The City And The Communal Economy

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The following piece “Kent ve komünal ekonomi” was written by Metin Yeğin for Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.

It is often thought that the communal economy is only possible in village and agricultural settings and this leads to a form of thinking which defines the ‘commons’ in terms of primitive social relations and which diminishes the complexities of agricultural production. It is for this reason that while the cities are in a state of turmoil capitalism can remain content in the knowledge that a communal economy will never be realized; and that people can live with romantic and nostalgic feelings of village life while all the time saying ‘we also want this but it isn’t possible.’

Since the city is a place of concentrated centralization a single, comprehensive communal economy is not possible. However the opposite is also the case and if a communal economy is not constructed then this concentration will remain undiminished. In the same way if the city needs to be destroyed in order to create a free society then the destruction of the city only comes into full fruition with the construction of a communal economy. For this reason it is not some nostalgic romanticism for village life but a commons -organized in streets and squares of the city and on its roofs and under its stairs – that is capable of breaking through the current urban hegemony.

What a pity that this also doesn’t mean simply cutting up the credit card and burning the wallet. Once more everything appears more complicated and intricate than it is lived under capitalist hegemony. When we ask how to resist a capitalism which classifies and categories the whole of existence and which would see even the smallest things as independent of everything else the answer can only be hidden in practice. A communal economy can only be organized as it is actively run and managed.



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