top of page

§2 Commoning in a world of visioning minds (labour-powers)

The cultural landscape of labour powers and formations - and their radical transforming and mobilising

People study and mobilise the aggregated, organisable, historical capability of people ‘in-here’ (in the mind and in the body, individually and in collectives) in relation to challenges of knowing and organising the world out-there. Broadly, this is ‘cultural’ capability - the individual and collective capability to vision, know, make and organise; in other words, the labour power of persons and formations. The most basic systems in this landscape are wild: language, uneven development, and so on. The curating, stewarding and appropriate enjoying of cultural commons is a fundamental, constitutive challenge in organising the making of the Living Economy: a challenge in historical time and generational time.
Key pattern  §200 - Activist life**



Figure 4 : The cultural landscape of knowing & capability

Figure 4 deploys the basic system-description format: structures/processes/behaviours. It summarises some of the central constructs that are developed in patterns of landscape §2, regarding:

  • Structure - The intentional organisation of cultural production.

  • Process - A dance of knowing that constitutes capability in a historical formation, as a weave of many kinds of conceptualising and storytelling, fluent and ubiquitous genres of collaboration and cultural ‘commerce’, and skilled relationship with materials. 'Materials' notably include digital and documentary materials, as well as ‘construction’ materials, ‘engineering’ materials, nutritional material and all the mundane tools and material infrastructures of everyday subsistence and care. The 2x2 schema is derived from Noam Cook and John Seely Brown (1999), Bridging Epistemologies: The Generative Dance Between Organizational Knowledge and Organizational Knowing.

  • Behaviour - Modes of power and #hegemony, all the way from the knowledge-based powers of elites to the ignorance-based powers of charismatic leaders and supremacists. These are woven into forces of cultural (re)production by dominant, emergent and residual RoPs in the landscape of knowing and capability.

This is the sphere of what often are called 'knowledge commons' or intellectual commons. FoP RoP theorises these in terms material capability to produce, attend-to, direct and organise - knowing, configuring, mobilising, cultivating, nurturing etc - rather than through the commonplace idealist construct: 'knowledge'. foprop is a theory of practices; thus the abstract noun is replaced with active verbs.

These are literacies here of very recent times . .

#facilitation (barely a generation old yet, as a skilful, self-conscious politics) . . mass media-literacy (in the commonplace sense of reading and writing) . . fine-grained facilitating and large-scale organising . . R&D/programme management/corporate forms/mission-orientation/programatic innovation . . capital-S Science/self-acting code/machine agents/data analytics/Big Data. Etcetera.

. . coupled with ancient disciplines

of explicit, in-the-mind story, and conceptual thought and rhetoric, and tacit, in-the-body craft skill, kinaesthetic or spatial skills, and genres of participating and contributing and inter-community relating, ‘traditionality’ and indigeneity. Etcetera.

The most basic systems in this landscape are wild: language, uneven development, and so on. They constitute #weather for most people much of the time. In combination, in their materiality as actual ‘live’ mobilised organisations of persons and stuff, these are the FoPs of knowing and capability.


It is through these that the §1 material economy is organised and maintained, and use values are in fact organised to be such, and actual §3 valuings are actually performed and mobilised at scale. For commoning, and for the formation of liberatory formations, alternate RoPs must be developed that counterpose the forces of


. . . the liberal-democratic nation State (decision formally separated from material production and execution, materially preventing the direct making of society) . . capital-S ‘Science’ as a professionalised, unaccountable, funded-R&D ‘estate’ . . ‘preconceptualisation’ as a systematic basis of the Fordist mode of production and consumption . . ‘the professional-managerial class’, pace Barbara & John Ehrenreich . . professionally-induced incompetence a la Ivan Illich. Etcetera.

bottom of page