The Commonist Horizon: Futures Beyond Capitalist Urbanization (2023) edited by Mary N. Taylor and Noah Brehmer
Keywords: Commons, housing, East Europe, US, UK
Mary N. Taylor and Noah Brehmer’s latest edited book takes us on a journey to reflect on the political possibilities of commoning, a social practice that aims to take institutions and resources under direct community control. Taylor and Brehmer facilitate a dialogue about the reality of commoning across polities and cultures and pose hard questions relevant for those who strive to disentangle housing and home from market-based logics. The reflections in the five chapters of the book trace some of the crucial inflection points determining whether commoning remains a defensive tactic or becomes a transformative alternative to capital’s organization of our lived environment. The authors, who research and do some forms of commoning in Serbia, the U.K., Hungary, the U.S., and Lithuania, reflect on the questions of groundedness in local history, autonomy, scalability, and inclusiveness. Taylor and Brehmer do not undertake the task of assessing the social or political impact of commoning. They encourage us to look boldly into the horizon and embrace the vision that another world—with another housing economy—is possible.