Image: front cover  Pre-Order
        for 20% discount
  •  CDN $24.99 
  •  USD $24.99 

Paperback – 448 pages
6 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 662.26 Grams
BISAC: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865719217
Pub. Date: 2019-09-03

About the Authors

David Bollier

David Bollier is an activist, scholar, and blogger who is focused on the commons as a new/old paradigm for re-imagining economics, politics, and culture. He pursues his commons scholarship and activism as Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and as cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international advocacy project. Author of Think Like a Commoner and other books, he blogs at www.Bollier.org, and lives in Amherst, MA.

view author profile

Silke Helfrich

Silke Helfrich is an independent activist, author, scholar, and speaker. She cofounded the Commons Strategies Group and Commons-Institute, was former head of the regional office of Heinrich Böll Foundation for Central America, Cuba, and Mexico, and holds degrees in Romance languages/pedagogy and in social sciences. Helfrich is the editor and co-author of several books on the Commons, and she blogs at www.commons.blog. She lives in Neudenau, Germany.

view author profile

Free, Fair, and Alive

The Insurgent Power of the Commons

by David Bollier & Silke Helfrich



From co-housing and agroecology to fisheries and open-source everything, people are increasingly using "commoning" to emancipate themselves from a predatory market-state system.

Free, Fair, and Alive presents a foundational re-thinking of the commons — the self-organized social system that humans have used for millennia to meet their needs. It offers a compelling vision of a future beyond the dead-end binary of capitalism versus socialism that has almost brought the world to its knees.

Written by two leading commons activists of our time, this guide is a penetrating cultural critique, table-pounding political treatise, and practical playbook. Highly readable and full of colorful stories, coverage includes:

  • Internal dynamics of commoning
  • How the commons worldview opens up new possibilities for change
  • Role of language in reorienting our perceptions and political strategies
  • Seeing the potential of commoning everywhere.

Free, Fair, and Alive provides a fresh, non-academic synthesis of contemporary commons written for a popular, activist-minded audience. It presents a compelling narrative: that we can be free and creative people, govern ourselves through fair and accountable institutions, and experience the aliveness of authentic human presence.

You might also enjoy

The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook

The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook

Hunting from the Heart

Wild meat, hunted in a responsible way, is one of the most healthful, sustainable foods possible. Depending on how it is done, hunting can be as …

view title info
Think Like a Commoner

Think Like a Commoner

A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons

The biggest "tragedy of the commons" is the misconception that commons are failures - relics from another era rendered unnecessary by the Market and …

view title info
Culture Gap

Culture Gap

Towards a New World in the Yalakom Valley

The time is the early 1980s. Judith Plant and her new partner, Kip, are ready for a change. Inspired by the charismatic Fred Brown, their …

view title info
Seed Libraries

Seed Libraries

And Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People

Historically, seed companies were generally small, often family-run businesses. Because they were regionally-based, they could focus on varieties …

view title info
Living Room Revolution (EPUB)

Living Room Revolution (EPUB)

A Handbook for Conversation, Community and the Common Good

Every man for himself! For too long we have lived in a competitive, consumer-oriented culture, destroying the well-being of people and the planet. We …

view title info