ABSTRACT

A time-travelling political activist, stepping out of the upheavals of 1968, drops in to a meeting taking place in a protest camp, occupation or other gathering of the radical Left in 2015. What does she make of what she finds there? She might expect, given the gathering inequalities that constitute this global moment, a strengthened language of class, labour and resistance. She finds instead discussion similar to the above bucolic scene, one evoking a way of life constituted by common access to land and the openness of thought, relationships and life that would accompany it. She finds a language previously the domain of neoMalthusians, back-to-the-land movements and social and legal historians: a language of the commons.