated by nonsense, and Londres is little better than the small town where I took the above photo.

I try to talk about the future here but sense it is not much in fashion, except in the wrong-headed circles of silicon valley.

9th August 2017