ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Cultural Commons

This article explores the ways in which a background of non-discursive practices that are properly describable as a “cultural commons” underlie the very possibility of law and norm in the governance of a social group. This effi cacy of these practices provides conceptual sources for a recovery of other forms of the common, such as the land or the environmental commons. The idea of a cultural commons is a distinctive ideal that stands apart from other political and moral ideals, such as liberty, equality, and fraternity. It stands apart from ideals of trust and cooperation. The article specifi es how it is related to these, and to other fundamental institutions of modernity, such as capital and the state. As such, it cannot be inserted into constitutions, or directly be the goal of politics. It is a non-optional and non-cancellable ideal, that might be identifi ed with what Marx called “unalienated” life.
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