By Jeremy Rifkin
October 22, 2012
“Medieval European agriculture was communally organized. Peasants pooled their individual holdings into open fields that were jointly cultivated, and common pastures were used to graze their animals.This system of village commons prospered for more than six hundred years at the base of the feudal pyramid, under the watchful but often nominal presence of the landlords, monarchs, and popes. Then, beginning in the 1500s, powerful new political and economic forces were unleashed, first in Tudor England and later on the continent, that ultimately destroyed villagers’ communitarian way of life.
Through legal and political maneuvers, wealthy landowners enclosed (privatized) the commons for their own profits, impoverishing many villagers. “Enclosures have been appropriately called a revolution of the rich against the poor,” noted eminent historian Karl Polanyi.”
Finish the article HERE via The Commons magazine.