Updated April 2006












1. The actors: states, capital and peoples' movements
2. The stage: the world
3. Peoples' movements before the world market system
4. Local communities' defence against the world market system
5. Wage labourers' defence against capital owners
6. System peripheries' defence against the center
7. Agriculturalists' defence against the food markets
8. Marginalized peoples' aspiration for equality
9. The self-defence of civil society
10. The peoples' movement system
In Swedish

The Carriers of Democracy

The global peoples' movement system


Chapter 9: The self-defence of civil society


The author will appreciate corrections of language as well as content.

by Jan Wiklund

Defence of peace

Defence of the resource base

Defence of the commons



So far, this book has dealt with the defence of exploited, repressed or discriminated categories - workers' defence against capitalists, peasants'/farmers' defence against food markets, women's defence against the patriarchy, pariah groups' defence against aristocratic elites. The world market system seems to breed such groups, while the local communities which in earlier system constituted the civil society seem to melt away under the pressure of the continuous globalizing of the world market system.

But there are yet some kinds of peoples' movements which are an expression for the whole or great parts of the civil society and its resistance to the repressive routines of states or capitals. As expected, such peoples' movements are rather weak and diffuse. They are often unable to create a "we" strong enough to tie them together at the range that is needed to defend the whole civil society. Often, but not always, minorities have taken on the role to defend "the commons" while the majorities have been indifferent for various reasons - not least because they are busy defending itself as categories.

But in some situations, such movements may be rather effective all the same and reach out broadly. Such movements have often defended civil society against violence and against destruction of the resource base, and defended social wages and gift economies.

Defence of peace

A category of popular movements that expresses the interest of the civil society as a whole is the defenders against the violence of states or other coercive groups, or peace movements in everyday speech.

As long as there has been a storable surplus in human production, there has also been what William McNeill calls "macro-parasites" i.e. people who "by specializing in violence are able to secure a living without themselves producing the food and other commodities they consume" [1]. Such macro-parasites may be small groups - what we usually call mafias - or states. Experience tells us that the difference between them is not one of kind but rather one of scale.

Certainly, macro-parasites direct their violence not only against those they are parasites on; through the history of macro-parasites the most massive violence has arisen in the competition between different parasiting groups. Generally, periods of massive violence has been followed by unstable compromises when the groups have shared the base of support between them according to the position of strength of each, and created territories, "realms" or "states", within which most of the violence is directed against the direct producers and against groups who threatens the collection of protection money or "tax".

We don't know much about organised war resistance during the first few thousand years of state conquer, from about 3000 BOE and on. The first organised peace movement we know of was probably the one organised by followers of Mo Tsu during the Warring states of China, in the fourth and third century BOE. They agitated against war generally, and if a war threatened they offered their own considerable war making skill to the weakest and/or attacked part. About the same time we hear about an organised repudiation of war in India, from the Jainist and Buddhist sects, but we don't know that they actively opposed any particular war. Yet vaguer is the peacefulness of the Christians around the Mediterranean somewhat later [2].

The first known peace movements in Europe arose at the same time as our present state system. This has its origin in the mafias that struggled with each others about the right to parasite in Western Europe in the tenth century, the so-called aristocracy [3]. Earlier power structures had been exhausted because of attacks from without and because they tried to live up to Roman ideals they didn't have resources for, and unscrupulous people with a local power base used the opportunity to expand it, by using massive violence.

This violence affected, except the direct producers, primarily the religious institutions. The representatives of these took initiative to the early medieval peace movement that has been called the Truce or the Peace of God [4].

The first peace movement event we have documents from is the meeting in Charroux in Western France in June 1, 989, but it seems to have built on a thirty years tradition. It was summoned by the bishop of the see, and what the sources call "the people" took part; the meeting condemned killing and plunder of "peaceful people" and called down God's condemnation of those who did such things. The bishop, who was like most bishop an aristocrat, was principally interested in protecting the estates of the church, but since he needed the political support from the congregation he included peasants and artisans and their property in the protection.

The Charroux meeting established a pattern for the peace movement wave which passed through Western Europe in the decades around the year 1000. Bishops summoned meetings where lay people took part and formed a public opinion, and it took no long time until the lay people took initiatives of their own which they invited the clerical hierarchies to answer to. The initiatives had the form of a religious revival. Peasants and artisans referred to the peace message of the gospel, asked local saints for support, and exhorted the clerics to lead the movement.

In many places, particularly in the cities, the initiatives went further. The townspeople didn't wait for bishops to care for the peace, particularly since the bishops and their chapters many times belonged to the violent people. The first cities whose common declarations of peace we know are Le Mans and Cambrai from 1077, and they were issued against bishops and chapters who tried to forcefully introduce new "evil customs" against the wish of the townspeople. The peace concepts of the townspeople was more extensive than the one of the church hierarchy, and comprised protection against illegal taxes, fees and forced labour. They also differed from the declarations of the clerics by that they were egalitarian treaties, and not only popular legitimation of episcopal power. The word used by the townspeople for this kind of treaty was "commune", a concept also used off and on for the community of bishops and congregations, but it was increasingly used only for equal treaties [5].

Anyhow, the popular initiatives were embarrassing. From about 1030 a conservative counterreaction began to assert itself within the peace movement, and it was strengthened by degrees. The church hierarchy began, for fear of the popular initiatives, to appeal to the perpetrators that they should protect society against their equals or at least turn the violence outwards, against the unbelieving. As a kind of euphemism of violence, or legitimation of power founded in violence, this faction created the ideal of chivalry - the myth of the "good warrior" [6]. As the ultimate guarantor of peace wasn't as before mentioned God and the congregation of Christians, but the king, who was usually appointed by the violent barons as one from their own circles. In the short run, this reformist and compromising clergy succeeded in creating a kind of order where the peasants got peace on the condition that they paid protection money; in the long run the reform led to strengthened royal power and the escalating warmaking of the early modern era.

Against this development, much of the lay movement was radicalized in the form of radical Christian movements, see chapter 3. These turned primarily against the clergy who had in such a frivolous way changed sides in the conflict. There was never a total breach though, the tradition to appeal to the congregation as the ultimate judge of disturbers of peace survived for hundreds of years and got a new lease of life during tax revolts against the plundering soldatesque of the early modern age, when priests often led the way.

The medieval compromise was broken by the great crisis in the mid fourteenth century, when a growing food deficit, black death and Chinese revolution toppled the existing economic system and sharpened the competition among remaining upper classes, against each other and against increasingly autonomous popular movements, see chapter 3. The competition manifested itself as an intensification of the level of violence; it increasingly promoted more powerful and expensive arms and favoured the greatest users of violence; these were able to establish increasingly bigger and more centralised states. The political power structures of this era have fittingly been called cannon monarchies. As the profits in the conflicts grew, so did also the campaigns of violence; a normal war in the middle ages comprised a few thousand people during a season, in the late fifteenth century the French king had a standing army of 25.000 men and was able to mobilize three times as many when he needed them; the thirty years war in the early seventeenth century was fought year after year by armies of more than 100.000 men.

Correspondingly, the devastation increased. Bureaucratization of the war-making, to be sure, reduced the need for plunder to keep the soldiers alive [7], but the dramatically increased costs to keep the machine going on the other hand increased the need for the kings to collect protection money; resistance to this kind of plunder was the predominant form of popular politics during the early modern era, see chapter 4. But yet, the resistance was not focused on the wars but on the taxes; so effective had the priestly compromise formula war = peace been that it appeared impossible to challenge the chivalry ideal of the kings.

But yet, at some instances tax rebellions would effectively end wars. A common revolt against plundering soldiers in the Netherlands in 1576 forced a truce which successively was stabilized as a formal peace. The Catalan revolt in 1640 forced Spain to withdraw from the thirty years war and in practice give up its great power status; it began as a peasant protest against billeting of soldiers and culminated with the peasants' occupation of Barcelona. Other corresponding movements were less successful, for example the peasant rebellion in Sweden in 1743 against taxes and forced recruitments which culminated only when the war was already lost.

In other cases peasants would be content with refusing to take parts in the massacres - at least if they were far enough from the reglementation machinery of the states. For example, peasants on each side of the Swedish-Danish border made separate peace in several instances during the seventeenth century [8].

These movements forced, as emphasized in chapter 2, a new compromise in the mid seventeenth century. The kings acknowledged each other reciprocally and refrained from questioning each other's legitimacy, private persons were spared responsibility for the politics of the kings, and rules for war-making was introduced. This so-called Peace of Westphalia, implied a considerable reduction of violence.

The notion that wars were inevitable was first challenged in the milieus that had carried the opposition against the compromising clergy in the middle ages, i.e. the radical Christian movements. There were particularly two milieus where an active anti-war opinion appeared: with the heirs of the Husite movement in Bohemia - Bohemian brothers and Mennonites - and with the heirs of the English revolution - Quakers, Baptists and Unitarians. The notion of inevitability dominated even among these people; they remained sects, dispersed in Europe and North America but more engaged in living peacefully and just themselves than in preventing disasters in their countries.

But such forms of actions had yet a revolutionary potential. For example, peace-political legitimations developed for traditional tax revolts and refusal to enlistment as early as in the seventeenth century. And in England a more peoples' movement-based political tradition was developed influenced by the intense political agitation during the second half of the eighteenth century, particularly in connection with the unpopular war against the American colonists [9].

This war resistance was carried particularly by those who had to pay for the war, and was in this way a typical tax revolt. But it was also a democratic movement against a royal dictatorship; the "enemy" the war was waged against was the fellow citizens across the sea who maintained the same principles as the English had made a revolution for in the 1640s, see chapter 6.

There was a continuity in the popular political discourse, and there was a milieu that was eager to use and develop it - the increasingly wealthy non-conformist sects, and soon enough also a broader movement of Christian revival which far into the established church. The same milieu created the resistance to slavery and the women's movement, see chapter 8, and the engagement for peace was rather a lesser issue at the outset.


Churches, labour movements and women's movements

What brought matters to a head what the Napoleonic wars, the struggle for hegemony that raged between primarily Britain and France between 1792 and 1814.

As I mentioned in chapter 5 it was a war that provoked resistance in Britain, more resistance than the American war since it exhibited people to more strain. Workers began to organise for the first time, to protect their standard of living. Merchants protested against obstacles to trade and against the fact that a few monopolists got access to the war contracts while the civilian consumption decreased. Sailors and soldiers mutinied. The resistance was so great that the government in practice converted into a military dictatorship that kept more troops at home to keep people in place than it sent abroad to fight against Napoleon [10].

During the entire war, the pacifist religious groups discussed a way of conduct towards the war, with each other, and in public with pamphlets about the evil of war. But this was all. It appears as they, prosperous burghers as they were, with connections deep into the state, were scared to be associated with the democratic demands that war resisters from other traditions put forth, and for that reason lay low. Only when the war was over in 1815, the first peace organisations were established.

And this pattern continued. Peace organisations spread over the system center; in France the "philantropic" Saint-Simonist milieus were interested, and in the USA it was the same kind of evangelicals as in England. International peace conferences were held, the first in 1843 and later also international confederations (two, to be on the safe side). These groups succeded in two generations to put in question war as a legitimate and natural instrument of politics in rather wide circles. But no initiatives for action were taken, not against the Crimean war in 1854 - except the Quakers -, not against the North American civil war in 1861, not against the German-Austrian war in 1866, not against the German-French war in 1871, and not against the rapacious colonial wars that European states increasingly indulged themselves in towards the end of the nineteenth century [11].

At least a few reasons for this can be suspected. The social base of the wealthy middle class made a militant opposition unlikely, particularly as the middle class at this time was integrated in to the political base of the West European states, became "citizens" and beneficiaries of the aggression of the states. And the base of ideological conviction for the peace organisations rather than practical needs shaped up for endless discussions about moral subtleties while the question never was raised of what one should really do at an acute threat of war. The poles in the movement were for a long time demands for supranational authorities, i.e. new hierarchies added to the already existing ones, and individual radical pacifism, i.e. confining the resistance to an ideologically convinced avant-guarde.

Not until about 1900 an extension of the movement base to others than the "citizens", to workers and women, created for a while a strong peace movement based in interest. The background was that the British hegemony began to crumble at the late nineteenth century, and the threat of military confrontations between the contenders began to appear as likely. Meanwhile, increasingly articulate labour and women's movements began to supply a real, sometimes anti-systemic, counter-power [12].

Workers had good reasons to maintain peace. In the new compulsory military services they had the role as cannon-fodder, and in the war economy choice of cannons or butter they were the losers. Perhaps the social antagonism between workers and military officers was even more important; soldiers were not infrequent used to break strikes and the body of officers was in most countries a reservation for conservative aristocrats. For that reason it was natural for the organised labour movement to be programmatically anti-militarist. It is not surprising that the most militant anti-militarists were found among the young conscripts, and social democrat and anarchist organisations competed for their support. The anti-militarism manifested itself in social hostility in the streets and in the movement publications, in labour votes in parliaments when military supplies were discussed, and in armaments as a professed cause for general political opposition particularly from 1905 on. And labour movement representatives tried repeatedly to argue for peaceful settlements of conflicts and sometimes they even mobilised against wars, as for example in Italy in 1912. Of course, they were ignored by the governments. But there was one instance where a peace initiative had a real effect - when Swedish military circles wanted to use force against Norway when it broke the union in 1905, and the Swedish trade unions threatened a general strike. The good result was no doubt due to the fact that a war was genuinely unpopular with a wide majority.

The other peoples' movement culture where there was a resistance against the increasing militarization of society was the women's movements. This was, as mentioned in chapter 8, strongest in Britain and the USA, and it was in England that the first mobilization since a hundred was carried out against a real war. This was when British mining interests in South Africa run into conflict with the settler colonists and got armed support from the state, in 1899-1902. Activists from the women's movements then mobilized to mass meetings and demonstrations against the war, by publishing news about the army's brutal treatment of civilians.

The result of this was not peace, but it contributed to more courage and self-assurance among the "liberal" or "humanist" peace movement after 1900, in the form of peace organisations, peace meetings and programs for peace and international arbitration. It also led to more support and kind reception in wide circles of radical christian groups practicing war resistance all the time like Quakers in Western Europe and Old Believers and Duchobortsy in Russia who had earlier been treated as isolated avant-guardes [13]. An odd alliance between labour movements, women's movements, radical christians and liberals appeared in the shadow of armaments, an alliance that also spilled over to general politics like common demands for universal suffrage. As a broker acted the consumer cooperative movement, who convinced the labour movement organisations that cooperation was constructive.

As we all know, this alliance was completely ineffective when the war broke out in 1914. The "liberal" peace movements didn't say a word. The labour movements gathered to a peace conference in Brussels but agreed that war resistance would lead to illegality and loss of jobs of movement functionaries so it also kept quiet, if not supported the infrastructure of war by obstructing strikes in the armament industry. And the women's movement milieus were too unstructured to supply a leadership.

Initiative to organising a resistance to the war was taken by oppositional groups within the labour and women's movements, who began to network over Europe in 1915, with international meetings in Zimmerwald in Switzerland and The Haag respectively. They remained ineffective though in at least two years, and it is open to discussion if they participated to the protests that broke out in the warring countries about new year 1917.

In France, the trade unions turned against the war in 1915, and this may have contributed to the strong protest. In early 1917 the soldiers at the front mutinied, mostly as a protest against a series of meaningless and sanguinary offensives. The mutiny and all attempts to politicize it was however brutally repressed while the offensives were discontinued to calm the sentiments.

In England it was the women's movements again that took initiative to mass meetings and demonstrations against the war; these actions were most massive in the industrial towns in the north where trade unions were involved.

In Germany, strikes against the shortages from 1916 on successively was supplemented with demands for peace and demonstrations among the queues. Cooperation between trade union activists and social democrat war resisters was explicit. The unpopularity of the war grew and when the generals from the front let know that the war was lost in September 1918 it was received with relief. Great parts of the labour movement began to organise an armed defence against military cliques that might think of reviving the war again.

Russia was the country where the war resistance developed most. A political culture had began to develop within the army during 1915 in opposition against the incompetent war command. During 1916-1917 when shortages became increasingly severe it developed into opposition against the war as such. During 1917 soldiers mutinied and joined the demonstrations against the shortages, attacked the government and went home to share the land. Peace was one of the demands the Bolsheviks won government power on.

With these peace movements it became increasingly difficult for the governments to demand privations for war ends that most people had lost interest in. And the USA government got a broad appeal in all warmaking countries by taking up old peace movement demands into their war ends. In late 1918 the war ended in a spirit of weariness. The old peace movement demand of a permanent supranational authority was written into the peace accord in the form of the League of Nations. And in Russia, the peace party formed government. These two successes killed the peace movements.

Most of the peace movements rallied around the government diplomats in the League of Nations as a subaltern supporter club, and pursued numerous campaigns during the twenties and thirties that governments should agree within this framework. Such campaigns always rallied many members to the peace organisations, and international conferences began at this time to allow a certain peoples' movement presence, according to a pattern that wouldn't return until the seventies. These peace movement milieus fell into confusion when the Nazis took power in Germany and began to argue openly for violence and plunder. The majority rallied to anti-fascist fronts for the purpose to struggle against Nazism, violently if necessary. The minority took refuge to radical pacifist moralism and condemned among other things support to the republicans in the Spanish civil war [14]. On the eve of the second world war, the peace movements seemed almost extinct in Europe. In the USA, where peace movement organisations had reached about 30 million members during the thirties, according to Wittner, Pearl Harbour caused within a few hours a complete collapse, and moralist anti-Japanese racism became as predominant as moralist pacifism had been [15].

Instead, what was at the time less noticed initiative would be of importance for the future. Immediately after the first world war, Christian peace movement activists established organisations like Service International and Fellowship of Reconciliation intended to stimulate inter-people solidarity by, in the manner of Quakers, rebuilding after the war, while Christians together with Anarchists created the War Resisters International as a central of draft resisters [16].

These groups were numerically few during the inter-war years, except in the USA. It was also there that the essential reformulation of the peace theme was carried out. In the American FoR, social-evangelical activists added justice to the peace theme and got involved in worker mobilizations and organised sit-ins for desegregation as early as in the early forties, following Gandhian example. By not focusing on the state but on what each could do as a person for a peaceful society, they created the milieu which the post-war peace movement initiative would grow out of.

Outside Europe and North America, in the system periphery, defence of the local community against violence implied defence against colonial conquerors. It is no coincidence that the great icon of the peace movement, Mohandas Gandhi, primarily was a leader of the anti-colonial movement in India, the movement which in a programmatic way made colonialism obsolete in the whole world, and achieved this with a minimum disturbance for the civil society.

For the colonial conquests exposed, as pointed out in chapter 4, the civil society for extreme strain. While a measure of dialogue, consent and compromises always had to be maintained in the system center, this was not as necessary in the system periphery, and it is possible that it wasn't even attainable because of the cultural and technological gap. The plunder was for that reason so much more violent than in the system center, and legitimated by Social-Darwinist notions of the per definition non-human value of the deprived people.

Under these conditions it was difficult for the representatives of the civil society to assert the interest of this. Everywhere, they successively drew the conclusion that it could be asserted only if the colonial state was overthrown by a national movement which in case of success established a state of its own for protection of the civil society and "development", i.e. imitation of the patterns of the favoured system center. Sometimes the national movements drew the conclusion that this called for armed revolt, even if that almost would threaten the survival of the civil society. Sometimes they were forced to such revolts by violent repression of more peaceful action forms. These anti-colonial movements are described in chapter 6.


Middle class radicalism in the system center

The focus for peace movement during the US period of hegemony after 1945 have been four, and they have mostly been kept rather separate and not been mixed in common mobilizations: nuclear weapons, real wars, local warlords, and violent group conflicts. On the other hand, peace issues have often been thematized by movements which at the same time have thematized other issues. There has not been a Peace Movement, there have been reformist or anti-systemic milieu which have raised the peace issue as one of many issues, one that has dominated at some periods when it has been considered topical, only to be substituted by others.

The second world war discredited to a large extent the ideologic pacifism; violence had been needed to overthrow the Nazi dictatorship and few in Europe regretted that it had been overthrown. On the other side, the legitimacy and respectability of the organised state power had suffered a setback because of occupations and other failures. Anxiety over threatening devastation of nuclear weapons was organised partly by other actors than the old peace movements [17].

The mobilization against nuclear weapons was primarily a European business; it was Europeans that had felt the war, Europeans were for the first time for centuries exposed to decisive strategic decisions without their control, and when the rivalry between the USA and the Soviet Union gathered momentum Europeans had a vision of their native district intended as a zone of confrontation.

Only in Japan, which had actually been nuked, there was a comparable movement. It had however a broader focus and directed itself against all armaments, as it had a broader base than other peace movements and comprised trade unions. And it remained mobilized during the whole post-war era, until the seventies and contributed to the fact that the Japanese state kept down armament expenditure to the benefit of the whole society.

The first to engage against nuclear weapons were scientists who regretted their scientific contributions to the development of nuclear weapons. They were for natural reasons not able to form a mass movement but they contributed with legitimacy and arguments. The mass movements were two.

One was the World Federalist Movement. It had appeared among idealist American middle class people and had some trade union connections. Its aim was that a world-comprising state would make all wars impossible, and it contributed to much of the popular backing of the United Nations, and to the fact that many peoples' movement organisations was linked to the UN in an advising role. Also in Europe it had its original support with people half-way into the establishment, until an American ex-pilot, Garry Davis, publicly renounced his American citizenship and inspired an enthusiastic wave among youth; they contributed jointly to municipalities primarily in France, Germany and Italy declaring themselves internationalized and condemning nuclear weapons, and the milieu around it would survive long after the end of the peace movement of the forties.

The other was the odd alliance between the Soviet state and Western European, particularly French and Italian, labour organisations. Even if they had few things to agree on, resistance to nuclear weapons was a genuine common interest, and in 1949 they created the World Peace Movement at a meeting in Paris. It was also in France the movement initially appeared most creativity and best ability to convince; subsequently however Soviet interest of state took over and when the Russian had developed their own nuclear bomb their interest waned remarkably. The dishonesty, state opportunism and jealousy against other mobilizations that was shown by this movement contributed to discredit the whole nuclear resistance, and contributed for that reason also the legitimation of the cold war; not only the gigantic petition campaign against nuclear weapons in 1950, the so-called Stockholm appeal, raised any respect without the campaign itself because of the too apparent state interest in it.

It was particularly in a completely different field this mobilization would be important. During some years in the fifties, their World Youth Festivals supplied a scene for activists to meet, and not least to create contacts between North and South, and between southern activists. It was to a great extent at these festivals the anti-colonial movements met and became a global actor [18].

From 1951 for a few years, all mobilization counter to the interest of state was impossible in the system center, because of the internal disunion among the peace movements. Not until the USA and the Soviet Union had become relatively equal in nuclear capacity it was politically possible again to put them in question. The mobilization that brought the cold war attitude into disrepute was initiated independently by two different kinds of milieus, partly supplementing each other but partly obstructed each other because of mutual suspicion and misdirected loyalties.

One was what one may call peoples' movements serving as the popular base of government parties. In the USA, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, SANE, originally created by a small group of pacifists, was coopted by trade union people and liberal members of the Democrat party during 1957-58. Their demand was not that nuclear weapons should be abolished but that tests should be discontinued because of the radioactive fallout. About the same time the Cooperative Women's Guild in the London suburb Bowling Green took initiative to a series of meetings for the same demand for the same reason. This initiative was quickly absorbed by people in the left fly of the Labour party in the form of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CND. Its demand was more far-reaching - that Britain should refrain from nuclear weapons and be a good example for the rest of the world - and it was also more mobilizing.

The other milieu was people who had been inspired by the non-violent action methods of the Indian independence movement and wanted to thest similar methods against evils in the system center. Some of them came from the World Federalist surroundings in Europe, others came from the Service International or Fellowship of Reconciliation circles. In Britain, this milieu was first visible as a movement against a movement against nuclear weapons, under the name of The Direct Action Committee, DAC.

While CND aimed discreet influence on the Labour leadership to write in nuclear disarmament in the party program, and for that aim shunned all fuss, DAC aimed at mass mobilization through conspicuous actions. The result was that CND was forced to take responsibility afterwards for the successful DAC actions, for example the increasingly enormous easter demonstrations, and because of that had to receive huge amounts of members. The original plans of CND as a committee of notabilities had to be abandoned to the benefit of a traditional peoples' movement organisation. But CND had also to take responsibility for the DAC actions that were not accepted by the British cultural climate, for example blockades of armament industries, and the relations between the two organisations was sometimes tense, and the political energy was to a great extent wasted on dissociating themselves from each other.

Despite this, the creative British peoples' movement culture stimulated the rest of Europe to imitation. Easter demonstrations against nuclear weapons were arranged in many countries. In Sweden a CND-ish group, Aktionsgruppen mot svenska atomvapen, AMSA, succeeded in getting the government to discontinue a nuclear program, while the broader Svenska Freds- och Skiljedomsföreningen suggested that the whole defence budget should go to aid the poor of the world [19]. In Germany, the putative front between the East and the West, the churches and for once also the trade unions mobilized against nuclear weapons on German land, and carried through several strikes against them during 1958 and 1959. A global mobilization against government violence against their citizens was also started at this time in the form of Amnesty in 1961.

The methods introduced by DAC and its successor Committee of 100, where the Gandhians increasingly shrank to a minority on a broad anti-systemic spectrum, would be typical for the new peoples' movement culture from the sixties on in the whole system center. As would also the lobbying methods of CND. And the interplay between them.

What set the limits for the effectiveness of the anti-nuclear movement was, according to Taylor, its middle-class radical character. Thereby he means that its foundation of mobilizing was the individual and its interest in having a good conscience, not the collective and its interests in having reasonable conditions of life. This made the limits to the repertoire - since collective refusal of cooperation in the form of for example a strike was left out, the only opportunities left were expressions of opinion like demonstrations, petitions and small scale obstruction by casually organised, high-motivated individuals whose legitimacy was questionable. This limitation was not self-chosen, it was a consequence of the support for the government power strategy of the class-based organisations, and the subordination under government functionaries which followed from that. DAC tried heroically to engage trade unions for civilian production but the trade unions had already renounced the right to have a saying about the content of production and the organisation of society, and declined the invitation. Unlike the peace movement wave of 1900-1914, the movement mobilization of the fifties-sixties was rather thin.

The influence of government politics was for that reason small, compared to the visibility of the movement. The realised goal was SANE's, not END's and even less DAC's. When USA and the Soviet Union agreed on limitation of bomb tests in 1962, people felt relieved and the mobilization subsided. CND and its counterparts in other countries engaged in building the welfare state, while DAC and comparable currents engaged in environment, democratic rights or solidarity with the system peripheries.

For neither of these currents was specifically interested in peace; they were general peoples' movement milieus with democratic aims in general; the nuclear weapon issue happened to be the most topical in the late fifties [20].

A focus which would grow in importance after 1965 was resistance to colonial wars by people in the system center.

Little resistance had been shown in the system center against its wars against and occupation of the rest of the world - probably because people in general didn't come in contact with it. A solidarity with the Indian independence movement had been organised by Theosophists in the early twentieth century, but it was not very practical. Only in the late colonial era, the state demanded resources from their citizens in the form of taxes and lives of young men, and only then there appeared a mobilization for peace.

The first fumbling efforts to such a mobilization appeared in France, when the government tried to repress the struggle for independence in Algeria. The first resistance was raised by conscripts on the way to the front; they mutinied on a grand scale during 1955-56 but were defeated one after another without being able to coordinate or being met by solidarity from others [21].

Instead, a support for the Algerians network organised, of course by Algerians in France but also by Catholic so-called worker-priests, the French Fellowship of Reconciliation and non-Communist radicals from the Resistance tradition. They worked in deep underground to collect money and to help deserters, without trying much to convince the public opinion. Only when such a network was exposed by the police in 1960 and put to trial, others began to organise mass meetings and write books and articles about the ravages of the French army. But this war resistance never got any scope; what convinced the French opinion about giving up the war was the costs and the disgust for the French settlers in Algeria when these began to kill Frenchmen to protest against the hesitant warfare. The importance of this movement was rather ideological; only now the right of the South to independence was formulated in unambiguous terms in the North for the first time.

The resistance to the US warfare in Vietnam reached a much grander scope.

Despite the fact that the first critique against the increasingly escalated American involvement in 1962-63 was voiced by established politicians, the first mass base of the critique was the organisations that had carried the resistance to nuclear weapons. SANE organised the first petitions and demonstrations in the USA. But within a few years a motley resistance had been formed, whose participants had deeply varied motive, aim and perspective [22].

One category was what DeBenedetti calls antiwar liberals. To this category belonged the critical politicians but also many lay people. Their main concern was that USA as a state risked to take bigger morsels than it could swallow; their aim was negotiations and neutralizing of Vietnam so that USA could deal with more important businesses. They saw the war as a stupid mistake by an otherwise respectable government. They were however increasingly critical the more the war went on.

Another category was the reform movement called up by the black civil rights movement, whose aim went far beyond black equality. The main concern of this category was to stop the war because it took energy from necessary reforms, but the nature of these reforms was as shifting as the category.

A third category, during some years the biggest mass base of the movement, was middle class youth. For them, it was rather the bureaucraticized and hierarchized society that was the target, peronified by the military-industrial establishment, or perhaps it was the Fordist compromise and its work-and-consume culture; their main concern tended to be worded in cultural terms - the "counter-culture" - rather than political, and identity-shaping actions tended to be more important than the politically goal-oriented ones. This was of course a typical middle class youth movement, see chapter 8, perhaps the most pure one that has existed so far.

A fourth category was the core of the "old" peace movement, the Gandhian tradition in and around FoR. It would with the time be a small minority, despite the fact that it would come up with most of the initiatives, not least as attempts to bridge over the distrust and conflicts between the other categories.

This task was not easy, and on the whole it never succeeded particularly well according to DeBenedetti. The participants tended to stick to their main concerns and to see stopping the war as a side-kick. And for the counter-culture of youth the anti-war liberals were a part of the establishment, and for the anti-war liberals, the counter-culture youth was a drag that discredited their own standpoints.

No organisations or mobilizations were for that reason possible to build on the entire war resistance or even major parts of it; initiatives was always taken by casual alliances, small groups or persons.

For that reason, the war resistance during the first years tended to be rather ineffective. Neither the sophisticated strategic discussions of the liberals nor the scandalous behaviour of the ocunter-culture appealed to any big public. Demonstrations in Washington were able to get together tens of thousands as early as 1964 but the walls between the engaged and the majority were thick.

Three initiatives would try to create a leadership for the countless local pockets of resistance that appeared during the years 1964-67.

One was the National Mobilization to End the War, or the Mobe, an attempt to make a huge demonstration in October 1967. It was started by a broad alliance from SANE people to counter-culture activists, but as the initiative developed into a chaotic counter-culture happening it created the impression that anti-war activists were chaotic people, marginal to the American society.

The other was an initiative from the anti-war liberals to launch an anti-war candidate for president in 1968. But as the successful FNL new year offensive discredited the optimist government assurances, most candidates appeared pro-peace including the final president. And although the war dragged on for years, the fact that peace negotiations had started demobilized most of the organised anti-war movement while the remaining counter-culture was even further marginalised and tended to lose interest in the war.

The most successful attempt was decentralized organisatorically but focused regarding content: refusal to do military service. Peace activists had begun to burn calling-up papers as early as 1964, but after 1967 it grew to a mass movement, organised through local support committees and stimulated by TV news about the hell of war. The resistance began to spread within the army as soon as the negotiations started, as soldiers demonstrated, deserted, refused to fight, sabotaged the equipment or killed the officers out of frustration over that they were presumed to risk their lives for a cause nobody believed in. In 1972, the American army was unfit for service [23].

After 1968 it was apparent that the war was meaningless and had to be finished; this was also the government view. Since it went on all the same it was paradoxical that the popular mobilization was rather diminished while even more people went against it. The initiatives that were really taken were local and small, for example a referendum in San Diego decided in 1972 to bar the harbour to warships, and the support for draft resisters and deserters continued. At the national scene, elite politicians took the initiative and kept it to the end.

The weak war resistance, and the fact that a growing repudiation led to passivity rather than protests, was a consequence of the class content of the movement according to DeBenedetti. Like the British anti-nuclear movement the war resistance was characterized by middle class radicalism - the base of mobilization was the individual and the clean conscience, not the collective and the interest, and most people remained indifferent to the movement. It is telling that the part of the movement that was based in survival issues - draft resistance - was the most successful one.

In the rest of the world, the resistance to the Vietnam war had other motives. In both system center and system peripheries, the resistance was a part of the defence against the dominance of the hegemonic power. At some occasions it even got a character of an attack against the world order the hegemonic power was a guarantor of. The years around 1970 the Vietnamese peasants pursued the most high-tense resistance against the order of the world market system, and they became to a great extent symbolic for other resistances. Together with the resurgence of labour movements in Europe and the many peoples' movement mobilzations in the South that were inspired by the anti-colonial successes, they were the driving force of the most far-reaching common attack so far against the world market system. For that reason, they inspired huge amounts of people to venture their lives in asserting the mutual relations of peoples' movements and civil society againt the capital accumulation of business and hierarchic subordination of states.

In Japan, the broad post-war peace movement culminated. Farmers, environmental movements and war resisters occupied the airport site of Narita, intended for transports to Vietnam, and kept it for months - until an activist killed a policeman and the whole movement considered itself to have lost face and discomposed. In Denmark and Australia dockers refused to unload American ships. In Canada a mass movement was built to help deserters from the USA. in Sweden the Vietnam movement became a highly respected popular movement although it was organised by eccentric Maoists, and was spread far from its original youth culture [24]. The resistance against the Vietnam war stimulated peoples' movements in the north increasingly began to support peoples' movements in the South - but it also tended to put up criterions for serious movements that they should struggle against colonizers from the North, preferrably by arms. The latter was a consequence of the programmatic split between "non-violents" and "anti-imperialists", created by the impression of the war and exposed at the Russell Tribunal in 1967.

The long slump after 1973 decreased the space for state and capital groups, and the competition increased. The so-called detente between the USA and the Soviet Union broke down in the late seventies and both began to invest in new arms systems and even consider the possibility to annihilate the counterpart in one strike. A consequence of this was an unequalled peoples' movement mobiliation, primarily in Europe [25].

The initiative came in 1978 from the Dutch churches, which had discussed the peace issue in an organised way since the sixties. They got a quick response from Norwegian churches and youth organisations. But it was in West Germany that the peoples' movement mobilization was the greatest. In a short time, local groups in each city were mobilized, coordinated into five networks according to political profile, in their turn coordinated by congresses and a national action committee. The aim was that no new missiles would be deployed at German soil. For this aim millions demonstrated while more militant groups blocked and occupied, this time without discord within the movement. Instead, the different actions were seen as different ways of achieving a common aim.

In other countries, like in Britain, France, Italy, the Nordic countries and USA, the mobilization was not as broad as that. But it was strong enough to be the greatest mass mobilization in the system center for twenty years, and the forms were the same as in Germany. For the contemporaries, it appeared as the "new social movement", a fusion of the peace movements of the sixties and the environmental movements of the seventies, a movement of a new kind that focused on existential needs rahter than material ones, and which would render traditional kinds of peoples' movements obsolete. But despite the expectations, the mobilization subsided soon after it had failed to reach its immediate aims.

There are several explanations to that. Thomas Leif suggests that the one-sided focus left the movement completely at a loss, at least in Germany, when the decision of deployment had been taken. Others have pointed to the fact that the debate at an early stage had become so fixated at arms technology that it had become a concern for arms experts, which blocked all debate about political issues and priorities. An initiative from the Danish Women for Peace about thematizing the military expenses and alternative use of the money was for example completely marginalized, unlike what happened during the fifties and sixties. An equally credible explanation focuses on the fact that the movement was really not so new after all. Diarmuid Maguire shows that at least in England and Italy the whole leadership of the movement were tightly tied to strategic alliances to parliamentarian opposition parties and as incapable as these to see beyond the world of government combinations. When these parties dropped the issue, the mobilization also collapsed. There had been no movement based in an identity, only a loose coalition [26].

On the other hand, the peace mobilization of the eighties was important in other respects.

Through the dense contacts between West and East European peace movements, the movement contributed to challenging the power monopoly of the Communist parties in the Warsaw Pact countries. Since the movement insisted that both official, party-dominated organisations and inofficial, often Christian, groups were relevant it was impossible to marginalize the latter - even when they, as in Poland, took up draft refusal as a strategy. The peace movements became the organisational focus for the demands for democratization of the whole society, and symptomatically the peace movement was the immediate organisational focus for destroying the dictatorship in DDR and in Czechoslovakia.

Peace movement groups had begun to appear in the early eighties, initiated by scientific circles and by people from the youth cultures. In Poland and in DDR they could count at passive support from the Church which made them somewhat out of reach from authorities. In the Soviet Union, they were extremely marginalized but because of their close relation to the youth culture and because of the unpopular Afghan war they got quickly a strong position as soon as the rulers began to find censureship inconveniently narrow. Peace and environmental movement organisations and were the first to be allowed freedom of expression in the Soviet Union. And for many Russians, the mass meetings which were organised around the marches of the peace movement were the first autonomous political contexts they had experienced [27].

And by mobilizing against a rearmament governed by the USA and the Soviet Union by referring to a European identity, the movement contributed to creating a popular legitimacy for the EU as a dream of the European bourgeoisie, and it got very properly a new lease of life shortly thereafter. Unlike the peace movement wave of the fifties and sixties, the wave of the eighties screened off the world; the model of explanation was entirely the East-West conflict while the North-South was forgotten. This was also a consequence of the self-inflicted subordination under parliamentary opposition parties.

But there was at least one European peace movement mobilization as early as in the seventies that broke the pattern, one that was based in interests, one that was successful, and one that is still a center for inspiration and mobilizing of the whole peoples' movement family.

In 1972, the sheep farmers of the Larzac plateau in southern France got to know that their native district was to be expropriated by the army. Instead of selling out, 103 farmers declared that they would keep on and invited to resistance. They got an immediate support. Their campaign was imaginative; they demonstrated with their herds in Paris, they supported other socially motivated protests like factory occupations with food, they invited to music festivals, they left their military papers to the authorities, they occupied military installations and destroyed expropriation papers - and after nine years the government gave up. Today, the farmers of Larzac belong to the leaders in Via Campesina and the global justice movement, and Larzac is the place where national protest actions are usually planned in France [28].


Politics of interest in the system periphery

As can be seen from the maps, all wars during the half-century after the great war for hegemony 1914-45 have taken place in the semi-periphery and periphery of the system. This is of course due to the missing structural power of the semi-periphery and periphery. There are the least resources to smooth over conflicts with, and great powers use them to fight out their conflicts. A reasonable question may be which peace movements with a base within the area have tried to reduce the violence during these conflicts. Another reasonable question may be to what extent they have been an expression of the aspiration of the civil society to maintain orderly conditions of production rather than privileged middle class people's aspiration for keeping a good conscience.

The wars marked at the map have very different background and reasons. There is a great contribution of great power control-keeping - the Vietnam war, the Algeria war, the wars in Angola and Mozambique, the war in Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq war. There are local warlords striving at widening their power base when old states crumble for lack of resources - the Bosnian war, the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Chechenia war. There are genuine local center-periphery conflicts - the Sudan war, the Bangladesh war. And there are class conflicts that run amok - the Chinese civil war, the Lebanon civil war, the massacres in Central America, Rwanda and Burundi. Mixed reasons abound and many of the enumerated are not simple.

For local peace movements, great power wars are difficult to manage - but other kinds of conflicts should in principle be possible to deescalate by the actors in a local civil society.

Has this been done in the southern countries where there have been wars 1945-2000?

Perhaps not unexpected, the kind of conflict which provokes the most successful response from the civil society seems to be the one the fewest people have an interest in - the violence that is pursued by warlords who aim at building a powerbase, like when the Peace of God was most active in Europe. And like with the Peace of God, the most active actor seems to be churches, with interest groups in avant-gardist and supporting roles.

In Lebanon, the civil war was begun as a majority rebellion against the power monopoly of the Maronites, but degenerated into an increasingly militarized free-for-all, with neighbouring states adding fuel to the flames. The initiative to de-escalation came from the Shi'ite self-help organisation Amal, which except building a militia of their own at a crucial moment convinced the soldiers in other militias that war was against their interest and got them to desert [29].

In Liberia and Sierra Leone, violence began as fighting among factions within the ruling elite about the shrinking resources in the economy of recession and structural adjustments ordered by the IMF. The aim of the war making factions became to get people to pay protection money and sell off the country's assets to the transnational capital, rather than to get power over an increasingly powerless state. For that end, they used destitute youth gangs who had no other way of making a living than as mercenaries; some of these had begun their war practice as oppositional groups against the egotist practice of the elites.

The peace initiatives came from two quarters - neighbouring states whose governments were worried that the war would spread, and broad peace movements within the countries [30].

The peace movements have had three components. In both countries the religious leaders - Christian and Muslim - have played the principal part. They have, except their religious position also had a prestige as leaders for education and social welfare. The religious leaders took the first initiative for peace talks in Liberia in 1990 and they kept the initiative through the whole peace process. In Sierra Leone women - small traders, unionists and academics - took the first initiatives in 1994 but after having mass base for the elections organised by the neighbouring states they seem to have got tired and left over to the religious leaders. In both countries there have also been ad hoc groups of mixed origins who have taken initiatives. In Liberia for example they took initiatives to demonstrations when the peace talks came to a standstill in 1994 and 1995. And in both countries neighbouring countries have exerted pressure on the warring parties to make them agree.

In both Liberia and Sierra Leone the weakness of the peace initiatives appear clearly. What they have aimed at has been an end of the war, i.e. an end of the rivalry within the elite. When the elite has agreed, at the instigation of the peace movement, of the way of sharing the booty, the role as peacemaker has been more difficult. In Liberia, where the religious leaders have increasingly insisted on some kind of justice, the elites have easily, when they have come to terms with each other, also agreed on how to extinguish the peace movement violently.

Direct conflicts of interest seem to be more difficult to manage. It seems to be less space for a peace movement if there is a violent conflict between classes or between center and periphery. Such conflicts are real, and affect many, and when they have gone so far as to violence there is so much invested in the conflict that those who have greatest interest in de-escalation are too weak and few to make a difference.

To be sure, it is generally not rational for direct producers that a conflict is managed at a level where the method is killing and destruction of the resource base. But if the part which represents change in a power balance is strong, massive violence may be the only way to win for a part that represents status quo, particularly if the only resource it has is violence. For a government, violence may be the only way of preventing an unfavourably treated province to break away, thus discouraging other provinces to break away, and for a landowner class with no other capital, massive violence may be the only way of preventing a land reform which would end all its privileges. A peace movement would then have the difficult task to block the most violent action opportunities of this actor and make the conflict solvable in a less destructive way.

And the requirement for this is there is another category, a third party whose opportunities for survival is not tied up with the success of the most violent party. Such third parties have generally been weak or missing - for example during the Chinese civil war or the Vietnam war. In Vietnam groups of Buddhists tried to play a mediating part in the early sixties but they were soon forced to choose sides or disappeared as irrelevant [31].

Sometimes they have however emerged after a while. The civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador began when the reformist urban middle class challenged the power monopoly of the landowning elite, was defeated and had to take to the woods to survive. For years there was an unmediated war between status quo and armed guerrillas, and third parties found it difficult to make themselves heard.

After some decades, the constant warfare met resistance from an unexpected quarter. In Guatemala parts of the business class began to find the power of the military and its violence too expensive, not least in terms of reduced international credit. When the guerrilla organisation URNG realized in the early eighties that the conflict was militarily unwinnable and appealed of a peaceful continuation, it was primarily the business organisation CACIF that forced the government to take the offer seriously. When the negotiations had begun appeared more and more organisations of war victims, many under church covers, who together with UN representatives and North American peace organisations guarding their own government saw to it that the negotiations continued even when CACIF at times regretted what it had done [32].

In Colombia the initiative lay with the church. The background of the conflict was a struggle for land reform which took armed shape as early as in the sixties. By degrees the conflict has become self-generating; the armed groups originally formed by peasants as well as those formed by landowners have increasingly focused on getting resources to keep the conflict going, and often degenerated into mafia activities with drug trafficking as life-blood. Two initiatives from the mid-nineties, a student demonstration through the most violent region and a public letter from an eight year girl from the shantytown of Medellín to her brother, released a wave of demonstrations - a referendum among three million children, contemporaneous demonstrations with thirteen million participants, proclaiming of peace municipalities whose inhabitants refuse to support any of the warring parties, and a movement among children to stop violence at home. All these have been led by the church [33].

Even in Angola the peace initiatives have come from churches, but it seems that there has been less popular participation there [34].

There are many similarities between civil wars and terrorist regimes; in both cases there are macro-parasites whose consensus with their base of provisions is negligible. It shouldn't surprise any that there are many similarities also between the defences against them.

For example, the Chilean resistance against the dictatorship consisted first from communal kitchens in the shantytowns, and was first coordinated within the church, which in the late seventies formed the organisation Vicaría de la solidaridad, to support opposition people and gave them meeting space in the churches. When the Copper Workers' Federation invited to the first national day of protest in May 1983 there was a wide network to answer [35]. In a corresponding way, the revolutions against Somoza in Nicaragua and Marcus in the Philippines was coordinated by very broad groups of churches, business organisations, trade unions and guerrilla organisations who were successful when they appealed to officer groups in the army. But this could only happen when the parasitic terrorism of the regimes began to hit at the upper and middle classes [36].

The absence of peace movements with an identity of their own in the system peripheries is most strikingly demonstrated in India, the country which has contributed so much to the identity of the peace movements in the system center.

The Gandhian tradition has contributed to much peoples' movement activity in India after 1945. But it has concerned defence of the resource base, struggle for land reform and not least defence of Dalit interests. The greatest Gandhian peoples' movement mobilization after independence happened in 1974-77; it began as a protest movement against price hikes for necessities, continued as a movement against corruption within the administration and ended - when the government tried to protect itself with a state of emergency - as defence against this [37]. But issues like defence against the constant political violence in India or for example the war against Pakistan seems to have led an obscure life if they have existed at all. The term "peace movement" in Indian parlance is only a peoples' movement working with peaceful means.


When the USA attacked Iraq in 2003 the biggest peace movement mobilization ever was released; about 15 million people over the world demonstrated in the streets against the attack [38]. The mobilization then subsided immediately into almost nothing.

The failing in almost all peace movement mobilizations are similar. Since they generally not are carried by particular categories, their networks are weak and loose. If the violence has been released by a local macro-parasite, it is generally as a part of a process where the violence is not the focus per se; the violence has appeared in a conflict about resources and possible peace movements are small and weak compared with the parties involved in the conflict, at lest in the beginning. If the violence has been released in a global scale, as in the case of the Iraq war, the only way for the stricken people to protect themselves is anti-colonial resistance, violently or peacefully, while people near the macro-parasite who could afford a peace movement are not stricken themselves and their interest of carrying a durable peace movement is weak. And if they try to compensate for the weak interest with strong ideologies they have vacillated between isolation in a sub-culture and reliance on paternalist solutions - relying on the king in the middle ages, relying on the UN or NATO today.

But yet one should take care not to write off peace movements as futile.

In local conflicts, forces that may carry a peace movement may be weak in the beginning but be strengthened gradually when the destructiveness of the conflict is evident - this is what happened in Guatemala, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia. This will also happen to the presently weak peace movement in Palestine/Israel, when the USA can't afford any longer to pay the Israeli war bill and the conflict really turns out to be local [39].

And in global conflicts, the movement against the Vietnam war shows that peace movements may be active and strong when they are parts of a common anti-systemic movement against the ruling power. Even the mobilization against the Iraq war may grow as a part of a general mobilization against the outrages of the center powers and the global destruction caused by the Washington consensus, see chapter 10.

Defence of the resource base


Another theme for general movements of the civil society, which have spread during the long post-war boom, is defence of the resource base, or environmental movements. Environmental movements defend the resource base against economically or politically motivated exploitation or pillage, which may take many different forms.

Local pillage and over-exploitation is of course an old phenomenon. Cities have for example up to present times been dependent of continuous immigration to replace people who died because of the unsanitary conditions. The ancient empires ruined their forests to build fleets which resulted in their soil being washed out in the sea. The present Iraq and Pakistan have several times since the antiquity been salinized by unreliable irrigation works. No doubt, overexploitation of agriculture has also occurred off and on [40].

But such disasters have left no traces of popular movement mobilization for defence. The problems of the cities were probably too easy to withdraw from in pre-industrial times, while salinization was too slow and scattered.

Devastation of forests may however be seen as the first environmental problem to be discussed as an environmental problem. Characteristically it happened when European colonial powers clear-cut forests to establish plantations in tropical islands; actors were loyal colonial officials who feared ecological disasters and reduced economic yield, and the result was that all self-respecting European powers set aside reservations, partly with the motive to guarantee supply of timber for warships. And characteristically enough, the elitist approach gave rise to violent conflicts between states and the peasants who always had used the forests for grazing and subsistence wood and now were prohibited from doing that. In for example India, these peasants' defence against government environmental protection is seen as the real progenitors of the environmental movement [41].

Yet, it was reservations which were seen as the solution when a more general discussion about environmental problems began in the mid nineteenth century. The background was of course that the industrial production that had got speed at this time subsumed a much bigger part of the ecological cycle into the economic cycle than any economy had ever done before, and the reason why reservations was seen as the solution was probably that the discussion was pursued among people with industrial interests, in the European and North American industrial middle class with some additions from aristocratic landowners. Except threatened countryside they wanted to protect wild animals - the first environmental actions in these circles was when women tried to stop hunting of birds to make plumes for hats of them. The first environmental organisation was established in Britain in July 19th, 1865, interestingly enough with the name Commons Preservation Society. The focus was wilderness, these circles were almost hostile to humans, settled countryside and towns [42].

Meanwhile, the labour unions of the workers were early interested in "healthy workshops" as it was expressed in item 2 of the program for the Trade Union Central Committee of Stockholm in 1883 [43], and sometimes the interests could meet in a common engagement for healthier conditions. McNeill tells about how cities increasingly were supplied with water works and high chimneys which to be sure dumped the problem some other where but at least improved the health of the majority, an issue which become the overarching interest for the extensive peoples' movement family for a hundred years on. This found for example expression in common demands for reduced hours of work, or in common demands for subsidized health care and sewer treatment.

Sometimes it also found expression in suspiciousness against industrial, mass-produced food. Consumer cooperatives had early engaged for genuine products, but were content with that. Smaller groups in Northwest Europe and North America linked resistance against industrial food and chemical medicines with worship of nature and vegetarianism and, particularly in Germany, resistance to bourgeois culture. The program appealed to parts of the general middle class peoples' movement culture, but in Germany also to the arch-conservative landowners around Bund der Landwirte, see chapter 7, who needed a cultural corset against the growing power of the industrialists [44].

Thus was the situation when the long post-war boom - the Kondratiev wave that built on cars and mass consumption - caused a devastation in mass scale and for the first time forced a mass mobilization to the defence of the resource base and established the concept "environment" in the language.

What happened after 1945? Primarily, two factors have been highlighted as important.

  • Firstly, the greatly increased production, or with in this context more relevant expression greatly increased use of biological cycles into the economic ones. The post-war accumulation and integration model with mass production for mass consumption made it possible to increase tenfold the world's energy consumption in twenty-five years.

  • Secondly, the synthetic, non-biodegradable substances, which were taken increasingly into use at this time. Many times, these were used for economic reasons, bus sometimes they were also motivated by health causes like DDT and CFC. Many of the post-war environmental problems were thus arguably caused by the successes of earlier environmental movements [45].

But other causes may be seen; not least certain organisational traits with the world market system, which create good preconditions for environmental degradation.

  • The system builds on competition. This forces exploiters to disregard the long run sustainability and only consider the short run profitability, lest they not be knocked out from the market by other, more economic exploiters

  • The system builds on globalization of production processes. This releases the exploiters from dependence on the long-run maintenance of the local production processes while it makes them insensible to local protests against over-exploitation.

  • The system builds on the equivalence or interchangeability of all values, i.e. incapacity to differ between necessary and frivolous needs. This causes frivolous needs, for example rich peoples' needs for a fashionable luxury, may knock out the long run survival of a local community or a local eco-system, with no other legitimation that it can pay for it in cash.

  • The system builds on Roman law, i.e. that private property has a much stronger legal protection than a commons. This means that in a conflict, the victory goes always to the private property except perhaps when strong political support is mobilized for the commons.

  • The highest regarded kind of knowledge within the system, so-called science, is traditionally segmented and reductionist and disregarded the effects of one segment on another and on the whole. If you want, this can be seen as the ideological counterpart of Roman law favouring the private to the expense of the common [46].

The first mass mobilization against an environmental menace after the war was the anti-nuclear movement, which was based in resistance to radioactive fallout in the atmosphere, see above. This was a kind of pillage that was inaccessible with reservations, and this changed forever the vision of an environmental menace. When scientific evidence began to be spread in the early sixties for the dissemination of synthetic substances in biocycles there was a preparedness to receive them far beyond the academic circles. Interestingly different dissemination effects were reported contemporaneously; internationally DDT is regarded as the alarm-clock, in Sweden mercury played the same part.

While the scientific alarms quickly established a critical hegemony, a host of local citizen's groups organised themselves to protect local communities over the whole system center. For this was during the peoples' movement resurgence between 1965 and 1973; the established system power was hard pressed by anti-colonial independence movements, peasant movements for land reform, and Fordist labour struggles, and changes seemed easy to attain.

The environmental issues for the first struggles were local. They concerned industrial pollution, hydroelectric dams and not least motorways [47]. They were pursued by local action groups or citizens' groups who saw themselves as local victims of the greed of exploiters or bureaucratic excesses. They acted in the name of the local community [48].

The process can be studied closely in McKean's description of the Japanese environmental movement. Japan had advanced to the system center during the twentieth century through an aggressive state supported industrialization, while the costs were laid on nature and direct producers. Complaints were long seen as unpatriotic, but in connection with four great poisoning scandals an effective environmental movement appeared, which linked legal proceedings and claims of reparation with support for political opposition parties of all colours.

In West Germany, the most important environmental political initiatives were also taken by local community groups, so-called citizens' initiatives. They originated with middle class dominated district associations whose base had been amplified during the sixties, in protest against the one-sided concentration in economic growth and disregarding of social needs, which characterized West German politics. Gradually, focus was moved from housing and health care to industrial pollution and traffic.

Another actor which got a renewed lease of life during the new conditions was the nature conservation circles which had acted during the nineteenth century. Socially, they were the same kind of people as then and the focus also; i.e. wilderness. These groups were strongest in the USA and Britain, and they dominated the discourse in these countries for a long time. They took a struggle about hydroelectric dams which threatened the unspoilt wilderness and were able to win some victories. In the Nordic countries hydroelectric dams were also an early important issue, but the main actors there were local people who saw their material interests as threatened as nature.

There was also a third actor - the middle class youth culture, which was able to point at destruction of nature as a consequence of the materialist consumption culture of the grown-ups. This tendency was early probably the strongest in Denmark, but played after a few years an important role in at least Western Europe.

The national traditions differed somewhat, primarily in one respect. The Japanese and German environmental movements emphasized expressly that threatening projects harmed the common people to the advantage of elites. They were, at least in the short run, very successful: Japan was in short time transformed into an environmental model country, at least at home. The American and British environmental movements assumed, in the spirit of the nineteenth century reservation movement, that people threatened nature; they scored few successes in the short run and provoked at least in the American case a violent backlash [49].

Generally there was a tension between the two; while the environment in the industrial countries was gradually improved, among other things by exporting the troubles to the south, the classless anti-human approach tended to get the upper hand and the environmental mobilization subsided.

This early environmental wave got a kind of summary through the UN conference on the environment in Stockholm 1972, when the state representatives were challenged by both a semi-official environmental forum and the local peoples' movement scene. The system elites were here forced to abandon their attempts to blame the environmental crisis on the high natality of the South and also to treat the US warfare in Vietnam as an environmental hazard. But the conference got no further consequences for the development of the environmental movement [50].

The issue that made the new environmental movement to a mass movement in the system center was however nuclear power [51].

Nuclear power was in the beginning a by-product of nuclear arms production and had during the fifties and sixties inherited its status as a technological spearhead, as a kind of compromise between peace movement and states. In 1973 most industrial states pursued nuclear power projects, and with the oil price hikes of OPEC this year, the programs got high priority. The nuclear power ventures implied establishment of dubious industrial complexes at new sites with well organised local communities, and over the whole system center there were initiated, in tested environmental movement manner, local citizen's groups to defend the integrity and resource base of the local community.

What set the nuclear power resistance apart from earlier local environmental groups was that it was able to organise itself internationally and globally, with a base in an established identity and a developed language. Partly, this was a matter of maturity within the environmental movement theme, but partly it was due to the scope of the issue. The protests concerned not only a disrupting factory or project, but the greatest and most central industrial project at all in the system center. The actors were not longer isolated local communities but these were also united by the anti-systemic youth culture which had acquired considerable political skill since it had failed in giving a direction to the American anti-war movement in the sixties. The basic attitude of these two categories - defence of the local sphere of life against bureaucratic elites, and resistance against the Fordist consumer culture in the name of the utopian collective, respectively - would to no small extent be united in the movement.

The tension between the categories, and the ability on each side to manage it, would also to a certain extent define the success of the movement.

The trigger for the breadth of the movement was the decision of the Swedish parliament in 1973 to postpone the nuclear power program, a necessary decision since several local communities had refused to accept a nuclear power plant, supported by a clause in the Swedish planning code. A consequence of this decision was, according to Björn Eriksson, that resistance to the whole nuclear project appeared legitimate, not only in Sweden [52].

However, the first steps to a national coordination of resistance were taken in France, the country of the most ambitious nuclear program. The trade union central CFDT decided to support the local protests as early as 1974, and the youth movements of the big cities joined wholeheartedly by organising demonstrations. But the promising resistance was broken in 1977 because of the inability to communicate between the partners. When the local resistance to a planned reactor in Malville in Val d'Isère reached its peak, the national anti-systemic youth culture organised a mass demonstration against the plans with the dominating message was to be "violence or not is up to each participant individually". Of course, the local community refused to support such a politically empty catchword which made it easy for the police to repress the demonstration. The confidence between the parties could never be restored, and France has still the most far-reaching nuclear program in the world.

The nuclear resistance had greater success in Sweden. The local resistances against new establishments had triumphed as early as 1973, and the issue had to focus on the existence of the whole program. Without strong organisation, primarily coordinated through yearly demonstrations against the nuclear plant in Barsebäck the movement was able to keep the issue hot without decision until it in 1978 began to pursue a demand for a referendum. This demand turned out to be so popular that all political parties had to accept it and also abandoned their original intensions and backed a 25 years phase-out. The environmental movement backed a shorter period but lost, according to its own analysis because it let itself be subordinated to the tactical considerations of their allied political parties. The deployment of new reactors was however stopped.

The movement made however its greatest impact in West Germany. The German local communities didn't have any power over establishment of new plants, so resistance to new plants carried the mobilizations until the end. The German movement succeeded better than the French to bridge over cultural difference between local resistance - sometimes consisting of ultra-conservative farmers - and the anti-systemic urban youth cultures, which often helped each other to manage violent, illegal actions.

The farmers of Wyhl in south Baden set the pattern when they in February 1975 occupied the site of the planned reactor. Gradually they got support from youth from nearby cities. Around the site, which was cleared and re-occupied several times, a resistance village was built with among other things a peoples' high school where the farmers rediscovered their own traditions from the peasant rising of the sixteenth century.

The continued dynamics of the movement consisted of demonstrations and occupations of new reactor sites and other nuclear plants - Brokdorf near Hamburg from 1976, Gorleben, Grohnde and Kalkar from 1977, and the Bavarian Wackersdorf from 1978. Focus on occupations, generally carried out by non-locals, tended to polarize the movement. For some, confrontations against an increasingly repressive state became a goal in itself. For others, peaceful infiltration into the state structures by "green parties" became an equal goal in itself. What kept the movement together was that locals sometimes were able to engage in the process and take over hegemony again in the movement. The most evident case was when the farmers in the Gorleben district occupied the site for a new nuclear waste storage in 1979, poured pig droppings over it and gave birth to the "Free Republic of Wendland".

Under the cover of the nuclear resistance the German environmental movement grew to the most dynamic in the world during the seventies. Its occupation strategy was also directed against roads and airstrips like in Frankfurt and against the lack of housing, most notable in Berlin. An anti-commercial counter-culture was spread far beyond the youth generation and engendered cooperative production as well as a do-it-yourself mentality [53].

The German nuclear resistance was reasonably successful. Of more than a hundred plants less than twenty were accomplished. And the consequence of the global nuclear resistance was that the whole nuclear industry stagnated after 1980.

But also the environmental movement in the North stagnated after 1980. Partly because of the shrinking threat of the nuclear industry, partly because of its own successes - most polluting industries had been removed to the global South or been spread out in the atmosphere by high chimneys - and partly because of shifting focus. Like much of the base, the language, the energy, the traditions and the organisation patterns of the environmental movement had come from the anti-bomb and war resistance of the sixties; it was now made use of for the anti-missile movement of the eighties. For the movement's base, defence of the resource base was no exclusive interest; they protected the civil society and its commons against whatever. Instead, the environmental issue was increasingly taken over by professional NGOs and equally professional green parties, whose interest in mass mobilization was negligible. Instead, the responsibility for the resource base was taken over, if that expression is permitted, by movements in the system peripheries and semi-peripheries.

Semi-peripheries are territories which are peripheries to the centers and centers to the peripheries. In practice, this means that semi-peripheries receive outdated industrial technologies which can't pay the high salaries and social costs of the center but still are productive. Environmental movements in the semi-peripheries usually arise, for that reason, to protect themselves against ruthless industrialization [54].

This was the focus in the Soviet Union, which pursued a national development project which was financed by pricing the resource base at zero as well as bleeding the farmers white; being worthless, nature could be wasted freely which was also actually done.

Also in the Soviet Union, the environmental critique was legitimated by being raised first by scientists who pointed at economic consequences, for example of the paper industry destroying the Lake Baikal or the huge river redirection project in Siberia. But only when the government had begun to admit popular participation from 1985 on local environmental groups began to appear with the aim of reducing industrial pollution. Unlike their West European counterparts they were dominated by academic people with professional interest, and focus was often closing the polluting activities entirely, which generally didn't lead to success. But given the huge environmental hazards in the Soviet Union, environment appeared as an irresistible issue for all forces who wanted changes, and what might have developed into a popular movement was flooded by shadow movements. At the fall of the Soviet model all were ecologists, even Gorbachev profiled himself as such internationally, and the space for an independent movement disappeared. With the economic collapse in 1991-94 and the end of the national development project, the Russians got other issues to care about while the pillage is as great as ever.

The prerequisites were somewhat better in Central Europe; environmental mobilizations were there often bases for general opposition against the Soviet model of accumulation and the Russian supremacy. In Bulgaria opposition against the dictatorship of the party was focused to opposition against a nuclear power plant which thanks to tactical skill could be organised completely in the open, in Estonia the movement for independence was organised around resistance to a devastating exploitation of oil shale, in Poland, GDR and Czechoslovakia great parts of the democratic opposition was formed in mobilization for an alternative to the coal economy. In Central Europe, the environmental movements were democratically organised; the fall of the Soviet system implied a setback for environmental movements but not a complete halt.

The first environmental protests in Brazil concerned a Norwegian paper industry in Pôrto Alegre in 1972. Like the environmental movement in Russia, the action group AGAPAN was able to get a legal status and some successes during a severe dictatorship by criticizing technical imperfections in the core project of the regime - world market career by forced industrialization. Meanwhile the movement spread to São Paulo where a group began to protest against industrial pollution and grew to a state-wide movement. The Brazilian movements were dominated by urban middle class people and the scope was rather narrow in the beginning.

The most documented environmental movements in the system periphery are those of India, a country of strong peoples' movement tradition [55].

Focus for environmental protests in the system peripheries has been resistance to destruction of the resource base, and the driving force has been peasants defending their survival against exploitation of capitalists and state.

One focus is logging. The colonial empires expropriated forests which had no individual owner and established them as state reservations. Peasants have always resisted this since it has deprived them of useful resources, but only when the states began to exploit the reservations for timber export, often arranged by transnationals, this self-defence took the form of environmental movements. Resistance to teak plantations played a part in the peasant movement in Jharkand in the seventies as one strand among others. But it was the Chipko movement in the Himalayan foothills in Garwhal who emphasized preservation of the forest as a main theme and got an international reputation for it. The background was the flooding which resulted from clear-cutting in the sixties and seventies; when the government prohibited forestry for subsistence on state lands while simultaneously renting it out to transnationals, the peasants began to prevent logging by putting themselves between the trees and the chainsaws. Different currents took part in the protests but successively Gandhians got an upper hand; they had been strong in the area since the time of the independence movement and they thematized the resistance as a struggle for subsistence against commercialism. This resounded in other peasant movements against logging all over India which united in a successful all-India campaign against a new forestry code in 1984. From there, resistance to logging has spread over South Asia, to Malaysia and Thailand where farmers have attacked eucalyptus plantations both legally and corporally [56].

Another focus has been resistance to dam construction, these "temples of the modern times" according to a completely non-ironic statement by Nehru. Each dam construction calls for eviction of all inhabitants in the submerged area, and early anti-dam movements demanded primarily justice to the evicted. But dams cause also salinization, waterlogging and other miseries for agriculture. Struggle around issues like these was the origin of the strong agrarian movement in Karnataka, and similar movements have occurred for example in Thailand.

Fishermen have also mobilized against industrial fishing. The most famous campaign was pursued by the Fishermen Union of Kerala in the eighties, against trawlers from Europe which emptied their waters so effectively that the fish never returned. The organisation grew from a liberation theology project in the sixties.

What was remarkable with these mobilizations was that they have consisted of people defending their livelihood as agriculturalists, meanwhile being able to generalize their critique against development and the world order. They have identified the enemy of the nature and resource base as commercialization, the transnational businesses and their corrupt henchmen in the national elites, and as the consumption of the rich. The gap between defence of the everyday commons and of "nature" or "the planet" you can see in the environmental movements of the North hasn't played much part in the South. Primarily because the defence in the South has been organised by trade and cooperative organisations with no need for niche ideologies.

However, it was not the cumulative effect of many local environmental struggles that would put the environmental movements of the south in the leadership of the global defence of the nature; it was a coordinated campaign against the arguably most destructive sacker in the world, the World Bank. The bank had been established after the second world war to finance reconstruction in Europe but was soon converted into a leading global financier of large-scale development projects in the South [57].

As such, it took immediately initiatives far beyond what local exploiters had imagined and became the leading advocate of post-war development despotism - "development" as metaphor, ideology and systemic demand rather than a better living for the majority, see chapter 2. In the early eighties it had caused enough human disasters like mass deportation, destruction of forest lands, waterlogging and salinization that global humanitarian organisations and environmental NGOs with some success were able to appeal to conservative American politicians to cut the supplies.

But the campaign against the World Bank was successful as a whole only with two great mobilizations in the South.

The first was the campaign against the Brazilian Polonoroeste project. This implied exploitation of vast areas in the Amazon and had been initiated by the military dictatorship as a way of getting rid of evicted peasants who were seen as a threat when they stayed in the center of the country. The exploitation threatened the livelihood of Indians as well as rubber extractors, so-called seringueiros, some 300.000 often indebted people living from selling crude rubber. Seringueiros had begun to organise, inspired by liberation theology during the seventies, and during the eighties they begun to cooperate with labour, environmental and Indian movements to save the forests, while they stopped logging by going between trees and chainsaws in the Chipko manner. The resistance was also organised globally together with local people in Borneo in Rain Forest Action which agreed with town councils in Germany and other European countries not to trade with tropical timber in the early nineties.

The other mobilization was the campaign to save the Narmada River in Maharashtra, India against barrage. 300.000 farmers were threatened with eviction to get electricity for townspeople through the greatest and most prestigious development project in India, and the farmers began to organise in the mid eighties. In the beginning, mostly marginalized Dalits took part in the movement, cooperating with or sometimes organised by Gandhian urban middle class people, and their influence was scant despite dramatic appeals to the public in the form of mass threats of suicide. But meanwhile, parts of the farmers threatened by eviction began to formulate a new agricultural policy together with the Maharashtran agrarian movement, based on farmer control of the resources, which was received enthusiastically in agrarian circles all over India, see chapter 7 [58]. Despite the fact that agrarian interests have been hard pressed by urban middle class Hindu fundamentalists, the Narmada movement has retained its ability to occupy building sites and discourage foreign lenders [59].

In the late eighties, when the arms race had lost some urgency, the environmental theme returned as a focus for the broad movement for civil society commons in the North. The mobilization was shallower than it had been in the seventies, since elitist organisation forms as NGOs and parties had grown strong in the meantime, and involved mainly youth. Air pollution, forest death and traffic were the mainstays at the outset; these were tied together by the European Youth Forest Action, EYFA, the first organisation to coordinate struggles in East and West. EYFA used methods like summer camps and campaigns against industrial pollutions and motorway projects, but also against the development projects of the World Bank [60].

These three mobilizations were able for a time to, by stigmatizing the developmental model of the World Bank, put in question the legitimacy of capital accumulation. It was serious enough to provoke an attempt from the global rulers to integrate the environmental critique in the same way as they had tried before to integrate the critique of the land reform movement: redefinition of the environmental threats into a technical issue, and cooptation of as many environmental NGOs as possible in a top-heavy bargaining machinery without aim. The latter was easy, since few of them had seen themselves as linked to any popular movement [61].

During the nineties, this counterstrategy has worked well, partly. The environmental theme has been moved out of focus and the commitments the states were forced to in Rio de Janeiro have on the whole never been fulfilled. On the other hand, the southern movements were never co-opted. There hegemony within the peoples' movement family has prepared the ground for integrating environmental issues into a much broader program than northern environmental movements were able to. This integration of environmental movements into the broad anti-Washington Consensus movement will be considered in chapter 10.

Defence of the commons


Peace and environmental movements are two themes for defence of the commons which for good and evil have succeeded in establishing a distinct identity, irrespective of time and place. But besides, a lot of local and incidental popular movements have defended commons, without being aware of being, or being seen as, parts of any greater project. And many of them have been parts of labour movements, national movements or perhaps minority movements [62]. For the fact is that much of the assertion of category interest which is called labour, national or minority movements has consisted in asserting commons which has not exclusively been used by the category in question, but by all.

What commons have been defended? And what is a commons?

I suggest in chapter 1 that there are three ways of distributing goods in a society - market, redistribution or tribute, and reciprocity or gifts. Market implies that goods and services are changed to equal value, generally money. Redistribution or tribute implies that goods and services are collected by a center and shared among the participants according to a norm decided beforehand. Reciprocity or gift implies that each participant gives and takes goods and services because culture or the spontaneous social responsivity tells that this is the right thing to do.

The commons is the sphere for exchange where reciprocity and redistribution rules, unlike the market which is private space. Since reciprocity and redistribution may refer to different, overlapping collectives, commons may also be "owned" by different, overlapping collectives. The agrarian society for example had village, parish and district commons and a complex market society has a host of commons for different kinds of collectives, except the commons that are used by all.

A commons may be a legally defined category, like a certain place, for example a square, or a system like the public health care. It may also be an aspect of something, for example in a worksite what the workmates decide behind the back of the boss, or the public debate of a society. One may differ between commons which are run by the implied collective without intermediaries (reciprocity) and commons run by public services of the state or municipality (redistribution) [63].

There are several reasons why direct producers need to defend commons, of both kinds.

The most trivial reason is that commons give a space or affiliation for all, while private property excludes many, probably most people. Communications in a city managed by cars exclude many as does a health care system financed privately. The more scarce the resource is compared to the needs, the more people are crowded out in a privatized system.

Another reason is that transaction costs would be prohibitive if everything should be traded in markets. If some of the functions in society instead would be organised as an infrastructure which everybody has a right to use - or in many cases contribute to - according to redistribution or gift principles, exchange would be made easier and more would be done. To these belongs for example science or the Internet, or our common culture. Tele lines were built once as public infrastructures for reasons of efficiency, and when patent rights begin to enclose science, the flow of ideas dries out and the products lose both quantity and quality [64].

A third reason is that he who in a market exchanges from a position of a relative monopoly, or only superior resources, is able to force himself into a better exchange than his counterpart, strengthen his monopoly and in the long run force others from the market. Unequal relations are no speciality for the market; they exist also in the other two exchange categories. But in the market, inequality is protected by Roman law of ownership while inequality in redistribution and reciprocity may be countered if the underdogs organise and assert themselves politically and socially.

A fourth reason is that the great advantage of the market and private property, the complete interchangeability, is dangerous to apply everywhere. The market is promiscuous and cares only about commercial value, and in the perfect market the luxury consumption of the rich may knock out the long term survival of the poor or the nature, with the only excuse that it is able to pay for it. Commons are zones where different needs are permitted to exist and be met, each in its own terms [65].

A fifth reason is that people who manage their own commons develop a better ability to understand society and their own interests than unorganised "consumers", and a better ability to act in common and defend themselves against different oppressors and exploiters.

The perhaps most important reason is that people as a biological species are equipped with social responsivity and feel well by doing things in common and have things in common [66].

The market, as well as redistribution and reciprocity, serves important purposes and have advantages as well as disadvantages. But the commons which are the space of the latter are threatened by societal processes typical to the world market system. Firstly, of course, political attacks from those who gain from dividing them into private property and commercializing them. Secondly by exploitation by people with superior resources [67]. The world market system as a system favours private property at the expense of commons, because of its Roman law and its demand for competition and growth. For that reason, commons have been defended, not only by peoples' movements but also by conservative layers of the upper class who have seen it as destructive to let the market get a monopoly of resource distribution.

Sometimes common defences like these have been quite successful [68].

The typical peoples' movement repertoires of the early modern era, the tax rebellion and the bread seizure, respectively, were defence of the commons against the state and the market, respectively, see chapter 4. The tax rebellion defended the reciprocal property of the village against the king who needed money to make war with. The bread seizure defended the right of all to food against the right of merchants to decide the price according to supply and demand.

Gradually these two action forms, based in the local community, as ineffective against the superior resources of the state and the inaccessibility of the world market system. Instead, the direct producers elaborated a new strategy during the nineteenth century - negotiation with the state about compensation for the ravages of the market, in the form of a social wage, or public financing of public consumption, particularly directed at public health and housing, combined with insurances against unemployment, illness and old age. The negotiation was backed up with strikes, cooperative alternatives, demand for universal suffrage and a national popular public space, and some support from factions within the ruling class who regarded a market monopoly as disruptive for the public order.

The principle of a social wage called for initiatives from the direct producers, to suggest themes, to speed up the development, to minimize those distortions that always are a consequence of bureaucratic administration and/or compromises with the liberal charity bourgeoisie, and prevent the costs of the social wage to be laid disproportionately on the direct producers themselves.

While there had been a broad agreement about a social wage focused on health and social insurance, and such commons had been introduced as an almost automatic consequence of the peoples' movement mobilizations of the nineteenth century, social housing had called for a particular attention from the direct producers. This is due to the fact that social housing clashes with a more explicit interest, the profit interest of landlords. On the other hand, social housing, i.e. unconditional right to a home for a decent price, has been necessary for direct producers who have flocked to the industries of the big cities and been met by a monopolistic housing market.

Claims for social housing were the driving force behind the Paris Commune of 1871, and rent strikes have been a method to break the power of the landlords. According to Manuel Castells, the agenda for European social housing was set by the great rent strike in Glasgow in 1916 [69]. The first to apply it on a great scale was the labour party of Vienna which built gigantic "workers' castles" in the twenties, unlike all subsequent social housing in the city center [70].

Initiatives for social wages have - perhaps because they to a great extent have been locally organised, and perhaps because they have reacted on imperfections of the local commons - been called "urban movements".

Urban movements, according to Manuel Castells who have written the most extensive work about them, three themes: they protect collective consumption, they protect their cultural identity, linked to the space they occupy, and they assert local autonomy against the state. They are not carried by any particular class but by citizens, although lower classes who benefit from commons are predominant in them. Women are often leaders because they are excluded from positions of the market and have to compensate in the commons [71].

What kind of commons that is defended of course fluctuates with the situation. Castells contends that urban movements protect commons whose destruction makes it difficult for the participants to organise their everyday life. Margit Meyer contends that the two main focuses for urban movements are social housing and defence against what she calls "city competition", i.e. project which are pursued to raise the status of the city within the world market system but disregards the immediate interests of the citizens [72].

It may be hard to determine the validity of this without empiry, and empiry is hard to systematize for local movements without a common identity. For me who have taken part in urban movements in Stockholm for thirty years it is tempting to base an opinion in my own experiences and compare with other similar movements in other parts of the world, at least to show some latitude [73].

Stockholm of the twentieth century was a result of the successful alliance of labour movement, home market industry and liberal charity bourgeoisie who created the Swedish welfare state, see chapter 5. The Swedish welfare state built on a very high social wage, of with a very high part went to social housing; however, for deference to the charity bourgeoisie all new social housing had to be located in the periphery, far from the urban commons and public space, to counteract all threatening worker hegemony within the alliance [74].

During the post-war era the direct producers were prepared to pay this price for an otherwise fast living standard increase. The first eruption of urban movements in the mid sixties concerned a case of city competition - the conversion of the whole city center from mixed use to a pure central business district. The inhabitants threatened by deportation organised against this while two organisations - the City Environment Group, consisting of cultural elite people, and Alternative City, consisting of youth and originally organised on an anti-commercial platform - mobilized the citizens in general. Most of the project was realized while the opposition trusted meetings, demonstrations and newspaper debates, but in 1971 the proponents of the projects were shocked by the Alternative City youths occupying a popular outdoor park café, after a street fight with the police and being supported by half of Stockholm. The year before, the Swedish welfare state project had been shaken by the great miner's strike; the ruling Social Democrat party couldn't afford a hard stance, and the CBD project petered out. About the same time, the authorities gave up a regional plan aimed at growth, where motorways were very conspicuous, after mobilizing by the urban movement alliance and many local town district associations.

After that - from about 1974 - focus was moved to a tenants' movement in the city core who tried to prevent landlords to renovate their flats to sell them to upper middle class people, so-called gentrification. This movement was rather unsuccessful, not least because the Tenant Association was dominated by loyal Social Democrats who didn't want anyone to disturb the welfare state compromise and did their best to thwart mobilizations, while the active were very reluctant to find other forms of organization. Some attempts to occupy houses in the late seventies were too late to do any effect.

Margit Mayer refers to "city competition" as if it were a modern phenomenon, born out of the cut-throat competition of the nineties or the so-called globalisation. But as shown by the Stockholm case city administrations and states have tried before to "modernise" cities for the benefit of capital accumulation - we may also think of the ravages of Baron Haussmann in Paris in the mid nineteenth century [75] - and if people come in the way of modernization they may try to defend themselves, and defend the commons they are dependent on but which are destroyed by modernization.

The post-war city modernization in the system center was a result of the politics of social housing and of the struggle for the attractive central locations. The social housing was located in the peripheries, both because of fear of the masses and because of the real estate businesses' need for maximum increase in ground value. This called for ample traffic links; since the leading industry of the age was the auto business this had to be motorways. The fastest growing profession in the growing big businesses and state administrations were the administrators, which called for a large quantity of office buildings; these had to be located in the center for the sake of control. Both demanded extensive clearances in the city cores which inevitably caused conflicts with those who lived there and depended on the city commons for their everyday life [76].

It was however difficult for the fragmented civil societies of the city cores to organise a resistance against relatively united representatives of capital and state. But like the early modern tax rebellions and bread seizures the urban movements forced changes in the modernization models of the cities, despite the fact that their failures were far more numerous than their successes [77].

One of the first successes was the victory over a combine office and urban motorway project in Manhattan in 1961; it was the inhabitants of Greenwich Village who mobilized local interest groups and churches on a program for defence of the local commons [78]. More mobilizations against motorway projects followed, the planners responded by localizing them to poor quarters where the resourceful middle class of Greenwich Villages didn't exist, and resistance to motorways would be one of the foremost reasons for mobilization among the black civil rights movement around 1970 [79]. However, these movements can only report few unequivocal successes - for example city motorways projects in Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia and San Francisco were stopped by broad coalitions. Office projects were more difficult to deal with; the successful motorway resistance in San Francisco was for example powerless against the office plans.

In Europe, Amsterdam was the early center of urban movements. The same coalition as in Stockholm was mobilized - youth movements, cultural elites and the inhabitants of low income quarters - against a project which called for the deportation of the latter to give room for city motorways and office buildings in the late sixties. The movement went much farther than in Stockholm and occupied houses condemned to demolition to defend them with the occupants' bodies. The success was according to Pruijt guaranteed by the fact that all plans were condensed into one to make a good target for the movements, and that there was nowhere to deport people to. The latter alienated much of the welfare state alliance between labour movement and municipal bureaucracies, who joined the resistance and defeated the plans.

The practical alliance between youth movement and citizens threatened by deportation worked also more or less well in cities like London, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt. In German cities moderate, politically well ordered protests against office projects were aired by so-called Citizens' Initiatives in the mid sixties, particularly in Frankfurt which during this time turned into the finance center of West Germany, while youth without housing occupied houses being emptied waiting for demolition. Their successes depended to a high extent on the ability to cooperate between the two wings, but it was never as complete as in Amsterdam. In London a corresponding coalition was able to break the motorway plans but not the office projects.

Also the other side of urban politics, social housing, met with rising protests during the sixties. In most of the system center the same model was used as in Stockholm - cheapest possible investments in peripheral and cheap land. The first mobilizations about 1965 was directed against deficient technical equipment and for "right to the city" as it was expressed in France, that is, commons like public transport, meeting places and public services, like the informal commons and synergy effects created by multiple use. In Italy such mobilizations were an integrated part of the labour struggles about 1970 and were organised from the industrial worksites. In France tenant associations were established in the huge suburb complexes of Paris, the so-called grands-ensembles, with support from municipal politicians who saw the municipalities as a kind of citizens' trade unions against the state. The repertoire they used was primarily the rent strike [80].

Both kinds of mobilizations contributed to getting current urban politics into disrepute around 1975. The grand projects ended; to this contributed of course the Kondratiev B which began in 1973. The city as a necessary complex of commons began to be acknowledged at the same time as the state relinquished its responsibility to maintain these commons. The disrepute of the townless social housing was eagerly grasped as one of the pretexts by those who wanted to terminate the contract of long-term integration of the direct producers and phase out the system of social wages. Most of the social housing politics was dismantled in the system center after 1973.

In the system semiperipheries and peripheries mobilizations for commons and social housing consisted and consist of securing the right to housing at all, often in the form of do-it-yourself settlements, and providing these with water, sewer, electricity and public transport [81].

The reason why between thirty and ninety percent of the inhabitants in the great cities in the South live in shantytowns is primarily the exploitation of the agriculture to the advantage of the cities; people follow the capital currents and the big cities grow with 3-5 percent a year. Due to the monopolistic real estate market of growing cities few dwelling houses have been built; it is more profitable to raise the rent in the existing ones. Instead new residential areas have been organised semi-illegally, in interplay between landlords eager to raise the value of their land, politicians aiming at an electoral base, municipal officials with access to land registers, and collectives chasing for housing.

Such paternalist organising for housing has been far more common than popular organising [82]. Only afterwards, the urbanites have organised in quarter committees to have a share of the city commons. Such organising has originated in the most shifting circumstances.

Sometimes the organising has been social-religious. In the working class suburbs of São Paulo liberation theology priests and lay preachers organised a struggle for urban commons like public transport, water and electricity in the sixties. The movement grew until it began to establish trade unions in the industries, which were the origin of the strike movement which overthrew the military government, see chapter 5 [83]. In North Africa and West Asia Islamist movements have played the same part, see chapter 6.

In other cases the first organising impulse has come from youth who have been thrown out from the universities because of political activities. Such was the case in Mexico where radical students organised the first township movements in Monterrey and in Juchatán.

Sometimes the impulse has come from trade unions; this was the case in Lima.

A special case is the townships of South Africa where organising for urban commons was the base for the anti-apartheid movement during the eighties, see chapter 8.

It seems that only when there is some kind of established tradition of organising, a further spread is possible, building entirely on the inhabitants themselves. This happened in Mexico when township organisations began to draw attention to themselves with national manifestations in the mid eighties. They began to organise in earnest after the earthquake in Mexico D.F. in 1985 when the support from the authorities was more or less non-existent; in this case the women took the lead, see chapter 8. These shanty-town organisations were the first organisations in Mexico that broke out of the paternalist structure of the governing party and created the public which the zapatists were able to appeal to later [84]. In Lima women's organisations took over the lead, with cooperative kitchens as a core, but they seem to have been repressed in the late eighties by a joint terror from the government and the Sendero Luminoso.

Illegal settlements due to the lack of social housing has been organised in the system center too, though at a smaller extent. In England there was a lively squatter movement in the sixties with the only demand of a home; for this end they occupied empty houses and business offices and they were rather successful as was also a counterpart in Paris in the early nineties [85]. But perhaps the most successful squatter movement and the most successful urban movement ever, happened in Spain in the seventies when the country just had arrived into the system center.

Spain was industrialized fast in the late Franco era, because American and European capital were attracted by a rigorous dictatorship and prohibition of trade unions. But with industrialization followed immigration to the cities, and since the real estate market was controlled by friends of the dictator big money was made out of the increased demand, without any particular needs to satisfy it.

According to Castells, the urban movement toppled the dictatorship. The backbone in the anti-Franquist movement was of course the labour movement and the regional opposition in the Basque country and in Catalonia. But the urban movement in particularly Madrid convinced the middle class which previously had supported Franco that a change was necessary.

The urban movement consisted of a motley collection of categories, all being in conflict with the real estate speculation of the Franquists. Newly immigrated workers living in shanty-towns and speculative built high-rise buildings without water and sewer, schools, buses or health care got support from professional people. Middle class people in the city core and in older residential districts tried to stop office exploitation and motorways. In their struggle for publicity and support they broke the enforced silence of the dictatorship, they arranged street parties and organised local associations for innocent ends and demanded the right to speak for themselves. The driving force was often members of prohibited political parties, and these would after the fall of the dictatorship kill the movement as a dangerous competitor. But seen from the viewpoint of the demands, the movement was successful. The shanty-town people got their real homes, often built by themselves in their own quarter so that their social cohesion could be spared. And the city clearances were stopped. And without being a part of the movement's demand, a priority of commons was established, for example in the form of subordination of car traffic under the need of public transport and local feasts. The real estate speculators were defeated and it was possible to build towns - new blocks in Spanish towns are not isolated enclaves, they are added directly to the old town and parts of it.

The social movement resurgence between 1965 and 1975 sought to widen the space for commons everywhere. In the system center the aim was to go beyond the welfare state compromise, in the system periphery it was to at least achieve it.

Meanwhile, it tried to defend commons which were threatened by the post-war boom and its claims for commercialization of what earlier had built on relations of reciprocity. This was a main theme of the youth cultures; particularly the middle class based ones: they tried to escape from the Fordist monetarization of life into work and consumption and sought for more collectivist, reciprocity based forms of life. For example they attacked the commercialisation of Christmas - this was the origin of Alternative City in Stockholm, and it was also a theme in Italy - they occupied empty houses to live in collectively or remake to cultural centers. Such occupied houses were mobilization centers for neighbourhoods trying to defend themselves against exploitation in cities like Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, as they are still mobilization centers for movements against privatization, see below. No doubt, a striving for a life based in reciprocity is also the base for recruitment to sects; they also build on tight relations internally and condemnation of the sinful world around them.

But new commons in organised forms were not restricted to oppositional youth movements. What is in Sweden called "byalag", local communities, was an international phenomenon: local residents got together to bargain for the right to organise amenities which were not supplied in another way. What they created was sometimes converted to business, sometimes to authorities, but sometimes also to symbols for local autonomy and local glory, something to defend like the adventure playground in Nørrebro in Copenhagen which was defended in three days of street battle when the city tried to close it [86].


Post-Fordist movements for the commons

After the breakdown of the post-war boom, defence of the commons has grown more urgent. For the strategy of the rulers to reach a new crise-free capitalism is to commercialise all relations, also those that were left alone by the welfare agreements of the 19th and 20th century. Firstly, the commons administrated by states and municipalities were attacked, and the social wage systems of the 1900s begun to be phased out. Secondly, legal means were developed to privatise nature, culture, ideas and knowledge that earlier had been seen as commons and been managed within the gift economy [87].

The first to feel the weight of the new strategy were people in those system peripheries that had sought advancement by means of loan financed investments. In the mid-70s, the banks increased the interests and used their bailiff IMF to recover the debts. The condition, pursued by an obstinately pigheaded IMF, was that the indebted states had to sacrifice all national development programs and all public commitments in order to pay their debt services [88].

The ex-beneficiaries of the abandoned social services reacted with so called IMF riots, beginning in Lima in July 1976 and continuing with about ten per year in different parts of the world.

IMF riots have had slightly different bases and been organised in slightly different ways in different countries.

Most typically, the revolts have been carried by the urban poor, living in the slums that have grown tremendously after the breakdown of the national development programs, and broken out when the government has signalled that it has yielded to IMF demands and increased the price for public services. The great IMF revolt in Venezuela in 1989 was triggered by increased bus fares, and implied that underclass people from the shantytowns occupied the buses and used them as barricades, and then sacked the shops, with strictly applied quotas for the lot of everyone. The IMF riot in Argentina the same year worked much the same way.

The initiatives have as a rule come from district associations, housewives' leagues, co-operative canteens and churches in the shantytowns. These bodies haven't "directed" anything though; the activities have developed spontaneously and ended after a few days or a week of clashes with the police. Larger formal organisations haven't been involved, trade unions have been too week to play any part, and as a rule the result has been that the government has cushioned its policy somewhat. Sometimes, particularly discredited governments have been forced to resign, for example after the so far most comprehensive IMF riot in Argentine 2001 when it was supplemented with factory occupations, self-organising of the working-class quarters and even local currencies instead of the national one wrecked by the IMF.

In some instances, IMF riots have inspired more continuous resistance against abolished commons. Primarily in those three regions where the long recession has hit hardest - in Latin America where Inian movements have grown out of them, the Islamic Zone where protests have been organised by the Islamist movements [89], and Africa, where the South African anti-privatisation movement is globally leading.

The resistance against the Apartheid regime had been sustained by trade unions and community organisations, the latter organising the whole households. The settlement between ANC and the Nationalist Party in 1990 implied that little should be changed except the race barriers, and the black middle class rushed to place themselves in privileged positions in the most inegalitarian country in the world. The new ANC government welcomed enthusiastically the privatisation model Washington Consensus as a method to substitute class differences for race differences; water, electricity, health care and education was privatised, fees were increased, and the lower classes were disconnected.

Meanwhile, the Apartheid state's modest attempt at import substitution was liquidated and unemployment rose to 50%. Therewith, the black townships were mobilised anew to defend their living standards, or rather survival, interpreted as defence for the commons threatened with enclosure [90].

According to Ashwin Desai, the resistance began in Chatsworth, a township near Durban, in 1999. Important factors in the early mobilisations were that the local ANC made common cause with the inhabitants rather than with the government, and that the majority were Indians, with modest veneration for ANC's exile politicians. But when Chatsworth's inhabitants had repulsed heavily armed bailiffs, coming there to evict unemployed tenants for unpaid rents, and got a court injunction that they were right to do so, the protests spread rapidly. Another Chatsworth-reinvented repertoire - mass demonstrations with payment of the "just" rents, water fees and electricity fees - added to the protests.

Focus for this township movement is rents, water and electricity. While municipal authorities delink the township inhabitants, the movement's electricians and plumbers relink them again. This is combined with demonstrations and, like in Soweto's Operation Khanyisa (enlightenment), delinking of authorities offices, and payment of the "just" rent 10 Rand and participation in municipal elections. At the UN conference on racism in Durban in 2001 the different township movements met for the first time in joint demonstrations against the remaining apartheid practices and discussed the Washington Consensus as an expression of global apartheid, with activists for the commons from the whole world.

In the system center defence of the commons have been organised primarily by trade unions, like in France and Italy where general strikes against cuts in social insurances have been common since the late nineties, or by student organisations that have organised school strikes against commercialization of schooling. This kind of movements for defence of social services is only beginning and hard to survey when this is written.

Urban commons have been asserted with more continuity. That they were acknowledged didn't imply that the rulers took any responsibility for them; since few parts of the cities had any commons to speak of a struggle about these broke out where solvency was set up against peoples' movement organising. Struggle against gentrification is an important theme since the seventies. Primarily in countries where earlier social housing has taken place in the form of suburbs with poor commons, like in North America, Britain, the Nordic countries, and Paris, and where the demand gap was the biggest [91].

But it also contributed to demand that the numbers of the upper middle class had grown, as had also its extremely increased pretensions during the seventies and eighties [92].

As mentioned, the resistance against gentrification was weak and politically incompetent in Stockholm. It was more successful in Copenhagen. There, the city administration appointed the old working-class district Nørrebro to an urban renewal area for "more affluent groups", while the inhabitants got ready for defence [93].

Youth groups who had occupied empty houses in the area since 1965 were a core in the resistance; they had got right to temporary contracts from 1971. A first aim for common organising was very practical: to establish a common playground for children in one of the empty lots. A number of organisations and individuals gathered for that end, succeeded with it, and decided to deepen the cooperation in the Nørrebro Beboeraktion, or tenants' acion, in 1973.

They kept their focus on concrete projects and actions during the seventies, and developed it into an art, attacking landlords selling flats in the black market or, as I was a witness to, organised a support action for a new bus line in twenty minutes, involving the drivers' union and local shopkeepers. The price for the dexterity was a growing elitism which gradually run a wedge between the active youths and people in general. In 1976 the Beboeraktion cracked for irrelevant academic quibbles about the role of the elites and disappeared soon thereafter. But Nørrebro has still the same composition of its inhabitants as in the seventies, the "more affluent" people has kept out, new housing has kept within reasonable prices, and a tradition of effective popular civil society has asserted itself well.

The Nørrebroers had luck in timing; when they acted the welfare society was still alive. But after that successes have according to Neil Smith been fewer. During the eighties and nineties, a polarization has occurred, with a growing sub-proletariat of unemployed and casual labourers, often immigrants without citizen's rights, and the solidarity between direct producers has deteriorated. Among the militant activists against gentrification the sub-proletariat has predominated with occupations, often repressed violently, while those who still have incomes and risk to be pushed over the edge have succeeded to act only in rare cases, primarily through institutionalised organisations; Smith mentions Paris as a site for this [94].

But Margit Meyer is also right that urban competition increased in the slump years - the space diminished, capital groups fought increasingly against each other, states and lesser political units exerted themselves increasingly to support "their own" capitalists in the world market competition. From the vantage point of Stockholm we were able to see a shift in the early eighties when the authorities began to support themselves by theories from the Institute of future research about the post-industrial society according to which only those with a university exam were of any value for society and should be favoured; this was considered to imply that only exclusive residential and office areas should be built, joined with motorways, to help the university educated to avoid the mob [95]. Shortly thereafter the Dennis Package was launched in this spirit, provoking a resistance from about the same circles that had defeated the Region Plan of 1970, with about the same result [96]. In passing, they defeated an Olympic Games project launched by the city authorities to market the city.

In the Stockholm case it is evident that it was not only a matter of city competition; it was even more a matter of self-assertion of the upper middle class. And, of course, real estate business. There are much evidence that real estate is an increasingly important business in the system center, counted both as number of employees and amount of capital, and land appreciation is for that reason an increasingly important aim in urban planning, at the expense of commons, other utilities - and more productive businesses [97].

We must probably wait some years before getting a view over the urban movements of the nineties. We know thanks to Mayer that urban movements in Germany have also been successful in their struggle against conspicuous Olympic Games projects, thanks to polarization between the needs of the homeless and peoples' needs for commons, against city competition. The urban movement in Toronto which had defeated the motorway plans in the seventies got a certain cultural hegemony during the eighties and was during the Washington consensus of the nineties able to unite with the labour organisations into general strikes against cuts and for social housing, blocking the entrances to the city as an auxiliary. They have together made Toronto to one of the Northern centers for the global justice movement of the early 2000s. Occupied houses surviving in Italy since the seventies have established themselves as local culture centers, been joined by more occupied houses, and been converted into resistance centers for example for the peace movements which got support from the trade unions to block supplies to the Iraq war in 2003 [98].

But the most extensive and influential movement for the commons in the system center during the nineties was the motorway resistance in Britain.

The resistance against motorways was successful early, and many projects were abandoned in the seventies. But in the late eighties the government launched what it boasted as "the most ambitious program since the Romans" and resistance was also brushed up [99].

The first road project, in Twyford Downs in south England in 1991 was combated with fortifications which took months to remove. The tactics was to make the project more expensive, and it was inspired by the movement against the unpopular so-called poll tax, which aimed at making the tax unworkable rather than outvoted in parliament. The activists were in the beginning young radical environmentalists with a platform of defending nature, but they were gradually reinforced with local people and the platform gradually changed.

Next project was in the northern suburbs of London. The tactics was the same - when the first house was emptied it was occupied and fortified - but a new discourse began to shape. Except environmental impacts of car driving the resistance began to focus on social issues - the way car traffic eats the spaces of the city, spoils the urban commons and forces us into antisocial routines where transport to some otherwhere is always valued higher than what is going on locally, and capital accumulation is always valued higher than social intercourse and other spontaneous manifestations of life [100].

Around Claremont Road, the central space of demolition, the action group began to organise street parties as a protest against the dictatorial claims of car traffic. The action idea of Reclaim the streets was born out of this, spread out in London, and in July 13, 1996 activists occupied the urban motorway M41, broke the tarmac and planted trees under cover of ten thousand dancing people [101].

What characterised the British anti-roads movement was that the program was much broader than resistance to roads. It was a defence of commons per se. It polarised between the poor prospects of lower-class youth and the government favoured car-commuting middle class. It organised common manifestations with striking dockers and metro drivers and reached far beyond the middle class youth who increasingly had become the core of environmental movements in the nineties.

The government announced as early as 1994 that the roads program was abandoned and most projects were scrapped. New Reclaim the streets actions all over the world have focused on other aspects of the destruction of commons in the nineties and contributed to thematizing of the concept of commons, and create a common program for the emerging global justice movement.

This thematizing has also emerged from other quarters. The Indian movements for defending forests in the eighties polarized between "commons for subsistence and private property for exploitation". American internet communities and scientist milieus began to think in terms of commons when they protested against extended digital copyrights about the millennium shift [102]. The catchword of the south Indian agrarian movement when it protested against genetic patents was "knowledge must be free". Defence for commons may be the unifying perspective for all who defend civil society against the exploitatative world market system in the early 2000s [103].

The popular movement strategy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to safeguard the commons - to bargain with the state about social wages to compensate for commons destroyed by the world market system - had its strengths and weaknesses. It worked as long as the rulers of the system wanted to integrate the direct producers to get a peaceful labour market. But it could not compensate for all lost commons. From the fifties and sixties too many commons began to be threatened by commercialization, exploitation and privatization to be covered by the social wage. And when the integration policy crumbled in the seventies and eighties the strategy lost its precondition - the existence of a counterpart willing to bargain.

So it is no coincidence that the peoples' movement strategy which begins to form now is more interested in safeguarding commons administered by the users themselves according to principles of reciprocity and gifts than has been the case during the twentieth century. For the movements of the twenty-first century it will probably be more important than safeguarding commons administered by the state according to principles of redistribution.

Not because of inclination or principle. But because it is likelier to succeed - provided that it is linked to a focused struggle for hegemony.




[1] William McNeill, The pursuit of power, University of Chicago Press 1982.

[2] Mo Tsu is mentioned in Jacques Gernet, A history of Chinese civilization, Cambridge University Press 1982. Peter Brock, Pacifism in Europe to 1914, Princeton University Press 1972, tells about early Christians refusing to do military service - but nothing about their possible resistance to violence from others. I miss sources about other traditions and would like to hear about them!

[3] Charles Tilly, Coercion, capital, and European states 990-1992, Blackwell 1990.

[4] Thomas Head & Richard Landes (ed), The peace of God - Social violence and religious response in France around the year 1000, Cornell University Press 1992.

[5] From the Latin communis, common, and in France and many other countries used as the term for municipality. Albert Vermeesch, Essai sur les origines et la signification de la commune dans le nord de la France, Heule 1966.

[6] According to R.I. Moore, Postscript; the Peace of God and the social revolution, in Thomas Head & Richard Landes, The Peace of God.

[7] The direct producers continued to be affected directly by wars however. Myron Gutman, War and rurality in the early modern Low Countries, Princeton University Press shows how plunder and war-conveyed epidemics would spell disasters given the narrow margins of the early modern era. Geoffrey Parker, The Dutch revolt, Allen Lane 1977, shows that such disasters affected the entire outcome of wars.

[8] Alf Åberg, Nils Dacke och landsfadern, LTs Förlag 1960.

[9] Martin Ceadel, The origins of war prevention, Clarendon Press 1996.

[10] E.P. Thompson, The making of the English working class, Victor Gollancz 1963, Penguin 1975.

[11] W.H. van der Linden, The international peace movement 1815-1874, Tilleul 1986; Rainer Santi, 100 years of peace making, International Peace Bureau 1991.

[12] Jill Liddington, The long way to Greenham Common, Virago 1989, is an outline of feminist war resistance, with focus on Britain. Anti-militarism within the labour movement is a neglected theme, the only place I have seen it worked out is in B.N. Ponomarjov et al (ed), Den internationale arbejderbevægelse, del 3, Progres 1987.

[13] Peter Brock, Pacifism in Europe to 1914, Princeton University Press 1972.

[14] This was for example the position of the British WILPF, according to Jill Liddington, The long road to Greenham Common.

[15] Lawrence Wittner, Rebels against war - the American peace movement 1941-1960, Columbia University Press 1969. The two nuclear attacks against the defeated Japan was according to Wittner supported by 95 percent of the Americans, while as many as 24 percent recommended extinction of the whole Japanese people.

[16] Peter Brock, Twentieth century pacifism, Van Nostrand Reinhold 1970.

[17] Two overviews exist about the anti-nuclear movement: April Carter, Peace movements, Longman 1992, which is very short, and lawrence Wittner, The struggle against the bomb, Stanford University Press 1993, which constists of two heavy volumes. The British mobilizations around 1960 are described particularly by Richard Taylor, Against the bomb - The British peace movement 1958-1965, Clarendon Press 1988.

[18] Some of the atmosphere at these festivals is recreated in a novel by Jan Myrdal, Maj, en kärlek, Norstedts 1998.

[19] Per Anders Fogelström, Kampen för fred, SFS 1971.

[20] You can get a picture of the amplitude of the discussion in Ikkevoldsaksjon, PAX 1972, edited by the Nordic WRI organisations VCO, AMK and FMK. There is a general discussion about democracy and "non-violent revolution", but also a systematic exposition of peaceful methods of struggle and a description of thirteen mobilization covering all between a boycott of examinations over defence of a popular outdoor café and tenants' struggle against eviction to occupation of a draft board's premises.

[21] Martin Evans, The memory of resistance, Berg 1997, Alistair Horne, A savage war of peace, Macmillan 1977, Cahiers de la réconciliation 2/1993.

[22] Charles DeBenedetti, An American ordeal, The antiwar movement of the Vietnam era, Syracuse University Press 1990.

[23] Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a war, The New Press 1994.

[24] The Swedish movement is described in Mats Örbrink & Christer Lundgren, FNL-rörelsen i Sverige, en historik, DFFG 1973. It appears that the Christian WRI circles initiated the movement in Sweden even if the Maoists took over later.

[25] The overarching literature about this is thin. What exist are the broad books about "new social movements", peace movements among this. Most extensive is Roland Roth & Dieter Rucht (hg), Neue soziale Bewegungen in Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Campus 1987, and Karl-Werner Brand (hg), Neue soziale Bewegungen in Westeuropa und den USA: en internationaler Vergleich, Campus 1985. Thomas Rochon, Mobilizing for peace - The antinuclear movement in Western Europe, Adamantine Press 1988 is primarily a sociological exposion of who took part. April Carter, Peace movements, use a third of the book for the movements of the eighties.

[26] Thomas Leif, Die Friedensbewegung der achtziger Jahre; Tord Björk m.fl, Barnen behöver generalernas klöver, Dagens Nyheter 29.9.1984; Diarmuid Maguire, Opposition movements and opposition parties, Equal partners or dependent relations in the struggle for power?, in Craig Jenkins & Bert Klandermans, The politics of social protest, University College of London Press 1995.

[27] From below, independent peace and environment movements in Eastern Europe and the USSR, Helsinki Watch Report 1987.

[28] Toni Liversage, Fra Gandhi till Greenham Common - om civil ulydighet og ikke-vold, Gyldendal 1987.

[29] Augustus Norton, Shi'ism and social power in Lebanon, in Juan Cole & Nikki Keddie (ed), Shi'ism and social protest, Yale University Press 1986.

[30] Monique Mekenkamp et al (ed), Searching for peace in Africa, European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation 1999, Accord 1-1996 and 9-2000.

[31] Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a war.

[32] Susanne Jonas, Centaurs and doves, Westview Press 2000.

[33] Sara Cameron & Marina Curtis-Evans, Reclaimed territory, Civil society against the Colombian war, from Development 2000 vol 43:3.

[34] Steve Kibble, Angola: Hearing the people's voice, from Development 2000 vol 43:3.

[35] Patricia Hipsher, Democratic transitions as protest cycles; social movement dynamics in democratizing Latin America, in David Meyer & Sidney Tarrow (ed), The social movement society, Rowman & Littlefield 1998.

[36] Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow & Charles Tilly, Dynamics of contention, Cambridge University Press 2001.

[37] A.D. Prasad, Jai Prakash Andolan 1974 - an eyewitness account, Janaki Prakashan 1979. - I have inquired for literature on Indian peace movements in the Swedish university library database Libris, at Google, and with the Indian peoples' movement center Lokayan, but it seems not to exist.

[38] Global protests against war on Iraq, Wikipedia

[39] Reuven Kaminer, The politics of protest - The Israeli peace movement and the Palestinian intifada, Sussex Academic Press 1996, describes the way the peaceful peoples' movement during the Palestinian intifada in the late eighties provoked a strong Israeli peoples' movement for concessions to the Palestinians, while the Israeli movement died when the mass movement on the Palestinian side did so.

[40] For example J.R. McNeill, Something new under the sun, W.W: Morton 2000.

[41] About the colonial services' efforts see Richard Grove, Ecology, climate, empire, The White Horse Press 1997, while Vandana Shiva, Ecology and the politics of survival, Sage 1991 tells the story of the peasants. Reservation plans of high-consuming elites at the expense of subsistence peasants is still a hot issue.

[42] John McCormick, reclaiming paradise: The global environmental movement, Indiana University Press 1989; Philip W. Sutton, Explaining environmentalism, Ashgate 2000.

[43] Tage Lindbom, Den svenska fackföreningsrörelsens uppkomst, Tiden 1938.

[44] Colin Spencer, The heretic's feast; a history of Vegetarianism, University Press of New England 1995 gives a somewhat messy account for British conditions with some European outlooks. Christoph Conti, Abschied vom Bürgertum - alternative Bewegungen in Deutschland von 1890 bis heute, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag 1984, tells amusingly about alternative movements a hundred years ago whose ideological equipment was strikingly similar to the present ones. Janet Biehl & Peter Staudenmaier, Økofascisme, Kooperativet Nisus Forlag 1995, tells about extremely conservative groups using the ecologist critique against the liberal industrial society; it has however a heavy bias to ideology and tells surprisingly little about the social realities behind the ideologies.

[45] J.R. McNeill, Something new under the sun. The connections were first highlighted by Barry Commoner, The closing circle, Random House 1971.

[46] Vandana Shiva, Ecology and the politics of survival.

[47] Resistance to car traffic has been a more constant core of the environmental movements in the North than is commonly admitted. More about this under Defence of the commons, below.

[48] Movements in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands during the first years are described by Andrew Jamison, Ron Eyerman & Jacqueline Cramer, The making of the new environmental consciousness, Edinburgh University Press 1990. Germany is described by Elim Papadakis, The green movement in West Germany, Croom Helm 1984. Hal Rothman, The greening of a nation? - environmentalism in the United States since 1945, Harcourt Brace College Publishers 1998 describes the USA and Margaret McKean, Environmental protest and citizen politics in Japan, University of California Press 1981, describes Japan.

[49] In the USA the environmental issues seem to have been so linked to the early upper middle class character of its actors, despite countless local initiatives, that popular critique of environmental hazards have to dissociate itself as "environmental justice" to be taken seriously. See for example Andrew Szasz, Ecopopulism; toxic waste and the movement for environmental justice, University of Minnesota Press 1994.

[50] Tord Björk, The emerging global NGO system, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, describes how a youth group was able to intervene and channel opposition against an event that was originally planned by an institute founded by the Rockefeller group.

[51] The anti-nuclear movement is described by Reimar Paul (hrsg) … und auch nicht anderswo: die Geschichte der Anti-AKW-Bewegung, Verlag Die Werkstatt 1997, and Elim Papadakis, The green movement in West Germany (Germany), Alain Touraine, Anti-nuclear protest, Cambridge University Press 1983 (France) and Björn Eriksson m.fl. (red), Det förlorade försprånget, Miljöförbundet 1982 (Sweden).

[52] Björn Eriksson, Det var så det började, in Björn Eriksson m.fl. (red), Det förlorade försprånget.

[53] Josef Huber, Wer soll das alles ändern?, Rotbuch Verlag 1980.

[54] Russian and Brazilian environmental movements are described in Matthias Finger (ed), The green movement worldwide, Research in social movements, conflicts and change, JAI Press 1992. Russian movements are also described in From below, Independent peace and environmental movements in Eastern Europe and the USSR, Helsinki Watch Report October 1987; Duncan Fisher, Clare Davis, Alexander Juras, Vukasin Pavlovic (eds), Civil Society and the Environment in Central and Eastern Europe, Ecological Studies Institute/Institut für Europäisches Umweltpolitik/Eko-center, 1992.

[55] Harsh Sethi, Survival and democracy: environmental struggle in India, in Ponna Wignaraja (ed), New social movements in the South, Zed 1993, and Gail Omvedt, Reinventing revolution, M.E. Sharpe 1993; Julie Fisher, The road from Rio: sustainable development and the non-governmental movement in the Third World, Praeger Press 1993 gives some overview over environmental movements in the system peripheries.

[56] Larry Lohmann, Resisting green globalism, in Wolfgang Sachs, Global ecology, Zed 1993.

[57] Bruce Rich, Mortgaging the earth, Earthscan 1994. While Rich mainly portraits the bank as a mechanism senselessly running ahead according to its own bureaucratic interests - the greater the loan, the higher reputation for the official in charge - one must not wink at the systemic rationality of the bank. The projects of the bank worked as hitmen for commodification, monetarization and privatization of relations where they were located; this was the reason why they were met with such resistance. See for example Philip McMichael, Development and social change, Pine Forge Press 2000.

[58] Gail Omvedt, Reinventing revolution.

[59] Chittaroopa Palit & Achin Vanaik, Monsoon risings, New Left Review 11.6.2003.

[60] From my own experience, undocumented as far as I know.

[61] Andrew Jamison, Miljö som politik, Studentlitteratur 2003. The mechanism for domestication was the UN conference on environment and development in Rio de Janeiro 1992. This is described in a whole literature, for example Tord Björk, The emerging global NGO system, and Wolfgang Sachs, Global ecology, Zed 1993.

[62] During the seventies and eighties, when peace, environmental and local community movements eclipsed labour movements in the system center, the concept "new social movements" was used for such commons defences. They were supposedly characterized by 1. not representing any particular category or class, 2. not believing in the government power strategy but tried to realize their projects themselves, 3. having a narrow, limited thematizing and focus, and 4. being provoked by the ever-increasing penetration of market and bureaucracy into the private life of people, which made autonomy from these a more pressing need than material benefits and made "identity" more important than political reforms. See Chantal Mouffe & Ernesto Laclau, Hegemony and socialist strategy - towards a radical democratic politics, Verso 1985. Others who have taken part in this discussion with some weight are Alan Touraine, Post-industrial society, Butler & Tanner 1971 and other books, Jürgen Habermas, Towards a rational society, Heinemann 1977, and Alberto Melucci, Nomads of the present: social movements and individual needs in contemporary society, Temple University Press 1989. The concept seems a bit shabby today, perhaps because people have realised that this kind of mobilizations are not so new after all. See for example Craig Calhoun, "New social movements" in the early nineteenth century, Social Science History 17, 1993.

[63] The great theorist here is Karl Polanyi, for example The great transformation, Henry Holt 1944. The problems of commons are described by David Bollier, Silent theft; private plunder of our common wealth, Routledge 2002, with a short version in Reclaiming the commons, Boston Review 27/2003. Bollier describes how private interests because of indifference and/or increased patent and copyright rights encroach upon commons like nature, cultural inheritance, public debate, and science. A personal escription of different aspects of commons and reciprocities and ways they may be used in political struggles is Olivier de Marcellus, Commons, communities and movements: inside, outside and against capital, in The Commoner 6.

[64] There is, according to David Bollier in Silent theft no research in malaria vaccine, because the field is parcelled out on countless patent right owners, each looking after his rights and waiting for the others to sell their parts to him. Concerning gift economies, see Jacques Godbout, The world of the gift, McGill-Queen's University Press 1998. The study of the role of transaction costs has played an important parti in disrupting the hegemony of market fundamentalism in economics; one may think of the work of Joseph Stiglitz for example.

[65] Within economist circles a discussion is pursued about (ob)noxious markets, for example in Ravi Kanbur, On obnoxious markets, paper, Economics, philosophy and contemporaneous social issues, University of California 2001. As such he enumerates markets were the results are extreme, where the parties are unequals, or where the actors have little power over the results - "weak agency" in trade language.

[66] Christophe Dejours, Souffrance en France, Seuil 1998, quoted in Olivier de Marcellus, Commons, communities and movements. Dejours put the blame of the increasing petty illness in our time on the atropification of commons and reciprocities in the worksites, due to more effective supervision. Except illness, this also leads to decreasing resistance - not only active resistance but also mental, according to Dejours. Suffering no longer appears as injustice but only as a natural calamity, theoretically impossible to oppose. Understanding decreases because of decreased common practice.

[67] There is a whole literature about the "tragedy of the commons" as it is called. The concept was coined by Garret Hardin, The tragedy of the commons, Science 162, 1968, who suggested that commons were always destroyed by people with superior resources, and this was immediately grasped upon by people with an interest in seizing the commons. Afterwards however an abundance of research has made clear that commons survive as easily as private property if there is a regime there to protect them or if people defend them, see for example Bonnie McCay & James Acheson, The question of the commons, University of Arizona Press 1996.

[68] Karl Polanyi, The great transformation.

[69] Manuel Castells, The city and the grassroots - a cross-cultural theory of urban social movements, Edward Arnold 1983. Castells also tells about an eqally bitter rent strike in Veracruz in Mexico in 1922; it ended however in defeat because there was no resources for social housing in the system peripheries at that time.

[70] Fredrik Wulz, Wien 1848-1934, en arkitekturpolitisk studie av en stad i förändring, Byggforskningsrådet 1979.

[71] Manuel Castells, The city and the grassroots.

[72] Margit Meyer, Urban social movements in an era of globalisation, in Pierre Hamel et al (ed), Urban movements in a globalising world, Routlege 2000.

[73] The urban movement in Stockholm has been described by Ulf Stahre, Den alternativa staden, Stockholms stadsomvandling och byalagsrörelsen, Stockholmia 1999 (about the seventies) and Den gröna staden, Stadsomvandling och stadsmiljörörelsen i det nutida Stockholm, Atlas 2004 (about the nineties).

[74] Sven O. Karlsson, Arbetarfamiljen och det nya hemmet, Symposion 1993. See also, for some theoretical notes, Mats Franzén, Gatans disciplinering, Häften för Kritiska Studier 5/1982. Both make clear that the liberal bourgeoisie was scared of the workers and preferred to have it far from their own quarters.

[75] The prefect of Paris, Baron Haussmann, "modernized" Paris in the mid nineteenth century with boulevards lined with upper-class housing and offices, with technical infrastructure. He has become a myth in the town planning debate for friends and foes alike, see for example Leonardo Benevolo, The origins of modern town planning, MIT Press 1971.

[76] Descriptions of the city clearances in the system center have been dominated by an ideologizing discourse which has seen the causes as one or another line of thought. Possibly there is some extensive work explaining it with interests; I have abstracted my explanation from some articles, primarily Pieter Terhorst & Jacques van de Ven, The economic restructuring of the historic city center, in Willem Salet & Sako Musterd (ed), Amsterdam human capital, Amsterdam University Press 2003, and Manuel Castells, The city and the grasroots.

[77] There is no history written of the post-war urban movements. Eddy Cherki et al, Urban protest in Western Europe, in Colin Crouch & Alessandro Pizzorno, The resurgence of class conflict in Western Europe since 1968, Macmillan 1978, gives a certain general view as does Hans Pruijt, The impact of citizen's protest on city planning in Amsterdam, paper, The future of the historic inner city of Amsterdam, Amsterdam 2002 (which nevertheless focuses on Amsterdam). Margit Mayer, The career of urban social movements in Germany, in Robert Fischer & Joseph Kling, Mobilizing the community, Sage 1993, deals with German cities and Ernst Stracke, Stadtzerstörung und Stadtteilkampf in Frankfurt am Main, Pahl-Rugestein 1980 reflects a city unusually rocked by urban movements. For the US I have relied on articles, like Rachel Brahinsky et al, Saving San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 18, 2000, and Wikipedia, Urban renewal, and Freeway and expressway revolts.

[78] This struggle seems undocumented; there is however much to be read between the lines in Jane Jacobs, The death and life of great American cities, Random House 1961, particularly in chapters 6 and 18. Jacobs was one of the leaders of the movement and the book, which was written while the struggle was going on, is the best description up to this time about a city as an intricate web of commons threatened by state and capital in unison.

[79] Thomas P. Jackson, The state, the movement and the urban poor, in Michael B. Katz, The underclass debate, Princeton University Press 1993. - "City renewal is negro removal" was one catchword from this time which has been more than confirmed afterwards, see for example Mindy Fullilove, Root shock, One World/Ballantine 2004.

[80] Manuel Castells, The city and the grassroots, describes France; Robert Lumley, States of emergency - cultures of revolt in Italy from 1968 to 1978, Verso, says something about Italy.

[81] Asef Bayat, Social movements, activism and social development in the Middle East, in Transnational Associations 2, 2001, gives an overview of urban movements which are valid in the whole system periphery. Most of it has been written about Latin America - Joe Foweraker & Ann Craig (ed), Popular movements and political change in Mexico, Lynne Rienner 1990; Arturo Escobar & Sonia Alvarez (ed), The making of social movements in Latin America, Westview Press 1992; Susan Stokes, Cultures in conflict: social movements and the state in Peru, University of California Press 1995; David Slater (ed), New social movements and the state in Latin America, CCEDLA 1985; and Manuel Castells, The city and the grassroots are examples. South Africa is described by Tom Lodge & Bill Nasson, All, here and now - Black politics in South Africa in the 1980s, Hunt 1992.

[82] This was also the case of the well-published Chilean shantytown movement during the Unidad Popular era. It was led and ruled with iron-fists by the UP political parties, in sharp competition with each other; this was an important cause of their impotence against the coup of 1973. See Manuel Castells, The city and the grassroots.

[83] Nico Vink, Base communities and urban movements, in David Slater (ed), New social movements and the state in Latin America.

[84] Vivienne Bennett, The evolution of urban popular movements in Mexico, in Arturo Escobar & Sonia Alvarez, The making of social movements in Latin America.

[85] Ron Bailey, The squatters, Penguin 1973 about London; Margit Mayer, Urban social movements in an era of globalisation, in Pierre Hamel et al (ed), Urban movements in a globalising world, about Paris. Hans Pruijt, Squatting in Europe, about Europe.

[86] Things like these are related in Susan Fainstein, Local mobilization and economic discontent, and Margit Mayer, Restructuring and popular opposition in West German cities, both in Michael Smith & Joe Feagin (ed), The capitalist city, Basil Blackwell 1989. The latter lays the emphasis in the way the state may use popular striving for non-market solutions to cut their budgets.

[87] An overview is given in Philip McMichael: Development and social change; a global perspective, Thousand Oaks 1996. David Bollier: Silent theft, Routledge 2003, describes the consequences.

[88] John Walton & David Seddon: Free markets and food riots: The politics of global adjustment, Blackwell 1994. Mike Davis: Planet of slums, Verso 2006.

[89] Asef Bayat: Social movements, activism and social development in the Middle East, in Transnational Associations 2, 2001.

[90] Ashwin Desai: We are the poors - community struggles in post-apartheid South Africa, Monthly Review Press 2002, for the South African central Anti-Privatisation Forum.

[91] The concept of gentrification is analysed by Tom Slater, What is gentrification. He sees it as a confluence of interest between real estate owners who want to get rid of poor payers, and a solvent upper middle class wanting to mark territory in the form of culturally separated residential areas. He bases his opinion in Bourdieu's theories about cultural separation and seems little aware of the utility value of commons. Another approach is forwarded by Talmage Wright, Out of place - homeless mobilizations, subcities and contested landscapes, SUNY Press 1992, StadtRat (hg), Umkämpfte Räume, Verlag Libertäre Assoziation 1998, and Neil Smith, The new urban frontier, gentrification and the revanchist city, Routledge 1996. They take their stand in the fact that the upper middle class has grown and become so strong that it for the sake of self-assertion has to mark itself out in separate quarters. Not only in old lower class centers but also in "gated communities" in the suburbs; these may have extremely poor commons but they are at least far off from threatening lower class people.

[92] Robert Reich, The work of nations : capitalism in the 21st century, Knopf 1991, and Emmanuel Todd, L'illusion economique, Gallimard 1998, have written about the upper middle class, its growth and its pretensions.

[93] Bolette Christensen. Fortællinger fra Indre Nørrebro, Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag 2000.

[94] Neil Smith, The new urban frontier: gentrification and the revanchist city.

[95] Regionplan för Stockholm 1985, referring to Åke E. Andersson, Kreativitet - storstadens framtid, Prisma 1985.

[96] Ulf Stahre, Den gröna staden, Stadsomvandling och stadsmiljörörelse i det nutida Stockholm, Atlas 2004.

[97] For example Talmadge Wright, Out of place; beverly Silver, Forces of labor - workers' movements and globalzation since 1870, Cambridge University Press 2004, and Will Hutton, The state we're in, Vintage 1995.

[98] Stefan Kipler, Urban politics in the 1990s, notes on Toronto; and Marvi Maggio, Urban movements in Italy, the struggle for sociality and communication, in Richard Wolff et al (ed), Possible urban worlds, INURA/Birkhäuser Verlag 1998.

[99] Patrick Field, The anti-roads movement, in Tim Jordan & Adam Lent, Storming the millennium; the new politics of change, Lawrence & Wishart 1999; George McKay (ed), DiY culture; party and protest in nineties' Britain, Verso 1998. DiY stands for Do it Yourself, a term for the British anti-commercial counterculture.

[100] The theme is of course age-old and was first raised by the situationists in the fifties. But for some reason it has very rarely been converted into popular politics. "Noise and pollution" has always been easier to thematise, despite the fact that activists always have been aware of the place-destroying effects of car traffic.

[101] People occupied streets already in the seventies in London, Stockholm and other places, but probably at a too small scale to spread to a movement.

[102] According to private e-mail with David Bollier. See also Lawrence Lessig, The future of ideas; the fate of the commons in a connected world, Random House 2001; Eric Kluitenberg, Constructing the digital commons, De Digitale Balie 2003, or Charlotte Hess & Elinor Ostrom, Ideas, artefacts and facilities, Information as a common-pool resource, paper, Conference on the Public Domain, Duke University School of Law, November 9-11, 2001.

[103] The opinion of Naomi Klein, Reclaiming the commons, New Left Review 9/2001.


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