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Understanding Commons Based Economy, an Axiomatic Approach

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: van Beele, Jeroen J.
Conference: The City as a Commons: Reconceiving Urban Space, Common Goods and City Governance, 1st Thematic IASC Conference on Urban Commons
Location: Bologna, Italy
Conf. Date: November 6-7
Date: 2015
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9977
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): commons
Abstract: "We use a simple framework consisting of the concepts resources, labour, goals and planning to study economy. We use three axioms to derive, using this framework, a description of a utopian economy, summarised by the aforism: 'I do what I can and I take what I need'. We use this utopian model to understand real life economies: the utopian model is utopian in that it presupposes complete trust, hence our statement is that all economic activity has to deal in some way with the presence or absense of trust. From this perspective an economy can share, ie it's participants can declare as commons, some or all of the 4 constituents of the framework. A link with the concept of resource based economy, as proposed by Peter Joseph, is also provided. We show how in the utopian setting transaction costs are banished thus rendering the sharing economy a sustainable alternative to the current competition model. From the framework we derive that share is the opposite of swap (in contrast to current popular understanding). We use this framework to understand how current intiatives, currently developing in relative isolation, can melt together. From this framework we also identify missing links: sharing goods and labour are becoming common practise but sharing goals and planning (ie coordination) are still lacking. Also a description of the money of the future is derived based on a distinction between information and value."

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