Nature for Sale: The Commons versus Commodities

Category: Book
By (author): Ricoveri, Giovanna
By (author): Shiva, Vandana
Subject:  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing & Emerging Countries
Publisher: Pluto Press
Published: June 2013
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 152
Size: 7.80in x 5.08in x 0.40in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Nature for Sale uncovers the rich heritage of common ownership which existed before the dominance of capitalist property relations. Giovanna Ricoveri argues that the subsistence commons of the past can be reinvented today to provide an alternative to the current destructive economic order.

Ricoveri outlines the distinct features of common ownership as it has existed in history: cooperation, sustainable use of natural resources and decision-making through direct democracy. In doing so, she shows how it is possible to provide goods and services which are not commodities exchanged on the capitalistic market, something still demonstrated today in village communities across the global South.

Tracing the erosion of the commons from the European enclosures at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution to the new enclosures of modern capitalism, the book concludes by arguing that a new commons is needed today. It will be essential reading for activists as well as students and academics in history, politics, economics and development studies.

Biographical Note

Giovanna Ricoveri is a writer and activist. She is the author of a book on the commons in Italian, Beni comuni vs Merci (2010) and editor of Beni comuni tra tradizione e futuro (2005). She is the founding editor of Capitalismo Natura Socialismo, which is part of the international network Capitalism Nature Socialism.

Vandana Shiva was one of India's leading physicists and is now a leading environmental campaigner, the winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize and the author of several books, including Soil not Oil (2008), Earth Democracy (2005) and Stolen Harvest (2001).